Lewis expands horizons of 'English' bowling

Jon Lewis is not the first England player to be pigeonholed as an English-style bowler, and he will not be the last to take offence at the generalisation.

When fast-bowling legends like Alec Bedser and Brian Statham were setting standards the comment would have been treated as a compliment, because it suggested that you were strong, wholehearted, skilful and consistent.

But modern bowlersare expected to be flexible, dashing, daring and cute. They must bowl slower balls, faster balls, inswingers, out-swingers, bouncers and yorkers. And when reverse swing is brought into the equation? A bowler needs an eight-ball over to go through his repertoire.

Lewis, who took a career-best 4 for 36 against Australia on Friday, does not want to be viewed as he is, even though he is an English-style seamer, because it suggests he is limited in how and where he can take wickets. I was placed in a similar bracket, and it probably cost me 20 Tests.

"It is something I have been labelled with and it is something I have to deal with," he said here yesterday, on the eve of England's Commonwealth Bank series match against New Zealand. "I have never thought of myself as an English-style bowler. I have always believed that I can bowl at any place across the world at any time, and the fact that I have taken wickets here, and in the one-dayers in England at the end of last summer, may help remove the illusion that I can only take wickets in May in England."

Lewis' pedigree is questioned because he is not particularly tall or fast. But he is competitive and has an excellent chance of making the World Cup XV because he is strong, wholehearted, skilful and consistent. The 31-year-old has these attributes because he has been playing county cricket for Gloucestershire for more than a decade and during several winters when he has not been involved with England he has played a high level of cricket abroad.

Lewis' development is the antithesis of James Anderson, Sajid Mahmood, Chris Tremlett and Liam Plunkett, the other fast bowlers in England's one-day squad. These were identified as outstanding prospects at a young age, and have spent most of their careers in the pampered and overcoached world of the national academy. And there are many, myself included, who believe that the sanitised nature of this existence does not fully prepare cricketers for a Test or one-day international.

Lewis has done both. "I am secure in the knowledge of what I do, and county cricket has a lot to do with that," he said. "You need to know your own game, and if you don't have that when the pressure is on you have nothing to fall back on."

* The Pakistan coach, Bob Woolmer, has said he is "open to offers" from the England and Wales Cricket Board to take over from Duncan Fletcher as England coach after the World Cup.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn