England cricket July 15, 2014

England's obsession with pace

Peter Miller, in All Out Cricket, takes aim at the importance placed on express pace in the selection of England seam bowlers

Pace has gained a significant priority among England's selectors when scouting for prospective Test bowlers. Peter Miller, in All Out Cricket, posits that batsmen at the highest level enjoy the ball coming on better and find themselves more in a quandary when the ball moves late off a good line and length. He speaks to several bowlers in the sub-85 mph category, who excel using this method, but have not been given a chance in the international arena.

"I do get frustrated at times by them focusing so much on the pace of the bowler," said Jim Allenby, the Glamorgan seamer who averages 27 in first-class cricket. "Equally this obsession with tall bowlers I don't quite understand. At the moment, if you are tall you get taken away to an England programme and if you are fast you get taken away to an England programme. Someone like James Harris, or Will Gidman or countless others are not getting the same recognition as a guy who takes half the wickets and is a foot taller or bowls 10mph quicker."