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December 2009
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Lawrence Booth: England must let Broad find his length

December 9th, 2009 by Lawrence Booth in England, Test cricket


When Stuart Broad bowled England to victory in the Ashes and himself into the annals he also underwent an epiphany. For a while Broad had spoken of seeking to emulate Glenn McGrath, who – to paraphrase the Australian politician who once chastised Geoff Boycott after a tedious day’s batting in Perth – did for variety what the Boston Strangler did for door-to-door salesmen. But the evidence too often begged to differ. Then, at The Oval, it clicked: Broad located a consistently fuller length and became a hero.

So far, so promising. But England – and Broad – now face a dilemma. And it goes like this. Andrew Flintoff’s capacity to balance the attack was more subtle than most people imagined, mainly because they thought he took lots of wickets, which he did not. Flintoff’s bang-it-in style, while counter-productive for his own Test strike-rate (66, for goodness’ sake), at least allowed the other bowlers to pitch the ball up. The theory was that Flintoff scared ’em and the others snared ’em. It didn’t always work. But at least it was a plan, which is the bare minimum for any self-respecting Test team.

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Posted in England, Test cricket | No Comments »

Daniel Brigham: Specialist proposals can rejuvenate ODIs

December 9th, 2009 by Daniel Brigham in One-day cricket

The latest idea to rejuvenate ODIs is to give two bowlers 12 overs each and two bowlers 10, leaving just six overs to be made up by the likes of Paul Collingwood.

These efforts, on top of powerplays, to shock life back into the ODI corpse have all gone a bit Frankenstein’s monster haven’t they? Hmm. Actually, this one seems a good idea. The ICC cricket committee’s proposal is designed to encourage selectors to stop picking bits-and-pieces players who can offer a few overs and a few runs and instead choose a team of specialists.

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Posted in One-day cricket | 3 Comments »

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