Mediocre

There ends another series. If we’d just got Jason Holder early on in Antigua, and we’d scored 50 more runs in Bridgetown, it would have been a whitewash. Then it would have been six on the bounce and bring on the Aussies. Sorry. Been chanelling my inner Selfey there. It’s probably all Jos Buttler’s fault.

Instead of a whitewash we’ve got into a decent position here in Bridgetown, had our feet on the home team’s throat, and in another calamity, let them off the hook. To do it in Melbourne could have been understandable on a bad tour; to do it at Headingley could have been considered an understandable, if lamentable, brain fart. This reeked of complacency. This reeked of thinking we had the job done once we’d edged up to around 280 and had the home team a few down early. Blackwood got the West Indies into range and our lamentable, undroppable batting line-up (other than the revolving door non-Cook opener slot) handed another test over to the valiant opposition. Ballance, Root, Bell and Moeen – Headingley, Lord’s and Kensington Oval. Save your Moeen at Headingley stories….this middle order is untouchable we are told.

As a not a real fan candidate (according to Guardian commenters I’m supposed to be nice to – add “the usual malcontents” to the list of glorious things I’m not to be cheesed off about), I can say that I lost contact with this game at around tea. The feed for Sky Sports, which I bloody well pay for, went down. It never came back. I tried TMS, got 10 minutes of Swann’s summarising, and my internet link shut down to prevent further damage. Instead I watched a team live up to its billing in the NBA Play-offs (Golden State Warriors) on the TV and followed updates on cricinfo and Twitter as another team didn’t live up to its star-studded rep. To me this isn’t surprising – we’ve seen the over-hype machine cranked to bursting point after Grenada and it’s not as if we weren’t warning them. We’re not Jeremiahs…we’ve bloody seen this before. Lots of times. Now those who were quick to spray their bile over us after that miracle at St. George’s, will need to take it back. This was utterly abject. But they won’t when it’s easier to shoot the misery messenger telling you as it is.

It may be funny, in a strange sort of way, that Cook’s century was made at last. Because all the while he wasn’t scoring those big runs (and 105 isn’t massive, although very good in the context of the match) there was almost this paranoid need for him to retain all facets of the test job as if this would inspire him to make those scores. You know, all that leading from the front twaddle. There has been an air of defiance from our wonderful captain this tour, with his prickly demeanour reputed to have included a heated discussion with Agnew over his commentary stints with the mortal enemy. Who know’s if this is true? But what I heard from the bits of this series I caught was a concerted effort from some of the Sky crew to really “get behind” our captain, to the extent that there were copious mentions of our dear leader’s “body language” and “I’m in charge” stance. It’s nonsense. That you feel the need to point this out, or to comment on how much better it supposedly is indicates there’s a problem. I’m trying to work out a captain post-Gower who had these comments made about him.

I said after Grenada that:

1. When you win a test, act like you’ve been there before; and

2. When you win the test on a back of an inspirational solo effort, don’t bank on that as a long-term solution.

Instead, even I got sucked in, with my prediction that the WIndies would fall 40 or 50 short in their chase. This was in direct contrast to my suspicion. The suspicion was that the 123 we made in the second innings wasn’t the product of a minefield as seemed to be intimated on the wires last night. It was the product of total, utter incompetence, and watching this morning I didn’t see much devil in the wicket. No, we were perfecting a craft. Losing from winning positions is becoming a lovely little Cooky habit. Bring on Australia, I say. So I dismissed West Indies, wrongly, and they showed what getting your head down and not fretting about the “one with your name on it” as Botham muttered on could achieve. Well played chaps.

I’ve missed the aftermath. I understand Nasser got a bit pointed with Moores. Oh well, it’s always better to a sinner repent and all that. There’s far more good than bad with Mr Hussain. I’ve missed Bob off the long run, although I’m sure it will be the same old same old. It loses its resonance when you’ve been throwing hyperbole all over the place after Grenada. Then there’s the press – ready to stick it to all the doubters on Friday when Cook made his ton, and now ready to stick a belated knife in to whoever is this month’s sacrificial non-Cook lamb. Some have been just totally dismissive of the opposition, but now lay the blame at a comment by a loudmouthed Yorkie who gave the home team a supposed push with his “mediocre” comment.

The West Indies played with passion, with patience, with skill and with no little application when the going got tough. Darren Bravo’s innings summed it up. He has been accused of being flashy and irresponsible. Now he played with a calm head and rode what luck he had to make the crucial contribution. Jermaine Blackwood, a dasher of huge irresponsibility it is claimed, stuck to his task and was there at the end. He’s had a really promising series and I hope he goes on to bigger and better things. The bowling was honest, was clever and too good in the end. We kept being reminded that Jason Holder was “fourth seamer” material and yet he took wickets, whereas our seamers (Stokes and Jordan) appeared to have no clue for much of the time. I am still not seeing what the world sees in Chris Jordan’s bowling that I didn’t when at Surrey. Sure, he bowled a decent spell that took an early wicket, but he’s not consistent enough.

So where does this leave us? I’m fed up with saying what I say about Cook. The batting is now put to bed, and we have no chance of seeing him leave the team on form now. The captaincy position is more interesting, but there’s nothing I haven’t seen before. We’re told he is developing all the time, but I’m fed up with hearing this drivel, month in, month out. The century in Barbados proved nothing. It was a good innings, but not a match-winning one. It was his first in two years, yet this isn’t something to be lauded, but something to be concerned about. It answered no questions, other than one in the media’s mind. We weren’t wrong to criticise his preferential treatment just because me made a ton. You carry on, because the evidence is stacked in our favour. Boycott has had enough, that’s for sure.

I don’t know about Moores. I am not as down on him as others, but the position is becoming more and more untenable. The story book had been set. After the World Cup embarrassment, it was clear that the media message the ECB wanted to portray was that the tests were what mattered now, and we’d just won three on the bounce in that format. Cook was refreshed, there were young pros developing and this is the future. Now we look like a shambles within a week of a “famous victory”. The reports I’m hearing is that we are trying to say the Windies weren’t really “mediocre”. Well, let’s see how the Australians deal with this team. Moores has to be on thin ice, and we’ll see very soon how the new management react.

Jonathan Trott has been sent to the cricketing gallows, so he’ll pay the price. Ian Bell started the series on fire, and finished it fully soaked. Gary Ballance looks good, but I’m still worried about his technique, and Joe Root did not follow up his great effort at Barbados. The bowling is a long-term issue, and you can moan about Moeen until the cows come home, but 123 all out sums it up. Is that Moores fault? Really?

Meanwhile one of the main architects of this struggle remains in Loughborough like the malevolent priest, the power behind the monarchy. We have rumours of his evangelical student Strauss becoming the Director of Cricket, which fills me with all the joy of a root canal procedure, and there remains the thoroughly uninspiring body language king as captain. Good grief. How can you put up with Stuart Broad’s batting as captain of your team. I don’t care if he got hit, we all have who have played the game, and the next time you bat you are nervous. He’s not pulling his weight. If the issue is that serious, he has to go. Just has to. How can you ask people to play through tough times when one of your senior pros is showing such fragility?

I am now listening to TMS and Boycott’s comments. This should be fun.

Vian will have more tomorrow, hopefully, and thanks for all the comments today. We’ll be back tomorrow with more comments and analysis of what has just happened, and some of the reaction.

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64 thoughts on “Mediocre

  1. paulewart May 4, 2015 / 4:57 am

    Predictably Selvey;

    Colin Graves has yet to take up his position as chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board but his โ€˜mediocreโ€™ comment about West Indies will surely be rammed down his throat repeatedly.

    More interesting Selvey:

    Naturally now, such is the thin line between success and failure, the position of Peter Moores will come under increasing scrutiny. There is a balance to be drawn between a long-term project of development and results but, if things are patently not working , then all other considerations go by the board. Selection on tour is done by coach and captain and the mistakes, such as they are, belong to them. Cookโ€™s batting looks to be back to its best and he has handled his attack for the most part well enough. But there is a little too much conservatism in what could be a dynamic young side.

    Is the tide gently turning? Something must be done.

    Like

    • Arron Wright May 4, 2015 / 7:26 am

      MS has also written up an interview with Cook which
      – emphasises “mediocre” and “unhelpful” in the first paragraph
      – compares it (in his own words, not Cook’s) to Tony Greig’s “grovel” remark even though he (Selvey) played under Greig in that series, regards Greig as his finest captain and surely – surely! – understands something about the connotations of “grovel” under apartheid and the relative talent of the 1976 and 2015 West Indians
      – ignores that Cook said “the West Indies can crack under pressure” immediately before this Test.

      You see, this is exactly why every charge against him sticks. Mindless puffery placed above journalistic integrity and perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Simon K May 4, 2015 / 8:40 am

        Quite. I was going to say it read like an ECB press release, but that’s not right any more because Graves is in charge. So perhaps it’s better read as the last desperate cry of the ECB old guard who still haven’t worked out which way the wind is blowing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 4, 2015 / 7:40 am

      Compare and contrast Geoff Boycott on Twitter. He nearly swears at the England captain!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 5:33 am

    Need cheering up? May I recommend a read of gnomeorrram’s btl on the G – quite near the beginning of comments under selfey ‘report’ – it’s truly inspired (not selfry)

    Like

    • emasl May 4, 2015 / 2:45 pm

      It is fantastic.

      Like

  3. Andy May 4, 2015 / 7:02 am

    Did selfie really say cooks batting was ‘back to its best’

    One scratchy ton in 6 attempts…..

    “We have a cautious captain and coach. They don’t have any imagination. If Andrew Strauss is the new ECB director of cricket, it’ll stay the same. He likes Cook. We’ll keep on with the same people and things won’t change.” – Boycott

    Also reflects some common ‘outsiders’ views on spinners in the England team (Ali doing enough when steamers were OK, but not good enough to win a match & rashid being dumped)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Andy May 4, 2015 / 7:04 am

    Also, particularly glad that WI got something from the series (I will always have a soft spot for them).

    I see holder mentioned something on Twitter about ‘not bad for a mediocre team’…

    Let’s blame graves!

    Like

    • hatmallet May 4, 2015 / 9:15 am

      Yeah, how dare Graves motivate the Windies. How dare the Windies play better than we expected them to.

      (For the record, Graves was wrong in my opinion to make that comment publicly. But I find Cook’s complaint unnecessary too, as was his “crack” comment)

      Like

  5. TheVickster May 4, 2015 / 7:08 am

    Great blog and right on so many points. It’s getting tiresome continually being told about England’s young teams needing to improve. They never seem to do it.

    I hadn’t heard the point about Cook being annoyed with Aggers over his stint with KP at the World Cup. That was interesting. Where did you hear that?

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus May 4, 2015 / 7:15 am

      Charles Sale in the Mail. That’s why I am not so sure about its truth.

      Like

  6. pktroll (@pktroll) May 4, 2015 / 7:48 am

    I’ve been away in non-cricketing territory and have often been out of range of the web, let alone the newspapers (thankfully). So the papers are trying to blame everyone else but the cricketing management (i.e. Cook and Moores)? It wouldn’t shock me. I thought England would sneak the series with a mediocre 1-0 win. It appears.that I was over-optimistic and our players are worse than I think, and I didn’t think they were very good to start off with. Anyway, like others I’m pleased for the Windies because like so many of you my cricket induction was watching the great sides of the ’80s and it has pained me for them to struggle so much. If a few of the firmament get a good kicking as a result of this the better. Somehow captain dimwit will probably get away with it though.

    Like

  7. thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 8:05 am

    So, the reasons for the defeat (within 3 days…) as quoted from Cook/Moores/various tedious MSM

    Buttler missed a stumping (still 100 needed)
    Ali bowled poorly under pressure (after being rushed back from injury)
    We didn’t think it would take spin
    Damn over-glossed sub-standard Dukes balls
    Too much pressure from Graves comments
    Couldn’t trust Stokes with ball (after not trusting him anyway)
    etc…etc…etc…

    Utter Rhubarb! … the nicest thing Sir Geoffrey said…

    Like

    • d'Arthez May 4, 2015 / 9:19 am

      Buttler missed a stumping. That happens. Most teams winning Tests drop a few chances. Even in the fourth innings.

      Umpires also make the occasional wrong decision. I refer back to the Ashes of 2005. Or 2013. They may even out. They may not even out. No guarantees. For examples of that see the career of A.N. Cook vs. India.

      Ali was picked by Cook and Moores. There were two other spinners on tour, even if Tredwell should not have been there on the basis of his first class performances (in Division 2 to boot, so if you’re South African-born even excellent returns are not good enough).

      Moores, Cook, and the approximately 4721 members of support staff misread the pitch. Does not say much about their experience or skills. Especially not for Cook who has captained for 31 Tests, and has played 112 Tests now. But captaining is so hard, that he is apparently still learning. On the job, while being paid approximately 1000 pounds per day for it!

      As for blaming the balls, really? Are we suggesting that the umpires are biased and giving West Indies better balls? Could it not be that Stokes is at best a fourth or fifth seamer, Jordan a third or fourth seamer, and Broad is horribly out of sorts? It is nice that you bat all the way down to 9 (with a hole at 10, and a competent #11), but there are massive holes in the bowling attack. It might be more useful to focus some attention there.

      Yeah, “mediocre” is so much worse than “grovel”, from a White South African born captain, during the era of apartheid. Then again, according to the English establishment apartheid was hardly a problem. See the post-rebel tour careers of say Gatting, Gooch, etc …

      You could not trust Stokes with the ball? He bowled all of 7 overs. So is he picked as a batsman who bowls a bit then? If so who is responsible for that? Maybe the people who actually pick the squad? So, you’re admitting that you decided that three frontline bowlers was going to be good enough? Brilliant! Or are we going to blame Stokes for not being the English Kallis? (and even with Kallis in the side, South Africa usually picked 3 frontline quicks and a spinner)

      What does the MSM take us for? Idiots who think the whole New Zealand lineup is

      1. McCullum
      2. Southee
      3. Boult
      4-11. Some other dudes, not worthy of any consideration. Well, maybe Williamson because he has played some county cricket.

      That the whole Australia lineup is
      1. Arrogant, thus mediocre, Warner (he is not mediocre)
      2. Spray them everywhere Smith (actually a very promising bat)
      3. Back trouble Clarke
      4. Mitchell Johnson?
      5-11. Some other dudes not worthy of naming, other than seasoned county professional Rogers perhaps.

      This myopic insularity, both in the media as well as the ECB, will ensure that England will remain a mediocre force in all forms of cricket at best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 9:27 am

        everything you’ve said… and much more too – thanks D’Arthez

        Like

      • MM May 4, 2015 / 9:31 am

        Top drawer, D’Arthez.

        Like

      • Moossyn May 4, 2015 / 3:18 pm

        Bang on D’arthez. You should get our Lord to give you a space above the line.

        Like

  8. SimonH May 4, 2015 / 8:07 am

    One revealing part of the Moores’ interview with Nasser was when Nasser asked about the positivity that Blackwood played with in the first innings. Moores didn’t directly disagree with that but he didn’t deal with it directly either – he waffled off on some tangent.

    The passivity at the start of England’s second innings was where the match was lost. Batting was tricky on day two because the ball was swinging (for both Taylor and Anderson so it wasn’t one bowler’s skill or a rogue ball). Blackwood decided to chance his arm and, hey presto, the ball seemed, as it so often does when a batsman attacks, to start doing less. Nobody in England’s top order tried to shift the momentum. As Hales said, they fear blame if they are out to an attacking shot. Where does that come from? The wider cricketing culture for sure that pillories a dismissal for an attacking shot but says nothing about being out prodding – and, one has to think, from the team management.

    On Graves’ comment, West Indies were undoubtedly fired up. When Stokes was out Bravo at slip was on his knees beating the ground with delight. Was that because of something an administrator said weeks ago. Or was it because of yet another utterly charmless display in the field? Anderson gave three batsmen screamed ‘send offs’ in the first innings. When Australia or India do it that signifies the end of civilisation. When West Indies give a salute it is the highest form of cowardice. When England do it, nothing. When West Indies started their second innings four players (Root, Ballance, Jordan and Buttler) gathered around Brathwaite and were giving him verbals. Root’s behaviour I don’t find at all charming and endearing – remember Angelo Mathews with him at Headingley? For someone as admirable as Mathews to be so angry something had been going on. Buttler’s behaviour is increasingly poor – his appealing for what he must know are not outs is getting beyong misplaced enthusiasm and entering the realm of the cynical and orchestrated (and not a little desperate). What exactly they were saying to Brathwaite wasn’t relayed but both Atherton on commentary and the Guardian OBO noticed it. From the high horse-men of anti-sledging, not a dicky bird.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 8:24 am

      Not having Sky (personal decision), I’ve missed much of these incidents as a TMS follower – but am not surprised – this England team really don’t get the ‘use of verbals/signals’, however much you agree/disagree with such ‘intimidation’.
      Our version always seems to be of the sulky/look at me type, and you’re so right in the attitude (mostly) of our media reporting of such.

      Like

    • metatone May 4, 2015 / 8:32 am

      To me there’s a great irony of disrespect in all this talk about “mediocre”.
      Isn’t it a great disrespect to the WI to suggest they could only get up for this series if Graves insulted them. That if he’d stayed quiet they would have folded without a whimper?

      Just maybe if you pay them respect due to professionals, then they were up for it.
      Likewise, I’d expect every England player to be up for it – hence I gravitate to questions about Broad’s fitness rather than his motivation…

      Liked by 1 person

      • hatmallet May 4, 2015 / 9:20 am

        I’ve just commented above on that. It is like England can’t believe that the Windies dared to play better than we thought they would.

        They will deny complacency and entitlement until the cows come up, but the issue keeps coming up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 9:31 am

        HatMallet – The ECB only have sacred cows, lots of sheep, still an elephant in the room, and tons (not runs) of bullsh!t

        Like

  9. metatone May 4, 2015 / 8:19 am

    I’ve said repeatedly that Rashid isn’t the new Shane Warne and that he may well not be good enough. But it’s a complete selection failure not to find out.

    All the more so when once again we’ve rushed a player back from injury and then he has under performed. We know less about Ali than we did before – was he really fit to bowl at Test standard? As a relatively inexperienced bowler, you could expect an injury to affect his action a little – wouldn’t he have been better off getting in the groove in CC and being considered later.

    Like

  10. thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 8:37 am

    Alistair Cook, stop blaming Colin Graves for his pre tour comments & accept you and the team YOU selected f….. Up! Nobody else to blame!— Geoffrey Boycott (@GeoffreyBoycott) May 4, 2015

    Liked by 1 person

    • emasl May 4, 2015 / 10:50 pm

      I feel I would like Sir Geoffrey’s babies but too late for both of us now..

      Like

  11. Grumpy Gaz May 4, 2015 / 8:41 am

    Jimmy and Moores in interview both saying we had a good tour… so a draw agaist the 8th ranked mediocre side now qualifies as ‘good’ does it?

    We lost the Ashes about sixteen months ago now? Something like that anyway. So where are we compared to that worst ever Ashes defeat?

    We have replaced a failing coach with a previously failed coach who is failing again.

    The captain, who was backed at the expense of the batting lineup, has finally scored some runs. He scored them against the 8th best test team in the world missing some quality players in the IPL and having one of their main bowlers injured for a chunk of the tour. Perspective is a bitch sometimes. The rest of the batting lineup has arguably gone backwards during this period. How do you think they are going to face up to Starc and Johnson? Hell I’m still not convince we can play spin so were are screwed whoever they turn up with.

    Talking of spin, we of course still have no reliable spinner after SIXTEEN MONTHS. At this point I want James Tredwell in the team just to fill the Ashley Giles role in the Ashes. He won’t win any matches but he won’t bugger it up either.

    We still have only Jimmy and Broad(y) (ugh) and not much of a clue who else is going to bother the Australians. Brendon McCullum must be looking at our pace attack and wondering just how fast he can score his next test century. See off Jimmy then go to town against the mediocre pace that’s left. But hey! At least Jordan can catch pretty well!

    In sixteen months we still don’t have a second opener for Cook. This alone tells you there are serious problems with the England setup. SIXTEEN MONTHS and they have no idea who will open in the Ashes that are only 10 weeks away.

    What exactly have the Engalnd management been doing for nearly a year and a half? Oh that’s right, they have been dropping anyone who outperformed golden boy. Is Cook the cricket equivalent of Wolverine? A core of solid Adamantium and pretty much professionally unkillable?

    Pardon the french but are so fucked it aint even funny any more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • MM May 4, 2015 / 9:02 am

      You are right, Gaz sir.

      Like

    • metatone May 4, 2015 / 9:06 am

      Great point – I posted about Rashid above, but there are just as many questions over the Broad/Jordan/Stokes lineup. I mentioned in response to the series stats on another thread that basically only Anderson turned up for this series.

      Broad remains a pendulum at the moment, interspersing some good spells with medium pace banality. He doesn’t look like he has the stamina – possibly unsurprising given the history of mismanagement of injuries and recovery.

      Jordan – great catcher, seems like a work in progress bowler – can be fast, can be accurate, but often fails to put the two together. We might be able to carry him as the third seamer while he improves, if we had a functioning second strike bowler (or a settled all rounder) – but we don’t. And you have to wonder if Test cricket is the place to be a work in progress…

      Stokes – Again – a work in progress. 36 with the bat, 80 odd with the ball is not the all rounder stats we’re looking for. Again you have to wonder if the team can carry him and Jordan while they learn. However, while Wood and Plunkett are obvious choices to exchange for Jordan, only Rashid looks like a potential all rounder. So maybe Stokes place is safer.

      Like

      • metatone May 4, 2015 / 9:19 am

        I’d further note that when Broad is off form (as he is now), he, Jordan and Stokes largely all bowl in the same style. You’d have to think that exchanging one of them for a different style of bowler would improve the collective performance of the team.

        Like

      • Zephirine May 4, 2015 / 11:10 am

        Why do we have players in the national side who are works in progress?

        And why do we have players in the national side who are learning how to perform a role in the team which they haven’t played for their county and which isn’t their strength?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Benny May 4, 2015 / 12:59 pm

        Gaz and Metatone spot on. We have management by wishful thinking. Dumbton a prime case with Cook’s bound to get a big innings sometime (eventually?). Then there’s unfortunate Trott, who used to be a fine number 3 so he’ll probably find 2 easy, poor Moeen, who’s delightd to bat for England and bowl a bit, expected to be our main spinner, when our selectors can’t find one, two quickies who are expected to go on forever. I have reservations about Buttler: would like to see if he could be the new KP but he’s inexperienced as a keeper – part time at Somerset, a short time at Lancs and developing with England. I watched Foster at the Oval last week. The man’s a Rolls Royce behind the stumps.

        Oh well, guess it’s back to the drawing board.

        Like

  12. SimonH May 4, 2015 / 8:43 am

    I’ve had a few pops at Brenkley so credit to him for rejecting the Graves’ route in his match report. He also criticises Cook’s fielding positions (specifically the slips) which is a first in the MSM.

    #fairplaytobunkers

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone May 4, 2015 / 8:47 am

      There’s no dislike button! I demand a dislike button!

      Call me bitter and twisted, but I no longer believe in #fairplaytobunkers…

      ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  13. "IronBalls" McGinty May 4, 2015 / 8:45 am

    “Graves gave the West Indian team talk”…A.Cook.
    This really boils my piss!! Here we have the England Cricket Establishment’s representative on the field confirming the odious tentacles of it’s “influence” infest every facet of our game. Boycott adroitly summed it up on his comments ref Andrew Strauss’s prospective appointment ie “he’s one of them, so nothing will change!”
    Cook must have some confidence in his own, seemingly untouchable position, to make such a remark about his new overlord?
    Mediocre was right, despite some nice cameos, but, we are equally, if not more so mediocre, only Anderson’s efforts saved us…a 500 ball (?) ton actually contributed diddly squat in the greater scheme of things
    Once again Cautious, risk averse, conservative cricket and selection lies broken in the dust!
    Like Boycott, I struggle with why we have one of the World’s most talented batsman, Jos (not ready for Test cricket) Buttler at No 8? Marshal the tail? They’re not in long enough to even begin to be marshalled ffs!
    I’m spluttering over me cornflakes now, I’ve had enough!!
    NZ to tonk us in every format…I put a fiver on it yesterday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 8:55 am

      …only a fiver? Is Cook paying you in lamb chops to be so positive? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

    • d'Arthez May 4, 2015 / 9:25 am

      What will you do with the 50 pence you stand to win?

      Like

    • Zephirine May 4, 2015 / 11:08 am

      I find it extraordinary that the England team captain publicly criticises the Chairman-elect of the Board. Whatever we or he may think of the ECB and its record, that’s not the correct way to behave in his position, as any other national team’s captain would know. Cook’s sense of his own importance is becoming more and more ludicrous.

      Like

      • thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 11:14 am

        …and will hopefully lead to his removal as captain – before the NZ series (there goes that soaring pig once Moore) ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Like

  14. Clivejw May 4, 2015 / 8:53 am

    Selvey is clearly still sulking over the sacking of his old chum Paul Downton, so even though this was Harrison’s decision rather than Graves’ (though presumably agreed with the future chairman), Selvey has to chunter away about the incoming chairman.

    Selvey also appears to have an anti-northern bias. Well, as Arron will recall, Selvey thinks that the north begins at Nottingham, so Graves must seem like a highlander to him.

    Like

    • thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 8:59 am

      CliveJW – you do realise this defeat is all your fault! You changed you twit@ for Jimmy not Cookie, then didn’t spend enough time ‘going for a walk for a wicket’ – I shall pass your details onto Cookie/ECB/Selfie to show you up as the real charlatan in the ECB camp! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

      • Clivejw May 4, 2015 / 10:15 am

        I went out and didn’t return until after the end of the match!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. MM May 4, 2015 / 8:56 am

    If England actually are third and WI are eighth, “mediocre” might be construed as rude but not necessarily wrong. But then you get to the actual games. Maybe WI did indeed use Graves’ comments as motivation. However, what do England use as motivation? It ain’t their captain’s direction or words, is it?

    I’m glad England lost. For me, they have become anti-cricket. If Strauss or, God help us, Flower gets the supremo job we are so screwed. Screwed even more than now. Here come the Kiwis, and here come the Aussies. Let’s see if we can guess what Cook will be blaming these whitewashes on.

    It’ll be negative attitudes of so-called fans, I reckon. Nowt to do with anti-cricket.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hatmallet May 4, 2015 / 9:24 am

      I was having a quick look at the rankings last night and I think we are now fourth owing to this loss and Pakistan drawing.

      Like

      • d'Arthez May 4, 2015 / 9:28 am

        Actually the Pakistani draw is not counted in the table yet. Those Test series tables are only updated after a series is concluded, since series results do matter in the calculation of rankings (they give bonus points to the side winning the series).

        Like

  16. Mark May 4, 2015 / 9:06 am

    I hope Colin Graves is waking up to the folly of aligning himself with the so called ‘inners.’ Even worse than this test match loss has been the rumour that Strauss is getting the big new job. I find it unbelievable that after all the comments by Graves he is going to employ someone who will guarantee nothing changes.

    Mr Graves look about you this morning. The people who are attacking you personally are the same people who want Strauss to get the job. You are about to appoint someone who will take all the credit if it goes well, and blame you if it goes wrong.

    The England captain, having told off a commentator for sitting in a box talking to a former England cricketer is now blaming you. His ludicrous reaction is only hammering home everything we have been saying about his unsuitability to captain the team.

    Enough is enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    • MM May 4, 2015 / 9:25 am

      Great stuff Mark, but I don’t think it will be a case of enough is enough. They’ll appoint the expected usual suspect and The Coming Summer of Horror still won’t be enough. They’ll carry on with the same lame captain… never ever enough. They’ll never demote Broad to eleven and tactically declare before he is allowed to embarrass himself again on worldwide TV. Or just drop him. When we are eighth, waving to Bangladesh as they zoom away from us, it won’t be enough. Us proles still pay for tickets, us proles still pay for Sky, and us proles still go to Waitrose. Ker-effing-ching.

      It’ll get much worse. It has the scope to do so. Graves has simply got to show us what he’s made of in the next 7 days or he is the new head of the snake.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Rav Roberts May 4, 2015 / 9:51 am

        ECB and MSM: “As long as KP never plays for England again, it’s all worthwhile. “.

        Liked by 2 people

    • d'Arthez May 4, 2015 / 9:38 am

      If nothing changes it will get much worse.

      Who will be really interested to fork out massive money to see Bangladesh beat England on television? That is certainly the result I would be betting on if England could actually bother to tour Bangladesh this millennium. As popular interest in the game declines, the Sky rights’ value will decline.

      Who will keep on forking out the money to see an hapless England side being obliterated by good teams? It is not like the tickets are cheap. Or that the drinks and sandwiches at the venue are value for money. People will figure out there are less masochistic ways to spend the days.

      So not only will participation numbers down, revenues will be down, and popular interest will be down. Couple that with massive debts in the counties. Not exactly an ideal platform for sustainable professional excellence.

      If things are to change, it is time for someone to clean out the Augean stables. Strauss and Flower are completely unsuitable for that.

      Like

  17. Phil May 4, 2015 / 9:49 am

    Selvey is trolling now.

    Hectic last night .but great to see a vibrant committed WI team . congratulations on the win and fine battle all series.Mediocre? No .— mike selvey (@selvecricket) May 4, 2015

    Like

  18. Mark May 4, 2015 / 9:49 am

    Cook has to be sacked. Not just for the incompetence of his captaincy, but he is lashing out at his employer now. I blame Selvey and Newman and most of fleets streets dumbest for this uppity attitude. They have indulged him, to the point he is behaving like spoilt brat.

    He is not up to the job. It’s no good to keep saying he’s learning. He has learned nothing, except to blame everyone else. His field settings, his selection choices. He can’t do the job.

    So, who to replace him? There seem 3 choices within the team. First, is to give it to the anointed one, who is Root. But do we want to burden this young kid just as his batting is flourishing? And look who we are now about to play in the coming year. I say let him concentrate on his batting for the next 18 months.

    The next option would be to give it to Bell. (Dmitri has just passed out, but bare with me) Bell has done the job at Warwickshire, and maybe the captaincy would give his batting the extra bit of responsibility he needs. After all, Gooch improved his batting average by some margin when he was made captain.

    The third option is to give it to Jimmy. I know the done thing is to always give it to a batsman rather than a bowler. But at least Jimmy would know how to set a field. Even Cook admitted it was Jimmy who was setting some of the fields last summer. And it was Jimmy who said we just forgot about the plans and just went back to bowling naturally that turned around the India series. The last two choices would be a stop gap for about 18 months until Root was ready to take over.

    The other option is to find a current experienced county captain who could come in and do the job. But are any of them good enough to warrant a place in the team on merit? My pick would be Bell or Jimmy for 18 months and then see where we are. It can’t be any worse that this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather May 4, 2015 / 9:56 am

      Agree on your reasons for not Root, and maybe Bell – this summer/winter. Sadly Cook is ensconced for the summer after his ‘leading from the front’ ton…. (ignoring field-placings/team selection/multiple tips from the dressing room ‘breaks’/unable to manage or encourage bowlers/’lack of positive on-field appearance/chin-stroking/tea-pot posing etc etc

      Like

      • Mark May 4, 2015 / 10:10 am

        I know , I know Bogfather.

        All Cook has done is keep his position as opener with his Bradmamesque 105. And as our other opener is about to be taken to the scaffold, I guess we have to keep the other one for the time being.

        He has done nothing to keep the captaincy though. And he is showing absolutely no progress. Time to move on, and try someone else. This has been a wasted tour. It was ideal to blood some new players.

        Liked by 1 person

      • emasl May 4, 2015 / 10:56 pm

        And nose picking

        Like

    • paulewart May 4, 2015 / 10:37 am

      He was never up to the job. That’s the problem with coronations/the hereditary principle.

      Like

      • Zephirine May 4, 2015 / 11:15 am

        Root can still behave very childishly and I would worry that we were just getting another Cook.

        I still think there’s a case for Chris Read as a caretaker captain and specialist wicketkeeper. Then we could stop forcing Buttler into a role that doesn’t suit him and then blaming him when he doesn’t do well.

        On the other hand, Jimmy seems to actually lead the team, with Broad as his backup man, so why not recognise the fact? Except that he’s bowled into the ground as it is, any more to do and he could fall apart physically.

        Like

      • Benny May 4, 2015 / 1:16 pm

        I’d have had Read or Foster as skipper for a couple of years, after the Ashes disaster. It’s clear to me that this naughty forum wants a captain who can captain, openers who can open, a keeper who is skilled behind the stumps, a spinner who can bamboozle batsmen and a quickie who can bowl fast. This is not the England way.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. SimonH May 4, 2015 / 10:22 am

    Given the awe-inspiring power of his words what should Colin Graves say next?

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez May 4, 2015 / 12:36 pm

      Or they could invite Prior to the dressing room, to give the team talk. Saves Cook a worry. They tried that last year against Sri Lanka and India, even though it left England playing without a (fit) wicketkeeper.

      If anyone thinks humiliation against Australia and Sri Lanka, and in the World Cup, despite preparing for it for six months, is par for the course for England, no inquiries are needed. If average performances against West Indies and India are promising, no inquiries are needed.

      What Graves should say next is “Let’s revert back the constitutional changes to the ECB, and say adios Giles Clarke”

      Like

  20. Rohan May 4, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    Alistair Cook, what have you done to me?!

    Even when England were being hammered in Australia in 2013, I would tune in and listen and watch night after night. I was always positive, rooting for England to win, believing we would stop the Australian juggernaut at some point. Heck, even after my Son was born on the 2nd December 2013, I watched avidly amongst the sleepless nights. I watched as Ben Stokes made a magnificent century in Perth and believed, when Prior was batting with him, that we could win the test match and overhaul the improbable total set for us to achieve.

    In Melbourne, with the Ashes gone, my hope was renewed. I thought we would win, I desperately wanted us to win and at one stage, after Pierersen’s watchful batting and Broad’s bowling, I thought we would; we should have! Still I watched in Sydney, believing, until the very last denouement that we would win a test on that wretched tour.

    Yes Cook’s captaincy was poor and he struggled, but then so did all of the players and he seemed honest, hardworking, like he was trying to do all he could to help England win!

    It changed though, it changed dramatically, yesterday I was watching and found myself rooting for the West Indies to win. I felt dishonest, I felt I had betrayed my team, I did not like it one ounce. ALISTAIR COOK, YOU ARE TO BLAME.

    Alistair, much as you blame Graves for your teams loss yesterday, so I blame you for my betrayal. Much as you blame KP for the ashes disaster, so I blame you for my feelings towards your team. Much as you blame ‘those outside cricket’ for twisting the reality of your poor form and captaincy, so I blame you for creating a feeling of disengagement amongst many supporters, with regards to OUR national team! Note – not your team Alistair – OURS!

    You see I did not rate you as captain, but you seemed decent, honest, with best interests of England at heart. You changed though, or perhaps revealed your real character. You became self-absorbed. You cared more about your performances than the team. You thought you had a right, that could not be challenged, to captain in the World Cup. You developed a self-inflated sense of entitlement to captain no matter what. You were rude and surly. You inferred and hinted you did not care about us, the paying public, those who pay your wage. You ruthlessly took down your detractors, unable to look one of them in the eye and face him man to man. You have propagated, through the media, a campaign of positive reinforcement of the Cook brand, to the detriment of OUR team and many of your playing partners. You have alienated a huge number of supporters of OUR team.

    You see ALISTAIR COOK, this is why I blame you. I lay the feelings of betrayal, dishonesty and loathing of OUR TEAM firmly at your door. What I want to know is are you man enough to do anything about it? Will you now make the right choice? Because I desperately want to get behind OUR TEAM……..

    Rohan

    Liked by 5 people

    • Mark May 4, 2015 / 2:22 pm

      Rohan, I wouldn’t feel bad. You didn’t leave England……England left you!

      Liked by 1 person

    • MM May 4, 2015 / 10:48 pm

      You get a ‘Like’ from me, Rohan. I just don’t know how to do one!

      Like

  21. Silk May 4, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    If we are stuck with Strauss, Cook and Moores for the summer it’s going to get ugly.

    If Anderson breaks down, we are completely f—-d, as Mr Boycott would say.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. MM May 4, 2015 / 10:52 pm

    If Strauss becomes The Man, and KP is even more barred than before, how does that square with Graves’ suggestion that he could play for England again?

    Seeing as KP passed up this year’s IPL on the basis of a positive chat with Graves… should KP initiate legal stuff, based on Strauss’ position against him?

    Anyway, how’s that inquiry going? Under way or what?

    Like

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