Tag Archives: Jimmy Anderson

Is Adil Rashid the best player in the world?

Probably.

He’s probably even better than Freddy Flintoff and Stuart Broad…combined, probably.  On a similar note, I wonder if Stuart Broad’s reign as Premier All-Rounder™, about a week along, is the shortest in English cricketing history?  He even could beat Derek Pringle or Rikki Clarke (seriously, read this article on Rik circa-2003 and feel, throughout your body, the hilarious power of hindsight).  Perhaps Statsguru can inform The Leading Edge of the answer to this extremely important question.

But with one of the most breath-taking 31*’s ever scored, at the very un-English strike-rate of 134 that would more at home in that darn Indian Premier League thing than it would in the wonderful surrounding of the Brit Oval, and 10 wicketless overs at 4 over that only contained 4 full-tosses, Rashid has not only secured himself a plane ticket to South Africa and a 413-year central contract but the most important accolade of all: a place in English cricketing folklore.

When people reminisce about England’s ODI cricketing fortunes over the years, this will be up there with that weird tournament we won whilst Adam Hollioake was captain (don’t tell me it’s not as good as the World Cup), that magical time Collingwood scored a century and took 5 wickets in the same match (against, erm, Bangladesh), the time Jimmy Anderson bowled 10 overs for 12 with 6 maidens against Australia (now we all cheer if he goes for under 6 an over).  Next on the list will be Adil Rashid versus The Australia, circa 2009.  Will the next Freddy Flintoff please stand up?

In all seriousness though, he did play pretty well didn’t he?

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England Player Ratings – Oh yes.

Well, well, well,  England won the Ashes.  Any team that has Peter Siddle’s pathetic excuse for facial hair in them is always going to lose as far as I’m concerned.  Easy.  Marcus North, the most English-like Australian to ever play for Australia, the man who scores century in easy circumstances but when it comes down to it goes for a slog and gets stumped, with bowling about as effective as Owais Shah, is my fellow scapegoat.  Anyway, it’s that time: ratings.  England first, obviously, because they’re … better.

Oh, and because doing rating is so cliched, yet so damn good, The Leading Edge will offer comments in a unique Haiku form.  Expect the Guardian to rip us off next series.

Andrew ‘Andy’ Strauss 474 runs @ 53
What a man, What a
Man! A cut, a nudge to square.
Captain hero!  Runs too.
9/10 (would have got 10 if he’d scored a couple more centuries)

Alistair ‘Chefy’ Cook 222 runs @ 25
Sort of looked in form,
Alas, lost his off-stump.  Where?
Blowin’ in the wind.
4/10 (fielded well, and got us off to a flyer at Lords)

Ravi ‘Hit ‘n Miss’ Bopara 105 runs @ 15
Oh Ravi, Oh Rav!
Rav, you used to be alright,
What happened? Crash, burn.
1/10 (How could he have possibly been worse!?)

Ian ‘Tinker’ Bell 140 runs @ 28
My question to you:
Score a century at 3?
Will it ever come?
5/10 (Bleurgh, I love our Ronald, but he’s got to go)

Kevin ‘KP’ Pietersen 153 runs @ 38
Oh, your poor ankle!
Oh, how do you sleep at night?
Dreaming of bad sweeps?
5/10 (Remembered only for his sweep and his heel, won without him, God forbid)

Paul ‘MBE’ Collingwood 250 runs @ 28, 1 wicked @ 76
Saved us at Cardiff,
But really you are complete
Shit.  Please go away.
5/10 (Bare minimum that could be expected, probably will be culled sooner rather than later)

Ian ‘Jonathan’ Trott 160 runs @ 80
Where is Robert Key?
It’s not ‘Where’s Wally?’  When we
have our new Trotty.
10/10 (Compare to Bopara: What more could you ask for?!)

Matt ‘Wicketkeeper’ Prior 261 runs @ 33, 11 catches and 1 stumping
Stump the night away!
Slog the damn Aussies away!
Keeps Haddin at bay…?
7/10 (Could have done with more runs from six, but kept admirably)

Andrew ‘Frederick’ Flintoff 200 runs @ 33, 8 wickets @ (look away now…) 52
Why are you so broke?
One good spell with one good throw?
Yet we love you so.
6/10 (As the Haiku so wonderfully points out: one good spell and one good throw out was slightly underwhelming)

Stuart ‘New Freddy (…Barney Rubble?)’ Broad 234 runs @ 29, 18 wickets @ 30
Yeah, yeah, like I said,
You’re pretty good, but my gosh,
don’t you just know it?
7/10 (Might have won us the Ashes, but no excuse for 3 games of complete dross with the ball)

Graeme ‘Massive Chin’ Swann 294 runs @ 36, 14 wickets @ 41
Funny runs, big chin.
Always bowlin’ with a grin,
You bowled ala fin.
7/10 (4th in both batting and bowling averages.  Who would have predicted that?)

James ‘Jimmy’ Anderson 12 wickets @ 45
Hola, King of Swing.
King for a day, oh alas,
where is the ‘Plan B’?
When ball swings: 10/10.  All other times: 2/10 (‘Nuff said.)

Monty ‘Monty’ Panesar 1 wicket @ 115
Oh Turbanator!
Why do you bowl like a bore?
When will you come back?
2/10 (Bowled terribly on a ‘spinning pitch’, but did get one of the best 7 not out’s ever)

Graeme ‘Funny Headline’ Onions 10 wickets @ 30
Lily Allen thinks
he’s so cool. When in S.A.
he will rule the roost
7/10 (He did pretty good really, was very consistent)

Steve ‘Uh oh!’ Harmison 5 wickets @ 33
3 wickets on the
last afternoon, not enough.
Shit, please go away.
5/10 (Literally completely average. Best contribution was probably at Worcester when he exposed Hughes to the short ball)

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Swann Song: Graeme Logs in

swannMy 5th Test preview!!

Posted by Graeme Swann, Wednesday 19th August

Swannie here, England’s number one spinner and generally good bloke. I’m often compared to this hilarious chaps in the WKD adverts. Have I got a WKD side? I should say so! HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Must tell Jimmy that one, Jimmy’ll love that, classic banter!!!

Anyway, the chaps have all been getting prepared for the big test and spirits are high after that hiccup in Leeds. I’ve been doing my best to keep the morale with my usual high jinks. For example, the other day Cooky was fresh out the shower and drying his face with a towel. I picked up a piping hot cuppa and proceeded to dip Cooky’s little man in it, or as we call it, ‘The little chef!’ Geddit, chef, cook. Classic banter!!! Jimmy’ll love that.

Cooky went mad and all the lads thought it was hilarious except cooky who jokingly threatened to drop me the second he was made skipper. Then stormed off to Flower’s office, not sure why he always goes there when I wind him up, probably to discuss technique or something.

Anyway, they can’t drop me anymore, I’m England’s number one. Plus my banter is second to none, the lads love it, especially at the start of a day’s play. I’ll be there, winding up Straussy that he’s gonna fail to build on his overnight score again, then rubbing it right in when he comes back having added nothing. HA HA. Classic banter. Straussy clearly loves it though as he’s promoted me to honorary spokesman of the team.

The SKY lot will come in when I’m playing ‘hide Monty’s turban’ or something and ask for someone to do an interview with Atherton. Strauss always volunteers me now without hesitation, ‘Piss off Swann and do the f**kin interview’ he says, great banter. I like having a chat with the camera’s and being ‘cheeky Graeme Swann’, everyone loves it. It’s ashame I have to miss out on all the banter in the dressing room before play though. In fact, I don’t think there’s much without me. Whenever I get back into the pavilion all the lads look bloody depressed. They miss the Swann’s presence clearly.

People think there must be some animosity between me and Monty, what with me taking his place and all, but that’s far from the case. I’m always there making jokes with him about his turban and calling him the ‘turbanator’, much funnier than the ‘Shermanator’, although American Pie is a classic film. In fact, I think I was the one who made him play so well on that final day in Cardiff. Many a time the skipper felt like his resolve was flagging so he sent out twelthy and the physio to remind him that I was waiting for him in the dressing room and he applied himself again. That’s the Swann factor, oh my god, we should do that. Make a show like the X-Factor but where people try to be like me, classic, must tell Jimmy about that one!!!
Right, I’m off now to listen to some Oasis, Wonderwall is clearly the best tune of eva!!! Jimmy thinks that Blur are better, what a fool!

Graeme Swann is an England Test cricketer, you can follow his twitter here.  The fee from this column has been donated to charity.

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