Category Archives: IPL

IPL Auction – Day 2 Preview: Unsold and Uncapped players

Day one of the IPL (Indian Premier League) auction has come to an end, which means that franchises will be gearing up to scrap over remaining unsold and uncapped players on day two.

The eight franchises have a remaining budget, and can bid once more for unsold players from day one, in addition to uncapped players.

A full list of uncapped players can be found here, although not all uncapped players will go under the hammer, because franchises largely chose who will be placed auctioned.

Here is an overview of the facts, the figures, and the potential swoops to look out for!

Purse remaining and player limit for franchises:

4

*Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Delhi Daredevils (DD), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Mumbai Indians (MI), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

Players will be listed according to their role, in addition to their base price (₹ Indian rupee) that they will be placed into the auction.

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IPL reaches its final stages

The IPL (Indian Premier League) has entered its closing and pivotal stage, with four teams through, and of course only one winner to emerge.

It has been 72 games of scintillating T20 action, and with the group stage complete, the top two sides play each other in a Qualifier, before the third and fourth sides play each other in an eliminator. One side from the qualifier goes to the final, and the other finalist is determined by a second qualifier, between the loser of the first qualifier and the winner of the eliminator.

The first qualifier will be Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and The Mumbai Indians (MI). The  eliminator will be between the third and fourth places from the group stage; the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and new side Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

The first qualifier: CSK Vs. MI (21/05)

Firstly looking at Chennai Super Kings, they have arguably the worlds first super team. They are led by MS Dhoni with the bat, in the field and also due to image and personality in India, often from the support in the stands too.  Their batting order only gets better as it goes, with T20 giants such as Michael Hussey (their leading run scorer with 646 runs so far), Suresh Raina, Ravi Jadeja and Murali Vijay.

Undoubtedly CSK’s most valuable attribute is Dhoni’s seemingly superhuman ability to come into matches and win games from absolutely nowhere. No matter how long the chase is, he has time and time again defied belief.

Chennai also have an impressive bowling unit. This is led very well by Dwayne Bravo (25 wickets), Mohit Sharma (17 wickets) and India’s national side’s off spinner Ravi Ashwin.

Moving on to Mumbai Indians,  whose campaign has meandered, they in all honesty are rather lucky to have done so well. The Ricky Ponting – Sachin Tendulkar (Pondulkar) experiment was an abject failure, with Ponting playing just six games despite being named captain, and Sachin scoring just one fifty all tournament, yet of course being undroppable.

Mumbai are second in spite of these two, as they have been expertly pulled through by Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard and Dinesh Khartik, and their bowlers.

Their bowlers have really been the standout of their side, in particular their International class bowlers; Mitchell Johnson who has had a welcome return to form, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and of course the slinger Lasith Malinga. Collectively these four have taken 73 wickets. Nobody else has surpassed 8 wickets for them.

It would certainly be likely that Chennai would win this qualifier and book their place in the final. Of course this would mean that Mumbai would play the winner of the eliminator. Due to the scandal over Sri Lankan players being banned from playing in Chennai, the game is being played in Delhi to avoid an unfair advantage.

The eliminator is between Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Rajasthan Royals, and it will also be played in Delhi on the 22/05.

Rajasthan Royals have been rocked by a hugely damaging spot fixing scandal, in which three of their players have been arrested. Nevertheless, they find themselves in the position of potentially winning IPL 6. Rahul Dravid has been simply heroic in his leadership and batsmenship, and just about every cricket fan would love to see him triumphant.

Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul himself have really shone RR. Since winning the tournament in the first year, they have been utterly uninspiring, but this year they have really found some form and momentum. Brad Hodge has been particularly dissapointing, with no fifties at all. They look strong because they are well led, but certainly lack substance.

Their bowling on the other hand is arguably a strength, but really they would require a lot more to win. Their overseas stars have been the mainstay of their success with Australian James Faulkner so far having taken 26 wickets, and West Indian Kevin Cooper 17. Beyond this there is very limited depth.

Their opposition are the Sunrisers Hyderabad. A side with the best bowler in the world, Dale Steyn and Kumar Sangakarra, amongst others have been very poor with the bat, and very good with the ball. Parthiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan have been the outstanding players with the bat (which is very loosely used). They are without doubt a side with more bowling than batting strength.

Their entire batting has been a major dissapointment infact, with the top run scorer from the Sunrisers being ranked nearly 25th in the overall run scorers list this IPL. They are clearly a side that rely more on bowling. Sangakarra is unlikely to feature, as Cameron White will take over captaincy for the remainder. After mustering a high score of just 28, Sangakarra has been abysmal.

Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra have dominated for the Sunrisers with nearly 40 wickets combined. Thishara Perera and Ishant Sharma have also been key contributants. The Sunrisers do not have the strength of CSK in any department, but they are not as weak as Rajasthan. They have however surprised just about everyone that doubted them.

Few gave them a chance, and they have emphatically reached the top four through being one of the top bowling sides. If this predictions is correct, Chennai will make the final, and the Sunrisers will face Mumbai in the second qualifier. It wouldn’t surprise many people should Sunrisers carry momentum and defeat Mumbai in a potential second qualifier. From the start the Sunrisers have been real dark horses. Don’t write them off making it to the final and winning it.

West Indies Team Preview – T20 World Cup

West Indies 15 man squad:  D. Sammy (c), Dwayne. Bravo (v/c), S. Badree, Darren. Bravo, J. Charles, F. Edwards, C. Gayle, K. Pollard, S. Narine, D. Ramdin (wkt), R. Rampaul, A. Russell, M. Samuels, L. Simmons, D. Smith

The West Indies have a genuine front line chance of winning this. They are not really underdogs at all. They have powerhouse batting lineup with IPL stars and the best bowler in the IPL who recieved the player of the tournament. The likes of Pollard, Samuels, and the Bravos back up the powerful Gayle and his probable partner Simmons or Smith.

T20 World cup record :  P:13  W:6   WIn % : 46.15%  L:7   NR/T:0

Best performance: Semi finals 2009

With the bat:

Chris Gayle is the obvious star man. He has a SR of 143.91 with 7 fifties, 1 ton and 67 sixes. He holds the most runs for the WI in T20 Internationals and also the most T20 International 50’S for them. Gayle’s 2012 IPL stats are also daunting with 733 runs (the most),  59 sixes  (the most). and plenty of hundreds.

Brutal Chris Gayle bashes the opposition away

Dwayne Bravo  provides big hitting and a SR of 130.19. He has  3 fifties and  22 sixes. He is a swashbuckling right handed all rounder  who will be invaluable both with bat and ball. In a potentially very unstable unit capable of special things  he could be the glue. His Brother may not play all the games with spaces in the side hard to get, but his brother has the Brian Lara flair about him. Not to the same extent or ability, but he is also a special player in tests and ODI at least.

Marlon Samuels has had an incredible breakthrough year batting his career back on the road to success. He has been successful in Tests and T20 but not so successful in the IPL or in International T20. If his good form continues he could be devastating. However, if he fails the middle order could quickly collapse.

Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard are two allrounders that will also offer some huge six hitting power and useful medium pace. Pollard is definitely a hot and cold batsmen. Either he goes crazy or he gets a duck, but he can make some of Chris Gayle’s hits look like lobs sometimes. He hits it seriously hard and long. Smith also a big hitter with English county experience.

Kieron Pollard can hit a very long ball

With the ball – Seamers:

Darren Sammy will use accuracy and variation such as slower balls, cutters and swing ( 31 wickets at 17.48 average.) He isn’t fast but is useful in T20 because of his control and variations.

Ravi Rampaull (18 International T20 wickets) bowls disciplined lines and lengths and can swing the ball. Good to both left and right handers he is steady but not too threatening.

Fidel Edwards will provide the pace and bounce but can be inconsistent, regularly leaking runs and bowling extra’s. On Sri Lankan pitches it might be very unforgiving.

With the ball – Spinner:

Sunil Narine – Domestic T20 average of 13.58 which is exceptional. He was player of the tournament in the IPL 2012 with 24 wickets at an average of 13.50. He maintains a very low economy of 5.47 and a low average indicating simply that he takes wickets and gives control to the captain. He is surely the man to watch. He can however only bowl 4 overs a match so someone else needs to stand up and help.

Sunil Narine – Player of the tournament in the IPL for the KKR

Cool head:

Darren Sammy – Captain, steady bowler and useful lower order striker. Under his captaincy in 2012 the West Indies beat NZ in a test series in addition to  5 ODI wins out of a possible 7 and  2 T20Is wins out of 3 . He has handled the side well and makes useful contributions. The only possible issue is that the side carry him a little bit. His place is not there on merit entirely, there are certainly better bowlers than him around.

Possible flaw: 

West Indies are a very Batting heavy side. Gayle, Smith Pollard Dwayne and Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels pack the batting line-up but apart from Sunil Narine there is limited bowling stocks. Sammy is not so much threatening but steady. Rampaull accurate but not dangerous and Edwards offers pace but is often wayward.

Prospects:

The West Indies need big scores from their powerhouse batting lineup. Batting is their strength. If they can do this with the likes of Narine, Rampaull and Edwards in the bowling stocks, there is no reason why they cannot win the tournament. They should cruise past Ireland to join the Aussies in the semi’s. I wouldn’t put it past them to defeat the Aussies. The issue for them is an over reliance on their enigmatic opener Gayle and their slightly light bowling stocks.

Australia Team preview – T20 World Cup

Australia 15 man squad: G. Bailey (capt), S. Watson (vc), D. Christian, P. Cummins, X. Doherty, B. Hilfenhaus, B. Hogg, D. Hussey, M. Hussey, G. Maxwell, C. McKay, M. Starc, M. Wade, D. Warner, C. White.

Australia are traditionally a side that refuse to give up. Until the umpire calls the game to an end they fight to win it. They dig in, they are gritty and hard working, tight knit and high class. They may not have the players of the past but they are still playing high quality cricket. They need their inexperienced seamers to fire if they are to win.

T20 World cup record :  P15 : W:9   Win %: 60% , L: 6   NR/T:0

Best performance: Runners up in 2010

With the bat :

Watson  has a SR of 152, with 7 fifties and 43 sixes which is 3rd on overall list. He offers a reliable start and has shown ability to play very well especially straight. His runs are invaluable before the experienced Husseys anchor the innings later.

Watson in the IPL

David Warner has a SR of 140.35 with 6 fifties, and 38 sixes which is 5th on overall list. He will be Watson’s opening partner and is capable of big hitting all around the ground. He does occasionally give it away so could be an early wicket and teams will target this. He is a seriously explosive player though and can take any side apart on his day. Look out in the crowd !

David Hussey: Has a SR of 112 , 3 Fifties, and 33 Sixes. He is experienced. Perhaps not what he used to be, but still a very solid middle overs batsmen. His Brother Michael Hussey is obviously also a very high class batsmen especially in pressure situations. David Hussey has struggled in the sub C against spin occasionally.

With the ball  – Seamers:

Starc is a Left arm fast bowler that has taken 13 wickets in the Big Bash and 22 wickets in the English T20 league (the most). He is the ‘next big thing’ of Australian cricket for many. If he turns up for Australia in the same way he has domestically then he could be really special.

Clint Mckay could be the control that Bailey needs. He has limited T20 experience but is a fine line and length bowler. He is disciplined and able to vary his pace. He could be the control that Bailey has.. If he plays. Hilfenhaus is also a good experienced line and length bowler

Pat Cummins is a 19 year old injury prone, quick right arm fast bowler. He can move the ball at pace. If he stays fit he could be an exciting prospect. He is relatively unknown as he is so young and has not played a huge amount of cricket. He is in somewhat of a battle with James Pattinson for the fast bowling spot in the test side.

Pat Cummins at Lords, impressed

With the ball – Spin:

Hogg, Left arm Chinaman – Now past forty years old has come out of retirement and collected 13 wickets in the big bash. He averaged 18. He is unorthodox to many as left arm Chinaman is not a common trade. He could collect some wickets with his flight and variations, especially his lethal flipper and googly. In Sri Lanka a good spinner is vital so Australia need him to fire as Doherty is not a big spinner of the ball if he also plays. I expect Hogg to be the front line spinner.

Cool head:  Michael Hussey – Experienced in all forms of the game. He has performed in test matches, County cricket in Australia and England, One day cricket, T20, IPL, Big bash spin and seam bounce and no bounce. He has done it everywhere from opening to finishing an innings, he is calm  under pressure. He can take his side from a nervy chase put them in strong position from difficulty. If he is solid Australia are fine.

Possible flaw:

Lack of experience in T20: The absence of Michael Clarke will be a hit. George Bailey’s captaincy and batting is also relatively unknown and  arguably weak so it could be a challenge holding his side together to win it. Australia’s leading experienced T20 bowlers i.e. Tait, Lee and Nannes are all absent so the new crop of Hilfenhaus, Starc, Cummins McKay, Maxwell Christian and Doherty have to step up. Despite limited amounts of T20I cricket, they have showed promise in the One day format.

Overall prospect:

Never underestimate the Aussies. The West Indies are their main threat but I expect Australia to beat Ireland to the super eights. They are a strong, gritty and hard working side. Often a tight bowling unit with capable big hitters. They could be the surprise package in the tournament with a relatively unknown side. The likes of Maxwell, Starc, and Christian have all done well domestically and will need to transfer this form over.

Politics of Pietersen

An England side with KP is undeniably a better side than one without him. However, it is important to look at how and why the events that have unfolded have placed him in his current ridiculous and almost entirely self made predicament. I will look at the timeline of events in the ‘Pietersen VS ECB’ fiasco to appreciate the lunacy of the situation and explain why after reading lots of articles and watching lots of interviews. It’s the only possible outcome to see him unfortunately dropped.

The debacle began on the 31st May when Pietersen out of the blue decided to announce he has retired from ODI cricket, citing the “intensity of the schedule”. Shortly after this KP says he will carry on playing T20, which was not an option as the ECB reject this due their  policy on selection. A player must be available for both ODI and T20I in order to play either. It is totally irrelevant that this is an arbitrary and pointless policy,the fact is, that is the policy and Pietersen  thought he could take the ECB on and failed .

The second installment in this soap opera came between the 13th -18th July  when Pietersen hit a brilliant double hundred in a rare appearance for Surrey. He used this as a platform to show his talent that could be missed, but after not being named in the ECB’s provisional 30-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka he is devastated. He back-peddles and tries to get his foot back in the door but states he ‘would only play on the condition that scheduling issues are addressed.” He reasserts his desire to play “in all formats” and simultaneously says he wants scheduling changes which one can only assume are loaded with more retirement threats if not met. Utterly confusing and unstable for the team

Not only is this a not consistent with the ECB central contract regarding availability for all forms but is also completely incompatible. Either he wants to have a break from the schedule or he doesn’t. He can’t ask for a break and go to play more. What else could the ECB do other than say stop trying to dictate to us and assert their authority ?

Pietersen’s magnificent 200 for Surrey

Part three came between the 4th -6th August  with Pietersen’s most dynamic stunning and match saving knock of 149 on day three of the second Test match against South Africa at Headingley. Clearly still seen as stable enough to pick and comfortable enough to perform. Despite this, It was a very obvious nudge in the stomach to the selectors. ‘Pick me or you will will miss this’ kind of knock. The fact is the ECB could have already dropped him but didn’t. They were lenient and although Pietersen’ts antics were unsettling thus far, it’s clear that his talent was still more important than his silly comments and outrageous demands.

Part four  – After opening the batting in a short attempted run chase in the aftermath of his breath taking century, Pietersen gave a inexplicable interview to TMS. He hinted that he could retire from Test cricket  and ‘he could not confirm whether that innings would be his ‘last test innings’’. He voiced his anger that details of his meetings with the ECB have been leaked to the media and said issues within the dressing room need resolving. KP being abrasive and aggressive selfish and egotistical were completely centered around his own interest. He is clearly now harming the balance of the side by personalizing the fiasco, talking about the dressing room outside of the game. His hundred is one thing but his comments are another

Between the 8th-16th  August, after his ton and comments he had a rant about a parody Twitter account – @kevpietersen24. This humorous mocking incident was overshadowed by the subsequent revelation.  Texts   to members of the South African team during the Leeds Test by Pietersen had purportedly spoken ill of captain Strauss and coach Flower. Despite his talent with the bat and form he was in, it would be inexcusable to keep him in the side until the exact details of the messages were revealed and there was clarity over his England future.

KP clawed back dignity when he published a video on YouTube on the 11th of August  in which he reiterates commitment to the England team. He once more changes his mind and claims that he is now available to play for England in all three forms of the game. He also apologized for his behavior and says he must reign himself in.

Between the 12th -14th August  the apology and confirmation of commitment (which was not cleared by the ECB) still led to him being  dropped from the England squad for the third Test at Lord’s.

I know a lot of people such as Piers Morgan looked past his antics and said pick him anyway but The ECB were clear and justified with their dropping of KP. They say he was ‘unable to clarify that the text messages he sent to South African players were not disparaging about his team-mates or the ECB management’. This is a fair reason both due to upsetting other members of the dressing room and the chemistry of the side. Furthermore when the captain says he feels ‘let down’ and  the ECB say there is a ‘trust issue between Pietersen and other players’ the day before a test there is no way he can play. Regardless of his obvious natural class, Pietersen cannot find a way back.

Pietersen walking off at Headingley unknowing of the drama to unfold

Pietersen called a press conference in whcih he apologizes but essentially he had still put himself in an awful situation. The conference was largely saying how he would reveal more after the 3rd test. Little did he know by that point that  the only real option the ECB have was to drop him. He had done just about everything that a player should be dropped for. He has retired and unretired on the basis of personal gain, Slagged off players and coaches in addition to being dis loyal to England wanting to quit international cricket to play IPL.

He has said he will reign himself in. If he does then fine. Get him back. Until that he needs to cool down. I’m sure sooner or later England will need him again and this could be short lived anyway

2nd Test Review

The second Test match between England and South Africa went down to the final session of the final day, which in modern Test cricket is not hugely common. It clearly began with a questionable team and toss selection from England but rapidly became a match heading towards all 3 result being possible. Most cricket fans and writers i read on Twitter and in the media were saying it would end up a dead rubber, as tt ended up, but come the last session with wickets tumbling i wasn’t so sure.

South Africa and England were able to match each other more or less with England picking up a lead of just 6 in the first innings. Alviro Petersen’s 182 and Kevin Pietersen’s exhillerating 149 set up the possibility of a hard fought finale. The pitch being flat yet giving a little bit of seam movement and with clouds a permenant fixture for most the Test meant there was hope for bowlers, reinforced by the fact England went with an all seam attack therefore someone having an inkling that pace could be the key. Rain however effected playing time, the game seemed to be heading towards a draw.

The game meandered along on the fifth day but the tide turned before lunch as Pietersen got a wicket; that of South Africa’s skipper who fell on 123  with fifty two to his name. As a result of a few minor injuries, the slightly disrupted order proved to be something that limited fluency and acceleration.The Proteas never got going really. They fell from 123-1 to 182-3 after Kevin Pietersen followed up a thrilling first innings 149 with the bat, with 3 wickets with the ball.

Graeme Swann must have been bashing his head on the table watching the ball rip around Rudolph, Smith and Amla’s bats, wondering why he wasn’t playing. By the 51’st over Pietersen had bowled his way to 3-41 off eight overs. A fine display from a part time bowler.

Stuart Broad ripped the heart out of South Africa as he removed De Villiers LBW followed by Duminy the very next ball. Shortly after Kallis was bounced out with a brutal short ball and Phillander also LBW. This single spell left South Africa reeling, from 182-3  in the 51st over to 230-7 in the 61st over. He ended the innings getting Morkel caught which gifted him figures of 16.4 overs  2 Maidens 5- 69. A return to form indeed.

Broad’s 5-69 tore through South Africa and Gave England a chance

Smith pulled the plug and set England 253 runs to win in 39 possible overs. This target of 253 in 39 may seem do-able in a CB40 game, but with Test matches these so called ‘dead rubbers’, are so, because unlike limited overs cricket fielding restrictions do not exist and therefore there are more boundary riders. South Africa have a high quality pace attack which is difficult to hit anyway so If England went all out guns blazing, like South Africa tried near the end of their innings i think the only possible result would be lots of wickets.  With the exception of Pietersen the England players are aggressive by Test match standard but not much else, so i doubt they could have attacked for as long.

Strauss is a defensive captain arguably  but  I was pleasantly surprised despite being partially really unsure about how his next move would pay off.  Pietersen was promoted to open in a Test innings , which is not an everyday occurrence. However this was a sign England were going to ‘have a go’ at chasing over 6 an over even if only for a small period.

Initially KP  was double the rate smashing 12 off a wayward Morkel over. Once KP selflessly gave it away in the interests of the team, It became a bit of an self fulfilling prophecy for most England fans that this game would be a draw. The faint hopes Pietersen laid were short lived. England would not be going to hard at this total with Alistair Cook, Strauss, Trott and a debutant in the top 6. For the second match in a row Cook hit a six ( i hope this is not a sign of the apocalypse) in the process of hitting a lovely 46 off 70. Bell and Trott were both solid and Prior incredibly unlucky to be run out.

It was a good debut for James Taylor, who helped to maintain a solid partnership with Pietersen in a difficult period. He occupied the crease for nearly two hours and spent invaluable time with KP.

Paying the price for speeding

On the 13th July 2012 the cricket world woke up to the retirement of Brett Lee. He will always be one of the fastest bowlers of the modern game whether in Colours or whites, Or holding a bat or ball. He had a deadly bouncer and Yorker. In his peak he was able to reach searing paces of up to 98MPH but as he got older he gradually resigned from 98 MPH to around  88 MPH. Famed for his furious speed gun battles with Shoaib Akhtar,  he contributed to a global legacy of fast bowling but also reinforced a legacy that fast bowling meant being blighted by injury and inconsistency.

Shoaib Akhtar responded to  Lee’s retirement regretfully saying the following:  ”Cricket had very few express pace bowlers and now after the retirement of Lee we don’t have any bowler who can bowl 99 mph and the terror on the batsmen will be less”. Whereas the quickest are rated as the most dangerous to batsmen and i wouldn’t for a minute dispute that, their success  in terms of taking TEST wickets and longevity is questionable.

I am considering whether  it is ‘worth’ being an express quick bowler. I am not disputing ability and definitely not their place in the game. Long may it continue. However, the strain on the body of an express pace bowler like Allan Donald, Shane Bond and Brett Lee combined with the lack of breaks in International cricket means a limited career to limited overs due to fatigue, injury and a lack of management.  A quick bowler that suffers an injury is also unlikely to return at the same potent level of pace, as seen with Lee and Shoaib. Is it really worth all the ‘Blood Sweat and tears’?

Shoaib was lethal when he combined accuracy, control and raw blinding pace

Focusing on accuracy as opposed to pace means a bowler has a better wicket taking ability. A batsmen has less margin for error. If they make a mistake they are out. There are less gaps as more precise fields can be set and therefore the batsmen has to force the pace and make mistakes. The out and out quicks  tend to bowl less balls on the stumps. Fast bowlers also tend to bowl a little shorter, as fuller balls are easier to hit and race away at that pace. The typical fast bowler will use a full ball sparingly and focus on a good or short length trying to take catches not lbws or bowled wickets. It is the crucial difference. In this sense fast bowlers can arguably be less potent in terms of wicket taking.

Quick bowlers have less time to play due to losing their lethal pace and injury. For example Holding 60 tests and 249 wickets and retiring from tests at 33. Garner: 58 tests with 259 wickets in a ten year career, Roberts: 47 tests and 202 wickets and playing until just over 30 years old.  Ntini was relatively impotent nearing the end of his career and even Lee was down on pace. It’s inevitable that a fast bowler will have a much more limited period of effectiveness. This questionably implies quicks can not play as long as ‘line and lengthers’

Lee managed 76 tests and 300 wickets and Shoaib ended up with 178 wickets in under 50 games and both contributed to an incredible legacy of fast bowling. But, Mcgrath as the archetypal line and length bowler on the other hand played 124 games and 564 wickets. This is nearly 50 more games and producing an additional 200 more test scalps. McGrath was of course one of the best bowlers ever, but the point is they time period he was able t play and the wickets taken during that time.

Ambrose who was extremely fast enjoyed 98 tests and 405  wickets but even he was out bowled when compared to the more line and length but still very fast counterpart Walsh: 132 tests and 519 wickets. Walsh was able to play longer and still be effective by dropping his pace. Fast bowlers must generate pace somehow. Lillee and Thompson were lethal.  Lille had a classical but efficient fast action and played 70 games taking 355 wickets whereas Thompson  got 201 wickets in 51 games. Both lost pace and became less effective.

It is not that Fast bowling is not worth it, because it is. I am merely bringing attention to the limited character of their careers and arguable lack of management. Perhaps the key exceptions are Malcolm Marshall ( 81 games taking 376 wickets)  at an average of 20. and  of course Wasim Akram who had 104 games and over 400 wickets in tests and was the first to 500 ODI wickets.

We are seeing a further development in the story of the express bowler. Shaun Tait may be able to ‘terrify’ the batsmen with 100 mile an hour balls, but  the huge strain on his body has transformed him into a T20 specialist. He won’t be recognized in the test match arena and  will never leave a strong fast bowling legacy, because he does not play test or even ODI.

Essentially to conclude i would say, YES fast bowling is a good thing. Extreme pace bowling is also a good thing. Maybe it is unfortunate that bowling faster means injuries and a limited career, but i think it is something that should be accepted as opposed to change. The current state of fast bowling is healthy with plenty of very fast bowlers like Steyn, Morkel, Finn, Siddle, Harris, Malinga, Tait, Roach and plenty of others. We don’t want to lose them by making them slower but more importantly we don’t want to lose them through injury. It is increasingly my view that quick bowlers should scrap ODI cricket and focus on tests which is the pinnacle of the game and T20 which is the newly emerged ‘quick’ format and offers a financially viable form of cricket.