The X-Man: Doherty Throws It Back

3 11 2010

It seems that we might have to do some very public word eating… Xavier Doherty, the man who we spent an entire piece deriding, has shoved our words back at us with some considerable force by taking a still to be completed, yet almost certainly match winning, haul.

So far he has affected a run out and taken a further four wickets on ODI debut – not bad for a left arm tweaker against a team from the subcontinent… The temptation is large and the motives clear for an unrestrained public apology; followed by a complete reversal of our position on the ‘X-man’ (as Cricinfo and his fans appear to be calling him).

We are, however, going to resist this urge and take the opposite view point (albeit a qualified one)… There are enough players in history who have been called up only to take their first game by storm yet fade inexorably and quickly into the yellowing pages of old Wisdens. Bob Massie is the most obvious example that springs to mind although a more modern example may perhaps be Jason Krezja – although with Australia’s uncertainty about their spin attack his time will probably come again.

In actual fact we are quite pleased with regard to Doherty’s performance (despite our previous article) as it pushes him closer to a berth in an Ashes test match. A two pronged attack of Hauritz and Doherty would be something to behold.

Perhaps we are doing Doherty a massive disservice and his sky high first class average is an aberration. (It is of course possible to an extent as spinners often tend to mature and improve with age – just look at Graeme Swann). Perhaps, also, he is simply a limited overs specialist – good at containing runs and building pressure in that fashion – although this in our opinion does not make him a particularly good bowler. Michael Yardy can do that…

Either way he has had an excellent ODI debut – which interestingly is still going (come on the Lankans) – for which we applaud him. If he does play in the Ashes and he does take a hatful of wickets we will consider our words very carefully then. Up until this happens we refuse to be convinced…

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