Cricket: Abysmal Bowling Offers Little Optimism for Ashes Tour

By Blofeld, Henry | The Independent (London, England), August 24, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Cricket: Abysmal Bowling Offers Little Optimism for Ashes Tour


Blofeld, Henry, The Independent (London, England)


THERE'S NOTHING wrong with having a couple of bad days at the office. As long as they are not that bad. England have had a good summer, having beaten Sri Lanka and now being one Test up against India. Then, on the first morning here, they found themselves bowling on a day on which the ball swung, there was movement off the seam and signs of an uneven bounce.

After the first two overs it would not have been unreasonable to expect that India would have been hard pressed to reach 250. As it was, the seam bowlers were wide of the stumps and the Indian batsmen were able to leave alone an absurd number of balls.

On the first evening the coach, Duncan Fletcher, was outspoken in criticism of his attack. He will surely not have minced his words with the bowlers themselves and one expected them to take the field on the second day mindful of what was expected of them.

The pitch had not changed character, the new ball was only nine overs old and the opportunity was there. But by then the psychological advantage had shifted so significantly to India that Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were able to make light of the conditions.

Nasser Hussain, in his customary way, kept changing the bowling and the field placings, but with no effect.

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