Terrible headline. Terrible, terrible headline. You’ll see it again at some point in the next few weeks and minus a billion points for the guilty publication.
Don’t worry though. We’ve got an angle on ‘England are in a spin’ and so we’re going to salvage our pride in the final paragraph with a poor joke based on deliberately misunderstanding what someone has said. At least it would result in salvaged pride if we had any pride to begin with. Which we don’t. Let’s be clear about that.
England’s weakness against mystery spin
An incredible amount is being written about how England are going to play spin during this series. Clearly it’s important, in which case you’d think people would have half an idea what the batsmen’s weaknesses are. The consensus seems to be that it’s all about mystery spin. These are professional cricketers and mystery spin’s the biggest challenge, so clearly that’s where the weakness lies.
This is not about mystery spin.
Just because Saeed Ajmal took wickets last winter, it doesn’t mean it was FX3 – The Even More Deadly Art of Illusion (that reference isn’t too obscure, is it?). As we remember it, England’s batsmen were mostly dismissed LBW following a review via ‘the straight one’. Clearly all this focus on spin is overlooking an even bigger weakness – playing slow deliveries that don’t do anything whatsoever.
The notion that England only really struggle against mystery spin is also disproven by the fact that the batsmen have also failed against plenty of conventional spinners in recent times. Abdur Rehman took 19 wickets at 16.73, Rangana Herath took 19 wickets at 17.94 and even Mohammad Hafeez managed five wickets at 16.00.
Mystery spin might be the headline, but as usual no-one’s really paying attention to what’s in the article.
Speaking of headlines?
Oh yeah, right. Erm, well Graham Thorpe’s spoken to the Guardian about how England might try and play spin bowling during this series and aside from coining the phrase ‘tick-over shot’, he also says of the batsmen: “it’s important that you are able to keep rotating.”
So there you go: England’s batsmen are going to spend their entire time at the crease rotating. England are in a spin.