Notes from the pavilion for October 18th

Links of note from the past 24 hours:

How to play the bouncer

Great cartoon.

How to play the bouncer

Jon Lewis – never knowingly underbowled

Cripes, that’s the best headline I’ve ever come up with. I’m sure that my cavernous conscience has retrieved it from someone else but sod it. It’s mine now. In fact, anyone not living in the UK won’t even know why it’s so good. I’ll shut up now.

Moving on. Jon Lewis, the England and Gloucester wobbler. Jagadish, known here as Jag with a vague and irrelevant nod to the once great British auto manufacturer, has chosen him as his English target for the summer. Last year it was Ashley Giles who bore the brunt of his ridicule, and Giles then proceeded to bowl rather better than most people thought possible (including dismissing Australia’s top eight at least once? I think that was the stat-famouse). I’m not suggesting Lewis will have the same effect on this summer, but Jag is unfair on him.

Marcus Trescothick has just made me nearly roll on the floor laughing. He was dismissed twice in a day against Gloucestershire.

Jon Lewis, an unlikely star last year when England thrashed Australia in the Twenty20 game, trapped him in front twice!

King Cricket wonders if he is a forgotten man.

Umm, I don’t know. I didn’t even remember him!

Now, Lewis is never going to take 200 Test wickets for England, or even 100. But he’s a fine county bowler, and absolutely lethal in early season conditions. If England’s battered bowlers don’t fix themselves in the next few weeks, don’t be surprised to see him playing against Sri Lanka.

Resurrection of new-ball pairing is fanciful

Excellent piece by Alex Brown in tomorrow’ Sydney Morning Herald, in which he talks about Jason Gillespie’s recall and the tantalising prospect of his return to taking the new ball with Glenn McGrath. Brown is insistent that this won’t (and shouldn’t?) happen. I’ve been murmuring about Australia’s fast-bowling problems for a few months now, and remain convinced that serious problems exist. Stuart Clark has done exceptionally well, and has improved rapidly – and that after his debut game in which he took nine wickets. He is, though, no sping chicken.

Which is why, as I keep saying, the performance of Mitchell Johnson will be so fascinating to watch. He’s young, raw, very fast and a left-armer. Ingredients, you might argue, that might very quickly earn him the new ball with Brett Lee if he’s successful against Bangladesh. If if if. He’s clearly being weened into Test cricket in preparations for the Ashes, while Gillespie’s recall is more of a “well, maybe your Pura Cup form might help dissipate your nightmares of the Ashes”. I’m less convinced that he can be a force again.

But any thoughts of McGrath and Gillespie returning to lead the attack in a throwback to a golden period of Australian cricket would seem unrealistic, however nice an image it may be for the romantics. Certainly, both are still capable of making a telling contribution to an Australian attack, however the new ball appears to have been passed on.

Brown also talks about McGrath’s requirement of a heavy workload, which is a not-often discussed aspect of his bowling. The other day, it was mentioned that he is considering a county stint. Assuming his wife regains her health, I would find it surprising if he didn’t play a month or six weeks of county cricket; how else is he going to get his bowling legs back, otherwise?

Very very interesting times ahead for Austalia’s bowlers.

How good is Andrew Flintoff?

Sorry to use the F word – but how bloody good is Flintoff bowling nowadays? And who would have thought it? When he first rolled over his arm for England, I admit I did think “Oh. Dear.” Even then, he generated reasonable pace – but now, his run-up is spot on, he bowls a yorker at will, a nasty bouncer, reverse-swing, genuine-swing…he’s quite something else. My colleage confidently said he was the “best bowler in the world” recently. It’s becoming hard to disagree, now.

Sorry for not putting up a day 4 page for you reprobates to chat on, but you seemed to be ok on the tea page!

James Kirtley banned by England

James Kirtley has again been banned from bowling by England (full report at Cricinfo). I can’t say I’m surprised; I don’t know if his action is illegal or not, but, well…it’s certainly different……………………………….

I think you can find a video of his action to download here – discuss!

Liam Plunkett’s chance

Liam Plunkett has been called up as back-up for the injured Chris Tremlett. I remain unconvinced about Tremlett; his main weapon is his height, but his action doesn’t make the most of it. He falls away, with a bent knee – and his approach to the crease, and follow-through, all need a lot of work (this is all in my very dodgy opinion, you understand).

And – he’s injured, again. So Liam Plunkett has a great chance to impress. Well regarded young fast bowler – big, big opportunity for him to outgun Tremlett and maybe others…

Listen up, Rogue Ricky

Listen up, Punter. Flintoff rates your rogue bowling:

A break in France did me the world of good and I came home feeling refreshed for Trent Bridge. I went in to bat shortly after Michael Vaughan had edged Ricky Ponting behind. I soon began to understand how Vaughan had got out because those first couple of overs from Ponting were some of the hardest bowling I had faced all summer. It was a really testing period for me, probably the hardest throughout the Ashes series. You can get used to the pace and types of deliveries when you are facing Lee or Glenn McGrath all the time, but Ponting was a rogue element.

Shall post some more about Flintoff’s book shortly.

Cricket in the Himalayas

Cricket in Himalaya

Photo taken by nord. @

Cricket in the Himalayas, found on Flickr. Shame it’s cropped so tight – would be great to see the batsman and stumps.

“Nastiest England bowling attack ever”

“To me, this is the nastiest attack England ever put together and certainly the best attack Australia have faced since Pakistan came at them with Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar a few years ago. This England attack is a really nasty mob – and they mean business.”

Rodney Hogg, speaking to The Mirror about England’s attack.