Dear Short Ball,
I would be most grateful if you would come round later on. I will pull out all the stops for you. You can sit in my armchair. I will bring you drinks. I even have some of your favourite cake.
Don’t worry about replying. All of this is no trouble at all.
Looking forward to seeing you,
No-one invites the short ball quite like Suresh Raina. We don’t know if we’ve ever seen a professional batsman play short-pitched bowling so consistently badly as he did during his brief stay at the crease in the second innings at Trent Bridge.
Surely that was some sort of freakish one-off? The guy’s played 153 international matches, after all. No-one – particularly someone who’s barely five feet tall – could possibly have reached that level while being so jaw-droppingly incompetent at such a major aspect of batting.
That’s not a joke and it’s barely rhetoric. He couldn’t be that bad, could he?