Andrew Flintoff bowling

Andrew Flintoff was England's best bowler by quite a wide margin. Each of his spells only served to emphasise just how poor and/or ineffective everyone else was.

On this pitch, against these batsmen, with these cricket balls, bowlers really do have to make it count, particularly with the new ball. Steve Harmison was dire, progressing to nearly-respectable. Matthew Hoggard was predictably solid yet ineffectual. James Anderson bowled some good balls and a number of bad ones.

Andrew Flintoff, however, put the ball exactly where he wanted straight away. He started accurately, testing the batsmen, and the more he bowled, the quicker he got. Either he doesn't get nervous, or he's got a technique that he can totally rely on.

England's Rugby World Cup winning fly-half, Jonny Wilkinson, once said: "I always aim to be able to leave the training pitch confident of my technique." That confidence is just as important as having the technique. If you've got faith in your method, that will go some way to calming your nerves.

Andrew Flintoff is clearly secure in his method, as is Matthew Hoggard. Steve Harmison clearly isn't. Whether he needs extra practice to sort his technique is arguable. That he needs extra practice to fight back the doubt, is surely undeniable.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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