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Sight Screen

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hoggard heard from(-worma)

Mathew Hoggard, one of the members of the unsuccessful English test team, on his return to England throws some light on the experience, and the path ahead. His analysis of the Shoaib slow 'un is quite relevant in context of our next challenge:
Also, Shoaib Akhtar had a point to prove in this series and he did so brilliantly by running in and bowling at 90mph-plus at the start of the day and still doing so at the end of the day. His slower ball fooled a lot of our batsmen, helped a little bit in Lahore by a dark spot just above the sightscreen that it seemed to keep coming out of. When he released the slower ball, it felt as though it was coming straight for your head, only for it to dip and hit the pitch just in front of you. It is as good a slower ball as most of us have seen, bearing comparison to the ones that Courtney Walsh bowled to Graham Thorpe and Chris Cairns bowled to Chris Read
The *new* slower ball of Shoaib is indeed proving a great success..on the field and with the media as well. But it does seem a bit too much to handle, especially coming from a 95mph bowler. I hope our batsmen study the details...the ways to spot the change..and how to counter it. Because from what I saw on the screen, the English batsmen were absolutely clueless when confronted with it. And this when they are coming from a successful campaign against Lee, face the likes of Harmison in the nets.

And on what he expects while preparing for India
Some of the Pakistan players told us that, when they played in India in March this year, the weather was unbelievably hot and that they wouldn’t want to tour there again at the same time of year. So we’d better be ready for some more hard work in the new year


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