Friday, 29 July 2011

Never knowingly underbowled - Surrey sign Jon Lewis

Surrey have created their very own Jon Lewis Partnership having today announced the signing, on a two year deal of the veteran Gloucestershire seam bowler.

In a bizarre piece of press release timing, the deal was announced about three hours after he'd ended our first innings with the wicket of Tim Linley to finish the pick of Gloucestershire's bowlers with 4-95. If I was a Gloucestershire fan I'd be pretty disappointed with that, not only is it announcing a former captain of the club is departing in the middle of a Championship match, it's in the middle of a Championship match involving the club he's departing for.

Anyway, that's by the by, is Lewis a decent signing for the club? Yes, I think he probably is. For all the talk of the availability (at the time) of exciting young seam bowlers like Jack Brooks in recent weeks I was left thinking that we've got our own crop of exciting young seam bowlers. Meaker, Dunn and Edwards to name three, Lewis can act as a mentor to those players while also bringing stability and consistency to the bowling attack.

There's no getting round the fact that he's going to be the wrong side of 36 by the time he joins the club though, and for a fast bowler that really is coming to the end of a career. Look at Dominic Cork though, he's proved the catalyst for some significant success down at Hampshire over the last couple of seasons and he's not getting any younger. Lewis's returns of late - he's taken 154 Championship wickets in the last three seasons at a very decent average - show that he's still got wickets in him. His age means it's a gamble and it might be seen as an unambitious piece of business by Adams but I believe he can play an important role for us.

It's entirely possible that at various points next season we'll lose Meaker, Dernbach and Tremlett, possibly all at similar times, to England duty so a permanent presence in the bowling attack will be no bad thing. If we can sign an overseas spinner for the full season to bowl alongside him then we'll be all the better for it.

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