West Indies v England – 1st Test, 3rd Day

Comments on today’s play below, as England try to take a substantial first innings lead and then spend 8 hours batting to get Cook a career-saving hundred 🙂

I’ll be home a bit earlier today as the car is in for its MOT (#prayingforastra) and so should be able to watch the post-lunch session. The bits of the game I’ve seen so far have been interesting in their own way, but also sad to see what has happened to the West Indies. Remember when Darren Bravo came on the scene and he was viewed as the next big thing? He’s really not gone on. Shiv Chanderpaul now seems to eschew scoring runs as a matter of importance and now seems to concentrate on saving the game single-handed. I don’t think that swagger and attitude, the sort of bravado that now seems more Australian than the WIndies I grew up with, can come back that easily. There is not a lot of hope, not even Shai, in West Indies cricket.

One of the points made is that the IPL now clashes with the West Indies season, but is this true? I remember England playing series there in February and March, not April and May. Until they go back to that time, it will always clash. Yes, I get it in World Cup winters, but there won’t be one of those for 8 years now.

England still have a lot more questions than answers. Ben Stokes did well at 6, but I’d be getting worried if that’s where he stays against Australia. Trott as opener can’t be called a failure after one go, but it does appear we are ramming a square peg in a round hole. Watch us try Ballance there in the not too distant future. As for Cook? Well, 32 and counting. But by doing so we are disloyal. I got “Captaincy” by Graham Gooch out of the loft this weekend, and read the bit about how it was vital for him to score runs at the top of the order as captain or else the players would question his legitimacy to lead. But if we point that sort of thing out, it’s heresy. Well, there you go…….

Ian Bell made a very nice 143. OK, not a small enough ton to anger my senses, but still. He has a relative shortage of 150s for a man who has passed 100 on 22 occasions. I think I pointed out that 119 makes his top ten. This is picking on the man who pulled our arses out of the fire with a splendid innings, but I wanted more. There’s nothing much in this wicket, and the bowling is no better than decent. Our propensity to make big scores overseas is not great, and what a statement a double would have been. That said, Bell in flow is a decent old sight, although I’m not going into the paroxysms of ecstasy I was reading BTL. This blogger has been frustrated at his performances in the past, but now worries he is our rock (along with Root). Seems there is room for one other high performer, with a bit of swagger in there to me!

Didn’t see a lot of the bowling. Can’t help thinking that Chris Jordan is going to be the Phil De Freitas of his generation, and Stuart Broad is not going to be here for the long haul. Anderson, I understand, bowled well, but he’s no spring chicken. When I saw Tredwell, he looked like he posed no threat, but did take a wicket.

Happy to hear more, and will be along later.


167 thoughts on “West Indies v England – 1st Test, 3rd Day

  1. Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    “This is picking on the man who pulled our arses out of the fire with a splendid innings, but I wanted more. ”

    It was Bell who pulled our arses out of the Ashes fire in 2013. It’s Bells fate to be the man who more was expected of. Never quite producing the goods that matched his talent.

    Expectations can be a devil of a thing. Bell averages 45, only one less than The greatest living Englishmen who can never be dropped.

    Perhaps he needs a scratchy 95. Funny old world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 15, 2015 / 12:38 pm

      I know Mark. Vian told me off for this as well. But at least I’m not doing what Angus Fraser did after KP got out at Edgbaston for 142 I think in 2006 v Sri Lanka. He blamed Pietersen for not going on and causing the collapse that ensued. On TMS. This was his switch hit innings.

      Bell divides. That’s the way it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 1:29 pm

        It wasn’t really specific to Bell, just an observation on how we always expect attractive players to be better than they are – simply because they look a million dollars when they’re batting well.

        Looking good does not correlate with how good a player someone is.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 1:30 pm

        Oh and blaming a player who has scored runs for the failure of others has always pissed me off.


      • Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 2:24 pm

        In fairness to Bell he would admit his record is not as good as it should have been. He said it was right to drop him after the WI tour.

        I am certainly not unaware of his faults. And the lack of a killer instinct to really punish a team when he has done all the hard work is frustrating.

        It’s not you Dmitri, it’s the usual suspects who seem to spring up to anyalise his output while not applying the same standard to certain other players. I’m not for one moment trying to pretend he is the new Don Bradman.


    • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      Actually, after the first innings, only 0.22 less than Him (45.61 v 45.83).

      I’ve said before I’m in the middle on Bell. A lot of the criticism he receives is laughable given his record post-2009 is the best of all England’s batsmen. Yet he’s, at a guess, their fourth most lauded over that period, with no.1 and no.2 being ridiculously far ahead of the others.

      But I think not making big enough hundreds is a very fair criticism in all honesty.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 15, 2015 / 1:02 pm

        I saw his 235 in its entirety. He scored at much the same pace as the bloke at the other end who made 175. It was fabulous. Don’t confuse what I say with dislike.


      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 1:12 pm

        I didn’t mean you – I meant people like that berk who was on Twitter on Monday, wondering what sexual favours Bell had dished out in order to keep getting picked. Or, less extremely but still annoyingly, those who single him out for daft dismissals while overlooking, say, captains hooking Johnson to long leg with a deficit of over 500.

        I was at Trent Bridge for the 137/159 run out innings, by the way. It was genuinely like being taken back to the summer of 1985 and watching Gower on the telly.

        (I was also at Edgbaston for that 142… I don’t go to many days’ Test cricket but seem to pick ’em!)


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 15, 2015 / 1:16 pm

          I have Collingwood and Trescothick’s career bests in my locker. Pleasurable.


      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 1:43 pm

        I’m still not over the absence of Trescothick. Every time his name is mentioned it’s ever so slightly like being reminded of the lost love of your life. Now there’s someone whose value to the side should not be measured in his relatively low number of Test hundreds.

        Blog question: has any sub-100 been more valuable for England than Trescothick’s 90 at Edgbaston in 2005?

        Don’t even go *there*.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Apr 15, 2015 / 1:45 pm

          Robert Key’s 93 not out to keep the whitewash alive in 2003?


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 1:52 pm

        Thorpe and Hick’s 64* and 40 respectively in the gloaming of Karachi in 2000 were both absolutely outstanding innings.


      • Simon K Apr 15, 2015 / 2:17 pm

        I’m not sure English cricket ever got over the departure of Tresco, and Vaughan/Flintoff/Jones’s long-term injuries, and Harmison’s mental issues. At least a little bit of my hostility to the KP sacking was the feeling that it was a final act of violence to the great side of 2005, by people who were not fit to lick their boots.

        The 2009-11 side was very good, but I didn’t like it as much. More conservative, less effervescent. Clinical, and fortunate in its opposition.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 2:30 pm

        @Simon K

        You put it perfectly.

        The amount of exasperation I felt going BTL at the Guardian c.2011-2012 and seeing people confidently asserting that the 2009-11 side would have wiped the floor with the 2003-05 lot, or arguing that Flintoff wouldn’t make a composite XI, or writing off Tres as a composite opener purely due to his inferior statistics…

        Liked by 1 person

      • metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 2:45 pm

        @Simon, @Arron

        Lot of agreement from me about the disrespect for the 2005 side.
        I particularly loathe how people forget how much faster Jones and Flintoff were than Anderson and Broad. And indeed how scary Harmison was when he was on form. For a short time we actually had the makings of a world class bowling attack.

        Later on, Swann was (I’d argue) pretty close to top class (certainly stats wise) but the seam attack didn’t have the same kind of threat. And that made us less flexible overall. And so, we became a “home win – away loss” kind of team. (Apart from that series Down Under, but it becomes clearer and clearer that the Aussies were unusually weak that year.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 2:56 pm

        @Metatone and Simon K

        For me it always comes down to three extraordinary matches:

        1. Durban 04/05: Strauss’s side may have saved the Test after conceding a first-innings deficit of nearly 200. While I have my doubts against that opposition, there are to be fair several parallels, Brisbane 2010/11 being the most obvious. However I do not believe they would have got anywhere near a position where they were two wickets from victory on day five.
        2. Johannesburg 04/05: Simply no way Strauss’s side could have won that match from first innings parity late on day four. No Tres at the top of the order, no dice. Prior would have come in too late to change the match. Pietersen may have been too late as well, given that Cook and Trott would have been saving the game first and foremost.
        3. Edgbaston 05: Cannot see how Strauss’s side would have attacked so convincingly from the off after the Lord’s drubbing. Nor did they ever have a peak Flintoff.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 3:50 pm

        I enjoyed the 2010/11 ashes at the time but I have come to resent it a bit in hindsight.

        In 2007 we had our arses handed to us. We dared to win in 2005, and now we were to be punished. We kind of knew it was going to happen. No Vaughn, No Jones. Flintof and Harmison 2 years older, and no wiser. We even nearly pulled off a draw in Adelaide. (Which was later used to name a great blog site.)

        Although we ended up losing 5-0 it wasn’t so bad. They were a great team, one of the all time great teams. It almost seemed like a win at the end because Warne and McGrath retired after the last test. Alright then, have your 5-0 we will take the fact those two tormentors won’t bother us again. And so it came pass. 2 years later we won the Ashes back in 2009. With Monty hanging on to bat out a draw at Cardiff.

        By 2010 other players had followed Warne and McGrath into retirement. This was a poor Aussie team in transition. At the time it was just fun to see the Aussie monster given the run about. The trouble is many of our players became very pompous after that. There was no humility. No acknowledgement they were beating a poor side. And now 5 years on that series is held up like a tablet of stone to prop up certain players reputations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Benny Apr 15, 2015 / 3:53 pm

        I’d like to join this club. 2005 set the pulses racing. Fearsome fast bowling attack, superb and positive batting and all against the extraordinary Aussie team. While Strauss’s team was good, I always observed, as Simon K alludes, that it was during a period when other countries lost their top stars through retirement, injury or fading away

        For Bell, yes he’s a “could do better” but if he continues as is with, hopefully, others around him doing their stuff, I won’t complain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 7:09 pm

        There’s absolutely no comparison with the 2004 – 2005 side (the victory in SA was mighty impressive) and anything since. None.

        Anyone saying otherwise is just gibbering.


      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 7:23 pm

        As I was saying about no.1 and no.2 being ahead by a ridiculous margin…


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 15, 2015 / 7:31 pm

          I mean really…. where do you start. Try 2012 for starters….


      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 7:37 pm

        It wouldn’t be so bad if I thought for a second that was an atypical, minority view. But it isn’t. Goodness knows what he was doing averaging 50 in a mediocre side, inventing new shots and forcing the greatest attacking spinner in the world to bowl defensive filth before Trott even played a Test.


    • paulewart Apr 15, 2015 / 4:55 pm

      There’s always an expectation that they are less competitive than more limited players (I’d like to see this charge levelled at Viv…). Gower gave the lie to this argument: he maintains that he simply cannot pick up a bat anymore as he is only interested in pitting himself against the very best.


      • paulewart Apr 15, 2015 / 5:39 pm

        The 2004/5 team beat great teams playing great cricket. The 2010 team bears no comparison. They were unable to compete with the better teams. And yes, you’re right: they do resent the 2005 lot, and they did believe their own publicity arguing that they were the better team. If only they’d stayed humble……


  2. @pktroll Apr 15, 2015 / 1:01 pm

    According to George Dobell’s twitter feed, the drought that has pervaded Antigua is over, i.e. it is raining cats and dogs there.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 1:11 pm

      Stopped now.


      • @pktroll Apr 15, 2015 / 1:15 pm

        Yep. Maybe enough moisture in the pitch for Anderson to do his stuff?


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 1:43 pm

        Wickets have fallen rapidly on both previous mornings – the afternoons much less so. Could be coincidence.


  3. Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 1:10 pm

    I see your Astra and raise you an RX8 in for a new catalytic converter, plus upcoming coils, leads and potential engine rebuild.


  4. Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 2:08 pm

    I tell you what, with insight like this….


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 15, 2015 / 2:10 pm

      You need to have bowled Vic Richards in a test to draw that conclusion.


    • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 2:12 pm

      northernlight71 and I are waiting to see this tweet dutifully reproduced on the Guardian OBO…


  5. SteveT Apr 15, 2015 / 3:08 pm

    What did he do his Cambridge degree in? the bleedin’ obvious?


  6. Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 3:49 pm

    Broad engaged in sub 80mph bumper warfare. Great.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 3:53 pm

      Dear God. Test cricket really did die a bit there.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 3:59 pm

    Trott isn’t so much a square peg in a round hole as a broken and repaired peg that was looking a bit more and frayed even before it finally broke, in a round hole.

    It’s moronic. I expect nothing else from this lot.

    Root should be opening. He’s an opener. He’s a top class batsman. Even if you discount KP, you’ve got Vince and Taylor and others queuing up for a middle-order spot.


  8. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 4:00 pm

    Tredwell seems to be bowling well.


  9. Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 4:10 pm

    England should secure a large first innings lead now they have removed those two wickets. For WI to put any pressure on England they needed to have a similar score of about 400.

    Not going to happen now. plenty of time left in the game.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 4:12 pm

      Well. If the West Indies get to within around a hundred of England’s score, then that will leave a session or so today.

      So they’d be about 170 ahead by stumps. I couldn’t see England declaring less than 400+ ahead, and that would leave the West Indies around about a day to bat.


      • Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 4:32 pm

        In some ways I would quite like to see the WI get another 80/100 runs and then see how long England leave the declaration. See if they bat into the 5 th day. (Bothams head explodes)

        If they finish WI off quickly this afternoon they should be able to declare tea time tomorrow.


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 4:46 pm

        If they get anywhere remotely close – say, 70 or 80 adrift, England will be in full on Test saving mode I suspect. It’ll be attritional until they feel safe, which with this team will be somewhere around 750 in the lead.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    This partnership, and next session, is vital. (OK, it is pretty much always the case that in a Test the next session is vital, but bear with me…)

    If the lead is <100, the comeback victory is just about on, particularly with our shaky top order. And if they can bat out the session then the draw is much more likely. Cook unlikely to declare early tomorrow. So then it comes down to whether Windies can bat out the final 100 overs of the match.

    If England wrap this up this session, they should be able to leave themselves, say, 120 overs to bowl them out in the forth innings. That should be enough.


  11. Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    And there’s exactly the problem with Cook. Blackwood hits a straight six off Stokes, and immediately he takes a slip out. Guess what happens next ball.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      He has to be trolling here. A “gap”????? It appeared the frigging ball before when Cook took him out FFS!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 5:40 pm

        Blackwood 100. Anyone we know had another pop at Stokes yet?


      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 6:31 pm

        No – instead, he’s dismissing the credentials of Rashid the way he did those of Kerrigan. Massive gulf in standard between county and Tests, apparently… someone should tell Moeen I suppose.


  12. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 5:05 pm

    Time for Cook to stop trying to get Blackwood out, and concentrate on the guy at the other end. For 30 overs.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. thebogfather Apr 15, 2015 / 5:08 pm

    Let’s be honest here, we are all waiting for the start of Eng 2nd innings, whatever the (probable) lead…


  14. thebogfather Apr 15, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    If England manage to get WIndies out today, will Eng send out two nightwatchmen to open if less than say 6 overs to go?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. @pktroll Apr 15, 2015 / 5:22 pm

    Good work above regarding the second slip. Sadly predictable. Stokes is a little unlucky but he needs to be backed up by the captain. Some of England’s ground fielding has also looked poor from what I’ve seen.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 5:25 pm

      He just did it again. One Holder drive over cover, and out came the slip. Holder who has 15 runs off 30 balls.


  16. paulewart Apr 15, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    ‘Cook brings Tredwell back into the attack to mix things up a bit. Holder opts to take him on though, and cracks him over wide mid-off for four, prompting more field-shuffling from the increasingly frustrated looking England captain. Holder hits another one hard square on the offside but straight to a fielder. Four from the over.’

    3 years wasted. He’s been an appalling captain since day one. He’s out of his depth and his field changes and body language reflect that. Moreover its affected his batting. What a double whammy!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. thebogfather Apr 15, 2015 / 5:36 pm

    Class captaincy, putting all that pressure on someone close to their first test ton…… oh dear


  18. metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    Very glad to see Blackwood get a century, he’s worked hard for it.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 5:44 pm

      Yes, he’s batted well. The Tredwell drop was a really hard chance. The no ball was a no ball – meaningless therefore.

      Lead is down to 120 now. Another 50 and England may be in a tiny spot of bother having to bat third.


      • metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 5:48 pm

        WI shouldn’t get another 50. All England need to do is concentrate on Roach (and those who follow) Blackwood is not scoring quickly enough to worry. And if England can’t get the tailenders out sharpish, then it would seem they have problems…


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 5:52 pm

        He has no need to try to score quickly at the moment. They’re doing alright. I imagine if another wicket goes he’ll look to be more expansive.


  19. metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 5:40 pm

    On the one hand, fair play to Tredwell, he’s getting some wickets.
    On the other hand, this is more of the same misjudgement. I can’t see him prospering against some of the teams we’ll come up against later in the summer…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 5:54 pm

    Moeen Ali has been added to the squad for the second Test.

    Tredders has 3-47 off 24 at the moment.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 6:08 pm

      4-47 now. So having picked him, is it remotely fair to now drop him for Moeen?


      • metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 6:10 pm

        Well, I think it’s stupid to send Moeen over, let him recuperate some more.
        But if you think Moeen is more likely to bowl well against better teams, and bat better, he does have it over Tredwell, no matter how T does against this second rank opposition.


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 6:14 pm

        Sure. But if performances mean anything then it’s rather hard to drop someone who does well.

        Just highlighting a potential mess. If they did drop him, Tredwell would be fairly pissed off, and rightly so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 6:20 pm

        Of course it’s a mess – and I suppose I’m unhelpfully saying – “I wouldn’t start from here.”
        Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen, there’s not a great deal of reason to pick T over M on bowling, and M’s batting is so much better… You could soften the blow by telling T that “we need to improve the batting.” Or maybe just drop Cook and play Moeen… 😉


      • Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 7:59 pm

        You can’t drop Tredwell after that bowling performance. And I don’t see any point in Ali and Tredwell. Tredwell and Rashid, perhaps.

        Stokes batted well enough to hang on to six, surely?


    • metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 6:09 pm

      Maybe they will be merciful (to both Rashid and Yorks) and send Adil home…
      Free the Yorkshire 4!


  21. thebogfather Apr 15, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    Oh dear, methinks the #prayingforastra may have failed…


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 6:22 pm

        Everyone should have a friendly garage near them…


  22. Rooto Apr 15, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    Evening. Just time to pop in and congratulate a guy on cricinfo who said this:
    Phil: “It’s unfair to use the word ‘bizarrely’ about England management’s decisions; unfair on the word ‘bizarrely’. Prediction: Tredwell will be the leading wicket-taker for England in this match, and will be dropped for the next.”

    The latest installment of Rodders’ adventures in “Only Fools and Selvey” appears to be arriving soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 6:23 pm

    100-odd lead. England have this wrapped up barring one of the WI bowlers finding some real pace.
    Kind of disappointed in the WI batting, they gave away a couple of wickets…


    • metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 6:24 pm

      To be fair, the WI played to their level, I was just hoping they would over perform a bit.


      • Pontiac Apr 15, 2015 / 11:21 pm

        This is a bit better than I’d hoped for, especially considering Benn being selected which was a seriously bad choice.

        Devon Smith will get selected for the next match since it’s in Grenada where he’s from, and that’s another easy wicket.


  24. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Can’t imagine Cook is looking forward to mini session


  25. What What Apr 15, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    Will he or won’t he last the session?

    I think he will, 23 off 89 balls.


  26. Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 6:43 pm

    I reckon Cook will get runs tonight. 50 not out by the close.


    • thebogfather Apr 15, 2015 / 6:47 pm

      Well he has got 43 overs in this session (classy bowling management by England over 2 sessions…)


      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 7:02 pm

        Does Cook look as bad as he sounds?

        Oh, Trott gone. Dear oh dear, this lot…


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 7:12 pm

        Of course I am sometimes wrong.


    • Maggie Apr 15, 2015 / 7:22 pm

      You did that on purpose…


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 7:43 pm

        I really thought he would tonight. Ugly runs, but runs.


      • Maggie Apr 15, 2015 / 7:49 pm

        Every time someone types a comment like that there’s a tremor in the force that results in him edging it to the fielder.


  27. Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    Michael Vaughan just delivered the greatest commentator’s curse I’ve ever heard.

    MV – “I know it’s early, I know about the commentator’s curse, but Cook’s movements are looking so much better than they were last year.”
    ES – “Cook CAUGHT!”


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      He said that in his article too. I don’t know what he’s looking at – to me the same issues of his head being too far over and his weight distribution being all over the place are still there. All he seems to have done is open his stance a tiny bit and that’s not going to make any difference to it.


      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 7:21 pm

        It was very odd, because Vaughan had literally only just arrived in the box. Prior to that there were several balls beating Cook or almost getting through, or being edged into the ground. It was just like listening to the Sri Lanka ODIs. Four months and more ago.

        Anyway, it shouldn’t be a talking point, so I’ll shut up.


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 7:45 pm

        It did occur to me that Vaughan might be talking him so as not to stir the pot with regards to a potential ECB job, but I thought that might be a tinfoil hat approach.

        Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk Apr 15, 2015 / 7:56 pm

      Stocks did that too in the first innings — tweeted “I’m calling it now, Cook’s in for a ton.” Zap.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    With this lot, one goes down, a few go down…


  29. Grumpy Gaz Apr 15, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    The strangest thing happened again while watching Cook get out. It was almost like I had seen it happen before…

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Apr 15, 2015 / 7:26 pm

      Something must be done!


    • Grenville Apr 15, 2015 / 10:10 pm

      It is proof of his rod of iron. He has an inflexible determined to continue on his tried and tested course. Each innings becoming a more paired down version of the last: Jaw set, watch ball intently, crash a four, nurdle a few, defend, waft leaden footed outside off, walk off manfully, look on graciously from the balcony.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. thebogfather Apr 15, 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Any stats peeps know how often Bell produces in both innings?


  31. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Is anyone getting flashbacks to Taylor in the first Test in 2009?


  32. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 7:23 pm

    Trott averaged 35 in the 30 matches prior to this one. So can someone explain to me why he’s been moved up to open?


    • paulewart Apr 15, 2015 / 7:27 pm

      To help Cap’n Steel, of course.


    • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 7:28 pm

      Because they pay statisticians thousands of pounds a year to miss what the likes of us can spot in a minute on Stasguru?


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 7:47 pm

      Choosing a real opener would shine a light on the performance of the other one. And mean there were alternatives to Cook.

      Liked by 2 people

  33. escort Apr 15, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    We are batting like we are 133 behind not in-front. When we play like this we have a habit of screwing it up.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 7:49 pm

      It’s the England response of batting with abject terror. We’ve seen it so often now.


  34. Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 8:05 pm

    I have to say I actually feel sorry for him. He’s out of his depth. He has been for a while. Sure he’s petulant, and arrogant. But the real culprits are the toadying, cringing courtiers who have indulged him, and convinced him he is something he ain’t. The ECB and the sycophants who cover them are the guilty men…..

    Selvey, Pringle, Newman, Agnew, Brenkley, Flower, Downton, you are the real culprits You let your hatred of Pietersen, overwhelm you judgement. Some of you are educated men who went to the finest universities, yet your intelligence and common sense has been dumped in the trash bin because of your blind hatred of one man. Pathetic!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rav Roberts Apr 15, 2015 / 8:16 pm

      How dare you talk about Trott like that?!?!?!?!


  35. escort Apr 15, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    o shit!!


  36. metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    Bell confirming the worst stereotypes of his lack of reliability/alertness/concentration.
    Although to be fair, if the openers did their job, he shouldn’t have been batting at this juncture.
    Still, Ballance will grind, Root is reliable, they had a 100 lead to start with…


    • escort Apr 15, 2015 / 8:29 pm

      Bell has scored over 150 runs in this game FFS. If we don’t win this i hardly think we should be looking at Bell for the reason as to why!!!!


      • metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 8:34 pm

        Sorry, to be clear, I’m not blaming Bell, I was just remarking on how Selvey and others will portray it. After all, no blame can attach to the Chef. (And to be clear, even now I fully expect England to win, WI don’t have the bowling to prevent us taking a decent lead.)


  37. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    Swann spouting the usual English crap about Test players concentrating on Tests.

    “I’m sure we’d be a better team in both respects by doing that.”

    That’s right Graeme, because if you look at the strongest sides in world cricket right now, their best players only play one form.


  38. @pktroll Apr 15, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    I thought the harbinger of doom was before the run-out the sound system playing the indescribably awful Black Eyed Peas. That can only be the reason Bell lost concentration as he hates Fergie as much as I do. If he does, then I will sympathise with him a whole lot more.


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 8:47 pm

        You could get Josie in to manage this England team.

        Liked by 1 person

  39. Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    I am just waiting for Dmitri to ram my earlier defence of Bell down my throat.

    Unlike Selvey, I wil hold my hand up. Although I did say he was no Don Bradman.

    David Niven once said of his old mate Errol Flynn after they fell out……. “You always know where you are with Flynn……he will always let you down.”


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 8:35 pm

      Why? He’s not going to score runs every knock. He’s got 150+ runs this Test. What more can be asked of him?


      • chateleine Apr 15, 2015 / 8:40 pm

        Exactly this.


      • Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 8:49 pm

        I know Vian, I was just extending a friendly hand to our host.

        But you’re right, without his innings England would be in the brown stuff at the moment.


    • metatone Apr 15, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      Well, it’s Trott and Cook who should be in the spotlight, not Bell.

      Liked by 1 person

      • chateleine Apr 15, 2015 / 8:42 pm

        Yes – a massive contribution of 28 from them over two innings, apparently the second worst opening contribution since 1989. Not exactly the kind of performance we’re looking for here…


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 15, 2015 / 8:51 pm

      I won’t. Sadly run outs happen. I’m just about over Bell’s in Adelaide in 2006. Just about.


  40. Tuffers86 Apr 15, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    Oh for fuck sake Bell.


  41. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    Is it me, or is Benn the definition of ‘mediocre’?

    I don’t understand why they didn’t pick Bishoo, given the comiptions leg-spin inflicts on the English mind.


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 8:45 pm

      I assume you mean “conniptions”? I’m not trying to be smart here, I went off to Google and have now learned a fabulous new word!


      • Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 8:48 pm

        That’s the word. Suits England’s response to any form of unorthoxdox spin down to a tee, don’t you think?


      • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 8:52 pm

        It’s perfect! Words like that – or rambunctious, or rumbustious should forever be quoted when someone moans about American English.


  42. "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 15, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    What wouldn’t we give for a Compton or Carberry now eh??


  43. @pktroll Apr 15, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    For all the concern over several players, and understandable they are, England are nearly 200 ahead with only 3 wickets down. Sure there should be more blood letting with regards the line-up but the match situation is hardly perilous. Incidentally there is going to be way short of the requisite overs bowled today and in fairness the Windies aren’t that far behind where they should be in terms of the overs that they should have bowled. Surely another ban should be coming for Captain Steely?

    Liked by 1 person

    • waikatoguy Apr 15, 2015 / 9:12 pm

      I agree. England are working themselves into a position where they can win this. Of course anything can happen from here but an England victory is the most likely result. Now I know the Windies are a fairly mediocre side but visiting teams to the Caribbean still find it hard to really dominate this side at home. NZ this time last year beat them 2-1 and had to work quite hard to do so.


      • "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 15, 2015 / 10:21 pm

        How dare you use that word “mediocre” when you know it fires the Windies up, puts undue pressure on the Captain, and is something the lads can really do without. You must know it’s an “idiotic” term and must never ever be used again!! Probably the one word that may lead us to lose the series….a better word might be “aplomb”


    • Vian Apr 15, 2015 / 9:14 pm

      Joe Root has been excellent. He’s come in and scored quickly – it doesn’t take much when you have a decent lead to change the atmosphere and approach. And he’s done it.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Silk Apr 15, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    Wheels totally coming off Windian bowling


  45. Annie Weatherly-Barton Apr 15, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Oh it’s a complete disaster. How the hell is England supposed to beat the New Zealanders & the Aussies with this stuff. Yes of course there are some very good points here but really folks, is this all England can do against a “mediocre” team? Really? Sorry to be so depressing and negative but surely this is a case of the “King’s New Clothes?” Cook is an utter disaster. He will be lucky to keep a place in the team, let alone the captaincy. Unbelievable mess and no mistake. Utterly appalling stuff.


    • ZeroBullshit Apr 15, 2015 / 10:01 pm

      “Cook is an utter disaster. He will be lucky to keep a place in the team, let alone the captaincy.”

      He has already been extremely lucky with the captaincy and lucky with his place as a batsman. But what do we know? He is the chosen one, with the right sort of family, with inner steel, and with friends in the ECB as well as the mainstream media.

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Clivejw Apr 15, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    I don’t think you can complain when Bell gets out to the best ball of the entire match (so far). It’s when he’s out through a lapse in concentration, as he was today, that he can be criticized. Also, it’s the fate of players who make the game look easy to attract disproportionate criticism. Let’s just be grateful for what he has given us over the years. Christ, the current team would be painful to watch without him in it.

    I can’t remember players like Allan Lamb and more recently Andrew Strauss getting criticized for not scoring enough big hundreds.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    Good lord:

    “When, in the absence of Moeen Ali through injury, they selected Tredwell for his tour, the selectors recognised a reliable performer in the one-day side”

    You know who. The lengths one man will go to defend those in charge.


    • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 10:26 pm

      And then he leaves us with this:

      “If Stokes did not stint in his efforts then his anger on Twitter the previous evening, in which he seemed to suggest that overstepping was an inevitable consequence of effort, was just naive. He has a lot to learn.”

      Lovely touch there, from the man who called him a “total numpty”. On, er, Twitter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 10:37 pm

        Wow, I can’t believe his pomposity over Stokes comments. He obviously doesn’t want individuals expressing themselves. No wonder he fits in with the management.

        He really does sit in an ivory tower of shite.


    • Mark Apr 15, 2015 / 10:28 pm

      Well, he is going to look very stupid next test match when they drop TredwelI then. I look forward to him supporting a player who has already taken 4 wickets in this match, and may take more in the WI second innings being replaced with a player coming back from injury.

      Selvey ( I take it, it is he?) has become like one of those terrible tribute acts. In his case he is pretending to be a cricket journalist.

      Of course they may decide to drop Trott instead, and keep Tredwell. And play Moeem as an opener. That will look good. One test match and you are out for Trott against 2 years for Cook. Shouldn’t Trott be batting at 3 in any case?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Apr 15, 2015 / 10:33 pm

        My point was more that the selectors totally failed to recognise a “reliable performer in the one-day side”, by not picking him in the World Cup. I don’t know how anyone can write this sort of stuff and then hit out at people who spot it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Simon K Apr 15, 2015 / 10:41 pm

      As another journalist put it on twitter recently, “don’t listen to Mike Selvey. He’s far too matey with those involved [at the ECB] to write objectively”

      Liked by 1 person

      • hatmallet Apr 15, 2015 / 11:16 pm

        Wow, who said that?


      • Arron Wright Apr 16, 2015 / 5:01 am


        Elizabeth Ammon. She’d already been very withering about the Graves/Downton/fruitfly article as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  48. Grenville Apr 15, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    I think that Ballance has lost weight. That worries me. I know that we’re all meant to believe that thin = fit, but it doesn’t. Look at Rugby U, (or Sumo). If Ballance has lost weight, he’s on a diet. That means restricting calories which leads to, amongst other things, loss of concentration and fatigue. He did ok this evening, but his form has dipped. There might well be a causal link.

    I have a bee in my bonnet about this, but some of England’s loss of form might well be down to their bloody awful diet.


  49. Benny Apr 15, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    I’m wondering at what point Cook thinks “this isn’t working”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Apr 16, 2015 / 9:53 am

      Cook doesn’t think for himself, everything is pre-programmed… and then the batteries go flat during regular powerless failures


  50. waikatoguy Apr 15, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    Say what you like about Bell, but you simply can not argue that the side would be better off without him. He more than anyone in recent years has saved the England side from periodic batting collapses. As an NZ supporter he is the England batsman I would most love to see the back of. So I guess I should be saying: by all means, slag off at him…better still drop him from the side, what could possibly go wrong with that..


  51. "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 15, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    This “County” paradox puzzles me. Do well for your county and, apparently, there’s a yawning gap between County and Internationals? Go back to your County and get some runs, is the cry, but, if you do, you are unselectable?? KP…get loads of runs for Surrey..erm…hang on…it’s only County runs, and doesn’t count?? Can somebody please, with far more cricketing knowledge than me explain how, exactly, this is all supposed to work, cos it sure has hell baffles me???


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 15, 2015 / 10:45 pm

      It’s like X-Factor innit? Who’s taking Simon Cowell’s role?


    • Pontiac Apr 15, 2015 / 11:12 pm

      This is that ‘article of faith’ thing again. The conclusion comes first and the evidence comes second, and the argument about whether county runs count or not, whether Tredwell is reliable in the ODI side or shouldn’t be selected because reasons and what this has to do with test selection… those are fitted to justify the articles of faith with little regard to logical consistency in time.


  52. waikatoguy Apr 15, 2015 / 11:49 pm

    The situation is even more dire in NZ where the gap between the Plunkett and the test side is even wider than between county cricket and tests. NZ A games sort of fill the gap but money is scarce in NZ cricket so its hard to have as many of these games as possible. Besides first class performances and A list matches what else can you possibly go on? Whats the alternative to picking someone who makes a lot county runs? Picking guys who don’t?


    • metatone Apr 16, 2015 / 7:13 am

      You pick on character – players with the right sort of family – that kind of thing…

      Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 16, 2015 / 8:25 am

      I see the “something like his best” quote again re his form at the end of the India series.


      • @pktroll Apr 16, 2015 / 8:33 am

        I did note that too, but essentially he is talking about 2 rather ropey innings. I’ve seen others outside the media refer to the India series. It is rather sad that they’ve forgotten how ropey they were and that the same problems are still evident now. Roach and Taylor are a bit of a step up from poor old Pankaj and co.


  53. Arron Wright Apr 16, 2015 / 9:18 am

    I just do not know what to say any more:


    A journalist is blaming the balls for Cook and Trott being way past their best and picked on reputation. For real.

    (On a related note, the same balls that “swing wildly for 15-20 overs” brought “the most skilful swing bowler in the world” one wicket against the 8th ranked Test side during this 15-20 over period.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Apr 16, 2015 / 9:23 am

      That is bizarre and insane. As you note, the contrast with Anderson alone should have given Scyld Berry some pause for thought before submitting such nonsense.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Apr 16, 2015 / 9:40 am

        Interesting discussion on the matter here:

        Unfortunately, as some would put it, Berry “has previous on this”. Notably, last summer’s article saying Cook should be in place for the 2019 World Cup and Bell and Anderson dropped for 2015.

        Liked by 1 person

    • @pktroll Apr 16, 2015 / 9:42 am

      I wouldn’t have called Berry a Cook acolyte but it is worthy of a lot of the special pleading enacted on his behalf over the last year or so.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Andy Apr 16, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      So the West Indies get different balls that swing more than the ones England get do they??

      Or where Berry says Anderson has been ineffectual because of ‘soft pitches’ – I’m assuming the Antiguan groundsmen are quickly swapping out the wicket between innings??

      the hypocrisy, and blindness of the MSM beggars belief sometimes.

      Re Stokes and wickets ‘But he would have had Blackwood for 80, caught at second slip if Cook had posted one, when the second ball was only 15 overs old.’

      is that a slight dig at cook? It does fail to mention that Cook moved the slip from the ball before…

      Liked by 1 person

    • SteveT Apr 16, 2015 / 12:31 pm

      I was about to put this up as well. You can’t make this up. Of all the excuses conjured up for Iron Rod over the last year this trumps them all. Bet Newman and Selfie wished they had thought this one up. Berry did at least flag up aspects of his negative captaincy.

      Liked by 1 person

  54. thebogfather Apr 16, 2015 / 9:49 am

    It gets bad when you have to beg the ICC…

    Liked by 1 person

  55. thebogfather Apr 16, 2015 / 11:16 am

    Thought provoking, truthful, if a bit wordy, Cookie analysis by Tregaskis over at TFT – a good read


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