Cricket: Danger of a pair on the prowl

Henry Blofeld applauds a command performance from a deadly partnership

THERE is now the same ring to the Donald and Pollock (Shaun) fast- bowling partnership as there was to Heine and Adcock in the Fifties and there would have been to Pollock (Peter) and Procter, had it not been for South Africa's sporting isolation, which began in 1970 when they were at their peak. Fast bowlers have always operated best in pairs and the great partnerships trip off the tongue.

Allan Donald is the most fearsome, but Pollock has become an admirable junior partner. It is tempting to describe the less outwardly fearsome of the two as a foil, but this implies an inferiority which would be unfair to Pollock, for he is an ideal complement to Donald, who, at Lord's, has been simply magnificent, moving the ball both ways at great speed.

Pollock does not have the same searing pace, but his control is good - he moves the ball away from the right-hander and he has a nasty bouncer. Above all, he is also an aggressive bowler who is constantly at the batsman, asking different questions from Donald.

Almost always, the fiercest of two fast bowlers effectively takes wickets for his partner. Fred Trueman did this for Brian Statham, a bowler with an outwardly less exuberant, but equally effective method. Nonetheless, a batsman who had defied "Fiery Fred" could make the mistake of thinking Statham an easier opponent.

Undoubtedly, Pollock owes some of his wickets to Donald too, but this is not to detract from his skill. The controlling influence at Lord's was not so much poor England batting as a masterly exhibition of fast bowling. In 1948, for example, that pair of great Australian fast bowlers, Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller, under Don Bradman's captaincy, destroyed England. The England batting then was led by two of the all-time greats, Len Hutton and Denis Compton, with Bill Edrich not all that far behind. A detailed analysis of the strokes that got them out would almost certainly produce the same answers that Atherton, Hussain and some of the others have produced now.

England badly need six batsmen with the attitude of Ken Barrington who, every time he went to the wicket, took the worthy intention of establishing squatter's rights. He went out to bat for the day and often did. But his technique was not constantly being distorted by the demands of one-day cricket.

What has been so impressive about Donald and Pollock at Lord's has been the manner in which they have been able to collect themselves after they bowled so badly at Edgbaston. They bowled only seven overs between them in the gap between the two Test matches. Instead, they worked extremely hard in the nets. Their rhythm has returned and, with it, their control. Now they have given a royal command performance which has more than made up for Edgbaston.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a friendly, confident i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Primary Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: At Tradewind Recruitment we are currently l...

Tradewind Recruitment: Physics Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind Recruitment is currently working ...

Recruitment Genius: Case Manager - Occupational Therapist / Physiotherapist

£28000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee