Friday, July 30, 2010

Birthday boy comes to the party!

Today is Anderson's birthday, though he doesn't seem to be very happy about it, as I saw on his twitter page that he doesn't like getting a year older, but he at least can celebrate the five wicket haul he got at Trent Bridge against Pakistan.

Pakistan's batsmen though, may not be sending him greeting cards  on his birthday as against some high quality swing bowling in helpful conditions, they collapsed like nine pins. I don't expect the inexperienced Pakistan's batsmen to do well in alien conditions, but they could have put up a better show. The tailenders did show better application and maybe, the front line batsmen can learn from them.

Anyway coming back to Anderson, I have been a fan of his bowling as he swings it so late. I know that his critics would always say he is good only in conditions that helps swing bowlers and he averages around 34. I don't think anyone can convince his detractors, though it is a fact that his action was messed up when he was younger, was picked when he wasn't match fit in Australia and in South Africa and never got a decent run in the side. In fact, it was only since England played in New Zealand has he got a decent run in the side. In his last 29 matches, he has got 108 wickets at 30.29 and that is good in modern days as the wickets aren't always helpful to quicker bowlers.

Today, he got it to swing late and all Pakistan's batsmen were at sea against him. I also liked the fact that he came around the wicket to the lefthanders. In recent times, when he has bowled from over the wicket, he has mainly angled it away from the lefthander. Actually, this year it seemed like the lefthanders had worked him out as they were playing inside the line of the ball, but in the second test against Bangladesh, he looked to come around the  wicket and that helps as it would force the lefthander  to play at his deliveries. The ball that he bowled to Farhat was a gem, as he came a bit wider of the crease and got it to swing it away from him to send his stumps for a walk.

I do get worried about Anderson, when he beats the batsman and doesn't take wickets as he tends to get frustrated  and bowls a long hop. The fact is, if a bowler is beating the bat, a wicket is around the corner, but the bowler has to show a bit more patience. I would also like him to use the yorker with the old ball and it would be better, if Strauss uses a third man for him as it may encourage him to bowl a fuller length.

I have to say some good words for Finn as he too bowled well. I did get a bit of stick, when I mentioned him as a future England bowler after watching him play in the under 19 world cup, though nowadays everyone is perhaps  hyping him too much. His ability to change the length helps him as unlike say his teammate Broad, he can easily hit the good length spot and bowl the odd ball fuller to get the edge. Any tall quick doesn't need to bowl at 90 miles per hour, but if he bowls at around 87-88 miles per hour by consistently hitting the good length spot and makes the batsmen play, it is more than enough.

Finally, it is always a pleasure to watch some good swing bowling in an era made up of McGrath clones, though most of those tall bowlers with manufactured actions don't tend to be successful as they  bowl too short.


Purna said...

Haha! Love the dig at McGrath clones in the end :P. I like Anderson too (which is rather a rare occurrence seeing as he is an English bowler), but honestly, I also think he needs to prove himself in non-swinging conditions. Like you said, it's not that he lacks the ability, he just gets frustrated.

greyblazer said...

Today McGrath's clone Barbie showed his class though by knocking over Kaneria. Actually since he has got a decent run, Anderson hasn't been bad when it isn't swinging. He almost took England to victory on a very flat wicket at Trinidad in 09 and throughout that series was ok on some incredibly flat wickets in West Indies. The only track that assisted quicker bowlers in that series was at Jamaica and he didn't play in that match but Broad played. He took a five wicket haul at CT and did ok in SA and when he had to bowl on a few flat decks in 08 in England he did ok. He failed at Oval against Aus in 09 but he was clearly not fit for that match and neither did he look fit at Wanderers in SA in 09/10. Journalists make it look like he has been rubbish all the time which isn't the case.

Yes if he shows more patience, Strauss gives him a third man and more of a attacking field he would do better but with him now coming around the wicket to the lefties, should be more successful as lefthanders seemed to have worked him out.