West Indies v England – 2nd Test Day 4

Comments below.

UPDATE – Apologies for the brevity of the post but had a shocking evening and morning. Seems I’ve caught some virus or other which has absolutely wiped me out. I am writing this with the shivers and a duvet over me with arms poking either side. Have the media been using their pins on the voodoo doll?

It would not be appropriate, nor do I have the stamina, to write my proposed post on Alastair Cook. This can wait until the weekend when I hope to feel better.

This test is nicely poised, England need to get this lead to 150 minimum and then think about pulling out. They need to take 10 wickets, and back themselves to chase what they need to in a session or two. Let’s hope Cook’s judgement is there like it was in Antigua.



101 thoughts on “West Indies v England – 2nd Test Day 4

  1. Grumpy Gaz Apr 24, 2015 / 9:14 am

    I was wondering what the other England batsmen, especially Gary Ballance, thought of Cook & Trott’s 2-an-over progress when we were chasing a game that has lost time due to rain.

    Trott has obviously been given the short end of the stick so his progress was understandable; welcome back to test cricket, by the way you are the new opener, good luck.

    But at the time we should be putting the collective foot down, it is once again all about our un-sackable captain who can bat as slowly as he pleases in pursuit of the elusive ton that will make it all better.

    No criticism is allowed to be leveled at the one with a core of solid adamantium because, at least according to Nasser, the main concern for England yesterday was Cook getting to 100. Who cares about winning a test match as long as the Golden One scores a few runs? For someone who normally speaks sense, Nasser lost the plot yesterday.

    Meanwhile the remaining batsmen, who are very much sackable, especially if opening and scoring more that Cook (watch out Trotty!), have to place greater risk on their wickets in order to make up for the slow start.


  2. alan Apr 24, 2015 / 9:24 am

    Just thought I’d mention that our old friend WCTT left a thoughtful and balanced comment about Cook’s innings yesterday below Selvey’s latest match report. Too much to hope for something similar from the likes of Newman I suppose!


  3. Timmy Apr 24, 2015 / 9:56 am

    On a flat wicket (a little slow), no Jerome Taylor, dropped catch, survived a great LBW shout, faced mainly spin bowling (his supposed good at facing that) and still no century.

    This is going to be a long summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Silk Apr 24, 2015 / 10:49 am

      Talk about loss of perspecitve.

      How about bouncing tail-enders?

      How about beamers?

      Liked by 1 person

      • PaulE Apr 24, 2015 / 11:06 am

        Quite agree, but the loss of perspective extends to sledging in general: Marlon Samuels alluded to England’s poor behaviour. It’s been going on over an extended period. His gesture,was understated and wtity, contrast that to Jimmy’s boorish outbursts. I’ve all the time in the world for Beefy’s riposte to Rod Marsh: too mates having a bit of a laugh, I’ve none for the charmless Glenn McGraths and Jimmy Anderson’s of this world.


    • metatone Apr 24, 2015 / 10:51 am

      I’m tired of our cricket press only noticing these issues when someone else does it. James does mention Anderson doing the same thing – but I bet if Samuels hadn’t bothered, and it was only Jimmy, there wouldn’t have been this article…


      • Arron Wright Apr 24, 2015 / 11:01 am

        I wasn’t going to mention this, but:

        It is quite clear that Anderson and Stokes are in the article purely for token acknowledgment and “balance”. It struck me as an ugly piece, particularly in the context of last summer’s awful reporting on Anderson and Jadeja.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PaulE Apr 24, 2015 / 11:07 am

        Two mates even. What a dunderhead. My fingers have been eating too many biscuits, clearly……


      • Mark Apr 24, 2015 / 12:22 pm

        This is comedy gold……….

        “Just imagine now that players all over the land start saluting dismissed batsmen this weekend. I can tell you what will happen. There is a good chance that physical violence will ensue somehwere.”

        Didn’t the RAC man used to salute you as you went by, or was it the AA?

        As others have said the threat of physical violence only seems to appear when England are on the receiving end of these send offs. Stokes was dishing it out. And we all know what Amderson is like. But if a Johnny foreigner ever used physical violence on an England player we all know what side the media would take.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PaulE Apr 24, 2015 / 1:05 pm

        The public discourse around race and immigration has become increasingly toxic under the current government. We should all be vigilant. No-one wants an insular little-England, surely?


      • Arron Wright Apr 24, 2015 / 6:07 pm

        It’s gone “viral” on Twitter. James receiving sympathy from a familiar source though.


      • Arron Wright Apr 24, 2015 / 10:06 pm

        Well there you have it. Dave Tickner can shut up for starters.


  4. Silk Apr 24, 2015 / 10:49 am

    OK – So if Windies are 3 down or less tonight, I reckon the can snatch a draw.

    And if England get skittled in the first session, there’s a chance, just a chance, of an interesting finish. Say we are chasing 160 in 2 sessions to win.


  5. dvyk Apr 24, 2015 / 11:03 am

    Looks like Root has saved Cook’s skin here — if he had have scored as slowly as Cook, he’d be on 59 at the moment, and a draw would be as likely as an England win is now. Though we must remember that, Root’s innings was only possible because Cook “laid the platform for it”. (Yes, I know it’s usually a foundation that gets laid, but when you bat as slowly as Cook, the platform goes under the ground too.)

    So Cook has returned to form now, although he wasn’t even out of form, because in is last 7 innings he averages 60, and all that stuff with getting found out in the ODIs is irrelevant because that’s a different format.

    And all the stuff about not being able to play a ball on or outside off and not moving his feet and overbalancing, was all happening because he was out of form, which he wasn’t because he was averaging 60, so we can celebrate it him returning to form even though he was never out of it, just like we did all those other times he’s returned to form in the last 2 years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • metatone Apr 24, 2015 / 11:18 am

      I’ve said it before, but the psychosis of the Flower era was the bigging up of results against middle of the road bowling attacks and the quiet forgetting of how every time we came up against a good one (e.g. Pakistan, S.A.) we would get found out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Timmy Apr 24, 2015 / 12:00 pm

        I must concur.

        Since the Ashes white wash, we (England) have faced, Sri Lanka (6th), India (7th) and WI (8th). I have included their ICC test rankings. This new coming of England is a joke. If we win the current and the next test we still would have won 5 out of ten tests whilst losing 2 against the 3 worst teams in test cricket. I do not include Bangladesh nor Zimbabwe as we will only ever play them once every 50 years!

        I am an England fan but I remain far from convinced by this current England team. I feel England will be lucky to win 2 test matches this Summer out of the 7!


      • MM Apr 25, 2015 / 11:40 am

        I must agree.

        Is psychosis the right word? Sounds like it should be. Lying to their audience would be about right as well.


  6. PaulE Apr 24, 2015 / 11:10 am

    I’m confident he’ll be out of a job if we don’t beat our mediocre opponents. Not a slight at Colin Graves, btw: he was simply setting out his expectations.


  7. Mark Apr 24, 2015 / 11:35 am

    It has become clear that England are secondary to needs of Cook. What really pisses off the cricket writers Mafia is our refusal to bow at the feet of St Alastair of Bedford. They have told us he is not of this world, a deity to be worshiped. They have also told us KP is a C**t. And we are having none of it.

    This enrages them. It literally drives them bat shit insane. They think they have special insights that we are not worthy to understand. They told us St Alastair is good and KP is bad. In their eyes we should not question their superior knowledge. We should just humbly except their spoon fed tablets of stone.

    This was very prominent last year at the end of the India series. Their celebration of England’s win was more about their own self congratulation. They demanded we stop questioning, and prostrate ourselves at St Alastair of Bedfordshire feet. We refused. We pointed out the failings in the India team. This just infuriated them more. Nobody is to question their knowledge and St Alastair’s greatness.

    Yesterday St Alastair scored a glacial 76 after being dropped and getting away with a LBW shout. This Bradman like innings was achieved against a pathetic pace attack and mostly spin bowling. Something Cook plays reasonable well against. And today they claim this shows his genius is restored. Well, I for one am having none of it. They have elevated this one man above all other aspects of English cricket. And they accuse us of being all about KP. They should look in the mirror.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mark Apr 24, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    Alastair Cooks innings took him past Alec Stewart.. He now has 8523 runs to Stewart’s 8463. Only Gooch on 8900 is ahead of him.

    I can’t help thinking this all that maters for the cricket Mafia. Keeping him in the team long enough to break the record. Yesterday should ensure he gets another 20 test matches.


    • PaulE Apr 24, 2015 / 1:06 pm

      It was all that mattered to Gooch towards the end of his career, hence the shameful dropping of Gower.


      • Mark Apr 24, 2015 / 3:01 pm

        Yes the way Gower was dropped at the time was very suspicious. Essex Mafia.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Apr 24, 2015 / 4:33 pm

        Such a shame Gooch didn’t care about international runs at the peak of his career…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort Apr 24, 2015 / 6:43 pm

        Gooch liked the rand as much as a run.
        Shame isn’t it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Apr 25, 2015 / 12:39 pm

        Graham Gooch says in his book that when it came to the selection for that India tour, it was between Gower and Gatting. What he said that India was a tough tour for older players, and with him as captain he didn’t want another older batsman in the field. Gatting had a good record in India and that won out.

        Now let me name drop for a minute. At an Ashes test in 2005 I had the great fortune to be in an Exec Box that had hired Allan Lamb for the tea interval. Lamb came in and was just as imagined. But he did say this about the end of his career. “Before that tour, Goochie told me I wouldn’t be in the squad because he wanted younger players. Next day he stuck his mate John Emburey in the team.” (Lamb believes he was ousted because he came above the parapet over ball-tampering and embarassed the MCC).

        I don’t actually think the record came into it. Gooch just saw Gower as a poor tourist. He had better tours up until then without him.

        That Gooch book is worth a blog post at some time. It is a very interesting read in hindsight.


    • MM Apr 25, 2015 / 11:43 am

      Not looking forward to the extensive coverage should he pass Gooch[ie].


  9. Mark Apr 24, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    Sky have already shown the Samuel Salute only 4 times so far. Why are people getting so worked up about it? I find it hilarious.

    Nobody had a problem with Jimmy calling an Indian player a C**t. I guess that’s banter. I know which one made me laugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • paulewart Apr 24, 2015 / 4:33 pm



    • MM Apr 25, 2015 / 11:53 am

      That salute was wonderful. No arteries bulging, no four letter words, no spit. Really quite creative. I loved the person in the background laughing like a drain. Seriously, these England players, their entourage and the media need to get over themselves. They ain’t all that. Sense of humour failure.


  10. SimonH Apr 24, 2015 / 2:24 pm

    TV graphic revealed just how much Roach has declined in pace – in 2012 he was averaging 88 mph in a series against Australia and now his average in this match is 82 mph.

    Root has also just gone past 2000 Test runs making him the second youngest Englishman to achieve the feat (behind Cook and six days ahead of Gower) and the ninth quickest in terms on innings (Sutcliffe tops the list followed by Hammond).


  11. @pktroll Apr 24, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    If Broad gets out quickly it is time to declare.


    • Pontiac Apr 24, 2015 / 2:54 pm

      Taken up duck farming again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • escort Apr 24, 2015 / 8:40 pm

        i bet he’s never been to a proper duck do?


  12. Rav Roberts Apr 24, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    From cricinfo: “Anderson just assumed he was going to be run out and gave up but had he ran properly, he could have easily got in. His foot was mid-air over the popping crease as the bails were removed. Root rightly slaps his bat on the ground because Anderson’s pathetic running has cost him a chance of a double century”.

    Anderson not a team man?


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 24, 2015 / 4:22 pm

      Absolutely love it that Root showed how pissed off he was with it. OK, he may well have played a part in one of the other run outs, but that’s no excuse for Anderson being dozy….

      Note how the commentators get on Stokes and Buttler, as newcomers (relatively) for their dismissals and approaches, but good ole Jimmy is dozy.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Apr 24, 2015 / 4:32 pm

        Just confirms KPs book about dressing room cliques. Which was of course denied by the media. Yet it seems they are part of the very same clique. Laughing and joking with senior members of the clique while hammering the new guys.

        The media tell us Michael Vaughn can’t have the new job because senior members of the clique don’t like him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Apr 24, 2015 / 4:36 pm

        Good. It’s not his job to be liked (if indeed it is his job).

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort Apr 24, 2015 / 7:09 pm

        Have i missed something? Why the criticism of Anderson?


  13. metatone Apr 24, 2015 / 4:43 pm

    So England all out with a lead of 165.
    WI have lost 1 wicket and there’s a day and 2/3 to go.
    Still quite balanced, but advantage England I suspect.


  14. thebogfather Apr 24, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    Where’s the bowling plan? Are we just putting it somewhere and hoping for mistakes? Where’s the bowling plan Mk2, or some invention…


  15. pktroll (@pktroll) Apr 24, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    The partnership at the drinks break is 72-1. I have to be honest I’ve been disappointed with nearly all the bowlers bar Anderson this innings. Stokes has been a bit unlucky in that a couple of balls have flown through the slip cordon at catchable height, but his length is too erratic.


  16. Rooto Apr 24, 2015 / 6:21 pm

    Get well soon, boss.
    This evening, I will mostly be getting very excited at the prospect of Brathers getting a good score and boring the hell out of all the ECB fanboys. God, I hope I don’t jinx him. I’m so tingly with excitement, I feel almost adolescent. Go Brathers!


  17. lionel joseph Apr 24, 2015 / 6:39 pm

    I hope Anderson is forced to apologise to Root in front of the whole dressing room for that shocking bit of running.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Rooto Apr 24, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    Nasser: “England going to plan B.”
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…
    As if.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. What What Apr 24, 2015 / 6:55 pm

    Get Gary Ballance and his googlies on, Gary Ballance.


    • MM Apr 25, 2015 / 11:55 am

      Nice one!


  20. thebogfather Apr 24, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    Where is the prophet?
    Where is plan B or C?
    Where are the profits?
    From Sky input to the ECB
    Where does the leadership Be?
    Where is the on-field visionary?
    So silent he
    Once more (and Moores) pitifully…


  21. dvyk Apr 24, 2015 / 7:19 pm

    A couple of thoughts–

    Cook would have needed more than 500 balls to score as much as Root did.

    It’s okay for the English captain to scream at an opposing captain while shaking his hand..It’s ok for a Sky commentator to call a player a c—. It is not ok for an opposing player to salute an English player after having been sledged by him.

    It will be ok for Anderson to run himself out and stop Joe Root getting a double ton because the bowler’s clique don’t like no uppity batsmen, only timid ones like Cook. It is probably not going to be ok that Root the his bat on the ground. He will probably be told to apologise.

    It was “unprofessional” of Stokes to bowl a no ball. It was certainly not unprofessional for Anderson to not bother running.

    As Bob Willis just said, if it was a horse race there would probably be a stewards inquiry into why he didn’t run.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emasl Apr 24, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      I simply LOVE Bob Willis. So Eeyoreish and laconic and spot on every time


  22. SimonH Apr 24, 2015 / 7:23 pm

    Broad’s pace is right down again. Average of 80.8 in the second innings so far.


    • thebogfather Apr 24, 2015 / 7:35 pm

      Sulking, or still shivering at the pace of his dismissal for 0…


  23. BoerInAustria Apr 24, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    I wonder if a leggie would take wickets in this match?
    Oh, Bishoo took 4…

    PS – Get well soon Dimi


  24. thelegglance Apr 24, 2015 / 7:46 pm

    I really love the M1 and M25…

    Right, safely ensconced on the sofa now, so I’m going to watch some cricket.

    As far as the match is concerned, I can’t see any way the West Indies can get enough to declare except as a token effort. The only way they could really win would be to get bowled out say 150 ahead and skittle England. Realistically, you’d think this is going to be a draw. And if so, Mr Graves is likely to have steam coming out of his ears by the end of it.

    Reading the various comments, agree that the Samuels one was amusing. And that as a riposte to the usual England foul mouthed abuse it was superb.

    As for young Master Root, he’s looking quite some player. Not sure he can maintain his recent form, no one bar Bradman does that. But we may have found one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dvyk Apr 24, 2015 / 8:25 pm

      Dropping Samuels on 30 was a key moment in this test — cost both time and 70 odd runs..And although Cook did even up the difference by scoring that many himself, he also faced almost as many balls as Root did, except Root scored 100+ more. (I doubt Newman or Selvey will be making those points.)

      And he’s bowling well too. This Root character is really something.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance Apr 24, 2015 / 8:42 pm

        I’ve not seen any of the last three days until this evening, so I’m a bit reluctant to comment on the detail. Didn’t see Cook’s innings at all.


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 24, 2015 / 9:24 pm

          The bits I saw of it didn’t strike me as being much different to how he finished the summer. He was stodgy, slow, and a touch fortunate. I’m not seeing the revelation, but others are.


  25. escort Apr 24, 2015 / 7:53 pm

    A lovely passage of play at the moment where Anderson and Broad have pretty much taken control from the Captain by setting their own field whilst Cook stands motionless doing the full tea pot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emasl Apr 24, 2015 / 9:45 pm

      Gower said they had the captain’s “tacit” approval ie they were totally ignoring him as he stood there looking as gormless as usual


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 24, 2015 / 10:02 pm

        I’m ticking here.

        The fact that they are mentioning Cook’s captaincy means it is an issue. Sky have appeared to me, in this series, to be under some sort of orders to defend this status quo to the hilt. Tonight we got the mediocre thing raised again by Nasser.

        Cook wasn’t bad today, but the memo is out. The pitch is flat. If you missed that, they’d tell you in ten seconds time. I’ve just had Bob Willis tell me the Antigua match was played on a bad wicket, in a game where we came within two wickets of winning.

        There are two elephants in the room here. Cook’s captaincy needs defending, which is being pumped all the way through, and the other is that two teams are playing cricket on a flat deck having played an exhausting five day match a few days before. They look bereft of power out there. They look like teams who are playing too much on unresponsive surfaces.

        Also, Root is a superstar, but Brathwaite’s ton is almost shrugged off as the product of a road. That’s nonsense.

        Oh well. Time for a lie down. All this rage, combined with this poxy virus I have, means I’m knackered.

        Good night.


      • Arron Wright Apr 24, 2015 / 10:11 pm

        That’s Kraigg Brathwaite who has a hundred against South Africa, in South Africa, less than four months ago, right?


    • MM Apr 25, 2015 / 11:58 am

      A full teapot? It’ll be the TimeWarp pelvic thrusts by tomorrow.


  26. Andy Apr 24, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Commentators seem to be saying that England were trying some ‘funky’ field placings. Wonder who’s idea it is…


  27. dvyk Apr 24, 2015 / 8:35 pm

    Scores level. Another 52 and WI will think they’re in with a chance. (heh heh…………sorry.)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Grenville Apr 24, 2015 / 9:11 pm

    I wonder if things are getting a little one-eyed around here. I know I am. Here are some wrongs:
    1. ECB fan boys in the press.
    2. Cook being a tit.
    3. The Ashes to Lords 2014
    4. The sacking of KP and the lack of public acknowledgement of problems.

    On 1, Pringle, Selvey and Newman are for sure fan boys. But a lot of journo’s are being tarred with the same brush. Dobbel might be wrong about Cook’s form, it doesn’t mean he’s joined the dark side. He also might be right. Cook has never been a fluent, technically correct player. He has also scored a lot of runs and was a good player. He may well be good again. Vaughan talks about ‘redemption’. It could be lazy journalism rather than him being ‘on message’.

    On 2, that Cook is a brat doesn’t imply he should be dropped. He isn’t a great captain, and doesn’t convince as a first choice opener. If it was KP, Bell, orTrott in a similliar run, eg ok scores in the last 7 games after a terrible patch, dropping would make sense but so would retention. He shouldn’t be in charge, I think. Let Bell or Root do it.

    On 3, things were dire. They could be improving. Ballance and Root have done very well. Cook could be on the way back, ditto Trott. Bell is treading water, Jordan improving, Stokes and Butler doing ok and Ali… did good, not so much on his return from injury, but we are one game in. Moores-Cook are conservative. In my view, that is the wrong option, but it is defensible.

    On 4, It festers. The dressing room under Flowers was fucked. Moores is a Flower ally. Things could have improved. Root’s annoyance with Jimmy could be a sign that they’ve cracked down on the bullying. Still, the ECB should launch an independent inquiry and make their findings public. If necessary, sack Flower and appologise to KP. I also think that thinking is muddied here by 1, the fact that the team is full of entitled knobends and their conservative cricket. When you think about it, those are reasons to not support the England team, it doesn’t proove much about their abilities or the atmosphere.

    Liked by 3 people

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 24, 2015 / 9:21 pm

      Nice post G. Always welcome views on this, despite what other’s might think.

      Some rapid thoughts.

      1. You are correct. It seemed to have calmed down until KP and Graves started making waves. Old grudges came to the surface. On Cook, I’m saving it for another post on him.

      2. Cook isn’t a great captain. In my opinion. Games like these seem to show why. There’s a lot of “ball-washing” going on, where funky field placings are welcomed. How about all those runs guided in the air through 5th slip / gully early in the innings. When it’s slow like this, slip catches are quite rare. Now we have no slips for the old ball. I just don’t rate him as a leader.

      3. Fair comment. With the exception of Root, I see this being a team where a century keeps you in the side for a whole series, and players do just enough to keep their place. A bit like the 90s. We’ll see just how good these guys are in the summer.

      4. Root knows his strength in this set-up, and is extremely driven. He is also one who looks like the game is fun! However, there’s a ruthless streak in there and we need that. Ruthless more than stubborn. As for the rest, no dissent from me. Flower’s silence isn’t dignified, it’s an embarrassment to the ECB. As you say, it festers.

      Cheers, G.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Apr 25, 2015 / 7:11 am

        2. You’re a master of understatement, Dmitri.


      • Grenville Apr 25, 2015 / 12:58 pm

        You are also clear sighted in stereo. I’ve said it before, but your place and the full T have taught me a lot about how hard it is to see things clearly and to read properly. I can’t for the life of me seperate my dislike of Cook the man, boring cricket and the English class system from my analysis of the situation wrt the England team. The above was my best attempt.


  29. thelegglance Apr 24, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    Apart from having parents who can’t spell Craig and can’t spell Braithwaite, you know who he reminds me a bit of in style, if not ability – Rahul Dravid.


  30. Andy Apr 24, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Was trying to watch the very end but the misses was yabbering on. Did any/many eng players congratulate Braithwaite at all? I saw a good bunch of WI shake roots hand at the end of the day he got a ton.


  31. Zephirine Apr 24, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    Hope you’re feeling better Dmitri. A good single malt is always recommended for a virus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Apr 25, 2015 / 7:28 am

      Zeph, a good single malt is always recommended – full stop.

      Wishing you good health Dmitri πŸ™‚
      Looking forward to the ‘Cook Report’ and the ‘Top of the MSM Pops’!


  32. metatone Apr 24, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    Missed all of the WI innings so far – how was Moeen looking? Do we think bringing him back for this Test was the right move?


    • metatone Apr 24, 2015 / 10:12 pm

      To be clear, I’m not asking about selection of Moeen vs Rashid or other spinners, more about whether or not he looks in the groove – I’m currently operating on the theory, from watching the 1st innings, that he was rushed back before he was really ready – something England have previous on.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 24, 2015 / 10:17 pm

        Woefully out of sorts. Nasser was saying maybe this is what he is – not as bad as the part timer he was portrayed as when he was picked, but not as good as his figures against India suggested. But he’s not oven-ready for this game.

        Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course.


      • metatone Apr 25, 2015 / 7:39 am

        I think it’s hardly genius level foresight to suggest (as many outside cricket did) that rushing him back after 1 county game probably wasn’t going to lead to good bowling performances.

        An abdominal tear was always going to affect his bowling more than his batting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Apr 25, 2015 / 7:48 am

        But….. but…… he’s “a proven Test performer”. They can defy the laws of biology – and probably physics as well.


      • metatone Apr 25, 2015 / 7:57 am

        I think I’m starting to sound like an obsessed maniac, but I can’t help but feel that England management’s attitude to injuries is one of the biggest things undermining the team over the longer term.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Grenville Apr 25, 2015 / 1:20 pm

        It is a good point though: KP, Swann, Trott (mental), Prior and Broad have all been shafted by the medics.


  33. Pontiac Apr 24, 2015 / 10:50 pm

    I do believe I said a while back that Kraigg Brathwaite was the limpet of truculence, a paragon of stickability. He does not have the name of a man who cares much what anyone else thinks about how he goes about his business.

    WI to declare, oh 230 ahead at tea time (say 5 down) with 35 overs to go? That will be fun. The key is how England handles the new ball – if they go for all out attack then some enterprising play on either side could make for 3 wickets or 60 runs very quickly.


  34. SimonH Apr 24, 2015 / 10:55 pm

    I’d like to see Pakistan bowl on these pitches. I watched their reserve attack bowl out Australia twice last October on pitches in the UAE that made these look like 1980s Headingley. Their seamers bowled at the stumps and found some nibble, their spinners found ways to threaten both edges of the bat.

    It’s also worth recalling that NZ twice bowled out West Indies in both innings on their tour last year. They didn’t play in Antigua and Grenada but the pitches they played on weren’t exactly green seamers. They took 20 wickets in about 130 overs in Kingston and 20 wickets in about 180 overs at Bridgetown.

    Both Pakistan and NZ selected varied attacks, fielded well and were imaginatively captained. Neither side had a batsman as good as Jos Buttler at No.8 but they didn’t need one.

    I’m not saying these pitches are ideal. I’d like to see more pitches with some pace across the world but England hardly have the moral high ground to complain about that. I miss the days when I felt Hussain and Vaughan relished the challenge of different conditions abroad. Now it just feels like they expect conditions to suit Jimmy and Broady and when they don’t they look clueless and not a little resentful.

    Liked by 3 people

    • metatone Apr 25, 2015 / 7:48 am

      Great point. Sums up everything that is wrong – bad bowling plans, poor selection.
      I’d add that on top of that, even if you rate Broad over Plunkett surely he should be rested?
      When I see how his pace has dropped in the latter part of both matches I really fear we’re doing lasting damage to him by over-playing him before he’s fit…

      Liked by 1 person

      • dvyk Apr 25, 2015 / 8:51 am

        Could Broad be trusted to stay fit if he was rested? He was rested (or was it injury?) for the SL series and seemed “dozy” for the entire world cup.


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 25, 2015 / 9:13 am

          Said that Broad will be a broken player well before his time. That looks to be coming true.


      • Benny Apr 25, 2015 / 11:12 am

        To turn Selvey’s point around, if it’s OK to have a medium pacer in the tail, who can’t bat, it should be OK to pick a proven left arm spinner, who’s not much better, especially with eight batsmen


  35. SimonH Apr 25, 2015 / 8:23 am

    Bit of trivia on run outs:

    England’s three run outs is their highest in a first innings since 1902. The world record is four held jointly by India (in 1955) and Australia (in 1969).


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 25, 2015 / 9:14 am

      Not a subtle reminder that I need to do 3 century watch posts?


      • SimonH Apr 25, 2015 / 9:57 am

        Not at all! I just saw the point about run outs in one of the papers and I have a fondness for obscure stats…..


  36. SimonH Apr 25, 2015 / 8:59 am

    Our MSM chums show no sign of tiring in identifying Colin Graves as the true architect of England’s inability to be winning (except when they’re blaming the groundsmen of course…..).

    Take this from Brenkley’s second paragraph:
    “West Indies have been stronger than expected but were never likely to be as weak as some observers assumed, including the new head honcho of English cricket. England were neither quite as good nor quite as superior as they thought”.

    In case anyone missed the point first time around Brenkley writes later:
    “Whatever eventually happens here real steel is being forged in this West Indies. Some mediocrity, as Colin Graves, the incoming chairman of the ECB who used the description, might like to reflect”.

    Who kept telling us the England Test team was in rude health? Who kept reminding us they won their last three games in the greatest comeback since Lazarus? Who occasionally reminds us England are third in the rankings – and that that is a fair reflection of where they are? Who wrote on 5th April, “West Indies have seemed to be in permanent disarray for 10 years, their victories diminished in almost exact proportion to what they once were….. England should win”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Apr 25, 2015 / 9:12 am

      I would bet much money that in the legendary 11 out of 17 wins predicted by that seer Pringle, 3 of them were due from this series. This lot want their cake and then eat it.

      You see, we knew it would be tough. It always is. Well, nearly always is.


    • Grenville Apr 25, 2015 / 1:34 pm

      I sort of think this is fair comment by Brenkers. The Windies are playing better than expected. They seem to have faith in their ability to compete. The last few years, it seems to a very casual observer, have been marked by new tallent emerging, Bravo, Brathwaite, Blackwood, Roach, Holder, Bishoo, with Gabriel, Cotteral (?) and some more who I forget looking promising. But they’ve not managed to do much with it, cos they didn’t back themselves. Simmons seems to have changed that.

      He doesn’t need the digs at Graves, but that could be read as humour.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 25, 2015 / 1:40 pm

        It’s having it both ways.

        The WIndies were a team and organisation in the doldrums. Crisis upon crisis. A frail batting line-up backed up by a bowling attack which is a pale shadow of the past. England, meanwhile were a team on the up, with three wins in a row, and a gelling line-up.

        When it looks like it is going to be 0-0 going into the final test (and I shudder if we get the Bridgetown 2009 pitch type) you have to blame something or someone else because your over-hyping of past achievements looks misplaced.

        So it is the pitch. It is the balls, It is the Graves comment geeing them up. And it ignores that the WIndies are always pretty competitive at home. They may not win every game, but they aren’t muppets.


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