Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Swann's Rival "Ball of the Century"

I write this in response to Graeme Swann's rival "ball of the century".

Looking at the balls side by side and I believe a couple of things become obvious.

1. The movement of Swann's ball down the leg side of the batsman is purely from the angle his arm would naturally push the ball upon release. Warne's ball is bowled from the inside arm that would naturally push the ball either straight, or towards the off side. The movement down leg is created by very pronounced, and very late drift due to the heavy rotations on the ball.

2. Swann's turn seems to look like more of a deviation than actual spin due to the already quicker nature of his action. Surely a ball that had spun on it's own merits would produce similar drift as Warne's ball. I suggest that Swann's ball hit a crack or protrusion to create the movement. Warne's on the other hand would have spun on ice as indicated by the drift.

Apart from that Warne's ball was his first in tests on English soil and cultivated a deep seated fear of first his bowling and then Australian for decades to come.

Me thinks this only spin from English media to hype the upcoming series.


  1. agreed, mate.
    completely different situations these 2 balls.
    Swann stated (not verbatum) that he is happy to 'pitch down leg and turn back across', i would contest that it wasn't so much 'pitched' down leg, as landed wide of leg before turning back. as you have quite rightly stated, it is all angle.
    sure he got some drift and drop, but...

    further more. this wasn;t even close to s.k.Warnes best ball, just one that destroyed moral and made the poms think every ball could be a grenade.
    let's see if swann can get some grab on a greasy gabba or banal G

  2. Regardless ... Aussie spectators would be foolish to under estimate Swann or his English team mates. England are on the rise whilst Australia are on the decline. The same Pakistan we could only draw with is currently 0-2 against England. Same conditions, same time frame. At this early stage, England are looking at a series win in Australia, not just a retention of the Ashes.
    Swann and Finn will trouble the Australians. Both will bother Australia at Brisbane and Sydney. If Perth ever bounces again, Swann will love it and the Fremantle Doctor.
    Agreed that it wasn't even Warne's best ball ... the one that snared Robin Smith a few overs later was even better. Or perhaps the flipper that cleaned up Richie Rich or the Chanderpaul ball in Sydney.
    Remember the saying about how you treat people on the way up ... Australia might find it dished out on the way down!

  3. Lets not forget, the Poms are on home soil against the Pakies with their own balls. While this series will be closer than 2006 I doubt the Poms have the mental strength or the ability to cut it with us in Australia. The thing that has undone the Aussies in the last two series in England has been patience against the swinging ball which won't be such a huge factor this series. It might get some movement but not the late stuff we see from the Duke in overcast Blighty.
    The Poms need a win of the toss in Brisbane and a good first session or the wounds will open and their confidence will come pouring out.
    It's gonna be huge so all you cricket fans drop your cocks and grab your socks and get to the G in December.

  4. Let's follow your logic - with the same balls and same conditions against the same opposition we drew a series 1-1, which included being out for less than 100. England are 2-0.

    It hard to know how you could justify the assumption that Australia is mentally tougher than England at the moment. Nothing in their or our play suggests it.

    The psychological edge we had is raising money for breast cancer or providing blokey pain in the arse commentary in between hair transplants. The Poms come here with nothing to fear.

    Yeah, yeah!

  5. Lango, i would never underestimate an opposition...especially given the fragile nature of the aus team, and the lack of team structure. there seams to be -as there has from CA for the last 4 years - an attitude of 'stop-gap' will fix it approach. not one of "let's use the champ of the past to help build a champ of the future".

    it goes back to my 2nd biggest gripe about CA... not throwing a plague collectors full cart load at SKW B4[!] he retired to ensure he was prepared to impart all he could on the next gen. i know he is a once in a gen bowler -apart from yours truly [must be the sandy bayside tracks we shared and grew up on]- but if i disregard my admiration for his bowling [not character- i still need to break his arms as promised when he threw my wife into a shallow lake!] he had the best tactical brain of his gen after Tubby (don't tell Simon i said that bit about Tubbs!)

    i would hate to break Nospmas' heart by saying this, but i dred the potential result of this series.
    but while their tail is up- and because CA don't have the brains or balls to drop punter to 5 and give Kat the the cap for 18 months while nsw's 1st son gets some fluff on his bum- we will again throw away tactics for dumb luck like the last 3 years!

    the series doesn't hang on- but could be dramatically effected by- the first day at brisvegas.
    win the toss and bowl on a sideways pitch and either team will be out of the blokes for a flyer... unfortunately, the no-tubbers love (and with a fishermans friend) can max out that sideways fun better; make no mistake about that. but a win there and aus are...

    unfortunately, i don't know which part of the aus team to take apart... every department looks flawed now- weird given 12 months ago i was happy with all but the bowling line up, and that still was waist deep in talent....now?

    takes me back to my other old "built-in-bitch" performance contracts. hunger does wonderful things, least of all- devour complacency!

  6. I think it's not so much that you're not comparing eggs with eggs, but that you're comparing hen's eggs with goose eggs.

    A top-class wrist spinner will always be able to get more spin on the ball that a top-class finger spinner, it's just the nature of the two types of spin. That's why Warne got so much drift. I don't think Swann is quite as good a finger spinner as Warne was a wrist spinner, at least not yet, but this ball was possibly as good a finger-spun ball as the ball of the Century was as a wrist-spinner's delivery.

    Paragraph 2 is also a little questionable, as many of Warne's biggest-turning deliveries came out of the rough, so it wasn't just the spin, or just the pitch, it was both.

    However, even if you forget this one delivery, Swann bowled 68 consecutive balls without a run being scored, and that is mighty impressive by anyone's standards.

  7. I think you missed my point Lango. England is playing at HOME. Same balls and pitches is one thing but it wasn't our home turf which we play on regularly.
    Using your "logic" we could make the same comparison if both series had taken place in Australia, with the Kooka's...
    Apparently using your "logic" a 5 nil beating the last time they visited our shores leaves no lasting impressions. The both series defeats in England while with vastly different personnel had very similar results (decided in a few sessions). We were after all one wicket away from retaining the urn.
    So my "logic" is they are visiting Australia on the back of a similar result in England that gave them the Ashes. They are more than capable of crumbling on the fast bouncy pitches which we call HOME.

  8. I may miss many things Nos but never the point. Just like a day is a long time in politics, four years is an eternity in cricket. When England were drubbed 5-0 the following applied:
    1. Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden and Langer were playing
    2. Buchanan was still coach
    3. Ponting had made 1483 at 78.05 in between losing the Ashes in 2005 and the start of Ashes in Australia, including two series against South Africa
    4. Stuart Clark headed the bowling aggs and ave
    5. Hussey averaged 91
    6. Flintoff was England's captain
    7. Hoggard, Flintoff, Harmison and Panesar were England's main bowlers
    8. In between series, England had been to the sub continent and played easy games at home.

    Comparing those points to this summer's series, as Nos, you feel we can't forget the lessons learnt from the 5-0 flogging we gave them last time:
    1. Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden and Langer aren't playing and none of their replacements, apart from Katich, are any where near as good
    2. Buchanan is not the coach, which is already a no brainer but to amplify the Buckafly Effect, he's assisting England
    3. Ponting has scored 681 runs at 40.05 since the 2009 Ashes in series against the West Indies, Pakistan and NZ, his last 7 innings fetching 107 runs
    4. Stuart who?
    5. Hussey is holding his own but he had a Test average of 75.93 (after 11 Tests) when these sides last met in Brisbane. When they meet again, his average will be 51.04 (52 Tests) ... do the maths
    6. Flintoff was a fine player but never a captain. Strauss is both. He knows how to scrap and has been sharp, tactically. Most feel that if he had been Skipper in 06/07 the Warne show in Adelaide and the Gilchrist show in Perth may have played differently
    7. Take another look at Anderson, Broad, Finn and Swann. I still have doubts about Anderson myself but the other three look like they have the goods - Swann in particular. Get past the bullshit and hype with the man and spend some time watching him bowl. The fact Stuart Broad can get fined for having the shits at not taking wickets is a big positive in attitude
    8. In between series, England have been to the sub-continent again and played soft series at home BUT, they also played a hard drawn series against Sarth Efrika, under conditions very much akin to Australia.

    Nos, I don't disregard the 5-0 thrashing Australia gave the Poms last time but the playing personal, form and preparations have changed. Last time, I predicted 4-0 but this time I think we are struggling to win more than one Test. My heart will always want Australian victories but my view of the game is much broader than my heart.

    The Poms won’t be worrying about the fact they lost five blot, just focussing on why they lost by that margin. To pick up Stoph’s terminology, I think England will arrive here hungry. They know they have the best opportunity since Fat Gat toured here 25 years ago to put away a damaged and psychologically depleted Australia and they won’t swagger when they arrive like Flintoff and his Joes did last time … they’ll save that for the flight home. Winning in Australia has lost none of its persuasive allure. The same bloodless passion which ran through Jardine lurks still in every Englishman, even those born in Sarth Efrika.

    England won’t be coming here to defend the Ashes, they’ll be coming here to win.

    I have tickets to the Sydney Test. I’m starting to believe I’ll be sending another champion off to bed by its close regardless of claims to the contrary. If Australia lose the series, Ponting will have few options but to fall on his blade.

  9. oh..spicey!
    welcome aboard Pencil cricket, thanks for contributing.
    i had a look at your site too; i can fully relate to the 'comeback' process- last year was my first year back after 20!
    i like your duck counter, i hope it stays as is!
    we don't pull too many punches here, all opinion is welcome and i don't moderate unless people are racist or homophobic.

  10. so with all this heat, does anyone want to have a dip at a result prediction?

    i'll put mine on the block:
    in favour of
    the POMS- cut my tongue out now!

  11. Stoph, you can go and cut that tongue out. Your shirt for Boxing Day shall be red, white and blue.

    Lango you don't seem to have addressed the fact that even though I admitted the personnel were different, the results in England were basically the same in 2005 & 2009.
    I appreciate we don't have Warne, McGrath & Gilchrist but they were at the end of their era's back then. What England need to get over is the VERY different conditions in Australia.
    I still maintain they are a bad first session in Brisbane away from collapse in Australia.
    I get the feeling you are starting to hope Ponting fails.
    I predict a super series for Clarke after his unfortunate stuff.
    I think it will be more of a bowlers summer with more moisture than previous years and I just get the feeling that our quicks are more capable of causing more damage.
    Swann is hardly threatening if our guys show him some respect.
    Australia to WIN 3-1 with a draw in Adelaide.
    Sydney may give Swann the conditions he needs to trouble us here.

  12. England to win in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia in Melbourne and Adelaide a draw. That leaves Perth which both sides have dibs on. Either way, England holds the Ashes. England 3-1, winning in Perth.

    No, Nos, results were not the same if you did a session by session breakdown of the two series. By my figures, England were a 30% better side in 2009 than in 2005.

    You can't write the big three off as being at the end of their eras! Gilchrist scored the second fastest hundred in Perth and what Warne did in Adelaide is the stuff of school boy legend.

    As to the very different conditions in Australia, Strauss, Trott and Prior were born and raised in South Africa, which is a good start. Strauss had a poor series and needs to be less vulnerable to the ball rising at him on the off stump line. Collingwood got a single and a double last time and averaged 48 so I guess we can say he's proven himself. Bell got 4 fifties in ten digs. Cook made his debut hundred (at the WACA) but did little else and Pietersen made 490, including a hundred, three fifties and dominated our bowlers in all but two innings.

    What exactly do the Englishmen have to do - apart from win the series - to prove they are "over the very different conditions in Australia"?

    I wish Ponting well. My comments are based on the form he has shown, over which I have no control, and my knowledge and experience of players in decline. Ponting is now a classic example of one. Hence my wistful reference that I may be watching his last Test in Sydney.

    A bad first session in Brisbane won't finish these tourists because they are not the same as those who have preceded for the previous quarter of a century.

    We agree on Clarke and for Australia' sake, lets hope his runs are made at three.

    We'll have to disagree on Swann because it assumes either he isn't good enough or that off spinners shouldn't worry batsmen if they are careful - Jim Laker, Erapalli Prassana, Ashley Mallett and John Emburey might like to join in the chorus of disagreement. If anything, Sydney is less likely to give Swann suitable conditions. Grassy, hard decks with humid conditions are his favoured conditions.

    Nothing vapid in these or previous comments Stoph. Like the strong man and his Delilah, I'm simply arguing a case.

  13. I think man-for-man there's no argument that compared to 2006-7 England are a better side and Australia are not as good. That said I take the point about the England team perhaps not being slow to adapt to Australian conditions and the Kook ball, so on balance I think it's going to be a very even series along the lines of 2005 and 2009.

    Swann and Finn should take to Australia well, and Anderson has improved immensely in terms of bowling defensively. Broad is a bit hit and miss but if he has a good series the Aussies should be worried. I'm hoping we might get to see Rashid make his debut in Sydney but I think that's a pretty faint hope. He should be our second spinner but I think the ECB would be inclined to pick someone more experienced.

    As for Batting Trott has been extremely solid of late, Collingwood is as good as ever, and Swann pitches in with some good runs. Strauss holds his own against the Aussies in England but had a poor series last time, so we'll have to wait and see if that was just a poor series or a dislike of the conditions. Pietersen's had poor form but averaged 54 last time, and we wait to see what happens with Cook. Bell will probably come back and should hold his own OK. Matt Prior was mighty last year and after a tough time in SA seems to be back on form.

    So apart from the loss of Flintoff's bowling, I find it hard to see a position where we're not stronger than last time.

    My current prediction would be 2-1 to Australia or a 2-2 draw. Having stayed up to listen on the radio to all 13 miserable days last time I'd be satisfied with one England win...

  14. Nice to have a viewpoint from the other side of the fence PC. Nothing better than opening the window and letting fresh air in.

  15. i was just about to say the same thing regarding PC, Lango.
    as you know, i am happy for people to bang it out, and you both back your claims with points, so bang away.
    but i was going to say, "hello, new contributions here, how about a g'day from you 2 combatants?"
    and having an opinion from Blighty just now is perfect for the summer too.

  16. I appreciate your stance Lango and perhaps I am a little too patriotic for my own good. Even if I concede that England were a 30% better side in 2009, which I don't, there is still the fact we were one wicket away from a 2-2 result. That to me gives no true indication that England are set to dominate us anywhere, much less our home soil. The cases you argue for the Poms can just as easily ring true for us. Watson and Katich could easily bat England out of any test in two sessions. Ponting is due, I refuse to believe he is a spent force. The man is one of the best batsmen for a generation. Hussey has probably hung on for too long and I can't make a case for any of his possible replacements. Clarke will make runs, plenty of them.
    Johnson will worry in Brisbane, England can't bank on such a terrible start from him to the series. I hark back to the devastating spells against SA when they toured. He is going to be pumped.
    I actually like Payne behind the stumps, for me Haddin is not the best gloveman.
    And in answer to your question "What do the Poms have to do?"

  17. Welcome PC. It's nice to have another poster, especially one from the old country.

  18. Ah I've missed the DTW mob. Glad summer is calling us all from hibernation.

  19. I like the changes Stoph. Loads quicker and looks cleaner.Might be tine for thecricketragics to have a brush sent through it ...

  20. thanks mate; yeah, it was a bit much/busy before.

    i have been the worst at getting on here- but at least i had a good excuse.
    then i picked up P.Philpott's "the art of wrist-spin bowling" and realised the light is lasting longer so it is time to start ripping them again and work at bettering last years results.

    did you want me to put your club logo and link up?

  21. Yes but you appear have done that. Do you want me to try and shrink the bagdes a bit more?

  22. all good Lango, i think they look great.

  23. Philpott's book is outstanding. He manages to pack so much wisdom and enthusiasm into such a small book. I first read it in a day flat and I keep going back to it. Bob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket is also excellent but it's a little heavy, dry and technical compared to Philpott's sheer passion for his art.

  24. i did the exact same thing PC- read it flat out in one go too.

    Woolmer's too is very good. the only thing i think neither does well enough is field settings for leggies; sure they both do it, but they don't push the thought of how an individual bowler should develop their best field setting.

    20 years ago when i last played i was a 21 year old D.K. Lillee action clone, sans skill!
    but last year for my comeback i had trained myself for 5 years only bowling wrist spin, i knw the theory of my field, but it took til the last game of the season to set MY field. 3-33 (all caught)in a limited overs game when the batsmen wanted to take the long handle to me tells me i now know my personal game and requirements better.
    certainly philpott does have a passion, "just spin, spin, spin!"

  25. Bugger work - I've been waiting months for all of you to return to scribing.

    Foxtel has enabled me to watch more cricket than ever before. What I have learned:

    Watson is being found out in the opening spot. I watched the ODI series and his very late cuts (well dabs) and thought he better not try that in the tests against Pakistan. Gee, wouldn't you know it - he did - and got out. His aggression is not curtailed and that is his undoing as an opener. Katich is so resolute and determined - you can see he values his wicket as much as anything else in his life.

    Ponting is not looking good. I think he'll retire after this summer but, and I hope I'm wrong, he may just be slipping a bit with the bat. We'll see.

    Aus bowlers are inconsistent and if Johnson sprays like he did in England - 2009 and against Pakistan - Aus are in trouble. Dougie bowled his heart out but was left wanting too often, not able to penetrate. Hilf sealed his spot for India and the Ashes. Even if Siddle is fit I'm worried about the pace attack. Home conditions may help with more bounce and carry....

    This is England's best chance to win in Aus since 86/87. Bopara and Bell can't get a spot at the moment with KP fit, Strauss looking good, Trott the Eng Katich (well, South African but we won't get into that), Prior solid behind the stumps and with the bat, and Swann; what do you say about the guy. The undisputed best spinner in the world at the moment. He will bowl Hauritz off the pitch. Great control, gets turn, good use of flight - I reckon he'll get the most wickets of either team this summer.

    England's pace attack may or may not fire. Finn looks fantastic and he'll love bowling in Aus. Anderson needs to do better when the ball isn't moving but he's actually improving in this regard so I won't write him off. Broad is a petulant, selfish, pretentious git. But he can bowl. Good bouncer but needs more control - when he hammers outside off stump he looks very threatening. He won Eng a test last year and, according to the Eng camp, that's all he needs to do once a series to hold his spot.

    So, all England need to do is drop Cook and their side looks pretty good. All Aus need to do is to pick Smith, put Watson down to 6, drop North, move Pup to 3, drop Ponting to 5 with Hussey at 4 and then hope like hell Johnson's radar is ok and Hauritz can turn the ball with Hilf/Siddle/Bolly banging it in. Easy!