For many years, whenever England fought in the field, the call was for a foot. Whether struggling for penetration in Chennai or Lord or Adelaide, the suggestion has always been that with a little more pace, England would be able to extract more life from the surface and have ingredient of their attacks is not enough.
Well, here they had a lot of pace. Indeed, Mark Wood produce what is the fastest display of bowling in England during the period of finding a home in the last 15 years. And what did he earn it? One tailend wickets for 74 runs.
He wasn’t alone, either. Jofra Archerwe know we can bowl as fast as anyone. And although he usually focused on control – the surface does not offer great help for the PACE – there was some fast delivery at 22-over. He finished wicketless.
He said Ben Stokeslike many England captains before him, relies on James Anderson to ensure the most frame. Anderson, now 37, and usually operates at speeds over 80 mph. But, such is his control and skill, he remains the most dangerous bowler more often than not. And while he was not, his high standards, completely at his best, he still delivered 11 maidens in his 25 overs. Three of England’s other seamers are supplied 10 between them.
“As a football team England rare method of placing Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the same direction, their team of cricket could find a better use of wood and Archer, rotating them?”
It is not a coincidence the most successful bowler in the match today Jason Holderworking at the same pace in Anderson. He brought his success passing the ball a little bit better than the bowlers of England and removing the movement, especially the swing – that the owners could not repeat.
But England have been waiting for this PACE. For many years they were on the wrong end of an attack involving fast bowlers. Now finally they have a weapon them, and they are unable to resist the temptation to play them. They were like a man, taking his new sports car in the snow; or desperate to use my new skis in the middle of summer. They just do not have the wrong attack. But they may have chosen the wrong attack for the conditions.
Heart of England probably sank when they opened their curtains on Friday morning. After batting in gloomy, cloudy weather, they were greeted by some bright, Sunny morning that suggested that batting might be easier. But that’s the risk you take when you decide to bat first in the gloom and England were hoping the attack to cope with most conditions.
As it turned out, he just looked a bit poorly balanced. Still old school England seaming machine – the likes of Matthew Hoggard, perhaps, or even Chris Rushworth or Alan Richardson can be the perfect backdrop for Anderson. This, of course, too early to jump to conclusions, but maybe just in England football team rarely found a way of placing Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the same direction, their cricket team could find a better use of wood and Archer, rotating them?
There will be those who suggest Stuart Broad would have made all the difference. And it’s true that wide, at this stage of his career, with his determination to make the batsmen play, may be well-suited to this surface. But we must be careful not to make the same mistake we PACE: to assume that quick and easy solutions will make all the difference. Wide, no doubt, was a great career. But in their last 28 home tests – a period of nearly five years – he is only one five wicket haul.
England should also be careful not to over compensation in Manchester. If there are conditions look like they could leg above the seam – and they could – it would probably pay to stick with these bowlers. Their wines can be to play the attack perfect for Brisbane to Southampton.
There are other options in England too. All the necessary dignity, he is also right arm fast-medium bowler. Sam Curranwith his left arm angle and ability to swing the ball, could offer more options. You can, at a push, even if you play it in place of one of nightmares. His test average level (27.34) only two below, Joe Denly (29.55).
But whoever plays, regardless of their pace, they would bowl with more accuracy, than England here. It’s not that they were awful. But compared to the bowlers of the West Indies, they were just a little bit, just a little side legs and almost able to build or maintain pressure.
“Obviously, the need for control,” said Anderson. “We saw the West Indies bowl. They had a couple of bowlers that offered control in the holder, and roach, and that gave the faster guys the freedom to bowl fast. We need a balance”.
In many ways, the performance of the wood was admirable. His pace hardly for his 22 overs. Right to the end, he regularly drove 90 miles per hour. But bowling too short, he managed to create a movement that proved so dangerous for the owner. On the other surface may be the surface in Manchester; maybe even a fourth time, the wood surface will be a huge asset.
Archer, too, only a bit not at ease. He lost one wicket at the expense of increase was not a waste, and got off on giving the feet more often than he likes. But his real problem is trying to create a movement that could be expected from him.
And, while England may feel that they allowed the West Indies to get some above par, it probably was only a few. First innings England score 204, not for the first time, asked too much of their bowlers. In both innings, a score of about 250 can be considered nominal.
In truth, the West Indies still batted and bowled better than England. Brathwaite Kraigg played later and straighter than the top order in England, and Shane Dowrichdespite not looking comfortable against the short ball, fought hard in providing vital half-century. Discipline and skill with which they evaded the short ball may have made an effort bowling of England seems to be much less good than it was.
So it was a bit depressing to start life from the tree and the Archer in tandem. But there will be other surfaces, many of them, when a pair of are the ideal solution. But just because you bought a beautiful new hat, that doesn’t mean you should wear it in the shower.
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