Coming To You Live From The Jersey Shore
Coming To You Live From The Jersey Shore

Watching test cricket in the US is not as impossible as it used to be. I have access to the test match feed, but my internet connection isn’t brilliant and there are also other things to do. It’s a peaceful holiday, a really cool and calm time with a sick mother in law and a wife fussing over her and also getting her home air back in her lungs. Meanwhile it’s sunset and selfies more for me (and I don’t mean the journalist).

I’ll let Vian take over many of the more technical duties relating to this test. I’ve been struck by a couple of things while I’ve been watching. First, listening to one of our Sky Sports finest discussing a pitch pre-game is about as accurate a predictor of the game’s progress as legendary NFL draft seer Mel Kiper Jr has been when confronted with the first round of this year’s horse-trade. We had predictions of a great pitch to bat on and with it breaking up on day 5. Unless there’s a monsoon on the next two days, the public will be on the beach / drinking rum, or if they know what they are doing, going to admire the view at Bathsheba.

There is, of course, the Alastair Cook century to deal with. I have never looked forward to a century watch less. I am probably glad to be by the Delaware Bay than have to read much of the bilge that no doubt accompanied this century. But, let’s get one thing into context. Without it, in this test, we’d be in big, big trouble. It would be churlish in the extreme to be denigrating of this century given the context of the match. These are two really ordinary teams, and the difference is in a couple of extraordinary performances, and not much else. 39 for 5 is really killing this game off, isn’t it? We have just over 100 runs to play with. 150 might be enough, but it might not. Our tail has not exactly been our strong point when it comes to the team’s performance. Bloody hell, we need it now.

Make no mistake, this has not been a rampage, and this does not augur well for the upcoming battles. Much has been made about the Jonathan Trott experiment failing, and I know, I must get round to reading George Dobell’s take on matters. Others have been rather too keen to jump on the bandwagon, and while I note all that has been said on here about his form towards the last couple of years of his first go around, we were hoping for the best. I don’t know if we are seeing a trend here as well – one the press won’t ever go to town on – but that since Strauss, this is another opener who has tried and failed with Cook. They just don’t last long with him. According to some, mentioning this in the same breath is “warped thinking” and that we thought Trott had been put there to fail to make Cook look good. Hey, if there’s an insult from a press-man going, I’ll catch it and run with it. It’s nowhere near as warped a thinking as Cook getting 35 or so test innings to register a century and then to be greeted with a “he’s back” and “you are the ones with problems” nonsense I have seen over the past couple of days. Wind your bloody necks in.

But in between the constant buffering on my feed, I’ve seen two poor batting sides. I’ve seen England lurching between spells where they look like absolute top dollar to others where they’ve been utter, utter dross. The proof of this particular pudding is how we do in the late summer this year with Australia about. That’s what they want us to focus on. I don’t see the up and at them needed to compete. Jimmy Anderson has it in bursts, and again, from what I saw today he was excellent (seriously, spare the bloody “genius” cockwaffle I saw on Twitter from some who should really know better – act like you’ve been there before) but there’s enormous question marks over the rest of the bowling. It might be we get out of here winning 2-0, but portraying it as a brilliant success isn’t going to cut it. There are flaws, massive flaws, and they can’t be covered up that easily.

I have the house to myself tomorrow to watch the denouement. The rest are going out to collect sea glass. I hope our message in a bottle is one of success, and of lower order scoring prowess. Instead, we could be watching a cliff-hanger, with the fragile veneer of English cricket potentially shattered on the mediocre rocks of West Indian cricket. And with that, it’s off to watch the NBA play-offs.

From Town Bank, NJ, it’s Dmitri Old, wishing you well.


5 thoughts on “Buffering

  1. Tom May 3, 2015 / 7:29 am

    Hope you don’t mind me asking, but how are you getting a test match feed in the US?


  2. BoerInAustria May 3, 2015 / 9:01 am

    Nice post D…from the streets of Philadelphia to the Jersey shore….


  3. LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    Be nice to them, because they are real cricket fans, just like us – Part 25.

    From 487cd on the Telegraph:

    “England supporter past present and future madam. Been down under for all the Ashes series since the mid 90’s. Always getting hammered but never give up following the side. Cos I love my cricket you see. I don’t spend my waking moments worrying about the life of a batsman who will never play for England again or the appointment of another ex player to an admin job. Its only those who really don’t have a life that get upset over something that will not impact on them one iota.”

    Add “don’t have a life” to “not a real fan” and “full of bile” to the other insults thrown our way. Also the repeated claims of abuse at Cook, which, you see has never been done by real supporters. Because, abusing players is just not on:

    “I am just enjoying the discomfiture of all those who for some insane reason were taken in by Graves and his plan to restore KP to the test arena. He said that to get people such as you onside and show he was in charge. But once in power, he chose Strauss. Honestly you could have seen it all coming. Graves has no power to bring KP back to the fold. None whatsoever. But you all fell for it, Sad or what oh and it has everyghing to do with KP. That is the one subject that exercises you most. But you will just have to get used to him not playing test cricket now. So like I said, he will soon cancel his contract with Surrey and be off in search of more money playing joke cricket. I personally think he deserves this end to his career. Being ignored and trying to find some solace in his ever expanding bank account. Must be hell for someone as egotistical as he is.”

    And you see, pal, some of us weren’t fooled. Not for one second:

    “Which brings me to the duplicity. This KP thing is a charade. A total charade. It doesn’t matter what runs he scores or how England do. They won’t pick him. No chance. The thing is, if the ECB (and Graves) thinks they are being clever by getting him to play, and close the door on him for reasons of revenge or whatever, then they are fools if they think the public will fall for it. They will only buy it if this team beats Australia, and all the batsmen fire. KP, on form and fit (a big if that last one), walks into THIS England team. The line this lot are taking is that if this were Lara or Tendulkar sitting on the outside now, they wouldn’t make the team because there is no vacancy. Hogwash. He’s not in the team because the establishment excluded him, and every day that lack of form canard is put forward, and every day I want to bash those proponents of it with a Punch and Judy stick.

    The ECB are pulling our plonkers, and the picking of the team on merit that we all want to see is being made a joke of. It’s not being tackled at all. We keep being told “nothing has changed”, and that equates to “moving on from Kevin Pietersen, who we wish well for the future.” There was nothing about county form last year when he was sacked. In the aftermath of Sydney, when the ECB were leaking like the Titanic on a bad iceberg night, and Newman was receiving more gifts than a one-year old at an extended family christmas, it wasn’t about KP giving it loads to Glamorgan or Leicestershire. So stop bullshitting and let’s have a clear, unambiguous statement. KP is eligible for selection, and will be considered if he makes runs. Anything else is duplicity.”


    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 3, 2015 / 1:54 pm

      Oh and that’s William by the way. He only is happy when he is on a KP rant. Apparently he got banned from the DT – he’s just told me – but he knows not by whom. I didn’t know who he was and he said I must be a UKIP voter as I suggested that Strauss was from South Africa, just like the other unmentionable. Ok for Strauss of course but not for KP it would seem. Anyway he does come out with a lot of guff – bit like my dog who I have renamed Clintius Gaseous!!! He’s harmless enough really and he likes Jimmy Webb “Up Up and Away” and all that.


      • LordCanisLupus May 3, 2015 / 2:10 pm

        That stupidity needed airing. I am not in the business of taking such rubbish when I don’t want to.


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