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'No one hit Joel'
Part seven: With Joel Garner in your side, you got steep bounce, accuracy, and a bowler willing to bowl against the wind. Also, the tailenders didn't trouble you at all (00:00)
Producer: Ranjit Shinde
March 20, 2012
'No one hit Joel'March 20, 2012
Joel Garner would be in my team. He was a freak - 6ft 8in, a lovely-natured man off the field. He bowled with this high action - probably at least two feet higher than most people get their arm up to - to deliver the ball. So we, as batsmen, get used to a certain level where the bowlers deliver the ball. He got up high, very high, and, because of his height, then the high action, and he jumped up as he delivered - got up as tall as he could - he got bounce.
He was able to bowl just short of the length, and the ball, instead of getting about waist-high, was always up on your chest… very difficult to force away off the back foot. So he could attack you, yet very difficult to hit.
He had a fantastic yorker. I think anybody who saw him bowl at tailenders… he cleaned them up as fast as they came in. He was just a wonderful bowler.
I remember a Test match when we first played against West Indies. By then he had come to play for Somerset as well as West Indies, and Ian Botham played with him and Viv Richards. And I said to Ian Botham, "Where do score off Joel?" He said, "You don't, Fiery." I said, "What? What about when Viv plays in the nets against him?" He said, "He doesn't hit, nobody hits Joel." I said, "Right, then I will go to bed… there is not much point in talking about him." He said, "You might steer him past gully, you might steer him off the hip, but he is very, very difficult to hit."
When you think about cricket, it is very rare in a game - whatever pitch or whatever stadium you are playing at - that both ends are ideally the same. There is usually some breeze sometimes in some parts of the world, so there is one best end for the quick bowlers to bowl, and there is one end that is slightly uphill, or slightly against the wind, and the quick bowlers don't want to bowl from that end. Now Joel could do that. He wasn't out-and-out fast but he was sharp enough. And with the bounce, the accuracy… he was quick enough, and he could bowl, no problem. He was just an unbelievably unusual bowler.
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