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In Praise of Number 8s

53475426 One of England's most effective Number 8s, Ashley Giles (right, unforgettably) retired today. Mimi has written a fine appreciation and others will have their say tomorrow.

Despite all this warmth for the man, pundits and journoes still wheel out the old canard that "batsmen bat and bowlers bowl" as if the tail doesn't matter. The Trumpet has never bought this, so investigated the last ten Tests worldwide with a positive result. Wouldn't you know it? In eight of the last ten Tests with a result, the higher first innings contribution of the last four wickets was produced by the winning team. So forget reverse swing and wrist spin, if you want to know which team will win a Test, have a look at the tail.

[The Tooting Trumpet] [Image: Getty]

August 9, 2007 in Stats and facts | Permalink | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

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