Wayne Mardle: Peter Wright's style is now similar to Phil Taylor
Hear the thoughts of Wayne Mardle on the latest episode of the Darts Show Podcast
Last Updated: 15/11/19 6:18pm
Sky Sports pundit Wayne Mardle looks ahead to Friday's quarter-finals at the Grand Slam of Darts, as Glen Durrant takes on Michael Smith and Peter Wright faces Dave Chisnall.
I had a really interesting chat with Peter Wright on Wednesday night. Immediately after he came off, everyone was talking about his darts - like Phil Taylor's. I was kind of interested, but it wasn't his darts I was most interested in, it was now his method of playing.
I'm watching him thinking, you're trying literally to throw just like Phil Taylor!
Which is basically eye-to-hand where you've got the dart, all in line with the target, every single time. He's not relying on rhythm, he's not relying on anything barring sighting the dart - aiming the dart.
Other players like Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith are instinctive. We now have an 'aim-er'. He is aiming the dart - there is no rhythm needed in his throw.
So where that leads you, if you cast your mind back to watching Phil - fast players or slow players, they couldn't put him off because he had no rhythm to be put out of.
Now Peter Wright can't be put out of a rhythm.
He made a really interesting point, he said, 'if I can concentrate, I'll be fine'. Because what this does, it takes the utmost concentration.
Over a long format, if you start to lose that concentration on where you're aiming rather than rhythm, it's difficult to carry on doing, which is what made Phil an absolute darting freak - that's said in a nice way, a term of endearment!
At the moment, it's working for Snakebite. But the trouble with it is when it goes wrong, you start to think this is becoming really tiresome, and you're not getting the results. That's when it can all go south.
Chizzy and Snakebite hitting form at the right time
I'm a real fan of both of these players. It should be a cracker. I can't see how one of them will be off-form enough to be dominated by the other. They both play completely and utterly different games.
You've got the straight man - that's Peter Wright that is more solid - ton, ton, 140, yes he hits 180s and takes out good shots. You've Chizzy who's likely to go 60, 60, 59, 180, game shot.
Dave could be out of a leg and then hits 180! With people like that, you cannot relax.
Maybe last year, the year before and certainly years prior to that, if Dave wasn't on his A-game, he would get beaten. But he's now winning these games.
Everything is going right for him. I think it's a really hard game to call.
|Friday night||Dave Chisnall vs Peter Wright|
|Glen Durrant vs Michael Smith|
|Saturday night||Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis|
|Gerwyn Price vs Gary Anderson|
Duzza keeps on getting the job done
I said it during the Grand Prix that Durrant has this ability to dig himself out of holes. He did it in Dublin and he's doing it again in Wolverhampton.
The reigning BDO world champ is very good at it when he's slightly off, when his A-game has deserted him. He's very good at just hanging around, and I'm not saying relying on people missing, but if they miss, he clears up. How he beat Gabriel Clemens on Wednesday, I don't know.
Of all the players who played brilliantly on Wednesday, he played the best under the most extreme pressure. He was just popping those combination finishes, like he was in front and he had no concern in the world. To do that is some trait.
But there'll be a point when he gets outplayed. That will happen. I'm not stating it's going to be against Michael Smith on Friday night, but I'm saying it's likely to be against Michael Smith.
This is a way longer format than the group stages. You can get over it, you can get away with it for a time. However, first to 16, best of 31? I'm not sure. Not against the likes of Smith, who will punish him.
I don't think Duzza is playing particularly well right now, but that is testament to how good his B-game is.
Glen has got composure, and that's why he's a three-time world champ.
But he needs to up his game. I can't see him getting away with it again. I really can't.
Coverage of the Grand Slam of Darts continues with the first two quarter-finals on Sky Sports Action & Main Event from 7pm on Friday night.