County set - Somerset July 15, 2004

Who'd be a bowler?

Rob Steen
The bowling averages at the end of June should have come with a parental warning: all the Somerset regulars' Championship wickets were costing 30-plus

The bowling averages at the end of June should have come with a parental warning: all the Somerset regulars' Championship wickets were costing 30-plus. Even more staggering than those rumours about Andy Caddick joining the US professional circuit was his average of almost 38. There was no faulting the effort. He had toiled for 427 overs, 50 more than anyone else on the circuit and 140 more than any other seamer.

"Caddy would be the first to admit he's struggled," says Peter Bowler. "He's a slightly different bowler bowling at a slightly lesser pace. Whereas he used to bowl around 88mph he's down to 82; guys are getting on the front foot. Still, it wouldn't surprise me if he gets another 40 wickets at 26 in the second half of the season and pushes for a tour."

Is there a bigger luck-free zone than Richard Johnson? After securing Man-of-the-Match medals in each of his first two Tests last year, back and knee problems spurred him to modify his action, reducing pressure on the knee and increasing momentum through the crease: a dozen four-day wickets at 57 promised a lengthy transition, whereupon he turned an ankle. "It may be a blessing in disguise," reasons Bowler. "This way he can sort out all the injuries and hopefully come back a new man."

Moment of the month Simon Francis hitting Leicestershire's in-form Brad Hodge with a bouncer, then bowling him - a preview of the 2006-07 Ashes?