England need an impatient bowling philosophy

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< 1 minute read

Not sure you’re aware of this, but spectacular, freewheeling batting performances don’t win Test matches. They provide a team with runs to work with without too much time being lost, but it’s only once the opposition are padded up that the real work starts. You don’t win a Test by scoring the most runs. You win it by taking 20 wickets while conceding fewer runs than the opposition.

The problem for England is that South Africa have a lot of strong batsmen who have no need or desire to take risks. None of them will be rushed. It’s like coming up against a whole family of Jonathan Trotts.

“Could you pass the jam, please?”

“Not yet.”

“How about you? Will you pass me the jam?”

“In a minute!”

“Er, those two don’t seem to want to help me out. Please will you pass me the jam?”


Maybe England’s best hope is that South Africa’s batsmen will leave so many deliveries that eventually they’ll forget they’re allowed to hit the ball.

Even that’s not ideal though. England need to take wickets fairly quickly because their two most reliable batsmen, Cook and Trott, are rarely in a hurry themselves and a draw’s no good to them. The whole ‘bowling dry‘ philosophy relies on being more patient than the opposition. Considering the state of the series and the mentality of the opposition, that is a battle England are going to lose.

England need an impatient bowling philosophy.


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  1. Too cheery by half, this lot. Anderson seems the sort of chap who if you ran into the back of his car would ask how you were first, before suggesting that the damage wasn’t so bad that insurance details were needed. Broad gets angry, but with people in the wrong coloured trousers to have any effect. Finn looks like he’s ready to apologise to the stumps every time he knocks them over. And Swann reserves his most irate face for his fielders.

    This is the right environment for Gunther. Which of our bowlers has a hidden Gunther?

  2. There was a third umpire called Tucker
    Whose reviewing gave England some succour.
    This wicket for Finn
    Put S.A. in a spin
    They must think he’s an ignorant third umpire.

  3. KP was a selfish young brat
    But he wasn’t half good with the bat
    He got dropped from the team
    Which made him just scream
    But he ain’t half an arrogant sportsman

  4. There once was a bat called KP
    who texted his mate Duminy*
    JP, he wrote
    Strauss is a goat*
    But now at least he can spend more time with Delhi†

    *he didnt really
    †this bit true

  5. I just caught a bit of the match, and something deeply disturbed me. They don’t mike up the players and umpires and talk to them while play is in progress. Does anyone know why this break in tradition?

    1. We thought South Africa would have an away kit as well. You can’t tell the teams apart.

    2. They do, but they happened to be wearing throwbacks today. Which incidentally happened to be England’s colour.

    1. They do realise that being able to run quickly isn’t the only quality a fast bowler needs, don’t they?

  6. It turns out they didn’t need an impatient bowling philosophy.

    What batting philosophy England need today?

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