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Jrod: Australia's disappearing allrounder

July 27th, 2009 by Jrod in England, Test cricket, The Ashes


Australia has spent years looking for a proper allrounder. The “next Keith Miller” tag faded away in the 70s, but Australia has never stopped searching for allrounders. Their searches have mostly been pitiful and time wasting.

They have tried bowling allrounders: Max Walker, Simon O’Donnell, Greg Matthews, Tony Dodemaide, Simon Davis, and Paul Reiffel. And batting allrounders: Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Michael Bevan, Marcus North, Cameron White and Shane Watson have all had a go.

None of them have hit the spot. Then Mitchell Johnson came along.

A left-arm opening bowler who can bowl at 95 mph, make run-a-ball hundreds, break the hands of opening batsmen, break the hearts of finger spinners, and take wickets on the flattest of the flat pitches.

It was magical while it lasted. One whole series.

Australia get a world-class allrounder, and he lasts for one series. What the hell is going on?

One series? Steve Harmison can do better than that.

I’m sorry, Mitchell, I know you have problems. Troy Cooley is trying to give you this mysterious inswinger, and your mum cannot walk past a reporter at the moment, but one series? Come on, Tony Dodemaide gave us that much.

Buck up, champ. This is only a cricket game. You have been playing for years. This isn’t some foreign planet made entirely of water with spider-whale mutants hunting you for your blood. I’d tell you if it was. Cricket is generally not a matter of life or death.

You get to the top of your mark, pick a spot, then run in and sling it there. That appears to be what you did before the magic of the inswinger invaded your mind. So just do that again. Forget about wrist position, this isn’t an ergonomic repetitive stress video.

Just come in and bowl. You seem to remember how to bat, and as long as Tim Nielsen doesn’t teach you the reverse sweep I can’t see that changing.

So give us one more series as an allrounder, and if you still think it is too much for you we can always turn to Andrew McDonald (and weep).

Jrod is an Australian blogger, and now author. His book The Year Of The Balls 2008: A Disrespective is available now

Posted in England, Test cricket, The Ashes | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Jrod: Australia's disappearing allrounder”

  1.   WinniePooh says:

    When you think about it, it is bloody harsh to expect one bowler with a wonky action to win the bloody Ashes on his own.

    That is how he has been looked at and if he gets dropped, how he is being blamed.

    Even Harmless wasn’t expected to win it on his own. He, in theory, had quality experienced bowlers around him down-under. Who did Mitch have?

  2.   Gonzo Cricket says:

    “Just come in and bowl”.


    “I just run in and bowl. Keep it simple,” Hilfenhaus said.

  3.   Ashes Third Test « FCKING BLOG says:

    [...] disappearing all rounder Mitchell Johnson may seem like he’s lost his radar but his half century at Lord’s put him ahead of the [...]

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