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Sight Screen

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Never say die? (-worma)

With Freddie its rather bringing the dead back to life, almost. Over past few months he has repeatedly 'set-up' the game for his team-mates to take over and close. And today he did it again. He was England's answer today to Pakistan's revitalized Shoaib of day 3.
Andrew Flintoff is a talisman like few others. Your average genie grants just three wishes, but Flintoff keeps on providing, rub after rub after rub. Today his two-wicket burst bore comparison with a similarly totemic over at Edgbaston last summer. Then as now, England needed inspiration as their prospects were beginning to drift, and on both occasions the response was an unanswerable ramraid from Flintoff, straight through the heart of the opposition batting.
For me, his most amazing quality is his capability to dig deep into the reserves, and come out with something for the special occasion.
"We saw in the first innings how he can take a game away quickly, so it was quite crucial to get him out cheaply," said Flintoff, who had been nearing the end of his spell until his breakthrough gave him a second wind. "It had crossed my mind [to come off], but I asked for one more over because the ball was reversing a bit and I'd hit quite a nice rhythm. I felt I had another couple of overs in me and just wanted to carry on bowling."

And indeed, the English team proves again that it cannot win or lose or even draw a match in a straightforward manner.

13 Comments:

  • could be an exiting final day. It kind of resembles the adelaide test.

    By Blogger roublen, at 10:08  

  • Darn! I knew Andrew would be writing one of his passionate Fred's a hero kind of columns (great column, nothing wrong with that) but I had planned not to read it because I knew it would make me more nervuous - if only you had mentioned you had linked to Miller and not something else I would have successfuly achieved my aim! But alas ... I have undertaken the first bad omen! God helps us now. I really fear I won't get any sleep at all tonight at this rate.

    By Blogger Zainub, at 11:51  

  • yeah I usually mention the writer :-)..

    By Blogger worma, at 12:34  

  • So what do you guys think...is Freddie a better batsmen or a bowler ? I think his bowling is slightly better right now but as he gets older his batting will overtake his bowling.

    By Blogger ClannZĂș, at 12:53  

  • clannzu: I think he's a pretty good batsman already. If you start playing him at 3 or 4 today (which I think he can do) he'll give you great returns. And he's in excellent batting form as well.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:29  

  • No doubt he's a very good batsmen but don't think he's ready to bat at 3 or 4. I think 6 is fine for him for the amount of bowling he does and sooner or later he's going to be captain so it might be too much to bat him up the order. 5 or 6 is perfect position for him.

    By Blogger ClannZĂș, at 13:37  

  • clannzu: well in the current lot, and with the bowling load, he's probably fine where he is...I was just trying to say that he can do that right now, with his talent and form.

    But being captain has nothing to do with it, I would say. Many captain have batted at 4, no? Lara, SRT (and now RD at 3), Vaughan...all of them

    By Blogger worma, at 13:40  

  • Can't agree with you more about England not making things simple.

    This is the most exciting team out there now.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 13:47  

  • Fred's the 2nd best bowler in the world, 1st is McGrath for me.

    And his batting I think has potential to improve loads, he could do no worse then get more runs away from home on a consistent basis. Still though, even if he keeps on going in like this for the next 3 or 4 years, his legendary status will become undisputed.

    By Blogger Zainub, at 14:07  

  • worma - true..usually the best batsmen in the side bat in the top 4 and invariably the best batsmen or player is the captain - Dravid, Inzy, Fleming but none of them having the triple load of batting, bowling and captaincy. Freddie bowls the max overs for Eng and also fields at 2nd slip and then to bat at number 3 or 4 will take a huge toll on him.

    By Blogger ClannZĂș, at 15:41  

  • yeah bowling load is what should keep him down. Also the team should not learn to rely on his batting that heavily...bound to affect his bowling

    Incidently, Boycs has been advocating Eng to open with Freddie in ODIs (and here bowling load cannot be an excuse) for more than a year now...and I have been agreeing with him ever since :-)...I think Eng can get an extra boost in their WC chances with this move, and accomodate another proper batsman in the team instead of looking for openers. And no Strauss isn't one for ODIs, as far as I could see.

    And Eng also have a well known problem of setting target...this move can sort that out as well

    By Blogger worma, at 16:08  

  • Interesting thoughts re Fred's batting for ODIs.

    He is a fine alllrounder now, no question, but is a little weak against quality spin still.

    This test match is another great contest - shame it has been blighted with contropversy as it is terrific competition.

    I just love test cricket when you get to the 5th day with both sides still genuinely having a result chance and the draw also a distinct possibility.

    These two sides are extremely well matched in these conditions.

    By Blogger Ged, at 17:02  

  • ged: Freddie has come into his own as a batsman of late only (2 seasons max) and I wouldnt judge him so soon against quality spin(Warne is special). After all here in Pakistan he was only once dismissed by the spinner, wasnt he? Let him play a long KP like innings where we can judge how he handles spin

    Yeah the test match is once again going great...forcing me to get up early tomorrow :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 17:24  

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