Streak Bowler

Two days gone at the Basin Reserve and England, unusually, hold all the aces. However, I'm not going to say anything at all about Tim Ambrose, as:

1. I haven't seen enough live action over the two Tests so far (most of it taking place when I need to sleep) to make any sort of judgement about his keeping.


2. Although he made an excellent ton I seem to remember a keeper called Prior doing the same less than a year ago and what's he doing now?

I'm going to reserve judgement, but the early signs are good; if nothing else he seems a bit less fond of the sound of his own sledging than Prior and that can't be bad.

Jimmy Anderson is different. Everybody's known what he's been capable of since a certain day at Newlands in March 2003, but all the evidence is that he remains a streak bowler. Capable of lacerating any batting line-up when the force is with him but depressingly tame and ineffectual when it's not. After the naive and counter-productive decision to let him bowl himself into form in the New Zealand State Championship, he's hit the ground running this time, his confidence probably bolstered a bit by the fact that he'd been chosen ahead of two far more experienced bowlers on merit.

We've been this way before - most recently in the second half of last summer - and Anderson's challenge now, as usual, is to maintain his form and his place in the side.

Andrew Miller, who has the great advantage over me of actually being there, sums things up well here.

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