Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Fast And Furious Downunder

Ok it's fair to say me and Adam Milne have a heck of a lot in common. We both went to Palmy Boys. We both played club cricket in Palmerston North. We both wanted to be bowlers, his fast and furious, mine a sedate offie, sometimes medium pacer. We both wanted to play for New Zealand. I never realised the last, Adam did. That's where the similarities stop.
I remember some time ago when he was drafted into the T20 series versus Pakistan and there were calls to leave him be for a while to mature. I think he was 18 then and chucking them down inaccurately but at around 150k. So NZC listened to the pundits and told him to go back to domestic cricket and prove himself. Well from what little knowledge I have of his domestic records, I suspect they weren't rosy for a while. But mature he did, and guess what, at 21 he was drafted back into the T20 versus West Indies, with as we now know devastating force.
Forget the 153.6Kph ball. Forget the fact his slower ball was still around 135k. Forget all the hype about a young gun tyro in a New ZEaland cricket team again. Remember this. In two pressure matches, the young head held firm. Control, speed, accuracy, and wicket taking balls. Sure three wickets is scant return, the real damage was done in the RPO and runs per wicket, two key indicators as to how bowlers are going. In the first T20 his RPO was 5.50, in the second a staggering 3.75. In fact given the structure of the game, i.e. fast bowlers get hammered,both those RPO's are very creditable. The norm is 7+. And yes that strike rate of a wicket every 13 runs is also creditable.
Will he get better? Of course he will, but also we must respect his youthfulness and allow for the occasional off day. It's good to see him selected for the Indian ODI's. If he comes off in those and lets not forget their batsmen are hugely more potent than WI, then surely before the end of the year, given time to develop a little, a test spot beckons.

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