Friday, October 15, 2010

The madness of a boot camp

Today, when I woke up I saw the bizarre news of Jimmy Anderson being injured in a boot camp which was held by England's management. It looked even more crazy, when I saw that he hurt his rib in a boxing match. Boxing match? Oh! god why would anyone play a violent sport like boxing? Were they all looking to compete in CWG against the Northern Ireland and Indian boxers? I also can't believe that news of his injury is coming out now, though the boot camp was held a few weeks back.

Poor Jimmy Anderson, as on his last tour to Australia, he was forced to play, though he had just comeback from a serious injury and had hardly bowled any overs going into that series. What made worse was  Anderson bowled as a first change bowler with a spread field. A young swing bowler bowling with a spread field and the older ball? absurd. If Anderson thought that he could do well this time around as he has improved  as a bowler he was wrong, as the madness of the boot camp has made sure that he may not play in the first test and even if he plays, he won't be match fit.

If Anderson doesn't play in most of the matches, it is no doubt a big blow for England as he is now an experienced swing bowler and new ball is the key in Australia. If a swing bowler even takes a few early wickets it can help as no spinner however good he maybe would like to bowl to well set top order batsmen. Always remember even the great Warne suffered at the hands of Indian batsmen in 98 as the quicker bowlers couldn't make early inroads into the Indian batting line-up. In absence of Anderson, Shahzad now may have to take up the mantle of being England's main swing bowler. A greenhorn like Shahzad would likely bowl too full or short and as a result won't succeed in Australia. Even if Flower and co. go for all three tall bowlers,  the attack would look similar and Australian batsmen are generally good at playing horizontal bat shots.  In 08/09, everyone expected the tall Morkel to do the damage, but Australian batsmen put him to the sword by playing horizontal bats shots. The above points just shows that why England may miss a genuine swing bowler in Australia.

Andy Flower and co. have to be surely blamed for calling Buchanan and following in his footsteps. During the 06 boot camp organised by the super coach with a magic wand Buchanan, Macgill hurt his knee and was never the same yet, England organised a boot camp. Leave alone Macgill, as Anderson himself got injured while playing squash in Srilanka in 03.  The fact is, with almost half of the OZ team including Warne, Junior and Martyn weren't sure about Buchanan's methods, others should have listened to them, but KKR made him the coach and burnt their fingers and now he is the consultant for the England team! Leave alone this boot-camp faisco, but he had no rights to question KP's commitment before an important tour. I know that there are fans who think KP is selfish, but how can someone, who was supposedly helping the team say that before the Ashes series?  A few months ago, Warne had warned about conducting such  boot camps and even made a comment that with Buchanan in England's camp, Australia's chances of winning the series has improved.

I just hope that Flower, Buchanan and co. won't continue with this nonsense of boot camp next year. Who knows, they may think of new ways to get players injured like introducing bungee jumping, lion taming and bull riding?


Soulberry said...

Should have worn chest guards. an obvious thing for a pacer/bowler indulging in a spot of boxing to do.

England are not known to be good travellers to anyplace other than perhaps West Indies and Lanka. They have also knocn to be reluctant travellers. Now they are inviting other jinxes.

Flower seems completely sold on the Buchanan theories of cricketing warfare and preparation for. But where is John Buchanan? Is he anywhere near the English team?

greyblazer said...

After the boot camp he may have gone back to Australia but that hasn't stopped him from talking about KP and that too just before the Ashes series.

England haven't been bad in SA but injuries seem to be a part and parcel of every Ashes tour. I have said this before that in the 94 Ashes it got so bad that Craig White who came in as a replacement for another injured player got injured within one-day lol.

Buchanan is crazy who just lives in the world of stats. For instance after going through stats of test matches he has a theory that if a team bowls three maiden overs at the start of an innings a wicket would fall. Now even a layman can say that maiden overs leads to wickets. No wonder cricketers like Warne and Waugh don't think highly of him.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

I wrote on my blog quite a while ago now that England are a team of characters and personalities that fit Flower's profile.

Thats why they went on this trip. It's all team spirit, bonding, the right temperament, etc.

No room for individuals like Shah or Bopara and maybe soon even KP, who knows? I'm still not convinced he was dropped for purely cricketing reasons.

While this regime is in charge, I think this kind of team bonding and character building will continue as it looks like they believe in it.

greyblazer said...

Yeah that can be the case but I would never understand cricketers who don't know anything about boxing playing a sport like boxing before an Ashes series.