Mark Davies’ 19 wickets at 29.57 last year was a woeful return by his standards, but an overall first-class record that reads 251 wickets at 21.68 is as good as it gets.
Mark’s 30 this year, so this will be his fourth and final appearance in our Ones To Watch. He’s as close to the England side as he’s ever been, so maybe this plot-free tale of one man repeatedly having his name published on an obscure cricket website during the month of April will have a happy ending for the protagonist.
One to watch veteran, Mark Davies, has finally been called into the England squad. If he plays a Test, it is not acceptable to use mundane exclamations like ‘well bowled!’
The obvious substitutes are ‘hammer of Thor!‘ and ‘great Odin’s raven!‘ but if you tire of shouting those, here are three more to add to your repertoire:
- Heimdall’s trumpet!
- Sons of Ivaldi!
- Gullinbursti’s glowing mane!
A second Durham player and a second Durham seam bowler. Mark Davies is always one to watch, even if we erroneously overlooked him for the first time last year, thinking he wouldn’t get a game.
We’ve a faint suspicion that Davies is the kind of bowler who’d get a lot of wickets in home Tests and not so many overseas, but as long as he takes wickets at an average of about 12, he warrants closer inspection.
Not scarily close; not unless he’s playing chess against Rob Key. We can’t be in two places at once.
It was over two years ago that we first pointed this out. However, exactly what Mark Davies is doing right we don’t know. Cutting the ball both ways to make his bowling unplayable seems to be the gist.
It’s on a bit of a juicy club pitch at Basingstoke, but even so Mark Davies’ figures of 8-24 against Hampshire are startling. He’s taken 33 wickets at 12.06 this season.
There have been regular wickets for seam bowlers up at Chester-le-Street as well, but what more can a man do? Take his wickets at an average of nine? At an average of two?
We wish we’d said something yesterday. Durham were 96-7 and we thought ‘wait until Mark gets a go on that with all of Valhalla urging him on’.
We’ve always liked Mark Davies. He was like the invisible man that only we could see. If he wasn’t injured, he’d be there, chipping away for Durham, taking 2-30 or 3-45 – nondescript-yet-efficient bowling figures that kept his first-class average surprisingly low. It was 22.63 before this match.
But now Mark Davies isn’t the invisible man that only we can see, because he’s just ripped Lancashire a new one by taking 7-33.
Now the only invisible man that only we can see is Karl the Scary Skeleton who lives in the front bedroom. Hello Karl. What are you waving at us today? Why it’s a pair of human feet. Time to get back in the drawer, Karl. In you go.
We said Mark Davies would be one to watch in 2006 and in 2007 and he was either injured or not selected. This season, we thought that he wouldn’t get many games, so we went for Liam Plunkett instead.
Liam Plunkett is injured. Mark Davies is playing and it seems we should have been watching him in 2008 as well. Once again, some sort of message is being transmitted to us. It’s something about how we shouldn’t bother trying to do anything ever. We get similar messages remarkably frequently.
Seriously, Mark Davies is doing something right. Our ones to watch are worth watching, make no mistake – hence the name.
Durham’s 20th choice seamer was given the new ball in the first match of his loan spell at Nottinghamshire. He’s normally more used to handling a malformed ball with the consistency of blancmange by the time he gets to bowl. He took 7-59.
There isn’t a better bowler in all of Valhalla, although Gullinkambi the rooster bowls some serviceable part-time leg-spin.
Mark Davies is a wow already.
Blond-maned, Nordic-looking understated overachiever from Durham, Mark Davies, has been loaned out to Nottinghamshire, who are suffering with injuries in their pace corps.
Our bet is that he’ll be a wow for Notts. A wow, you hear. A wow. Mark Davies will be one wow.
This is great news for Notts who’ve definitely got room for a wow in their team.