Wednesday, July 14, 2010
North and his problems
If I look at North's career, I do remember that when he played in the under 19 world cup in 98, a few former Aussie cricketers tipped him to be a future Australian player, but as North wasn't consistent for his state side, Western Australia and with Australia having a strong middle order, North had to wait for a long time before he could break into the Australian squad. It was only in South Africa in 08/09 that he got a chance to play for Australia.
He had a great start to his career as he made a century on his debut and even in the Ashes, he did well by scoring three hundreds and at that time, it looked like he may play for Australia for a few years to come as he can also bowl useful off spin. However, it started to go all wrong for him at home as he averaged 33 against the Windies, but worse was stiil in store for North, as he averaged just over 8 against Pakistan! Yes, he did redeem himself with a career saving hundred albiet against an inexpereinced Kiwi attack, but question marks still remain about his technique.
Swing bowlers as well as spinners have troubled North in recent times. His tendency to move his front foot too much across the stumps means that when it is swinging around, swing bowlers can shape it back into him and he would likely get out lbw. It can also mean that he would struggle to drive in the V and whenever he tries it, there is a decent chance of him getting bowled and his dismissal can look awful. I didn't see yesterday's dismissal, but it seems like he played another loose drive and got out. As he goes hard at the ball, he can also look vulnerable against spin.
Yes, he did score a hundred and made another useful score of ninety in New Zealand, but as I said, it was against an inexperienced attack as Bond and O'Brien both had just retired, but even in the match at Hamilton, I do remember the young Southee getting him out lbw in the first innings by bowling a fuller length and shaping it back into him.
North may get a few more chances to prove himself as he does average over 40 in test cricket, but in my humble opinion, Australia should look at future and blood the youngster Khawaja.