Monday, May 29, 2006

"Don't field, don't bat, what do you do...?"

Ah, but he can spin a ball rather beautifully...
Another swashbuckling century from Kevin Pieterson aside (almost too swashbuckling, a scolding Steve James suggests), the delight of England's Second Test win over Sri Lanka has been the eccentric entertainment of Monty Panesar.
An utter clown in the field, and a real ferret in the batting line-up (coming in after the rabbits, natch)... but some lovely left-arm finger spin.
If Ashley Giles ever regains fitness, though, Monty may need to start doing better than two-fer or three-fer to keep his place, judging by Duncan Fletcher's customary insistence on all-round contributions...

But still, for the time being...

I'd have loved to have been able to get to Edgbaston for the Test, but had to make do with internet and TV coverage. When studying in Birmingham, I spent my second year living a few minutes' walk around the corner from the ground (I insisted I lived in genteel, green-trimmed Edgbaston - technically, it was actually down-at-hell, red-light-zone Balsall Heath...), and in the summer would enjoy paying £3 or so to enter the ground on the way home from a morning on campus, sit watching a county game alongside, ooh, about three other spectators, with a good book propped on my knees and the knack of spot-on timing, so I could read a few lines before raising my eyes for each delivery. Lovely stuff.

Which reminds me, I really did intend to find a local cricket team (or pub side) to try to play for this summer, but have probably left it too late.
It's been too long, since dim, distant schooldays and summer holiday sessions in the nets, doing my best to study finger grips and spinning techniques, without much success...
As one sports teacher told me, sort-of-encouragingly, as I completed another over with better intentions than actual delivery...
"Okay, good, good - if we can just get some turn on your bowling, we might have something to work with there..."

Hmm. Inspiring. A spin bowler without spin. That would be, then: a slow bowler.
Eat your heart out, Shane Warne...

Still, I liked to tell myself I could at least field in the slips quite reliably, and even sometimes bat a bit.
Honestly, Monty...

3 comments:

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Love the "Adam Ant" segue!

Toxic said...

The sad thing is he puts all that effort and work into it and he's still useless and the ball follows him around all over the pitch.

Lyndon said...

fella, a week and a half til the world cup and you're talking cricket?