Toby Roland-Jones: first look in Test cricket

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Toby Roland-Jones (via Twitter)

We don’t believe you can draw meaningful conclusions from players’ debuts – but we report on them anyway.

We suppose that if people call you Toblerone, you’re kind of duty-bound to provide the odd peak. 4-39 is pretty useful for a kick-off.

Toby Roland-Jones seems to bowl at around 80mph. On another day, people would be saying that’s not quick enough. But it works for Vernon Philander and it worked for Glenn McGrath. The trick is to keep playing well enough that no-one can find the time to dissect your shortcomings.

One thing you do have, when your pace tends towards medium, is less margin for error. Fortunately, on this evidence, Roland-Jones generally bowls within effective parameters. He hits that very small spot that is inevitably referred to as “good areas”.

Tougher challenges await. It won’t often swing and seam quite like this. At the same time, it seems likely that Roland-Jones will perform if it does. Shorn of debut nerves, he might even bowl better.

So he gets a green swinging conditions pass – and with flying colours. That’s all it was within his power to achieve after one day of bowling and it’s also not a bad qualification to attain if you’re looking to do half your Test bowling in England.


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    1. I’ll be very surprised if Toby doesn’t tour now and quite surprised if he doesn’t play at least one or two tests out there.

      What a debut.

    2. I don’t know if he will – I’m inclined to feel that he shouldn’t. Medium pace isn’t really a recipe for success in Australia, where there’s very little swing and you either need to be metronomical or get some pace and bounce.

      1. There’s more than one way to skin an indifferent cat.

        Tim Bresnan had the best bowling average of all in the successful 2010/2011 tour.

      1. mcgrath was quicker than that some of the time. definitely a shade quicker than philander. late-period vaas is probably a better comparison, pace-wise.

  1. Apropos of nothing, rather than speed of delivery, I’d welcome the tecnology on a live cricket scoreboard that reveals the angle of turn off the bounce on a spinner’s delivery, represented as degrees ‘on’ or ‘off’.

    1. They’ve the revometer or whatever it’s called, but you’re right, the actual deviation is all that really matters.

  2. Should add that he also played a proper number nine innings, which is of course a big positive.

    To be honest, tail-end batting is probably more important to us than bowling.

    1. We don’t believe this is the first time it’s been brought to his attention. Fortunately, it’s not the kind of thing anyone could ever tire of.

  3. Good news everybody – Cricinfo scorecards now work again for historical matches.

    This is at the expense of the Cricinfo Mobile headlines, underneath the current Test score, being that Westley has been named in the England squad and that India just beat Aus in their Women’s World Cup semi.

    Some sort of time-space disturbance at ESPN Towers?

    1. In Daisy news, it seems I shouldn’t have been so critical of Big Vern when he misfielded the ball, “because he’s been in hospital on IVF”.

      Does Daisy know something we don’t know?

      1. That made me break out cackling at an inopportune moment. If Big Vern had been playing in the WWC five months pregnant, I’m in no doubt the Proteas would have made the final.

      1. Stokes a bowler of fine pedigree (chum), we should winalot if he stays fit and doesn’t start bowling tripe.

      2. De Kock tried to whippet.

        Left muttering to himself.

        Good plan to come hound the wicket.

    1. A Grace period? Well he already has the beard, what’s next? Substantial weight gain, playing in an MCC cap, turning amateur, grounds discounting the entrace fee if he plays? More of this sort of thing.

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