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

Comments below.

Might add something in the morning (US time) but going to be out most of the day. Vian may want to add something to this as well….



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

  1. metatone May 1, 2015 / 7:19 am

    So there’s an odd thought to start the day.
    Test cricket is a strange sport, because barring mid-game injuries, the weaker team on paper very rarely wins. However, because teams actually play so few opponents in a year, what brings some frission is that often we don’t have a good sense of who is weaker on paper – esp. when the teams are closer matched than in this series.


  2. metatone May 1, 2015 / 7:27 am

    Suggestions that Stokes may not play because of back troubles. Not a great sign – at least he’ll be away from the England medics soon.

    ESPN suggests in turn that Rashid may play instead of Stokes. Not sure whether they are just yanking my chain or not…


    • BoerInAustria May 1, 2015 / 7:52 am

      “at least he’ll be away from the England medics soon.”

      or not:

      “”The ECB medical team confirms that England and Warwickshire bowler Chris Woakes underwent uncomplicated keyhole surgery on his left knee for a meniscal tear earlier today. The injury occurred while undergoing rehab for his foot injury. His rehab is likely to take a further four to six weeks.”


      • metatone May 1, 2015 / 8:30 am

        Yikes… I wish I had time to write a big article (maybe LCL would put it on here) about England and bowling injuries. There’s a long history there.


  3. metatone May 1, 2015 / 7:37 am

    Dobell writes some weird stuff on this tour:

    There were times – even more recently – when it appeared that captains had made decisions about new players even before they played their first game. Think of Mike Smith or Darren Pattinson.

    The result was an unhealthy culture. A culture of insecurity and self-interest where players looked out for themselves and new players were seen as a threat. Knowledge was jealously guarded and, knowing the axe always hovered, England often played fearful, nervous cricket. For rather too much of the late 1980s and 90s, England were not very good at Test cricket.

    That has changed. England have now embraced a continuity of selection policy that has allowed players more opportunity to settle into the team and created a more stable environment. While some players – Graham Onions and Nick Compton among them – probably do have reason to count themselves unfortunate, such examples have become the exception rather than the norm.

    Can’t help but wonder about Rashid, Plunkett, Lyth, Wood….

    (Bairstow also has it rough, but as backup WK to Buttler it was always going to be a no-win season.)

    At least he is realistic about the weakness of the WI team. Although ironically in talking about how relying on 4 bowlers creates injury problems he could be talking about England in the last couple of years as well…

    I think in the end, there is this weird split in Dobell’s writing between the “team” stuff and the “structural.” I admire him enough to take him at his word that team culture is in a better place overall. But in claiming that the new attitude means that Lyth should take comfort in the idea that he’ll get a good run if he does get picked, it seems to skip over the structural issue of how bad a pick Trott is in the first place as an opener.


    • Burly May 1, 2015 / 8:17 am

      Sam Robson? Boyd Rankin? Michael Carberry?


      • metatone May 1, 2015 / 8:30 am



      • Andy May 1, 2015 / 8:59 am

        From the beeb – “It is a tough team to get into, but we want to give people a fair crack of the whip when they’re there – not just play one Test and get jettisoned out,” said Cook*.


        *unless you are showing me up….then I’ll burn you… A Cook.

        More…”We try to give people confidence and show they’re not always playing for their place, but it’s easier said than done. When you’re playing for England you have a squad of 17 players and everyone is desperate to play.”

        How about, someone is an injury risk, let him recuperate and allow one of these other desperate players to show what they can or can’t do.

        Whats the betting that Stokes plays, then develops a worse back injury (or a different injury through compensating), that puts him out for the summer….


    • SimonH May 1, 2015 / 8:32 am

      “Think of Mike Smith”.

      Okay, I am – so Atherton thought Andy Caddick was a better bowler than Mike Smith? Nothing more than a statement of the patently bleedin’ obvious I’d have thought.


    • paulewart May 1, 2015 / 9:22 am

      It was a notoriously difficult and curmudgeonly dressing room pre-Vaughan, lots of former players have commented on this. It clearly reverted to the mean under Flower, if change is afoot then that’s a good thing, surely? It’s a big if then, and the subtext of Moeen’s interview is that he didn’t feel immediately welcome.


      • dvyk May 1, 2015 / 9:48 am

        There is only one reason for the sudden valuing of continuity. He is currently playing for Surrey.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 10:02 am

      I’m completely mystified by this (along with Selvey’s argument that a new cap causes “disruption”).

      – Stokes was being dropped when he should have been picked, and vice versa, in 2014. Now he plays two consecutive Tests and this is continuity?
      – Other than in fielding, I really don’t see how Jordan is anything special, and certainly not someone who should be guaranteed a run in the side.
      – Moeen is nothing more than promising, certainly not “proven”, and definitely not worthy of comparison to Swann.
      – Plunkett has had one very good Test with the ball since his recall. That’s as many as Stokes has had in his career, and one more than Jordan. Yet he seems to have fallen below both in the pecking order.
      – James Taylor has been ignored, even as a reserve Test batsman.
      – Bloody Trott and the trouble coming down the mountain, partly because no-one seems to know or care that he’s averaged mid-30s for four years – don’t need to explain that one any further.
      – The ODI selection process was an unmitigated disaster, whether that be because of continuity (Cook) or pointless change (Taylor/Ballance). Are we really meant to forgive and forget all that because they’ve picked more or less the same side for two Tests?

      I’ll give them the middle order. But even that doesn’t justify all the chest-beating, given the opposition to come.


      • Clivejw May 1, 2015 / 11:10 am

        Selvey is becoming almost unreadable. If England win again in this test, he’ll lose whatever tenuous grasp left on perspective that he has left.

        I especially like this line as a retrospective re-writing of history:

        A solid line has been drawn under the attempt, understandable despite what may be thought, to squeeze one last series out of a flagging side in Australia and start again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark May 1, 2015 / 11:17 am

        The selection policy seems to be only about one thing. Namely, does the insecure and conservative captain feel secure with the pick. Cook has shown himself very distrustful of young selections. (Remember if left to Cook Prior would still be keeping wicket. “Butler is not ready for test cricket”) Moeen was not trusted In the Sri Lanka series, and only about mid way through the India series did Cook use him more. I can’t help think that the recalling of Trott was all about protecting Cook in the openers role.

        When Cook was captain of the ODI team we saw a reluctance to bring in Taylor, or use Hales. Selveys claim that Rasheed would be disruptive is probably one of the stupidest things I have seen him say (and with Selvey the competition for stupid is very high)

        Perhaps what he means is the captain can’t manage new spin bowlers (which he can’t) so therefore it would be disruptive to poor Cook. One thing we can be sure of is If Selvey is writing it then it has come from the dressing room. He and Hughes seem to like playing a cricket version of ‘come dine with me’ with the England captain.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Benny May 1, 2015 / 11:21 am

        Continuity has a lot of merit – once you have stumbled upon 11 world class players, who consistently perform. England are supposed to have been rebuilding for nearly 18 months now and are still fielding two underperforming openers, a part time spinner, two quickies who are getting older, slower and more drained all the time. It would be wise for England to try new players out (certainly for more than one match) until they have filled all the gaps. Then they can go for continuity.


      • Andy May 1, 2015 / 12:27 pm

        Linked to Clives comment – the 2013-14 eng squad contains 9 players who are likely to be named by england for this series. Of those, 8 are probably going to be in the starting squad at my guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria May 1, 2015 / 12:36 pm

        The line has been drawn – under one man

        Liked by 2 people

    • Pontiac May 1, 2015 / 3:32 pm

      Dobell has been open about being personally close to Trott.


  4. Silk May 1, 2015 / 11:47 am

    Am I alone in thinking the England are one bad session away from a beating?

    The press seem to have decided that we’ve turned a corner and the Windies will now fold.

    This ignores the fact that Barbados will be a better (from a bowlers angle) surface and Taylor is back.

    We win the toss, we bat, Taylor gets the ball to talk and we collapse in a heap on a bouncier than expected surface.

    I’m not saying this will happen but the confidence (arrogance) of the MSM seems bizarre to me.


    • Andy May 1, 2015 / 12:29 pm

      I’d love to see WI come out and play with pride and passion, as well as skill and ability. I think most would abmit this is far from a vintage WI side, but they can do some damage. England failed to take 20 wickets in one match and the other needed inspired bowling.

      You do get the feeling that WI could collapse just as easily as england can.


    • dvyk May 1, 2015 / 12:55 pm

      I’d be putting my money on “Win the toss and bowl”, given Cook’s record in such circumstances.


      • dvyk May 1, 2015 / 2:19 pm

        (Astute observers might have noticed that I was not entirely correct on this matter.)


      • Silk May 1, 2015 / 3:31 pm

        Is this our bad session?


  5. Mark May 1, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Cook. “WI confidence effected by loss”

    May or may not be true,but how is this different to what Colin Graves said about WI being mediocre? Funny the press don’t seem to bother when it comes from Cook.


    • SimonH May 1, 2015 / 1:09 pm

      You just beat me to it Mark – I was thinking along very similar lines.

      The full quote is actually worse:
      ‘We know if we put West Indies under pressure they can crack like they did in that last game,’

      I’m looking forward to reading how that has fired the West indies up, is massively complacent and disrespectful, is an unnecessary distraction, has put his young team under extra pressure, is probably worse than “grovel” in 1976, and everything else they’ve fired off at Graves in the last few weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark May 1, 2015 / 2:16 pm

        Don’t hold your breath Simon, you’ll be waiting along time.

        More like……….. “a bold and assertive captain turned the pressure up on the WI by using brilliant mind games…….no team can withstand the onslaught of Cooks tactical genius .”

        See how easy it is to do Selveys job.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. dvyk May 1, 2015 / 1:04 pm

    Dobell seems to be earning his keep at the moment. Selvey I won’t even read, except for laughing at the excerpts people post here.

    All I can say is that as far as I’m concerned the English press has completely lost the right to ever breathe a word of complaint about the Channel 9 commentary team. Not another word EVER.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. SimonH May 1, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    England won toss and bat. Ramdin said he’d have batted.

    England unchanged. West Indies have three changes – Hope (debut) for Smith, Taylor for Roach and Permaul (SLA, 5th Test) for Bishoo (injured).

    First three days are sold out.


    • BoerInAustria May 1, 2015 / 1:45 pm

      SLA – Did they expect KP to play….

      Liked by 1 person

  8. hatmallet May 1, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    Trott out third ball. 3 ducks in 5 innings, plus another single figure score to boot.

    Hate to say it, but unless he miraculously scores a century in the second innings, it has been a mistake to bring him back. Can’t blame them for trying, but with the benefit of hindsight it now feels like the Prior situation again – bringing back a trusted player ahead of a new player just because he is a trusted player.


    • Mike May 1, 2015 / 2:15 pm

      At least Prior was a wicket keeper batsman, placing as a wicket keeper batsman. Trott, is not and never has been a test opener keeping out a potential testmatch opener.

      Shame, because he’s always come across as a lovely chap, not that that matters in the slightest but he’s always been one of the more likeable members of this recent team.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Burly May 1, 2015 / 2:22 pm


      “Hate to say I told you so” – no you don’t. You love nothing more than that, and avoid ever admitting when you backed the wrong horse.


      • Mark May 1, 2015 / 2:29 pm

        Mr Selvey you might want to take it up with Andy Flower, seeing as I bet it was on his recommendation that Trott,came back into the team. After all he went to South Africa with Flower on the B tour.

        I look forward to a 300 word piece on why Flower was wrong in tomorrow’s Guardian.


      • Andy May 1, 2015 / 3:12 pm

        Might have missed it but when exactly did selfie say Trott shouldn’t be selected?


    • Mark May 1, 2015 / 2:23 pm

      Yes, and this makes Cooks position even more secure, because they will now have to find another opener. So we can’t possibly change 2 openers at the same time can we? Better keep the experienced one there to help the new youngster through.

      Funny, it’s almost as if they planed it this way.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      It didn’t need the benefit of hindsight, and that is what makes me livid.


  9. thelegglance May 1, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    Been out of the office for a couple of days chaps – coinciding with Dmitri travelling. Apologies – there’ll posts to come in a bit.


  10. Silk May 1, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    I love Ian Bell. I hate Ian Bell.

    Is this what being in thrall to a dominatrix is like?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Burly May 1, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    33 Tests is a lot.

    Cook’s last 33 Tests, for reference:

    6 hundreds, 11 50s
    Average 40.07 @42.64 strike rate


    • LordCanisLupus May 1, 2015 / 4:35 pm

      I smell stat-mining. Oh yes. In the three tests before this arbitrary cut-off Trott has a 168* and 202 to his name. Love all that aribtrary splits….. you’ll never catch me doing that!


      • Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 4:46 pm

        Seriously, it’s not arbitrary. It’s a stat I have been pushing for ages. The cut-off is the last time he made a hundred in England. He has been mediocre for nearly two thirds of his career. If that’s stat-mining, so is everything we write about Cook.


        • LordCanisLupus May 1, 2015 / 4:58 pm

          It makes a point Aaron, and I’m not arguing with the trend. But it’s not mentioned like that. Much of stats to me is in the presentation…

          If Andy Z had said, “since his last hundred in England x years ago, Trott’s average has been… ” then I accept that. We do that with Cook. But the first thing I thought with this presentation is “why 19? Why not 20? Why not 25?”. Because 19 was either going to be one of his double tons or the big not out at the MCG.

          This isn’t defending Trott. But saying 19 with no context is not the way to present.

          Of course your point still stands. That point wasn’t made to add to the stats. We generally cut Cook off after his not out ton v New Zealand at Headingley, but that’s because it’s his last ton. And that is what we say…. A subtle, but to me important, distinction of putting the context.


      • Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 5:11 pm

        Fair enough. Well argued point.

        I suppose the only mitigation is that he’s trying to make the point in 140 characters.

        I got excited because it’s the closest thing I’ve seen to an ATL mention of such an obvious and fairly damning stat.

        (If you want stat-mining, some people are telling us Trott averages 68 in Tests he’s played against Johnson!)


        • LordCanisLupus May 1, 2015 / 5:19 pm

          Yeah, and I thought that when I wrote it Aaron. My curmudgeonly trait is not eased across the pond. Especially when it’s effing freezing here!


  12. Mark May 1, 2015 / 3:32 pm


    But captain fantastic is soldiering on! So evey cloud…….


  13. What What May 1, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    3 down and Cook isn’t one of them, surprising and disappointing.


  14. SimonH May 1, 2015 / 4:05 pm

    This West Indies’ attack doesn’t contain one bowler with a Test match average under 35.


  15. thelegglance May 1, 2015 / 4:31 pm

    Cook was extremely fortunate to get away with that short leg catch.


    • hatmallet May 1, 2015 / 5:05 pm

      Just turned on. Cook promptly inside edges past his stumps. Been out a few times like that recently.


    • metatone May 1, 2015 / 5:09 pm

      He did though… I’d be down the bookies to put money on a grinding century, if I had the time.


  16. hatmallet May 1, 2015 / 5:22 pm

    Boring stat alert. This is the first time that Cook has batted with Moeen in a Test match. Also yet to bat with Stokes and Buttler.


  17. Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 5:30 pm

    Anyone watching this who’s thinking “so glad we left Rashid out”?

    Meanwhile, why aren’t WI bowling pace at Moeen?


    • metatone May 1, 2015 / 5:46 pm

      I think they are trying to get the over rate back up.
      That’s letting England back in the match – but I guess at least the over rate rules are working in some measure.


  18. Rohan May 1, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    Was listening to TMS on the radio as Cook made his half century, a few things struck me. Firstly Ed Smith was overly gushing in his praise. If I had not known Cook had made 50, I would have thought, from Smith’s commentary, that Cook had made a century! Secondly Smith had a subtle dig at ‘a group’ of fans, who he thinks have mistaken Cook’s poor ODI form with poor test form. He thinks we have the 2 entangled and this supposed myth we pedal is believed by many. Smith thinks Cook’s ODI form was poor, but test form is good. He was moaning about the lack of people pointing this fact out. Thirdly, Boycott again reinforced the fact that Adil Rashid is not being picked because Moores and Cook don’t trust him. Basically he bowled badly in one warm match so Cook and Moores have made a judgement on this. Boycott bemoaned the lack of joined up thinking between the selection panel at home, lead by Whitless and that in the WI, lead by Moores and Cook……

    Anyway, some interesting and very frustrating points, not to mention Ed Smith witlessly droning on!


    • Mark May 1, 2015 / 7:17 pm

      Smiths argument only holds up if you think last years India, and this current WI team have a good bowling attack.


    • Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 7:20 pm

      I heard it all as well.

      Smith was of course missing the real points, which are a) that six fifties in nine innings against hopeless India and mediocre WI don’t prove a great deal when his last two full Ashes series were poor and b) that these fifties are being greeted with comparable fanfare to his genuine purple patches, such as 2012/13 and 2010/11.

      And, if you’re a founder member of the relentless churl club, you might observe that he’s having more than his fair share of luck in more than a few of these fifties… but still can’t go on and make a hundred.


      • Timmy May 1, 2015 / 7:27 pm

        Score a century and no mention of him bring caught earlier on will be seen or heard.

        How the 3rd umpire must have been watching a different replay to the rest of the world.


      • Tuffers86 May 1, 2015 / 7:33 pm

        I dunno about that catch, it was inconclusive. The benefit has to go with the batsman.


      • Pontiac May 2, 2015 / 1:40 am

        Unless Chris Broad is the match referee and West Indies is playing…


  19. Tuffers86 May 1, 2015 / 7:48 pm

    Cook, in his uber quest of a century, has just ran out Moeen there. Another bloody victim of cult Cook.


    • Zephirine May 1, 2015 / 8:00 pm

      Just when you think ‘Maybe I should stop being churlish, maybe I should enjoy the fact that Cook has made some runs’…..


  20. Timmy May 1, 2015 / 7:48 pm

    Cook runs out Ali. So pointless, WI are toothless since tea.


    • Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 8:03 pm

      Swann has just blamed Ali (9 Tests) for not sending his captain (over 100 Tests) back…


      • Rohan May 1, 2015 / 8:09 pm

        Ah yes he of the ‘test match tickets don’t cost much’! Because it’s that easy. No captain, you go back. Never mind your career and a first test century for 2 years, I am more important, my test career is in its infancy and I need to do well to stay in the team………

        Oh sorry I forgot, that can’t happen, this is team Cook. Yes captain, your call was right…….


      • thelegglance May 1, 2015 / 8:10 pm

        He could have done I suppose. But the point is you trust your partner and respond. It’s when you don’t trust him that the problems start. And maybe he won’t now – in which case expect to see another sometime soon.


      • Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 8:14 pm

        You should also look at the replies to the ECB Twitter feed. They clearly wrote a tweet blaming Moeen, and it’s been deleted because clicking on ‘view conversation’ reveals nothing.

        The Cult will never ever stop.


  21. escort May 1, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    O dear. Moeen Ali just been Cooked


  22. Tuffers86 May 1, 2015 / 8:18 pm

    I see that the ECB Twitter account deleted a tweet RE: Ali runout. Were they pinning the blame on Moeen?


    • Arron Wright May 1, 2015 / 8:19 pm



    • Zephirine May 1, 2015 / 8:45 pm

      Yes, but they also misreported and said Ali was on strike, which is probably why they’ve deleted. The tweet is still on the Guardian OBO.


      • jomesy May 1, 2015 / 8:54 pm

        Indeed and now there is proof of our Orwellian world.


  23. SimonH May 1, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    Very strange tactics by Ramdin today – Gabriel and Holder have bowled just 19 overs with the first new ball and taken 3/45. The modest Permaul has been over-bowled and hasn’t varied a strategy that hasn’t been working (no round the wicket, no change of line to more outside off).

    Cook’ wagon wheel makes interesting reading. Out of 86 at the moment, he has scored 58 from mid-wicket to fine leg and hasn’t scored a run in the ‘V’.


  24. escort May 1, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    Well played captain Cook.


    • BoerInAustria May 1, 2015 / 9:15 pm

      Congratulations Cook – I hope it is worth the heavy price paid.


  25. thelegglance May 1, 2015 / 9:13 pm

    He’s batted pretty well today. It’s force of personality and determination at the moment, he’s still struggling technically. But that’s impressive in its own right. It’s the crowing from the usual suspects that will be annoying. But Cook is needed as a batsman.


    • escort May 1, 2015 / 9:26 pm

      Are you suggesting it might be reported that this might be the best century by an England opener against West Indies since Graham Gooch at Headingly in 1991?


      • escort May 1, 2015 / 9:40 pm

        It would be nice to think so. A good innings though.


      • thelegglance May 1, 2015 / 9:42 pm

        He held it together. He did well. If viewed in the right context – i.e. getting the monkey off his back and lots of time in the middle, then great. If viewed as the prodigal son returning to take on the world, not so.


      • escort May 1, 2015 / 9:49 pm

        If the reporting from the written media takes your “prodigal son” attitude then i guess all cocks are being sucked.


  26. hatmallet May 1, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    Cook reaches his century.

    It has looked much more like the old Cook. A remarkable transformation as he looked wretched in the first Test. He’s never going to be a pretty batsman or score many runs in the ‘V’ but he had a method that worked and he seems to have refound it.

    Yes, bigger tests to come and yes, the Windies have bowled more to his strengths today than before, but I think all of us would have taken 1 century + 2 fifties from 5 innings before this series.

    It does blur the captaincy problem again though, but I guess that’s a problem for another day.


    • hatmallet May 1, 2015 / 9:16 pm

      And he nicks behind in the last over… England 7 down having won the toss and batted. Poor day, Cook and Ali aside.


      • jomesy May 1, 2015 / 9:34 pm

        its the nightmare I had last night…cook scores a 100 but we barely score 300 in the day and are 7 down.


      • thelegglance May 1, 2015 / 9:40 pm

        Loss of concentration. Probably understandable really.


  27. escort May 1, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    O Dear


  28. MM May 1, 2015 / 10:32 pm

    Ed Smith on commentary at Cook’s hundred made me belch up some of my stomach. Blarting on about what Cook’s had to endure…

    Look, well done Cook. No ifs or buts. Well done (gritting teeth…) captain. A ton is a ton, and sometimes they’re good ‘uns.

    But Ed bloody Smith… get over yerself. You’re not bloody Walter Kronkite and Cook ain’t been shot at repeatedly in Dallas. He’s had umpteen innings to score three figures against some pretty average bowling. Now it’s done. Let’s see how his captaincy stacks up over the next four days.

    And let’s see if Trott gets another 2 years, seeing as that patience worked for Cook. Nah, he’ll be jettisoned.


  29. SimonH May 1, 2015 / 11:02 pm

    It’s worth recalling Strauss made two centuries off some pretty (to coin a phrase) mediocre West Indies’ bowling in 2012 to end a long ton-less streak (going back 25 innings in his case). There was rejoicing in some quarters that Strauss was back. One series against a class bowling attack later it was clear all the problems that had been building up were still there and Strauss was gone.

    I’m not saying this will happen with Cook. They’ve cried “he looks better” so often it’s easy not to believe it but he is looking better. He still can’t score in front of square against seamers on the off-side but he isn’t getting out to the pitch-up ball and can wait until lesser bowlers err straighter or shorter. Whether that’ll be enough against stronger attacks remains to be seen.

    The only batsman to be got out today was Gary Ballance. England’s batting looks fragile when he fails.


    • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 9:50 am

      The West Indies bowled poorly to him today, far too much was short. When it was pitched up the same problems were there, he would topple over outside off stump and his balance was wrong. The most promising shot he played was the one he went to his hundred with, punching the ball through straight midwicket – and that’s because he played straight not across it.

      Cook getting runs is a Good Thing full stop. But the idea certain quarters are pushing that all is well is just unadulterated bollocks. Better bowlers will look to exploit the weakness just as they would have done before. Cook IS impressive in terms of his concentration and discipline, which is why he’s scored so many runs with a technique which is mildly flawed even when he’s batting brilliantly. The elephant in the room is that he’s not batting brilliantly, he’s scoring runs against a moderate attack. Now getting those runs will certainly help him, but I still see lots more work for him to do, or we’ll see the same issues arising in the summer.


  30. thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 6:37 am

    How dare the royal baby even think of being born today when all our MSM should be giving our beloved leader 24 page pull-outs for his ton…

    Liked by 2 people

  31. SimonH May 2, 2015 / 8:48 am

    Newman of course is keeping things in perspective this morning:

    “England…. have much to do to earn the 2-0 series win that is as important to them as Cook’s landmark”.

    As important? Winning the series as important as one player reaching a landmark!

    “A mind uncluttered by the dramas of an acutely difficult two years…… All seemed well with his world”.

    Well, yes he looked better and yes, no doubt it helps, but it might be a little early to be making these kinds of calls

    “Through it all England have remained loyal to Cook, apart from taking the one-day captaincy away from him, and have placed an almost unfair burden on him as they seek to rise from the ashes of their tumultuous 18 months. This, then, was vindication of that faith”.

    Ask the openers dropped or never selected about fairness. How many could score a Test century given 35 attempts? Quite a few playing county cricket I suspect. And as for vindication, dumping the best player, alienating a large portion of your fan base, an unprecedented home series loss to Sri Lanka, losing to India at Lord’s, two home ODI series defeats and a WC disaster are now okay? Because of one century against the 8th ranked nation?

    Needless to say, there is no attempt to consider the issues of Cook the batsman and Cook the captain as in any way separate. Cook’s role as captain in the Trott recall is of course completely ignored.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 2, 2015 / 8:59 am

      Brenkley does exactly the same, unsurprisingly.

      On Trott he writes:
      “The selectors will rue their decision to bring him back now”.

      The selectors? Whitaker is being set up as the fall-guy here. The selectors picked the tour party. The coach and captain pick the starting XI. If Lyth had been playing and Trott used as experienced cover for Ballance and Bell that would be perfectly reasonable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH May 2, 2015 / 9:48 am

        Agnew looked like he was going to be more restrained but then ruins it with –

        “surely all this negativity around him can now be finally put to bed”.

        And just in case anyone missed it the first time –

        “If people still want to be negative about Cook, I’m afraid they’ve got a problem”.

        Like Newman and Brenkley, Agnew doesn’t see Cook as having had any role in the decision about Trott (let alone that that is in turn part of a long-term trend in Cook’s decision-making).

        He does say:
        “Now it looks as though Lyth will have to come in and face two world-class bowling attacks on English wickets – not an ideal situation, but one that England will have to deal with”.

        England will have to deal with? Lyth will have to deal with it. That’s if they don’t jump over Lyth to Lees which I suspect is what they’ve really been wanting to do all along – except Lyth annoyingly for them keeps making more runs.


      • metatone May 2, 2015 / 10:20 am

        I think it would be a mistake to rush to Lees. Talented as he is, opening in Test cricket is a pressure game and I think Lyth is better prepared to take that on. Especially given the reality of being dropped in to play NZ on unfriendly pitches.


  32. Clivejw May 2, 2015 / 9:58 am

    I probably went over the top with my negativity about Cook in my comments underneath Selfie’s article. I’m afraid I can’t be objective any more, Cook has ruined my enjoyment of test cricket. I’ve never felt like this about any player, especially not the captain of my country. I don’t like Gatting, but my resentment of him started when he led the rebel tour, though in retrospect I should have taken a more negative view of his behaviour during the Shakoor Rhana affair — disgraceful, whatever the provocation.

    Incidentally, Barney Hoskins has a pretty good piece about Fat Gatt on cricinfo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 10:52 am

      I don’t blame you, personally. The propaganda from the other side has come from a position of privilege, has been relentless, and has been echoed by some of the most witless, childish and boring BTL posters I’ve seen in five years as a regular commenter. I wish they could make their points like BillyMills. But they can’t.

      Even now those privileged people are trying to shut down debate on Cook while pointing unforgivingly at Trott or the management. Cook, it seems, could teach even certain politicians about Teflon.


      • Clivejw May 2, 2015 / 2:46 pm

        I did of course realize that Cook probably would reach 100 some day, especially on this tour, against the eighth-ranked team in the world. And I even made up my mind that I would be magnanimous and not stoop to the level of the Pietersen-haters — as we saw, even at the moment of an inspired England victory, Pringle couldn’t resist having a dig at KP.

        But in the end, I let my feelings get the better than me. I did think, thought, that the jibe about the monkeys finally coming up with a version of Hamlet, if only the First Quarto, was quite good (this is the so-called Bad Quarto that for years was thought to be a pirated edition, but may have been Will’s first version; it’s a lot more rough-and-ready than the familiar Second Quarto and Folio editions. For example, it offers this version of Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy: “To be or not to be; aye, that’s the point”).

        If Cook really does return to form, I will try to be less bitter about it. It’s quite possible, after all, that he had to squeeze out one really awful hundred before going on to greater things. His chancy, almost desperate century against Pakistan in 2010 was followed by his really productive two year period, culminating in the tour of India.


    • Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 11:03 am

      This is what you’re up against, for instance:



      • MM May 2, 2015 / 1:11 pm

        Hi Arron – or anyone, in fact.

        I’m a bit duff with IT. How do you lift bits from twitter like that? I think I did it by accident a month or so ago but I’ll be rogered if I can remember how.



      • SimonH May 2, 2015 / 1:44 pm

        Right click on the time of the Tweet (by the right of the tweeter’s name), highlight the address bar, copy and paste.


    • Zephirine May 2, 2015 / 1:15 pm

      You might have a bit, clive, but you have a right to comment whatever you please (unless it’s deemed moderatable). And some people are very personally unpleasant to you BTL. It’s funny how the Sheep thing gets them going, it’s only a nickname after all.


      • LordCanisLupus May 2, 2015 / 1:18 pm

        Are these the same people we are asked to be nice to because they are real cricket fans at heart?

        Yeah. Be nice peeps. 105 reasons why we are wrong. At least the mythical 95 magic can be retired.


  33. MM May 2, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    Did I do it right?


    • MM May 2, 2015 / 2:04 pm

      Yay! Thank you SimonH. I’ve got the skills now. Stand back!



    • LordCanisLupus May 2, 2015 / 2:06 pm

      The best thing about the thread beneath it is the Tony Welsh tweet.

      We’re supposed to shut up and eat it because a player we think has been given incredible preferential treatment has FINALLY made a hundred, but they can still spout their bile over a man who made 8000+ test runs, saved the 2005 Ashes from disaster, won us a number of massive test matches and so on and so forth. But those of us who are still somewhat negative are the ones who have “problems” might be “warped” or are not “real fans”.



      • Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 2:17 pm

        I think this is quite a serious and wide-ranging point. I think there is actually a strong possibility that Pietersen’s overall contribution is going to be subject to gradual, subtle yet (to me) repulsive revisionism over the next few years. You can already see the signs:

        – decline (from 50 to 44 average) after the “IPL turned his head” (not, you’ll note, after a spectacular management balls-up and serious injury)
        – huge emphasis on personality, not performance, right across the media, to an extent I have never seen, not even with Botham
        – The Cricketer, as soon as Hughes took over
        – “player of great innings, not a great player”
        – far too much made of his poor average and dismissals in the 2013/14 Ashes, overshadowing what he did in the first year after ‘textgate’
        – “I do know that the intention was to have feted him properly after the dust settled”
        – “fruitfly/pest that will not go away”
        – Swann’s brother not putting him in the five best England batsmen of the last 20 years

        For me this is reason enough to keep blogging. it’s far more important than just whether you love or hate bloody Alastair Cook.


      • MM May 2, 2015 / 2:18 pm

        Oh yeah, indeed.


  34. MM May 2, 2015 / 2:22 pm

    Damn them if they try to revise history in that way. Still, KP’s book is there forever. They’ll only be able to try to alter things so far. I wonder if there might be a volume 2?


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