Yesterday’s theme was of how bowling success can be about playing well frequently rather than extremely well occasionally.
You remember great bowlers for the occasions when they took 7-20; when the ball was swinging or turning a mile. But often those performances aren’t what made those players’ reputations. It’s often about the times when there was a massive partnership and the ball was doing jack shit. What does a bowler do then? Can he motivate himself?
None of England’s bowlers are greats, but they seem wise to the fact that the 65th over can be as important as the first. Graeme Swann was mauled in his first few overs, but didn’t go to pieces. Steven Finn’s second spell was an improvement. James Anderson has returned to Australia to show that he’s not wholly reliant on swing and that he shouldn’t be typecast as the cannon fodder of four years ago.
Mike Hussey knows you’re sometimes up against it too; that there are occasions when you’re under pressure personally and the scoreboard doesn’t look too smart.