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The new Adam Gilchrist?

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Paul Fletcher | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 1 July 2009

How do you follow in the footsteps of greatness?

Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is the man charged with filling the gargantuan void left by Adam Gilchrist's retirement. Gilchrist, of course, was not only an accomplished keeper but elegantly savage with the bat. He averaged 47.60 in Test cricket, scoring 17 hundreds and 26 fifties at a phenomenal strike rate of 81.95. When news of his retirement broke Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was rumoured to have telephoned Gilchrist to ask him to reconsider.

As Haddin himself puts it: "Gilchrist changed the perception of the role of the wicketkeeper. You have to be a wicketkeeper/batsman, a genuine all-rounder these days."

A few weeks ago I telephoned legendary Australian keeper Rod Marsh in Adelaide to get his take on the new man with the gloves for the green and gold. Marsh played 96 Tests for the Aussies in a 14-year career between 1970 and 1984 and his 355 Test dismissals was a record that stood until 1998.

Marsh's words were laced with a dry, acerbic wit, often followed by an easy laugh. He was a relaxed interviewee who nonetheless bristled when the subject of sledging was raised and is clearly a man with strong opinions. He has also known Haddin for a number of years.

So just who is Haddin? And more importantly, how good is he?

Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin"I don't think Haddin will destroy or dominate an attack as completely as Gilchrist," Australian great Marsh told me. "But if he gets going there will not be a hell of a lot of difference."

Ominous words - that are reasonably well substantiated by a record of two fifties and one century for Haddin in his 15 Tests with an average of 37.54.

Marsh first worked with him as an 18-year-old back in 1996 when the young keeper from the picturesque town of Cowra, New South Wales, moved to the Australian Cricket Academy, then based in Adelaide.

"He was a bit brash but there is nothing wrong with that," added Marsh, who headed up the Academy from 1990 until he took up a similar role with England in 2001. "Brad was full of confidence and loved hitting the ball long."

Marsh is a keen advocate of letting players work things out for themselves, suggesting that good players quickly realise what they need to do to suceed at the highest level. He recalled a match the season after Haddin left the Academy that suggested the young player was coming up with plenty of answers.

It was played at Bowral, the town where Donald Bradman grew up, and saw NSW's second XI take on March's Academy side. Haddin smashed a double century for NSW, including a tally of sixes well into double figures.

"His batting technique is excellent, really superb," enthused Marsh. "I don't think he is that far from doing something really special in Test cricket. I am looking forward to it."

Such was the dominance of Gilchrist - rated by Marsh as the most destructive batsman in the history of the game alongside Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya - that it was a long wait for Haddin in international cricket.

Haddin experienced early representative honours as Australia Under-19 captain and went on to captain his state side when Simon Katich was away on international duty.

His record in state cricket through the middle of this decade was brilliant, averaging more than 50 in four successive seasons. He made his one-day international debut in 2001 and featured regularly for Australia A. Haddin was also a member of the touring party to England in 2005, although his only appearance came as a supersub in a one-day match; plenty of supporting roles but never more than fleeting appearances on the main stage.

Yet Haddin, who is now 31, does not describe it as a frustrating wait for his chance while Gilchrist rewrote the record books.

"A lot of people think it has been a long journey but I do not see it that way," added Haddin.

"If my time never arrived, I could've lived with that, but thankfully Adam retired when he did."

Gilchrist finally called it a day in January 2008 and Haddin's Test debut came in the West Indies several month's later.

It was far from plain sailing as the debutant fractured a finger on his right hand. But having waited so long for his chance he was not prepared to surrender his place and played the remainder of the series with the injury. By the end of the year Haddin was an established member of the team and even skippered the Twenty20 team when several other experienced players were rested.Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin in action in the West Indies


Marsh describes him as a "very safe" wicketkeeper, and reckons that even if Haddin initially struggles a bit with the gloves in English conditions he will adjust very quickly because he has a good technique. As for Haddin's batting in England, Marsh again believes that the Australian should concentrate on watching the ball closely rather than contemplate altering his essentially back-foot technique.

Haddin himself sounds pretty sanguine about the challenge of English conditions.

"We are in England, testing ourselves in an Ashes series," he said. "Where else would you want to be?"

England keeper Matt Prior is another who Marsh has tutored - so how do the two keepers compare?

"I think you'll find they have two different techniques," said Marsh, before a long and deliberate pause. "I know which one I prefer.

"Brad moves his feet a lot more than Matt. People say that in England you should not move your feet too much to take the ball on the inside, which I believe is the biggest load of poppycock I have ever heard."

Marsh refuses to be drawn on whether Prior would be his England keeper - "I'm not an England selector anymore" - but will say that the current incumbent is not the best technician behind the stumps.

He is more fulsome in his praise when it comes to Prior's application and batting ability.

"Matt can be very explosive - you don't want to give him any width on the off side or he will put you away," added the 61-year-old.

"He is a good player who has worked very hard at his batting and keeping in order to become more consistent."

Neither keeper is afraid of a word or two behind the stumps - although this is an area in which either man will curry favour with March.

"I don't know whether Haddin likes to talk behind the stumps - I hope he doesn't because it is an abject waste of time and energy," said Marsh. "All that mouthing off and saying 'well bowled' when the ball is three feet outside off stump that keepers do - it is ridiculous.

"What you have to do and not give the sucker an even break."

At one time or another Marsh is likely to have coached the vast majority of the players that will contest this summer's Ashes. He reeled off the English names one after another, pausing to ask whether Simon Jones was fit and quietly remarking that it is "a terrible shame" that he isn't. When asked about Harmison, Marsh said: "You never know he might be back."

Years ago Marsh coached a talented and confident but inconsistent player by the name of Ravi Bopara. "He has done very well now, with his three Test hundreds in a row," said Marsh.

Marsh reckons that there is nothing better in cricket than seeing a young player develop and mature - irrespective of their nationality. So does he ever feel slightly paternal towards young men he has coached who have gone on to become established internationals?

"I would not say paternal," concluded Marsh. "I would not like to be the father of some of those people - from either side." A long laugh followed.

Marsh isn't sure how much of the series he will actually see. He will be in Adelaide for most of it and reckons that at his age getting up early to play golf does not sit easily with late nights watching the Ashes on TV.

But he is predicting a very close contest.

"I can't see anyone being runaway winners," he told me before another very long pause. "But then, I have been wrong before."

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Gilchrist was a one off.
    Is it the case nowadays that the batter is the wicketkeeper rather than the wicketkeeper can bat a bit, seems to be that a good wicketkeeper is losing out for the average wicketkeeper who is better at batting.
    This may be a sound argument, until the lesser keeper puts down the chances that win/turn matches.
    Leave batting to the top six, keepers and bowlers should contribute, not be depended on,

  • Comment number 3.

    Interesting to hear Rod Marsh' comments on the current keepers. It was arguably largely the containment of Gilchrist in 2005 that won England the Ashes. Both current keepers still appear to have the potential to change the course of a game and subsequently a series so which one comes off with the bat could be crucial.....incidentally I also wish you'd asked Rodney if he can still tuck the beers away like he used to! Does anyone else remember when he had to be stretchered off a team flight over for the Ashes during the early 70's as a consequence of overdoing the amber nectar? How times have changed!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Haddin's good, but Gilchrist he isn't. However he is considerably better than Matt Prior.

    http://sportingchameleon.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 5.

    does anyone know priors average in test cricket compared to his county 4 day average, and the same with foster? might be quite interesting.
    if haddin is a predominately back foot player, he will probably be found wanting in the first few tests, no matter how hard he watches the ball. the swinging ball will always win.
    still, he will take most of the catches, probably more than prior....

  • Comment number 6.

    Marsh is a legendary cricketer and what he says goes whatever team you follow.

    All of a keeper's hard work will probably go unnoticed until the catch,run-out or stumping chance comes their way. That is where natural ability comes to the fore over coached technique. Even in Club cricket as a self taught keeper I bow to some greater natural glovemen. In international cricket this is even more significant as we might just find out in the next few weeks....

    An extra batsman can predominantly help lengthen the tail and add important runs....unles your name is Gilchrist

  • Comment number 7.

    Leave batting to the top six, keepers and bowlers should contribute, not be depended on

    -------

    Therein lies the problem. You really need six batsmen. In the modern game you also need more than five bowlers. That means that you need at least one of your eleven players to contribute in both sides innings and on average you lose less by having a lesser standard keeper than by sacraficing a top batsman or bowler.

  • Comment number 8.

    In first class cricket Foster averages nearly 36, Prior almost 40.5 on the nose - for the sake of 4 runs per innings I know which one I'd go with.

    Not really fair to compare test averages (Prior just over 48, Foster 25), Foster was much younger when he had his shot (nearly 7 years ago now) - how good would Prior have been as a test batsmen at 22?

  • Comment number 9.

    I can't believe that Prior is above Foster for the Ashes wicket spot. After his stumping performances in the 2020 he is far and away my first choice. Prior has more runs in him but it isn't like Foster is useless with the bat. What is going to be more important, a few more runs or a key stumping? Especially if we play two spinners.

  • Comment number 10.

    I don't think Prior's keeping is as bad as many people (particularly the Australians) think. In addition, although his first-class batting average is merely good, his test average is excellent...he averages around the same as England's top 5. Prior's keeping against the West Indies was almost flawless, including on the difficult (for keeping) pitches in the West Indies, where the ball kept very low and died quickly.

    Foster may be a slightly better keeper than Prior, but his batting is unproven at test level and I for one was not convinced at the world T20 (different format, similar pressure) that he has the capability to rescue the team at 150-4. With Flintoff's batting having declined somewhat in the past few years (although the signs from Lancashire are reasonably encouraging) and therefore probably batting at 7, Foster would have to play at 6 (or England would have to play a 4 man bowling attack with Bell at 6 which would probably not be capable of taking 20 wickets regularly).

    I think we should back Prior to do the business behind the stumps for England...all the chopping and changing of the past few years has done nothing for wicketkeeper's confidence and form. Remember, even Geraint Jones became a decent keeper in the end...he was dropped for his batting!

  • Comment number 11.

    But Prior hasn't really been tested with the bat, 10 tests against WI he's done well no question, but their attack isn't too terrifying for anyone with asparations of being a top batsman.

    I wonder if 5 tests v India with an average of 23 is a sign.

    You will detect from this that I don't think England should be playing him!

  • Comment number 12.

    As Haddin stated "Gilchrist changed the perception of the role of the wicketkeeper. You have to be a wicketkeeper/batsman, a genuine all-rounder these days."

    This fact now dominates the selection process of wicket keepers in international (and regional) cricket, so Prior will always be selected over Foster. I'm not saying Prior is a bad keeper at all, but I at least think Foster's performances would have given him a chance in the Lions squad over Davies?

    Anyway, i'm looking forward to some good old fashioned Aussie bashing over the next few months. 5-0 anyone?!?


  • Comment number 13.

    Now then,

    Thanks for all your thoughts. It was fascinating interviewing Marsh, who was considered but firm in his views. To answer HollyWollyZaler, he gave the impression that he wasn't really big into the beers anymore, modestly suggesting that he was a bit of an old fella these days.

    In some ways what he didn't say was as interesting as what he did. Marsh would not be drawn on whether Prior would be his first choice. I kind of got the impression that he might have gone for Foster - though that is speculation on my part. I was very impressed with Foster's keeping in the Twenty20 but I cannot see it being anyone other than Prior for the first Test.

    I get the impression Haddin will do a very good job this summer and could be something of a thorn in England's side - although he has the toughest of tests in following Gilchrist.

  • Comment number 14.

    I saw a large amount of Brad Haddin over the aussie summer and he is going to struggle with the gloves. Styles aside, he is a carbon copy of Prior in terms of consistency with the bat and gloves, i.e. good batsman, poor keeper. He's going to put down some important chances just like Prior, but i would expect haddin to be a slightly better bat.

    As for who Marsh would pick for england, it's Chris Read.

  • Comment number 15.

    I myself would've gone for Foster as he is no doubt the better wicketkeeper. And whilst there's no guarantee that Prior will perform consistently with the bat, i reckon that Fosters reactions and keeping would have been built into him by now and he would have been far more consistent with the gloves.

  • Comment number 16.

    Paul,

    Given how Rod Marsh was disappointed at Fletcher going with Geraint Jones ahead of Chris Read, and how badly Read was treated when he did get a chance, I think it's pretty safe to say that Matt Prior would not be Marsh's first choice as keeper for the same reasons Marsh didn't think Jones should be ahead of Read.

    The World T20 gave us lots to think about. I actually think Prior will play in the future as a batsman only. He does have power and can hit over the top. Foster will keep his place with the gloves for twenty over cricket. In the Test arena, I don't think you can drop Prior right now. He was dropped for poor performances, came back and, although he's given away byes, he's not dropped any major clangers (I remember one chance off Chanderpaul standing up to one of the spinners that was one of those 'It goes straight into the gloves or it's down' efforts, a real half-chance). England wanted a keeper-batsman and Prior has answered that.

  • Comment number 17.

    Nothing new about the wicketkeeper-batsman debate, it's been around for years. Bob Taylor was a fantastic keeper who would've played many more times for England, but Knotty was always ahead of him in the queue because he offered (much) more with the bat. Taylor got his run in the team eventually, but only once Knott had stepped aside.
    The emergence of Gilchrist brought a seismic change, he was a true all-rounder. Since then, every team has been obsessed with the same idea. We even pushed Alec Stewart down the order to wear the gloves, just so that we had his batting ability in that position, but we lost out on his presence higher up the order. It's unfortunate for many, but Gilchrist is the standard by which have been measured for so long, and have come up short.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm a big fan of art of wicket-keeping, and am generally in favour of picking your best 'keeper and asking the batsmen to get you runs. (Jack Russell was my hero as a kid :) )

    I have to say, though that windradical has it spot on, in my opinion. Anyone who would like to see Foster in the Test side (and I include myself in that) has to answer whether they prefer Foster batting at 6 or playing four bowlers. To me, neither is acceptable.

    Prior's not the greatest 'keeper, sure, but sometimes folk talk as if he's a bad 'keeper, which he just isn't. Even on pure 'keeping ability there are only a small handful of English-qualified guys I'd rank above him. And at 4 down for not-very-much, or, e.g., needing to accelerate towards a declaration, I think he wins or saves you a game once per series.

    In the presence of a genuine all-rounder, à la Kallis or perhaps Afridi or someone (which I don't think Fred can be relied upon to be any more), I'd play Foster, or Read. Otherwise, Prior's the man for me.

    Really good piece, btw Fletch, great interview. You might have had someone proofread it though!

  • Comment number 19.

    As Haddin himself puts it: "Gilchrist changed the perception of the role of the wicketkeeper. You have to be a wicketkeeper/batsman, a genuine all-rounder these days."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two Words - Alec Stewart.

  • Comment number 20.

    wilo108 - many thanks for your kind words. I don't quite understand the point about proof reading. If you have spotted something I really ought to tweak please do let me know.

    AndyPlowright - I kind of agree that Prior has earned his chance to start the Ashes, but that doesn't mean to say plenty of others won't disagree. I know quite a few Foster fans and some become very irate over the subject.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Very good interview.

    Good to see an interviewer who lets the interviewee shine - particularly when it's someone as knowledgeable as Marsh clearly is both about the game in general and the current players in particular.

    As for who England should play as wicketkeeper I think it's Prior's position to lose.

    His keeping is not as bad as some would suggest.
    Furthermore it shows marked signs of improvement.

    I'd also prefer to develop the keeping of a quality batsman rather than try to develop a good keeper into a quality batsman.

    Prior clearly has ability with the bat so the question is whether he can sustain his form and show consistency.

    The 10 West Indies tests can't be used as a real indicator due to the quality of the opposition and the batsmen friendly pitches but having said that he did at least get the runs which was all he could have done.

    The 23 average against India is as someone pointed out poor but -
    It's composed of 3 tests earlyish in his career in England (ave 14.60) and the two tests he played in India where he averaged a rather more healthy 44.

    Add that to a 41 average against Sri Lanka on the sub continent and it suggests someone with a fair amount of ability.

    Foster is clearly a better keeper (although the stumpings mean nothing really at Test level due to their rarity) but is still a greater risk.

    Even if Prior was to let through a rake of byes and shell a few catches his batting has so far been of a standard that allows 5 batsmen and 5 bowlers to be played and that is something that Foster, at least as it stands, would not allow.


  • Comment number 23.

    Foster, what is everyones obsession with him, catches willl get dropped esp by england in the ashes, would anyone here pick steven Fin over sidebottom or obions or any of enlglands other fast bowling options because he can field better??

    Batting wise the numbers 7,8,and 9 are very important not only in theur ability but there reputation as considered by the top 6, u dont want number peitersen and collingwood scoring very slowly or not batting with natural freedom because they are worried that if they get out then no-one following can bat well enough to build the score, if the top 6 all get 50s the team only gets 300...

    In the world 20-20 Foster did very little exceptional behind the stumps esp when u conider in a 5 day test matches stumpings are far less common and being able to stand upto medium pacers is not particularly important.

  • Comment number 24.

    If I was an England selector, I would choose Philip Mustard as the Twenty20 & ODI 'keeper, while I would select Matt Prior in Test Matches.

  • Comment number 25.

    I am always a believer in picking the best wicketkeeper for the team, and for me Christopher Mark Wells Read is still far and away England's best wicketkeeper. I would put Foster second behind him. Just call me old-fashioned!

    You know, whenever one invariably goes to the wicketkeeping/batting scenario I am often reminded of the words of ex-South Africa wicketkeeper David John Richardson, who said that if as a wicketkeeper one can possess enough hand-eye-body co-ordination to do an excellent job behind the stumps there is no reason at all why he cannot be a decent batsman. There is no doubt in my mind that the likes of Read and Foster have batting ability while being splendid wicket-keepers, but it's almost a tragedy that with Gilchrist's success people have made him the new benchmark of what a wicketkeeper should be like. When Pakistan's Kamran Akmal came onto the scene and had a wonderful first year what was noticeable was that for all his bating success he was always the kind of person who would put his keeping first and he was deservedly lauded. Somehow he suffered a loss of form with the gloves afterwards and has never been the same since. The fact that he is still in the team does perhaps highlight a bit of a dearth of capable wicketkeepers there.

    But the thing which frightens me the most is that with the likes of Gilchrist and Prior getting dibs on selection because of their batting, it will send a poor message to all prospective wicketkeepers that unless they are capable of superhuman batting exploits they will not be considered for selection no matter how good their keeping is. I only hope that the likes of Foster and Read will be reassured that they will always have a chance of figuring again, especially since they are more than capable of being half-decent batsmen too.

  • Comment number 26.

    "When news of his retirement broke Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was rumoured to have telephoned Gilchrist to ask him to reconsider."

    Well that just gives me another reason to think KRudd is a moron.

    Gilchrist was clearly over the hill. His batting average (once close to 60) was steadily falling. Worse, he was dropping catches,and costing the team. Even back in 2005, I recall thinking Haddin was a better keeper and (on the basis of fc batting averages for the previous 12 mths) a better batsman.

  • Comment number 27.


    Mani,

    David Richardson might have that opinion but his Test average was under 25 and his first-class average only 26! I wonder what his reason for not going further were...

    The talk of specialist keepers not being picked because of their lack of batting ability is no different to spin bowlers in the past. Richie Benaud wrote a piece in a book on leg break bowling by C S Marriott how many spinners in Australia were not picked at either state or Test level not because they weren't good enough with the ball but because they weren't good enough with the bat. We will never see someone like Lee Germon for instance keeping wicket at international level. Things have changed as it's right that they have.

    I know the Foster fans will be annoyed. With the gloves, I think he's the best in the country. However, that isn't what England have asked for. To drop Matt Prior when he done what England have asked (ie. score runs and keep wicket to a decent level) would be very harsh on Prior. To then bring in Foster potentially to bat at 6 for England, for Flintoff will be at 7, really would be pushing the sanity boat out.

    What we do need now is some real consistency with the keepers. Under Moores, we saw all sorts going on with no real apparent plan (which is pretty much the hallmark of the Moores era, lots of talk with no real sense that he ever had a grand masterplan at work). If Prior is the leading wicketkeeper-batsman and Foster the leading straight-up gloveman, then the like of Read, Mustard and Davies all need to know what their potential futures with England might be. They all need to know where they stand and what they have to do to get Prior away from the Test glove spot.

  • Comment number 28.

    Hussey and Katich are the only two aussie batsmen that give me cause for concern if those two have a bad ashes i think england will win, that was our second string and the aussies failed miserably

  • Comment number 29.

    Andy old bean, fair enough about Prior. But if England really want that sort of a player they should always be prepared for the brickbats which will follow if at any point it backfires! If Prior performs well enough behind the stumps without making too many goof-ups then I guess the purpose will be served. And good points about the need for a consistent policy.

    As for Richardson, stats and averages won't always convey a man's abilities, don't forget that while he was in the team he batted very low in the order and in addition to some good batsmen he also had some fine all-rounders in the team like Brian McMillan ahead of him. When heeded though, I can't recall him ever letting his team down.

    Shocked about that bit about spinners in Australia though! Hit home in a big way!

    Oh, and Hussey scored a ton today against the Lions, then spoke of how he feels so much better following a break. Still think he shouldn't play?

  • Comment number 30.


    Mani,

    The book I mentioned is 'The Complete Leg-Break Bowler' by C S Marriott. Benaud wrote the postscript in 1968. The book is a fascinating spinner's bible. Marriott only played one Test and was rather successful... however, I'll quote some of Benaud's words here. Remember this is from 1968:

    "The sad thing is that, in modern times, more emphasis is placed on medium pace bowling than on over-the-wrist spin and yet, in Australia, our greatest days have been when those three spinners mentioned above were controlling the attack and often the opposing batsmen as well"

    The three bowlers Benaud was referring to were Bill O'Reilly, Clarrie Grimmett and 'Chuck' Fleetwood-Smith.

    The most relevant piece comes a few paragraphs later:

    "As it happened, I got into the Australian side, not as a bowler, but because of that ridiculous 40-over new ball rule that was brought in in the post-war years. A balanced side in those days included plenty of pace bowlers and a leg-spinner who could bat... when I came into the game, there were a number of leg-spin bowlers who disappeared from first-class cricket, not because they couldn't bowl, but because they couldn't bat!'

    Certainly some interesting things to consider, especially that bit about Benaud's bowling alone not being enough to get him in the team. It does make a parallel to the wicketkeeping situation. A specialist spinner is left out in favour of a decentish spinner who can bat: a specialist keeper is left out for a decentish keeper who can bat.

    On the Hussey front, it is good seeing him score runs again as I like him as a cricketer. Him scoring runs though does put pressure on Marcus North if the selectors are considering the five man attack as North has barely got a run on tour so far. Maybe another needing a good knock! We've also seen big Mitchell scoring some runs too. I really do think he has the ability to be a genuine bowling all-rounder.

    Tomorrow is going to be a big day for Lee and Hauritz. Their performances will go a long way to deciding how the team will be made up.

  • Comment number 31.

    All I can say to that is that you never fail when it comes to backing up your views with meticulous research! Nicely done! For me though, I'd have a lot more sympathy with the situation then because as you've said not too long ago it's a lot more difficult to learn how to bowl than to be able to bat, the former is very much a laborious trail-and-error process and it wouldn't really be fair to expect bowlers to become great batsmen as it were. Not that a wicketkeeper's job is any easier, but that's where Richardson's comment about co-ordination comes in!

    Oh, and I really must ask you, how's that knee of yours? Seems like an eternity since that horrific operation you had!

  • Comment number 32.

    Gilchrist certainly was an exceptional keeper, but I have seen Haddin in Australia and rate him highly as both keeper and batsman. Don't forget that in the 2005 test series, Gilchrist had one of his rare off moments and I would not back against Haddin improving on that performance.
    Unfortunately for England, Flintoff, who was superb in that series, especially in removing Gilchrist, cannot be relied upon this time.
    This dosn't sound too good for England, but at least they do not have to face Warne; Ponting's batting has declined; Lee is also not impressing.
    Must watch out though for Siddle, who I think is a great workhorse and will shake up the England batting.
    Forecast a very interesting series.

  • Comment number 33.

    Mani,

    Is it meticulous research or am I just a cricket geek? I think we both know the answer here :)

    The knee isn't too bad. I'm in Michael Vaughan territory, alas, in that it's never going to be that strong. Matthew Hoggard on Cricinfo wrote a nice piece on Vaughan which had me wincing in sy)mpathy for the Vaughan knee (http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/410909.html):


    "Who knows what might have happened if he'd got the right treatment for his knee straightaway. Unfortunately it robbed him of some of his best years, and it still troubles him. If he turns the wrong way, or dives in the field and lands a bit funny, it clearly troubles him. He played a shot at Warwickshire the other day, and just collapsed. Everyone thought he'd slipped, but his knee had actually given way. It still gives him a lot of gyp."


    I know that feeling all too well.

  • Comment number 34.

    The new Adam Gilchrist? The best title you could come up with, was it?

    More like the new Ian Healy? He's a dead-ringer for Healy when he's got the shades and cap on.

  • Comment number 35.

    I believe Prior could be a long term prospect for England if he manages to use his feet more - whether he is capable of doing this, is yet to be seen.

    On another note - Paul Fletcher: please try to imrove on the quality of your writing. your spelling and grammar flaws makes your articles and comments hard to read.

 

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