OPINION: Our domestic fast bowlers are soft and lazy.
They don't work hard enough at their art and are allowed to repeat mistakes without consequences.
They come to the ground with two bats in their bag rather than two pairs of socks and screeds of notes on their competition.
Fast bowlers should be skilful and persistent. They should be able to make the ball change direction at high speed and bowl length in their sleep. They should be blessed with stamina and determination.
Our domestic coaches don't help matters. Only Otago's Vaughn Johnson comes from a pace bowling background and his team just happens to have won the Twenty20 competition and ran a close second in the Plunket Shield.
New Zealand Cricket issued a press release yesterday highlighting the fact that in the fifth round of the domestic 50-over competition the average innings score was 351 .
I'd be hiding that. It is a disgrace. Bats may be bigger, grounds smaller, outfields dry and another man up in the circle but our second-tier quicks need to be better than they are.
Scott Kuggeleijn will lace up his boots for Wellington again today.
He has spent the entire summer being smoked into nearby rest homes but Wellington refuse to make him accountable or take him away for tutelage.
Kuggeleijn has taken 6-323 across five rounds of the 50-over competition at an economy rate of 7.17 runs per over. One feels sorry for the lad.
The Firebirds are captained by widely travelled James Franklin, whose attitude to bowling sums up the modern-day quick.
They say the old-fashioned yorker is high-risk and not the weapon it once was because of the way a batsman moves about the crease.
In the domestic 50-over competition Wellington have conceded 349-7, 302-7, 321-6, 287 in a rain shortened (39 overs) game and 383-7 - and they've won two of those games. Anyone for a yorker?
"There is no doubt if you can execute a good yorker it is hard to score off," Franklin said.
"But the bowlers that can do it every ball are few and far between. For the mere mortal they have to find different ways.
"We've got a couple of guys that are good at it, Jesse (Ryder) and Dizzy (Mark Gillespie) but to do it six balls out of six is pretty tough.
"Sometimes you are just better to bluff to bowl a yorker and bowl a short one. You certainly need plenty of variations."
Franklin won't bowl against Canterbury at Hagley Oval in Christchurch today because of a side strain. He has good and bad days with the ball but has been performing for Wellington in this competition (economy rate 5.44 runs per over).
Franklin has been in the team more than a decade so has witnessed the mindshift of bowlers from a good day being three an over to a good day being six an over.
"In five years the game has progressed so much," he says.
"Batsmen are prepared to do things that they weren't prepared to do five years ago.
"They are playing with less fear. They are prepared to take bowlers on no matter what stage of the innings.
"With four players only outside the ring, if you don't get early wickets you pay."
Everything goes round. Cricket is currently a game run by batsmen on behalf of batsmen but it won't always be that way.
Fathers and grandfathers: train up your sons and grandsons to be determined quick bowlers.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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