England v New Zealand – 1st Test, Day Two

All in all a pretty good day for England.

The start was calamitous, though having been put into bat you would expect conditions to be challenging.  Lyth on debut simply got a good ball – it’s the peril of being an opening batsman.  Ballance too got quite a good one, though he looked more than slightly out of sorts during his short innings.  Bell was bowled by a ball that wasn’t far off unplayable.  In essence, three of the first four wickets to fall were down to good bowling to greater or lesser degrees.

And then there’s Alastair Cook.  Perhaps he doesn’t deserve separate treatment as such today, but the problem is that so many in the media are insistent that all is well and that he’s batting beautifully.  He really isn’t.  Today he was slicing at the ball – the bat came down from the direction of the slip region on a number of occasions, with drives flying in the air just out of the reach of fielders.  Even a rare straight drive was an example of cutting across the ball.  OK, conditions this morning were quite difficult, but if the media would accept that he has flaws he is trying to work through, it would be less necessary to continually point out that his technique is a problem.  The dismissal itself can be considered “one of those things”, and again excuses have been made, such as him being unlucky.  Let’s get this clear here, there is absolutely nothing wrong when the team is under the pump for a player to try and jump on a scoring opportunity.  It’s a moderate degree of risk yes, but the alternative is to be terrified into blocking – something England have done far too often in recent years.

Therefore, even given the situation, there’s nothing at all wrong with taking the shot on, he simply didn’t execute it terribly well and lost his wicket.  It happens.  It always has happened, and it always will happen; players try and score runs, and sometimes get it wrong.  All entirely normal, which is why the cries of irresponsibility when other players get out playing shots is so idiotic.  It’s no different in degree of irresponsibility whoever it is when they are out attacking, so either accept that or don’t – but don’t be selective about making the excuses when it goes wrong.

Subsequently of course, we saw what happens when it comes off.  Root and especially Stokes counterattacked in thrilling style – and that’s rather the point.  In doing so, they took a risk.  A calculated one, certainly, because it was anything but reckless, but had either been dismissed, the cries of anger would doubtless have been long and loud from those wishing to be wise after the event.  It was exactly the right thing to do, and they did it brilliantly, turning the day around and taking England to a good position.  Sometimes it will go wrong, but it’s still the right thing to do even then – the alternative we have already seen far too often.

After Root and Stokes came the Buttler and Mooen show.  Given all the things so wrong with England cricket at the moment, it’s nice to be able to point to an area where a degree of hope is warranted.  The middle order is exciting and with bags of potential.  Buttler showed he could bat more than one way and turned a recovery into a position of some degree of strength.  Moeen is a hell of a batsman to have coming in at number eight, and if he can be worth his place as the main spinner, then suddenly there is something to build on.

Moeen is simply not going to be a replacement for Graeme Swann, it’s not reasonable to expect that of him.  But it needs to be borne in mind that for the previous 35+ years going back to Underwood, a spinner who averaged below 40 for England was regarded as a success.  England must not make the same mistake that Australia did in trying to replace Warne and throwing bowlers out when they couldn’t do it.  Swann wasn’t in that class, but England do not produce many great spinners.  Debating whether Adil Rashid is a better choice is perfectly reasonable, because exactly the same degree of understanding would need to be given to him.  There is a need to be realistic here – and assuming either one of them does well enough, then the potential of a number eight who can score runs like Moeen can is extremely attractive.  And he’s great to watch too.

New Zealand’s bowlers looked tired towards the end of the day, and given that for a few of them they have come back from the IPL, perhaps it’s not surprising.  It certainly hasn’t been a disastrous day for them, this looks a good batting pitch, albeit that conditions have been quite conducive to swing.   While England have in the end had quite a good day, it’s somewhat alarming that Stuart Broad in his current batting malaise is now in at nine.  The innings could be wrapped up quite quickly.

It’s all set up for an intriguing day’s play tomorrow, with no team at this stage entirely comfortable with where they are, but not entirely unhappy either.  Which means it’s been a good day of Test cricket, and a reminder why it is that no matter how much the ECB try and wreck it, sometimes the cricket has its own way and tells a wonderful story.

As ever, comments below as the play unfolds, or if you want to take me to task!

@BlueEarthMngmnt

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189 thoughts on “England v New Zealand – 1st Test, Day Two

  1. Silk May 21, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    In the balance, I’d say. The Buttler wicket means NZ have a chance to bowl England of for <400, which is a good performance. Lord's usually produces runs, and the weather today was made for batting.

    Like

  2. Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    Hughes has written a piece on Pietersen for The Times. It is on the website, behind a paywall, and will appear in tomorrow’s paper. He describes it on Twitter as “attempting to put KP to bed”. If that doesn’t put you off, then it comes with the following recommendation from Nash:

    “Absolutely essential reading for any genuine supporter of the England team”

    If anyone finds it and survives the experience, do keep us informed.

    Like

    • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 21, 2015 / 7:24 pm

      He truly is disgraceful. Does he think talking like that is going to win him fans? A great many fans of long standing do not have any time for him. I used to respect him and others but no longer. Such nasty stuff. “Essential reading for genuine supporters?” Is that code for genuine supporters swallow everything I say and everything my friends say and everything the ECB say?

      Just unbelievable.

      Like

    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 7:24 pm

      The preview was enough for me.

      “Pietersen’s unsuitability for continuing as an England player is laid out in black and white and Technicolor, if only even his staunchest supporters could see it.”

      Like

    • dvyk May 21, 2015 / 8:07 pm

      It’s not just the players who have toe the line and speak the management-speak, it’s the fans as well. What a joke. You’re all supposed to feel exactly the same thing in unison and show just as much fake enthusiasm as Straussy is demonstrating like a good role model.

      It’s just so indescribably pathetic. Part of the fun of being a spectator is having different opinions about things and sharing them. But not for these guys. Everyone should think the same thing, and that should be whatever Straussy says they should feel. Until they start paying you guys to be fans they can just stuff a sock in it. Shut up, Simon Hughes and start listening to what the fans say. They clearly know much more about the game than you do, judging by the moronic and condescending drivel you come out with.

      Like

      • Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 9:28 pm

        How many bloody more times – CRICKET IS NOT RUGBY.

        Like

      • escort May 21, 2015 / 9:55 pm

        Thanks for the link. Typical Hughes.

        Like

      • Rohan May 21, 2015 / 10:01 pm

        Thanks for posting, but after reading that, I want the 5 minutes of my life back that it wasted! It is a rehash of many other contrived comments he has made before…..

        Like

      • metatone May 21, 2015 / 10:33 pm

        Something is bothering me a lot.
        The “no dickheads” thing arrived in about 2004.
        I’m not really aware of any major player post-2004 who wasn’t picked for the All Blacks.
        All the articles say “some of the most famous players weren’t selected” but none of them name any players. I smell a rat.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus May 21, 2015 / 11:47 pm

          Funny. Got my mate in the office to say exactly the same thing. ….

          Like

      • BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 4:54 am

        Same arguments….
        – wanting time off (because of schedule), although generally acknowledged schedule is a problem
        – wanting to play IPL, although generally acknowledged IPL is now what players should do
        – wanting his family because the military style isolation doesnt make him perform
        Pietersen discussed these issues at large in “The Book”. Has Hughes even read it…?

        The more they say the more it stinks. Whanua – not from the right family

        Liked by 2 people

      • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 6:37 am

        I don’t think a lot of them have read it. Too many seem to think it’s a 300-page screed of pure invective, when in fact he makes a lot of relevant points about the England system that no-one seems willing to face up to. It is a shame these points are obscured by sections which make KP and his ego an easy target, but ignoring them makes pygmies like Hughes sound ridiculous.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 8:12 am

        … not to mention, this is family that gossips and lies (leaks etc.), stabs people in the back (Moores sacking, Compton, Panesar), have some favourite nephews (Cook, Broad) and some uncles that do a few dodgy deals in the back rooms (Clark / Stanford).

        Maybe one does not really want to be part of this family….

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 21, 2015 / 7:20 pm

    Cheers for that Me Lord. I couldn’t face watching but amazed that Cook got out so quickly. There was me thinking he would get another ton. Well that’s what the usual suspects said he would do!Hmm. You know I did listen to some of the commentary and pleased he went early. Terrible I know but sick to death of the weasel. Then on comes Aggers: “Well it’s been such an enjoyable first day!” You what? Had it not been for Root & Stokes we’d be up a gum tree. Anyway still hoping that the Kiwis do what is necessary.

    Like

    • paule May 22, 2015 / 5:28 am

      The Aussie have had the ‘no dickhead’ rule for years and have always been ready to break it for exceptional talent. Why? Because it’s all about winning, stupid. The Don was derided as a dickhead by Keith Miller but he could play a bit. The English have turned a rule that was devised to win games of sport into a ‘non.U’ issue. Only we could do that.

      Like

    • paulewart May 22, 2015 / 11:33 am

      George Orwell:

      England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare’s much-quoted message, nor is it the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control – that, perhaps is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.”

      Like

  4. Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    Guardian BTL is a disaster tonight, thanks to unfamiliar poster, terrible speller and casual abuser “aquitted”. Avoid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emasl May 22, 2015 / 8:10 pm

      I have a suspicion who Acquitted is…..

      Like

  5. Maggie May 21, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    Mad day at work today so didn’t have time for even a quick look at the score; I get home, click on Cricinfo and the caption under the pic is “Root, Stokes rescue England after top order collapse.” I’m quite proud that I now know enough about cricket to know that it should actually read “Root, Stokes rescue England after top order collapse (again).”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. MM May 21, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    F**k you Simon Hughes you absolute turd. Sorry for my potty mouth.

    Very interesting day’s cricket. Let’s see NZ bat though. I predict they’ll get 500 in 100 overs.

    Like

    • Roger May 21, 2015 / 9:01 pm

      Thanks for posting that. What a truly stupid and pathetic man Huges is

      Like

      • sebsmar May 21, 2015 / 9:13 pm

        He’s such a fool. That idiotic comparison with the All Blacks completely fails to take into account the team dynamics of rugby in comparison to cricket. When you’re out in the middle, you don’t need a pack of bruisers putting their bodies on the line; you’re on your own. Even going along with Hughes’s ridiculous I-factor propaganda; being a team player won’t save you against a M Johnson on fire. Perhaps a bit of I-factor X-factor will.

        Like

    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 9:12 pm

      That “if you spend £30m a year on a team, using all the technology and personnel available to try to find the extra 5 percent to win, you cannot afford that level of disloyalty to jeopardise your goals.” Everything wrong with the prioritising of business and management theory over sporting talent, and the total failure to question the former, in one sentence. Pure Straussian philosophy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 9:35 pm

        How about “if you spend £30m a year on a team, using all the technology and personnel available to try to find the extra 5 percent to win, and you still aren’t winning, maybe you’re throwing good money after bad.”

        Like

      • Roger May 21, 2015 / 9:48 pm

        I remember several years ago watching Simon Hughes doing an “analysis” of Muralitharan’s bowling action, and thinking at the time that I was witnessing the most spectacularly stupid thing I had ever – or would ever – see from a professional broadcaster.

        Like

      • Tregaskis May 22, 2015 / 12:53 pm

        Of course, searching for incremental or marginal gains is brilliantly enhanced by blackballing the leading run scorer. What Hughes, and those like him, consistently fail to explain is how Pietersen’s alleged behaviour supposedly jeopardises the overall goal of winning cricket matches.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Arron Wright May 21, 2015 / 9:59 pm

      Then you have a man who played zero Tests telling all the plebs why someone who played 104 Tests should never play again. Inverse correlation theory strikes yet again (the main exceptions to that theory are, unfortunately, Doosy and Pitty).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. sebsmar May 21, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    Glad to see the middle order doing well today. Also glad to see Cook struggling. Simply because he doesn’t deserve my support. I feel like he has betrayed my support as a supporter and therefore, I reserve my right to support or not.

    Liked by 2 people

      • sebsmar May 21, 2015 / 9:49 pm

        People say that we are not true England fans. But WE ARE. This is exactly why we don’t want to support Cook – because WE ARE true England fans.

        Liked by 4 people

  8. Simon K May 21, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    The day panned out roughly as I would have guessed. I do think Cook/Ballance have technical issues which have been masked by weak opposition in the test arena over the last year. Lyth and Bell got good ones. With the addition of Henry the NZ pace bowling looks even more impressive.

    Was really, really impressed by how England counterattacked. I don’t remember that kind of proactive cricket in pretty much the entire Flower-Moores era (there are exceptions, but isolated ones). Suggests that Farbrace is perhaps encouraging a different mentality, which is good.

    Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty May 21, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      Agreed!

      Like

  9. Simon K May 21, 2015 / 9:29 pm

    Btw Selvey’s write-up is rather slapdash. Looks like he hasn’t finished it properly.

    Like

  10. "IronBalls" McGinty May 21, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    NZ have yet to bat….lets just see how it goes?

    Like

  11. richbeat77 May 21, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    Strange day today, found myself pleased both at the flurry of early wickets and the fightback. I really want many of the players to do well but a big part of me wants the team to get stuffed! Didn’t think I’d ever feel that way. I think it’s a shame many of us can’t properly enjoy what is shaping up to be a really good test.

    On Simon ‘The Banalyst’ Hughes I’ll make the following prediction. At some stage his and KP’s paths will cross. Possibly on TMS. I bet everything I own Mr Hughes will crawl so far up his backside it’ll make you all feel physically sick. The man is to fuckwittery what KP was to run scoring.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Mark May 21, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    Listening to Boycott (most of the rest are not worth listening to, such is their Cook worship) he makes the point that maybe New Zealand attacked too much this afternoon. They have played a lot of ODI cricket lately and they are used to variety in 20/20 to keep the batsman on their toes. Today needed some (dare I say it) consistency rather than variety of lengths and lines.

    I think England are in a better position than 50/50. New Zealand will have to bat last and if they mess up the first innings they will be in the the deep stuff.

    As for Hughes, maybe he should write a piece about how if it had been left to his beloved Cook, Josh Butler would still be playing for Lancashire because he was “not ready for test cricket.”

    All in all England’s day, and you feel NZ missed their chance. 30/4 was a winning position. They let it slip it away. May not get a another chance in this match. We will see.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Zephirine May 21, 2015 / 10:41 pm

    the all-rounder thanked the caretaker coach Paul Farbrace for pushing him back up the order and filling him with confidence. “It gives me more responsibility with the bat and it’s a place I’m more familiar with against the red ball. Hopefully I can make No6 my spot going forward,” Stokes said. “Paul Farbrace said: ‘Do what you do and everyone backs you, don’t change anything just because you’re wearing the Three Lions’.”

    This is definitely cause for some hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @pktroll May 22, 2015 / 9:42 am

      That is indeed a ray of hope for the future. I was pleased that Stokes was at 6, I just believe that given his head he will provide more runs than Mo at 6. Another change I might make would be for Root to move to 4 and Bell to move back to 5. For all the talk down the years about Bell and his technique he has never quite had the judgement to deliveries from the off stump to the ‘5th stump’ corridor of the highest class. He’s got found out a bit at 3 and 4 against the newer ball because of this.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. waikatoguy May 22, 2015 / 2:25 am

    I think NZ may have let things slip a bit. Still there is still a long way to go.

    This stuff about comparing sides to the All Blacks is really annoying. In NZ rugby is the national sport. To get even close to the ABs you have to be really good. The national team is pretty much a collection of out and out champions, and not really one that is easy to emulate. Except I guess teams like the Canadian Ice Hockey side or the American basketball team.

    If you wanted to copy the ABs the only way would be to be so successful at promoting participation in cricket, amongst young people that it gradually becomes the national sport. Then all the best sportsmen in the country play the game and competition is so stiff to get into the national side that any team selected is really good. Its news to me that the ECB has done anything like this.

    Like

  15. PepperSydney May 22, 2015 / 2:42 am

    The AB’s…. the stuff of secret nightmares to all honorable Rugby lovers, definitely in Sydney… around the water cooler it’s not done to get excessively mad at the AB’s either.. fronting up for a thrashing by the ABs has a sort of embedded ritual about it now after all these years… one has to , has to pay respect..

    A very good day, after the openers for England today.. I’ll just slide over Lyth and Cook and Bell, etc.. Cook’s out was abysmal and typical ,,, but moving on.. I was genuinely thrilled , Root has enjoyed a soft spot here in Au since last Ashes, and it has always been a bit of fear that like some sort of baby elephant seal he would get crushed in the bellowings and lunges of the big contenders during mating season and be ruined, trampled. Stokes.. he surprised me. but we’ll see how the utterly adorable Kane goes on this pitch, along with the beloved Brendon and all the others..

    Liked by 1 person

  16. amit May 22, 2015 / 6:36 am

    It is funny, that article of Simon Hughes. It really is. He is arguing all the right things (well mostly) but then draws the wrong conclusions and for the wrong people.
    We trust him to do that. Consistently. That’s why we have him as “the analyst”. If he says something, we know the opposite is true.

    Trust is important, but not in the other guy but in the other guy’s abilities; and your own. Confidence is integral but it comes from ability, not by staying together.
    Character is important but recognizing (and accepting) we were all born different is more important.

    But can someone remind him, that he is stuck in a a bit of time warp? Analysts need to keep pace with time. 😉

    Like

  17. Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 7:03 am

    Our host and Dave Tickner have been loving this one:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-3091861/England-s-young-guns-Joe-Root-Ben-Stokes-Jos-Buttler-Moeen-Ali-beat-Kevin-Pietersen-s-barmy-army.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    The unthinking man’s sports writing. My favourite bit was this:

    “New opener Adam Lyth got a cracking ball, and so did Ian Bell, but that cannot be an excuse. Batsmen aren’t meant to get out to the first decent delivery they face. Good balls are parried with good shots. That’s the game.”

    Like

    • Mark May 22, 2015 / 7:47 am

      There is another article in the Daily Wail about how Ian Botham and Shane Warne got told off by a Sky producer for being late to a sound check. What is interesting is the patronising way it is written. It has a headmaster like tone in which these huge World cricket stars are given a stern talking too.

      This piece seems to smack of a bigger agenda. The paper reports that Andrew Strauss was on the ground. What he has to do with a Sky broadcast I don’t know. But the inference would appear that no one will be allowed to misbehave now Andrew,Strauss is running things, even star commentators. The Mail, well known for its love of authoritarianism is relishing a new Strauss dictatorship where players and even commentators should know their place. Gowers fawning, vomit inducing interview of Strauss plays into this agenda that the media is trying to promote as jackboot Strauss as strong man where no descent will be tolerated.

      England cricket as a prison colony under Strauss. What a joyless time it’s going to be.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Mark May 22, 2015 / 7:56 am

        Oh and I forgot to say have you noticed how many articles there are today about KP by dishonest, hypocritical journalists who usually write constantly about “why can’t we move on from KP?”

        Even when England have a good day they can’t stop writing about him. They need their click bait. Strauss and Cook just don’t get the clicks.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. PepperSydney May 22, 2015 / 9:38 am

    I am nuts about Matt Henry.. .. * *squinty eyed with excitement , waiting for today’s session to begin.. with the GORGEOUS Matt Henry. *

    Like

  19. Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 9:40 am

    Eng 385ao
    NZ 267-3

    Day two prediction as antidote to premature crowing, with some recent experience in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 10:53 am

      Pretty much nailed part one!

      Part two might be more tricky – it feels like it should be a good day for swing.

      I’m also going to point out England made higher first innings scores in the First Tests of each of the last three series and weren’t able to win any of those matches.

      Like

      • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 11:16 am

        It isn’t necessarily what I think *will* happen. I chose those scores in honour of my favourite ATL/BTL contrast ever:

        http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2012/jul/18/england-south-africa-test-series

        First, too many people go along with MS’s blithe assumption of superiority and his argument about SA’s lack of prep. Then England were 267-3 after day one, and just look at all that hubris BTL. Then England are bowled out for 385, and then Nemesis just takes the piss… and it’s a full day and a half before anyone posts anything else…

        Like

      • Sherwick May 22, 2015 / 11:59 am

        LOL Arron!

        Like

      • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 4:00 pm

        Smugness is unbecoming 🙂
        I leave that to people who call almost everything wrong…

        Like

    • northernlight71 May 22, 2015 / 5:04 pm

      At this precise moment, your prediction looks if anything a little churlish towards the NZers. England 389, NZ 282-2. Do you earn a living visiting betting shops by any chance?! 😉

      Like

    • jomesy May 22, 2015 / 7:37 pm

      Spent the day watching the game and touching wood for the NZ batsmen can’t wait for McCullum

      Like

  20. thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 9:57 am

    Interesting interview with Ben Stokes this morning. Focused around a lot of technical batting technique chat. I’d love Cook to get that kind of treatment – but that’s rather unlikely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 22, 2015 / 10:01 am

      Yes, but that would be heresy for the Cook fan club to do proper anyalsis.

      Yesterday the genius who is Ed Smith said Cook is in great form, and then said he was playing very well just before he got out.

      Next week Ed Smith will embark in a sailing ship to the edge of the world to prove the earth is flat.

      Liked by 3 people

      • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 10:04 am

        How the hell can anyone honest say he was playing well before he got out yesterday?

        Like

      • LordCanisLupus May 22, 2015 / 11:03 am

        I was at work yesterday, and out last night, but watched the highlights this morning, and is it me, but is Cook’s waggling of the bat at the top of his backswing even more pronounced? There just looks to be too many moving parts to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart May 22, 2015 / 11:39 am

        No, he’ll read the latest Gladwell or Lewis, crunch the data, recycle and bore us all silly.

        Like

  21. dvyk May 22, 2015 / 10:00 am

    I find Strauss’s comments yesterday bizarre in the extreme–

    “”The new coach is going to be given the opportunity and space to do his job as he should be, He is not going to be a whipping boy for me or anyone else.”
    The Head Prefect assures the school assembly that the thought of bullying and beating up those of lesser status in the hierarchy simply have not entered his head. No no, not at all.

    “I am not going to be one of those guys always knocking on the dressing room door telling him he has to do this and that.”
    Nope such a thought wouldn’t even enter his head. Just not thinking about whipping boys, he’s also not thinking about knocking on the door and bossing the coach around. Partly because he’s already made three utterly stupid decisions and made them stick for the entire summer (sacking KP and never dropping Cook as captain or player), and partly because…

    “The coach is a selector at the moment, but I think selection is something we need to look at and not rush into it.”
    Yep, we don’t want coaches coming in and selecting players. The coach will be there to implement the instructions given to him by the Dictator, English Cricket, and sacked if the plans don’t work.

    “we need an England team that people are proud of. This is why the environment and culture is so important.”
    That statement is so stupid it doesn’t need comment.

    “In this job you kind of know you are not going to be popular.”
    Ah, diddums…

    “There are going to be times when it is not fun and times when people scratch their head and can’t measure your impact.”
    Try this Straussy — there will be times when people hate you for treating the national team and the fans as your own whipping boys, and your impact can be easily measured in their anger.

    “You are in the background….”
    ….but nevertheless managing to stick your ugly clock in front of every camera around and lecture your former colleagues and current underlings on how they shall behave from now on.

    “….and you are reliant on coaches and players doing their stuff.”
    Ach you poor man, you must feel so vulnerable and exposed in that position.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 10:03 am

      Nasser Hussain issued a rather pointed word of warning yesterday about how visible Strauss has been. He felt it was ok given he’s just started, but that if that carried on it would be a problem.

      Every time Nasser opens his mouth he demonstrates why he would have been such a good choice; I’m deeply disappointed he wasn’t interested.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Zephirine May 22, 2015 / 11:24 am

        I think Nasser knows enough about what goes on to be certain that he wouldn’t last long before storming out. Mind you, he’d probably do a lot of good in the brief time between appointment and explosion.

        Something about Strauss’s explanation of the KP decision, the way he so firmly said it was between Pietersen and ‘the ECB’, made me think it wasn’t just him. Somebody higher up the food chain was set against a return. Probably El Presidente.

        Or maybe it was just excuses, who knows.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark May 22, 2015 / 10:06 am

      It would be priceless, if it were not so dishonest.

      The Strauss regime in a nut shell is ” I will not intervene; unless I choose to intervene.”

      And he claims trust is the big issue. Unless of course he chooses to break trust.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 10:16 am

      “In this job you kind of know you are not going to be popular.”

      You know, Andrew, have you even considered just how much credit you had in the bank with long-standing England supporters, and therefore if you’re already “unpopular”, it really is a direct reflection on your visible, traceable, public words and actions in the relatively short time since your international retirement?

      Liked by 3 people

  22. LordCanisLupus May 22, 2015 / 10:25 am

    Did Jos Buttler piss on his chips or something:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 10:59 am

      MS is far from the only culprit here, but is anyone else nauseated by the way everyone is referred to by their surname except for “Jimmy”?

      Like

      • thebogfather May 22, 2015 / 11:15 am

        Does KPy count or is that an irrelevant question? – why hasn’t ‘Buttlery’ or Ali-ly caught on yet? Even Stokesy is lacking in such platitudes…..

        Like

      • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 11:26 am

        Don’t forget his regular references to “Mo”.

        Like

      • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 11:32 am

        Moeen is fine, it’s a pretty common way to refer to players of Pakistani origin (Javed, Imran, Waqar, Saqlain, Wasim etc etc). I’ve just never seen an English style forename used to the extent that Anderson’s is. Viv, perhaps, but that’s it.

        Like

      • Zephirine May 22, 2015 / 11:37 am

        Flintoff was ‘Fred’ or ‘Freddie’ quite often. Though perhaps more in the papers than from commentators.

        Like

      • BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 11:39 am

        Monty

        Like

      • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 4:10 pm

        Oh yes, of course, Monty.

        That used to wind me up as well, although somehow that sounded patronising while “Jimmy” sounds way too cosy.

        Like

      • emasl May 22, 2015 / 8:17 pm

        Yes I have wondered that. Presumably because he already has a Y on the end.

        Like

  23. metatone May 22, 2015 / 10:55 am

    So not quite the 400 I predicted, but I think 389 is still a hefty number of runs on the board.
    Will be interesting to see how hard (or not) batting looks in the NZ innings.

    Like

  24. Silk May 22, 2015 / 11:14 am

    Interesting. Ask me who’s in front in 4 hours.

    Like

  25. I shall remain anonymous May 22, 2015 / 11:21 am

    They’re bowling too short

    Like

    • BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 11:28 am

      OBO “Broad bowls….The over ends with England’s first lbw appeal, after the ball hit Latham’s thigh pad, but it pitched about a foot outside leg. Otherwise, worth a shout”

      Like

    • lionel joseph May 22, 2015 / 11:48 am

      not for the first time and not for the last.

      as Cook ineffectually looks on.

      i’m sure it’ll all change after lunch when someone actually capable of communicating convincingly with the bowlers has a word.

      not for the first time and not for the last.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 11:51 am

        Cook doesn’t trust himself to say something….

        Liked by 2 people

    • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 11:52 am

      Anon, spot on and just confirmed by some pitch map analysis. NZ only bowled 14% short in their first ten overs. England have bowled 31% short in theirs.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 11:54 am

    Numpty 2
    Stokes is a bad influence in the dressing room

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 12:02 pm

      It’s partly the umpires fault. If they called no balls normally then bowlers would move back. It’s ridiculous that they don’t until a wicket falls.

      Like

  27. lionel joseph May 22, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    Feel a bit sorry for Wood there, mainly because i don’t remember seeing Ravi saying anything to him before the wicket despite numerous close landings, and the ease with which he adjusted where he was landing after being called for it.

    Like

    • lionel joseph May 22, 2015 / 12:06 pm

      sorry – i see Vian beat me to it.

      Like

    • metatone May 22, 2015 / 12:31 pm

      I’ll add though that I think commentators (Selvey springs to mind) are entirely too keen to castigate players who lose getting a wicket because of a no ball. The whole reason there is a hard no-ball rule is because if you’re closer, it reduces the batsman’s reaction time. That’s why very often no-ball go with mishit shots. But if it hadn’t been a no ball (by an inch!) then (for example) it might not have taken the edge (by a quarter of a inch!)…

      Like

  28. metatone May 22, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    Has anyone had time/access to TV coverage – or just a radar gun report? What is Wood looking like? What shape is Broad in?

    Like

    • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 12:33 pm

      Wood is rapid. He’s averaging above 90mph. Pretty good start from him.

      Broad is bowling at decent pace, but too short. Anderson is too short as well.

      Like

  29. SimonH May 22, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    Look who’s very quick to use this argument when it’s in a different context –

    Or you could visit The Analyst who has followed his Pietersen piece with one on (and you couldn’t make this up) ” the positives in Alastair Cook’s first-day failure”.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 12:43 pm

    “On TMS this lunchtime, Ed Smith and Simon Hughes are discussing…. ”
    I will be rushing to download that podcast….

    Like

    • Tregaskis May 22, 2015 / 3:35 pm

      I normally enjoy the TMS lunch-time discussions, but this was two bald men being over earnest about how they prefer to wear their partings.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus May 22, 2015 / 3:57 pm

        Glad I’m not the only one. Thought if I came on here and moaned about it, I’d get “oh, it’s only him moaning again”.

        Hughes has been winging it for ages, and he seems to be bloody everywhere at the moment. The first part I heard was them bigging up Alastair’s concentration, then applying their psychology degrees to Mark Ramprakash. Both Hughes and Smith had one thing in common, their overwhelming commitment to their own cause. I don’t know if it’s me, but old FICJAM just sounds like he’s talking down to everyone he converses with, including the listener. He’d also swallowed the sports pyschology bible, hook, line and sinker.

        Like

      • paule May 22, 2015 / 4:43 pm

        ‘which was nice’….

        Like

      • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 6:45 pm

        It’s not just you. That is exactly what he sounds like. Especially when he shares the box with a woman, such as Isa Guha.

        Like

  31. thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 1:08 pm

    I’m loving Ian Smith being on commentary talking about keeping. Note Atherton saying he doesn’t know much about it – you’re damn right you don’t Athers. Nor do any of the others who haven’t done it. I never hear quite so much utter bollocks as when the completely clueless talk about a discipline they don’t understand.

    And when they talk about catches and drops standing up to the stumps, that’s when I go into orbit about the total shite spouted about reactions and so forth.*

    *Yes this is a HUGE bee in my bonnet.

    Like

    • volkerelle May 22, 2015 / 1:47 pm

      Not to worry, ECBXI have sufficient ex-international wicketkeepers ho(o)vering around the team.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 1:55 pm

        Graeme Fowler rather made that point in the West Indies that you’d have thought with two wicketkeepers in the coaching staff they’d have noticed Buttler’s gloves close when he’s standing up.

        Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 7:17 pm

      Two things I love about Ian Smith are that he still sounds like he genuinely loves the game and he doesn’t let tiresome cliches from other commentators pass unchallenged.

      Like

  32. Silk May 22, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    I may be jumping ahead of myself here, bus assuming NZ don’t f- this up (which, given the start they’ve got, the state of the pitch and the fact that Williamson, Taylor and BMac are to come, they really shouldn’t) then we are going to see a familiar situation. England do fairly well on the first few days of the Test, then find themselves under pressure when they go out to bat for the 2nd time.

    Is it jumping far to far ahead to suggest that if NZ get any kind of lead, we will see another batting collapse from Waitrose?

    Like

    • Pontiac May 22, 2015 / 2:09 pm

      The one rule of NZ home tests that I’ve noticed over the last couple years is Thou Shalt Not Waste The New Ball, for After That It Is Very Hard To Get Anyone Out Who Does Not Make A Mistake. So the way things seem to be playing so far should be very familiar to NZ, from the point of view of game pacing, patience, and so on.

      The other thing that occurs to me is if this ends in a draw, England’s bowlers will have bowled last, and there isn’t a lot of recovery time to the next match.

      So from the point of view of wanting to win the series, McCullum’s choice to bowl first makes sense. There is also the matter of buying one more day for the batsmen coming from IPL to acclimate to the time zone change – I suspect that the need for constant concentration would mean that they would relatively suffer more than bowlers to this.

      Like

  33. SimonH May 22, 2015 / 1:58 pm

    125-0 and the first over of spin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 2:13 pm

      …and within 12 balls of spin a wicket…

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez May 22, 2015 / 2:15 pm

        And now Guptill goes, to Broad. Latham unlucky. Just about the first time that a player got out on an umpire’s call.

        Like

      • d'Arthez May 22, 2015 / 3:44 pm

        Taylor survives a lbw appeal on umpire’s call. Mind you, the ball was projected to hardly touch leg stump.

        So it is 1 in 6 now?

        Like

    • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 2:20 pm

      D’Arthez, yes NZ had three ‘Umpire’s call’ LBWs yesterday and weren’t given one.

      England get given their second one.

      Like

    • emasl May 22, 2015 / 8:20 pm

      Ironic cheers from crowed when Ali appeared

      Like

  34. SimonH May 22, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    This nugget about the choice of coach and captain was tucked away at the end of George Dobell’s latest:

    “These are decisions that are no longer made entirely on a cricketing basis. They are made, in part, with a view towards regaining the faith of sponsors and spectators. And if that sounds cynical, it is worth recording that, after news of Moores’ sacking and Strauss’ appointment broke, Strauss and Tom Harrison, the new ECB chief executive, spent the evening phoning sponsors and inviting them to ask any question they liked. That has not happened before”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone May 22, 2015 / 2:59 pm

      What’s laughable is “sponsors AND spectators” – sponsors maybe, but we’ve seen the contempt they have for the spectators.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Ann Weatherly-Barton (@xpressanny) May 22, 2015 / 4:31 pm

        Indeed. Simon Hughes just suggested that if we do not accept what he says that we are not proper supporters of England Cricket? So I think that chat is all wind and smoking mirrors. The ECB, Strauss and the rest have not regained this old gal. I am just too disgusted with them all.

        Like

    • Mark May 22, 2015 / 3:13 pm

      WOW WOW WOW

      Fuck it! That’s the final straw, I’m off. They consulted their sponsors about who should be in, and out?

      So, what we have been saying for some time is true. We have an invitational ECB 11 chosen for their ability to appeal to some dumbed down corporate entity. Making money for a bunch of faceless men in suits. This is not sport, and it’s certainly not international sport. Its a craven corporate cancer that is killing everything. No wonder Strauss was given such an easy ride by Sky. They probably want the sponsors business.

      This is not a model for fans but customers. If I am nothing more than a customer to be served up like pigs for slaughter to some shallow commercial outlet its time to stop pretending sport transcends life. Its just another sleazy corporate bullshit effort. I’m probably being ridiculously romantic about the past. But this is not what I think sport is about. This is a bunch of cheapskate second hand car dealers, trying to take as much as they can from people’s wallets. Well,fuck um!

      Liked by 4 people

  35. SimonH May 22, 2015 / 2:59 pm

    Good on Broad’s batting (good because it doesn’t buy into the narrative his decline dates from the blow from Aaron or from MJ 2013/14 but goes back considerably further):

    Like

    • metatone May 22, 2015 / 3:10 pm

      Interesting stuff about selection – maybe Strauss is in a corner.
      Either he appoints Farbrace or it sounds like to get a Gillespie, Kirsten or Bayliss he’ll have to let them decide team matters…

      Liked by 1 person

      • metatone May 22, 2015 / 3:10 pm

        I should note the bit about “not rushing it” sounds a lot like waiting for a match result that lets them leap into appointing Farby..

        Like

  36. James May 22, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    Sir Geoffrey in fine fettle on TMS. Dismissing The Anal-ists book on batting as nonsense. “what did he average? About 8.5? Must be a short book”. Delicious.

    Liked by 5 people

  37. BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    Wonder if Big Mac is watching the IPL….

    Like

  38. thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 4:00 pm

    England could be in trouble if they don’t take wickets soon. New Zealand should be within a 100 or so by close of play. If they’re only two or three down by that point…..problems.

    Like

    • d'Arthez May 22, 2015 / 4:05 pm

      Looks like more and more like about 80 runs behind at stumps. With 7 or 8 wickets in hand, New Zealand may well aim to bat till lunch on Day 4.

      Waitrose XI need some inspiration now (at 235/2, 57.2 overs)

      Like

      • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 4:07 pm

        I was being conservative on the basis that teams play for stumps in the last few overs – but you might well be right.

        Just bat and bat from their perspective.

        Like

    • I shall remain anonymous May 22, 2015 / 4:07 pm

      NZ have batted well today. Good shot selection, positive intent, put the bad ball away. Ironically, England haven’t been able to dry the runs up. They haven’t hit a consistent line and length.

      Like

  39. Amit Garg May 22, 2015 / 4:07 pm

    I know he’s only played 9 games so far, but Stokes averages 40 and 28 in test matches. Brilliant numbers. Just that 40 is with ball and 28 with bat. Needs to do more with ball. Doesn’t he?

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez May 22, 2015 / 4:14 pm

      What Stokes needs is time. And competent management.

      Quite a few allrounders did not have blazing starts to their careers. Stokes still has plenty of time to turn it around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amit Garg May 22, 2015 / 4:18 pm

        Agree on the management. But at this point, he still looks like a batsman who bowls.
        For the balance of the team though, they need a bit more penetration.

        Like

      • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 4:21 pm

        Flintoff had a far worse start to his Test career. Just patience is all that’s needed with Stokes. He’s got the talent.

        Liked by 2 people

      • metatone May 22, 2015 / 4:52 pm

        I think there’s also a balance with Stokes that he needs to play more CC in between England games. He’s only the 5th bowler in the England side at the moment, so he’s not getting that many overs… which isn’t helping his development.

        Like

      • paule May 22, 2015 / 4:53 pm

        Freddie was dreadful. A chubby pie chucker. Fletcher deserves enormous credit for sticking with him.

        Like

      • paule May 22, 2015 / 5:24 pm

        Thanks for that Dmitri, very interesting. He had his blindspots but he was a great talent spotter. He should have chosen Strauss though. Thought so at the time. Hadn’t he skippered the team to a series victory over Pakistan?

        Like

    • metatone May 22, 2015 / 5:07 pm

      I do think that if England aren’t winning, then questions will start to be asked about picking Ali and Stokes together. They are both full of potential, but generally delivering more with the bat than the ball. Trouble is, that leaves you with 3 regular wicket taking bowlers and that may not be enough.

      Of course, the further problem is that without Stokes batting we’d be in a hole, but England seem committed to Moeen as their spinner. So it’s hard to reconfigure the team without some brave rethinking.

      Like

      • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 5:10 pm

        Moeen’s got a Test bowling average of 30. What is it exactly people are expecting of him? Apart from Swann, English spinners average about 37-42.

        Like

      • metatone May 22, 2015 / 5:18 pm

        @TLG – I hope you’re right and I’m wrong, but I’m not entirely convinced his average will look as good by the end of this run of Tests.

        Like

      • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 5:21 pm

        Maybe not – but isn’t that what’s meant to be the case with any player? Moeen is getting talk about his position at the moment, and I find it absolutely unbelievable to be honest. He shouldn’t have been picked in the West Indies because he’d been injured, and that’s ok. But I think we’re in severe danger of doing what the Australians did post-Warne – discarding spinner after spinner even though they were doing a good job, just because they weren’t Warne.

        Liked by 1 person

      • metatone May 22, 2015 / 5:23 pm

        Fair enough – I’m actually a fan of Moeen – I was more trying to point to the structural problem.
        Which of course is actually caused by an unreliable top order (batting) and worries about our frontline bowling (esp. overworking them.)

        Like

      • d'Arthez May 22, 2015 / 5:28 pm

        And it does not help that Captain Cook is as clued up as he is with regards to using spinners.

        Don’t axe Moeen for the shortcomings of the anointed one.

        Like

      • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 5:36 pm

        Rather than dropping one of Stokes or Ali the solution should be to drop a specialist batsman and play another bowler.

        Snowball’s chance in hell they’ll do it.

        Like

  40. Amit Garg May 22, 2015 / 4:23 pm

    If kiwis don’t lose wickets today, England could be chasing a big deficit with BMac and Corey Anderson still to bat.

    Like

  41. SimonH May 22, 2015 / 4:38 pm

    Warne’s had enough and is starting to have a go at Cook’s captaincy.

    How have England been trying to get a wicket in the last hour? Two hours?

    Liked by 2 people

  42. pktroll (@pktroll) May 22, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    Warne is already having a bit of a selective go at Cook. He isn’t perhaps being as blatant as he was last year but is suggesting that Cook is letting the game drift and is not really thinking about his field

    Like

    • thebogfather May 22, 2015 / 4:59 pm

      The only field Cook knows how to think about is the one with his sheep in.

      Like

    • emasl May 22, 2015 / 8:25 pm

      Yep he said that Cook was just letting the game happen and also said when Ali came on to bowl About time. The remark about Cook letting the game happen was said as there was a close up of Cooky biting his finger nails. Camera then swung to Broad and Anderson who were setting the field….

      Like

  43. pktroll (@pktroll) May 22, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    Oh and there will be a captaincy debate at lunch time tomorrow. Warne will be there as will Atherton and Ian Smith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 4:52 pm

      From OBO – “VB: Apparently all you need to be England Captain is the capability to score no runs and then stand and do nothing in the field”

      Liked by 2 people

      • BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 4:53 pm

        I meant BBC..

        Like

      • thebogfather May 22, 2015 / 5:12 pm

        Well, sheep do shit whilst standing still in their field….

        Like

  44. Grumpy Gaz May 22, 2015 / 4:44 pm

    Uh oh! Warne delivering some mild criticism of Cooky’s lack of anything resembling pro-active action! Stand by for another ‘Something must be done!’ tirade from the entitled one.

    Like

  45. metatone May 22, 2015 / 4:51 pm

    @Vian (or anyone else) – how’s Moeen looked today?
    Is his torso moving more freely than it was in the WI?

    Like

    • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 4:54 pm

      He’s bowled pretty well today. Plenty of action on the ball, some drift and a little bit of turn. New Zealand have tried to attack him (which is good from them) but haven’t been able to get on top of him.

      Like

  46. BoerInAustria May 22, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    News from OBO – “Jason Gillespie has confirmed to #SSNHQ that he’s held talks with Andrew Strauss regarding the vacant Head Coach position”

    Is Lords now SSNHQ? And I though Team Sky was Prior’s cycle team…

    Like

    • metatone May 22, 2015 / 5:32 pm

      Yup – teach me to disrespect Moeen.
      Could be a great benefit to England that NZ have to bat last…

      Like

      • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 5:33 pm

        As long as they do have to bat last. If they bat all day tomorrow then England will have a huge deficit to clear first.

        Like

    • metatone May 22, 2015 / 5:33 pm

      Certainly makes our batting performance look a little less impressive than it did last night…

      Like

      • thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 5:34 pm

        I do recall a fair few people saying the MSM’s triumphalist reporting was premature.

        Like

      • paule May 22, 2015 / 5:37 pm

        They (the MSM) will never learn.

        Like

  47. d'Arthez May 22, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    303/2 at stumps. Taylor at 47*, Williamson at 92*. Taylor seems to carry some minor injury. But Waitrose XI really under the pump here. Need some magic with the new ball tomorrow. Else, it will be 10 out of 13, Mr. Pringle.

    Like

  48. paule May 22, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    Is Stuart Ball a bowler of great spells rather than a great bowler? Just sayin’……

    Like

  49. thelegglance May 22, 2015 / 5:42 pm

    Moeen is great when they interview him. No bullshit, he just talks honestly. Team Waitrose will knock that out of him soon enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. SimonH May 22, 2015 / 5:45 pm

    England desperately need some wickets with the second new ball. Also (rather like in the West Indies) there has always seemed more movement in the morning session.

    Otherwise it could be carnage. McCullum’s in next – I’d like him to put on a show but would also quite like NZ to do it without McCullum to expose this ‘McCullum and some other guys’ line (if I was Ed Smith I might call it narrative fallacy) from the UK media for the guff it is.

    Looking forward to how the MSM spin this one. Some questioning if picking eight batsmen and relying on trust and closeness as a unit does actually win Test matches? Or lots of bleating about the pitch?

    Like

    • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 6:01 pm

      Or as somebody much wittier than me puts it –

      Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez May 22, 2015 / 6:01 pm

      Blame the pitch. It seems like a typical Lord’s road. And given the position that New Zealand are in now, they’ll be pleased that England are going to bat in the third innings (so they don’t have to worry about setting a 4th innings target).

      Blame the toss. Never mind the fact that Cook probably would have batted first if he had won the toss.

      Blame luck. That is a nice way of blaming the umpire’s for marginal calls going the way of New Zealand. Never mind the fact, that England have the slight advantage on umpire’s call working to their advantage.

      Blame the inexperience of the players. Hardly a good excuse after the greatest victory over a touring side under Moores (India). These are mostly the same players. And Woakes / Stokes would not have made that massive a difference. If it would have, Woakes would have to be Bradman reincarnated with the bat, and Barnes with the ball.

      But do not blame the inept captaincy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dlpthomas May 23, 2015 / 4:45 am

        Not so much inept as non-existant

        Like

    • metatone May 22, 2015 / 6:04 pm

      It feels like England have been ignoring (Duncan Fletcher apart) the need to take 20 wickets to win Test matches my whole life.

      Mind you, most of my life, Lords has been a batting-friendly pitch, esp. 1st innings. Seem to recall the average 1st innings is something like 377.

      Liked by 1 person

  51. I shall remain anonymous May 22, 2015 / 6:09 pm

    Off topic, but there’s a hell of a finish in the IPL game

    Like

  52. wrongunatlongon May 22, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    With the ball just 15 overs old, and a 40 minute break for lunch with none of the front 3 seamers having bowled more than Anderson’s 6 overs (and that in two bursts), I was a little surprised to see England re-open up with our number 6 batsman. I don’t completely dis-rate Stokes, but he does go at around 4 an over in Tests which isn’t exactly cohesive to seizing the initiative. If Broad is a bowler of great spells, then Stokes is a bowler of great balls – occasionally. Can you imagine BMac ignoring Boult and Southee in favour of Corey Anderson in similar circumstances?

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    Selvey in full Dr Cheerleader and Mr Churl form in tonight’s report. Top effort.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 7:28 pm

      I’m not sure which is more impressive – his ability to work in yet another reference to Stokes taking wickets with no balls or his emphasis on the supposed missed stumping which all the commentators I listened to (including an experienced former international wicketkeeper) thought no more than a technical chance.

      The contrast between his writing about Ali’s inability to make runs with the tail and what he said about Buttler in the West Indies is also duly noted.

      Like

      • Arron Wright May 22, 2015 / 7:40 pm

        That “seemed less urgent” is a classic of the genre, front and centre, first paragraph. Then Cook holds a slip catch well but there’s literally eff all about his leaving Moeen out of the attack for so long. Massive emphasis on near misses, and Latham “unquestionably lbw”. Fred and one or two others have said it reads like a balanced day’s play, when one side made 35-3 and the other 303-2. Still work to do to match his Oval 2012 “freak circumstances” assessment, but a fine start.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH May 22, 2015 / 8:17 pm

        The Latham LBW was also described as “plumb” on the OBO. John Ashdown really is Son of Selvey.

        Like

    • d'Arthez May 22, 2015 / 7:43 pm

      The pair went on to add 148 before a sudden hiatus interrupted the flow of the batting. First Latham, on the back foot, attempted to work Moeen, around the wicket, to square leg, missed and was unquestionably lbw for 5.

      “Unquestionably” being: umpire’s call on hitting. But hey, don’t let the facts get away with your idiocy Mike. Even more idiotic after he seemingly failed to miss the lbw that was not given against Root on day 1, when the score was about 90/4. Root survived that one on umpire’s call with regards to pitching.

      Like

  54. "IronBalls" McGinty May 22, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    Listening on TMS, the most interesting passage of play occurred after Vaughan was bemoaning Cook’s lack of proactivity and just letting the game go. He suggested bowling around the wicket, bowling short, setting the leg trap etc…Well, bugger me, in a shake of a lamb’s tail (sorry) and after a flurry of drinks breaks exactly that happened on the field….I don’t believe in coincidence!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus May 23, 2015 / 3:07 am

      George Dobell on polite enquiries said Cook was now a toxic brand as a captain and he can’t do much right now in too many eyes. He wasn’t really the problem yesterday.

      I understand that George and know you’ve held that line for a while. But it’s too close to TINA for my liking. I’m not expecting magic from a new skipper but this can’t go on, can it? It’s looking like a political decision the longer it continues.

      Thought it an interesting polite enquiries if you get the chance. Once you get past the general silliness. Ooooh. Don’t I sound like a killjoy. .

      Like

    • BoerInAustria May 23, 2015 / 5:22 am

      And just as Boycs said they should bowl spin….

      Like

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