On a pitch as dead as that, against bats as dead as that, I don't want to be too hard on England's bowlers. Broad still has a way to go, Sidebottom looked lacking in fitness (although when he yorked Kallis he did provide just about the only genuine moment of excitement in the last two days) and Anderson deserves a medal for his stamina and persistence.

But Monty can, and does, infuriate. While everybody (me definitely included) has a tendency to get carried away when he's taking wickets, I had plenty of opportunity to notice the deficiencies in his game as I watched him toil through sixty fruitless overs in the second innings.

He's consistently quick and flat for a spinner, and while the amount he turns the ball is often prodigious, he's going to need to learn to flight the ball more if he's going to become as good a bowler as he's capable of being. That and adopting a slightly more circumspect and rational approach to his appealing, which is increasingly going to alienate both umpires and referees if he doesn't tone it down.

Geoff Boycott, in typically obtuse fashion, witters on and on about him not knowing the laws. I think that's unlikely, and would just put it down to excess enthusiasm and a certain naivete, which is, of course, part of his charm and popularity.

That only takes you so far, though, and while I'm sure most England supporters would happily raise their fingers, good international umpires won't.

No comments:

Subscribe in a reader