Why Graham Onions’ five-fer ain’t all that

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After being clean bowled for a golden duck and then seeing his first ball carted for four, Graham Onions didn’t immediately knock Test cricket sideways with his brilliance.

A bit later, after three wickets in an over and 5-38, things looked a bit better.


Have England found a great new Test bowler or have they further muddied selectorial waters which are arguably just damp soil?

Onions dismissed four of the West Indies’ last five batsmen and we can’t quite see what he offers that no-one else does. He’s quickish, like pretty much all of England’s bowlers; he’s not tall; and he doesn’t swing the ball much.

Not that he’s a bad bowler by any means and not that you can’t succeed in Test cricket with that sort of a bowling armoury. We just have a concern that here’s another name that’s been added to the debate about who England’s best bowlers are, meaning England aren’t closer to finding the right bowling attack, they’re further away.

Maybe he’s new coach Andy Flower’s inspired selection who’ll be around for years, but we’d far prefer it if there were something more obvious than that.


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  1. Bob Willis is of the opinion that Onions will suceed on the test stage and wont just disappear like other bowlers who made excellent starts to their test careers (Ed Giddins and Richard Johnson, for example).

    Bob Willis is ALWAYS wrong

  2. Athers agrees with you. In his Times column, under the headline “Journeymen put England on brink of victory”, he says:

    “The first day at Lord’s witnessed the arrival of a special talent; now it was the turn of the journeymen. For Ravi Bopara, the possibilities are endless, but we know, as much as we can know anything in sport, that Graeme Swann and Graham Onions will not finish their international careers as greats of the game.”

    I wonder if Gooch said something nasty to him when he was a lad, or if he much prefers the comic talents of Brooke-Taylor and Oddie. As for spy thrillers, well there’s no one to compare to Le Carre.

  3. you can only bowl at what’s in front of you

    unfortunately what’s in front of england right now is a team of flat-track bullies who can’t cope when it’s a bit cloudy.

    fair play to onions. let him enjoy it while he can before phillip hughes smashes the bejeezus out of him.

  4. I couldn’t care less if he’s not gonna be a great of the game, heck few are ever remembered as such. As long as he takes wickets i’ll be glad to have him in the team.

    Heck Athers referred to sidebottom as a jouneryman and now can’t wait to have him back in the team.

  5. like I said, bring back Hoggard. Onion is not going to amount to much.

  6. Personally, I still reckon there’s time to dust off Alan Mullally for one last hurrah.

  7. I wish Mark Nicholas would stop asking all the players about the Ashes. I’d rather watch the Loose Women interview the players, and they make me want to claw my eyes out.

  8. Onions bowls very well at Lord’s in those sorts of conditions – I’ve seen him do so before.

    Even for the Ashes against much better batsmen and probably on much flatter wickets, I’d trust him to put the ball in the right place more often than Harmy right now.

    And he does have some pace.

    But I agree that he isn’t the be all and end all.

    Very few such be all and end all bowlers in world cricket at the moment. Look at the Aussie attack, for example.

  9. Sir, Sir, narkins used the word “heck” twice in his post Sir.

    Does he get detention?

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