The case for Onions

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2 minute read

Jambon-Gris Oignons

Delicious and versatile. Oh wait, upper-case ‘O’. Let’s start again.

Graham Onions is the England bowler everyone rates, but not enough that he’s ever the person they think should play. His qualities are low-octane and harder to see. There’s always a taller bowler or a faster bowler who’s more eye-catching. He doesn’t even swing the ball much.

Graham Onions basically does two things: (1) absolutely nothing wrong and (2) he bowls at the stumps. His excellence lies in doing these things over a prolonged period of time. He bowls more balls that batsmen have to play that might possibly get them out, but probably won’t. This doesn’t sound like much, but the accumulation of possiblys almost always results in wickets.

If Steven Finn cannot play the fourth Test – and it seems likely this will be the case – we would therefore rather England selected Graham Onions as the second seam bowler. Tim Bresnan is the other option, but we (perhaps unfairly) feel that we’ve already seen enough of him in India to know that he would take no wickets and serve no purpose as a bowler.

We feel for Bresnan at the minute. He seems to have lost pace following elbow surgery. No-one made much of it during the summer, because he took a few wickets. Medium-pacers can do that in England in May, but against South Africa and India he has seemed as pointless as the balls of dough he looks like he should be making.

We hope Bresnan regains the weight in his ball. Until then, there’s only ek Piaza. (Apologies, Indian readers, if that’s complete gibberish.)


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  1. “ek Piaza” is gibberish to me and I’m not an Indian reader.

    I agree with the main sentiment of your piece though, KC. I too would choose Onions over Mickey Murphy the baker, master of pie-making though the later might be.

    1. Well, from a five minute google (re)search I discovered you were talking about a dish. Which brought to mind how popular Indian food has become in England. And that reminded me of that video I saw a while ago.

      Or you weren’t talking about food, and the association of thoughts was pointless, and I currently look like a giant idiot. Usually happens in all my research.

    2. Because people might not know the guy in the video thrives on race-related jokes, and the message is liable to be misconstrued.

      Also, you seem to be operating under the assumption that I put in some thought before I comment. This attitude needs to change.

  2. Ah…

    …sing along now…

    “One Onions, there’s only one Onions”…

    …that joke reminds me of a day at the Sri Lanka test a few years ago when both Mahela Jayawardene and Prasana Jayawardene were batting.

    I started singing:

    “One Jayawardene, there’s only…

    …two Jayawardenes there are only two Jayawardenes…”

    People seemed to find that funny anyway.

    I’ll go lie down again now.

    1. Wouldn’t it need to be ek piazon – ie you need the plural noun for the joke to work? Possibly.

    2. Probably. That’s why we have a comments section. We can’t be expected to know things. That’s not our job. Our job is to half-arse things and await the corrections.

    3. But surely his majesty is making a play on the name of a dish, dopiaza, which loosly translated means “having two onions”.

      I don’t actually know any of this stuff, of course, like everyone else these days I Wikipede and then sound off:

      And perhaps the play on words in langauges with which I am only very slightly familiar is a decent excuse for my initial bemusement.

  3. Adding more mystery, if you google dopiaza for images, every picture you see is different from the rest. This dish has no universal form.

  4. Guess he’ll have to wait for spring…


    No more dreadful root vegetable jokes from me…

    …that’s shallot.

  5. Top culinary joke KC – made complete sense once I realized I should not be pronouncing Piaza with an Italian accent. India has its own culinary contribution to this test in the form of Chawla (rice-a).

  6. It should be ek piaz. But then I think it should be do piaz as well. I think the ‘a’ is just for effect. My Hindi is shit though, so don’t take my word for it.

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