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.