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?