2015 World Cup – Game 14 – England v Scotland

In just over an hour this crunch match for England commences. Given my need for sleep, I think I’m going to make about an hour and a half of it, whereupon I expect to top up the Lordly coffers with contributions to the old Christmas Fund Swear Box. It’s certainly had some replenishment over the last few days as those who told us all last year to quit flapping our gums over the departure of the evil Pietersen, and that all will be right with the new MD, fresh from JPM, and with BFIs, as well as the greatest coach of his generation (and will that clown ever live that down) all on the good ship Iron Rod with a core of steel.

They have to win this one, or the consequences are unthinkable for the hierarchy. Hell, they may even have to talk to the outside cricket plebs for once.

Feel free to comment below, read Maxie’s annoyance on TFT, or just listen to George Dobell’s podcast with Peter Miller one more time to actually convince the weapons grade cretins who think this is all about KP that we weren’t THAT serious about one man, but rather about the leadership and how it runs things. Why is Flower still, according to these sources, so influential when his methods resulted in a total implosion even our losers of the 1990s never quite managed (and they were up against much better teams).

OK. It’s England v Scotland in Christchurch. Have fun.

UPDATE – 75/0. Good start by Moeen, but Bell looks too cautious to me.

I’m getting royally fucked off (a quid for the swear box) by the “only care about the Ashes” mob. Many of this mob have also been the most vociferous when we are supposedly cheering against England, accusing us of all sorts. It’s needling me no end. While I appreciate this country needs something to focus on, and beating Australia is always nice, it should not be the only thing. I’m having Rugby Sevens thrown at me (indirectly) but ask the England World Cup winners in 2003’s rugby tournament, and many of them are most proud of winning in New Zealand a few months before that – not the World Cup. The sevens thing may have its world tournament, but the main format of the game does. Cricket doesn’t have a test championship, so this is its world event. If we go a distance in this, people will be interested all right.

Winning prefaces winning. The great teams don’t opt out of things. I believe these players desperately want to do well.

We have a real problem in this country in focusing on winning the big one every so often, instead of creating a culture of domination. Roger Federer won Wimbledon, won all the hard courts stuff, but desperately wanted to win the French. You don’t think not winning the French eats at Djokovic? They want a culture of dominance. We seem happy if we peak just to win a test match series against one team. I’m sorry, I’m not like that. Most great teams don’t have that mentality.

69 thoughts on “2015 World Cup – Game 14 – England v Scotland

  1. julie Feb 22, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    KP hasn’t put a video out this morning, just a pic in the beautiful waters of Barbados so it shouldn’t be his fault this time if England lose.Amazing how easy it is to distract the team.Has to be KPs’ fault


  2. SimonH Feb 22, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    The English cricket press gang – what’s not to love?


  3. Grumpy Gaz Feb 22, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    Same team; picked so as not to make the brass appear weak or some other such overactive management nonsense instead of just trying to win a cricket match.

    England will probably still win but repeating the same mistakes of the previous games aint gonna help. It’s the Cook complex all over again; Taylor still at 6, Ballance still at 3 and too bloody invested to change it. Gawd help us.


    • d'Arthez Feb 22, 2015 / 9:46 pm

      What was this thing about absolute pigheadedness?

      Will Moores blame missing qualification on accidentally opening the wrong file for the NZ game, and thus argue that they would have picked Tredwell instead of Finn, and thus that the tourney would have been infinitely better, if the machine did not suffer from a bug (incompetent user error)?

      I am not sure in what business the ECB is, but I can think of worse side-businesses than selling strong liquors to supporters, as the supporters have to forget the incompetence that is hoisted upon them.


    • Escort Feb 22, 2015 / 9:46 pm

      Any news on the toss yet or has everybody stopped giving a toss?


      • BoerinAustria Feb 22, 2015 / 9:47 pm

        Scottland won toss – will bowl


    • Phil Feb 22, 2015 / 9:48 pm

      They just don’t want to admit the changes they made to the first match were wrong. Panic – bury head in sand and hope for the best.


  4. Phil Feb 22, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Unchanged side. What a time to get stubborn about selection. We need X-Factor, and the test team will not do that, and apart from Cook/Morgan this could be the test team (Taylor will still wait for a decent test chance though). Hales, Stokes, Vince, Roy, anyone exciting please because I don’t want to pay to watch a conservative, scared, mentally confused, joyless, badly run test team play ODI cricket.


  5. BoerinAustria Feb 22, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    Scotland with an extra t for t-oss


  6. Escort Feb 22, 2015 / 9:53 pm

    Anybody think that England will score 270 and win by a hundred runs?


    • d'Arthez Feb 22, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      I doubt that will happen, but it is possible, of course.

      Bit hard to sell the hyperbole of “Scotland is the greatest ODI side ever”, when you effectively ban them from ever competing on the world stage again. Then again, Selvey and their ilk have had a year of practice, so who knows, DucdeBlangelis, Westcorkthinktank and other “members of the vanguard” may believe such nonsense.


  7. BoerinAustria Feb 22, 2015 / 10:03 pm

    does anybody know the dimensions of Christchurch oval to be able to work out the bowling plan?


    • d'Arthez Feb 22, 2015 / 10:06 pm

      Bowling plan? Does Team ECB actually still have those?

      I thought the following was the official policy:
      Bowl short, no matter what the conditions, the dimensions, or the weaknesses of the opposition batsman.


  8. geoffboycottsgrandmother Feb 22, 2015 / 10:05 pm

    Sky will be loving this.

    A minor match on a Sunday evening has now turned into a must see rubbernecking event.


  9. Zephirine Feb 22, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    Bell is looking determined, indeed positively ornery.

    I’m conflicted – I want some (not all) of the England players to do well and regain some pride, but on the other hand if it’s Team Moores v Team Collingwood I have to support the Collies.


    • Phil Feb 22, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      Why is Bell even here. Consistently inconsistent, and an absolute nobody in the dressing room. I don’t really know what he brings to the team apart from making the tea. I shouldn’t moan it may be the 1 in 40 match he actually does well, and gets a reprieve for another 39.


      • Zephirine Feb 22, 2015 / 10:26 pm

        As a matter of interest, how do you know he’s a nobody in the dressing-room?


      • Phil Feb 22, 2015 / 10:40 pm

        As a matter of interest, how do you know he’s a nobody in the dressing-room?
        I don’t, but like most of us outside cricket, we have to make the best of the information we have.
        Bell is by far England’s most experienced batsman, but is never mentioned for captaincy or vice captaincy even though he has county experience. He never says anything of interest (if anything at all) stays out of all sides or controversies, not really mentioned in autobiographies and you can sometimes forget he is even there. You get the impression he is an introverted character who wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

        Of course I could be totally wrong, and he could be a dressing room colossus, but I doubt it. Just the impression I get after 10 years of watching him in the England team.

        (website is being strange with replies)


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 22, 2015 / 10:53 pm

          I had to approve your first post Phil. Should all be fine now.


      • hatmallet Feb 22, 2015 / 11:13 pm

        Bell made 141 only a few games ago. In terms of what else he brings, he’s probably our best fielder. And I couldn’t care less if he’s quiet – not everyone can be loud and it doesn’t make you a better player.

        For the record, I do think he should have a better record in ODIs given he’s a veteran of 150+ games and his talent, so I’m no Bell apologist.


      • Phil Feb 22, 2015 / 11:44 pm

        I just think we need someone more dynamic at the top of the order. Bell will never be that person. If Ali goes early, we struggle, especially with mostly test players in the middle order.


      • Phil Feb 23, 2015 / 12:57 am

        “Arron Wright in fine form”


    • Arron Wright Feb 22, 2015 / 11:29 pm

      Phil’s posts would be the equivalent of saying “Candyman” five times on certain cricket websites. Not this one. At least, not yet…


      • Phil Feb 22, 2015 / 11:56 pm

        Well I wouldn’t like to be outside being outside cricket. The miasma of the broadsheet BTL’s is too depressing for me, so I would be mildly affronted if my inelegant rants were considered somewhat un-elitist and crude. So allow me a moan or too about Ian Bell or I might start a paranoid belief he has blackmail material over bloggers as well as the ECB. 😉


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 23, 2015 / 12:07 am

          That was nonsense by Bell. Seriously nonsense. It was a timid innings.


      • Arron Wright Feb 23, 2015 / 12:35 am

        NRR could be important. That’s why, when a stodgy innings comes to an end, and we’re 172-1 against Scotland, we send in Gary Ballance.


        Oh, and now he’s out for 10 again. Off 18 balls. Against Scotland.


    • Tuffers86 Feb 23, 2015 / 5:50 am

      Ok, I shall take a bite. What is wrong with being an introvert? Is it a massive faux pas in team sport not to be the life and soul of the squad these days?

      I think he was mooted for captaincy, once or twice, but he balls’d up a team building exercise a couple of years ago and that just won’t do. Ever.

      I think he would be a good captain, but may be he doesn’t want it or hasn’t pushed for it. Believe it or not, not everyone thinks they are leader material.

      I might be the only one, here. I am very interested what Bell has to say about this episode of English cricket, but I’m going to hazard a guess that he won’t say anything, if at all, until he is retired.


      • Tuffers86 Feb 23, 2015 / 6:48 am

        Oh and Bell was pretty poor today.


  10. Arron Wright Feb 22, 2015 / 10:27 pm

    I shall leave this here without comment.


    • Pontiac Feb 22, 2015 / 10:46 pm

      I don’t have a comment. Instead, I have a question: What the heck is that supposed to mean?

      Anyway, at 59/0 after 10, I think England’ll get maybe 330 and probably bowl Scotland out for 230 after 40 overs.


      • hatmallet Feb 22, 2015 / 11:06 pm

        Scotland dropped a Hamish (Gardiner) from the XI but there are no Camerons or Akmals in the squad.

        If it’s a dig at duel nationalities, for the record Scotland have (by place of birth), 7 Scotsmen, 5 Englishmen, 2 South Africans and 1 Australian.

        But I’m also struggling to work out what he’s saying.


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 22, 2015 / 11:06 pm

          Trying to be humorous. Too late for that. We’ve left his humour building.


      • d'Arthez Feb 23, 2015 / 3:37 pm

        I seem to recall an ODI about two years ago, where half the England team had been born outside of England. 4 foreign born players seems to be rather common, and 5 foreign born “England” players happens to hold quite often as well.

        To give just one example: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/636160.html

        Where were the cheap shots from Mike Selvey then?

        Trott, Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Dernbach, Ballance, Kieswetter, Joyce, Rankin, Prior, Stokes, Morgan, Lumb, Jordan, and that is just a few names that come to mind. You could assemble a fairly decent team from that too. It is missing a spinner, but it can’t be too long before the ECB get their grubby hands on Dockrell …

        I mean, minnows often get bashed for relying on expatriate imports, but judging by the number of foreign-born England players, …

        Just for the record, I have no issues with people being foreign-born and representing England, Holland, or any other nation. But I do have an issue when a supposed correspondent mocks other teams for relying on foreigners, and then happily having ODI squads with 4 or 5 foreign-born players themselves.


      • jbkingsangler Feb 23, 2015 / 9:16 pm

        I despise Mike Selvey, but maybe here he was poking fun at himself for screwing up the run-out discussion (or am I being too generous)?


  11. Arron Wright Feb 22, 2015 / 10:34 pm

    Guardian OBO page hasn’t even bothered to give us the Scotland team.


    • d'Arthez Feb 22, 2015 / 10:41 pm

      Seems that the ECB have finally invented shadow-cricket. Who knows, Team ECB might be able to beat their own shadows at the game.


  12. Pontiac Feb 22, 2015 / 11:06 pm

    I’m enjoying watching Haq’s bowling. It’s like a Zito curveball. Or a wiffleball!


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 22, 2015 / 11:07 pm

      Tim Wakefield comes to mind. Gave me heart attacks every big game he pitched for the Sox.


  13. Pontiac Feb 22, 2015 / 11:20 pm

    Those 4 or whatever innings of relief the day after starting he did in a particular series, though – very important, very underappreciated.

    With knuckleballs there’s a sweet spot where the ball moves enough to hit but not so much the catcher can’t collect it.

    In that vein, I think Nathan Lyon’s career suffered 18 months ago from being dropped consistently by Wade in India.


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 22, 2015 / 11:25 pm

      Game 3 in 2004. Taking one for the team. Then that innings in Game 5, when Jason Varitek didn’t have a scooby where the ball was going….

      Ah. Tim….


  14. Pontiac Feb 23, 2015 / 12:35 am

    At just the point you’d expect one to get ready to accelerate to 10/over to put on 150 for the last 15 overs, two wickets. Will anyone come out of their crease?

    Annnnd…. Joe Root stays on the back foot and is out.


    • Pontiac Feb 23, 2015 / 12:36 am

      I swear that happened while I was typing. As honest as a zebra femur.


      • Arron Wright Feb 23, 2015 / 12:38 am

        Same happened to me with Ballance!


  15. Pontiac Feb 23, 2015 / 1:47 am

    So from 200-odd at the 35th over with 2 down, to 303 after 50. With the last two balls going completely through Stuart Broad.


  16. Zephirine Feb 23, 2015 / 1:50 am

    England 303. Cheering because Moeen batted very well and Morgan well. Uncertain because that isn’t a high enough score. Depressing if you wanted England to get utterly crushed for ECB reasons, though they can still be beaten.

    Ballance and Taylor are still in the wrong places, surely?


    • Simon K Feb 23, 2015 / 2:09 am

      Ballance is done after that innings, surely.


  17. SimonH Feb 23, 2015 / 3:53 am


    • d'Arthez Feb 23, 2015 / 9:57 am

      I was not surprised by the eventual result, after I had to grab some sleep after the 25 over mark in England’s innings. Also, it hardly surprised me that England barely got over 300, having looked good for 350+ at that particular junction.

      Massive worries remain though. Even when the middle order could play with freedom at the end of the innings, they struggled to score at a run a ball. That may be good enough against Scotland, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and South Africa (provided you take out the top 6 batsmen first). Against teams like Australia and New Zealand, the English middle order will struggle to keep even pace against the tails.

      I don’t think this result will inspire much fear in Bangladesh.


  18. Rooto Feb 23, 2015 / 5:47 am

    Morning shift checking in. 120-run victory. A solid, professional performance. Well done to the players, now which of our esteemed journalists can be similarly professional? I feel a game of Stereotype Bingo is in order today, with Selvey the clubhouse leader, thanks to that pathetic tweet.


    • BoerinAustria Feb 23, 2015 / 6:16 am

      Moores will talk about getting 300 again…

      I see Selvey is already bigging up Finn who was “rhythmical, pacy and bang on target”. And he is having a real old go at Bell… at last some critical words from S


      • Arron Wright Feb 23, 2015 / 6:46 am

        Oh, so he’s having a real old go at Bell for playing exactly the sort of innings that kept his beloved Bedford boy in post way too long, is he? Exactly the sort of scratchy 50 that was heralded as a return to form for the farmer? The sickening gall of it. Hope he gets eviscerated by a fact-wielding mob.


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 23, 2015 / 12:16 pm

          Meanwhile, the Ian Bell defence is in full flow. I get the point for the first twenty overs but after that his approach was baffling. The defence though is beautiful.


      • @pktroll Feb 23, 2015 / 8:41 am

        In fairness, when Bell scores a fifty it is usually in a winning course and he was batting around Mo. That said it was a putrid innings and if he was in form coming into the tournament he looks pretty dreadful at the moment. .

        Bell’s tournament record, ICCCT and World cup is pretty rubbish with an s/r of less than 70 and an average of about 31 I think.


      • Arron Wright Feb 23, 2015 / 9:09 am

        My problem is not so much with what he says about certain people, but what he (repeatedly) doesn’t say about others too countless to mention.


      • Arron Wright Feb 23, 2015 / 1:17 pm

        I find it absurd that Ian Bell is receiving more criticism (from certain familiar quarters) than Gary Ballance, the decision to play Gary Ballance, the decision to move James Taylor and yet another cowardly ballsing up of the powerplay, *put together*.

        And that for an innings that, had it come from Alastair Cook, would have been ripped apart by many of us here, but politely applauded by many of those same people from certain familiar quarters.

        And it’s not just Thepoetseye: George Dobell agrees with me!


      • Boz Feb 23, 2015 / 1:31 pm

        the criticism of Bell is nothing compared to the ignorant and aloof statements about the Scots team – only the English can be so bloody patronising – the Telegraph didn’t even cover the game, whilst the Guardian didn’t list the Scots team. It is all so borish but meets its desired affect of deflecting from the England team, management and tactics.


  19. Grumpy Gaz Feb 23, 2015 / 8:18 am

    Nasser did an excellent piece before the match last night on the new players suffering a dramatic loss of form after playing a few International games for England. He brought up the idea of a ‘sophmore year’ from baseball where your form seems to inevitably dip during the second year and even showed Gower’s record to back that up.

    However, he also contemplated if the talent that gets those players into the England team isn’t then being coached out of them while they are there. As Moore’s is Flower’s mini-me you know they both have the same approach.

    Is over-coaching the root of all England’s problems of the last couple of years?


    • Grumpy Gaz Feb 23, 2015 / 8:22 am

      Ugh, apologies for the state of the grammar in that, late night & early start etc.


    • hatmallet Feb 23, 2015 / 6:15 pm

      I don’t think the problem is too much coaching in itself. Practice makes perfect after all.

      But there is a concern that England’s coaches are filling the players’ heads with too much info. Less is more sometimes, in terms of what’s said. And so much of it is mental preparation rather than technical – he-who-shall-not-be-named always said he needed encouragement and bigging up during nets rather than too much technical advice.

      That said, I somehow managed to snag a batting one-on-one with Flower last summer and while he was giving his own suggestions, he was also encouraging me to say what I felt was doing well, doing badly or not doing at all.


      • Arron Wright Feb 23, 2015 / 6:48 pm

        Humblebrag winner 2015!


      • Rooto Feb 23, 2015 / 7:28 pm

        We had Mike Newell come to our school to coach (while he was still a Notts player). I gave up the game soon after. Draw your own conclusions… 🙂


      • hatmallet Feb 23, 2015 / 10:46 pm

        I was a challenge for him!

        I did get my top score of the year a week later. 3, caught at short mid wicket first ball after drinks.


      • Pontiac Feb 24, 2015 / 12:20 am

        Janos Starker (a renowned and famously cranky cellist) said at one point that you can sometimes have teachers who have had their own problems, and have come up with solutions to these problems and then teach all of those problem-solutions to people who do NOT have those problems.

        So this kind of thing is probably happening to some degree. You have the ECB Jobs Program(me) with a pile ‘o’ extra coaches around, each trying to strike a balance between being impactful and risking being held responsible when something goes wrong, bearing down on a group of players who if they have learned nothing else over the last year know their presence on the team (and the lifetime-significant earnings boost it brings, if they can stick it out even for a year or two) is graded on compliance every bit as much as it is graded on on field performance and basic professionalism.


  20. julie Feb 23, 2015 / 8:53 am

    Here I go again Seem to remember KP suggesting the team over trains and that’s from someone who pushes himself to the limits.During Ashes tour boys were pushed with training in extremely hot conditions when with a little less training in the cooler parts of the day things would have been far better.Flower and Moores seem to have a thing about training and don’t understand it is being overdone.


  21. SimonH Feb 23, 2015 / 9:43 am

    (Tossell has a book coming out next month about England’s tours in the 1980s which sounds promising).

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Zephirine Feb 23, 2015 / 10:18 am

    “We want more consistency and to be ruthless and simple in how we approach things”

    Morgan is talking like himself again, that’s a relief.

    Re: Bell discussion above: Bell is always a bit of a mystery to me as a player, but as a person I think there’s more to him than the bland media-speak he comes out with in post-match interviews.

    Bell has been ‘inside cricket’ for most of his life, I think he was picked out by Warks as a future star at the age of 10 or something. It would be fascinating to know what he thinks about the different situations in the England camp during the years when he’s been in the team keeping his head down. I suspect he has some damaging tales to tell but will never tell them because he’s too loyal to the game.


  23. SimonH Feb 23, 2015 / 3:15 pm


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