Flat Track Bullies?

After previously finding myself questioning the judgement of the Analyst, Simon Hughes on his view that Jonathan Trott is the most consistent No.3 England has ever had, I now find myself agreeing with Hughes on his point that the life of a batsman is a lot easier these days, than in days gone by.

To back up his view, Hughes points to the fact that Jonathan Trott averages 57, Graeme Smith 50, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 49, Kevin Pietersen 48, Michael Clarke 47 and Alastair Cook 46. Comparing that to David Gower 44, Gordon Greenidge 44, Graham Gooch 42, Desmond Haynes 42 and Mark Waugh 41.

Hughes is clearly trying to say that the players on the latter of the two lists were better players than the current bunch and that batting averages these days are distorted.

The names of Viv Richards and Javed Miandad slightly contradict Hughes’ view. Richards averaged 50.23 and Miandad 52.57, both played in the same era as the men on the second list, but I think it’s fair to say that they were both exceptional talents who would have scored runs in any era.

The same probably couldn’t be said about Trott, Smith, Chanderpaul, KP, Clarke, Cook and many others. It also dosen’t say much about 5 of England’s top 6 who all average below 50.

There is a slight contradiction from Hughes over Trott, who in one Hughes article is England’s most consistent No.3 ever, compared to the more recent article where Trott is now a player who only has a decent average because he regularly faces crap bowling on bland pitches.

But on the whole I agree with him. I’ve had an issue with the lack of balance in modern day wickets for some time now. It is no coincidence that there is hardly any quality fast bowlers around any more.

South Africa have a couple, but how long will Steyn and Morkel be able to keep performing in this current enviroment?

I’m not for a minute saying that Shaun Tait is a top quality fast bowler, but he is of test standard. He is only 27 and already his body can’t cope with test cricket. Neither could Shane Bond and the workload finished off Andrew Flintoff in the end.

Despite England getting hammered at Perth, it was refreshing to see a competitive wicket for a change. It was a proper test wicket, there was something in it for the bowlers and the batsmen had to be watchful and play each ball on it’s merit. Mike Hussey proved that it could be batted on, if you batted properly.

Unfortunately Perth was probably an exception to the norm. I understand the need for
the so called ‘chief executives pitches’, but more importantly, there is also a need for top quality, fair, competitive cricket.