The Art of Swing

In a few months' time, even in a few weeks, the England-West Indies Test series which has just concluded will probably have been forgotten by all but those who saw some of the action live. The weather's been cold, the crowds mediocre, the cricket crushingly one-sided.

But it has had its uses. It's emphasized how, even allowing for the fact that they were playing away, England should never have lost the series in the Caribbean to a side that's far inferior. However, a combination of early complacency and poor decision-making saw to that.

It's also shown how, if their form can be maintained, England have the makings of a bowling attack which will at least cause the odd furrowed brow in Australian ranks. Stuart Broad, all aggression and thoughtfulness, continues to improve and will do so well beyond this summer. Swann offers a decent spin option and plenty more in terms of fielding, batting and spirit. Onions (as a few people have said, just the tiniest bit reminiscent of Glenn McGrath) shows plenty to work with, while Tim Bresnan, who belatedly got into the wickets yesterday, looks likely to stick around the selectors' thoughts, if not in their first choice eleven. With Freddie and Monty also hopefully coming back into contention, form and fitness permitting, things look okay.

I deliberately haven't mentioned Jimmy Anderson, who now shows all the signs of finally growing into the bowler he looked like being when he took those wickets in Cape Town all those years ago. Okay, knocking over the likes of Taylor and Benn in yesterday's conditions was like flattening skittles with a lead weight, but this was a display of artfully controlled swing bowling the like of which we've seldom seen in recent years, other than from Anderson himself. The conditions are unlikely to suit him as much later in the summer but if he can produce similar form when the Australians are here he could do some serious damage.


Minor In Possession said...

In My opinion the best swing blower in world is Bret Lee

Brian Carpenter said...

Well, possibly. But let's see how he goes this summer...

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