February 2009
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King Cricket: Taylor takes positives and wickets from England

February 9th, 2009 by Alex Bowden in England, west indies

England always like to take the positives. After taking all the positives out of their batting prior to starting their second innings, this was what we were left with. It was sorry stuff.

Even on their better days, England seem to have to actively look for the positives. You didn’t need to do any hunting to find the positives in Jerome Taylor’s bowling - they were strikingly apparent in every ball: fast, full and straight.

Those three virtues were largely absent in England’s increasingly tired bowling display. They were disciplined, yes, but often toothless with it and where’s the point in that?

It wasn’t a pitch to reward the taller bowlers who pitch it short, which pretty much describes every member of England’s pace attack. They might have tried a yorker or two though.

As Taylor proved, it was a worthwhile tactic. In one passage of play, Steve Harmison bounced Brendan Nash, then moved a fielder for the hook. He bounced him again before conspicuously bringing in a short-leg. ‘Now for the yorker,’ we thought. The ball sailed over the batsman’s head for a third time to complete the over.

As the innings wore on, the pacemen flagged. Most deliveries hovered just above 80mph, which is the sort of pace that Matthew Hoggard bowled after he’d supposedly lost his nip. Ryan Sidebottom bowled one ball that was 60-odd mph and we’re still not sure whether it was a slower ball or not - except in the descriptive sense.

By contrast, Taylor got quicker and quicker as the adrenaline pumped. More importantly he bowled a fuller length. As an England supporter, it should have been harrowing, but was actually far more captivating than any of the 157.4 overs that preceded it.

See King Cricket‘s regular blog at www.kingcricket.co.uk. 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 England, west indies | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “King Cricket: Taylor takes positives and wickets from England”

  1.   Gumbo says:

    Broad seems to be the only england bowler to have heard of variation, and he’s only 14 years old.

    Sidebottom bowling at 80mph is pointless; he won’t go for many but he won’t take any either, no matter how much he grumbles and moans and whines. Judging by his pained expression he obviously felt the enormous amount of effort he was putting in was worth a wicket. Just a pity his pace wasn’t worth one.

  2.   King Cricket says:

    England’s bowling is worthy.

    ‘Worthy’ won’t get many wickets. Dynamism will. Something exceptional will. That’s what you need to win Test matches.

  3.   damiths says:

    England have a one dimensional bowling attack at the moment, all the bowlers are hit the deck for bounce sort of guys.

    As the King says, they are in desperate need of some variation and mystery.

  4.   Legionaire says:

    It was pants.
    Why was it that a West Indies side previously renowned (albeit with Holding/Marshall/Garner et al) realised that short pitched bowling was not going to work and changed to fuller length and guile and spin!!
    It was not bad it was embarrasing (and pants).

  5.   Gumbo says:

    Wouldn’t have wanted to be Strauss’s pants on saturday.

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