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Unfair Criticism: England Aren’t Bowling That Badly

The first test match between England and South Africa is currently underway and it seems that many commentators and cricket analysts have been complaining about the lack of penetration in the England bowling line-up. I would just like to say that the English bowling isn't all that bad as it is made out to be — it is just that the deck on which they are bowling is too flat to be considered a typical South African wicket. This has been happening to South Africa pitches over the last three years in particular, wherein they are turning into batting paradises alike sub-continental wickets.

Stuart Board and Anderson didn’t bowl badly at all and Swann too was consistent with his line, outside the off-stump. It is just that there was nothing off the square and even the expected moisture in the air had deserted the Englishmen. Further, with a resolute Kallis standing firm in the middle, whatever little that the pitch had to offer, seems nullified. Don’t be surprised if the English batting reply is as good as that of the Proteas.Most cricket analysts have been harping on the fact that the England attack has a ‘sameness’ about it but it should be understood that bowlers like Graham Onions and Anderson are typical English bowlers and the likes of Harmison were a blip in the regular supply of bowlers coming from the UK over the past decade. Yes, Flintoff’s aggression is missing but you would need to comprehend that how much of uncertain bounce, Freddie could have extracted from this very, placid track?

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