England v New Zealand – 2nd Test Day 1

Well, hello there.

This isn’t going to be a long post, and if Vian wants to add something, he’s more than welcome. We didn’t really get around to discussing who was doing what, when for this test last night in our drink with Maxie from The Full Toss. There seemed more important things to talk about.

So, now that you’ve been told that this is a team we can all fall in love with again, and that even us doubters are being swayed by this lovely team full of vim and vigour, what’s the point of carrying on? We’re not outside anymore, are we?

I’ve been struck by the shallowness of it all. It was one win, right, against a decent team. It came with our backs against a wall, and a number of players doing what they do best, while also two or three of the more senior players didn’t really come to the party. It was an optimistic performance, one that did indeed stir the soul. It was great to watch Stokes play that amazing 101, but as I said last night, much more important in the context of the match was his swashbuckling 92 in the first innings that pulled us out of the mire. Joe Root’s excellence continued and some here remark that he’s almost the leader of the team now, which I can see. Cook’s hundred was a very very good innings, but it’s not about that. It’s about the sub-plots and the intrigue that Cook’s narrative will be formed, no matter how much we are told to love him and that he’s a great guy.

It’s just an incredible state of affairs. The media, and many on social media (and boy, are they not discounting this as a voluble minority in press-land) are whooping it up. As I said about Grenada, when you win a game you didn’t expect to, act like you’ve been there before. I’ve tried to come up with a number of analogies but they all revolve around the female of the species and I’m not going there!

Tomorrow’s test will be a challenge to see how we follow up one excellent performance. Last time we flopped in Barbados. Now we are expected to do this again. Comments below.

No comment from me on Bayliss. James has done something over at The Full Toss which no doubt many of you have read. I’m really sorry but when I hear “he’s an excellent choice” with the ECB, I can’t get “Paul Downton” out of my mind. I’m really rather sad like that.

Have a good one.



50 thoughts on “England v New Zealand – 2nd Test Day 1

  1. Phil May 28, 2015 / 10:10 pm

    I’m not getting over excited, If it wasn’t for that extordinary un-England like innings from Stokes (any other England player would have scored about 40-50 with the same deliveries) and the fact we got bowled out cheaply on day five (and I conceed we may have declared, but I have no faith in that) we wouldn’t have had a cat’s chance in winning that test. That said my interest has been piqued by this mini-series, and if we can get Ballance firing and replace Bell with Taylor, they’ll be a handy, if badly run side. I doubt the bowling will scare the Aussies too much though.


    • Pontiac May 29, 2015 / 12:08 am

      The WICB President’s XI are so far giving a good account of themselves, however.


      • FustedBlush May 29, 2015 / 9:08 am

        In fairness, though, the Aussie XI is hardly at full-strength.


  2. Boz May 29, 2015 / 1:19 am

    Dmitri, what you have to ask yourself is – “Is the damage that’s been done and continuing to be done repairable?”

    From where I stand the authorities (sic) are not repentant and show no sign of ever being so. No matter how glamorous the cricket victories and how valiant individuals are is there any sign of movement. They talk, rather Straus the Cunt talks about trust in the most vainglorious manner – he doesn’t know what the word means. He is afterall a rightwing ideologist and probably a royalist. Graves is digging one.

    In summary, no change at the top.

    Is it worth the effort, the time and the stress – the ECB have a long way to go to reach Blatter but that’s the road they are on and they don’t give a damn!


    • Escort May 29, 2015 / 5:03 am

      “He is after all a right wing ideologist and probably a royalist”???
      So everything would be ok and the ashes will be won if Strauss declares himself a socialist and a republican.
      You don’t work for the BBC do you?


      • Zephirine May 29, 2015 / 9:19 am

        The BBC is a very Tory place these days, has been for a while – the Guardian is a better bet for a republican reference. Just saying.


      • FustedBlush May 29, 2015 / 9:28 am

        If what Boz is trying to say is that the newly appointed members of ECB hierarchy remain very firmly part of the ‘Establishment’ fraternity (Colin Graves being more an ‘adopted’ member) – which is, inherently, insular and conservative (note the small ‘c’) then I would tend to agree.

        The British Establishment is not known for progressive, outward-looking innovation, nor for admitting error and changing its ways.


    • Larry David Niven May 29, 2015 / 7:44 pm

      I’m a vociferous right-winger and default Royalist. I think Strauss is a top drawer cnut and that the ECB could Do with the FIFA treatment. You don’t have to be a self flagellating socialist to think that, so please, no more unnecessary political grandstanding. We all think the ECB stinks or we wouldn’t be here.


  3. SimonH May 29, 2015 / 7:48 am

    Weather not looking good for this Test. Little chance of play before lunch today and only tomorrow has a completely clear forecast for the five days.

    Not that anyone could anticipate bad weather in Leeds in May when you are scheduling one of a team’s two Tests in six years there.


    • Arron Wright May 29, 2015 / 8:20 am

      And look at this:


      No play day 1 – rain
      Two rain breaks day 5

      I say again, across their careers the best visiting batsmen from all countries experienced England throughout its summer during the 70s, 80s and 90s. This has now been completely lost, and it is a woefully under-reported consequence of the ECB’s re-organisation of the international season.

      (At this point I can’t dig out my BTL statistical analysis of modern greats and how limited their experience of England’s summer is compared to those of the previous generation, but it’s pretty damning)


    • metatone May 29, 2015 / 8:20 am

      Gah – don’t get me started.
      One of the things that ended my live Test cricket watching was that for years Headingley was my closest ground and I’ve lost more money on “played a few overs so no refund” Tests early on in the year than I care to think about.


  4. SteveT May 29, 2015 / 7:55 am

    It changes nothing, the team might be more likeable now but it’s still the same old ECB. Events of the last 18 months have not been forgotten and will not be forgiven unless there is an apology for ‘outside cricket’ and a public apology to KP for leading him up the garden path and Peter Moores for the manner of his dismissal. Not going to happen is it? Keep up the great work, keep asking the questions that the MSM won’t. We are still outside cricket. I intended to support NZ to start with but the uplifting counter attack by Root and Stokes from 30-4 made me more of a neutral. Can’t completely turn my back on the team i’m afraid. Didn’t feel the pleasure I would have done normally after a victory like that though. Hope this next match is more of the same.

    Love Cricket, hate the ECB!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine May 29, 2015 / 9:33 am

      Events of the last 18 months have not been forgotten and will not be forgiven unless there is an apology for ‘outside cricket’ and a public apology to KP for leading him up the garden path and Peter Moores for the manner of his dismissal. Not going to happen is it?
      Peter Moores is key here, the poor guy has done us a favour in a way. It’s too easy for the recent ill-treatment of Pietersen to be dismissed as only what he deserves after this supposed career of reckless dressing-room sabotage and evil texting which, truly, truly would shock us if we knew the extent of its awfulness. But Peter Moores was so obviously a nice, earnest, hard-working bloke in the wrong job – a job he may not even have wanted all that much the second time round – and the horrible way he was treated as a disposable commodity, and left to coach that match with everyone speculating/knowing he’d been sacked, has shocked a lot of people who thought the ECB was pretty much OK.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SteveT May 29, 2015 / 10:17 am

        Suspect Moores was given the job as he was the only candidate who would accept the twin restrictions of not selecting KP AND being saddled with Cook as ODI captain (and killing our World Cup preparation). Now the second condition no longer applies and KP is a year older, the conditions are probably more acceptable to Baylis. Although I thought removing Moores was the right decision, the manner in which they did it was disgusting. At least Baylis has coached Sri Lanka, so is used to dealing with idiot administrators. The experience should stand him in good stead for dealing with the ECB

        Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright May 29, 2015 / 8:27 am

      Don’t care who it is, ‘yawn’ is an utterly pathetic response to any point.


    • LordCanisLupus May 29, 2015 / 8:30 am

      I’ve never really got the Atherton worship it has to be said. The archetypal right kind of family person the ECB world cherish.

      Liked by 1 person

      • metatone May 29, 2015 / 8:51 am

        I think Atherton is a decent commentator and writer about the playing side of the game.
        He’s not a journalist in the wider sense.

        (Although credit to him, he’s written good opinion pieces in the past about ICC machinations, associate nations, etc.)


      • SteveT May 29, 2015 / 8:52 am

        He’s usually a rare voice of sanity on Sky, which makes his response very disappointing. No different to Selfey.


      • simonk133 May 29, 2015 / 10:49 am

        Yeah he’s not a journalist. It could be argued that cricket really suffers from a paucity of people who are able to find and report on cricket news, as opposed to commentators. It’s why people like Hoult stick out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright May 29, 2015 / 11:16 am

        SimonK133 has my new favourite avatar


        Liked by 2 people

      • simonk133 May 29, 2015 / 1:20 pm

        Thanks Arron. Once I have been taken off the naughty step at the Guardian I intend to deploy it there, probably securing myself a life ban in the process.

        Liked by 2 people

    • keyserchris May 29, 2015 / 9:51 am

      I’m a Times subscriber, and to be fair to Atherton, he comments a lot below his pieces, and they’re usually interesting to read.

      In this case, though, better to say nothing than “yawn”. The Pietersen palaver has been oft-discussed BTL at the Times, as anywhere else. I can understand Atherton being bored of discussing it ad nauseum, but that REALLY wasn’t the comment to come out with “yawn” to. It’s the most valid point in this whole affair.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Badger May 29, 2015 / 9:53 pm

      Athers, seriously? I don’t know what’s what anymore. Maybe it’s me, maybe I’m wrong.


    • paule May 30, 2015 / 9:01 am

      Astonishing. Confirms Geoffrey’s argument: these guys aren’t remotely interested in journalism, only in cushy seats and a decent wage packet.


  5. metatone May 29, 2015 / 8:26 am

    For me, I think it changes focus away from the team (give Bayliss a chance) to my ongoing issues with the ECB: the failure to face up to the problems of the grassroots and maintaining the talent pool, the cost of Test cricket and of course, the whole relationship with Sky.

    I’ll also note that on paper, NZ were destined to find the 1st Test hard: players flying in at the last minute with no long-form practice on top of the usual fact that away teams find May in England hard. It’s easy to suspect that this victory is being overrated.

    Likewise, NZ don’t have a deep squad and you can’t help but suspect that the injuries suffered mean another tough time for them in this game. However, I would not be surprised to see them back with new bowling plans for Cook and Stokes. That could be interesting, but again, given the weather forecast, England are holding the best cards.


  6. Tom May 29, 2015 / 11:10 am

    Just curious, but looked at the BBC weather forecast and it looks as though it’ll warm up to a toasty 11 degrees celsius this afternoon. Assuming there’s play today, has there been a modern test played in such cold conditions? I know nothing about the pitch, but I’m not sure if I’d want to bowl or bat first. Neither will be fun. Assuming the pitch is good, I guess I’d prefer to bat given the choice, but wouldn’t look forward to it. And no, keep me out of the slips.

    Many years ago I did play in an early-season game where we had to stop play for snow. It wasn’t much fun but we weren’t exactly playing against test-class bowlers or batsmen.


    • SteveT May 29, 2015 / 11:20 am

      There has been, it was against the Windies in 2004 (I think) at Headingley. On the May Bank Holiday Monday, temperatures peaked at 8 C! I can remember Michael Vaughan wearing about 3 sweaters. Felt so sorry for the poor West Indians. Anyone else remember this?


      • Tom May 29, 2015 / 11:38 am

        Well, the pitch seems to have been revealed and it’s a green-top according to reports. “Win the toss, Skip, and I’ll field at mid off”.


      • Sherwick May 29, 2015 / 11:50 am

        Yep, remember it well! Hilarious to watch! 🙂


  7. Phil May 29, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    Well done Jimmy. 400 (401!) wickets, please don’t get injured!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. metatone May 29, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    The early conditions and the stop-start favouring England so far. This could be the best toss to have won in a while if the weather allows enough play for England to get at least a couple more NZ wickets today. Finish off bundling NZ out cheaply tomorrow morning and bat the rest of the day in the best weather…


  9. SimonH May 29, 2015 / 2:50 pm

    McCullum first ball from Broad six over cover. This isn’t going to be dull.


    • metatone May 29, 2015 / 3:05 pm

      It’s a cliche, but there’s a man who won’t go out wondering “what if…?”


  10. BoerInAustria May 29, 2015 / 4:45 pm

    I reckon NZ will make about 320 in their 50 overs….


  11. Pontiac May 29, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    It’s almost as if NZ are aiming for a normal day’s score and a normal number of wickets lost.


  12. Arron Wright May 29, 2015 / 5:24 pm

    Lovejoy being spectacularly mardy about DRS denying Moeen Ali a wicket. Apparently he didn’t see the marginal calls at Lord’s.


  13. pktroll (@pktroll) May 29, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    Can’t help believe that England have lost the initiative. With a fair bit of help in the pitch they have bowled a lot of junk and have let NZ off the hook. I do not think that you put a side in and in very friendly conditions allow them to score as many as they have. As well as this there has been some poor catching. However as I write Latham has finally been caught by Cook after having about 4 previous lives. I guess this could swing things back England’s way.


  14. Arron Wright May 29, 2015 / 5:43 pm

    Bloody hell, even Andrew Hilditch will be laughing at that one.


  15. pktroll (@pktroll) May 29, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    In fairness Broad has been pretty smart at preying on the weaknesses of both of those batsmen and they obliged. I still reckon NZ are on top though, especially if they can get to 300.


  16. d'Arthez May 29, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Did not see any of the game. But judging by the commentary Ravi had another rather average day. It may sound harsh (and I am not saying I could do a better job), but we’d hope for better than that.

    The tactics employed by England don’t bode too well for the Ashes though. Broad picked up 3, but went practically for a run / ball.

    Since 2000:

    Only two teams have lost after posting more than 203 in the first innings (which England did in 2008, when defeated by South Africa; Darren Pattinson’s only Test). One was Australia, in 2001. Australia made 447 in their first innings. A marvelous effort by Butcher, but the Ashes were already lost by then. The other? New Zealand’s 409 in 2004. I don’t know a thing about that match, so maybe others can fill us in about that.

    New Zealand lost the toss, but managed to get a rather decent 297/8 for the day (65 overs). They won’t be too happy with the number of wickets lost, but given the conditions, they won’t be too dissatisfied.

    The only team that did not last Day 1 batting first and won, was Sri Lanka, last year. And well, that won’t ever appear in Cook’s captaincy highlights.

    So depending on what the weather does, we could be in for a cracker.


    • Arron Wright May 29, 2015 / 8:41 pm

      “I don’t know a thing about that match, so maybe others can fill us in about that.”

      Easy version: Geraint Jones and Andrew Flintoff played Ben Stokes the batsman and Joe Root, Marcus Trescothick played Alastair Cook (but more entertainingly) and finally Matthew Hoggard played Ben Stokes the bowler.


      It was the sort of game that caused people like me to fall hopelessly, irretrievably in love with Vaughan’s England side. It was the second of eight consecutive wins and fifth of 11 wins in 12 Tests. Around this time, people started believing England could win from almost any position. The other two wins in the series, incidentally, saw England’s sixth and eighth highest successful run chases ever. They were proper good times.


  17. wrongunatlongon May 29, 2015 / 8:41 pm

    After being 2-2, NZ have done very well to finish the day on and around 300. If they can nudge it up to 330 they’ll be pretty happy with that. I think they’ll be happy enough that they have a total, not a huge total, but a total. They’re in the game, and have scored at a rate that suggests we’ll see a result.

    Watching the verdict, Prior is immediately talking about ‘boundary percentage’. He’s talking about England bowling NZ out cheaply tomorrow and scoring 450. He knows the exact number of catches he’s taken from Anderson. I don’t know if I just dislike him, and I know he’s only recently out of the England dressing room, but…

    I’m quite glad Anderson won’t have any more milestones for a little while, the build up to them bore me. It tears me up that he’s going to overtake my all time favourite quick next in Big Curtly. For me, he’s better than Pollock*, and possibly Harbajhan Singh, but worse than the rest of those who have 400 wickets.

    *at bowling. Overall Pollock’s batting puts him as a more valuable player.


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