Player of the Day: Lack of ego helps swing king have a field day

Bowlers hate the toss. Mostrefuse to watch it. On days when the pitch is dry, hard and devoid of grass, and the sun is hot, some fast bowlers have been known to kneel by their changing pos-ition praying to a mightier force while the coin is in the air. If the captain calls correctly, a day of relaxation beckons. If not, a day of toil. Which would you prefer?

Matthew Hoggard has been around too long to allow such uncontrollable factors to influence his mindset, and he would have reacted philosophically to the news that Vaughan had lost his third consecutive toss of the tour. Deep down he would have realised that if the pitch was to offer him any assistance, it would have been there and then in the opening two hours of the match.

The pitch offered Hoggard assistance and though it was only minimal, he exploited it magnificently to reduce Sri Lanka to 42 for 5. The ego of a fast bowler and his desire to impose himself on an opponent can result in the ball being hammered in halfway down the pitch. It looks good on TV and from the sidelines when the batsmen are bobbing and weaving out of the way of a barrage of short deliveries but often it results in the new ball being wasted.

England, and in particular Hoggard, did not play with their egos yesterday morning, they used their brains. From the first ball of the day, bowled by Ryan Sidebottom, they pitched the shiny red cherry up to give it every chance of swinging and made the batsmen play.

Careless strokes from Sanath Jayasuriya and Michael Vandort handed England the initiative, but it was high-quality swing bowling that accounted for the next three. Swing bowlers do not need the ball to move a great deal in the air to cause doubt in a batsman's mind and Hoggard's bowling, though a tad faster, brought back memories of Terry Alderman at his best. Getting in close to the stumps, the 30-year-old bowled an immaculate line to both left- and right-handers.

When Sri Lanka's left-handers Jayasuriya, Vandort and Kumar Sangakkara, enjoying a supreme run of form left the ball, they would have feared the tinkle of it clipping off stump. The quand-ary makes left-handers play at deliveries they should leave alone. Hoggard's inswing ensured the inside edge of the bat was struck as often as the middle.

Yet it was the outside edge of Mahela Jayawardene's bat that gave England the belief that the day might be theirs. The Sri Lankan captain never looked settled against Hoggard. He wanted to leave the ball alone and let it pass harmlessly through to the keeper, Matt Prior, but it was always aimed too close to his off stump and eventually the right-hander succumbed, nibbling at the perfect outswinger. Chamara Silva fell in similar fashion, caught behind, although the ball that feathered the edge of his bat pitched on off-stump and left him. Donald Bradman would have done well to keep it out.

It was the wicket of Jehan Mubarak that highlightedHoggard's pedigree, proving beyond doubt that he is far more than a one-trick pony. The left-handed Mubarak arrived at the crease expecting a sequence ofinswingers to be sent his way but the fifth ball he faced dartedfrom leg to off, deceiving him completely. Prior did the rest.

With 4 for 21 in 10 overs, and Sri Lanka in disarray, Hoggard took a well-deserved rest. The spell took his tally of wickets on the subcontinent, a region where bowlers of his style are meant to struggle, to 47, costing him 26 runs apiece. Not bad for a day that started with the worst possible call from the balcony: "Strap 'em on Hoggy, we're fielding."

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living