Tom Smith - voter apathy likely to hold him back

We've neglected our Tips for the Future for quite a while now. It occurred to us that maybe Tom Smith of Lancashire warranted inclusion after he took 4-55 yesterday.

By any standards Tom Smith has had a blazing start to the season, but there are a few factors counting against him. Our Tips for the Future are meant to be international players who we hope will make a big impact at Test level and in that regard we have a few reservations about Tom Smith.

If other observers are to be believed, he's not actually fast, but fast-medium. In international cricket we don't have a great deal of time for fast-medium bowlers. It's the difference between Old Jason Gillespie and Current Jason Gillespie for example. Also, there's the first season syndrome, where players achieve a great deal because no-one knows what they're doing. The following season when opposing players are familiar with them, they struggle.

Conversely, he's clearly doing something right to take all these wickets; we thought that he was quite quick; and rumour has it he can bat a bit. So should we make the leap and induct him in our Tips for the Future or not? There's nothing at stake because we don't have any credibility, but we would have to write another post and then copy the link into the Tips for the Future post. If there's any opinion either way from our readers, we'll go with that.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Graeme Swann - season verdict

With a batting average of 27.30 and a bowling average of 44.53, Graeme Swann fell some way short of the pass mark for an all-rounder. He also fell some way short of being 'good'.

We were hopelessly wrong in predicting a great season for Graeme Swann. We're not sure we'll ever be able to forgive his treachery. And why should we?

In a word: Carpet.

Back to the end of season verdicts

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

We had our first Ashes dream

Not our first Ashes dream ever. Are you mental? No. The first for this series (which doesn't start for months yet).

It was quite a good one, fulfilling many of the Ashes dream criteria, but it did end on a bit of a cliffhanger and there was a degree of frustration involved.

It was the first Test, as it always is in Ashes dreams and it was being played in Jamaica, which is just about never the case in Ashes dreams. Australia batted first and hit 500. This is a surprisingly common theme in Ashes dreams. Sometimes the Aussies are crushed from the outset, but more frequently they maintain their world-beating aura until the final act.

On this occasion England started their fightback in the first innings. Michael Vaughan (yes, Michael Vaughan) declares with England on 780 and Andy Flintoff unbeaten on 177. We're not too sure why Michael didn't let Flintoff get his double hundred. It was only the end of the second day because England had scored so phenomenally quickly.

At this point we go off to the pub, but unfortunately we can't find the bar. Then Afridi (who is our cat) starts squeaking and jumping on our feet and we wake up. We don't know why he squeaks. We're going to train him to shout 'Howzat' instead, although that might be even more annoying at 5am.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mark Cosgrove: Batsman, mathematician, scholar

Mark Cosgrove has today described Darren Lehmann's eternal abilities, while being interviewed about South Australia's hopes for the season:

"He somehow always makes 1,000 runs. Even if he seems to have the worst year, you look at his figures and go, 'he actually still got 800 runs'."

What's making us point out that Mark Cosgrove doesn't know that 800 is less than a thousand? It's a fairly innocuous thing - a verbal slip, at most. Would we be reporting this if it were any other player?

It's because he's a little bit fat, isn't it? Any excuse for a post on a fat cricketer.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Darren Lehmann should go for the record

Darren Lehmann has 261 not out from 302 balls. It's his highest score for Yorkshire. David Hopps in the Guardian says that this is Lehmann's final game for Yorkshire. Perhaps it's his final game for anyone - we don't know. Well what better way to go out than to break Brian Lara's first-class record of 501.

Okay. It's a long way off, but it's not unreasonable. Yorkshire need to score more points in this match than their opponents, Durham, to survive in the first division. They don't actually need to win. Besides, we've only had one day's play and Lehmann's well over half-way there. He's a fast scorer and we're sure he could up it a notch if he were in with a shout.

We wouldn't bet against Darren Lehmann. Also from that same David Hopps article, Darren Lehmann has hit 8,532 runs for Yorkshire at 66.66. That's just monstrous. How this guy only played 27 Tests is beyond us.

Failing the 501, Darren's own highest score is 301.

Sorry to keep going on about him, but we're just not sure that you're getting EXACTLY how much better than other batsmen Darrenn Lehmann is. You have to ask yourself: How much more better could he be? The answer, of course, is 'none'. None more better...

You know that we're just messing about with the previous paragraph, don't you? We're not actually illiterate.

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Darren Lehmann hits a hundred

We've probably made ourself clear by now about how much we think of Darren Lehmann. If you're in any doubt, it's more than we think of the miracle of life and slightly less than we think of sandwiches.

Darren Lehmann hit 172 out of Yorkshire's total of 310 against Kent. The next highest score was 41 from one of this season's most consistent performers, Anthony McGrath. What's most impressive about Darren Lehmann is that he's been doing this for years. Some players have a really good season where they stand head and shoulders above every other player, then they live off this for the rest of their careers. If they're Simon Jones, they promptly get injured immediately after their finest hour and no-one ever really works out whether they were absolutely class or whether they were just in a bit of a purple patch for a couple of weeks. There's no doubt with Darren Lehmann though because he's been doing it every single season since the invention of the lava lamp.

Rob Key's 7 not out in the same match, incidentally. If we've a high opinion of Darren Lehmann then...

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Darren Lehmann's Roses hundred

Darren Lehmann's always the stand-out performer in any big game and he hit a hundred for Yorkshire in the current Roses match.

Lancashire are there or thereabouts for their first championship title since the Spanish armada, so this is one scorecard it's worth keeping an eye on.

Yorkshire are 344-9 after day one. Glen Chapple's been the pick of Lancashire's bowlers with 3-59.

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Mark Cosgrove double hundred

We're going to have to admit to ourself that we've a penchant for fat cricketers. Rob Key, Inzy, Darren Lehmann, Ian Austin - the evidence is really stacking up. Well by that rationale we'd better add Mark Cosgrove to the list.

Mark Cosgrove is nicknamed 'Baby Boof' for his resemblance to his South Australia team mate Darren Lehmann or 'Boof'. We asked our Australian friend why Darren Lehmann was called 'Boof' but he never really gave us a satisfactory answer. Anyway, Baby Boof, Mark Cosgrove, hit 233 not out off 258 balls for Glamorgan against Derbyshire yesterday. Big hundreds are where it's at. We're not sure about his face though.

He's obviously class. Darren Lehmann says he could win Australia a World Cup. The jury's out though because of the face. Although there is the fat factor...

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Darren Lehmann wins one-day Roses match for Yorkshire

That Darren Lehmann finished the match as the most successful bowler was a slight surprise; that he finished as the most successful batsman was nothing of the sort. He hit 92 off 69 balls. He’s demonstrably a class above everyone else plying their trade in county cricket.

We’d say that he was Australia’s second-best batsman after Ricky Ponting, which would put him in the top ten in the world. We don’t know what we’re saying by this. We’re just in awe of Darren Lehmann. Maybe that’s what all we’re saying. Maybe that’s all there is to say.

We'll try and shut up about him now. We know that we tend to get a bit carried away with things. Particularly when the player in question's a little bit fat. What is that? Why are we so swayed by it?

Next week, here at King Cricket: We write 25,000 words on why Ian 'Fatty' Austin was the greatest military-medium bowler of all time.

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Do cricket fans dream of fat cricketers?

You may not believe this, but it's equally possible that you will: We genuinely dream about overweight cricketers. Last night it was Darren Lehmann's turn. We'd like to dream about women or something, but for some reason, we don't get a say in it, even though it's our brain that's responsible.

Darren Lehmann From Dreams doesn't like being touched on his right shoulder. He'd just finished compiling a typically classy hundred for Victoria (does he play for Victoria at the moment?) and his batting partner put his arm around him to congratulate him. "Don't touch me there," said Darren Lehmann From Dreams.

We've always thought that, like most Australians, Darren Lehmann would be an easy-going sort of bloke. Darren Lehmann From Dreams seemed kind of grumpy. We spoke to him after his innings, which was compiled entirely during twilight for some reason. We thought we'd try and lighten the mood by cracking a joke about certain county teams trying to pick up extra bowling points by playing on sub-standard pitches. Darren Lehmann From Dreams didn't crack a smile. We can't say we blame him. He said that he didn't think anyone was doing that.

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Darren Lehmann should still be playing for Australia

Underrated Mal Loye has scored a hundred in today’s Roses match. We fully expect Darren Lehmann to do likewise when Yorkshire bat. Words can’t describe how much we think of Darren Lehmann. That he isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Lara and Tendulkar confounds us daily.

If Australia are going to persist with their policy of reverting to older players when they’ve got perfectly good younger ones hanging around getting into mischief, they may as well do it properly. That is to say that they should pick Darren Lehmann again. He’s probably retired from international cricket, we’re not sure, but who cares anyway. He’s magic. Lehmann’s worth half a dozen Damien Martyns and he could offer Ponting a bit of tactical advice too.

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Dheeraj Jadhav tests himself against the best

Dheeraj Jadhav has been in action against international opposition. He opened the batting for a Mahashtra XI against Australia in a warm-up.

He scored one.

He's still only 27. Plenty of time for our rash prediction to come true...

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Justin Langer neglects a (w)hole category

It's the latest in our new style of posts: Innocuous comments by Australian Test cricketers.

Justin Langer said: "Anyone who suggests there are holes in the Australian cricket team, they are very far from the truth, because what I've seen is a very united Australian cricket team who are very, very, very determined to win back the Ashes."

Justin Langer has forgotten about one kind of hole. This particular something-hole opens the batting with him.

In this picture, Justin Langer is clearly requesting a cup of tea. You can tell by his semi-outstretched pinkie. We smile when we're getting a cup of tea too, Justin. Tea is nice.

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Zimbabwe get soundly beaten

Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe. This is good. Ordinarily Bangladesh would have been in the post title, but we're expanding our vocabulary by using Zimbabwe as the subject for any number of 'get beaten' synonyms.

In fact we've not really got much to add to that. Our man Saqibul Hasan took 3-18 off ten overs in bowling Zimbabwe out for 130 in response to Bangladesh's 231. Shariar Nafees hit 123.

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Shahriar Nafees - our inside scoop

Way back in April we promised that we'd find out some more information about Shahriar Nafees. We never did. All we knew then was the following:
  • He was left-handed
  • He opened the batting for Bangladesh
  • He had just hit a Test hundred against Australia
Thankfully, we're far better informed now. This is the lowdown:

  • He IS left-handed
  • He DOES open the batting for Bangladesh
  • He ONCE hit a Test hundred against Australia
  • He just hit a one-day hundred against Zimbabwe

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