Cricket: Lesson in batting

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The Independent Online
IT OFTEN happens that after most of the main batsmen have failed, some of the lower order come along and show them up. This was certainly so at Old Trafford yesterday when Phillip DeFreitas and Darren Gough made sure England reached a respectable score.

They also taught the front-line batsmen the lesson they should never have forgotten. This is the crucial importance of the short single as a method of keeping the scoreboard moving.

The running of quick singles also creates the problem for the bowlers and their captain. If they are forced to bring the fielders closer in to prevent these singles, they automatically make bigger gaps between the fielders through which the ball can be hit for four. This is a self-evident truth and it is extraordinary how often good players seem to ignore it.

This was the headache DeFreitas and Gough gave Ken Rutherford It was a problem for which he was unable to find a satisfactory answer.

It has always been clear that DeFreitas has plenty of ability as a batsman but he has long done his best to forget about it.

Now, he seems to have found contentment with his third county, Derbyshire, and maybe this will be the catalyst that will enable him, at last, to use all his talents to England's advantage and to do so consistently.

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