Tim Bresnan’s return from injury

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Tim Bresnan with non-bionic elbows

Tim Bresnan had elbow knack. It was a particularly severe case and so he had surgery. Unfortunately, the procedure made him not particularly good at cricket. He therefore had surgery again (not to get bionic legs or owt, just for the elbow).

Now he’s back – even if he wasn’t away quite long enough to warrant a ‘Tim Bresnan’s back’ headline. The good news is that he claims to have recovered pace. He hasn’t had this verified by a speed gun, so it might just be that he can’t remember what quicker bowling looks like, but if he has recovered a yard or two, that’s great news.

A sportsman’s career rarely ends on a high, but injury is the saddest way to go out, particularly if it’s more of an impediment than a death blow. An injury which merely takes the edge off your ability commits you to a grey purgatory where you play a pale imitation of what you once experienced of your sport.

We imagine it’s kind of like going back and playing Outrun. If you’ve spent time driving around virtual cities doing as you please in more recent games, you simply can’t re-narrow your horizons so that the Outrun experience is as satisfactory as it once was.


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  1. It’s a bit early in the season to judge, but England’s first team bowling squad have been returning “stock bowler” stats so far rather than strike bowler stats.

    Not a worry on 14 May, but they won’t play much more first class cricket between now and the Ashes, especially if the Kiwi test matches are badly rain-affected.

    Tim Bresnan is one of those players that many of us love to see succeed; he looks just a tad more like “one of us” than someone born with, say, Steve Finn’s shape and action.

    It will be a tough call Thursday between Bresnan and Finn for the first Kiwi test. I have a feeling that, if all four pace bowlers are fit, Finn will get the nod at Lord’s and Bresnan will miss out.

    1. Very aproximately, an extra 4 or 5 mph at Bresnan’s type of pace.

      e.g. bowling at 84 mph rather than 80 mph, the ball would travel aproximately one yard further in the same time interval (circa half a second from hand to bat) at the faster speed than it would have done at the slower speed.

    2. KC doesn’t care about time and so measures distance and speed with the same units.

    3. That’s what they do in the Canadian Rockies. They have signposts saying that such-and-such a place is three hours away.

      It’s an indication that you have an empty country with empty roads if you can commit to permanent signage in that way.

  2. Ah, so it’s a nonlinear scale. Marvellous.

    Lots of electronic signs around here tell you how long it will take you get to different neighbourhoods in the city.

    More importantly, can Bresnan do the Kessler run in less than 12 parsecs?

    1. Speed = Distance over time.

      An 90 mph bowler gets the ball from hand to the bat in about half a second. A 30 mph bowler therefore gets there in about one and a half seconds.

      As I always say, I’m a city boy and when I bowl I stick to the inner city speed limits.

      Of course, inner city speed limits are now often being reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph, perhaps in anticipation of my waining powers in the bowling department.

      So, at my pace, about 2 seconds to cover the full distance, an “extra yard of pace” would only require about 1 mph extra oomph. If I can only muster that oomph.

    2. Is the time variable the time taken at the original speed, or the new speed? Things like that matter.

    3. Don’t want to poop your party or anything, daneel, but my pathetic, simplified estimating method eradicates the non-linearity and calculus elements of this puzzle by ignoring the fact that the speed of the ball changes in flight. And at different rates of change depending on various factors such as initial velocity.

      I can’t believe I’m writing this.

    4. You need to take the Fast Fourier Transform of Bresnan and solve him in the frequency domain.

    5. I tried but couldn’t solve Bresnan. The bastard is a chaotic system. Any small deviation from his delivery’s middle stump line results in a Steve Harmisonesque wide as the system evolves.

  3. Surely the choice is not between Bresnan and Finn. Finn has been excellent over the last couple of years. Broad would be in more danger.

    1. Cannot see them dropping Broad.

      Finn is in danger because he has been a shadow of his normal self since he went down a yard or five of run up.

      Finn is a top chap and will come good again, but just at the moment he is well below par. As evidenced in the three matches he has played for Middlesex so far this season.

    2. For all the hype, do any of the English bowlers in thsi squad actually average less than 30? If Finn does, it can only be only barely.

    3. So basically, they are all the same and it doesnt matter. Excellent!

      Although Tremlett averages 26.75, so get him in. Lets ignore the fact that he is held together with sticky tape for now.

      Also, Anthony McGrath averages 14.

    4. Averages are OK to look back at a whole career once it’s finished, but they don’t tell you much about a player right now. Anderson’s career average is the combination of Anderson pre 2010 with just a knife and a Luger (35) and Anderson post 2010, after he’d found the Chain Gun (26).

  4. I played sonic 2 on the master system 2 the other day.

    Not as good as I remember it.

    1. Thank you. THANK YOU.

      We quite genuinely spent well over an hour thinking about which computer game was best suited to this analogy. We discussed it at length with two different people.

      Wolfenstein 3D was an early front-runner. Populous was strongly considered. Turrican was never realistically in with a shout. Gauntlet got a mention and confusion almost led to its inclusion. Saboteur II made it as far as the addition of a Wikipedia link before common sense won out. Afterburner was a late contender.

      There are reasons why all of these were rejected. As for Sonic, we felt that wouldn’t seem quite insipid enough in that it hasn’t been quite so comprehensively superseded.

    2. On the other hand, I played Super Mario Bros 3 a few weeks ago and it was the nuts.

      I realise that doesn’t really fit the analogy. Maybe James Anderson giving up his flashy new “GameCube” action to go and play on his trusty old game boy in 2007?

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