Death by seam bowling

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2 minute read

So close to conceding five runs or fewer off that delivery

We’re not in favour of demonising individuals. But three runs, Jade. Three runs. That’s all that was in it.

Couldn’t someone have saved three runs somewhere along the way? Maybe Jos Buttler’s missed stumping proved costly. Would a specialist wicketkeeper have made the difference, or would that merely have meant a few more overs of AB de Villiers?

But it’s hard to look past England’s bowling as being the reason for defeat and specifically the death bowling. England like to go with fast-medium. We’re not sure that’s the right choice.

It’s hard to weigh the statistics being as bowling in the powerplay and at the end tends to mean going for more runs than those who bowl in the middle no matter how well you perform. At the same time, England’s most expensive bowlers in this tournament have been Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad and Jade Dernbach. In fact, over a 34-match Twenty20 international career, Dernbach has conceded on average 8.71 runs an over. That’s a big enough sample to draw conclusions, no?

Also, look at the most economical bowlers in the tournament so far: Mahmudullah, Narine, Shakib al Hasan, Ashwin, Mishra – these are all spinners. Santokie, Malinga and Steyn have been the only seamers to have much success and yet Tredwell, Moeen Ali and the medium-pace of Ravi Bopara haven’t bowled a right lot for England. It doesn’t feel like they’ve been playing the odds.

Would these bowlers have done better than the seamers at the death? They couldn’t have done much worse.


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  1. The thinking of the whole team was crazy. No real flexibility bopara should have gone in above buttler today. Jordan is not good enough to bat 7. Broad is our best bowler and doesn’t stand up at the important times, then growls at the fielder after bowling a stinker which gets hit for four. I don’t even remember the rest of the squad but to stick with the same team always is daft. Yep we chased down against Sri Lanka but we still let them score a lot! Though we have exceeded expectation by beating a good team. And Ashley Giles as overall coach will be a shocking choice.

  2. And 3 runs could have been saved if moeen had caught abdv not dropped him and let it crawl to the rope.

  3. If Hales was correctly given out off the ‘no ball’ it may have been more than 3 too.

  4. I didn’t watch the game, and am sad my prediction of an England win has turned out to be wrong. Curse you, Dernbach! Any reason why Ravi didn’t bowl more? I see he only conceded 13 off two overs.

  5. But this is great.

    England get the early exit we all expected (and secretly wanted), Ashley Giles fails his job interview, we get to scapegoat Jade Dernbach, and embarrassment is still safely avoided by a narrow defeat.

    And on top of all that, we can claim England would have done better if Pietersen had been in the team.

    1. Dernbach is the worst fast-medium bowler I have ever seen play limited overs cricket. Period.

  6. Daisy is a connoisseur of cricket as a psychological game and observes the body language quite carefully.

    Despite the distraction of those spiffing red shirts this time, she was still able to perceive a group of individuals who were not playing together as a team, to a surprising extent.

    Changing the skipper and the coach in such circumstances might not solve the problem rapidly, but surely those are required changes.

    England really doesn’t look that bad on paper in this format – it was unfortunate to lose Luke Wright, Joe Root and Ben Stokes just ahead of the tourney. (Indeed the Joe Root injury led to Moeen being shooed in as a “like for like replacement” for those couple of offspin overs and an upper-order batsman combined).

    Truth is, the whole is performing as less than the sum of its parts, not more than…hence the dreadful fielding and poor bowling.

    Please note that I have managed to avoid the use of the word unit (until this moment) despite the relevance of the word in this context.

    Daisy described them as looking embarrassingly dis-unified yesterday, especially when compared with the Saffers.

    1. who knows… despite the (presumed) three-line whip from management, maybe some of them are thinking “we could have done better with KP in the team, even if he was an ego-monster…”

      or maybe they just don’t like each other very much – !

  7. I don’t want to be a party pooper, but bearing in mind how bad it could have been I thought we did ok.

    There were some genuinely encouraging signs on the batting front.

    We were never going to qualify after the NZ game and to come so close facing the two best teams in the contest must carry some weight.

    Sorry once again for my naive positivism.

  8. Has anyone considered that maybe we’re just not as good as other the teams? At least in these conditions. Broad’s clearly struggling and should have been told to miss this tournament to give him time to recover properly (and I don’t buy this ridiculous argument that he was ‘protecting’ his figures either – I think he was just couldn’t bowl properly with his knee in its current state).

    I don’t think Dernbach should have been playing, but that’s on the selectors, not him. He was trying his best, it just wasn’t good enough.

    Bopara not bowling all his overs is a mystery, especially since he did in the Caribbean.

    And whilst everyone keeps talking about you-know-who, I don’t know that he would have made that much difference. Samit Patel’s omission is more baffling; he’d have been ideal in these conditions.

    I miss England doing well. Everyone’s much nicer when we’re winning. Unless we’re winning the wrong way, of course.

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  10. And now we’re going to lose to Holland. Just like I said we would.

    Just ignore what I said about Alex Hales. Didn’t count.

  11. Quick check on my mobile on my lunch..forgot we had played today. Can you be surprised and not surprised at the same time

  12. Who can we sack to improve team morale? It’s vital that we sack someone to improve team morale, because that’s how things work. We know that that’s how things work because pretty much everyone in English cricket has been telling us that that’s how things work for the last two months. When we were rubbish in Australia, we needed to sack someone to improve team morale to make everything better. Pretty much everyone in English cricket told us so. If that was just a made-up thing, we’d have to assume that pretty much everyone in English cricket was an incompetent tosser.

    By the end of next summer we’ll have sacked so many people to improve team morale that we will be unbeatable! Pretty much everyone in English cricket thinks so.

  13. well, having had a few good laughs at the aussies yesterday i now find myself laughing like a drain at “our lot”. 45 runs!! shot out for less than a hundred, chasing a distinctly gettable total… ffs.

    still, draco malfoy sez that eng “have got to get better and that is exciting”. simple as that, so who am i to argue? except… didn’t they make those noises halfway through the return(ing the) ashes debacle..?

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