5th March 2011

Following a morning of video analysis on South Africa’s world cup performances so far, management disappeared off to the umpire’s room muttering dark words under their breath about an illegal action. After what seemed from our vantage point to be a fairly animated discussion, the two Andys trudged back, tails between their legs.

Turns out their query wasn’t about Johan Botha’s doosra, but “that weird crap the new guy bowls”. It appears that neither Andy Flower nor Cap’n Ring-on-a-string knew what leg spin was. This of course explains not only Adil’s non-selection over the last couple of years, but also England’s increasingly cack-handed attempts to re-model his action.

I tried in vain to explain Imran Tahir’s bowling but was met with blank faces and a fair amount of anger from Strauss about the googly in particular. This apparently is “exactly the kind of dirty trick you expect from someone who didn’t have a school song”.

As I left the ground and headed back to the hotel they were both deep in thought over a YouTube clip of Abdul Qadir, desperately trying to relate it to the music-hall plate spinning analogy I’d decided to confuse them with further.

I’m already looking forward to tomorrow’s pre-match briefing. I wonder if they’ll advise us to put Tahir off by wobbling his pole?

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