Stuart Broad fails to trouble the speed gun

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Stop wasting energy jumping!

Yesterday, we said that England needed to take wickets quickly. They did. How did they achieve this? Well, actually, we’re not sure they had all that much to do with it.

It was almost like South Africa had exhausted their collective mental reserves; like much of the side’s patience and self-control had been frittered away during their 637-2 in the first Test. A bit of fortune, a dodgy decision, the odd good delivery and England are in a reasonable position.

Anderson was very good, as you’d expect. Finn was hit and miss, as you’d expect. Swann hung in there. But what of Broad? He seems to have become a lolloping and ineffectual medium-pacer. Nowt wrong with a bit of medium-pace, as long as that’s why they hired you, but ’76mph dobblage’ isn’t on Broad’s CV.

Always be wary of guns – even cricket’s speed guns. Most bowlers’ speeds have been lower in this series than in some others. The data is probably accurate for once. This in itself is of no concern, but what is striking is that Broad seems to be bowling significantly slower than James Anderson. It used to be the other way round.

As we always say: speed isn’t everything, but it is something. The usual explanations have been trotted out: bowling for swing, loss of rhythm, a niggle. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Broad looked the least threatening quarter of England’s bowling attack.


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    1. Got to say from a distance he is looking like a protected species… how the hell is no-one asking more (and more difficult) questions of Barbie?

  1. Ah, now this is the England I remember. Much more familiar. In-fighting, shambolic on-field performances, callow youths being thrown in because the senior players are persona non grata for stupid reasons.

    1. Quite, Daneel. Because all these things matter a lot. If you have a disruptive element in the dressing room, removing that disruptive element immediately makes everything better. He takes away the disruptiveness with him as he goes (and also the 100 runs he would have scored, but that’s by-the-by).

      And who wants a winning team in any case? Far better to have a happy team. That’s what we all want, isn’t it – for the lovely England boys to just be happy as we pay their wages. As long as they and those terribly nice chaps at the ECB are happy, who could ask for more?

  2. Broad will have one of his magic spells second dig and all will be well with the world once again.

    I had a great day at HQ yesterday (Friday). Test match cricket with ebb and flow just as it should be.

    I envy anyone who is going today as the match is wonderfully poised. Hold on, I envy myself – I am going back to HQ today, this time with Daisy!! She’ll explain all these shenanigans to anyone who’ll listen.

  3. Yep, I was expecting much more of Broad than he’s actually achieved this series. I’m still holding out that Sidebottom comes out of retirement so that we get a Broad-Sidebottom bowling partnership. I would appreciate that regardless of the pace of Broad’s bowling. <– my comedy blog, feel free to check it out!

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