England v New Zealand – 1st Test, Day 1 – Open Thread

With Dmitri back in the UK, and the summer of international cricket upon us in England, here is the traditional thread for you to comment on the day’s play and anything else that takes your fancy in the cricket world.

Don’t forget to read thelegglance’s column below on the series and his views on matters at the moment.

This is it. A new era. Moving forward. Fresh and exciting. Open and honest. Trust and honour. Go forth with new England, a team we can all get behind! Ra Ra!

Oh. Comments below!


172 thoughts on “England v New Zealand – 1st Test, Day 1 – Open Thread

  1. lionel joseph May 21, 2015 / 9:09 am

    Sky on message. Warne’s unable to construct a coherent argument.

    Unless it’s about greasy pizzas.


  2. SimonH May 21, 2015 / 9:13 am

    Strauss interview on Sky at lunch.

    Gower has tried to talk about what’s been being going on. Botham having none of it (“it’s all about one PR company versus another PR company”, “I’m finding it all quite boring”, “there have always been disagreements about who’s in the team and who’s out the team”, “let’s move forward”). Warne called it a “shambles” but I was too distracted by his latest new look to concentrate on much else.

    Strauss presented new caps to Lyth and Wood so they both play.


    • northernlight71 May 21, 2015 / 9:16 am

      Strauss did? Is he the captain again? Why didn’t anyone tell us?

      Let’s face it, he’d probably get more runs than the Dear Leader.


      • Andy May 21, 2015 / 9:31 am

        Presumably the other Skip-X’s they normal roll out for this duty decided to keep themselves at arms length?


    • dvyk May 21, 2015 / 9:31 am

      Oh god, the poor players having their debut ruined by Strauss photobombing it. Weren’t any respected former players prepared to be associated with the team?


      • volkerelle May 21, 2015 / 11:01 am

        are there any left – respected former players, that is…


  3. Andy May 21, 2015 / 9:30 am

    Is Dimitri referring to Dimitri as Dimitri in the 3rd person again? do we need to stage an intervention?


    • Sherwick May 21, 2015 / 9:30 am

      That’s not a relevant question for this forum.


      • Andy May 21, 2015 / 10:20 am

        Don’t actually know why I spelt it that way… Can I blame the spell checker….


  4. Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 9:34 am

    Speechless. Once you’ve got past the delights of the guest speakers, you might spot a potential problem with the space-time continuum thing…


  5. SimonH May 21, 2015 / 9:40 am

    NZ won toss and bowl. Cook evaded the question what he’d have done if he’d won toss (which is being taken as meaning he’d have batted).

    Teams as expected – Guptill and Henry (debut) in for NZ; Jordan out for England (Botham made a good point that while Jordan has a better bowling average than Stokes, 35 to 39, Stokes has the better SR, 64 to 72).

    Atherton’s pitch report said it has a tinge of green but nowhere near like the pitch for India last year.


  6. Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 21, 2015 / 9:41 am

    Thank heavens I haven’t got Sky!!! Pass round the bucket I think we will all need it before the day is out. I now follow cricket but don’t feel like a supporter anymore. Cricket has been stolen from us all by these idiots who couldn’t lead a bank robber to a safe. Well happy watching boys and girls. I’m off in the garden.


  7. lionel joseph May 21, 2015 / 9:46 am

    Cook under 21.5 runs @ 2.37.

    Christmas has come early.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I shall remain anonymous May 21, 2015 / 10:48 am

      Did you go for that bet?


  8. Silk May 21, 2015 / 9:47 am

    Defining session of the summer, right here, right now?

    It’s Lord’s. the sun is shining (well, here in Haggerston which is only a few miles away). NZ are, more or less, straight off the plane (I’d have played Wagner – he’s got overs under his belt and some wickets too).

    England, and Cook, can dominate today, set the tone for a strong series win, and put the KP stories to bed.

    NZ, on the other hand, have a chance to put their feet on English throats and not let go.


  9. SimonH May 21, 2015 / 9:47 am

    Interesting stat on Lyth – averaged 37 before Gillespie (4 centuries), averages 52 under Gillespie (11 centuries).

    Nasser Hussain made the good point that Boult is an excellent bowler at left-handers and England have three left-handers at the top of the order. Boult got Sangakkara for single figures in three of the four innings in their last series (the other was a double century!). Left-armers who bowl well at left-handers is a strangely under-analysed area. Zaheer Khan was outstanding at it.


  10. dvyk May 21, 2015 / 9:50 am

    Nice clip on Sky of people wishing Lythe well. Bresnan’s sounded especially heartfelt, and he looks much better with a beard and a beanie.

    There, that’s my positive comment for the summer.

    At least Cook didn’t tell Athers his question about the toss was not relevant.


  11. Silk May 21, 2015 / 9:53 am

    So, er, Mark Wood.

    He’s played very little FC cricket (got 80 wickets at a very respectable 25).

    He’s quick but not that quick? He seems like a typical English seamer, a bit quicker than average, perhaps?

    Starting in this Test suggests that, bar a miraculous return to form for Finn, he’s in line for a start against the Aussies.

    Am I being unfair on him when I say I’m underwealmed? He doesn’t shout out to me as someone who demands a Test call-up, though I’m struggling to think of anyone else who does.


    • metatone May 21, 2015 / 11:15 am

      I haven’t seen enough of him – but a friend said he’s in the “quicker than he looks”/”hurries the ball on to you a bit surprisingly” – which is a reasonable call for a bowler to come in for Jordan. Our real problem is that we never replaced Tremlett and so we’re stuck with Broad who blows hot and cold… If Jimmy is a cert. then 2nd strike should be fast… and Broad isn’t…


  12. Burly May 21, 2015 / 10:16 am

    Cook escapes a pretty decent LBW shout.


  13. d'Arthez May 21, 2015 / 10:30 am

    Lyth less lucky. Tickled through to the keeper. Given. Did not review it. Southee takes the first.



    • Burly May 21, 2015 / 10:33 am

      He talked a good game though


  14. thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 10:44 am

    Ballance looked totally out of nick in that short innings.


  15. Andy May 21, 2015 / 10:44 am

    Gary ballance, Gary Ballance, Gary Ballance… gone


  16. Burly May 21, 2015 / 10:45 am



  17. d'Arthez May 21, 2015 / 10:45 am

    Ballance now perishes, talked a less good game, since he only made 1, compared to the 7 made by Lyth.

    25/2 after ten overs, Bell just coming in now.


  18. amit May 21, 2015 / 10:46 am

    cook is still there, having scored a massive 40 percent of the runs scored. phew!


    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 10:48 am

      64%, in fact. Charles Bannerman probably quaking in his grave as we speak.


      • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 10:49 am

        Or maybe not. I can relax and enjoy the day now.


  19. amit May 21, 2015 / 10:47 am

    damn, its 64 percent not 40. even more. OMG.


  20. amit May 21, 2015 / 10:47 am

    spoke too soon… hahahaha


  21. d'Arthez May 21, 2015 / 10:48 am

    Cook gone for 16. So that is 20 quid gone for Clive?


    Liked by 1 person

  22. Andy May 21, 2015 / 10:48 am

    cook gone?


  23. Burly May 21, 2015 / 10:49 am

    That was an embarrassing dismissal, Cook.


    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 10:49 am

      It’s the way he plays though.


      • Andy May 21, 2015 / 10:50 am

        it’s alright – everyone else is failing around him so he’s not at fault


      • Burly May 21, 2015 / 10:51 am


        Note the near silence as he walked off?


    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 10:54 am

      No, it was a good bouncer and he was just late on the shot.

      (I’m not being contrary, I’m at work, I’m quoting someone from Twitter…)


  24. Silk May 21, 2015 / 10:51 am

    That isn’t how I expected Cook to go.

    I wonder what Ed Smith thinks of that.

    I’m not watching. Commenary suggests his boundaries were all streaky. Is that fair?


    • Burly May 21, 2015 / 10:51 am

      Yes. One was a decent clip off his hip that was a bit dangerous, the rest of the time his scoring shorts were in the air and uncontrolled drives.


    • Sherwick May 21, 2015 / 10:53 am

      Yep, a flurry of streaky boundaries, a very, very close LBW and finally put out of his misery.


    • dvyk May 21, 2015 / 10:59 am

      Yes, the boundaries were streaky and uppish, plus he survived a “hawkeye LBW”, if Vian will allow the term — given benefit of the doubt, fairly enough, but hawkeye presents it, in effect, as an umpire error i.e. hitting). In any case beaten all ends up in front and couldn’t have complained if he had have been given out.

      Two proper batsmen in now, Bell and Root.


  25. SteveT May 21, 2015 / 10:56 am

    16 eh? Does that count as a ‘daddy ten’? Good call by BMac to put ECB/Sky/Waitrose Franchise XI in to bat. Still at least they’ve signed a new sponsorship deal with Toyota so all is tickety-boo.


  26. thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 10:56 am

    Maybe it was to do with the ball swinging a bit, but Cook was driving across the ball a lot – the bat coming down from third slip area, which is why he was slicing at it.

    Never seen him have that particular problem before.


  27. Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 10:58 am

    I see Cook’s back to his best.


  28. Andy May 21, 2015 / 10:59 am

    Bell gone for 1


  29. d'Arthez May 21, 2015 / 10:59 am

    Bell lost a stump.



  30. Andy May 21, 2015 / 11:00 am


    bowled by Henry


  31. SimonH May 21, 2015 / 11:00 am


    But at least we can trust them.


  32. Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 11:00 am

    Confession: before the game I thought of writing “I want the first morning of Edgbaston 1997 in reverse”, but decided it was perhaps too nasty a thing to say.



  33. dvyk May 21, 2015 / 11:04 am

    Christ, 30 on the board and Stokes is in. WTF???


  34. Sherwick May 21, 2015 / 11:05 am

    From cricinfo:
    “Ben Stokes is out at No. 6, up a place from the Caribbean… Interesting. Ah, there;’s Mooen Ali, walking around the boundary with his kit bag over his shoulder. Looks like a hurried recall from the nets”.

    What a shambles.


  35. Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 11:20 am

    Worth a look at the Guardian OBO, for the five/six overs, for some good contributions on ‘why are England unlikeable?’.

    Someone attributes the rot setting in to the departure of Collingwood, I wouldn’t disagree with that. I suspect he was very good at coping with Pietersen.

    Personally I think things haven’t been the same since they started wearing horrible synthetic-looking detergent-advert-white kit instead of proper cream (not to mention some of the ODI abominations – dayglo orange, anyone?). Seems they’ve now got some sort of ersatz knitted tank top, possibly to try and look more like real cricketers. I know, I know, it’s just clothes.


  36. SimonH May 21, 2015 / 11:22 am

    Gower in full Lord Haw-Haw mode banging on about the four times in history England have won from 30-4.

    Two were in the C19th. One was on the Bodyline tour. The last was in 1979 (against the Australian 2nd XI when they were minus their Packer players).


  37. dvyk May 21, 2015 / 11:23 am

    KP’s 355* the other day was 2 more than Cook and Prior combined scored in the last Ashes. Different opposition obviously, but 16 fewer dismissals and only needed a day and a bit to do it.


  38. Burly May 21, 2015 / 11:29 am

    Smell the team spirit, lads


  39. metatone May 21, 2015 / 11:30 am

    Root and Stokes are going to pull Cook’s fat out of the fire here.
    I think the NZ bowlers bowled really well to start, but now are in danger of letting it slip a bit.


    • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 11:35 am

      For all the stick Warne is getting, he’s right about the need to put the bowlers under pressure – which is what these two are doing. England so often hunker down and become strokeless.


      • metatone May 21, 2015 / 11:37 am

        Absolutely – 80-4 (while still not good) is very different psychologically to 47-4…


    • Pontiac May 21, 2015 / 12:34 pm

      I’ve followed a fair number of NZ home tests over the last couple years and this is how the pitches have seemed to play down there. 3-4 wickets in the first session, then it’s very hard to get anyone out. Usually it was Wagner who got a wicket out of nowhere.

      So, from the New Zealand point of view the pacing of the game so far is very familar.


  40. Blamcrabello May 21, 2015 / 11:34 am

    According to TMS Cook was the only one that was unlucky. So in their view if your out to a good ball its your fault but if you play a loose, shit shot off a long hop your unlucky. Cant stand it.


    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 11:39 am

      I knew it was coming. As soon as I looked at Twitter and saw virtually everyone calling Cook’s shot “irresponsible”, except for Agnew and Selvey. What exactly could Bell have done, I wonder.


      • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 11:42 am

        Didn’t have that big a problem with Cook’s dismissal in terms of the shot. Short, went for it, got out – it happens. It’s when you get the excuses coming out that it’s so transparent.


      • Burly May 21, 2015 / 11:47 am

        It was a wild hook at a good short ball.


      • metatone May 21, 2015 / 11:51 am

        You can imagine the roasting KP would have gotten for getting out hooking to a short ball after a clatter of wickets at the other end…


      • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 11:53 am

        Absolutely I can. Which was also nonsense. For some reason (usually – not with Cook) people have a problem with a batsman being out to an attacking shot, but not a defensive one.


      • Silk May 21, 2015 / 11:55 am

        Stop worrying.

        Either it was a one-off and Cook can be forgiven.

        Or he really is in shit form, and will get eaten alive this summer.

        They can’t defend him if he can’t score any runs.


      • Mark May 21, 2015 / 11:56 am

        This is why I have come to loathe the cricket media. Reading their drivel you get a sense of living in a totalitarian regime. This is where you are lied to constantly,,and dear leader is promoted and fawned over. Over time you either begin to believe it or you just laugh at the stupidity of the propaganda.

        I used to like Gower as a player. A free spirit. But in old age he has become an establishment tart. And a crap broadcaster. Charles Coleville is a much better front man. David you would not have fitted in with the Strauss era of trust, and utilitarianism. Your flight in a Tiger moth would not have gone down well with this Puritan cabal.


      • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 11:58 am

        Gower has sarcastically expressed his opinions on the way England manage players often enough. Usually quite subtly.

        I don’t want to get to the situation whereby we pounce on every word someone says.


  41. Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 11:48 am

    Counter-attacking middle order batsmen. They’ll never catch on.


  42. I shall remain anonymous May 21, 2015 / 11:54 am

    That annoys me. That was bloody obviously out. It looked out live. Part of the ball hit in line, it’s hitting middle and leg. It makes cricket look stupid when things like that are given not out.


    • dvyk May 21, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      Was it even clear why Erasmus gave it not out? It didn’t look like it was cleared up whether or not Erasmus found the impact ok but thought it wasn’t hitting.

      Oh god, Strauss in on now. Gower tells him to be objective and asks what he thinks of the performance: “Well the game’s gone forward.” There’s no point talking to this guy at all if all he’s going to do is hedge and evade and say it’s not a relevant question.


      • I shall remain anonymous May 21, 2015 / 12:09 pm

        He probably thought it hit him outside the line. He didn’t look interested in the appeal at all.


      • SteveT May 21, 2015 / 12:15 pm

        Guess what? he’s started banging on about team environments. I’ve left the room!


    • Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      and how sad that Mills expects this kind of criticism just because he’ll only be able to play T20:

      “I just hope nobody portrays me as a mercenary,” Mills said. “This isn’t a case of me not wanting to bowl; it’s a case of me having a medical condition would could affect my future. It’s all been pretty hard to take.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • SteveT May 21, 2015 / 12:13 pm

      Agree with you there Leggy, very sad.


  43. dvyk May 21, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    Last 3 innings for the first 4 wickets: 95 runs in total, avge 7.9 per wicket.


  44. amit May 21, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    well played root and stokes. well played indeed. punchy innings.


  45. OscarDaBosca May 21, 2015 / 12:09 pm

    @TheLegGlance I would respectfully disagree on the Cook shot (having just seen it on highlights). I agree it happens, but the state of the game meant that the ball should have just been ignored. It was reminiscent of 2nd innings dismissal in Adelaide (I think, or it may have been 2nd innings Brisbane) on the last Ashes tour, when we needed a solid start and he tried to hook it out of the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      The measurement for me is whether everyone would have said “good shot” if it has whistled to the boundary for four. And with that one, everyone would have done. So criticising him playing the shot becomes based on outcome, not action.

      Had no problem him playing it. At all. He just didn’t play it very well.


      • OscarDaBosca May 21, 2015 / 12:15 pm

        I don’t disagree, but I just think at 25/2 sometimes discretion is the better part of valour.


      • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 12:17 pm

        Then you end up with the terrified, strokeless, panic stricken England who are petrified of getting out.

        Players have to try and score, and do what Stokes and Root are doing now. And that involves a bit of risk.

        My problem with all this is that they forgive Cook for what they’d slaughter other players over.


      • I shall remain anonymous May 21, 2015 / 12:21 pm

        I agree. It’s an English disease that needs to be eradicated. It’s seen as acceptable to get out caught slip playing a forward defense but a heinous crime to be out when playing an attacking shot. Until they change their attitude at all levels of the game, England will never again be an exciting, attacking, Michael Vaughan-style side.


  46. lionel joseph May 21, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    This is culture eats every thing else for breakfast Flower speak from Strauss. I agree about it’s relevance in business, but not in international sport.


    • I shall remain anonymous May 21, 2015 / 12:35 pm

      Absolutely! Team culture my f*cking arse! There is this quasi-military approach to sport in some middle-class, officer-class, public school circles that I just cannot stand. It’s why I can’t abide English rugby union and it’s no surprise to hear people at the ECB always going on about rugby cos they’re all part of the same set. I reckon they genuinely believe that administrators are more important than players.
      It’s amazing isn’t it how the great England players of the past were able to score runs and take wickets without Head Coaches and ‘Directors, Cricket’.


  47. Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Alec Stewart on TMS saying how the D,EC job was explained to him…. no freedom to select who he wanted. Not enough ‘clarity of accountability’.


    • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 12:18 pm

      Fascinating to read things like that when Strauss is waffling on Sky.


      • Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 12:25 pm

        Stewart saying KP no trouble at all at Surrey, Graves shouldn’t have opened the door.

        Strauss now waffling on TMS. It’s all Graves’s fault, it seems. It all needed to be sorted out. Funny that nobody sorted it out in the previous two months.

        Agnew says Strauss was dumped in it. Strauss says things had to be cleared up. Players weren’t involved.

        Still a complete assumption that KP being out of the side is the status quo that should be preserved. The phrase ‘total waste of talent’ doesn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind.


      • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 12:27 pm

        How many times has Agnew blamed Graves, out of interest?


  48. I shall remain anonymous May 21, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Strauss “beating a very strong India team last year”

    Very strong!?! F*ck me!


    • Pontiac May 21, 2015 / 12:36 pm

      I don’t suppose any of them know what New Zealand did to that India team just afterward…?


  49. Grumpy Gaz May 21, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    Sky’s entire lunchtime interval seems to be a pro-ECB advert. Lots of on-message management waffle from Dictator, Cricket and Gower fawning at him. Surprised he didn’t end the interview humping his leg.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. SimonH May 21, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    Gower to Strauss, “lots of people agreed with your decision – including me”.

    Colvile/Downton is looking like Frost/Nixon compared to this.


    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 12:22 pm

      Oh for fuck’s sake, even Gower? Of all people, a man who was permanently dumped so a bloody apartheid tourist with an average nine runs below his could be recalled!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mark May 21, 2015 / 12:26 pm

      Which only reinforces my point above about Gower as an ECB tool.

      “Oh please Andrew , let me shine your shoes Andrew, I think your marvellous Andrew.” Vomit inducing.

      Charles Colville is like Robin Day compared to this ECB in house shite.


    • paule May 21, 2015 / 4:42 pm

      Gower of all people should know better given the shabby treatment meted out to him to facilitate an Essex batsman’s greed for glory.


  51. Andy May 21, 2015 / 12:21 pm

    Strauss on TMS now – Stewart just left. Sounded like he was trying to be diplomatic. I know why now as Strauss was lurking


  52. Mark May 21, 2015 / 12:21 pm

    Iam not pouncing on one Gower word. I am watching his descent into establishment cheerleader over a few years. As a former England captain he will see things from the captains point of view. Which is fair enough. But the ECB cheerleading over many years is not the same thing.

    His free spirit as a player would not fit in with this regime. I think he should examine that a bit more than just trotting out ECB talking points.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 12:24 pm

      That interview from him was extremely weak, I’ll concur completely.


  53. Andy May 21, 2015 / 12:23 pm

    Strauss talking about the need for confidentiality re the next coach….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marge May 21, 2015 / 12:30 pm

      Pity he didn’t have the same discretion about sacking Moores.

      Liked by 1 person

  54. Andy May 21, 2015 / 12:27 pm

    Some paraphrasing of key bits I can get for you –

    Strauss – Eng coach one of the 3 big jobs in cricket (Aus and India other two)

    Talking about the challenge being the draw of the job (re series & WC coming up). Doesn’t mention the challenge of working with the ECB….

    Says he is close enough to retirement that he has not lost track of teh game, but that he has moved on/away enough so he has some perspective.

    Ha – we are ‘slightly behind the curve’ with regards IPL etc…..


    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 12:34 pm

      Got this from Twitter:

      Strauss on TMS “I’ve spent enough time away from the dressing room to be dispassionate about selection”.

      Is he taking the piss, or does he think English cricket supporters have the collective IQ of Chris Martin’s Test batting aggregate?


    • paule May 21, 2015 / 4:46 pm

      Wasn’t it one of the top 2 jobs just last week? What a c**t. Sorry, leading director, of is generation.

      Liked by 1 person

  55. Andy May 21, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    Aggers – is there some disillusioned fans out there

    Strauss – always short termism. Its about getting people watching and playing cricket. It’s about culture & being proud of the team winning and winning the right way.

    Doesn’t say what the right way is….


  56. Marge May 21, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    A lot of clarity going forward…….

    Liked by 1 person

  57. PepperSydney May 21, 2015 / 12:32 pm

    I was pretty happy to see Cook and Bell knocked on their respective arses.. Well. I never claimed to be Mother Theresa..

    I am enjoying immensely the NZ fielding, and Mc Cullums field placements..

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    Strauss telling Agnew off for being negative when all he did was mildly suggest it would be a tough summer.

    Deary me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 12:35 pm

      “unbelievably negative” (Twitter) – is this a direct quote?

      “Doos” was being kind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 12:39 pm

        Yes, that’s exactly what he said. Quite cross, he sounded. Agnew taken aback and laughing about it afterwards with Vaughan (who said Strauss is now talking like someone who works for the ECB).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 12:42 pm

      Discussion between Vaughan and Stewart, both demonstrating that they would have been better choices.

      Liked by 2 people

    • paule May 21, 2015 / 4:47 pm

      Someone should punch the vicar.


  59. Andy May 21, 2015 / 12:39 pm

    Stewart just said that basically Sky run english cricket re schedule


    • Andy May 21, 2015 / 12:41 pm

      Vaughan basically said they need to find a new captain, then backtracked slightly by saying it was going to be a very difficult summer!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria May 21, 2015 / 5:51 pm

        Vaughan said they should consider players like Root missing the May Tests and play IPL to prepare for the World Cup… and Aggers said something like “…what an interesting idea…”


  60. Mark May 21, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    Well that was very revealing. Not from Strauss, but the toadies that served up one soft ball after another and then gave him a round of applause after each answer.

    Strauss could have dropped his trousers in the the Sky studio and Taken a giant dump and he would have got a standing ovation. Shocking standard of jounalism. But we can see now how rotten the whole system is and why nothing will change for the better.

    The ECB have got the right man for the job. An ECB yes man who will answer to the the servile ECB journalists in the media. A giant circle jerk of self serving, back slapping, and self congratulations. Players like KP are probably better off well out of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 12:58 pm

      The good thing for KP out of all this is that he went back to Surrey and has had a good time and been appreciated and made a stunning big score. Ideally he should sort out some way of doing the same each summer.

      Frankly it would probably be worth doing the ‘work for nothing’ deal again because he’d be getting that psychological income of feeling valued and wanted and making himself useful helping the young players. He’d have a base and not just be a wandering T20 star.

      If he could do that for the next few years, screw England. He’d have a good life and be away from all that rubbish. Who needs it?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark May 21, 2015 / 1:02 pm

        I agree entirely. whether he wants to play 4 day cricket without the possibility of International cricket who knows?

        But the England set up is infested with hyenas. with fake smiling faces, who will tear you apart given half a chance. Stay well clear.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andy May 21, 2015 / 1:23 pm

        Best thing KP can do is play the summer and score big. Just show the fans what they are missing & let the bat do the talking. Next year he can make a decision re County Champs, but this year just stick a big middle finger up at the ECB and score the runs.

        If the ECB come crawling I would be tempted to tell them where to stuff it, but maybe KP just has that desire/need to play.

        I also agree with the above with having surry as a base to help the kids etc, if he is not playing full time. It’s almost what th ECB were trying to buy him off with, but this would be on his terms and I’m sure he would actually get more from it

        Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria May 21, 2015 / 1:48 pm

        I think KP gets enjoyment and motivation out of the challenge – that is why he hated the warmup matches. The challenge for him in County was exactly to score big to prove a point. Without any goal in sight, I think he will struggle…


      • paule May 21, 2015 / 4:53 pm

        Boer may be right. Gower wasn’t remotely interested in CC, didn’t get his competitive juices flowing. I fear Pietersen may feel the same if the door remains firmly shut.


      • Benny May 21, 2015 / 5:52 pm

        Just thinking that if KP simply likes playing cricket and he’s starting to age a bit now, playing for Surrey ain’t a bad number and I’ll be delighted to pop along to the Oval and watch him. If he fancies overtaking Hick’s 400, I’d like to be there. No-one else has the ability to do it.


  61. metatone May 21, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    Sort of ironic, but NZ are suffering in the same way England did in the Caribbean at times – good opening seam spell, but then the pitch/ball loses venom and their spin option isn’t quite threatening enough…

    Even more ironic, probably the right thing for them to do right now tactically is bowl dry for a bit…


    • Burly May 21, 2015 / 1:42 pm

      Precisely! They keep coming at Root and Stokes. Big mistake.


    • SimonH May 21, 2015 / 2:31 pm

      Metatone, true to some extent although it is more the NZ seamers who have been going for the runs than their spinner. And nobody ever said bowling dry isn’t the right tactic in some circumstances.

      I’m also reminded of the SL match at Lord’s last year. Then Prior had a massive slice of luck when an umpire (Reiffel) didn’t give an LBW early when the spinner came on and when England got away with it on ‘Umpire’s call’ they cashed in. Same again here from Erasmus – possibly the only umpire on the elite panel worse than Reiffel.


      • metatone May 21, 2015 / 3:01 pm

        I was trying not to get into the Erasmus thing – he drives me up the wall in just about every game I’ve seen where he’s officiating.


  62. thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    Dammit what a shame. That was a fantastic knock from Stokes. From 30-4 to counter-attack like that was outstanding.


    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 2:03 pm

      I’m genuinely upset. Must be going soft. Could hardly have cared less about the top four, but really wanted Stokes to get a hundred.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 2:06 pm

        I love his “stuff you” attitude. I just fear for what the ECB will do to him when he steps out of line – and he will, he’s that kind of character.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 2:08 pm

        Only following on Cricinfo, but he seemed to slow dramatically after the drinks break. Did it upset his momentum or do NZ deserve credit for restraining him?


      • Mark May 21, 2015 / 2:11 pm

        That is why I wont stop attacking the ECB and the Flower/Strauss model. They think it is all about KP but it ain’t. He is a symptom of the regime they want to run. Which is about structure and not about players. Cook will take Stokes innings today because it has saved his skin, but should he step out of line they will punish players like him.

        Selvey has criticised him in the past while praising every Cook failure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH May 21, 2015 / 2:24 pm

        “Cook will take Stokes innings today because it has saved his skin”.

        Cook laid the platform.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 2:37 pm

        Bet he’s been magnificent in the dressing room as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark May 21, 2015 / 2:49 pm

        Yes, I’m sure his lunch time speech turned it all around.

        A CD will be coming out exclusive to Waitrose. All his greatest speeches on one CD.

        Liked by 2 people

      • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 2:55 pm

        A CD? Come now, they’re focusing on reaching out to the youth now you know. They’ve bound to have reached the levels of a podcast by now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 2:56 pm

        “All his greatest speeches on one CD.”

        Accompanied by John Cage. Or possibly the Crash Test Dummies.

        Liked by 2 people

      • paule May 21, 2015 / 4:58 pm

        The wit and wisdom of Alastair Cook…


  63. BoerInAustria May 21, 2015 / 2:03 pm



  64. Andy May 21, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    Buttler in ahead of Ali

    Giving Buttler a bit more to play with, or did the sight of Ali having to scurry back pee off Cook so he demoted him….


  65. Silk May 21, 2015 / 3:25 pm

    Bugger me this Root chap is good.


  66. thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 3:27 pm

    Currently, Joe Root averages 57.52 in Tests, and Jos Buttler 67.00.

    England are well awesome, innit.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. SimonH May 21, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    Third ‘umpire’s call’ LBW not gone NZ’s way.


  68. amit May 21, 2015 / 3:59 pm

    Whatever i may think of Strauss and Cook (and that’s not charitable), I can’t grudge stokes and root their runs today. Well played boys. It looks like England might actually score 300 in a day.


    • Burly May 21, 2015 / 4:30 pm

      Getting a bit self indulgent here Bogfather 🙂


    • escort May 21, 2015 / 7:01 pm

      This reminds me of a story about when Bob Monkhouse reported the theft of his joke book to the police. The reply was how will we know if it’s your joke book?.

      Liked by 1 person

  69. thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 4:31 pm

    Moeen Ali is absolutely gorgeous to watch. I can’t make my mind up whether he’s going to be good enough or not, and have a horrible feeling both batting and bowling will be just below the level needed – but when he’s in touch, there’s a hint of Gower about him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pktroll (@pktroll) May 21, 2015 / 5:18 pm

      I am actually pleased that they played Stokes, Buttler and Ali in that order. I thought for a while that this was the ideal order for them. I more get the feeling that Mo’s batting is not quite up to the mark to be a middle order player due to his weakness against the short ball and outside off stump, but I do have hopes for his bowling. Not necessarily as an outstanding offie at the level of Swann but good enough. It is not as though there is any other spin options that give you confidence.

      That said he’s playing a lovely innings at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance May 21, 2015 / 5:46 pm

        If he can average around 35 with the ball, that’s not bad for an orthodox finger spinner, especially one who plays half his matches in England. Anything below that is going to be pretty good. And if he can do that, and can average also around 35 with the bat, then he’s a very valuable all rounder indeed.


      • Benny May 21, 2015 / 5:57 pm

        Great to see Buttler playing as a batsman instead of someone to scrape together what runs he can with the tail. Maybe Farbrace is quite switched on


  70. Amit Garg May 21, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    In another part of the world – “Coach Simmons opens door for IPL quintet” goes the cricinfo headline. No team has been ravaged as bad as the WI because they lost quite a few to IPL. And, here’s a new coach, willing to engage the players that were not part of the previous one’s plans because they wanted to participate in IPL.
    Can he please help ECB evolve as well?

    Liked by 1 person

  71. metatone May 21, 2015 / 5:32 pm

    Good start to the day for NZ, but England’s young guns delivered in spades.
    Only two questions remain about this match and we won’t know about either of them until NZ bat:

    1) Is the pitch in fact a bit of a batsman’s pitch? (Lords can be that way.)

    2) If you bat this deep, does that mean your bowling isn’t as strong as it could be?
    (Or crucially, as strong as it needs to be to force a win?)

    Still, really hard to see how England lose from here.
    350 on the board, couple of players you would expect to do better 2nd innings (Ballance, Lyth), couple of players who may do better against all expectations (Cook, Bell) and a brace who look in good touch (Root, Stokes, Buttler, Ali).

    The pressure is on NZ now.


    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 5:49 pm

      Against which, England had good first days v SA in 2012 and Aus in 2013/14, leading to a lot of premature crowing. Some people (not you) will not be able to resist falling into that trap tonight, I bet.

      Liked by 1 person

  72. thebogfather May 21, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    and this day of cricket, whatever our moans and groans re ECB etc, just shows why Test cricket will always be the prime version, despite what the geedy moneymakers/TVexecs/MSM luvvies tell us – long may it continue

    Liked by 1 person

  73. SimonH May 21, 2015 / 5:50 pm

    I’ve read Strauss said on TMS, “”We have had a great run. The last decade has been phenomenal. Let’s not forget that”.

    “The last decade”? Improved? Yes. Good? Yes. Very good? Possibly. Phenomenal? Yet more solid achievements soured by ridiculous over-hyping.

    England are third in the last decade in Tests in W/L ratio terms. Australia are top with 2.03, SA second with 1.96, England are third with 1.42, India fourth with 1.38, SL fifth with 1.31. “We’ve been good in the last decade – just a bit better than India” would be nearer to the truth. That’s without considering the one-day record of the last decade which is none too pretty.

    Agnew no doubt pointed this out.


  74. dvyk May 21, 2015 / 5:57 pm

    Oh well, pity for NZ that they couldn’t keep it going. But excellent day for English cricket. Captain Mopey-Socks fails and demonstrates his technical problems are still functioning as before; 4/30 was enough to make Strauss look like an absolute corporate wanker for refusing to say it was crap (because that might damage product loyalty or force him to introduce the thorny issue of merit) but the popular guys got runs.

    I hope NZ can get some runs tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    Oh gawd no, I forgot Hughes was on Channel 5!

    Liked by 1 person

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