Having an opinion is pretty much a prerequisite to writing a cricket blog that is interesting enough for people to enjoy and as our two readers will no doubt testify that means there are times when we get it a bit wrong at The Reverse Sweep.
In the last few days, two familiar targets of our ire have done rather well. Firstly, Kieron Pollard, whom we have previously opined to be the most overrated cricketer in the world scored his maiden ODI hundred (at the 51st attempt) against India in Chennai (in a dead rubber, it should be noted).
Since conjuring up an improbable win (and consequently a lucrative IPL contract) against New South Wales in the inaugural Champions League, Pollard was become a very rich man indeed through essentially whoring himself around the World’s T20 leagues whilst consistently disappointing for the West Indies (for whom he still hasn’t played a single Test).
Many feel that Pollard epitomises everything that is wrong with cricket in 2011 - Michael Holding certainly isn’t keen having famously suggested that “Kieron Pollard, in my opinion is not a cricketer”.
But it seems that Pollard may have more about him than either we or Holding had hitherto imagined. We’d already noted that throughout the India-West Indies ODI series, Pollard appeared to be trying to play himself in before trying to hit the ball onto the next continent.
We were reliably informed that Sunday was the first occasion since March 2009 that Pollard faced more than 100 balls in a single innings. That should provide him with a sobering thought and together with the memory of his maiden hundred provide the basis for his approach at the crease in future.
However, Pollard would be advised to remember that one swallow does not make a summer, and an ODI average with the bat of 23 and a T20I one of 12 clearly requires drastic improvement.
The notion of one swallow applies as much to David Warner as it does Pollard.
Warner’s brave, glorious and unbowed maiden Test ton in Hobart may have proved to be agonisingly futile in the final reckoning, but it did suggest that we were premature and ok we’ll admit it irrefutably wrong in rubbishing Warner’s Test credentials.
Indeed, Warner’s reinvention of himself for the longer form of the game is to his credit. The very suggestion of him carrying his bat in a Test match would have provoked much laughter not that long ago, but Warner did it in his second Test, in a run chase on a devilishly tricky surface.
Whilst he would do well to remember that his opening partner in Hobart also made a stunning impact in his second Test match, unlike the hapless Phillip Hughes, Warner doesn’t seem to lack self-belief nor possess a fatally flawed technique.
Moreover, he also seems to have heeded the advice of Virender Sehwag who as The Old Batsman reminded us last week told Warner that if he played his natural game “you'll be a better Test cricketer than you are a Twenty20 player”.
We shall see about that, but Warner has certainly made an immensely impressive start.
Cricket Zeroes: The Twenty 20 harlot
Cricket Heroes: Michael Holding
Top 20 cricket blogs: The Old Batsman
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