I have been a fan of the English team since 2005, when I watched the team triumph over Australia (and also when I fell in love with Test cricket). I like the English crowds (even when they boo Ricky Ponting); I love English summer cricket (not so much when it rains), and I like the pitches and grounds and the bowlers’ swing.
But as I watched the fearsome threesome run through the (depleted) Indian batting line-up at Lord’s this week, I confess to feeling a fair amount of ill-will. Broad, Anderson, and Tremlett are all formidable bowlers, made all the more impressive by their contrasting styles and ability to hunt in a pack — a talent perhaps only the South African quicks currently possess. On the other hand, both Anderson and Broad display dubious personalities; if one’s not whining or wallowing in self-pity, the other one is bullying umpires and throwing balls at opposition members. And to see these upstarts — mere 20-somethings — humble the likes of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman…well, “ill-will” is merely a euphemism.
Why do some bowlers gain certain reputations and respect, and not others? Anderson and Broad (and Tremlett/Bresnan) are a more than capable lot, and watching them do their thing — especially Anderson’s swing — is a real treat. But you don’t think of either as you do Dale Steyn or Zaheer Khan, right? Maybe in a few years, their reputations will be more firmly established, but now, they still come across like entitled prep boys out to get their privileged due. Gosh, look at me — these are the same players I egg on against the Australians and South Africans! Team loyalty: it makes for strange ex-bedfellows.
Whose car are we going to take?
I don’t think anyone has a problem with Anderson or Tremlett. Anderson is a bit wordy but most fast bowlers are. Its Broad who really rubs spectators, players and umpires up the wrong way.
Especially when he talks himself up like this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-2019085/Stuart-Broad-I-wait-Trent-Bridge.html
I think your headlines sums up what most columnists missed and also underlines the value of Sehwag in the team. Even if Sehwag scores 30 odd in his inimitable style, that would be enough to reduce some of these bowlers to half of what they are.
I blame the Aussies. England players were used to be hammered by Australian bowlers, who were better than them and made them know it. Brett Lee used to laugh and leer towards batsmen, Thompson would point at his head and chest indicating “this is where I’m going to hit you”. They got used to associating dominance and intimidation with loud-mouthing the opponents. I prefer bowlers to be more aloof and stare down the batsman, especially as uncomfortable the English bowlers are “playing the role”.
These guys lack basic grace which I’m sure makes people like & respect Sachin & Dravid even as they play against them. But what more can you expect from Malfoy?
I too cheered for these guys when they were playing Australia, but now I just want to slap Malfoy.
This has nothing to do with cricket, but it raised a few eyebrows & I wondered if you’d seen it: http://www.cricketcountry.com/cricket-articles/Mallya-denies-withdrawing-Harbhajan-spoof-ad/4102
Hadn’t seen it! Incredible.
Make sure you see both ads on YouTube.