England’s left-arm seamers – The Full Toss


England’s white ball groups now have a battery of left arm seamers, and infrequently go in with as many as three. The sudden profusion of left arm choices is, nevertheless, a reasonably current growth, as till not too long ago it was a comparative rarity for England to pick a left armer of their seam assault.

Maybe the very best recognized England left armer was JK Lever, and though he predated my time as an England fan, I do have obscure recollections watching him late in his profession for Essex. Taking a look at his figures, it’s a shock he didn’t play extra, taking 73 wickets in 21 assessments at a mean of 26, and 24 in 22 in the future internationals at 29 with the extremely respectable economic system price of three.71. It appears shocking that he didn’t play extra for England, significantly within the early to mid 80s given his wonderful file.

The primary left arm seamer I watched stay for England was Mark Ilott, who performed a few assessments within the dismal ashes 12 months of 1993, and a pair extra on tour in South Africa in 1994-5. An entire hearted county bowler, he was uncovered in opposition to Take a look at batsmen and performed solely 5 Assessments, at a mean of 45. To be blunt, he most likely lacked the tempo to actually succeed at worldwide degree.

Alan Mullally, who debuted in 1996, has a extra substantial file than Ilott. He performed 19 assessments and 50 ODIs, taking 58 take a look at wickets at 31. He was introduced in to attempt to give a poor England facet some selection, and is probably remembered extra for his dismal batting. Nonetheless, he was a stable worldwide bowler, albeit most likely a greater white ball bowler than purple, taking 63 wickets in ODIs at an economic system price of lower than 4, indicating how properly suited left arm seam bowlers could be for shorter kind matches.

Honourable mentions additionally go to “Sam” Brown, who performed one take a look at in 1996, and “Smudge” Smith, a diminutive county bowler who once more performed a solitary take a look at in 97, and missed out on a take a look at wicket when Graham Thorpe dropped Matthew Elliott. Each may swing the ball persistently at county degree however struggled of their sole appearances at assessments. This was additionally, by the way, an issue for Mullally. He bowled at a quicker lick than Ilott however didn’t actually swing the ball into the right-handers persistently sufficient.

Arguably the very best left-armer England have had in recent times was Ryan Sidebottom. He debuted in 2001 however solely turned a daily within the facet when he was recalled in 2007. Sidebottom had a wonderful profession and ably changed Matthew Hoggard as England’s swing specialist. At an honest peak of 6 foot 4, and bowling within the mid to late 80s, he had a stable take a look at file of 79 wickets in 22 video games with a bowling common of 28. He was additionally a wonderful in the future bowler, with a superb yorker and adjustments of tempo, contributing to England’s first ever World Cup trophy – the 2010 World T20.

Wanting again, Sidebottom in my view ought to have performed extra for England. Nonetheless, he suffered attributable to Duncan Fletcher’s notion that he lacked the tempo to succeed on the highest degree. His success after his belated recall, after all, refuted this idea – though he typically pushed his physique too exhausting and picked up niggling accidents.

The trendy period has resulted in a plethora of left-armers enjoying white ball cricket, significantly the T20 sport. The primary England tried on this format was Harry Gurney, who exhibited some first rate abilities “on the loss of life” together with slower balls, which have change into such an integral a part of a seamer’s armoury in white ball cricket.

Of those that have performed extra not too long ago, David Willey is a constant swing bowler and a stable decrease order hitter, and Reece Topley is an exceptionally tall bowler with a superb yorker and bouncer. It’s only a disgrace about his continual harm issues.

England’s most distinguished left-armer of current occasions, nevertheless, has been Sam Curran. Though his Take a look at file is presently modest, he’s a formidable white ball bowler, significantly in T20 cricket, the place his selection in addition to his skiddy trajectory could make him tough to play on the loss of life. His batting, whereas erratic, can be brutally efficient, significantly on sluggish wickets

Whether or not Curran can grow to be an efficient Take a look at bowler stays to be seen, however his comparatively modest tempo and lack of peak implies that he’ll have to swing the ball to threaten the batsmen. England even have a profusion of quick bowling choices in Take a look at cricket so his alternatives could be restricted.

The rise of left-armers in county cricket – George Garton and Luke Wooden spring to thoughts – could be a quirk of nature, however the deluge of T20 leagues and their obsession with ‘match ups’ has undoubtedly benefitted the practitioners of this specific artwork. The truth that left armers might be able to cramp the batsmen might partially clarify their recognition. Nonetheless, apart from Lever and Sidebottom, few of the gamers talked about above have actually satisfied at Take a look at degree. England haven’t produced a Wasim Akram, or a Mitchell Starc, or perhaps a Mitchell Johnson. It’s about time they did.

Rob Stephenson



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