West Indies v England 3rd Test Day 2

240-7 after day one represents a fairly poor day for England having won the toss. Most of the coverage has focused on Alastair Cook scoring his first century for two years, and without him England would be deep in the mire.

This looks a result pitch, and England badly need to get up to 300 at the very least. The West Indies are certainly brittle, and it’s perfectly possible that it’ll prove a competitive total in this game. But it was not a good day, and no amount of Cook love can disguise that.

Comments here as usual.



101 thoughts on “West Indies v England 3rd Test Day 2

    • BoerInAustria May 2, 2015 / 10:57 am

      “The new director of cricket will be the most powerful figure in the international set up with the scope to hire and fire coaches and captains, as well as being the media face of the team’s management. He will also be tasked with reviewing the ECB’s academy at Loughborough and all of England’s age-group stages with a view to improving the production line of players ready to play international cricket”

      Job description taylormade for Flower. Only when it is not Flower, will I believe the ECB has truely reformed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine May 2, 2015 / 11:02 am

        Oh Boer, don’t depress me. If it’s Flower, I honestly will give up.

        Liked by 2 people

      • BoerInAustria May 2, 2015 / 11:08 am

        tailor, but you knew that


      • SimonH May 2, 2015 / 11:12 am

        “the media face of the team’s management”.

        I share your scepticism about Flower-power but I don’t see how that is tailor-made for him. Flower hated the media part of the job. I’m more suspicious about something Hoult mentions that you haven’t quoted, that the role will not involve traveling on overseas’ tours. That was a major obstacle for Flower.

        I’d surmise though that Flower would be happy with Strauss getting the role. Flower would be able to exert considerable heft through Strauss while not having to do all the tiresome PR stuff.


  1. metatone May 2, 2015 / 10:18 am

    The tail needs to wag – or at least hang around and support Buttler.
    We won’t know until we see England bowling, but I’d agree that 300 looks like a very competitive total on this pitch. You’d suspect that a collapse to 260 would give the WI the momentum…


    • metatone May 2, 2015 / 10:18 am

      I wonder if some of our batsmen got a little bit complacent after the last match.


  2. Mark May 2, 2015 / 10:54 am

    England our already in a good position in my opinion. The reason I say this is because there were balls that went through the top yesterday, and I think this pitch could break up. WI have to bat last , and if they don’t make a good score first innings they are up against it. Cook claimed before the match that WI were despondent after the last test. It’s quite possible they could be bowled out for less than 200. I wouldn’t be surprised.

    As for Cook and his 100, what can you say? No doubt the triumphalism will be over the top. Before this tour I would have viewed a 2-0 win against this poor WI team as the minimum achievement expected. And Cook would not have a better or easier chance of scoring the elusive hundred.

    If Cook is as great a player as his supporters claim then one hundred against Sri Lanka, India at home and WI away is nothing to write home about, despite what Ed Smith would like you to believe. The important thing for the pro Cookies is that his position is secure and he will get the Ashes. And as long as he is captain KP won’t be coming back. (Not he was ever going to be mind.)

    One question I would ask is if England loose the Ashes badly again will he survive as captain? Can you survive two Ashes beatings?


  3. Nephilim May 2, 2015 / 10:57 am

    A 6 hour century against the 8th best Test teams 2nd XL, and all is well in the World?
    I am old enough to remember G.Boycott being dropped for scoring 246 not out too slowly against an average India at Headingley in 1967.(106 in 6 hours on 1st day).
    Then not being allowed to bat in 2nd innings to complete the victory.
    Think scoring rate and score board pressure against Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 11:39 am

      Wickets were falling at the other end yesterday though.


    • escort May 2, 2015 / 6:57 pm

      Why is it the second eleven?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dvyk May 2, 2015 / 11:17 am

    Having had a brief scan of the comments on the Gu and the other idiotic journalists that SimonH quoted in the thread from yesterday, I notice that none of those participating in the Cook Smugfest have realised what the most serious criticism of Cook’s treatment in fact was.

    It’s all about favouritism. It is generally acknowledged, even by Selfie that Cook was left in the ODI captaincy for too long, but none will say why. It was openly declared favouritism. Openly declared, to the point that to even question it was “mere windbaggery”, right up to the last. But they won’t say why it was allowed to go to such ridiculous lengths in the first place. And refuse to accept that such nepotism will piss off a huge proportion of genuine fans.

    Cook’s demonstrates his awareness of his favoured status each time he opens his mouth — “something should be done”; “the captaincy was taken from me”; etc. And the way he apparently gave Agnew an ear bashing for working alongside KP demonstrates that he expects this favouritism to continue through his post-playing career. He doesn’t want to be facing off against KP for media popularity or having his status or version of reality challenged by anyone at all in the entire ECB set up — which obviously includes the media.

    As an Aussie I dislike Cook anyway — when he plays well he not only scores lots of runs but is horrendously dull and predictable about how he does it. I like watching him on the field because his behavior is so inept it’s hilarious. (Though even that is getting unwatchable. During the last Ashes it was fun to watch how his team mates generally ignored him, leaving him looking like an outsider trying to get attention. That’s changed a bit — orders from above no doubt.)

    But it’s no surprise to me that so many English fans have had enough of him. His behavior is disgraceful enough to drive anyone away, but from what I can see, among English fans it’s the favouritism above all, and the embarrassing (or hilarious from Aust perspective) bootlicking that the yellow press engages in.

    I hope he apologised to Ali for running him out.

    And he still hasn’t learned how to back up as a non-striker either….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark May 2, 2015 / 12:43 pm

      His criticism of Agnew for the crime of sitting in a box talking to KP, a former England cricketer shows him to be obnoxious. Please no more tales about what a nice man he is from the Brenkleys and the other groupies.

      Poor old Jonathan has been one of his biggest defenders, and just talking to KP gets him a lecture. NICE!

      Liked by 2 people

      • MM May 2, 2015 / 1:22 pm

        I miss stuff sometimes… Cook actually berated Agnew for working with KP? Really? In that case…

        Go stick yer hundred. Jeebus, what an a-hole. What a complete and utter fanny. Hope Colin Graves knows how to change an adult nappy.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Clivejw May 2, 2015 / 2:32 pm

        Don’t forget that Graeme Swann’s remarks about England’s antediluvian approach to one-day cricket before the world cup, which were qualified by extremely warm remarks about Cook himself, were met by Cook’s describing Swann as a “so-called” friend. Only absolute blind loyalty with no hint of criticism is acceptable to Master Cook.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine May 2, 2015 / 3:17 pm

        Wasn’t the crime that he actually said it was quite pleasant sitting in a box talking to KP? Heresy. Possibly blasphemy. Even treason.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 1:56 pm

      Absolutely spot on. I bet you’re amazed that, generally, it takes a non-English observer to write anything remotely critical of his personality or character ATL. Indeed, to do anything other than fawn or call him a “special man”. That’s what drives a lot of us to distraction and despair.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 2:05 pm

    If Broad bats above Anderson, then we are not thinking about the team, just about a person (similar to top of order?)


    • MM May 2, 2015 / 2:11 pm

      Quite right Bogfather, Broad is batting like he wants to come in at 12. It’s the middle finger to Anderson whose batting seems to have gone up a notch or so in the last few series.


      • thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 2:21 pm

        Oh dear – quick wicket for any WI bowler – Here’s Broady! (TMS – Geoffrey puts it there, no corridor of uncertainty – His (Broad) bottle has gone)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. MM May 2, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    In other news, Bangladesh are looking a bit tidy these days.


  7. thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    Interesting. Broad is much better here, staying in line and thus being much more capable against the short ball. A way to go, but that’s a huge difference.


    • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 2:44 pm

      No idea how I ended up liking my own post there!

      Not worried about that dismissal, it’s progress. He’s not there yet, nowhere near, but recently his right foot has been moving out to square leg at time of delivery, this time he stayed in line.

      Something to work on. As I write, all out for 257. Not good.


    • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 3:03 pm

      Selvey blamed Buttler for not marshalling the tail. Truly.


      • LordCanisLupus May 2, 2015 / 3:22 pm

        He’s deliberately trolling now.

        Looked the same as the one Cook was given not out to.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Phil May 2, 2015 / 3:27 pm

        Just like Cook not marshalling the openers….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 4:00 pm

        He never mentioned the Cook catch at short leg in his report.

        Unbearable man.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Benny May 2, 2015 / 9:49 pm

        Selvey should have gone to Specsavers


  8. SimonH May 2, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    Well, looking on the bright side the ball appears to be swinging……


    • thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 4:06 pm

      have we sneaked in a non non swinging ball and got it past the obviously blind 3rd umpire?


      • d'Arthez May 2, 2015 / 4:32 pm

        That is rather generous to Steve Davis. Not sure how anyone could give that catch off Hope after yesterday’s catch off Cook was not given.

        I am sorry, but he has been a rather poor “elite umpire” for the last number of years now. How he remains on the panel is a mystery to me. He is not the only one making terrible mistakes though.

        Reiffel is another one that does not impress me, especially as a third umpire. He gave an idiotic decision against Smith (on South Africa review) in the last South Africa – West Indies series, and he has been interpreting his role rather creatively, to say the least.

        At this rate fully automated decision making is the way to go, with the umpires being reduced to ceremonial figures. Because this just feels like a farce, where you get decisions for / against you on the basis of perceived quality of the team, rather than the actual passage(s) of play.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 5:06 pm

        D’Arthez, I am so glad someone else has noted this… time for the ICC (not BCCI/ECB etc) to either give responsibility back to the umpires on the square or go fully automated, no umpires call, first look at TV replay – and with all cricket boards accepting whichever direction it goes…


      • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 5:10 pm

        According to Nasser Hussain, there’s been a change in the way low catches are dealt with – the umpires give an indicative decision to the third umpire as to whether they felt it carried or not, and that decision stands unless the third umpire finds cause to overturn it.

        If so, then it’s another example of the ICC not bothering to bloody tell anyone when they make a change.


        • LordCanisLupus May 2, 2015 / 5:15 pm

          I did see the finger go up when the TV sign was made. But, as you say, no-one told those responsible for letting us know.

          Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez May 2, 2015 / 6:43 pm

        You can have indicative decisions for that? Sorry, but that makes no sense, since an umpire will be 20-30 metres away if not further. And since when can umpires process things in 0.004 seconds? Often even the super slow mo’s are unclear.

        So he’ll be effectively giving it on the basis of how strong an appeal is – not whether it has actually been caught. In other words, it will encourage making appeals when the fielders cannot be certain whether it is caught or not. Not exactly what you’d want.

        I doubt such a decision procedure is in place with run outs or stumpings. Sometimes the decisions are extremely marginal, especially if there are not 200 frames / second available, and the umpires tend to be much closer to the stumps (especially at the non-strikers end).

        This part of the protocol is as sensible as playing substitutes in ODIs.


      • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 6:48 pm

        Distance isn’t the issue, the umpires will see what happened in three dimensions, and that’s the fundamental problem with TV replays – they are 2D and thus suffer from foreshortening. It’s been demonstrated time and again that the ball can appear to he grassed when it’s six inches off the ground. Replays are not just useless, but actually misleading.

        The umpires have by far the best view unless a catch has been spilled.


      • d'Arthez May 2, 2015 / 7:03 pm

        Also, another pet peeve of mine has to do with lbw appeals that are not given by the standing umpire.

        For instance, an umpire may think that an lbw should not be given because even though it is bowled outside off and hitting the wicket, was hitting the batsman outside of the line of off. That happens quite regularly. But if Hawkeye then shows up that the ball was pitching in line, hitting in line and just clipping the stumps, that remains not-out, even though that the umpire gets backed on the decision that was wrong (i.e. where the ball hit the batsman).

        The system shows that the umpire made a wrong decision, but it is upheld, because the umpire was possibly wrong about another decision. .

        Two wrong do not make a right, for the simple reason that the original decision is so important with regards to lbw – after all if the umpire had made the right decision with regards to where the ball hit the batsman, he’d have given the lbw. If the batsman then had reviewed it, the review would have been unsuccessful, because the umpire would only have been possibly wrong with regards to where the ball would have hit the stumps.

        I want the right decisions being made. We all do. But consistency is just as important, and crucial to the game. I do not see how giving maximum import to what are effectively guesses (the umpire cannot be certain, else they would not refer it to the third umpire after all) helps in that.


      • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 7:07 pm

        If Hawkeye shows it clipping the stumps, it’s actually saying it probably wasn’t hitting the stumps, but it might be – hence backing the umpires if he gave it out. It’s a function of probability, not an absolute predicted path.

        Virtual Eye is even worse, and is fundamentally inaccurate.


      • Grenville May 2, 2015 / 10:22 pm

        I think that D’Arthez is making a different point. To Wit: Ump thinks that the ball is going crash into off stump, but it struck the batter outside the line. The Umpire rules not out. The bowling team refers and hawk eyes says, the impact was in line, but there is doubt about the height. The decision stands, but on what grounds? A clear (assuming we can trust hawk eye) error about the point of impact. Had the umpire judged the impact right, they’d have given it out. Hawk eye would have lent sufficient credence to that decision for it to stand.


      • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 10:57 pm

        But it doesn’t matter. Clipping should mean not out. Even when it’s given out it really should be not out. Umpire’s don’t have to explain the grounds for a not out, because that’s not how humans work.


      • d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 1:52 am

        If an umpire gives an lbw he must be convinced that the ball would have hit the stumps if it were not for the batsman blocking the ball with his pads (or any other part of the body / helmet). But that does not mean, that if the umpire does not give an lbw he must be convinced that the ball would not have done that. The umpire could think that the ball could have pitched outside of leg for instance, or hit the batsman outside of the line, while the batsman was playing a shot. Both are legitimate reasons to turn down an lbw appeal.

        If an umpire gives lbw, batsman reviews: it is shown to be clipping, and hence the decision stands, and the batsman is given out. If it is given, it only has to clip by a fraction. If it is not given the projection of the ball has to hit the wicket at least 50%. 49% of the ball smashing into top of off is not good enough. “Umpire’s call” on hitting the wicket is anywhere between 1% and 49.99%. Anything more than that, it is not umpire’s call anymore but “hitting”.

        We see quite a number of overturned lbw decisions. lbw is a rather complex matter, so that is not surprising. That means that umpires make mistakes with assessing lbws (and overturned requires that there is no umpire’s call involved in the process).

        Umpire’s call does not mean “correct or incorrect” decision. It just means that the certainty to say this is a “correct or incorrect” decision is too low, and hence they go with whatever the onfield umpire said.

        1. An umpire can be convinced that the ball is pitching in line, and be backed up by Hawkeye
        2. An umpire can be convinced that the ball hit the batsman outside of the line. Hawkeye then shows this conviction up for an absolute error (not umpire’s call)
        3. An umpire can be convinced that the ball would have smashed the top off. Hawkeye then shows it is only clipping (umpire’s call).

        So according to the umpire condition 1 + 3 are met, while according to the DRS Hawkeye projection, condition 1 + 2 are met, but there is too limited evidence to suggest that condition three was wrongfully assessed.

        So Hawkeye suggests that the umpire made one error in assessment (#2), and one possible error (#3), but the probability of the assessment being wrong is too low to overturn that assessment (and it would not had the batsman been given lbw, since he’d be out on umpire’s call on the ball hitting the wicket).

        In other words: once the umpire does not give an lbw, the assumption is that the appeal had nothing going for it, as it is being reviewed. And that seems highly flawed to me.


  9. metatone May 2, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    So my pessimistic side prediction of 260 looks rather prescient. Now to see if I was right about it affecting the momentum… (I have no confidence that it will, it’s entirely possibly that the WI batting will be hapless.)


    • thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 3:38 pm

      If we get this game over quick enough, then Captain Courageous could still get home, hug his sheep and take over and lead us to victory against Ireland


    • Mark May 2, 2015 / 3:42 pm

      I will short them at 220. I Don’t expect them to make 200.


    • thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 4:03 pm

      I hope that WI make a game of this – please – England need to be challenged or else ‘everything is perfect, move along now, nothing to see’ will be the ECB/ MSM mantra for the summer tests…


      • Mark May 2, 2015 / 4:11 pm

        I think it was going to be that anyway Bogfather.

        The WI never had the power to beat England by say 2-0. As long as Cook didn’t average about 20 with no big scores and England didn’t lose it was going to be called a triumph.

        The real cricket, and real tests will start soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Zephirine May 2, 2015 / 4:05 pm

    I really want Chanderpaul to make his 71 runs in this match.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    And another ton on top – true long-term team player, whatever you think of his style or scoring rate


    • dvyk May 2, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      His run rate? It’s only 3 fewer than the dynamic Cook’s!


  12. dvyk May 2, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    Just read selvey’s piece. These guys are so funny. It’s so easy to read the truth simply by looking at what they proclaim the loudest. I can’t remember

    “got the faintest of under-edges through to Denesh Ramdin and dragged himself back to the backslapping dressing room”

    So the players hate him just as much as many fans do. Probably more so, given the privilege and ineptitude and having to listen to his weak pep talks.

    Funny how the yellow press always talk of Cook as being “wrongly maligned” or complain about “Cook-haters”, whereas KP is seen as inherently “divisive” and “controversial”. In fact, Cook has been turned into a far more divisive and polarising figure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 5:36 pm

      Let’s just say the way the press focus on how Good A Bloke someone is, is often at variance with the reputation they have more locally.

      I find it weird anyway – this whole Good Bloke stuff doesn’t matter. Never has.


      • Mark May 2, 2015 / 6:38 pm

        The good bloke stuff only started appearing when he was failing in the middle.

        You never heard about it when he was scoring runs. It was a distraction.

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort May 2, 2015 / 9:59 pm

        Should you not comment on how good a person is when you are writing their obituary?


  13. BoerInAustria May 2, 2015 / 6:17 pm

    Broad and Anderson bowling fuller and taking wickets. Now why have they not thought of that before…?


    • thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 6:46 pm

      Not in the programme… ooops email just received dated 2012… computer glitch – not a user fault…


    • escort May 2, 2015 / 9:54 pm

      They must be new to the game and are learning as they go i guess?


  14. BoerInAustria May 2, 2015 / 6:37 pm

    how about bowling the leggie now … oh


  15. thebogfather May 2, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    What has happened to George Dobell since he arrived in the caribbean? great piece on Trott today, but his daily reports, and the interview with Agnew on TMS a few minutes ago are worryingly ECB driven… some almost selfie/newman moments…. I hope it’s just too much free rum rather than rum comments…


    • Benny May 2, 2015 / 10:00 pm

      Had a little twitter spat with Dobell when he reckoned that under 2 per over against the no 8 side was perfectly good. Too much rum


  16. SimonH May 2, 2015 / 7:31 pm

    Nice moment for Lyth holding that catch. Anderson gave Permaul a ‘send off’ which Steve James will no doubt be writing about shortly.

    Anderson has taken two wickets in this series caught at short leg (Benn in the First Test was the other). Apparently these are his first wickets caught at short leg since 2008.

    West Indies seem to have decided since Holder was out that blocking wasn’t working and have gone down swinging. Great entertainment.


    • Mark May 2, 2015 / 7:50 pm

      That’s because they never have a short leg Simon.,

      Aggers has been banging on about it since the 17 th century.


  17. SimonH May 2, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    A century in each innings prediction only 96 out 🙂


    • escort May 2, 2015 / 9:21 pm

      It was 200 out for the Bell at least


      • SimonH May 2, 2015 / 10:48 pm

        First pair for an England top four batsman since – Ian Bell, Oval 2005.


        • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 12:59 am

          Let’s make the obvious point….. no [blank] to get us out of this hole.


  18. Zephirine May 2, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    Out for four, eh? Well, there’s a thing.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…


  19. escort May 2, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    There could be trouble ahead


  20. Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 9:29 pm

    “The value of Cook’s heroic and not at all lucky innings doubled during the course of the second day, and I’ll mention his dropped catch because it wasn’t costly.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      To be fair, lucky it may have been, valuable it clearly is.


  21. escort May 2, 2015 / 9:34 pm

    only 77 overs bowled today. Poor i think


  22. SimonH May 2, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    England 56-8 today.

    No spaces in this battling line-up, obviously.


    • SimonH May 2, 2015 / 9:50 pm

      An extra ‘l’ snuck in there somehow – although “battling” is sort of appropriate as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    Ooh, Geoffrey just used the word “disgrace” about the ECB’s treatment of Rashid.

    And I agree 100% with him about the over-hyping of Jordan’s catch. I genuinely cannot believe anyone thinks that’s the best they’ve ever seen. I bet Mark Waugh can’t believe it either.


    • escort May 2, 2015 / 9:47 pm

      You need to be careful when using the word bet in the sentence with Mark Waugh don’t you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 9:51 pm

        Nice work 🙂


    • Mark May 2, 2015 / 9:47 pm

      Yes Arron, but he would be disruptive to the natural order. 😉

      I can’t help but thinking watching the first 4 blown away to pace bowling is a precursor to the Ashes. It’s going to be Groundhog Day.

      No doubt we will hear how poor the pitch is in 5 4 3 2 1………………..”Bradman couldn’t bat on that”


    • OscarDaBosca May 2, 2015 / 10:24 pm

      I thought that, but I think it’s just incoherent. It glosses over the mess that England have got themselves into here. Ballance needs to stay in until lunch and then we might have enough.


      • Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 10:28 pm

        The lousy spin bowling doesn’t warrant a mention, even though it was universally criticised by four former England Test cricketers on TMS (one of them a spinner).

        Can’t imagine why that would be overlooked by a Rashid hater though, can you?

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Benny May 2, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    Can’t help thinking that Essex have a player who bowls better than Moeen and bats better than Broad


  25. dvyk May 2, 2015 / 10:03 pm

    Alastair Cook’s team have bowled out WI cheaply, just like Alastair Cook’s team won the last game. But I think the headlines tomorrow will be back to referring to them as the England team again.


  26. metatone May 2, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    WI bowled very well, but Ballance will fight. WI need to excel again in the morning.
    An England lead of 150 looks like it could be enough on this pitch…


    • thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 11:01 pm

      I like Ballance. He has skill and balls. And I think we may prove to be extremely lucky to have a successor to Trott. And a lot quicker than the 30 years it took Trott to succeed Gower.


      • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 12:58 am

        I’m still really concerned about how he’ll face off against the Aussies. He has the ticker, but the technique? I’m not so sure.


  27. SimonH May 2, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    Big day for Peter Moores tomorrow.


  28. thelegglance May 2, 2015 / 11:03 pm

    You know, irrespective of good and bad, we’re two days into this Test, and it’s been BRILLIANT. I’m loving it. Give the bowlers a chance and watch the fascination grow. It’s not hard boards and groundsmen.


  29. Pontiac May 2, 2015 / 11:33 pm

    My goodness. Normally this hyena would have been watching but between a house renovation job from hades, a cello lesson, and other pressing matters only had the WI doing rather well to shoot out the tail snapshot, the really-another-collapse? score snapshot, and now the ‘Oh there’s a game here again’ end of day report. It will surely all end in tears.


  30. Arron Wright May 2, 2015 / 11:41 pm

    Good old Fred, summing it up for many of us:

    “Bit confused. Have been out and saw almost nothing of the match, but came back to see WI were done for less than Eng, but then reduced to a dramatic 5/39. Read the match report and it says how Anderson is “magnificent” and “inspirational”, and other various good news about England, but nothing about the game. What the hell happened today? England is 5/39 and I have no idea why. When is the Guardian going to get someone who can write a genuine match report instead a cheerleader?”



    • Escort May 3, 2015 / 12:52 am

      Why do you bother with the Guardian and it’s ECB cheer leader of a correspondent? You constantly winge about their output on this blog but always go back for more?


      • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 12:56 am

        Speaking for me, it’s because people like him get out many of the messages that become embedded into the fabric of English cricket. He was one of the first to pump Peter Moores for coach. There is a decided suspicion that he may have the ear of Andy Flower, and this is important in the running of the cricket in this country.

        He and his ilk are the petrol that fuel much of this blog. It makes life interesting, and he hates being challenged.


      • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 1:28 am

        Here’s a classic of its genre:

        The cause was helped by some excellent catching, although Cook did drop Darren Bravo at first slip, one of those chances that comes at the uncomfortable height where the fielder must decide whether to take fingers up or down.

        It was a straightforward slip catch, as catches go, and Cook gets half a pass from it. I’m sure Cook doesn’t want this sort of nonsense as much as anyone else, but it’s still given. I loathe this. He dropped a catch. But no, not enough for some. He has to be forgiven. It’s as if Kim-Jong Il is our leader.


      • Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 6:10 am

        Look, you’ve said this twice now, and I don’t wish to get touchy. Firstly, it isn’t just me who feels like this. Far, far from it. A very large reason why this blog’s predecessor took off is that loyal readers of the Guardian were so utterly fed up of the one-eyed pieces written by its chief cricket correspondent (and of being moderated for pointing out some issues) that they had to find somewhere to let off steam. It might have died down before now, but unfortunately several contributors are on Twitter, and his feed manages to take the bias and pomposity of his articles and add contempt for fans who disagree. He is the absolute embodiment of the attitude that gave us “outside cricket”, and of the favouritism many of us bemoan every week.

        I hope that’s enough for now, because I don’t want to start the sort of argument that’s made TFT less readable lately. But you might as well ask why there’s a link to the ECB press release of February 2014. Selvey is there in the blog’s DNA and, even if I stopped mentioning him, others would continue to do so.


      • SimonH May 3, 2015 / 10:10 am

        Escort, you’re not the first to make that point here and, as I often relay what the press have been writing, I’d like to express some thoughts on this. I’m not having a go at you or anyone by doing so.

        Why not ignore Selvey and the press? Their views matter. They shape the way their readership perceive the game. I’m not saying this in a crude way – obviously not all Guardian readers believe everything Selvey writes as a glance BTL shows. Also this is less true than it used to be with multiple media outlets now available. But Selvey at the very least sets the agenda – he tells readers what to think about and even BTL criticism tends to be a response to the issues he has raised. He virtually never raises Cook’s field settings for example so his readers never know a catch went through vacant third slip or to vacant short leg so for those relying on Selvey it’s as if these things never happened. He never fits England’s selections into a long-term pattern whether it is selecting unfit players or being risk-averse to new players. On a broader front, Selvey invites his readers to think regularly about chucking or sledging but never about England’s scheduling. Constant repetition of certain themes does have an effect whatever anyone says.

        Another reason the press matter is that the ECB undoubtedly regard them as an indication of what the public is thinking. When they say there is no “mass movement” against Cook’s captaincy they mean the press are still mostly on side. An elite as detached as the ECB has difficulty knowing what the public are thinking and looking at newspapers provides a quick, easy indication.

        Undoubtedly part of the frustration at Selvey in particular reflects a broader anger among long-term readers about the direction of the Guardian specifically. I started reading the Guardian in 1987 and for my entire adult life have had a profound affinity for the paper (phrases like “brand loyalty” don’t even come close to describing that feeling). That affection is perhaps difficult to understand for those of a more modern generation who have so many sources of news and opinion to choose from.

        Finally, cricket journalism at its best is not just reporting on an art but an art in itself. I was introduced to cricket by a cricket-mad father but stuck with the game because of readling the likes of John Arlott and Jack Fingleton. Cricket journalism can be so much more than the cheerleading into which it has descended. If you haven’t watched it yet look up Gideon Haigh’s 2015 Jack Marsh lecture on Victor Trumper to see what cricket journalism can be.


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