Crickets Shift In Gears And The Might Of Morgan

23 06 2010

There have been times throughout the history of cricket where this wonderful game has metamorphosed into something quite different. Perhaps the first was the introduction of round arm bowling by John Willes in the 1830’s which paved the way for the legalisation of overarm bowling in 1864.

W.G. Grace then initiated a further development to counter the greater bounce that these bowlers were now able to get by becoming the first player to really be comfortable playing off both the front and back foots (before then players had usually played with their weight going in only one direction) and which is safe to say revolutionised the art of batting.

The 1960’s then provided a plethora of changes with amateur cricketers becoming a thing of the past and with the introduction of domestic one day cricket. International one day cricket followed soon after in 1971 and with Kerry Packer’s World Series competition kicking off in 1979 it became recognisable as the game it is today.

The most recent but undoubtedly not the last major development was the introduction of 20/20 cricket in English domestic cricket. Indeed this last initiative could see possibly the biggest changes yet to the very fabric of cricket, threatening as it does the popularity of the longer forms of the game, but certainly on a lower level there have already been marked changes. These were never more apparent than in yesterdays first one day international between England and Australia at the Rose Bowl.

Batting first Australia scored 267-7 in their 50 overs, the only batsman to make a half century being Michael Clarke who scored 87 not out from 97 balls. England then chased this total down with four overs to spare to win by 4 wickets. Eoin Morgan this time doing the damage by scoring a brilliant 103 not out from only 85 balls.

Only 10 years ago 267 would have been considered a good score with the upper reaches of the 200’s being very challenging and the Valhalla of 300 being a comparatively rare occurrence. Indeed of the all time total of 360 three hundred plus innings totals achieved, only 87 occurred prior to the year 2000 and with a measly 12 being prior to 1990. (This is despite the fact that many games used be 60 over matches rather than the current 50 back in the early days of ODI cricket). 267 was never likely to be enough on a flat pitch and Clarke justifiably or not is shouldering most of the blame.

Clarke has come in for a large amount of criticism in the recent past due to his pedestrian performances at the 20/20 world cup, yet, in the longer 50 over games, we were still backing him to come good which in some ways he did. It could be argued that he batted very well, rescuing Australia from he depths of 97-4, yet the lack of acceleration at the end of his innings showcased his shortcomings once more and, as ever in this situation, meant that he left a lot of people unsatisfied. Morgan on the other hand is a very modern cricketer and showed this by playing what was probably the perfect innings.  In many ways it started similarly to Clarke’s, building slowly with Luke Wright from a similar score, always comfortable in the knowledge that he has in his armory and ability to score at 10 an over if needed.

This article is nothing new or revolutionary and this topic has been covered on many occasions before, but it simply struck us more forcefully than it ever has before whilst watching last nights match. 5000 one day international runs, a strike rate of 77 and an average of 42 but somehow, suddenly, he’s not good enough. Clarke is of course a brilliant player in the longer forms of the game and a major talent. With that in mind we suspect that he will be able to alter his game and adapt to the demands of modern limited overs cricket but right now, if we were the Australian management, we would rather the big hitting Cameron White was batting at 4.


Mighty Morgan

Morgan’s innings yesterday is undoubtedly his finest yet in a one day shirt for England. With his previous hundred coming against Bangladesh it is a fine achievement to score one against the might of Australia. Admittedly it was a rather callow attack featuring a 19 year old on debut but this should not take too much away from him.

There was a moment when England slipped to 97-4 with Luke Wright and Morgan newly at the crease where we felt the old England nerves creeping in. One or two more wickets and we felt it was game over and with Wright having not achieved a great deal in an England shirt we were backing Australia for the win. We had of course not taken Eoin Morgan into account though and he typified this new look England team. Never panicking and always thinking, it was an exceptional innings, and made us feel guilty for ever doubting England.




3 responses

23 06 2010

I was surprised to see Dirk Nannes not playing.

23 06 2010

I think they have pigeon holed him as a 2020 player only. I would like to see him given a shot in the ODI’s too although his body is very fragile so perhaps he wouldn’t last.

Cheers for commenting.

23 06 2010


I work with the Barmy Army and saw your post. If you want to be ahead of the game and win a trip to the Ashes please enter our great competition –

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