Tag Archives: lefties

Graeme Swann excels for England – Top Spin at the Test

Swann bags himself a new rabbit on day of toil for Bresnan



21:14 GMT, 15 November 2012

When Gautam Gambhir was bowled by Graeme Swann, he became his official Test bunny.

Gambhir, Swann's first Test victim in Chennai in 2008, has now fallen to him six times in Tests.

Like Gambhir, the four men whose wicket Swann has claimed five times are all lefties: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marcus North, Rangana Herath and Devon Smith.

Bunny Swann has the making of Gambhir

Bunny Swann has the making of Gambhir

But Swann also bagged three half-decent right-handers – Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli.

Bresnan stumped by blitz

It was a chastening day for Tim Bresnan, selected ahead of Monty Panesar. He was treated harshly by Sehwag, who scored 36 runs from the 29 balls Bresnan bowled to him, including 14 in three balls: a drive through extra cover, a whip wide of mid-on, then a murderous straight six.

Only Stuart Broad escaped serious punishment at Sehwag’s hands, conceding 18 runs off 28 deliveries.

India v England – pictures

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Sehwag finding his feet

For Sehwag, his 23rd Test century was only his second against England in 23 attempts — a record that includes six ducks. He now averages a modest 31 against them, 20 fewer than his overall average and lower than against any other Test nation.

The innings also came in the nick of time. His previous Test hundred was two years ago against New Zealand — also at Ahmedabad.

Pujara enjoys a game of patience

India's No 3 Cheteshwar Pujara looked the part in his first Test innings against England, patiently battling through a tight post-tea spell from Swann and Jimmy Anderson. But 24-year-old Pujara, from nearby Rajkot, is used to playing the waiting game.

On Test debut, against Australia at Bangalore in October 2010, he had his pads on in the pavilion for six hours and 22 minutes while Murali Vijay and Sachin Tendulkar put on 308. Pujara was out third ball.

Trott eases quicks' burden

Some questioned why Jonathan Trott was fielding at slip when he dropped Kohli on four off Swann after tea.

But England had always planned for him to replace Anderson in that position off the spinners because they don’t want their attack leader to be mentally exhausted in this heat. Trott is a regular in the slips when he plays for Warwickshire.

James Anderson: Dale Steyn knows how to hurt me but Vernon Philander is Proteas" unsung hero

We're determined to stay top and I will lead from the front



23:54 GMT, 14 July 2012

It's a shame for all concerned that our eagerly awaited series against
South Africa is only going to played over three Tests.

A contest between
the highest-ranked sides in world cricket is a fantastic prospect for
spectators, but no one will be more excited than the players.

Of course
we set out to win every series and every match we play, but there is no
getting away from how much is at stake here – not just that No 1 ranking
as a team but, for us bowlers, the title of the best pace attack in
world cricket.

Danger man: Dale Steyn celebrates the wicket of Kevin Pietersen

Danger man: Dale Steyn celebrates the wicket of Kevin Pietersen

A quick look at their bowlers shows the size of the task.
Dale Steyn has been No 1 in the ICC rankings for some time.

He's quick,
he swings the ball, he's accurate and he can bowl all day. He never
seems to get tired, never seems to slow down.

Morne Morkel presents a
different challenge: with his height he bowls that back-of-a–length
area, bringing the ball into the ribs of the right-handers and he's
excellent against the lefties as well.

More from James Anderson…

James Anderson: Winning at The Oval was our tribute to tragic Tom

James Anderson: Sitting out an England Test will never be an easy ask

James Anderson: It can get fierce but don't kill off our aggression

James Anderson: It's so good to see the skipper come through his tough trot in style


James Anderson: If I stay fit, I might just get near to Botham's record haul of wickets

James Anderson: Even the Sri Lankans admit nobody spins it better than Swann

James Anderson: Cook's grand plan to get rid of Strauss

James Anderson: We'll hit back … there's no way we're this bad


Jacques Kallis has been world
class for so long. Maybe because of his batting his bowling tends to be
overshadowed, but he will not be underrated by us.

To me, though, the
dark horse could be Vernon Philander, who has had a phenomenal start to
his Test career, taking 51 wickets in just seven matches at an average
of 14.15.

He's very skilled, can swing the ball, nip it off the seam and
looks ideally suited to English conditions.

Some have criticised
Somerset for continuing his education by signing him for the early part
of the season.

I'm not sure it's going to give him a huge advantage.
He's played over here before for Middlesex so he knows the conditions

Inevitably, given Steyn is rated No 1 and I am currently No 3,
apparently, in those ratings, some have talked of a head-to-head.

I do
have 'fond' memories of our last meeting, when we were batting out for a
draw at Headingley in 2008.

I'd hung around for a bit, he started
coming round the wicket at me, and I got hit on the wrist.

The physio
and the doctor came out and decided I was OK to carry on.

The next ball
was quite quick and I was late getting out of the way, turned my back
and it smashed the side of helmet into my jaw.

Impressive: Vernon Philander has started very well

Impressive: Vernon Philander has started very well

I don't think I lasted
much longer after that. But it's a reminder of the difficulty he poses
in that he's relatively short, so his bouncer is skiddy and hard to get
out the way of.

Hopefully, I can use my experience to play it slightly
better next time … in other words: duck.

Steyn has talked about part of
his role being to do the talking as well as the bowling – trying to get
into the batsman verbally because the fielding side take their lead from
that sort of battle.

I also see my job as being to set the tone and, at
times, you do need to get in someone's face. But showing aggression
doesn't always have to be about words or the odd look at a batsman.

Aggression is key: James Anderson will lead the attack against South Africa

Aggression is key: James Anderson will lead the attack against South Africa

you show aggressiveness with your bowling, accuracy and making the
batter play, the fielders are lifted and energised just as much.

I also
see that Dale reckons South Africa are already the best team in the
world and now just have to prove it.

Well, I do think we've been
fortunate to stay at No 1 since we got there.

We didn't play well in the
winter and we needed results to go our way, which they did.

What we
want to do is not only dominate in England but also win in other

At the moment we are ranked No 1 and that's where we're
determined to stay, but until we start winning more away from home there
are always going to be questions.

Michael Holding guide to Kemar Roach

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Holding's guide to West Indies' new spearhead… Kemar Roach



22:44 GMT, 15 May 2012

West Indies have finally got a young fast bowler to get excited about – the 23-year-old Kemar Roach, who has taken 62 wickets in 17 Tests. Windies legend Michael Holding examines the tourists' likeliest match-winner…

The lowdown

Kemar Roach looks like a proper attack leader. He bowled really well against Australia recently, and he's now removed Ricky Ponting five times in Tests – not a bad bunny! He's accurate, and just fast enough to trouble the best batsmen.

Warming up: Kemar Roach at the West Indies nets session at Lord's on Tuesday

Warming up: Kemar Roach at the West Indies nets session at Lord's on Tuesday

His strengths

I like the fact he thinks about the game for himself. I've seen him bowl badly in his first spell, then improve in his second – without going off the field to get any advice. Not a lot of youngsters reflect so critically on their game.

His English targets

I can see him troubling Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, because he bowls very well to left-handers. Against Australia he went round the wicket a lot to the lefties, but the ball will do more in England so he can stay over the wicket and use his natural angle.

Accurate and fast: Roach's deadly combination

Accurate and fast: Roach's deadly combination

His trust for the coach

He gets on well with Ottis Gibson, who knows a thing or two about how to bowl in England. He's spoken well about his relationship with the coach, and that's key in a dressing room which has little time for supposed trouble-makers.

How to use him

My one concern is that he will be overbowled if West Indies persist with an attack of two quicks, plus the medium pace of captain Darren Sammy and a spinner. Ideally, Roach shouldn't bowl more than 16 overs in a day, preferably over three spells.

The goal

Roach has got to be careful about nailing the right length. A good length in England is fuller than it is in the Caribbean, but I'm confident he'll work this out pretty quickly. He's not a very tall man, so if he bowls too short, he could be pulled easily.

His run-up

Everything about his action is spot on – he looks the business. But I would like to see him use his run-up more efficiently. Does he realise the impact a more rhythmical and longer run-up can have If he can work that out, he can expend less energy too.

Kevin Pietersen: Lefties don"t have me in a spin

Lefties don't have me in a spin, insists Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen admits he has been
shocked by the calibre of the Pakistan bowling in this Test series but
insists he does not have a big problem against left-arm spin.

Pietersen went into the third
Test in Dubai defending his record, emphasising his commitment to
England and insisting that he would relish the chance to open the
batting in the one-day series that follows this match.

Turn up: Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal, second right, celebrates dismissal of Kevin Pietersen

Turn up: Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal celebrates dismissal of Kevin Pietersen

'I think the mystery of Saeed Ajmal has shocked us a little bit,' said Pietersen in a revealing interview with Sportsmail columnist Nasser Hussain, which will be broadcast on Sky Sports on Friday.

'And they've bowled really well. It's really good spin bowling we actually haven't faced in the last few years.

'I think it's not really the spin, it's the speed at which it's spun and the times it hasn't spun. That's the difference.

'Pakistan and India are incredible outfits in their back yard so we've got to be realistic and look deep. We've had some fantastic team meetings about how we want to try to combat this reputation that England teams don't survive in the subcontinent.

'OK, we've not done it in the first two Tests but now we want to really start getting to the nuts and bolts of playing spin bowling.'

Pietersen again fell to left-arm spin when Abdur Rehman got him in the second Test at Abu Dhabi.

Leader of the pack: Kevin Pietersen during a training session in Dubai

Leader of the pack: Pietersen during a training session in Dubai

It is a mode of dismissal that has happened just too often to write off as coincidence but England's No 4 insists that although there was a problem, there is not one now.

'It's a media thing,' he said. 'The one the other day was unfortunate. It was an “umpire's call”. It's something that I've had to work on as I had a flaw a few years ago because of the way I played against it and the new DRS system.

'I've had to change the way I play against left-arm spinners. Averaging 37 against left-arm spin is not a train smash. If I was averaging 10 against them then I'd have a problem.'

So why does Pietersen seem to attract more criticism than other England batsmen when things go wrong 'It is the way I play,' he said. 'I can't explain a dismissal like the second innings the other day (holing out in the first Test in Dubai). If you have a look at the way I played there was no way in the world I tried to hit that guy for six. I just tried to help it on its way.

'But it's worked for me so many times that, goodness, if I'm going to go down I want to go my way.'

Now, a man who has a dismal record in one-day cricket over the last three years wants the chance to open in the 50-over game against Pakistan, saying: 'I haven't really had a chance to think about it but I loved opening during the World Cup. And it would be nice to face some seamers before the spinners turn their arm over! We haven't spoken one-dayers yet but when we do it sounds like a good option.'

Do you still enjoy one-day cricket 'I've committed myself to playing it as long as I keep enjoying it and as long as I keep doing it. I'd love to play in the next World Cup in 2015 but it's a long way away.'