Sunday, 3 June 2012

Anderson, Finn or Onions?

There are some excellent selectors on Twitter, just like there were some great players of spin as Saeed Ajmal last winter, was conning his way through English defences better than anyone since William the Conqueror! With Jimmy Anderson "rested" now, and wouldn't we all like a week off from our employers for good performance, who do you think should be his replacement?

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Anderson...should we have rested our best bowler?


The decision to rest Anderson has baffled some, including the man from Burnley himself, and whilst he is on 267 test wickets, he is desperate to fill his boots against opposition such as the West Indies, where he has tormented their top four, teasing the likes of Kirk Edwards like a cat with a mouse, before finally going in for the kill as another bends back into his pads. Should he have been rested? There are pros and cons. The counsel for the defence of the ECB would say, what if he breaks down, what if he tears a hamstring, and he is reputedly suffering with numerous niggles. Those acting for the prosecution would imply that he is buzzing at present, and what if he suddenly loses form, is it fair on him and this is test cricket after all. Shouldn't we be playing our best side regardless? Whatever, you think at the end of the day Anderson has got the "raging Ivana" as we say in North London, otherwise known as the hump.

What is done, is done, and this morning the squad was announced minus the Lancastrian, and including Steven Finn and Graham Onions. My own personal view is they will go for the Middlesex man, with Onions as back up, which would be the correct decision in the long term. Finn has been the heir to the throne for quite a while now, and has done nothing wrong whilst he has bided his time. It is a wonderful position to be in for English supporters.

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Onions...in amazing form
Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of time for the Durham seamer who is obviously in superb form this year with 34 wickets this year at a remarkable 12 apiece. To come back from his back injury which would have finished off lesser players has been an amazing feat, and only this week took 11-95 in the match against last year's champions, Lancashire.

However, Onions is a shorter man than Finn, and more of a seamer who kisses the pitch. Whilst in English conditions this is beneficial, but with one eye on the subcontinental pitches where England tour later this year, something out of the ordinary is needed, and Finn with his 6'7" frame gives you that. Finn tends to bang it in more than Onions, and his height gains natural bounce. No less a judge than Mike Atherton said that as an opening bat, you get to face numerous quicks, but it is bounce that is often more unsettling than pace, as the likes of Curtley and Glenn McGrath sent him back to the pavilion again and again!

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Finn...a right handful
The Middlesex man was usurped by Tim Bresnan on the Ashes winning tour two winters ago, and since then has worked amazingly hard, adding a yard and a half to his pace. Regularly pinging it through at 90mph plus, he is a right handful, and no one but no one likes genuine pace, even the great Tendulkar. Whilst he might be the butt of his team mates jokes both at county and international level on Twitter, you certainly wouldn't want to be taking the piss when twenty two yards away with a bat in your hand!

We can debate the pros and cons of Finn and Onions, all we like, and I am sure both parties have their respective supporters, but it will be fascinating to see who is in the eleven later this week. Only the two Andrews, Flower and Strauss, will know. Let us know on Twitter, who you think should be in the side  by tweeting us @TheMiddleStump.

You never know, they might just rest Broad as well, and play them both!

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