Zaheer Khan Operation Greggs latest

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Bert has just left a comment drawing attention to Zaheer Khan’s performance this morning, pondering whether Operation Greggs has been put into practice. Operation Greggs involves plying Zaheer with meat and tatty pies until he’s bowling at Praveen Kumar pace.

Bert is right to raise this possibility, but it is worth investigating more thoroughly and thus far, we see little evidence that Operation Greggs has had any impact.

According to Hawkeye, Zaheer’s deliveries have averaged 80-odd mph thus far and he’s even hit 88.6mph with one. This is perfectly respectable.

He’s also got 2-9 at the time of writing. We move that a different pie be introduced. The man has a weakness, we just need to identify precisely what it is.


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  1. “According to Hawkeye….”

    Now look what you did! You are now banned from playing in the IPL.

  2. It’s times like this that I am glad I don’t have any easy way of watching English cricket.

  3. Early days, KC, early days. Cricinfo’s comment was just the first signs of what is an extremely subtle plan. We won’t expect to see an actual lessening of pace till late on in this test, or maybe even the early stages of the Trent Bridge test.

    1. You’ve clearly done your research. The Gregg’s store finder reveals that Trent Bridge is quite well placed for meat based baked products – if you jog a bit it would still have that fresh from the microwave taste.

      You’ll need to ensure success before Edgbaston though – it is a disaster.

    2. Bert this plan could backfire spectacularly. Remember Merv Hughes? My tip is if Zaheer starts developing a hairy lip you should abort the operation for your own good.

  4. The Lords factor rather complicates things. We know the food there is fattening if you eat enough of it – as Mike Gatting has ably demonstrated.

    However, I reckon the chance of there being any offerings from Greggs in the Pavillion are slim, despite its proximity to the Paddington Branch of Greggs

    I think all we can conclude is that he is not particularly partial to cucumber sandwiches, quiches, vol-au-vents, roast game and such other lordly fayre.

  5. Can I just point out that it is a pleasure following a test match where there is a real battle between bat and ball

    Now for a DLF maximum and a Karbon Kamaal leave

  6. “Khan to Trott, no run, alarm bells. Zaheer pulls up with a grimace and he is out of the attack. Is it cramps? Is it a hamstring? Seems to be the latter. He is leaving the field. Offcutter from wide of the crease, seemed to be in trouble as soon as he took the second step of his follow through. When was the last time Zaheer played an entire away series?”

    Genuinely, this would be a disaster, and not at all funny. Bobby K is exactly right. England seem to be playing rather well right now, but it is only because they are being tested that we can tell that.

    1. There is a WORLD of difference between wanting a player to get fat through eating pastry products and wanting him to get injured.

      Succumbing to baked temptation shows mental frailty and is therefore a weakness. Getting injured is more often than not just misfortune and doesn’t reflect on the player in the same way.

      Hope he’s okay. He’s one of our favourite bowlers to watch.

    2. Mental frailty? Not being able to resist Greggs is “mental frailty”? Are you insane? That’s half the population of the world you’ve just labelled mentally frail.

      Some suggestion that Zaheer has cramps, which is a) good news, and b) direct evidence of Operation Greggs.

    3. Are we suggesting that half the population of the world are mentally frail?

      It is a far higher percentage. If there’s one thing people are, it’s feeble-minded.

    4. Being injury prone is a weakness, because that’s the way international cricket is.

      If I had to pick one of Anderson or Zaheer right now as to which could play for my team, I’d pick Anderson, because he’s vastly fitter.

      Still not happy about it, obv. Want to beat the best.

  7. Bert – you are a fast worker.

    Could Operation Greggs have been so successful that he was merely feigning injury as an excuse to return to the buffet?

    All this talk of mental frailty is making me hungry.

    1. How so?

      The intention of the game is to win. This probably helps England so I’m not upset about it. End of. I’m not wishing ill on anyone, I’m simply not interested in the individuals that make up the opposition; they’re simply of no concern to me. It’s not like he’s never going to walk again, is it?

      I can’t imagine that Australians were crying into their beer about the Ashes being devalued when Stuart Broad got injured over the winter (although perhaps they should have been).

      India are not a one-man bowling side so they’ll just have to prove it. The best side in the world must have adequate alternatives.

  8. I don’t do well with drama. I like innings victories. Better for my blood pressure.

    1. Isn’t there any other place in England where it doesn’t rain this test could’ve been held? I don’t think Strauss or Dhoni care the 2000th test should be at Lord’s and I am pretty sure Sachin would be happy to get a hundred in My-uncle-was-born-there-shire.

      This dumb adherence to the “hallowed ground” theory is pissing me off. The last session could’ve been potentially very interesting, even allowing for the fact that Trott was batting.

    2. …and where exactly in England could they have played where it did NOT rain at some point yesterday? Trumptonshire? Of course Bresnan would have had to play there to exploit home knowledge.

    3. How about Manchester, Ged? We’d have got a full 90 overs in yesterday. Looks like they got 90 in at Headingley as well in the Roses match.

      In fact, looking at the scorecards, didn’t everyone get a full day in, bar England and Surrey?

  9. An OT test would create problems for Operation Greggs though. Nipping down to Streford Arndale looks the best option but the traffic can be shocking, maybe worth a tram to Stretford? A tram into town could be possible though.

    Funny how little it’s rained in Manchester this year when it has been lashing down at whatever soft southern ground the Tests have been at.

    1. On the plus side, it has meant that we haven’t missed any cricket while we’ve been out enjoying the sunshine.

    2. Careful of that sun, KC – you know your pallid northern skin won’t be used to it. You need to use a good sunblock if you’re going out. I find that 1 vertical kilometre of grey cloud does the blocking quite adequately.

    3. Typical Cheshire conformist.

      Apparently, Zaheer will be fit to bowl in the second innings. Good news. He’s spending this innings in the local “hi-tec sports rehabilitation clinic” just round the corner from Lord’s.

      Mmm, what is that lovely smell you have in your “hi-tec sport rehabilitation clinics”?

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