Andrew Strauss repairs his stats

Andrew Strauss - man of bipolar formFortunate to be given the opportunity to do so, Andrew Strauss saved his Test career with a whopping 177 in the third and final Test of the tour of New Zealand. Since then, he’s hit 63, 60 and now 106 and suddenly there doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. Such is cricket.

This was an almighty fightback by England – one we didn’t think they were capable of. They’ve been a slightly inspid outfit of late, inclined towards mediocrity, but for the last four sessions of this Test, they were sublime. That shouldn’t obscure the unpalatable truths that were apparent on Sunday morning though.

England’s middle order seems to be providing ever-dwindling returns. It seems like someone’s going to go before too long. Paul Collingwood, while currently the one-day captain, has some surgery in the offing and would appear to be bottom of the pile.

England’s seamers lack a bit of pace. It’s the fashion to say that bowling’s all about experience and guile now – largely thanks to Ryan Sidebottom – but just as the previous obsession with pace was misguided, so this is. Pace is still an attribute – one that should be allied to accuracy and intelligence.

We’d also like to have a minor pop at the sacred cow that is Stuart Broad. We’ve written before about how we want Stuart Broad in the England team for years to come, but his batting competence and bowling promise seems to be obscuring the simple fact that at present he’s not taking too many wickets – 12 at 47 in five Tests, to be precise.

We’re not saying drop him by any means. We’re saying: ‘Get some wickets, Stuart’. With only four bowlers, that’s mandatory. He’s not the third best English seam bowler and he needs to get closer to being that.

England v New Zealand, second Test at Old Trafford – day four
New Zealand 381 all out (Ross Taylor 154 not out, Jamie How 64, Kyle Mills 57, James Anderson 4-118)
England 202 (Andrew Strauss 60, Daniel Vettori 5-66, Iain O’Brien 3-49
New Zealand 114 all out (Monty Panesar 6-37)
England 293-4 (Andrew Strauss 106)
England win

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8 Appeals

  1. There was a lot of incredulity around Strauss returning after the winter – the only player to have supposedly got back in form by not playing at all. But however daft that was it really pushes home that form is temporary and class is permanent. Well done Strauss. Also learnt his wife’s name is Ruth. I love that name, If my next child is a girl I want to call her Ruth, but the wife won’t let me…. boo…

    Certainly similar views for broad in the long term. He was citied a lot with getting the discipline at one end allowing the other end to take the wickets, which seems reasonable really. Same time though if he did get wickets as well, that wouldn’t have been brought up in the first place. Maybe it’s just a case of waiting for him to look like he’s actually old enough to shave, then he can start snarling properly, just like Tim Southee already can. He’s younger that Broad but really looks the part already. Real men don’t get the squits though.

  2. In the few matches that I witnessed Broad play in at Leicestershire one thing was apparent. He looks formidable. I wouldn’t describe myself as short by any means and he’s a good few inches taller than me. Don’t let the lack of stubble fool you, Broad is monstrously tall.

    He has all the tools to be a great bowler but tends not to perform well if he doesn’t get early swing he tends to give up.

  3. That he is. But without any human references like I had when i paused my sky plus as he took guard near 3 slips and 2 close catchers and McCullum he just looks like a skinny weed. It’s like he’s just a tiny person who’s been attacked with the scale tool in photoshop.

  4. Collingwood’s stupid treacherous shoulder is making me sad.

  5. Its soon going to be Broad v. Hoggard v. Anderson v. Flintoff v. Harmison v. Jones for two spots.

  6. Looks like Strauss has finally decided to stop chasing the wide ones and missing the straight ones, then.

  7. Jones? are you joking John? He’ll never be fit!

  8. Sarah, Canterbury

    May 27, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    I can assure you that Si Jones is VERY fit…

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