West Indies v England, 3rd Test, day 3

It seems distinctly possible that day three of this match will see a conclusion. Boards around the world hate this, the loss of revenue if a match finishes early is something of a disaster.  But just like it has been said that for Formula One to be exciting, just add water; so for Test cricket to be exciting, just add a pitch that does a bit.  And isn’t that the point?  Give the bowlers a chance and suddenly every ball matters, because you really aren’t certain what will happen.

18 wickets fell on day two.  I’m sure there will be complaints that it is somehow unfair that the ball dominated, and it’s always struck me as peculiar that when bat dominates you might get comments that it’s boring (and it is) but rarely unfair.

Trott’s cheap dismissal probably marks the closing of the book on his Test career.  I’ve written about his contribution, but perhaps the best response was that of the England fans out there – a standing ovation; not for his innings, brief as it was, but for the player and what he achieved.  Perhaps in days to come he might appreciate that.  I hope so.

So much happened today that there are a myriad of things to mention.  Anderson certainly deserves a shout out – a player who has spent most of his career trying to drag his average below 30 is suddenly on the cusp of taking it into the 28s, it’s now 29.20, and I’m not sure I’d bet against it dipping below 29 in West Indies 2nd innings.

But the bit today that made me sit up and take note was Jermaine Blackwood’s innings.  He got some stick for holing out at the end – that always strikes me as the way everyone else can get a duck, but let’s blame the bloke caught on the boundary for 96.  The West Indies would have been dead and buried without him, it was a brilliant, timely, aggressive, brave knock.  A run a ball 85 to get the team within 70.  It may yet be a match winning hand.

Cook was out in familiar fashion to that we have seen so often.  Let’s just say I’ve no reason yet to move on from the technical criticism I’ve bored you senseless with already.

So England are a shade over a hundred ahead, and half the side is out.  I’d say England are still favourites as the pitch deteriorates, but – and I know this will come as a shock – I’ve been wrong before.

Day three tomorrow.  I can’t wait.  Comments as ever below!



162 thoughts on “West Indies v England, 3rd Test, day 3

    • thelegglance May 3, 2015 / 12:13 am

      Bell’s drop in form has passed almost unnoticed. Since his wonderful series against Australia two years ago he averages a shade under 33.


      • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 12:56 am

        I’ve noticed. This is becoming like the 1990s – a ton every so often keeps your place in the team.


    • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 12:57 am

      KP is well down the pecking order. If the reports in the Telegraph are true, he’s dead in the water regardless how many runs he makes, if Strauss is Director of Cricket.


      • Tuffers86 May 3, 2015 / 7:14 am

        Do the Bell Must Go tags need to come out again? Though I’m pretty sure Dennis wouldn’t mind a greenhorn in the middle order for the Ashes, you damn sneaky Antipodean!


  1. Clivejw May 3, 2015 / 5:47 am

    Anderson was awesome today, though he will never turn around the haters who decry everything he does. Wait until he goes, then we are really up shit creek, because with Broad apparently fading, there is no one to take his place. Jordan and Stokes are second-change bowlers at best. Interesting that Jimmy is now on 396 wickets, same as Steyn. But with his raw pace Steyn is independent of conditions and can take wickets on any surface. So what, Jimmy isn’t rubbish because he isn’t Steyn.

    The batsmen really let us down. I wonder how much the Trott thing is preying on their minds (not Cook’s because he only ever thinks about himself). Bell in particular appears to have his mind elsewhere. Personally, I think that Bell is suffering from fatigue and could do with six weeks off to recharge his batteries.

    England’s lead would have been well over 150 if Moeen Ali hadn’t had such an awful match. I don’t blame him as he has so very much exceeded everyone’s expectations that it’s easy to forget how inexperienced he is, especially at judging the pace at which to bowl on different wickets. He got it badly wrong here. That was the worst England bowling I can remember for some time.

    The West Indies have got some youngsters really worth watching, which is good to see. Blackwood and Holder look like they have something special about them. Meanwhile, this could be the last we see of the veteran Chanderpaul, unless he guides West Indies to victory in the second innings, which is by no means impossible. Shiv can never be regarded as a great batsman, because by the time he comes to the wicket, it’s usually a question of damage control and saving face. He hasn’t batted higher than five for a long time. When he goes, that will be nineties cricket done with at last. I’ve never been a fan of his ugly, crabbed batting, but his numbers look nice on paper. (That came over meaner than I meant it.)

    I’ve managed to get hold of highlights of the 1991 series between these two teams, one of my all-time favourite series. So wonderful to see again Gooch’s brilliant 154* at Headingley and Robin Smith and Jack Russell’s courageous batting at Lord’s, the X-rated bowling of Walsh, Ambrose, and a fading but still potentially deadly Marshall. Then there was Tuffers’ 6-25 at the Oval, Smith again, Botham taking wickets with long hops, and Ramps’ promising but unfulfilled cameos throughout the series.

    There were little things I had forgotten, such as Hick’s wicket with his third ball in test cricket and Clayton Lambert. I also appear to have underestimated Pringle, he was actually very good in this series. I hadn’t forgotten Viv’s batting at Edgbaston, though. Murderous. The one batsman that I’ve ever seen who was as intimidating as the most fearsome of fast bowlers. We probably wouldn’t have won the series if Viv hadn’t been stung by a bee in the field at the Oval — as noticed by an eagle-eyed Richie Benaud. Richards left the field and batted down the order in the Windies’ second innings, in which he looked out of sorts and didn’t last long.

    All in all, so much more enjoyable than the current series, which, however, has come alive in the last day at Grenada and in this game.


    • paulewart May 3, 2015 / 6:13 am

      Does anyone hate Jimmy? He’a a very good bowler, just not great, as you say.


      • Clivejw May 3, 2015 / 7:41 am

        Nonsense. There are only 11 bowlers in the history of the game who have taken more test wickets than Jimmy (plus Steyn with the same number). That’s great by any standards. And numbers aren’t the only criteria.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH May 3, 2015 / 10:53 am

        Clivejw, the point about the comparisons to Dale Steyn is that it is England that constantly invited them. I believe Saker started it with his “most skillful bowler in the world” comment in 2012 which has been echoed uncritically ATL and repeated by Cook recently. They are the ones that established that standard and invited the comparisons. There is a context here.

        Stats may not tell us everything but let’s get them out of the way. Anderson has the same number of wickets but has played 23 more Tests. Anderson’s average is 29.5 compared to Steyn’s 22.6. Steyn’s SR is 41.6 compared to 58.1. Steyn’s results in the most difficult conditions (away from home, against the strongest batting sides) are not as above his career benchmarks as are Anderson’s. Stats don’t tell the whole story but they don’t lie over a long career either. Relying on absolute numbers reflects the number of games scheduled plus admirable qualities like fitness and stamina. Kapil Dev and Courtney Walsh had those qualities in abundance – but they weren’t Malcolm Marshall or Dennis Lillee.

        The dismissal of Steyn’s skills by reference to his pace I find incredibly blinkered. Steyn is quicker than Anderson but he isn’t usually in the 95 mph bracket. Very few bowlers build successful Test careers on pace alone. Andre Van Troost would have been the greatest bowler of all time if they did. Swing is a key part of Steyn’s success and his late outswing is every bit as skillful as any specialist swing bowler. His inswinger doesn’t go as much as Anderson’s but it doesn’t need to (except when bowling to LHBs where Anderson is undoubtedly the better bowler).

        The cheerleading in the MSM is what produces the peevish responses that you regard as “hating”. I’m aware (as I’ve written here recently) that I often sound peevish and I don’t like it. The alternative is to let demonstrably false statements pass and I don’t like that even more.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Clivejw May 3, 2015 / 11:13 am

        Saker is the England coach and Cook is the England captain. It’s their job to big up their premier bowler. And I didn’t intend to dismiss Steyn’s skills. I meant that he has ones that Jimmy can’t draw on, which makes him less effective on unhelpful surfaces. Anyway, if Jimmy were faster he would never have lasted, given the number of overs he bowls.


    • paulewart May 3, 2015 / 12:06 pm

      So jimmy’s better than Holding, Garner Marshall, Lillee et al? He may, just may have broken into the WI attack in the Kenny Benjamin/Eldine Baptiste role. Saying he’s a very good bowler isn’t damning him with faint praise Clive, its recognising where he sits in the pantheon. There are very, very few truly great players. The word loses all meaning if we anoint all good cricketers.


  2. Jon Raed May 3, 2015 / 6:06 am

    We Didnt win the series in 1991


    • Clivejw May 3, 2015 / 7:08 am

      I meant the final test match, not the series, which was drawn. Mainly thanks to Steve Rouse, the Edgbaston groundsman, who produced a pitch on which good length balls flew over the wicket-keeper’s head.


  3. Clivejw May 3, 2015 / 7:30 am

    Meanwhile, am I wrong to dread the worst from the sight of Twitacker and Graves together on the balcony during yesterday’s play?


    • Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 8:27 am

      Re Strauss becoming MD: “Utter bottomless despair”, I think you said at the Guardian.

      You got that right.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 3, 2015 / 10:06 am

      If they are going to appoint Strauss then Colin Graves has obviously not been listening or has caved to the pressure of the Flower/Cook cabal. It will also mean his claims that KP could have another chance if he makes runs at county level was bullshit. If Strauss becomes the new boss I have a better chance of playing for England than KP.

      His appointment will be the reformation of the old band of boring, conservative, face fitting , right tie, right school shite the ECB so love. If you are a young cricketer with a bit about you and of an individual character you might as well emigrate because you won’t get a game here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clivejw May 3, 2015 / 10:36 am

        I suppose that, as Graves does not officially take up office until 11 or 12 May, the appointment of Strauss could be Clarke’s final Act of Evil before handing over the reins.


      • SimonH May 3, 2015 / 10:58 am

        The appointment is in the hands of Tom Harrison I believe and isn’t Clarke’s or Graves’ to make.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Simon K May 3, 2015 / 1:06 pm

        That’s correct. Personnel decisions are a matter for the CEO, though he can (and no doubt has) consulted with the board.

        I had thought Strauss was the third favourite but it would appear that he is becoming favourite by a process of elimination. If so, then the glimmer of hope that English cricket might go in a more interesting direction will be sadly extinguished.


        • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 1:37 pm

          Heard about them at the time, but bloody hell. Why bring it up now? Jeez, Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were knee deep in this stuff, and it doesn’t seem to have had much effect on them.

          That looked like score-settling to me.

          Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart May 3, 2015 / 4:09 pm

        Indeed, more of the same. Cook and the Sky boys will be happy though: the former to bolster his position, the latter to be rid of his vapid commentary.


      • metatone May 3, 2015 / 6:04 pm

        I’m particularly filled with loathing at the way some BTL are interpreting Vaughan pulling out.
        Has it never to them that he looked at the job description and decided it was hamstrung and so not going have the right powers to make a positive difference?

        (I get particularly exercised by this because this was exactly story with the Moores appointment – the better foreign coaches (Moody, Kirsten) pulled out when it was clear that they wouldn’t get a free hand with selection.)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Rohan May 3, 2015 / 8:48 am

    This from Agnew in his latest BBC column, has left me completely gobsmacked!

    “One man has surely played his last innings for England and that is Jonathan Trott. Trott has been a wonderful servant for England but no-one deserves to be continually selected on reputation alone and now is the time for the selectors to move on at the top of the order.”

    I am referring to the last line in particular. Words such as inconsistent, bias, favouritism, completely blinkered and just downright poor journalism spring to mind. I cannot believe he has the gall to write that line after his backing of Cook……#doublestandards


    • Zephirine May 3, 2015 / 9:52 am

      “no-one deserves to be continually selected on reputation alone (J. Agnew)”

      I’m very tempted to just post that in every comment thread where the usual ‘Cook forever, regardless of how he plays’ stuff is being churned out.


    • paulewart May 3, 2015 / 12:08 pm

      Jesus, what a clueless fuckwit. And how about that for a comma……


  5. Mark May 3, 2015 / 9:53 am

    Jimmy Anderson in my opinion has kept Cook in a job for the last 12 months. That’s how good he is, and how valuable he is to the side. Without his bowling last Summer I am not convinced England would have turned around the India series. England would certainly not have won the 2nd test here in the WI last week without his last day morning heroics. Clive is right, wait till he’s gone to see how important he has been.

    And just imagine if we hadn’t won the last test, we would be turning up today with the possibility of a WI win and series win against Cooks England. It just makes the eulogising of Cook by Selvey and Hughes and Smith even more ludicrous. No Jimmy, and your boy Cooky would have been exposed as the fraud he is as captain.

    I still think England are just ahead. Atherton said yesterday that he would fancy England to defend 150, and if they get 180 lead they would be firm favourites. Another 60-70 this morning and England are probably safe. If England do escape it will hide the usual conservative selection blunder of not picking the leg spinner Rashid. What would he have done on this pitch? We will never know now.

    A lot riding on the first session, just as it was last week. If England lose today Cook and Moores should be sacked. Of course it won’t happen though.


  6. James Morgan May 3, 2015 / 11:03 am

    Unless Trott has had a recurrence of his stress related illness, it would be utterly hypocritical for England to drop him after they’ve backed Cook to the hilt through 2 years of poor form. Remember, the excuse to keep Cook was his excellent past record. Well, Trott’s record is the equal of Cook, and actually has a slightly better record against the best attacks.

    I’m not saying England should stick with Trott, I’m just pointing out the double standards and favouritism.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. amit May 3, 2015 / 12:53 pm

    I would love to see WI win this one and tie the series. What a great start it would be for Simmons. To draw the series against a major team in a test, a team that still considers test cricket a pinnacle would be a great way to start establishing the credentials and to prove to the rest of the world that WI still care about the test matches. They have certainly bowled better and if their batsmen can hold it for one complete inning, it could be fantastic.

    In other news, we’ve read obituaries from a few seasoned (and connected) journos, who have called time on JT’s international cricketing career. That might still come to pass. The same guys will be exposed as hypocrites for not calling time on Cook’s career, for similar reasons.

    We’ve also been informed that Strauss is close to the appointment in the new role of DOC. If true, whatever that does for KP and his comeback is besides the point. What it would ultimately mean is that English cricket will never rise above mediocrity for they choose to find faces to fit, more than talent. Strauss was never the tactician or visionary, despite being successful; has already been shown to be sulking via the infamous rants and so his impartiality will be in question. That he wasn’t fired from Sky for such an outrageous comment, remains a shame. But that he is close to being appointed in a new role, is par for the course for ECB where we’ve seen some really interesting choices over the last 18-20 months. Given that he hardly ever set the shorter format on fire, and was never really good at it, his ability to truly contribute to the 2 formats is limited as well. You need someone from outside the system to fix it. This cabal is going to turn it into a bigger circus than it already is.


    • MM May 3, 2015 / 1:33 pm

      Glad I didn’t read that last sentence from Ali Martin at work. The company’s profanity filter would’ve gone popwhizzbang.

      Bad news. Can’t see Alec Stewpot knocking Strauss outta the way, however more appealing he’d be.

      Flower’s bound to re-emerge soon in a brand new non-job. Maybe Assistant Director of Andrew Straussisms, as in building for 2019 which is code for rebuilding for 2023. Big fat salary. Really fat, but no increase in joy for cricket fans.


    • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 1:40 pm

      Or was told he wasn’t getting it, and offered the chance to withdraw. I’ve always thought it would be Strauss because he’d be the best “yes” man.


    • Timmy May 3, 2015 / 1:53 pm

      If Strauss gets the job. Sky will breathe a huge sigh of relief. Strauss has total lack of insight, depth, and analysis. Banal comments, delivered in a voice that could send the most hyperactive toddler to sleep.

      I for sure will not miss his commentary.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. MM May 3, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    If all you good people on this blog can spot Trott’s troubles, how the fluffing chuff are the England backroom staff missing them? Who is advising this poor man?

    England are making a meal of this tour… there ain’t much of a gap between 3rd and 8th, is there?

    Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas May 3, 2015 / 1:38 pm

      According to George Dobell. Trott has been practicing in the nets as early as 0730. I would have thought that was the kind of “red flag” the medical staff would be on the look out for.


    • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 1:40 pm

      I’m still at a loss as to how getting out once on this tour to short pitch bowling was greeted with such howls of woe. He’d got out nicking off in all his previous innings, hadn’t he? Again, this looked like an agenda from the off, and while Trott’s experiment did not work, it’s as if all the latent antipathy to some or all of this set-up is being routed through this selection by the media.

      More needs to be made of the selection, but if it comes close to Captain Precious, there will be the usual backing off.


  9. hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 1:41 pm

    Can’t see the full article, but just going by what we can see in the photo… really?

    1) It’s not about being “clever”. Does cleverness prevent naivety? Does a degree (in anything) help you read the game of cricket?

    2) You don’t have to go to university (let alone Oxbridge) to be clever. A degree is a fairly reliable sign of intelligence and other skills, but you don’t go to university not clever and come out clever, it builds upon the first 18 years of your life.

    3) A good proportion of the current England team is public school educated. Those players will get excellent educations. The general perception is that England has too many of these players.

    4) The word “establishment”. We don’t need more of the “establishment”!

    Liked by 1 person

      • hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 2:12 pm

        I was thinking about putting “Ed Smith is awfully, awfully clever. Did you know?” as 5)


      • Mark May 3, 2015 / 3:02 pm

        We had a thinking cricketer, he was too much of a threat to our Tim nice but dim captain.

        Cricketers who think out of the box in this team disappear very quickly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort May 3, 2015 / 5:35 pm

        The thing about asking him is that he will tell you why.


    • paulewart May 3, 2015 / 2:51 pm

      Smith is a platitudinous narcissist without a single original thought in his little head. He simply reads the latest tome from the likes of Gladwell and Lewis and recycles uncritically.

      I’d like to see how he squares his opinion piece with Tim nice but dim.


    • metatone May 3, 2015 / 6:08 pm

      Actually, I agree with the headline at least. The sight of G. Swann calling Monty Panesar (degree in Comp. Sci from Loughborough) “a bit dim” really suggested to me that there are deep issues in English cricketing culture.


  10. SimonH May 3, 2015 / 1:54 pm


    • escort May 3, 2015 / 5:40 pm

      and so it should, Don’t you think?


  11. SimonH May 3, 2015 / 2:26 pm

    Very odd opening combo from West Indies – Taylor bowling from the end where he hasn’t taken any wickets and Samuels.

    It isn’t working so far.


    • SimonH May 3, 2015 / 2:31 pm

      A bowling change – and a wicket second ball!


  12. dvyk May 3, 2015 / 2:44 pm

    I know this has already been laughed about on another thread, but I thought it’s worth highlighting again. Despite it being well and truly on the record that Cook allowed a culture of abuse and nastiness to develop, where bowlers scream at fielders, and catch.droppers must apologise, etc, Selvey says this this of Cook’s drop–

    “one of those chances that comes at the uncomfortable height where the fielder must decide whether to take fingers up or down”

    Apart from demonstrating the double standards applied to Cook, as he does each day, it also raises the question, who on earth does he think he’s writing for? The only reason he gets away with writing such absolute rubbish is because people have become so accustomed to it that it barely registers anymore. If a rookie journalist or a kid on work experience wrote that they’d be pilloried. What’s next — “one of those slips catches where the ball travels very swiftly”?

    I don’t read much of the Aust press, but i can’t imagine anyone there daring to write anything so totally stupid.

    Liked by 2 people

    • d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 3:14 pm

      You must not forget that the majority of the people who read the articles will not have seen the game live. Maybe catch a few highlights, or a few passages of play, so that is about it. The joys of having paywalls erected.


    • dlpthomas May 3, 2015 / 3:46 pm

      You might be surprised. During the last Ashes Queensland’s Courier-Mail implemented a “Broad Ban” and refused to mention his name, instead referring to him as “a 27-year-old English medium pace bowler”, as well as de-identify all images of him. (though to be fair, Queensland is red-neck central)


      • dvyk May 3, 2015 / 3:50 pm

        Okay, granted. You would bring all that stuff wouldn’t you. Yes, that was dumber than anything Selvey has ever written or will ever write. I don’t live in Aust, so I was able to block that from my memory.


  13. dvyk May 3, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    Interesting passage here — Buttler and Jordan effectively the last wicket partnership, despite both being well capable. talented batters right down to No. 9, followed by two walking wickets.


    • dvyk May 3, 2015 / 3:25 pm

      Oops, Jordan a bit unlucky there — blimey he gets a lot of unlucky marginal decisions that fellow.


      • dvyk May 3, 2015 / 3:28 pm

        Ah, that’s it — Broad is still spooked by the Mitch yorker that hit his foot and bruised it, requiring him to hobble about in a moonboot for an hour or two.


  14. d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 3:26 pm

    Jordan gone on review. Given, and since the ball is barely clipping the stumps, it is umpire’s call, and that is good enough to see Jordan gone.


  15. SimonH May 3, 2015 / 3:27 pm

    Broad bowled first ball.

    Selvey blames Buttler.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. dvyk May 3, 2015 / 3:30 pm

    Looking at the yorker again, maybe I was a bit harsh on Broad in this case. That was a good ball.

    But I think Broad is scared of both the bouncer and the yorker, not just the bouncer. MJ really did some damage to a few psyches last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 3:49 pm

    Anderson gone on West Indies review. Buttler was happily blasting away at the other end. England all out for 123.

    West Indies need 192 to win this Test.


  18. Mark May 3, 2015 / 3:54 pm

    WI won’t make 175 is my bet.

    England to go 2 up, and Cook to be carried shoulder high into the Heathrow arrival lounge by Selvey, Hughes and Edd Smith.

    Anderson has to step up now to save Cooks job………..AGAIN!!


  19. thelegglance May 3, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    That’s a truly dreadful second innings effort from England. Stokes and Buttler did well enough, but as a whole it was utterly pathetic. The pitch isn’t going to win this Test for England, there’s not much wrong with it, despite the attempts from the usual suspects to blame it. That the West Indies aren’t very good might do though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 4:01 pm

      Your two authors have exactly the same views. I didn’t see this as a 123 pitch from what I saw this morning.


      • thelegglance May 3, 2015 / 4:02 pm

        If the West Indies do get home from here, they’ll have to come up with a new excuse.

        Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk May 3, 2015 / 4:45 pm

      I noticed a few days ago that cricinfo had posted an article saying Vaughan was unsuitable because he’d made “unfortunate” remarks about Trott absconding from the Ashes, so he must therefore be poorly suited for any media relations role. Nothing mentioned about Strauss’s competence in front of a mic though.


  20. BoerInAustria May 3, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    I think WI Cricket had one more full price Duke in the cupboard – and just handed it to Anderson….

    Liked by 2 people

  21. paulewart May 3, 2015 / 5:02 pm

    It’s the pitch apparently. Nothing to do with the bowlers…….


    • Pontiac May 4, 2015 / 12:06 am

      *dependin’ on whether West Indies are doin’ the bowling or not.


  22. BoerInAustria May 3, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    Did Root just drop Moorse career?


    • escort May 3, 2015 / 6:10 pm

      If he did do you think he should win a prize?

      Liked by 1 person

  23. d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    Hope gone to Jordan, who has bowled well. Next over Jordan takes a good catch in the slip, and Kraigg Brathwaitte gone as well.

    35/2, anyone’s game now.


  24. BoerInAustria May 3, 2015 / 6:00 pm

    Jimmy waiting for the second new ball


    • escort May 3, 2015 / 6:06 pm

      Is he stupid enough to think we might get a second new ball?


      • lionel joseph May 3, 2015 / 6:17 pm

        well at least we’ll have our reviews back by then. And worry not, even if we lose today thus failing to win the series, we’ll definitely beat New Zealand: John Etheridge said so.


  25. thelegglance May 3, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    At the start of the chase, I’d have had England 80/20 to win, simply because of the pressure of a run chase. It’s nearer 50/50 now, this is a decent enough start.

    There’s a bit going on with the pitch, but it’s hardly the kind of minefield that justifies 123 all out from England. A better team than the West Indies would cruise it.


  26. SimonH May 3, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    Taking time off from defending Flower on the Ali Martin thread to get his excuses (should they be needed) in early:

    FWIW I think batting is a little easier today but because there hasn’t been the swing there was on day two – not because of the pitch.


    • Rohan May 3, 2015 / 6:51 pm

      Problem is Simon, if this is Selvey getting his excuses in early, just in case captain amazings team lose, it does not carry much weight. The argument of the pitch not having deteriorated anymore today, does not explain England’s failure to bat any better on it this morning and their subsequent loss of 5 wickets before lunch, for not that many runs……..

      I am sure, however (as you point out), that if Cook’s team lose, the MSM will ‘dress’ it up in such a way, that it was down to the pitch/any other suitable reason, leading to them being able to absolve Cook and his team of any possible blame.


      • dvyk May 3, 2015 / 6:58 pm

        Yeh, the pitch deteriorated and then got better again. They do that sometimes.

        Seems (from the scoreline) that Cook is doing an okay job of captaincy at the moment though. Eng should still win this.


      • Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 8:12 pm

        Operation Blame Graves is a distinct possibility as well…

        Liked by 1 person

  27. metatone May 3, 2015 / 6:34 pm

    All down to Shiv now – either a last hurrah, or a convincing argument for retirement I suspect.


    • d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 7:14 pm

      And gone for a duck, to a nothing shot.


      • Zephirine May 3, 2015 / 7:19 pm

        Sad. I wanted him to get the winning runs and his record. Fairytale ending and all that. Ah well.


      • metatone May 3, 2015 / 7:35 pm

        Yes, I was definitely hoping for a last hurrah.
        It’s been a long hard career, surrounded by a disorganised and often not that talented team.


  28. Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 6:53 pm

    Dmitri: just checked your Twitter feed. Think you spoke too soon about Meet the Press on TMS. I’ve never been happier to do the hoovering.


    • thebogfather May 3, 2015 / 7:10 pm

      A Brenkers and Ethers masterclass in knowing all about nothing


  29. Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 7:02 pm

    Yep: start your session with Root. Hey Melbourne!


  30. BoerInAustria May 3, 2015 / 7:44 pm

    so let me get this right, Stokes was played ahead of Rashid? And bowled, what 2 overs in the match…

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria May 3, 2015 / 8:07 pm

      maybe cook is reading your blog…


  31. hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 8:01 pm

    Windies progressing worryingly well. 14 off the last two overs. Bowling not threatening enough at the moment. Not helped by Buttler missing a stumping 20 minutes or so ago.


    • thelegglance May 3, 2015 / 8:11 pm

      Those kinds of stumpings are weird. They look easy, they should be easy, but when it goes between bat and pad you don’t expect them to miss it and take your eye off the ball. Now obviously, Buttler is a Test keeper and much much better than I could ever dream of, but when I see a stumping like that one missed, I know exactly how it’s happened.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 8:23 pm

        Certainly won’t beat him up about it. If we lose it will be because across two innings, only two of our batsmen passed 50.

        Liked by 2 people

  32. thelegglance May 3, 2015 / 8:48 pm

    Now would be a good time to take a wicket or two chaps. Just a thought.


  33. escort May 3, 2015 / 9:05 pm

    Not looking good is it?


  34. d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 9:10 pm

    153/4 now. Not looking good, with Bravo and Blackwood well set. Had a bit of luck with edges not going to fielders, but that happens.


  35. SimonH May 3, 2015 / 9:12 pm


    • escort May 3, 2015 / 10:08 pm

      Dean Headleys game?


      • SimonH May 3, 2015 / 11:07 pm

        That’s the one.


  36. Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 9:14 pm

    Don’t fret.

    England WILL beat New Zealand.


    • d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 9:17 pm

      Shifting goal posts will happen.

      But thankfully we have Pringle’s wonderful predictions to fall back on.


      • SimonH May 3, 2015 / 9:20 pm

        Some pearlers from Pringle in the last hour or so. Here’s a sample:


      • Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 9:28 pm

        10 out of 14 against NZ (smile), Aus (titter), SA (snigger) and Pak (guffaw)!

        Flower and Fletcher did it, the former with the help of 4 consecutive Tests v Bangladesh. Who thinks Moores can?


      • Mark May 3, 2015 / 9:33 pm

        Nice, Pringle. Have a go,at a guy who was rushed back.

        Your great white dope had a leg spin bowler from the county champions and he didn’t pick him on a turning pitch.

        Liked by 1 person

      • metatone May 3, 2015 / 9:47 pm

        Pringle and others are now turning on Moeen, but they were all for his early return when it happened. Only outside cricket people were asking the hard questions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Pontiac May 4, 2015 / 12:13 am

        Could just happen that West Indies bowled better than England batted, and batted better than England bowled? In /numerous/ respects, /many/ members of the WI team had /substantially/ better innings at one time or another in this series, with bat and ball, than they had done in quite some time.

        I will be looking forward to the upcoming series vs Australia.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus May 4, 2015 / 1:32 am

          Bravo played the innings none of our lot did after Cook got out in the 1st innings. Reminded me of a Carl Hooper knock in Trinidad in the 1990s when he took them home. West Indies played really really well and dug themselves out of a hole. As my second side in international cricket, I’m pleased to see their resilience. Let’s hope this isn’t another false dawn.

          Liked by 1 person

  37. SimonH May 3, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    ‘We know if we put West Indies under pressure they can crack’.

    Cook four days ago. How’s that looking?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rohan May 3, 2015 / 9:33 pm

      Like he should have said it about his own team, not the WI!

      Liked by 2 people

  38. d'Arthez May 3, 2015 / 9:32 pm

    Bravo holed out at the end, but at 188/5 that made no difference.

    West Indies won by 5 wickets.

    Excellent innings by Bravo, and even better game by Blackwood.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Maggie May 3, 2015 / 9:34 pm

    Well that’s a bit awkward.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 9:34 pm

    Superb win for the Windies. Great performances from Taylor, Bravo and Blackwood in particular.

    Much to ponder for England.


    • Rohan May 3, 2015 / 9:37 pm

      Yes indeed, I agree, well done WI. Also makes you wonder, if Taylor had played in Antigua, would he have made enough difference to perhaps help WI secure a draw. If the result today was then repeated, they could have won the series 1 to 0………


      • hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 9:40 pm

        Was just thinking the same. Taylor took his wickets at 18. Could have caused a few problems in the second Test.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rohan May 3, 2015 / 9:42 pm

        Sorry meant if Taylor had played in Grenada! Yes wickets at 18 is very good HATMALLET, think he would definitely have made a difference.


      • metatone May 3, 2015 / 9:45 pm

        I made that point at the time – and it’s also pertinent to the “Best Comeback Since Lazarus” against India last year. It’s good to be ruthless enough to be able to exploit it when the opposition are a bowler down – but it’s no basis for claiming you’re a good side in normal conditions.

        Liked by 1 person

  41. BoerInAustria May 3, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    interesting tweet from Hoult RE Gillespie…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Timmy May 3, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      Gillespie turned down South Australia job last night. His county chairman takes over at ECB next week…— Nick Hoult (@NHoultCricket) May 3, 2015

      Liked by 1 person

      • hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 9:56 pm

        Personally, I can’t understand why an Australian would want the England job. Especially in an Ashes summer. (That’s not to question his professionalism were he to take the job)

        Liked by 1 person

    • escort May 3, 2015 / 9:45 pm

      Can you expand on that?


  42. Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    Here comes Geoffrey….


    • Mark May 3, 2015 / 9:50 pm

      Botham has just completed a great spell running in from the sidescreen.

      Makes Selvey look like a complete tosser.

      Oh good , the presentation. I don’t think I can stand listening to our captain.


  43. SimonH May 3, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    Lots of mentions in the MSM of the missed stumping.

    Bravo edged Anderson through second slip in the air. There wasn’t a second slip. There were only about sixty needed – but were we going to stop them getting the runs? That’s just as much of a missed chance as the stumping. Not a mention in the MSM.

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone May 3, 2015 / 9:52 pm

      Aye, Cook has been passive with slip fielders all series…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 3, 2015 / 9:55 pm

      How long before we hear “butler is not ready for test cricket?”

      So Butler, Moeen are the fall guys and thick as shit captain fantastic and coach moron will get a pass for the team they selected.

      This team needs a revolution. Guillotines and tumbrels for the leaders.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. Rooto May 3, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    Yes! How d’ya like them apples, ECB?
    I’ve somewhat given up on change, and so am dead chuffed for the West Indies.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. SimonH May 3, 2015 / 9:52 pm

    More overs into Anderson and Broad, nothing learnt about new players on the pitch and the series not won.

    What a shit-tastic combination.

    (Jermaine Blackwood just made MoM – good call. Good second innings but that first innings was critical).


  46. escort May 3, 2015 / 9:54 pm

    What a brilliant picture the presentation committee at Barbados make up. I challenge anybody not to pick out Joel Garner from that line up of people.


  47. Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Judging from that discussion with Boycott, Agnew’s next column will target Graves.


      • escort May 3, 2015 / 10:04 pm

        Nothing much at the moment but if things don’t change before too long then perhaps……..


      • Zephirine May 3, 2015 / 10:06 pm

        Agnew going on about how Graves shouldn’t have made the ‘mediocre’ comment. And how now he’ll have to hold a review because he said he was going to.

        Boycott wasn’t mincing his words about Cook/Moores lack of inspiration and how Strauss, if appointed, would be more of the same.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 10:08 pm

        Oh, he was just very keen to refer back to the “mediocre” comment. His tone was very similar to the old “I’ll have Michael Clarke’s speech ready to throw back at the Aussies” moment.


      • metatone May 3, 2015 / 10:16 pm

        Not to disrespect the WI after a fine victory, but they aren’t at the top level in Test cricket. When you compare them to the teams we’re going to play later in the year… well, Graves comment looks pretty reasonable, from an objective point of view.

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort May 3, 2015 / 10:41 pm

        Perhaps you don’t want to disrespect the West Indies but i would say that on home turf they were more than a match for England today. Its not often that a team concedes a deficit of over 70 runs and still wins.


      • SimonH May 3, 2015 / 11:15 pm

        Metatone, it’s possible the West Indies have turned a corner with new players like Blackwood and a new coach in Simmons. Very few people in the game wouldn’t be delighted if that were so.

        They play Australia (who should be at full strength except Ryan Harris) in two tests starting on June 3rd. It’ll be very interesting to see how they go.

        Liked by 1 person

  48. escort May 3, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    Cook talking about player development in this series. WTF does he mean by that i wonder?


    • MM May 3, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      The ECB random buzz word generator chip in his head threw out those words. Basically he has nothing to offer beyond one century in two years. Thanks Cooky. FFS.

      Yes, Agnewy did kinda blame Gravesy as Geoffrey went after Mooresy and Cooky and (preemptive-style, interestingly) Straussy.

      I hereby will never use a ‘y’ again unless it officially forms part of a word.


      • paulewart May 4, 2015 / 5:02 am

        I wish they’d get rid of the ‘eerrrr’, ‘aaggghhh’….’aahhhhm’ generator.


  49. hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 10:00 pm

    Dang, this is even more cryptic!


    • hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Oh wait, I’ve misread that. Nevermind.


  50. Mark May 3, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    Oh Ffs , captain Waitrose just said it had been a good tour.

    You will all be pleased to know he is going to take it on the chin.


    • metatone May 3, 2015 / 10:05 pm

      Moores – he talks well, but the results don’t seem to follow…


  51. Mark May 3, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    Waitrose you hitched your wagon to the wrong horses.

    Moores telling us they didn’t know the pitch was going to spin. Thought reverse swing was the key.


  52. Timmy May 3, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    Straight questions from Nasser, loads of horse manure from Moores’ mouth!

    Oh man, please get rid of this clown!


  53. Mark May 3, 2015 / 10:10 pm

    Moores doesn’t think there needs to be an enquiry into the tour. Thinks things are getting better. So that ok then.

    Shit I need to go and have a lie down.


  54. hatmallet May 3, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    Scathing from Bob and Charles on Cook’s captaincy. Something along the lines of…

    Bob: “Don’t agree with Moores’ comment about Cook learning. He’s been captain for a long time now, shouldn’t be learning on the job”

    Charles: “And it’s a tacit suggestion that before he was pretty dreadful”

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone May 3, 2015 / 10:18 pm

      Ironically, given that “it was the batting wot lost this one”, looking at the averages, the bowling is the real weak link in this side. You need more than one bowler averaging under 30. (I have no doubt that had Tredwell played another game, his ave would have gone up over 30, from 28.)


    • Phil May 3, 2015 / 10:25 pm

      Reminds me why I dislike Ian Bell. Scores the highest century score of 143. Averages 31 and 6th best bastman #inconsistent. What would we have done without Jimmy? The only reason we won the second test, and got away with a draw.


      • Phil May 3, 2015 / 10:35 pm

        I also feel really bad for Plunkett, Wood, Rashid, Lyth, Bairstow and Tredwell for being so badly treated. I’ll never understand the Selveyism of not wanting to disrupt the team by changing it around, after all it’s not a free-flowing game like football, they don’t play positions and formations that have to be learned. Now any new players will have to learn international cricket on the job against the best teams. Bad management, in a tactical sense and with a longer strategic view. This England team is trying to look at it’s best now just to bolster a failing captain rather than looking to the future. I’ll never forgive Cook for that.

        Liked by 3 people

  55. MM May 3, 2015 / 10:29 pm

    Anyway, I just put this at The Full Toss and here’s as good as anywhere also:

    Yea Colin enquire nah. We could stick one of them hashtag things in front of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. alan May 3, 2015 / 11:18 pm

    Spent the evening watching the game with my son. Both of us life long England supporters. Both of us wanting West Indies to win. Looked at Pringle on Twitter. Saw his comment about Moeen. A prime example of the arrogant tosspots and Cook groupies that have made us feel like we do

    Liked by 2 people

  57. Arron Wright May 3, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    And lo and behold:

    “Alastair Cook describes comments from Graves as unhelpful” (Guardian)


    Liked by 1 person

    • escort May 3, 2015 / 11:50 pm

      Cooks captaincy can be described as “unhelpful” when it comes to winning games of Cricket

      Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk May 3, 2015 / 11:57 pm

      Whereas Cook’s statement about how WI “will crack again under pressure” wouldn’t have had any motivational effect on them at all.

      All the MSM are saying that Graves has been proven wrong by the fact that England lost… to a team that got bowled in two sessions for 180, and that according to the captain could be expected to crack if put under pressure.

      Liked by 1 person

  58. escort May 3, 2015 / 11:43 pm

    Comments now being listed as older or new on this thread? is that because of the amount of traffic?

    Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk May 4, 2015 / 12:00 am

      It’s because of WordPress’s default settings — 100 comments per page, I think. (Not sure why they set it so low — maybe for better reading on mobile devices?)

      Liked by 1 person

  59. Rav Roberts May 4, 2015 / 1:02 am

    Imagine how Cookie would have done if playing the great West Indies side of the 80s.. oh dearie, dearie me…

    Liked by 1 person

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