Tag Archives: Adelaide test

How Good Was Jimmy Anderson*

Cricket is a batsman’s game.  Third Man won’t even bother to look at who won Man of the Match at Adelaide, and not just because he’s already made up his own mind, which of course he has.

Over at Wisden Cricketer, Edward Craig, writes a few hundred words on Player Awards for the Test without once mentioning the Lancastrian whose first innings figures were 19 overs, 4 maidens, four for 51.

Anderson’s wickets included three of the top four in Australia’s batting line up – Watson , Ponting and Clarke.

As Anderson would know from his days playing for Burnley, in the Lancashire League, they take the cap round for a batsmen when he scores 50 and then again when he scores 100.  You have to take 5 wickets as a bowler to have a cap taken round for you. And many clubs give batsmen special trophies for scores of 100, but ignore bowlers with Michelles and better.

So how do we put a batting valuation on Anderson’s performance?

We could say that 100 and a 5fer are equivalent which values a wicket at 20 runs.  That’s what they do for the honours boards at most Test grounds.

But does a score of 100 at Adelaide really compare with a 5fer?  And is a 5-fer which includes nine, ten, jack as good as a 4-fer that takes out an opener and numbers three and four? 

Let’s try this: you might expect a ‘par’ first innings score of around 500 for 6 at Adelaide.  England scored 620 for 5, so that ‘par’ calculation isn’t unreasonable.  This means that 8 batsmen contribute on average 62.5 each.  Anderson’s 4-fer would work out as the equivalent of 250.

On the other hand, we could take the Test averages of Anderson’s victims and add them up: 41, 54, 48 and 14 or 157 in total, except that we should take their averages for their first ‘digs’, which would be perhaps 25% higher, giving a equivalent of close to a double hundred. 

Yet what do Watson, Ponting and Clarke average ‘first up’ at Adelaide? Higher still, surely.

In the end perhaps a qualitative evaluation is the only sensible one.  Australia never recovered from the shock of those two fantastic late swinging deliveries, each of perfect pitch, that removed Ponting and Clarke. They set the psychological tone for what followed.  Talk about targeting the Captain (and Vice-Captain!)

It was as if Jimmy had barged his way into the Australian dressing room and on the facing wall painted in blood: Your Defeat is Inevitable.

* How Good was Jimmy Anderson could be a question or a statement depending on the choice of punctuation.  Third Man leaves it to the reader to make their own decision.

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Shared Experiences in the Two Hundreds

As Kevin Pietersen probably discovered a few hours ago, when you get into the two hundreds your memory can become a little spongy about earlier stages in your innings – you may also become prone to mild hallucinations.

As regular readers know, Third Man is about 290 not out*, having been born in the late 1720s.  He was therefore a mere strip of a boy when the Laws were re-written at the Star and Garter during that very fine season of ‘44

‘Lemonade for the Boy,’ had said his Grace the Duke that night, “And bring paper, a quill and ink. We can’t let it happen again.”

So, when Third Man woke this morning and scraped the ice off the time machine to check the batteries and to see that everything was as it should be, he was surprised to find that a few readers had been travelling back to a long forgotten post in the log for the 1st of September, 2010 – Will the Old Kevin Pietersen Please Stand Up 

TM has been banging on about the changes Pietersen had made to his trigger movement which had the effect of surrendering the radical positioning his innovating genius had created for him.

But as this scoring chart for his innings of 213 not out, made in 296 balls identifies, the return to something like his old trigger is getting him on the right side of the ball and producing a 60:40 ratio of on-side to off-side scoring. 

This and the use of his huge reach on the front foot meant that, in his first 100 runs, not a single one of them was scored in the quadrant behind square on the off-side.

But TM still thinks that O’Keefe who bowled KP in Hobart (see here)  might have posed more problems than poor Master Doherty. 

On the other hand, Hauritz, must be walking round Sydney tonight with a smile on his face.

Here at the cottage on the Squire’s estate at World’s End, the worst of the hallucinations seem to have passed and TM can’t for the life of him find anywhere that old mobile phone (pictured at the top of the page)  – he must have been dreaming.

*As AE theorized, and TM knows only too well, travelling through time  plays havoc with the aging process.

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