64

What use is a flat track bully?

Bowled on 4th December, 2010 at 19:58 by
Category: Ashes, Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen is vulnerable to uneven bounce the one time it happens each decade

The term ‘flat track bully’ isn’t so popular these days. It’s because it’s no longer indicative of a weakness.

A batsman who makes the most of flat pitches, bullying bowlers into submission, is basically what you want in Test cricket where 19 pitches out of 20 are basically pretty lifeless for the first half of the match (and often beyond that). Far better to have someone who is guaranteed to cash in when the going’s good than a player who can negotiate the moving ball who’s prone to lapses in concentration.

Before the series, we predicted that the batsmen England were most worried about, Cook and Pietersen, would actually be more influential than others. You wouldn’t fancy either of them when the ball’s swinging, but when it’s not, well, they’re right up there. Don’t be fooled by Cook’s more sedentary scoring – these two batsmen are creatures of their time.

When the Aussies bowl at Cook, there might as well be an asteroid parked in front of the stumps for all that he looks like getting out at the minute. Pietersen’s different. He swings across the line and plays the ball in the air, but if the bounce is true, he can just trust his eye and get on with it.

Australia’s era of dominance roughly coincided with a modern age of flat Aussie-style pitches worldwide. We’re not by any means suggesting that this was the reason for their success, but it’s worthy of debate whether that contributed at all.

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  1. Reply
    A P Webster   //   December 4th, 2010 at 20:10

    Perhaps another reason why the term ‘flat track bully’ is seldom heard these days is the retirement of Graeme Hick.

    At least this Adelaide pitch is more interesting than the sort of thing far too often seen on the subcontinent these days.

    Incidentally, quite a few of England’s players seem to be performing in conditions that most casual observers wouldn’t have expected them to be well suited to – Jimmy Anderson taking wickets in Adelaide, Cook making a big score under pressure, etc.

    It’s almost as if lazy generalisations and cliches about players don’t always capture the nuances of their playing style. Funny, that.

  2. Reply
    Pavan   //   December 4th, 2010 at 20:53

    Isnt it the same pitch where anderson swung australia out ? or has something changed from first to second day ?

    P.S. The above statement doesn’t account for Australia being shit.

  3. Reply
    sam   //   December 4th, 2010 at 21:33

    Pavan – pitch flattened out in the heat yesterday.

    plus australia are shit.

  4. Reply
    golandaaz   //   December 4th, 2010 at 22:10

    Australia’s dominance was more bowling oriented in the discovery of Shane Warne and McGrath.Their batsmen thrived off the returns of their bowlers

    I think they went through a 5-6 year rebuilding period starting 1985-86 until they found Warne. Ironically they won the world cup in that time. Perhaps the Tied Test tour helped them prepare better than others.

    The teams whose rise has coincided with the flat-track tred are India and England. India know how to dictate test matches by simply scoring tons of runs. England are following the same path.

    Both sides have opposition teams playing into their hands because both have good enough attacks to repond to any juice (turn, bounce and swing) in the pitch,

  5. Reply
    sam   //   December 4th, 2010 at 23:05

    has anyone seen haddin’s interview after yesterday’s play?

    it’s extraordinary, he just keeps repeating the phrase: “we just have to make sure we present ourselves.”

    http://www.ecbtv.co.uk/page/Home/0,,11617,00.html

  6. Reply
    sam   //   December 4th, 2010 at 23:10

    ok so two pricks at the ashes already noticed and cut a video together that demonstrates my point.

    http://www.cricketwithballs.com/

  7. Reply
    Ged   //   December 4th, 2010 at 23:38

    Daisy succumbed to Morpheus at about 23:20 this evening.

    I tried to keep her awake by playing her The Ramones and The Undertones, but they failed to have the requisite effect.

    Even Stiff Little Fingers are failing to wake her up as I write.

    TTFN, TTNT-niks. Over to you.

  8. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:06

    Evening Ged
    Have you got a diagram describing Daisy’s inability to stay awake during late night cricket?

  9. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:08

    First over completed.
    No wickets lost.
    We rock.

  10. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:25

    Nice work JF – we do rock!

    And KP is on 99////

  11. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:26

    That’s good fist pumping KP – and a manly hug.

    He has all the celebratory moves

  12. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:27

    Hey Tight – you’re back!
    And it’s now 100

  13. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:30

    I’m back! Which ensures a rash of wickets I’m afraid.

    This test I have been mainly tired and emotional with bouts of what can only be described as intestinal discomfort which has mimimised the viewing time, but helped propel England towards glory.

  14. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:32

    That what comes of selling your soul to the Devil during the first test

    So what is your strategy for tonight Tight?
    I have
    Duvet
    Electric blanket
    Bananas (any form of crisps have been banned from bed)
    Test Match Sofa in my ear

    No alcohol as it will send me to sleep again tonight, and Ged and Dan will pour scorn on my flakiness again.

  15. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:37

    350 up as Ponting lets one through his legs

  16. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:38

    Business as usual as Cook is out!

  17. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:40

    Let the naysayers say nay JF – you’re living the dream right there. Obviously the no crisps in bed rule is a pain but in the long term it really does make sense. And sometimes we drink and we fall asleep, but dammit we tried!

    Tonight I have the very same Summer weight lucky duvet, a 2 litre bottle of water, the remains of a pork pie (which might lead to a reversion to intestinal discomfort so best left alone) and the trusty bottle of apple vodka.

    I’ll be comatosed by one am

  18. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:40

    Tight strikes again!

  19. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:46

    Where’s the cat?

  20. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:49

    The cat is outside getting wet feet so he can wake me up in style later on…

  21. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:53

    Can anyone join on this thread? As soon as I come on, Australia start bowling long hops on purpose.

  22. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 00:57

    Anyone who encourages Australia to bowl rank long hops is welcome on this thread.

  23. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:00

    What creature comforts have you got around you to get you through the night D Charlton?

  24. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:02

    I am hoping for actual creatures – some rabbit slippers, a polar bear dressing gown, a pipe made from a hollowed out otter’s tail

  25. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:03

    A sleeping wife. That’s a comfort. Wearing my
    Mum’s socks, she sells socks ( true) and a bottle of red. Kp’s my main amphetamine, that and Australia’s attack.

  26. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:05

    I’m not sure you’re supposed to refer to your wife as a creature you know….

    I’m also massively glad you cleared up the point that your mum ells socks rather than you were wearing socks you had stolen from her drawer.

  27. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:05

    Did I mention the badgers? I breed badgers and being nocturnal they’re a real comfort through t’Ashes

  28. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:07

    Do you have any invertebrate weasels?

  29. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:07

    She’ll be pretty sub-human if I wake her now …

  30. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:09

    Not enough people mention badgers. Perhaps that’s something we can address on future episodes of TTNT?

    Invertebrate Weasels – now that takes me back

  31. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:10

    Only after the experiments.

  32. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:12

    Doherty is rubbish

  33. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:14

    I like your analysis.

    So’s Siddle

  34. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:14

    He’s not great at bowling and batting and general cricketing stuff, but put the guy in a wheelchair and he heads up a team of mutant super heroes.

    It just shows how far Ponting’s captaincy has fallen that he hasn’t even explored the option.

  35. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:15

    Back to the proper discussion – how do we raise the profile of badgers in English cricket?

  36. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:17

    Paul Nixon?

  37. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:19

    I think we need to combine the Leicestershire Foxes and the Warwickshire Bears to create the Badgers. No region name – just “The Badgers”.

    Everyone knows that if a fox and a bear have a baby you get a badger

  38. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:20

    Actually you might be right DC, if a Fox and a Bear have a baby you get Paul Nixon

  39. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:23

    That’s how I breed them. My house is full of
    female foxes, male bears and, as a result, baby badgers.

  40. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:24

    I pity your wife – fox poo really smells awful.

    Yep I just wrote poo for the first time since I was seven…

  41. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:29

    do you trade your baby badgers DC? or do you keep them all for yourself?

    Agree about the fox poo, but like having the foxes about as well

  42. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:31

    My mum buys the badgers and turns them into socks

  43. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:34

    What a very entrepreneurial family you belong to.

    If ever I see a badger wandering in a field or perhaps dead on the side of a road I shall take it to your mother forthwith.

  44. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:38

    Nooo…not the baby badgers,,,

    Just so KC doesn’t chide us for prattling, England are now 412… for 3

  45. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:41

    How did Colly get to 30? Deceptively aggressive that boy

  46. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:45

    Pietersen to make 200?

  47. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:48

    This partnership is now 77 off 78 balls

  48. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:48

    He looks totally untroubled. In truth the Aussies look totally deflated, a couple of tight overs and then one that gets hit for 10.

    I’m not convinced I am enjoying watching them like this – I am having unwanted and disturbing feelings of sympathy

  49. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:51

    Get a grip man!

  50. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:52

    I blame the apple vodka

    And my intrinsic good nature

  51. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 01:59

    almost lunch
    Either I will find a second wind or fall into a stupor and join you again at breakfast, haivng dreamed of baby badgers taunting Ricky Ponting all night.

  52. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 06:07

    So I was just going to apologoise for falling asleep virtually mid sentence at the stoke of lunch and abruptly leaving the conversation, but it looks as though the same happened to everyone else.
    6am and its raining and we’re 551-4.
    bugger that rain.
    Tight, D Charlton, Tight’s cat …. are you all still around?

  53. Reply
    wolf   //   December 5th, 2010 at 09:46

    I can’t believe that you made a post regarding flat track bullys and no-one has mentioned Hayden yet…

  54. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 10:28

    We were all too busy mentioning badger socks to worry about tie ins to the article I’m afraid

  55. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 11:56

    Resurfaced at 10am after the brief awakening at 6am. Now feel almost normal after hearty fried breakfast.
    Apologies to one and all for the spelling, lack of punctuation etc in the posts from the small wee hours.
    Glad to see you made it intact Tight. Did the cat make it home?

  56. Reply
    Tight but Loose   //   December 5th, 2010 at 12:23

    The cat returned in time to send me to bed at 3am. I missed Colly’s wicket

  57. Reply
    Ged   //   December 5th, 2010 at 13:19

    This Venn is dedicated to Jo Fitz:

    http://v4admin.sportnetwork.net/upload/66/66_0_1291554995.jpg

    Moire worrying, though, was Daisy’s total recall of the evening session when she woke up this morning.

    According to Daisy, the rain relented, England put on another 50-60 runs, then it rained again, then stumps were drawn, then the England interviewees made it very clear that, despite the lead of 360, England intends to bat on in the morning.

    When I presented her with the evidence that she was mistaken, she just said, “oh, guess I must have dreamt it then”.

    What a gal.

  58. Reply
    A P Webster   //   December 5th, 2010 at 13:33

    Does anyone else find it suspicious that Australia, where (according to my detailed research, involving hours of painstaking study of old episodes of Neighbours) it NEVER rains, suddenly starts raining when England are doing well at cricket Down Under?

    Is this a sign of the coming End Times?

  59. Reply
    D Charlton   //   December 5th, 2010 at 17:08

    Made it back. Didn’t make it through lunch in the cricket. And had a busy day with the badgers today.

  60. Reply
    Jo Fitz   //   December 5th, 2010 at 19:38

    Thank you Ged – a Venn of my very own.
    I will treasure it.

  61. Reply
    Ged   //   December 5th, 2010 at 20:33

    We tried a different technique tonight.

    Leonard Cohen at 19:45. Daisy was asleep well before 20:00.

    We’re hoping that a couple of hours sleep before dinner might just enable Daisy to keep awake for the start of the morning session at least. Especially with the 23:30 start today, weather permitting.

  62. Reply
    Ged   //   December 5th, 2010 at 20:45

    Darn, missed the new thread – above duplicated there.

  63. Reply
    Ian Jackson   //   December 6th, 2010 at 14:44

    Please stop this juvenile chatter. “Comments” means something of value about cricket, or the current Test.

  64. Reply
    sam   //   December 6th, 2010 at 16:57

    Ian Jackson – welcome

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