England Need A Bowler With A Good Economy Rate
Pakistan closed the second day on 185-4, 103 runs behind England. It has been suggested that the game is evenly poised, but in my view Pakistan have the advantage and are likely to achieve a first innings lead of about 50.
As Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq were compiling an undefeated stand of 79 I realised that in the absence of a bowler like Jones, who takes wickets with the old ball, England need a player who can keep the run rate down when the shine is off the ball and the batsmen are well set on a good pitch. If nothing else it minimises the damage until the second new ball comes available.
The intermittent careers of Angus Fraser and Robert Croft suggests that even when England have these bowlers, the selectors are reluctant to pick them. In the absence of Simon Jones, perhaps the selectors should have examined their Wisden Almanacs for a bowler with a good economy rate. A miserly bowler in the squad would have given them more options. I would suggest someone, but clearly the statisticians don’t value the virtue I seek, as my Playfair Annual fails to include the overs bowled in the summary statistics, which makes the economy rate impossible to work out.
I believe that sometimes defence is the best form of attack.