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Sight Screen

Monday, August 08, 2005

Gower on Vaughan

I managed to resist the temptation to title this post Michael Vaughan-ing -- a sure sign that my fever is on the mend. :-)
David Gower in his latest column examines the mechanics of the loss of form of the England captain...
First, the facts: Vaughan has been bowled three out of four times in this series, once by Glenn McGrath and twice, including yesterday, by Brett Lee, something that any proper batsman, which he assuredly is, would normally avoid. The common denominator has been that on each occasion he has looked suspicious of the bounce. His other dismissal came from the pull, a shot he played unerringly in Australia during that golden run but which has been much less productive for him this summer in the one-dayers and in this Test.
...and comes up with possible solutions:
The one thing he has to work on now is the delivery of the bat to the ball, because it is ever so slightly, but crucially, off kilter. In essence, the bat in the last split second before it is designed to meet the ball comes to the ball from the direction of the slips rather than from the keeper. Even for a batsman with a loopy pick-up, the trick is to make sure that the last part of the movement brings the face of the bat square on to the ball. Vaughan, whose pick-up is largely orthodox, is not achieving that. Slow-motion replays show that his bat comes slightly across the line of the ball before he misses it. To confuse the casual observer, by the time he has finished the shot the bat seems to be dead straight but by then it is too late.
If the bat is coming from the right direction you can, as Pietersen did at Lord’s, drop it lower in an instant and because you are already on line with the shot you can make contact and keep the ball out with the bottom part of the bat, 90mph or not.

There's been much debate on this forum about the generally inane nature of columns written by ex-cricketers; Gower's latest (check it out, it's a good read) is a good example of what past players can bring to the table, if only they would really try (and it just might help for them to discuss craft with a journalist or two -- just as the better cricket journalists spend a lot of time talking cricket-craft with players past and present to further their understanding of the game they write about).


  • prem,
    in an earlier post of mine on this blog site (in response to an atrocious arjuna ranatunga piece), i'd asked the same question that you have suggested here: cricketers go to journalism school and journalists cohort with cricketers, each honing their craft a little better. now, if only both camps would pay a little attention to the good advice you have doled out.:)

    By Blogger dna, at 23:00  

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