An interruption while the sightscreen is adjusted….

In other words, there is sod all news. There’s a new round of county championship matches going on, if that is your cup of tea. Personally, I prefer Bundaburg Rum.

Journalists asked Mike Hussey for his thoughts, and all he could come up with was some lame talk about how reverse swing won’t have such an impact in Australia. That’s not really news; Pakistani bowlers have been coming to Australia for ages and keep getting carted.

I don’t think that reverse swing by itself is a magic bullet, and to keep going on about it, I think, takes away some of the gloss on just how well Simon Jones bowled last year. It’s kind of like a wrong-un that a leg spinner brings out of the hat. It’s a great ball, sure, but the other deliveries have to be on the money as well.

See, it’s not that hard to have opinions!

In desperation, the journalists went to the old firm c Marsh b Lillee. Rod Marsh obliged with some nice things to say about Monty Panesar.

While much of the focus has been on the pace attack, Marsh — Panesar’s former coach — said the bowler had what it took to succeed on Australian wickets.

“Technically, I think he’s a very fine bowler,” Marsh said. “He’s got as good an action as I reckon I’ve ever seen on a finger spinner.”

The 24-year-old left-armer, the first Sikh to play for England, rocketed into Ashes contention with eight wickets in England’s morale-boosting innings victory over Pakistan at Old Trafford this week. Panesar took 5-72 on the last day.

“They’ve got to bring him here (for the Ashes),” said Marsh, who helped guide Panesar’s development at the England Cricket Academy. “He’s become a bit of a cult figure in England. The crowds will love him here — one way or the other.”

Former England captain David Gower is another who thinks Panesar has what it takes, saying: “His big challenge will come in Australia this winter … where the home crowds will be quick to seize on any signs of weakness.”

The home crowds will be full of English tourists so Monty’s got nowt to worry about.

Meanwhile DK Lillee was waving the flag for Australia’s up and coming pace duo of Tait and Mitchell Johnson, and saying that England would miss Vaughan.

Well, yeah.  And????

That slacker Will is lazing on a beach, without a care in the world. It’s a tough life for some. How about for you?

Pietersen ‘better than everyone else’

‘They say he hasn’t got a very good technique – that’s bullshit he has got a good technique and just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s not good’
© Getty Images

I know it’s thoroughly English-centric, and I know it smacks of bandwagon-jumping but I simply can’t help but join in. Kevin Pietersen is an utter freak, and I’ve not seen anyone like him. So I came across this piece at The Australian, which I’ve posted at The Surfer, and had to share it here. As Lalor points out, Rod Marsh isn’t afflicted with verbal diarrhea (like many of his underlings, I hasten to add); when he says things, they’re said with due consideration and for a reason. So, we listen.

Kevin Pietersen’s obscene form this summer has forced Peter Lalor to devote an entire, fascinating article on him in Saturday’s The Australian, which includes a number of quotations from Pietersen’s former coach Rod Marsh:

Suggestions that Pietersen is a slogger without technique are greeted with scorn by Marsh.

“Not at all, there’s nothing unusual about him,” he said. “He’s not like anyone else – he’s better than everyone else. That’s the thing that people don’t understand.

“They say he hasn’t got a very good technique – that’s bullshit he has got a good technique and just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s not good.

“Ricky Ponting is exactly the same. Ponting’s technique is different to Sachin Tendulkar, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s not good. People just don’t understand that, people don’t understand and didn’t want to understand Pietersen until he started making runs.”

[...]

“He’s a very big bloke, he’s a very strong bloke, he’s a very fit bloke and grounds are smaller, bats are a bit better and he takes them on and hits them over the top if need be,” Marsh said. “He’s dangerous. He’s very dangerous.”

Marsh isn’t sure about the Gilchrist comparison.

‘History will prove that he’s going to be very, very good and whether or not his numbers are as good as Gilly’s we’ll wait and see,” he said.

“He’s an outstanding, outstanding talent.”

Lalor also gains the opinion of Tony Greig – like Pietersen, a South African who came over to England – who, like Marsh, is excited by the potential Pietersen has. Have a read.

Broken Shards

What’s the go with all the bats breaking in the ODI game yesterday? I remember Rod Marsh’s bat breaking at the handle all those years ago but I never saw a bat split in half like it did to one English batsman. (Can’t remember who it was, think it was Collingwood but I can’t be sure)

Marsh, Lawson and Hughes joining TMS

Merv Hughes, Geoff Lawson and Rod Marsh are all joining TMS this summer – a great lineup. Will be particularly interested to hear Marsh’s thoughts now that he’s no longer England’s Academy director. He’ll bring a unique insight into England (and Australia) – should be fun. Can’t wait to hear Hughes and Blowers on in tandem! “My dear old thing, what a spiffing moustache – OH WAIT there’s a red bus/dove/pigeon/hamburger going past” etc.