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Check out the bowling analysis for England in the Australian second innings, and you'd imagine Simon Jones was the worst of the lot
July 23, 2005
Check out the bowling analysis for England in the Australian second innings, and you'd imagine that Steve Harmison was easily the best of the four pace bowlers. And the worst? You'd reckon it would be Simon Jones - after all, his figures don't make for great reading: 69 runs in 18 overs, that's nearly four an over, and just the wicket of Jason Gillespie to show for it. That's pretty ordinary bowling, it would appear.
However, with some luck, those stats could easily have read 4 for 50, or better. Jones had four chances dropped off him, all of which were eminently catchable. As the graphic shows, Jones bowled the highest percentage of potential wicket-taking deliveries - that's balls which beat the bat, were edged, or rapped the batsmen on the pad. Of the 109 balls he bowled, 30 of them forced the batsmen to play a stroke they weren't in control of. And on the third morning, that percentage went up to a whopping 35.71 (15 out of 42 balls) - that's even better than Steve Harmison's 34.8% in Australia's first innings. However, the fielders supported Harmison fairly well - four of his five victims were caught. Jones, on the other hand, had to entirely make his own dismissals, and by the end of the innings, the only person he could trust with catches was himself.
After limping out of international cricket, Lance Klusener slipped off the radar, but his coaching stint with Dolphins has given them a higher profile and self-belief