Are you convinced by Jade Dernbach and his variations?

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Jade Dernbach celebrates the existence of stumps and bails

We’re not making a point of criticising England’s newer bowlers. We’re just pointing out that we aren’t living in a bounteous land of champagne fountains and gold furniture. Players are being talked about as if they’re staggeringly gifted when they’re not.

The English treat one-day cricket like some mystical oddity. ‘There must be some secret behind 50-over cricket or why else are we so perennially gash at it?’ we think to ourselves.

If you conclude that the secret is all to do with reverse sweeps and slower balls, a player like Dernbach can seem like the answer to your prayers. What he does is eye-catching. A 75mph off-cutter slower ball is followed by a 65mph back-of-the-hand slower ball and then a 90mph in-swinging yorker. He’s mixing it up. He’s keeping the batsman guessing. It’s the future of cricket.

And yet is it? Dernbach is clearly a talented bowler, and we’re in favour of his playing more one-day cricket, but the notion that England’s one-day bowling attack is suddenly built around him just doesn’t stack up for us.

Various commentators and pundits were oohing and ahhing about his ‘variations’ during the one-day series against India. No-one seemed to notice that he took four wickets in as many matches and went at seven an over. Powerplays and rain reductions make that hard to properly analyse, but it ain’t earth shattering.

It seems like many focus on the eye-catching headline qualities of Dernbach and don’t evaluate the whole article. He’s talented and seems to cope okay with nervy situations, but he’s a long way from being Malcolm Marshall.


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  1. The IPL has taught a lot of good-ish (Indian) batsmen to read medium to fast bowlers’ variations, so the fact that Dernbach went at 7 an over in a series against India is perhaps not such a worry, although he also looked a bit suspect in the T20s against a second-string Windies team. But it’s a measure of English cricket’s relative strength that we are getting these shorter-form specialists emerging. Watching him at the Oval the other night though he’s got a horrid action – Bres up the other end looked far more fluent, as well he should.

  2. Jade is an unconvincing name.

    You are right, KC – Dernbach is far from the finished article. The unmitigated plaudits are premature.

    But he is worth persevering with.

    We should learn a fair bit more about him ODI-wise this winter.

    He had really bad hair a few years ago without the commensurate ability to deliver back then. My opinion of him will never recover from those bad hair days:,

    1. Unconvincing? Let’s not beat about the bush, Ged. Jade, as everybody knows, is a girl’s name.

      Some years ago Leeds rugby league club had a winger called Lazenby. Tracy Lazenby. It made no difference whatsoever how good a player he was – he had a girl’s name, therefore he was a girl. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for girls in most respects, but as professional rugby league wingers – no.

      As key bowlers in international cricket – let’s just say that this is a whole can of previously unopened worms that is being opened here with very little thought for the wider ramifications to society in general.

  3. England may or may not have found a Marshall, but this site has found a good candidate to play Laurence Elderbrook in the upcoming movie “Laurence Elderbrook”. It is clear by looking at the picture that he is auditioning for the role with a wonderful exhibition of a bestial roar.

  4. Stuart Broad has come a long way, isn’t he? When England followers think of girly fast bowlers, it’s no longer Stuart Christopher James.

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