Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Team Profile update 27th April

Thomas Slater - No. 1 & LH Bat & LH fast pace in-swinger
Our opening Batsmen (Our version of Freddie Flintoff). This bloke gets on the end of anything in the nets and whacks it with a 'Take no prisoners' approach, hits the ball hard and long - spin or speed nothing worries him. Has a good eye to bat co-ordination and bloody hard to get out, nothing phases him. Out on the grass and against fast bowlers Thomas is untested and is yet to prove himself, hopefully the skill he displays in the nets are going to be transferable and he'll keep his position as opener? But as we approach our first game in May and the practice emphasis changes new strategies are being discussed and moves may be afoot. If Thomas can adapt to grass and play the fast balls and spin low or over the top the chances are he is going to maintain his No.1 place and be a big scorer.

Bowling - he's one of our medium to fast bowlers - very accurate with a ridiculous in-swing (Indoors with new balls - God knows what it'll swing like outside with an older ball)? Takes loads of wickets with the mental in-swing that he produces, the swing indoors means his tradjectory changes by around 18" the balls seems to chase you even though you're trying to get out of it's way! Good fitness levels, doesn't smoke, runs marathons for the fun of it, goes to the gym and all that stuff, good all rounder potentially one of our key players? Been playing cricket since Sept 2006!


Mark Soye No.2 RH Batsman

Our other opener. Standing at 6'8" Mark represents an imposing site for any bowler to face. Again like Thomas has an all out no holds barred approach to batting, he's looking to get on the end of it and take your head off if you're the bowler, don't even think you're going to pull off Aussie style 'Bowled and caught' tactics, cos you'll be taking your teeth, along with splintered finger bones to Southend hospital! Again has good eye to ball co-ordination and gets on the end of almost anything and is completely unphased by spin or fast pace bowling, he just stands tall and whacks the ball into the Stratosphere and over the rope. Okay fitness levels, aggressive and gutsy player doesn't seem to care about getting hurt, (see bruise image elsewhere) he's gonna be in there with the action. Been playing cricket since January 2007 (Don't even begin to think that's a disadvantage - just be scared). Mark is full on up for this.

Again like Thomas an unproven entity on grass that has yet to prove his worth. Be ready to see shifts in batting positions as we approach the first game and adopt different tactics. But if Mark can cope with the grass and keep the ball either high and long or along the ground his powerhouse approach will see him high in the batting order. But grass beckons and could be a leveller!


Richard Stainsbury No.3 RH Bat & Wicket Keeper

"The contender" One of three very clever players that have experience and knowledge of the game. Richard has played team cricket before and has a range of batting skills and tactics. An intelligent player that will respond to the task left to him by the two openers. A skillful batsman with a good eye and a range of skills to get a rhythm going in our favour, one of the key players looking to set up a partnership between any of the first 7 batsman to build on the work done by the Kamikazee openers. That was then this is now......... "Richard the contender" Richard is one of our team members that has played before and as such has been coached and as the months have gone on this has come to the fore. In competitive situations Richard displays a very versatile and imtelligent approach to his cricket and demonstrates higher levels of skill than the rest of us and is now vying for a place as an opener. With the strength that the team shows in bowling new strategies are being looked at whereby Richards approach to batting may be the way forward? With his school experience on grass it may well be that Richard could prove to be our opener?

Richards other role is key to our success as he is our specialist Wicket Keeper working closely with me as the Leg Spin bowler (Think Gilchrist and Warne). Again this was one Richards key roles in his earlier cricket career and he's lost his front teeth through the commitment he shows playing in that position.

And yes those scars are from a head injury sustained whilst playing cricket (Alex again).


Rod Jeanes 'The Aussie' No.4 RH Bat and RH outswinger medium pace bowler

Another key player in the team with two pivotal roles - no.4 batsman and medium to fast pace swing bowler specialising in outswing. Rod being an Aussie has played cricket on and off all his life including stints with a team in New South Wales where he was coached by NSW state coaches (Like being coached by Essex county coaches I presume? Not being able to keep away from the sport he now works as a Green Keeper at a large cricket pitch in Chelmsford so is one of our resident experts on the team and when he's not cutting the grass or rolling it, he's probably there for hours putting in some bowling practice (That's why he's so good at it) . Very experienced player which is obvious in his batting - he selects the shots and puts them where he wants them. We're looking to Rod to be in the crease for a long period building up good partnership with any of the first six players getting runs on the board. One of our players that we're looking to attain centuries with.

Again as with all of the top order batsmen his position in the order is dependent on how Rod proves himself on the green stuff. Again because of previous experience Rod is likely to move up the batting order - watch this space over the coming month.

Again Rod's experience shows through in his bowling - very consistent and like Thomas makes the ball move through the air in a ridiculous curving action that's going to unsettle any of the opposition from their openers right through to their last man.


Badger No.5 Badger RH Bat & RH medium pace bowler

is one of our Middle order batsmen, coming in at No.5 at the time of writing. Played cricket at school and used to attend out of hours practicing so he’s had some coaching and this shows in that he has a good range of skills and plays tactically. He's got a good knowledge of the game compared to some of us and this is evident in his approach to his batting. We’re looking to Badger to play cleverly and build up the run total gradually. We’re relying on his skills to read the oppositions bowlers and be able to hit the 4's and 6's when the opportunity arises or go for the 1’s and 2’s if it’s looking a bit lairy.
Bowling Badger is also very handy with the bowling, medium to fast pace bowler very accurate and consistent. One of those blokes that can bowl straight down the corridor of uncertainty and keep the batsmen on their toes by varying the pace(Think Paul Collingwood in the last tri nation match where we took the title against the Aussies). Doesn’t smoke, fitness levels okay - ? But he’s one of the youngest team members so will be able to take the pace. Badger’s been playing cricket since he was 13 or 14 with a few gaps in between.


Alex Wood No.6 & Captain RH Bat and FAST bowler

Batsman and the first of our two fast bowlers. Again another one of players that played when he was younger representing his school this time in Kent. Again because of his previous experience and the fact that when he was younger he was coached another really good player with a range of batting skills. More importantly though is his vast knowledge of the game and his ability to direct the team as a tactition. Alex along with Simon who also has a vast knowledge of cricket strategy have already been formulating ideas and plans for when we play. Already at this early stage we as a team know how we're going to take apart their openers and our roles and objectives on the day. We have fielding plans in the making and the important cricket partnerships between key players are already being directed and forged all under Alex's guidance as team captain.
As a player Alex can take Richards role as wicket keeper if he is out of action, but his primary role is as our second fast bowler. A slightly different style to Simon, but equally as fast and accurate and just as scary. As a batsman and a fielder Alex has inherited the Genes of his Grandfather who was an Olympic athlete who ran in either the 100 yards or 400 yards, man he is fast!

Warning standing in front of a set of stumps with a skinny little bat and no helmet is not advised - see the images of Mark Soyes injuries and Richard Stainsbury's injuries where he didn't wear a hat. If you are competing against us please bring a helmet.


Me - Dave Thompson No. 7 RH Bat and RH Leg Spin bowler.

I'm the only slow spin bowler in the team. Completely obsessed with the art of spin bowling, I spend hours and hours with 24 balls and a set of stumps throwing the ball trying to perfect the fve different deliveries currently in my repertoire. My main delivery is the leg break backed up by 4 other varitaions - The Wrong Un, The over-spinner, The under spinner and the Flipper. Recently all five of them have been coming together nicely and with the weather taking a turn for the better recently I've had the opportunity to try them out on grass and man am I good at it! In net practices the others have reported back to me that I'm the most difficult to bat against because of the variety of deliveries - and therefore potentially the highest wicket taker on the team. On grass I can get the ball turn even better and I'm able to pitch the ball where I want it - I am gagging to bowl competitively and try this out for real.

Batting. I've moved up the batting order! Not happy with my approach to batting I decided I needed to do something about it. Having watched Australia's Mathew Hayden on the world cup I noticed a few things he was doing and decided to take a completely different approach. I've changed bats and now use my lighter MRF bat. I take a far more assertive approach to batting and move around the crease in order to place the ball where I want it. I've also come up with a solution to the fast balls and now instead of fearing the fast bowlers I'm going after them and it's reaping rewards!

I'm relatively fit, I don’t smoke, I exercise and surf in the summer. I reckon I've a potentially got a key role to play with my leg spin bowling. I'm a big fan of Terry Jenner, Stuart McGill and of course the worlds greatest Shane Warne who's bowling I'm trying to emulate. In the style of Warne I try to be tactical not neccessarily aiming at the stumps but looking to make the batsman play particular shots, I see myself as a part of the captains strategy and hope to work closely with Alex and our wicket keeper Richard. Richard and me we are Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist - so watch out!


Nick Naughty No.8 RH Bat and chief sledger

The last of the specialist Batsman. Nick's role will be to consolidate the position we have when he walks out onto the field, either to maintain the steady momentum or to add some extra 4's and 6's and help out the tail as our time at the wicket begins to run out. He'll be looking to add another 50 or so runs before the last man is bowled. Nick's other role will be chief sledger as his fielding position will be Silly Point. If it looks like we can get any of the opposition under the cosh Nick will be getting in there nice and close and personal looking to make those short balls matter for us.
Nick is another of our younger players so will be good at the endurance aspects of the game. He doesn't smoke and since joining the team has become a fitness fanatic looking to hit his peak when he walks out onto the field of play in May. Rigid diet plans and SAS fitness workouts will no doubt be evident when Nick takes the field. Again another new player to the game, but the seriousness of his approach to the game and his own preparation are evidence that this bloke is going to come up with the goods. And he's a Northerner - Cricket is in their blood.

Simon Grainge No. 9 RH Bat & RH fast bowler
Simon is one of our key players, in his youth he played at County level and is an excellent bowler. Simon is one of two fast bowlers and we're talking fast - really fast. His Dad played cricket and still would do despite his age and Simon reckons his Dad is better than he is, which I find hard to believe. Fast and accurate and very stylish, it looks like the real thing seen from the viewpoint of the spectator, but facing him you soon find out this is the real thing and you're thankful for the pads, gloves and helmet. He is fast! Batting Again I think he's being modest here with his own designated place in the batting order. It could be that he's not one of the blokes that you'll find working out in a gym or running round the outfield prior to the game, more like laying on the couch in his pants with a fag watching darts and then turning up just as the game starts! So being at No. 10 and an advocate of the 20/20 game I reckon he's just looking to not have to play, rather that the game is all over by the time the 9th man reaches the 20 overs? But I reckon he can bat, he's got a few different batting techniques and remember he played at county level. I reckon the captain should keep an eye on him and that he'll be going up the batting order.

Nakul Handa No. 10 - R/H Batsman and Medium Pace/Spin bowler - Living in India most of his life Nakul has grown up with cricket and played it on and off all his life, so he's quite an adept player able to bat well and bowl very well with a good range of techniques ranging from slow leg spinners through to tricky medium pace straight ones that catch you out, very accurate and very tricky to predict. In comparison with the rest of us he looks like he deserves to be in the middle order from the evidence I've seen so far? Needless to say Alex will have to have a look at how affective he is and maybe us bowlers will have to prove ourselves?


Trevor No.11 R/H Batsman & Medium Pace bowler - Bit of a Michael Vaughn character in that he seems to be continuously injured. Bowls well when he's on form.