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RMJ: The curse of the double-bouncer

July 17th, 2008 by Robin Martin-Jenkins in County cricket, England and tagged , , , , ,

You may or may not be aware that it’s my benefit year with Sussex this year. I mention it not just as a shameless plug ( but because of something that happened at my most recent event.

We held a six-a-side competition at Horsham CC on Sunday in which companies entered teams of five players. Each team then drew one of my professional colleagues out of a hat to be their sixth player. The standard of cricket was fairly eclectic, to say the least, and the pros often found themselves up against some interesting bowling actions and batting techniques.

But what was most interesting to me was how hard most of us found it when faced with this sort of opponent. I was bowled twice by balls that nearly bounced twice, for example. There were also some very competent club cricketers amongst the teams who seemed to fare much better against the double-bouncers.

It struck me that, as pros, we are so used to facing bowlers who send it down at 80mph plus, and who hit good areas the majority of the time, that we are stumped when suddenly confronted by something so alien as someone wearing white jeans who bowls off the wrong foot with a round-arm action.

During the last championship match against Lancashire, I was batting quite nicely and feeling I’d risen to the challenge of facing bowlers like Andrew Flintoff and Saj Mahmood, when Stuart Law brought Francois Du Plessis on to bowl. He bowls very occasional leg breaks and his fifth ball to me was a horrible drag down of a delivery that nearly bounced twice. The result: Martin-Jenkins, Bowled Du Plessis for 70.

I wonder, with that in mind, if there is more of a place for part-time bowlers in first-class cricket. Particularly when the wicket is flat and the game looks like it’s going nowhere. Perhaps Michael Vaughan could have tried to bowl Andrew Strauss or Alastair Cook during the last Test match and order up a few double-bouncers. It might just have been enough to put Neil McKenzie et al off their stride.

2008 is Robin Martin-Jenkins’ benefit year, visit for further details.

Posted in County cricket, England | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “RMJ: The curse of the double-bouncer”

  1.   D Charlton says:

    Welcome to our world, Robin. I always knew league cricket was tougher than first-class. You lot get it so easy with your 80mph bowlers on flat decks…

  2.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Perhaps bowlers could bowl deliberate double-bouncers

  3.   Gary Naylor says:

    AB de Villiers getting done by a double bounce.

    I’m sure club bowlers would get some top players out, but all the evidence from mismatches in the World Cup or when there are mismatches in sub-continental cricket, show that for every one the clubbies dismiss, there’ll be three others scoring 100+ off 80 balls or so. 450-3 off 50 overs is much more likely than 220-9.

  4.   Ste says:

    The only reason a double bouncer gets people out is because the batsmen is not expecting it because he is already on the back foot due to the length of the ball.

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