Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Thigh and dry

Just before he fenced Johnson to slip like a girl on Sunday, Ravi Bopara almost fell victim to a very modern phenomenon. He was nearly bowled when the ball rolled around the bottom of his thigh-pad. Once rarely-seen - it happened to Graham Gooch, I think, but then so did most things - it now seems to occur all the time. 

Over the past year, Pietersen and Broad have gone the same way, and so did Lendl Simmons in the world T20 semi-final. It even happened in a club match I played in a while back. The reason's obvious: batsmen move across the stumps far further now than they did even ten years ago, meaning more balls hit that area and then fall correspondingly closer to the stumps.

The answer's simple enough. Why doesn't someone just redesign the thigh pad? Instead of the traditional curved bottom edge that the ball seems to catch in and roll around, just extend the pad down and taper the bottom. A decade ago it wouldn't have been worth doing, but it is now.

NB: Can the manufacturer that implements it send the royalty to this address. Cheers.


Brit said...

Hmm... your idea gives me an idea. Why hasn't anyone designed pads that are exceptionally springy? Surely there must be a suitable synthetic material somewhere... Stick out a pad and the ball whizzes at full pace to the boundary. Suddenly leg byes are a formidable weapon...

Helmets likewise could be made of megarubber, you could crouch, leap forward and nut Mitchell Johnson back over his head for six.

The Old Batsman said...

Graham Roope was famous for the way the ball thundered from his pads. Brilliantly recounted here by Mike Selvey


The Old Batsman said...

Er, that should be


with no breaks - sorry, I dunno how to hyperlink in comments...

Brit said...

Some bugger always gets there first, eh.

For links, you put a pointy bracket (above the comma), then a href="paste link here" close pointy bracket, then the name of the link, then /a within pointy brackets.

Blogger also lets you do bold and italic in comments, but you can do a bit more in actual posts.

Some basics on this page

Karthik Krishnaswamy said...

That would be signalled dead ball... But I like the concept of megarubber helmets. Headbutting would be so much fun!

Tony.T said...

I was surprised the way the ball that bowled Broad in the first Test was pulled back onto the stumps by his thigh pad. Had the ball not hit the TP and continued on its trajectory undisturbed, it would have missed the stumps by a long way. I wondered at the time what the TP was made out of that it should so affect the ball's path.