Saturday, 21 August 2010

Anderson’s ducks and Pakistan’s ProBatter

Jimmy’s acquired a taste for poultry

Jimmy Anderson’s first 54 innings in Test cricket were totally duck-free. The Lancastrian had looked on course to challenge AB de Villiers’ record of 78 Test innings without a duck when Ben Hilfenhaus brought his streak to an end in last summer’s Ashes-decider. However, it appears Anderson has since acquired something of a taste for poultry.

15 innings on, his duck-count has already risen to five. He’s bagged one in each of the first three Tests of England's series against Pakistan.

Incidentally, I wonder whether anyone pointed out to Anderson that coming into the recently concluded Oval Test, Yasir Hameed had managed 45 innings without a duck. Jim fixed that, dismissing Hameed for a first-baller on the last morning.

A better ProBatter

A few weeks ago, Simon Hughes wrote an interesting piece on England’s training methods, entitled "Ten reasons why England will be world No 1." Reason number one was ProBatter, a gizmo which is essentially a combination of a bowling machine and a projector screen. It “looks very futuristic and very funky,” according to Wing Commander Strauss. Apparently it has been used in baseball for over a decade but Andy Flower’s coaching team is the first to use it in cricket.

It’s early days yet, but it must be said that three Tests on, England’s top seven don’t look much better for having used ProBatter.

Pakistan belatedly decided to bring in their own pro batter for the third Test. It looked like this.

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