February 21, 2012

The curious case of the random fill-in bowler

You know that point in Test cricket where everyone is enjoying themselves and then suddenly Mike Hussey, Paul Collingwood or Virender Sehwag comes on to bowl the 72nd over
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You know that point in Test cricket where everyone is enjoying themselves and then suddenly Mike Hussey, Paul Collingwood or Virender Sehwag comes on to bowl the 72nd over. I hate that bit.

I love it when random bowlers come on for a tactical reason. No one can hide their smile when watching Graham Gooch bowl, and angels giggle through giddy excitement every time Sachin bowls his off and legspin. It’s fun and different, and makes cricket at any level feel like it’s being played in a park.

But it feels like enforced fun gone wrong when in the last eight overs before the new ball anyone is thrown the ball and told they just have to get through their over’s as quickly as possible so the real cricket can resume.

Apparently I am the only one that thinks Michael Hussey hurrying between overs is a bad thing.

The ICC like it so much they have brought it into ODI cricket.

In a random attempt to make sure that the boring middle overs are less boring, the two moveable Powerplays are now being forced between the 15th and 35th overs.

I can see why some in charge would do this. ODI cricket is constantly being airbrushed and changed to make it a little more exciting and marketable. Australia put a pause between innings to make it more exciting domestically, giving the batting a team a chance to bat slowly for the break.

Administrators are looking for a way to make the game just that little bit more exciting. And the second and third Powerplays were being used generally in the least imaginable way by teams around the world.

It’s just that no one thought this new move to make the game more exciting would result in Ravi Bopara bowling the 12th over of an ODI, with a ball that is six-overs old.

You’ve got to admire the game of cricket for its ability to make any potential improvement into a bad thing so quickly.

Today Kevin Pietersen was used in this period.

Some people will see KP’s one over as something to be cherished, others will pine for Ravi Bopara.

You can’t please everyone.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on February 24, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    @Ace: point of the article is not Collingwood's bowling really. See my other post.

    PS: FWIW, Collingwood was the best player of spin in England in the last decade or so.

  • Tybalt on February 23, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Dave, and Matt: pretty darned happy! Marvelous to see KP return to form like this. Wish it was in 2010 instead of 2012 though, it's a long way to 2015.

  • Cysmmfd Plz on February 22, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Ladies, instead of fighting over Collingwood/KP/Viv/Hick, please read Al's comment above.

  • ben on February 22, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    its time to reflect that afridi (who i love) is a big sulker the worst best odi bowler when it suits him trash bowler when not happy!! also colly god i hated him but i would bowl him 5 overs a game!

  • ijg2704 on February 22, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    I seem to remember Sir Viv doing a decent job with the ball in some of WIs glory days. Also in the 1992 WC Greame Hick bowled 8 overs in one of the matches

  • Dave on February 22, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    I wonder what Tybalt (comment 2) thinks about that comment now! lol

  • Ace on February 22, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    I certainly never enjoyed Collingwood bowling - or batting even.

  • Aleem on February 22, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    I can smell the BIG rift in this Paki team since Afridi, Shoab Malik, Imran Farhat joined the ODI squad ...

    Something is definitely going FISHY- FISHY here ... some sections of players want to get AFRIDI back as the ODI Captain. An intrinsic Paki team dilemma ... Now it is time for PCB to Press The Panic button and replace all the culprits involved as well as Imran Farhat, Shoab Malik, Adnan Akmal (in ODI) ... Give rest to Hafeez, Umar Gul, Umar Akmal for some time too.

  • Aleem on February 22, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    I can smell the BIG rift this Paki team since Afridi, Shoab Malik, Imran Farhat joined the ODI squads ...

    Something is definitely going FISHY- FISHY here ... some sections of players want to get AFRIDI back as the ODI Captain. An intrinsic Paki team dilemma ... Now it is time for PCB to Press The Panic button and replace all the culprits involved as well as Imran Farhat, Shoab Malik, Adnan Akmal (in ODI) ... Give rest to Hafeez, Umar Gul, Umar Akmal fro some time ...

  • Matt on February 22, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    How'd that work out, Tybalt?

  • Al on February 24, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    @Ace: point of the article is not Collingwood's bowling really. See my other post.

    PS: FWIW, Collingwood was the best player of spin in England in the last decade or so.

  • Tybalt on February 23, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Dave, and Matt: pretty darned happy! Marvelous to see KP return to form like this. Wish it was in 2010 instead of 2012 though, it's a long way to 2015.

  • Cysmmfd Plz on February 22, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    Ladies, instead of fighting over Collingwood/KP/Viv/Hick, please read Al's comment above.

  • ben on February 22, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    its time to reflect that afridi (who i love) is a big sulker the worst best odi bowler when it suits him trash bowler when not happy!! also colly god i hated him but i would bowl him 5 overs a game!

  • ijg2704 on February 22, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    I seem to remember Sir Viv doing a decent job with the ball in some of WIs glory days. Also in the 1992 WC Greame Hick bowled 8 overs in one of the matches

  • Dave on February 22, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    I wonder what Tybalt (comment 2) thinks about that comment now! lol

  • Ace on February 22, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    I certainly never enjoyed Collingwood bowling - or batting even.

  • Aleem on February 22, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    I can smell the BIG rift in this Paki team since Afridi, Shoab Malik, Imran Farhat joined the ODI squad ...

    Something is definitely going FISHY- FISHY here ... some sections of players want to get AFRIDI back as the ODI Captain. An intrinsic Paki team dilemma ... Now it is time for PCB to Press The Panic button and replace all the culprits involved as well as Imran Farhat, Shoab Malik, Adnan Akmal (in ODI) ... Give rest to Hafeez, Umar Gul, Umar Akmal for some time too.

  • Aleem on February 22, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    I can smell the BIG rift this Paki team since Afridi, Shoab Malik, Imran Farhat joined the ODI squads ...

    Something is definitely going FISHY- FISHY here ... some sections of players want to get AFRIDI back as the ODI Captain. An intrinsic Paki team dilemma ... Now it is time for PCB to Press The Panic button and replace all the culprits involved as well as Imran Farhat, Shoab Malik, Adnan Akmal (in ODI) ... Give rest to Hafeez, Umar Gul, Umar Akmal fro some time ...

  • Matt on February 22, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    How'd that work out, Tybalt?

  • Tybalt on February 21, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    Mark Checkley says " In the right conditions - which admittedly didn't come all that often - his swing and control could be quite devastating - best performance 6 for 31."

    Which makes it all the more frustrating to see him thrown out willy-nilly just before the new ball and told to get on with it. The inveterate use of a part-timer there, without even bothering to set a field for him, is dull and unimaginative captaincy.

    Oh, and that 6 for 31 was against Bangladesh in 2005 and they were sh*t order.

  • Al on February 21, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    If you are focusing on the fact that my-fav-allrounder was named here, you are surely missing the point!!

    AFAICT, point of the blog is that new rules should encourage better cricket. eg: it should pit the best batsmen against the best bowlers. Instead it seems to be bringing out part-timers to the front and now part timers to the new cherry [btw, author, in sub-continent, old cherry is a bigger weapon than new cherry! with spin and reversing]. Anyway, my take away from this article is:

    Dear ICC, Please make rules that support putting the best cricketers in the middle. Consider: - Maybe the modern captains are under too much time pressure ? Can we reduce the game to 40 overs instead without altering the duration ? (that should reduce the utility of Mike Hussey, the rush-thru-my-overs bowler). - Can we give the teams freedom to use the 2nd new ball as & when the fielding pleases ? After 20th over ? fine. Last 5 overs - fine!

    So teams would use best bowler+ball for the conditions.

  • Alex on February 21, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    Am I the only one can see why Collingwood was included in the list, in ODI cricket nobody is questioning his ability to be bowl out his 10 overs and keep it tight in the middle and even take wickets, however at test level he was the 6th bowler before Flintoff retired, just taking overs out of the game, and similarly used to give the front-line bowlers a rest after Flintoff went.

  • Ismail on February 21, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Pakistan need to sort their team selection out. They need kamran akmal opening the innings as an aggressive quick scoring option. His keeping might be bad at times but he more than makes up for it in his aggressive batting style. Abdul razzaq also needs to be brought back in to the side. He is a handy bowler and a huge hitter to accompany Shahid afridi lower down the order. Pakistan must also consist with Shoaib malik he has been out of form in the past year or so but such a quality player who can rotate the strike as we saw in today's game. His off spin also comes handy and his experience is another thing. Three players Pakistan must include if they want to consistently win.

  • Muhammad Zulfiqar on February 21, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Oh come over it, every one knows this new rule of bowling different ball from each end is simply a conspiracy of the west to limit the reverse swing that Asian bowlers are capable of. Just imagine a bowl will never be older than 25 and if it reverse swings yet, than they will say, Irfan Pathan has done bowl tampering, it is ridiculous.

  • Damian on February 21, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    There are 2 good reasons to throw in a part timer. The first is that the change of bowling style can disrupt the batsmen. The second is that a couple of inexpensive part time overs will provide options further down the innings, in case one of the frontline bowlers is having a mare.

  • Mustafa Moiz on February 21, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Why did you include Paul Collingwood?

  • Mark Checkley on February 21, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Please don't put Collingwood in the same bracket as the others. Collingwood was / is a proper bowler. Nearly 1000 ODI overs bowled with over 100 ODI wickets at an average of thirty eight and a half is the bowling performance of a batting allrounder. In the right conditions - which admittedly didn't come all that often - his swing and control could be quite devastating - best performance 6 for 31.

  • Tybalt on February 21, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    He got turn! He turned a ball that was practically still shiny. How is KP bowling one over and getting some turn and discomfiting the batsmen not fun?

    Also, it tells me that England are about to get their asses handed to them. If the pitch turns enough for KP to give a few gentle problems to a set batsman, England are going to score about 68 against Rehman, Hafeez and Ajmal.

  • aamir on February 21, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Haha - yeah ODI cricket is nowhere near as good as the traditional powerplay overs from 1-15. This new two ball rule favours new ball bowlers and limits scoring opportunities towards the end of an innings which I used to love watching.

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  • aamir on February 21, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    Haha - yeah ODI cricket is nowhere near as good as the traditional powerplay overs from 1-15. This new two ball rule favours new ball bowlers and limits scoring opportunities towards the end of an innings which I used to love watching.

  • Tybalt on February 21, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    He got turn! He turned a ball that was practically still shiny. How is KP bowling one over and getting some turn and discomfiting the batsmen not fun?

    Also, it tells me that England are about to get their asses handed to them. If the pitch turns enough for KP to give a few gentle problems to a set batsman, England are going to score about 68 against Rehman, Hafeez and Ajmal.

  • Mark Checkley on February 21, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    Please don't put Collingwood in the same bracket as the others. Collingwood was / is a proper bowler. Nearly 1000 ODI overs bowled with over 100 ODI wickets at an average of thirty eight and a half is the bowling performance of a batting allrounder. In the right conditions - which admittedly didn't come all that often - his swing and control could be quite devastating - best performance 6 for 31.

  • Mustafa Moiz on February 21, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Why did you include Paul Collingwood?

  • Damian on February 21, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    There are 2 good reasons to throw in a part timer. The first is that the change of bowling style can disrupt the batsmen. The second is that a couple of inexpensive part time overs will provide options further down the innings, in case one of the frontline bowlers is having a mare.

  • Muhammad Zulfiqar on February 21, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Oh come over it, every one knows this new rule of bowling different ball from each end is simply a conspiracy of the west to limit the reverse swing that Asian bowlers are capable of. Just imagine a bowl will never be older than 25 and if it reverse swings yet, than they will say, Irfan Pathan has done bowl tampering, it is ridiculous.

  • Ismail on February 21, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Pakistan need to sort their team selection out. They need kamran akmal opening the innings as an aggressive quick scoring option. His keeping might be bad at times but he more than makes up for it in his aggressive batting style. Abdul razzaq also needs to be brought back in to the side. He is a handy bowler and a huge hitter to accompany Shahid afridi lower down the order. Pakistan must also consist with Shoaib malik he has been out of form in the past year or so but such a quality player who can rotate the strike as we saw in today's game. His off spin also comes handy and his experience is another thing. Three players Pakistan must include if they want to consistently win.

  • Alex on February 21, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    Am I the only one can see why Collingwood was included in the list, in ODI cricket nobody is questioning his ability to be bowl out his 10 overs and keep it tight in the middle and even take wickets, however at test level he was the 6th bowler before Flintoff retired, just taking overs out of the game, and similarly used to give the front-line bowlers a rest after Flintoff went.

  • Al on February 21, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    If you are focusing on the fact that my-fav-allrounder was named here, you are surely missing the point!!

    AFAICT, point of the blog is that new rules should encourage better cricket. eg: it should pit the best batsmen against the best bowlers. Instead it seems to be bringing out part-timers to the front and now part timers to the new cherry [btw, author, in sub-continent, old cherry is a bigger weapon than new cherry! with spin and reversing]. Anyway, my take away from this article is:

    Dear ICC, Please make rules that support putting the best cricketers in the middle. Consider: - Maybe the modern captains are under too much time pressure ? Can we reduce the game to 40 overs instead without altering the duration ? (that should reduce the utility of Mike Hussey, the rush-thru-my-overs bowler). - Can we give the teams freedom to use the 2nd new ball as & when the fielding pleases ? After 20th over ? fine. Last 5 overs - fine!

    So teams would use best bowler+ball for the conditions.