Friday, February 06, 2009

A good advert for test cricket

Good, tough test cricket happening over at Sabina Park. The West Indies start the day with a slight advantage; two settled batsmen get tons; but then both fall, and so do two other wickets cheaply. And now, a 50 run partnership has just started to gel, as the Windies draw closer to the English first innings total. Every run from the time the Windies draw level will be extremely useful. And because Freddie Flintoff is bowling, the atmosphere is crackling (how the hell does he do it every single time?). At some stage, I have write a piece on how Flintoff has managed to be the first English cricketer since Botham and Gower to have a claim on my loyalty and affection.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious though Samir, what did you think of him when he first played for England. If I remember right, one of the scathing reviews for the '99 World Cup suggested that England's performance was abysmal because they had pinned all their hopes on an oaf.
I wrote him off then. And until 2005, I honestly didn't think he was that good a bowler. Today I don't know too many people, well actually none, who aren't Flintoff fans.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Achettup: Good point. I think I actively disliked him till 2005. I thought he was a run of the mill bowler, and a slogger. I still think his batting can be agricultural at times, but he's toned it down (as in the first innings here). And of course, his bowling has come on by leaps and bounds. More to the point, I think he's shaken off the slackness that used to be his trademark. Furthermore, in a cricket world where plenty of players try to be total dickwads, he comes across as someone who has found an interesting balance of aggression and humor in his on-field persona.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Tifosi Guy said...


From the outer, Flintoff for all his post 2005 heroics, is still a bit over rated. Sure he is supposedly the go to man for England, but his bowling stats don't indicate that for all his overs, he's done a lot.

Then his batting. A good spinner or a decent swing bowler would get him out 9 out of 10 given 2-3 overs.

He's been made this larger than life cult hero. He is simply not in the league of Botham, but considering post Botham , England have had D Capel, Lewis, D Reeve et al, it's not hard to see why he is praised to the sky.

And I do think he was one of the main reason Pietersen was sacked as the English captain. England can live without Flintoff, but remove Pietersen - and England are no hopers!

11:21 AM  
Blogger V said...

i woudl say that it was the 2001 indian tour which was the genesis of flintoff the bowler,...he had had some intresting duels with sourav ganguly in that series...

I liked his resonse to the "Oaf" comments,bullishly stating''Not bad for a fat lad",after he scored some 40 od runs agansit zimbabwe.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Tifosi: I'd say you're partially right. His injuries (and poor handling by English management) since 2005 have meant he hasn't come back in full form. I don't think he is in the league of Botham either. But I think the reason why I like him has more to do with the effort he so clearly puts in, and with the feeling he brings to the game.

V: I didn't see much of that series, but it sounds plausible. I think his batting flowered in the 2003 series against RSA if I'm not mistaken.

Mind you, for a long time, I disliked him for that shirt stunt. But when Ganguly took his off at Lords, all was well! Equalized, done with.

1:42 PM  

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