Jacob Oram and the short ball: You pair are going to be great friends.
It may have been Daniel Flynn’s tooth that James Anderson removed with a bouncer, but Jacob Oram looked the more uncomfortable against short-pitched bowling.
Of course Flynn’s bloodied mélange of flesh and teeth went way beyond being uncomfortable. We just mean that Oram made repeated mistakes dealing with bouncers, whereas Flynn only really made the one, massively costly error.
Wonder when he’ll play a hook shot next. We’d be filing that away in the mental drawer marked ‘never again’ along with running with shin splints and Gujerati food (sugar is NOT a type of salt).
It seems like James Anderson feels pretty bad about it, but he also made a very sensible point when he said: “When you hit someone on the head it generally encourages bowlers to do it again.”
That’s a recognition that it’s not his job to sway out of the way of 90mph pulverisers, it’s his job to deliver them.
England v New Zealand, second Test at Old Trafford – day one
New Zealand 202-4 (Ross Taylor 67 not out)
Most teams struggle for all-rounders. In New Zealand they’re ten a penny. If only they could find a couple more half-decent specialist batsmen, they’d be a force to be reckoned with.
This new batting line-up’s missing a few of the bigger names, of course, but even those batting absentees dabbled with the ball: Craig McMillan, Scott Styris, Nathan Astle.
Now, with Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum, New Zealand are still well off for all-rounders. Then there’s Jacob Oram as well, who hit a muscly 101 as New Zealand easily saved the first Test. (Bloody weather. Bloody light-accepting batsmen.)
Why does Jacob Oram look so old? He’s only 29. Is it because he’s suffering from some kind of gigantism? Not only is he six-foot-many and burly, he’s also got a head that’s too big for an already gargantuan body. But not only that. He’s also got a face that’s too big for the head that’s too big for the body.
Somebody somewhere has made an almighty error of scale when constructing Jacob Oram. Mr and Mrs Oram, we’re looking at you.
England v New Zealand, first Test at Lord’s – day five
New Zealand 277 (Brendon McCullum 97, Ryan Sidebottom 4-55, James Anderson 3-66)
England 319 (Michael Vaughan 106, Andrew Strauss 63, Alastair Cook 61, Daniel Vettori 5-69)
New Zealand 269-6 (Jacob Oram 101, Jamie How 68)