Stuart Broad isn’t who you think he is

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Some dude or other

There have been a few stats of late about James Anderson and Stuart Broad as a bowling partnership. Something about lots of wickets. We forget how many.

On paper, they’re a wonderfully complementary duo. One’s a devious swing bowler; the other’s rangly and hits the deck hard (a phrase which sounds to us more like the individual in question isn’t particularly handy in a fight). It’s like having Ian Botham and Curtly Ambrose in your team. You’ve got all scenarios covered.

Except it doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t work like that at all.

Who is Stuart Broad?

Stuart Broad is James Anderson. He’s James Anderson a bit back, but make no mistake, that’s who he is. He rushes in, lets fly some away swing and wickets ensue. What he doesn’t do is bowl anything like the man he said he wanted to bowl like round about the time he came into the England side. Glenn McGrath he is not.

Does it matter?

Well, to paraphrase a generic England cricketer – he is who he is. There’s no changing that. It’s odd that he somehow always seems to bowl like a much smaller man, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing so long as he bowls well.

If there is an issue, it’s that thing we mentioned before about covering all scenarios. Faux James Anderson doesn’t so much complement Real James Anderson as compound him. When the ball swings – hey-hey, we’re quids in! When it doesn’t, you’ve got all your new balls in one box.

Today it swung.


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  1. Rahul Dravid on Cricinfo’s Match Point, on Varun Aaron: “He just brought something else, he brought a bit of an X-factor.”

    One for the Badger?

    1. Oh no, not Rahul. He’s better than that.

      He means pace. They pretty much always mean pace.

    1. Well that was the unwritten final paragraph. We were going to add that Finn sometimes appears cut from the same cloth. Howe, below, is clearly of a similar mind.

  2. One day, people will observe that Steven Finn isn’t any taller than Stuart Broad and doesn’t bowl any faster than James Anderson. But as long as his matches aren’t on Sky then his reputation for pace and bounce will continue to grow.

  3. As long as Broad doesn’t try to be the team ‘enforcer’ I’m happy. No more of that stupid bang it in short crap. It never works. Well, it’d be nice if he occasionally tried to bat as if there were something between his ears, too.

  4. So let me get this straight:
    * King Cricket is in fact Brian Lara,
    * Stuart Broad is in fact Andy Caddick,
    * Steve Finn is in fact Ollie Rayner.

    Life doesn’t get much more confusing than this.

  5. Sloggers, in 39th place, remain ahead of Bert’s Indifferents in 40th.

    And yes, I’m still picking Robson and Kohli.

    1. I’d bleeding hope not. Stuey took a sixfer, and all I’ve got out of him is a measly 625 points.

    2. Yes Sam, well I’m indifferent to it. That’s why my team is called “Bert’s Indifferents”. That and the fact that it is my team and my name is Bert.

      (We had a question in the pub quiz a few months ago – Why is the Indianapolis 500 so called? Our answer, because it is held near Indianapolis, was apparently not what was wanted.)

      Even if my team gets their act together and beats your rubbish losers into the dust, I will remain steadfastly indifferent. I am even indifferent about the sense of smug aloofness and intellectual superiority I get from claiming indifference. So up yours.

  6. It’s a good job that all England’s problems are in the past now, otherwise we might have to worry about still being behind five wickets down.

    1. Based on Varun Aaron’s treatment of the English middle order, their biggest problem is still looming a year away, a big grin beneath his moustache.

  7. While things are quiet (i.e. wet) at Old Trafford, it occurred to me that Varun Aaron is one of those rare names that rhymes.

    Back in the heady days of the 1980s, it was fashionable for pop combos to have rhyming names: Scritti Politti, Haysi Fantayzee, Milli Vanilli, Oingo Boingo…

    …I could go on.

    It occurred to me back then that one of my favourite cricketers, Sarfraz Nawaz, would make an excellent pop group name.

    But between the days of Sarfraz and those of Varun, I am struggling to think of other examples.

    Can any of you help out here?

  8. Do they have to rhyme with anything in particular?

    Lord’s groundsman Mick Hunt comes to mind…

    1. Smack Russell
      Paracetamollie Rayer
      Rob Keytamine
      Acid Lawrence
      Drug Bollinger
      Drugless Jardine

    2. From days of yore:
      Acid Iqbal
      Raymond Illiesworth
      Les Ames
      Arnolds Sidebottom

      Surely these people also had/have difficulty moving around the Caribbean islands:
      IV A Richards
      Daren Gunga
      Seymour Nurse

      And the summarisers on the current TMS commentary team have an awful lot to answer for:
      Phil “The Khat” Tuffers
      Geoffrey Bogart
      Ed Spliff
      Charlie Dagnall

      I could go on…

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