Cricket: Third Test: Disciplined Caddick studies too hard

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The Independent Online
EACH time Andy Caddick has had the new ball in his hands when playing for England I have felt that I have been watching a different bowler from the one who opens for Somerset.

For his county, he bowls the first four or five overs putting everything into it and works up a genuine pace in contrast to his opening overs in England's cause in the first two Test matches.

Then, he became a more studied, deliberate bowler who approached the crease in more measured style and when the time came to deliver the ball he seemed to check himself in the attempt to 'place' the ball exactly where he wanted.

It was as if he was bowling each ball with the words of his captain, his manager or whoever, ringing through his head, 'length and line, length and line'.

This is all symptomatic of the greater ill which has swept through this England side and in terms of Test cricket is nothing more than a suffocating form of consensus, safety-first politics.

Those in charge seem to have let themselves become asphyxiated by the tactics of one-day cricket which are essentially defensive. As a result England's cricketers have been looking more and more overmanaged and stereotyped as this series has progressed.

As for Caddick, the hope must always be at the start of an innings when the ball is new, the pitch untried and the batsmen unsure that the first five overs will see a couple of batsmen on their way back. Not just that the openers will be forced to play a series of maiden overs. In his Somerset form, Caddick should open for England.