Inverarity nudges Warwickshire upwards

Warwickshire 502-6 dec Kent 297 and 23-0 Match drawn

John Inverarity is a tall, slim, silver-haired Australian in his early sixties. By nature, he is discreet and undemonstrative, but he was looking remarkably pleased with himself yesterday. He coaches Warwickshire, who were frustrated by rain, but retain a very comfortable lead of 27 points in the Championship.

But this was not why Inverarity was looking smug. He was simply watching Australia's rugby players demolish the world champions. "Great tries," he said, and recommended a look at the replays.

There was plenty of time to watch. Beckenham in south-east London was one of only three places in the country where county cricket was played yesterday, but it was severely rationed. Basically, what happened was that each side got one more bonus point, though Kent fell three runs short of a third batting point when they were out, 205 in arrears. Andrew Symonds, who scored more than half of Kent's runs, hitting 21 fours and four sixes in 156 not out, was the only distinguished thing about Kent's innings.

Kent followed on, but 35 remaining overs were too few to enable Warwickshire's diminished bowling attack to break through. The game was a rain-ruined draw, and the most interesting thing about it was to try to understand why Warwickshire are doing so well. Ed Smith, the Kent batsman, points at Inverarity. "That's why," he says. Smith knows.

Inverarity coached him at Kent a few years ago. "He notices everything," says Smith. When he identifies a flaw in a player's game, he corrects it quietly and in private.

Inverarity is a teacher, literally so. He was headmaster of a private school in Perth until he retired a couple of years ago. Teaching school is what he would rather be doing now, but he told himself he would stop after 15 years, and so he did.

Warwickshire picked him as their coach, and their players are the beneficiaries.

Ask him why Warwickshire are in a purple patch and there is, as you have come to expect, no dramatic explanation. He says it is because the players are slowly improving, and performing best where it counts - in the middle. This shows in the statistics; they are not yet awesome but they promise to be, and they help to explain the team's success.

In nine matches they have scored more than 500 runs in the first innings no less than five times. In three others they got more than 400. Nick Knight, their injured skipper, averages 99.56 in the Championship; Ian Bell 59.50, Jonathan Trott 58.38, and Mark Wagh 46.50. They have accumulated 38 batting points, six more than any other First Division county.

Smith makes the point that able young batsmen are chipping in with useful wickets: Bell has 12 at 20.58; Wagh has 10, though not so cheaply. This is particularly useful because Brad Hogg, the spinner from Western Australia, is performing better as a batsman (4 for 90 here were his best figures of the season by far). The overseas fast bowlers - Heath Streak and Dewald Pretorius - are injured, but they still have managed one more bowling point than anyone else.

Bell's good season has provoked speculation about promotion to the England team. His teacher is not convinced. Bell is promising, Inverarity reports, but he is still a learner who would get no favours by being pushed into the England squad too soon. He would be happy to share the news with the selectors, but apparently they don't ask. Perhaps they should spend more time chewing the fat while the rain falls on county cricket.

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Life and Style
fashion'To start singing with Pharrell is not that bad, no?'
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible