Recent Comments

July 2008
« Jun   Aug »

John Stern: Slow down, Monty

July 14th, 2008 by John Stern in England, South Africa in England

If Monty Panesar can take as many Test wickets as Derek Underwood (297) then he’ll not have done badly but he’s surely not going to achieve that by trying to bowl at the same speed as ‘Deadly’.

Underwood was a unique bowler, a man of his time, his almost medium pace perfectly suited to the uncovered wickets of the 1960s and 1970s.

Monty has a tendency to bowl too quickly, which is in danger of affecting his wicket-taking ability. The second innings at Lord’s was a classic example where his stock ball wasn’t far off 60mph. He seems so anxious to take wickets that he becomes impatient.

Watching the dying embers of the Test from side-on it was possible to detect the very occasional slower ball which, noticeably had more loop than the vast majority of his other deliveries.

One of the key aspects of successful finger-spin bowling is to get the ball above the batsman’s eye line so it is harder to pick up the length. But Monty’s default mode is to fire the ball in, which on a belting batting pitch like this one proved increasingly fruitless.

Monty is a match-winner but he just needs to chill out a bit. Bowl it a bit slower so he’s teasing the batsman rather than bullying him. Then he can be as deadly as Deadly.

John Stern is editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in England, South Africa in England | 3 Comments »

King Cricket: Pougatch and Boycott a match made in listener hell

July 14th, 2008 by Alex Bowden in Miscellaneous, South Africa in England and tagged , ,

Geoffrey Boycott probably has an opinion on how you wash your armpits and he doesn’t even know what technique you employ. Mark Pougatch is new to cricket commentary. He’s finding his way. He’s probably a bit nervous and he doesn’t have a great many opinions of his own.

We’d really appreciate it if Test Match Special would stop combining Mark Pougatch with Geoffrey Boycott. It makes for excruciating radio.

Boycott has legions of opinions. He equips these opinions with monstrous, inhumane weaponry and sends them out to conquer whoever’s within earshot.

To be on the receiving end of a direct Boycott opinion is to be submitted to a level of interrogation that defies the Geneva Convention. If you make the mistake of groaning even the weakest murmur of dissent, you receive the barrage again, only with added force. Eventually all there is to do is meekly concur and hope that the ordeal is over.

Listening to Boycott speak to Mark Pougatch is to hear one man’s actual brain being reshaped in an instant, purely through the power of another’s words. A sample exchange tends to run as follows:

Pougatch: Good shot there from Smith - straight to a fielder though.

Boycott: Are you kidding? That was a terrible shot.

Pougatch: Yes, he maybe should have left that one.

Boycott: He should have played it towards mid-off.

Pougatch: Yes, a straighter bat was called for there.

See King Cricket’s regular blog at King Cricket is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

Posted in Miscellaneous, South Africa in England | 14 Comments »

Site by Anson Robson Marketing © 2010 The Wisden Cricketer All Rights Reserved