West Indies v England – 1st Test – “The Verdict”

Your comments on the test below. I’ll have a few views tomorrow, but been at a funeral today, and had to get in early this morning, so will be retiring for the evening.

I am aware I have two Centuries to update as well. A busy weekend.

Oh, Starter for 10:

And if you feel brave, read Michael Henderson in the Cricketer.

I like accuracy:

Holder’s unbeaten 103, sealed with two majestic straight boundaries off James Tredwell, could have ended on 66 when Billy Bowden gave him out caught down the legside even though Anderson barely appealed.

Technology rightly reinstated Holder who then, agonisingly for England, could have been caught in bizarre fashion when he drove Tredwell into Gary Ballance’s boot at silly mid-off only to see the ball balloon up just out of the reach of the diving bowler.

Pay attention that man…

113.1

Anderson to Roach, no run, full down the leg side, there’s a cry for a strangle and given out! Bowden raises the finger but West Indies want a review There is no Hot Spot or Snicko for this series so it’s all on the replay and the noises and this first replay looks like Roach has missed it by a long way. We need conclusive evidence to overturn the call but this is conclusive enough and the decision is overturned.

More to follow later, but this amused.

For what I saw of the test I saw two teams searching for a bit of an identity. The West Indies have had a terrible time of it, they have seen most of their most famous players off lording it up in the IPL, and had a chastening World Cup to follow up their withdrawl from the Indian series last year.

There are still major frailties in the top order, with the reversion to Devon Smith as an opener evidence of many of the problems that the WIndies face. But in Jason Holder they have a real star in the making, It remains to be seen if he’s a flash in the pan, but lord, he looked good in saving the game yesterday. His composure was immense, and even his seeming carefree attitude to Kemar Roach facing deliveries seemed fine to me. He’s a good looking player. If his bowling goes up by 10%, then there’s a real all rounder in the mix, and West Indies need heroes.

Jerome Taylor, and to a lesser extent Kemar Roach, bowled well with the new ball and caused our openers trouble. Now a lot of balls appears to have been spoken about balls, but the Caribbean boys certainly looked more threatening up front than we did. The back-up bowling looks limited, and there must be a better man than Benn out there. I think we might see Bishoo in Grenada.

So to England. A quick player-by-player focus:

Alastair Cook – Same report for the past year. Excuses, excuses. Reasons. I’m no technical guru, I just look at results. You can get technical about 95 not being hundred, but that’s his only score over 80 for nearly two seasons too. Pretend all you want. This is wretched stuff. But, on the flip side, the declaration was fine, and he captained quite well in the 4th innings from what I saw.

Jonathan Trott – A chastening return to the test team. Already his place is under threat, not that sticking a number three in the opener slot was going to go well. If England go to form he’ll be given these three tests, and if no good, Lyth might come in for New Zealand.

Gary Ballance – A superb second innings hundred banished some of the demons from the World Cup and the rest of this winter. His fourth hundred in his ninth test is welcome as he has nailed the number 3 slot for the time being. People talking about him being dropped really need to see some sense. However, I’m going to be watching him behind the sofa with that technique against Australia and New Zealand’s top bowlers. I wish him well.

Ian Bell – Another top innings from our form senior pro, and all the praise in the world is due. At the time it was easy to take the 143 for granted, but its worth was shown with the game panning out as it did. A dozy second innings run out gave us reminders why he makes us tear our hair out, but he’s our man and he is going to be vital this summer. Dare one say his 143 was a captain’s innings?

Joe Root – Really, really impressive. Both innings were perfect in their context. He was busy, positive and pressured the opposition. This attitude has to be infectious for this team to reach its potential. His bowling is also a more than useful outlet that he has to keep going with for as long as possible. A livewire, who did much to hurry us along.

Ben Stokes – Bowling was useful if not that potent, and his batting seemed to hark back to the man who burst onto the scene in Australia. Of course, he offers the opportunities to the knockers to keep reminding us of his locker-punching exploits when we should be looking at how to bring this talent on.

Jos Buttler – I missed his putrid first innings, and didn’t see his impressive second dig. Keeping, from what I saw, was a bit scruffy but he’s not the first to suffer there if that was the tale throughout. Jack Russell regularly had horrors in the WIndies.

Chris Jordan – Decent, but I get the feeling he’s akin to a Phil DeFreitas of the 90s. A worthy cricketer, does lots of things well, but maybe a touch short of test class. His tools seem to promise a lot, but there’s not enough for me. Yes, his fielding is amazing. I’d prefer more wickets.

Stuart Broad – Didn’t see a lot of his bowling until the end, where he tried gamely if a bit down on pace (but we are playing on slow surfaces). His batting appears a major concern because we’ll need lower order runs in any series we play and we hope to get some from him. Loved the bit where he bit his tongue when Anderson misfielded off his bowling, and then next ball screamed out loud when Trott saw a pull shot fall short of him….

James Tredwell – Bowled well in the first innings, but not a threat in the second. A real game cricketer who won’t let you down, but he is in the team because this is his role – a replacement squad player if one of your main spinners is injured. However, many would say this was a safe choice given the more exotic Adil Rashid’s leg spinners were available. Many will say Rashid has been bowling nonsense in the warm-ups (well, the press did). Doubt he’ll play on Tuesday.

James Anderson – the record breaker took the four wickets needed to pass Sir Hindsight, but he looked off the ball when it came to the new nut, and I’m petrified we are working him to exhaustion. While many are arguing over his legacy, I see a player I’ve never really taken to, but who has never really let us down. What is noticeable is his batting is improving again, and his last wicket partnership with Jordan was useful to stop a really demoralising second day going into the books.

On to Grenada for the second test. Have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the match and bring on the next one.

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83 thoughts on “West Indies v England – 1st Test – “The Verdict”

  1. MM Apr 17, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    Well done James Anderson but – most of all – well done Jason Holder. Good on yer.

    Yea Colin talk nah, indeed. Or, perhaps, yea Colin start asking those questions nah.

    The prep provided by St Kitts 4ths might get rolled out as an excuse by Mooresy pretty soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Phil Apr 17, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    We could have done with the ‘some we could mention’ in this test to accelerate the batting. Our bowlers are not good enough, and our openers fail, making the middle order consolidate. A higher run rate could of given us another session to bowl them out. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andy Apr 17, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    All credit to WI & holder for fighting too the end.

    Think England ran out of ideas on a flat pitch. They needed to make something happen, but perhaps were waiting for a mistake from WI (which they got from a few).

    Cook was at least a bit aggressive in his declaration – could have aimed for 500 lead….

    Think the press will say England did well & were unlucky to get a wicket that saved WI. Nothing too much about lack of penetrative bowlers or variety (oh for a wicket taking leg spinner, or a 90mph blow your socks off bowler, cough rashid, cough Plucknett)

    Like

  4. muzzleford Apr 17, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    You’ve had a bad week, MOT and a funeral !!! it pays not to know you amigo

    Like

  5. alan Apr 17, 2015 / 9:46 pm

    Pringle ‘Nothing lazier than retweeting ignorant pap’ Now what was that he retweeted the other day?

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Apr 18, 2015 / 8:12 am

      I thought Degsy was talking about Cook…..

      Like

  6. Arron Wright Apr 17, 2015 / 9:47 pm

    Cook has invoked the Scyld Berry “cheap swinging balls” argument. Yet Jimmy is the most skilful bowler he’s played with or against.

    Resign, Dmitri. He has us all beaten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Apr 18, 2015 / 8:14 am

      He really is thick isn’t he? He’s Barbie’s Ken brought to life. How anyone ever thought he was captaincy material is beyond me. Very revealing really, shows how Flower really rated the role.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mark Apr 17, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    It’s like crack cocaine for these morons, they just can’t leave it alone. What the f***s it got to do with KP?

    Jimmys day as he breaks the record, and dipstick Pringle has got his line of KP powder to snort. No wonder he was down at The Parks last week waiting to dance on his grave.

    Pringle needs professional help.

    Like

    • MM Apr 17, 2015 / 9:52 pm

      What? What’s Pringle said now?

      Like

      • MM Apr 17, 2015 / 10:04 pm

        Thanks muchly, I see that now. My netscape navigator 3.0 has been struggling lately!

        Is Pringle married? Does he need a cuddle or summat?

        Like

    • SimonH Apr 17, 2015 / 9:56 pm

      He also needs 11 out of 16.

      Although he’s also tweeted about “five days of domination” so that counts as a win, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pontiac Apr 18, 2015 / 12:23 am

        I’m primarily a WI supporter and that comment of Pringle’s really annoyed me. At the top of both innings the WI bowling attack bowled FAR more incisively than they have done for the last couple YEARS, and did better I think with the new ball than England did.

        Besides, isn’t it a sign of weakness when you can’t acknowledge that the other side has players who have some talent, sometimes try hard, and sometimes play well?

        Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Apr 18, 2015 / 8:15 am

      He’s a bitter old bore, a harridan. He’s becoming one of Les Dawson’s neighbours.

      Like

  8. Annie Weatherly-Barton Apr 17, 2015 / 9:56 pm

    Pringle, Selvey and Newman all need someone to help them with their nasty vindictive stuff. Pringle is just jealous. I expect they all are jealous at heart. So unnecessary and so nasty. Still if that is all he has to say then he has nothing to say of any worth. I think we all know that. One supposes that due to England not winning this game meant that the usual morons had to come up with something to deflect this loss against a mediocre team?

    I predicted a draw and glad the Windies did so very well. Great hearts there. England should have won but let it all go down the pan, AGAIN!

    Like

    • paulewart Apr 18, 2015 / 8:18 am

      Selvey’s report was good today. Mercifully free of references to Colin Graves or KP, just a straight up match report. Hit the nail on the head with Jimmy too:’the finest England pace bowler of his generation.’ I think that’s about right, cuts through the hyperbole.

      Like

  9. Arron Wright Apr 17, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    WTF are Sky up to? I’m only getting this from Nick Sharland’s Twitter feed, but it sounds like they’ve completely abandoned match analysis in favour of kissing Anderson’s feet.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 17, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      They had a little slot on Jason Holder – he’s tall – and then it’s been Anderson all the way. Switched it off.

      Like

      • Arron Wright Apr 17, 2015 / 10:21 pm

        He’s tweeted a quote from Nasser – Nasser! – that reads more like the worst media fanboy ever. Bizarre.

        By the way, I was 12 when Botham broke Willis’s England record. When I was 13, he broke Lillee’s record for leading Test wicket-taker in the entire world. In the intervening three decades, these records have been completely obliterated. So, forgive me, but I am underwhelmed by 384 v 383. Courtney Walsh has 143 more wickets than Malcolm Marshall. And that says it all about aggregates. It’s a worrying sign if a subscription broadcaster really thinks this record is far more important than analysing why England failed to win this match.

        Liked by 2 people

      • MM Apr 17, 2015 / 10:25 pm

        “It’s a worrying sign if a subscription broadcaster really thinks this record is far more important than analysing why England failed to win this match.”

        Arron shoots and he scores. I can’t add better than that so it’s off to bed. Has Pringle got his teddy?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Simon K Apr 18, 2015 / 6:42 am

        Yeah it was pretty awful. Like Arron I’m not at all a fan of absolute milestones being used as assessments of talent.

        Anderson is a fine bowler and deserves a lot of credit for getting to 100/384, but it says more about his ability to stay fit than his worth as a bowler. His average of just below 30 gives a clearer picture, I think.

        Like

      • Arron Wright Apr 18, 2015 / 7:21 am

        And surprise surprise, our fave journo agrees with Sky’s priorities.

        Like

      • SimonH Apr 18, 2015 / 8:55 am

        I see that Selvey (while mostly blaming the pitch and Ali’s absence) makes some criticisms of England’s bowling:

        “In this regard England probably bowled consistently a little too short, a lesson they might absorb for the next match in Grenada….. One may expect to see more cutters bowled too”.

        Neither of which could ever have said to be true under the previous bowling coach of course.

        Like

  10. Mark Apr 17, 2015 / 10:05 pm

    Just think what a crap test match this would have been if it was played over 4 days?

    This is what only test cricket can give you. One side can’t win but battles all day to get a draw. The Americans can’t understand it. Unfortunately most of modern society can’t understand it, and depressingly most of the modern cricket world doesn’t seem to get it. Preferring ODI smash bang wallop, we must have a winner mode.

    I guess we are just a weird cult.

    Like

    • MM Apr 17, 2015 / 10:10 pm

      We weird? Yes. But the cult is the ECB.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Pontiac Apr 18, 2015 / 12:25 am

      This USAian can understand it.

      (besides, the way I explain it to people at work is that it is totally okay to try to hit the guy with the ball, and that the ball is much nastier to be hit with than a baseball….)

      Like

  11. Annie Weatherly-Barton Apr 17, 2015 / 10:13 pm

    Derek Pringle is on a roll. Just asked him how old he is? He’s like a petulant child who just cannot grow up. These people are just so pathetic. How can we take these people seriously if they continue to act in such a way.

    Like

    • Maggie Apr 17, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      He sounds like the jilted spinster aunt in a gothic novel, utterly obsessed with the one who wronged him. Every moment that should be joyful is tainted with hate. Sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Simon K Apr 18, 2015 / 6:44 am

        I’ve always enjoyed his Cricinfo profile which says something like “his batting and bowling averages were crap for someone who played 30 tests”. Wounding. They normally try to be diplomatic about people in that category.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Grenville Apr 18, 2015 / 11:33 am

        It is a strange, strange work. It made me laugh.

        Like

      • SimonH Apr 18, 2015 / 11:54 am

        ” Pringle’s first-class batting average exactly matched his bowling average, indicating that he cancelled himself out perfectly”.

        Like

  12. Annie Weatherly-Barton Apr 17, 2015 / 10:18 pm

    Well you have a point there me Lord. Thing is people do take him seriously. I don’t get it. Still I’m old gal and although I may not take him seriously I don’t like that sort of thing.

    Like

  13. Mark Apr 17, 2015 / 10:36 pm

    You will all be delighted to know that Agnew can report that despite Cooks batting problems his poor form is not effecting his captaincy. Yes, nothing he could have done.

    It was left to Vaughn to point out that the attack has little variation. But that is selection, nothing to do with the captain. And anyway look over there ……….Jimmy Anderson.

    England picked a team not to lose rather than to win. They didn’t take the chance of picking the leg spinner. They chose Trott over the young guy who scored runs for Yorkshire. If we can’t bowl out WI on a flat track how are we going to bowl out Australia on a flat track? Oh right, we are going to have result wickets. Good luck with that with Australia’s bowling attack.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebogfather Apr 18, 2015 / 12:52 pm

      Of course his batting problems wouldn’t affect his captaincy… he has no captaincy skills to affect. However his non-captaincy must be affecting his ability to find some form with the bat…

      Like

  14. Vian Apr 17, 2015 / 10:50 pm

    When all is said and done, that was a brilliant rearguard from the West Indies. We could complain about England. But I always think you could have done the same for all those great England rearguard actions over the years, whether it was Atherton and Russell, Collingwood, Bell, Prior, Anderson and Panesar.

    Sometimes you just say bloody well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BigKev67 Apr 18, 2015 / 8:53 am

      Totally agree. Sometimes it’s not about what England did or didn’t do. There are 2 sides playing every game.
      The pitch didn’t deteriorate. If anything it flattened out even more on days 4 and 5, and we knew going in that our second level bowlers are still developing. I’d have picked Plunkett over Jordan, but that may not have made the difference – and as the incumbent who has made a decent start to his test career, I had no real problems with Jordan’s selection.
      Ramdin and Holder batted magnificently, and fair play to them. Holder in particular seems to have an enviable temperament. He was impressive during the travails of the World Cup and even more so here.
      England gave it everything with what they had. They weren’t quite good enough. All credit to the opposition for fighting it out and to both sides for giving us an excellent test match.

      Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 18, 2015 / 11:26 am

      You’ve nailed it Vian. Well said Sir!

      Like

  15. Zephirine Apr 17, 2015 / 11:33 pm

    Yes, wonderful rearguard action, well played Holder. Lovely when players just guts it out like that.

    I wish I could get more excited about Jimmy and his record. It is a terrific achievement and sometimes I still feel supportive towards him, but I’m afraid he’s rather tainted for me nowadays – too many stories about the ridiculous ways the bowling clique behave, the Jadeja incident, the continual abuse of the opposition… I dunno….

    Liked by 3 people

    • MM Apr 18, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      I’m gonna agree with you there, Zeph. Great achievement, but… it’s all the rest of the stuff, ain’t it?

      I’m gonna agree with Mark from earlier, too. If we can’t dismiss the Windies twice on unhelpful wickets we ain’t gonna dismiss the Aussies. If we make fruity pitches for the Ashes, we won’t survive their quicks. In fact, the Kiwis will be more than good enough to do the same.

      We’d better get the XI right very soon, and that’s both openers, two pace bowlers, and Moeen rather than Tredwell – even though he didn’t disgrace himself.

      Happy to be disagreed with.

      Like

  16. SimonH Apr 17, 2015 / 11:36 pm

    Ready for some Brenkley? One of his five questions for the selectors:

    “Cook’s form

    Until and unless he scores another Test century, Alastair Cook’s place as captain will continue to be questioned. There is – as yet – no mass movement towards dropping him altogether but even his greatest supporters may be coming round to the view that relieving him of the leadership responsibility would allow him to concentrate on recovering the form that made him the most reliable opening batsman in the world.

    Still, it is slightly misleading to point to the fact that he has not made a hundred in 33 innings. He still managed to average above 40 in the series against India last summer, which he finished with three fifties.

    It should be recalled that within living memory Mike Brearley, also largely an opening batsman, played 66 Test innings and never made a century. No one called him a bad captain, partly because he won two Ashes series.

    The comparison is slightly odious given Brearley’s standing as a captain, but if Cook were to go, then who would be his successor? That is not an easy question to answer but what the selectors cannot do again is what they did with the one-day captaincy by prolonging the agony.

    In any case, England won three consecutive Tests under Cook last summer and have dominated at the next time of asking in this one in Antigua against West Indies. His side looked hungry for victory on the fifth day and set aggressive fields, asking questions of their opponents’ nerve”.

    Do I detect a slight wobble (or at least a slight hedging of bets) buried in all the usual nonsensical special-pleading?

    Like

    • Simon K Apr 18, 2015 / 6:54 am

      It’s true he averaged over 40 vs India (helped by a not out in the third test). Brenkley doesn’t mention that this was preceded by series in which he averaged 20, 25 and 28. His average in the calendar years of both 2013 and 2014 remains below 34.

      You can sustain that kind of crappy overall form with the odd good innings and series. The problem is that cricket journalists don’t understand the concept of sample variation and don’t care about anything but the batsman’s last innings.

      Like

      • @pktroll Apr 18, 2015 / 7:50 am

        Since the start of the 2013 Home Ashes, he averages 28 over the 18 tests. That series was the start of him being figured out and the couple of scratchy innings in the India series really, really didn’t change that. The technical faults that Vian has pointed out so well have continued, and have continued to fester.

        Like

    • dvyk Apr 18, 2015 / 7:23 am

      “There is – as yet – no mass movement towards dropping him”

      That seems to be what these people worry about — not the loss of form, or what the best winning strategy might be, but “how far can we continue to defend him”.

      The sand bags have been put in place– the captaincy will be sacrificed if need be, to buy some more time for his batting.

      If you guys are getting sick of Cook now, just wait till he retires — the ECB have obviously got him ear marked for some prominent role, and all his supporters in the media will have an automatic inside track. The entire media will be run on the Selvey model.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BigKev67 Apr 18, 2015 / 8:43 am

        Think you’re wrong about that. I suspect he’ll be straight back to the farm when he retires and as far away from cricket as he can possibly get.

        Like

      • MM Apr 18, 2015 / 1:00 pm

        Horrible possibility/probability, ain’t it?

        Like

    • paulewart Apr 18, 2015 / 8:43 am

      He started so well too….what an absurd man.

      Like

  17. Mark Apr 18, 2015 / 12:22 am

    ” relieving him of the leadership responsibility would allow him to concentrate on recovering the form that made him the most reliable opening batsman in the world.”

    But that card has been played before. “Relieving him of the ODI leadership responsibility………didn’t turn his form into the most reliable opening batsman in the world.

    “He still managed to average above 40 in the series against India last summer, which he finished with three fifties.”

    Meaningless, because the India Test team away from India are crap.

    “No one called him a bad captain”

    Because Brealey wasn’t a a bad captain.”

    The fact that Cook is still seen as the best option just shows how unserious the ECB is in progressing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM Apr 18, 2015 / 1:02 pm

      Brearley was a chuffing captaincy uber-deity compared to Cook.

      Like

      • SimonH Apr 18, 2015 / 1:15 pm

        Brearley got the chop after being whitewashed in Australia as well (3-0 in 79/80).

        I know he wasn’t technically sacked (he resigned after not being able to commit to future tours) but everyone knew he was on the way out.

        Like

      • MM Apr 18, 2015 / 1:21 pm

        I did say ‘compared to’!

        I remember that series. It was my first series of listening to the radio under the duvet as an 11yo. Didn’t Brearley have a giant beard and once put everyone on the boundary – including David Bairstow – in an ODI?

        Still he came back well in 1981. Tidy year, that.

        Like

      • SimonH Apr 18, 2015 / 1:50 pm

        I wasn’t getting at you MM – just Brenkley!

        That was indeed the series of Brearley’s beard (he made a few runs too) and all the fielders (including the keeper) on the boundary at the end of an ODI.

        Robelinda2 has uploaded quite a few clips from that series on Youtube if you’ve not noticed them.

        Like

      • MM Apr 18, 2015 / 2:03 pm

        Hey, no probs Simon. Wasn’t taking any umbrage.

        I will look at those clips now. I do remember dear old Bairstow Senior’s face on the boundary, whilst in his black day/night pads. He didn’t know whether to laugh or growl.

        Gotta wonder what Cook has to do/not do to get relieved of his captaincy. Are there any county candidates? Didn’t Jimmy fancy it a few years ago? I know bowlers are not the preferred choice usually but seeing as he’s a record breaker now…

        Just wondering.

        Like

  18. metatone Apr 18, 2015 / 6:05 am

    Great batting by Holder.
    Still, I have to say, this is why Tredwell can’t complain too much if he is dropped.
    (Although Moeen may not be my preferred replacement.)

    Tredders took some important wickets, but he wasn’t a consistent threat.
    Second innings was particularly toothless, on a pitch where you would be looking for the spinner to get you over the line…

    Like

  19. metatone Apr 18, 2015 / 6:06 am

    Extra thought – 3 matches on pitches like this is probably going to wear Anderson and Broad out even quicker…

    Like

    • SimonH Apr 18, 2015 / 8:20 am

      Broad had been the most threatening England seamer for much of the game but he looked particularly worn out by the end. He had the slowest average speed of the four seamers in the second innings. His last spell seemed to be clocking 79 mph regularly which is almost Collingwood pace.

      Like

      • MM Apr 18, 2015 / 1:04 pm

        Did Collingwood retire from tests or just slip away? Just wondering. Not advocating a recall. The question just came to mind.

        Like

      • Simon K Apr 19, 2015 / 12:35 am

        He retired from tests at the end of the 2010/11 Ashes. He never formally retired from the two short forms but never played another game in either after he involuntarily relinquished the T20 captaincy in April 2011.

        So we’ve been a full four years without Colly in international cricket. How time marches on.

        Like

  20. wrongunatlongon Apr 18, 2015 / 6:57 am

    Hmm. Whilst I cant say England did much wrong on the day, they would have been helped by having a spinner who could turn the ball on that 5th day. I like Tredders, he was robbed of a spot by selectors at the World Cup. However this wasn’t his place, as many said on Day 1 and 2 (and even as he picked up 4 in the first innings). Even Root looked more dangerous. Could we even have gone two spinners? I’m not sure, but I was certain we’d make hard work of bowling out a mediocre, if spirited, Windies side out on the 5th day.

    Like

  21. SimonH Apr 18, 2015 / 9:14 am

    Selvey’s claim (repeated by Agnew) that Jordan’s catch was the greatest off a spinner in the last half century has been niggling away with me. Can’t they just let us enjoy it when England do something good rather than souring it with this sort of ridiculous hyperbole?

    Like

    • Arron Wright Apr 18, 2015 / 10:23 am

      I think we know by now this is a general trait. To think, fanboys in the media centre used to be frowned upon….

      Like

    • Nephilim Apr 18, 2015 / 12:45 pm

      How would the great Richie Benaud have described that catch.
      “Fantastic catch that”. Then onto the next worthy comment.

      Like

      • BoerInAustria Apr 19, 2015 / 6:31 am

        I think this should become a new measure / benchmark in cricket: “How would the great Richie Benaud have described that ?”

        Like

    • MM Apr 18, 2015 / 1:06 pm

      You are right, Simon.

      Incidentally, is there anywhere someone can see this catch? It wasn’t on youtube yesterday, although quite a few of Jordan’s other screamers were.

      Like

  22. Silk Apr 18, 2015 / 9:57 am

    Well played Windies I think.

    England didn’t do a lot wrong. Rashid might have been more of a threat yesterday but would he have taken a 4-fer in the first innings and given Cook the control he needed?

    I’m not sure what changes England can make, other than the need for Plunkett. (And Lyth, obviously, but that isn’t going to happen)

    Like

    • metatone Apr 18, 2015 / 5:29 pm

      I’ve said before as a Yorkist that Rashid never developed the way we all hoped, and that I blame England for a lot of that. But I do think that having an attacking spinner would be an improvement over Tredwell. Probably less control, but potentially more wickets – certainly in the second innings.

      I can totally accept that Rashid may not be good enough for Test cricket, but the point is, he’s good enough at FC cricket that we should try him and find out. (He may even rise to the occasion – it happens, although more for other nations than for England.)

      All the stuff about him not pushing the ball quick enough should be looked at in the light of the speed that Tredwell was actually bowling. As always, the horror of England planning is that there isn’t any – none of the upcoming series is a good time to try out a new spin option. The time is now… and if they don’t trust Tredders in ODIs against NZ and Aus, then what sense does it make to mark him out as the (reserve) spinner for Tests against those nations.

      Like

  23. "IronBalls" McGinty Apr 18, 2015 / 11:30 am

    When the pitches are dead and the new ball’s ageing, nothing better than a bit of pace!….Plunkett for Broad??

    Like

  24. BoerInAustria Apr 18, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    The poster Amitgarge wrote under Dobell’s piece on Anderson: “With most wickets in world turning docile, given the amount of cricket being played, his (Anderson) effectiveness is only going to reduce. That he lacks a truly world class partner who can do this consistently, does contribute to it”

    I believe I am yet to see a statistic on the various bowling partners the leading wicket takers had in their succesful periods – any clever analysis out there? How did he and Swanny combine etc.

    Also, if it was (and it seems it really the case) such a road in Antigua, it further amplifies the batting weakness does it not…?

    Like

    • SimonH Apr 18, 2015 / 2:26 pm

      No clever stats but a couple of observations:
      1) Anderson had Broad and Swann in support for much of his career. That’s some pretty decent support (both with 200+ wickets at under 30). Richard Hadlee must be tops among great bowlers for success with lack of support.
      2) Steyn has averaged 22.5 without support from a top quality spinner. That is some achievement. Of course, on the other hand, he was helped by the presence of Kallis so SA have mostly had a five-man attack when he played.

      Like

  25. Andy Apr 18, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    My main problem with Anderson record & his deification, is just look and the list of most test wickets and he is nowhere.

    Murili & Warne were crazy good, but where is England’s Walsh, or steyn etc. I know Anderson has a few more years to go, but internationally he is not up there (yet?).

    England should have someone in the top ten list of wicket takers…

    Like

    • metatone Apr 18, 2015 / 5:31 pm

      That doesn’t bother me so much, as it’s all about injuries… Rather, the problem for me is that the odd series apart, Jimmy is much less effective away from home. Even that is fine if we recognise it and select for that fact. But so often we don’t.

      Like

    • Clivejw Apr 18, 2015 / 11:40 pm

      Jesus Christ, this place is getting almost as bad as the mainstream press. Sorry, becoming your country’s leading wicket taker *is* a big deal. Nor is it anything less than risible to state “look at the list of most test wickets and he is nowhere.” If you think taking 387 wickets is something to sniff at, just look at the long list of bowlers who haven’t got anywhere near 300, let alone close to 400. Fuck me, this pisses me off. As the West Indian bumboclart wrote below the line in the Guardian:

      Fine bowler to break Ian Botham’s record and get to 100 Tests also.

      But apparently some people on the internet think you are not an “all-time great”.

      So you might as well have not bothered……. 🙂

      And don’t tell me you are reacting to Selvey’s hyperbole. You are ten times worse than he is. Just listen to yourself.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus Apr 19, 2015 / 12:08 am

        I’m putting the tone of this reply down to it being late. “This place is getting almost as bad as the mainstream press” and “you are ten times worse than he [Selvey] is. Just listen to yourslef”” aren’t what I want to see, if truth be told. Disagree, but don’t go overboard.

        I’m getting increasingly concerned with the way this blog is going, if truth be told. There’s been more tetchiness and aggro in the last two weeks below the posts then there has for the previous year.

        On Anderson, it is an important record, and he’s had a great career. Is he Dale Steyn? No. Of those above him he most reminds me of Kapil Dev. Wily, smart, clever and adaptable, without express pace. I’ve never taken to him personally, but that doesn’t matter. He’s always given his all – except when he gormlessly denied Steve Harmison a test half century with a daft reverse sweep.

        This blog is meant to be enjoyable, and a labour of love, not me worrying that people are really going to start going at each other.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Apr 19, 2015 / 9:15 am

        Just like to say Dmitri that I fully support you, and your right to moderate or not moderate (YOUR OWN BLOG). The notion that you are at a funeral, and have to be worrying about what’s going on here is wrong, and idiotic.

        What is disappointing is these recent disputes seem to be about trivial matters. Which for some reason always seem to be the things that get blown out of all proportion.

        As you rightly say you have not moderated this blog and trusted us to behave ourselves. It is up to us not to screw it up.

        Liked by 2 people

  26. BoerInAustria Apr 19, 2015 / 6:15 am

    Dear Dimitri

    I got involved in one of the scuffles and apologise. It will not happen again. I am your guest here, and your blog (and the time and effort you put in should be respected) is a platform I enjoy , and should remain so.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. thebogfather Apr 19, 2015 / 10:54 am

    Dmitri, I don’t think I’ve been involved in the spiteful tittle-tattle, tho’ I have noticed it too, and I won’t get involved here with nomdeplume sandbagging (not a clue who anyone is/was anyway, nor do I care!) I do regret my implied C**t re Cookie the other day, as it did lower the tone of your august blog – (I am so frustrated by his still being untouchable as captain!!).

    KITKAS

    ps – really looking forward to your TOTP (TotallyObliviousThumbsinearsPress) Awards!

    Like

  28. Mark Apr 19, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Interesting tweet by David Bunmbe Lloyd which was re tweeted by TFT

    I can only copy and paste the words but they once again make you cringe at Moores…

    Lloyd. …….”Interesting comment from P Moores that J Trott has earned the right to open the batting . How does that impact on A Lyth ?”

    At a time when a certain individual is being told he must go back to county cricket and score runs if he is to have any chance of playing for England, it seems actually scoring county runs for the current champions doesn’t earn you the right to play for England.

    Like

    • Arron Wright Apr 19, 2015 / 11:59 am

      Moores is a walking disaster. I have none of the patience others seem to. This is just like Ballance for James Taylor at the World Cup. What more does Lyth have to do? He’s the same age as Strauss was when he made his debut, he could flourish in the same way, he’s jumped through every hoop necessary since being recognised by England, and he’s treated like this in the only 2015 series where we can afford to experiment.

      I do like Trott (though I was one of the first at the Guardian to point out the massive statistical discrepancy between his scores and average pre and post May 2011), but given what Ballance and the rest of the middle order has achieved in the last year, there should be no place for him in this side. Simple as that, sorry.

      Liked by 2 people

  29. MM Apr 19, 2015 / 3:35 pm

    If I was Peter Moores[y] I just wouldn’t do interviews. Surely he realises he is The Gaffe-o-tron 5000, to Whitaker’s Gaffe-o-tron 6000.

    Couldn’t he sub-let interviews to an underling? There’s plenty in that wonderful dressing room environment, isn’t there?

    [But please don’t give Joe Root the job, I couldn’t hack another Joe Root exclusive.]

    Like

  30. Mark Apr 19, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    It’s not really a gaffe because Moores actualy believes this crap. What it reveals is the double standards in selection policy. There is a different standard depending on if you are inside or outside cricket. Those on the outside are set target after target that even if they succeed won’t get them in. It also confirms for me that Moores is working hand in glove with Flower. No doubt Trott earned the right by going with Flower on the recent A tour.

    Meanwhile the greatest living Englishman will lead the team again because those on the inside are given a million chances. Just been re reading Tregaskis inside the turtle tank….

    “Pietersen resigned before he was sacked himself, but his departure flowed not from inappropriate behaviour towards Moores (#1), but because the ECB felt uncomfortable with investing this captain with so much power. Fast-forward five years and the ECB’s decision-making is now built around supporting the captain regardless of his faultlines. Cook is arguably the worst but most powerful captain in a generation. It is hard to see any consistency in the ECB’s ethical baseline”

    “Cook is the worst but most powerful captain in a generation.” Needs repeating again and again.

    Liked by 2 people

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