The Light Roller: England's Ashes selections confuse recent precedent with considered history

The diary of a cricket obsessive

Bowlers needn't be tall to reach heights Down Under

The fate of Graham Onions is enough to bring a tear to the eye. A week after helping Durham to a brilliant County Championship title, and having trailed round after the England 1st XI for half the season, he misses the cut for this winter's Ashes squad because there are apparently five fast bowlers ahead of him in the queue (or six if you include the estimable Stokes and seven if you throw in the burly but injured Tim Bresnan).

England's focus on taller pacemen is understandable to an extent, bearing in mind what happened Down Under last time - notwithstanding that Finn is out of form, Tremlett may not be back to his best and Rankin is untested.

But it is instructive to recall that in 2009/10 James Anderson bowled 90 more overs than any other seamer and took more wickets by a distance. He was the real key to success.

In the dismal 5-0 drubbing of 2006/07 Matthew Hoggard was the top wicket-taker. And further back, Dean Headley in the late '90s and Gladstone Small in the '86/'87 campaign have both shown that swing and seam can be more important than height and bounce - even in Australia.

 

The Championship is reaching it's climax - but we already know how it ends

As the first-class season begins its final chapter, there are remarkably few details left unresolved. The champions of both divisions have been crowned, Surrey have been relegated after a thoroughly grim campaign and Northamptonshire are virtually guaranteed promotion.

The remaining interest lies in the identity of the second team to be relegated from the Championship's top tier. Derbyshire must hope for a positive result between Somerset and Notts (with few bonus points for the loser) while defeating Warwickshire themselves.

It's interesting enough for those in Derby, Taunton and Nottingham (and for Lancashire fans hoping that Jos Buttler will want to move north) but it is hardly the mass-appeal climax that the ECB must have hoped for with September sun finally peeking through the fog.

 

No joy for Surrey till the club re-establishes its sense of identity

Nevertheless, the balmy weather has been enough to bring a decent crowd to the Oval this morning, where Surrey's top-flight last rites are being said before they start life anew in division two next summer.

That a club with Surrey's resources, playing at a ground as glorious as the Oval, can find itself in this predicament is extraordinary. With Pietersen, Smith and Ponting on the books at the start of the season, it was not supposed to end this way.

More than most counties, Surrey seems so often to struggle with its sense of identity. And until that changes, the club will remain like much of the bowling on display this morning against Yorkshire: full of talent but not always well-directed.

 

Simon Jones can still show young Lions a thing or two

There was no fairytale ending for Simon Jones in Saturday's YB40 final at Lord's, in spite of his own excellent performance.

Like Harmison, who hasn't played at all, and Hoggard, who has played irregularly - in between times in the Masterchef kitchen - Jones will retire from first class cricket this season and take with him the gratitude of Britain's cricket lovers as well a few 'what ifs'.

He was a big-match player and despite ending up on the losing side at the weekend, it must have pleased him to take the key wickets of Alex Hales and James Taylor. Yet it is a marker of time passing to note that the Notts pair were 13 and 12 respectively when Jones made his England debut in the summer of 2002.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes