Why don’t England have part time spin options?

Today’s ODI against South Africa showcased where they and most other international teams have an advantage over England: part time spin bowlers. The combination of the part time spin of Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and Dean Elgar picked up 2-39 off 10 overs. That’s a full bowler’s worth of overs at a decent run…

Will there ever be another great leg-spinner?

Bryce McGain, Steve Smith, Cameron White, Scott Borthwick, Amit Mishra, Todd Astle, Ish Sodhi, Imran Tahir, Devendra Bishoo. Can you see where I’m going with this? That’s the complete list of front-line leg-spinners to have debuted in Test cricket since Shane Warne retired at the beginning of 2007. Add all their figures together and they…

West Indies selection mistakes prove crucial to England comeback

Cricket is all about mistakes. Wickets drive the game forward, and they’re rarely down to an unplayable ball. Fielding mistakes, dropped catches, poor shots, poor shot selection. Then there’s the off-field mistakes. Wrong team, wrong call at the toss. The first day of the Test series between the West Indies and England was defined by…

Dominic Bess is just… there.

Walking in from further away than the average spinner, a la Shane Warne, stalking his prey, but instead of the smooth rip, he bustles through the crease, at his best culminating in a hard side-spun ball looping towards the batsman. Everything’s in the explosion at the crease. Graeme Swann – who he will have to…

A suggestion for Tahir, and a look back at the googly bowlers

Back in the early 20th century, Bernard Bosanquet invented the googly, to, in his own words: “ridicule, abuse, contempt, incredulity .” Since then, it’s become an almost vital part of leg-spin bowling. I say almost vital, because perhaps the greatest leg-spinner of all time – Shane Warne – rarely bowled one after his shoulder surgery,…