Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Caddick Is Back to Square One

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Caddick Is Back to Square One

Article excerpt


ANDY CADDICK went backwards with his limp first day bowling performance at Lord's.

The temperature may have risen to midsummer levels two months ahead of schedule and Sri Lanka's batsmen soon warmed to their pleasurable task on what was the flattest of flat pitches.

But Caddick just blew cold and cold when England were looking for him to set a shining example at the start of the season's first npower Test series.

Only Andrew Flintoff, of Nasser Hussain's four frontline bowlers, did commendably well yesterday as Sri Lanka, having won a particularly useful toss, reached 314 for three.

But it was Caddick, rather than Matthew Hoggard, Dominic Cork or Flintoff, who should have led the way as England's senior paceman in the continued absence of Darren Gough.

The Somerset seamer didn't care for it much when someone pointed out to him in New Zealand last winter that a vast majority of his best bowling returns have come from the second innings of Test matches, rather than the first.

Tests are generally won and lost by what happens before halftime.

Whether a coincidence or not, Caddick responded by taking six for 59 first up at Wellington and then four for 70 in Auckland. As it happens, England triumphed neither time but through no fault of their main wicket-taker.

It would have been a remarkable performance if any bowler had struck five times at Lord's yesterday, so beautiful were the batting conditions.

But Caddick fell way short of what was possible, especially with the first new ball. Nobody knew at that stage whether there would be any deviation off the seam or through the air and yet Caddick appeared to be floating his deliveries up to Sri Lanka's openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu.

Hussain gave his No1 bowler just five overs before making a change. Twelve more throughout the day contributed to an analysis of 17-1-62-0. It is because Caddick can be so good that his poor performances seem all the more disappointing. …

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