England v New Zealand, 2nd Test: Day Four report/Day Five preview

Given that play was curtailed with only 29 overs possible on day four, England now have an excellent chance of getting away with a draw.  98 overs may be scheduled for the final day, but the forecast is some way less than perfect for tomorrow as well.  A 1-0 series win is now within their grasp, as it appears that at best a third of the day may be at risk.

If so, England will move up to third in the ICC rankings, and New Zealand will drop to seventh, a rather hard outcome for the Black Caps who have lit up the early summer with their exciting style of cricket.

For make no mistake, England have been on the wrong end of something of a hammering in this match.  The scoring rates have been little short of astonishing from New Zealand – they have the highest scoring rate of any Test team in history who have scored more than 800 runs in a match, while in the second innings they set a different, if slightly esoteric record by becoming the first side in which 8 batsmen hit sixes.

Of course, while their approach deserves immense credit – and remember they were put into bat in difficult conditions on day one – it doesn’t excuse the abysmal bowling performance from England this morning in particular.  Mike Selvey commented that:

Aside from the usual “knowing for a fact” stuff, it begs the question what on earth the captain is up to in allowing it to continue.  Any captain should be telling the bowler in no uncertain terms that it is not acceptable to bowl in that manner, and telling him to do what he is told.  If he won’t do that, then he’s off.  It really is as simple as that.  If Broad instead continues to do his own thing, and if Cook allows him to, then that is truly appalling captaincy, and weak beyond measure.  And here’s the rub – if Selvey is wrong and that it was the policy, then that’s dreadful too, given that it doesn’t work, hasn’t worked and that England have had this problem of being spanked to all parts of the ground by the tail on so many occasions.  It really is one or the other here.

England’s bowling to the tail has been utterly shambolic for some years now, and they simply don’t learn.  No matter how many times it’s pointed out that barely any balls are hitting the stumps and they consistently bowl short, they still do it.  Which would be ok if it actually succeeded, but it doesn’t.  It is pure insanity of the “repeating the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result” kind.

When England lost the series to Sri Lanka this time last year, it was explained away as being a matter of just a couple of balls that could have gone the other way, and that was the difference between winning and losing.  I don’t exactly expect it to be treated in those terms if England get away with a draw in this one – it will be 1-0 and well done England, ignoring entirely that they have been second best for much of the series, and will have escaped purely and simply due to bad weather.

England don’t deserve to win this series, and New Zealand certainly don’t deserve to lose it.  And we don’t deserve to be fobbed off with a two Test series in the first place.   Arron made the point in the comments that England will have played ODI series against Australia in seven out of eleven summers between 2009 and 2019, yet New Zealand get these two Tests.  England could have made space for something more substantial, they chose not to.  Any kind of defence that the schedule didn’t allow for more is nothing but excuses.  Still, we’re used to that.

England could of course decide that in the spirit of the series they will have a crack at the world record target…..no, me neither.  And so many England supporters will be secretly hoping New Zealand bowl England out, and for once it doesn’t have to have anything to do with the ECB, the mainstream media or anything else.  It’s just a matter of fairness and what is deserved.  No one who loves cricket could object to that, surely?

@BlueEarthMngmnt

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164 thoughts on “England v New Zealand, 2nd Test: Day Four report/Day Five preview

    • thelegglance Jun 1, 2015 / 6:08 pm

      It’s been said the hardest thing in leadership is to make a wrong decision stick. Because you will get it wrong sometimes, but being a leader means taking people with you even then.

      Like

      • Pontiac Jun 1, 2015 / 7:20 pm

        In that case the ECB’s leadership is excellent.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 1, 2015 / 5:50 pm

    The field set for Headingley day 4 was the same as…Headingley day 4 last year??

    Like

    • escort Jun 1, 2015 / 6:04 pm

      With the same result as regards the runs scored. And we are told this is a captain who is learning with every game played.

      Like

      • thelegglance Jun 1, 2015 / 6:06 pm

        Yep. It’s either diabolical captaincy or pathetically weak captaincy. One or the other.

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort Jun 1, 2015 / 6:18 pm

        You would think that somebody from within the team would say something wouldn’t you? but i guess we have been down this road before and have seen what happens to those with a different opinion. Shame isn’t it!

        Like

      • thelegglance Jun 1, 2015 / 6:20 pm

        Brad Haddin definitely got out to the short ball once last time. So the plan’s a good ‘un, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort Jun 1, 2015 / 6:34 pm

        Of course it is. And i bet he was out for a duck as well.

        Like

  2. simplyshirah Jun 1, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    What about this one Paul.

    MAY 5, 2015
    I am amused to see Colin Graves described as a ‘no-nonsense Yorkshireman’. Ever since he was appointed it’s been nothing but nonsense

    Commentator Henry Blofeld tweets on the negative publicity around incoming ECB chairman Colin Graves

    MAY 12, 2015
    Has trust ever won a game of cricket? I thought it was runs and wickets

    Peter Trego weighs in on the KP-Strauss Trustgate issue

    Like

  3. Arron Wright Jun 1, 2015 / 6:22 pm

    No-one will be surprised to see that MS has finally devoted several paragraphs to England’s poor bowling… now his dear friend has departed the England set-up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk Jun 1, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      It was the same in the WC, with Moores eventually trying to throw Saker under the bus.

      I won’t read Selvey, but I predict that while “England’s bowling” was poor, and “England” will draw the test, it will be “Alastair Cook’s team” that will go to third place in the rankings.

      Like

      • jomesy Jun 1, 2015 / 7:06 pm

        And this: “Now there is probably only one potential winner.”

        Like

    • metatone Jun 1, 2015 / 9:31 pm

      I found it interesting that he named Broad.
      Journalists have been reluctant to do that up to now…

      Like

      • dvyk Jun 2, 2015 / 8:43 am

        Didn’t Broad say that he didn’t know of any problems with KP a few weeks ago?

        Like

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 1, 2015 / 9:44 pm

      DdB calling people who make comments BTL “wankers” amused. He doesn’t do irony, does he?

      Like

      • Arron Wright Jun 1, 2015 / 10:10 pm

        This shouldn’t matter, but I’m afraid it does. DDB has only been a member of the Guardian website since May 2013. This means that, when he throws all manner of abuse at people who have been unhappy with Mike Selvey for several years, he lacks the context of what took place during August 2012. It certainly helps explain why he sounds so much more shrill and unhinged than the likes of Billy Mills.

        Like

  4. ArushaTZ Jun 1, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    Does anybody have an opinion on what to do with Ian Bell?

    Obviously, he’s got an very good career record (7000 runs @ 44) but he’s in really bad form at the moment. (Just 54 runs in 7 inns since his 143 in Antigua)

    Since the start of the 2013 home summer he’s scored 1501 runs @ 36.60 with 5 centuries and 7 fifties from 24 tests.

    That is quite a long period of substandard performance and it includes his great home Ashes series.

    Should he be dropped now? Never dropped? Given a couple more tests? Is there anyone else who could step into his position? Or is it not such a big deal?

    Like

    • hatmallet Jun 1, 2015 / 6:50 pm

      Bell will play against Australia. England would be extremely hesitant to reduce the experience of our middle order, and I agree, though I am concerned about his batting at present.

      Hopefully he’ll go back to Warwickshire and regain his confidence.

      Like

      • SimonH Jun 1, 2015 / 7:56 pm

        By my reckoning, Warwicks have just two CC matches between the end of the NZ series and the start of the Ashes (assuming Bell is dropped from the ODI team and is made available for the CC).

        Like

    • jomesy Jun 1, 2015 / 7:12 pm

      He not right, is he? But he did score that wonderful century in Barbados which set up the possibility of a win when it could have been curtains.

      I’m hoping Baylis’ arrival can instal some much needed confidence back into him. I’ve been wondering whether his comments re KP have caused him some behind-the-scenes challenges he’d rather not have (perhaps following someone saying “something must be done”) and, if that’s right, then his demotion from VC role has probably just compounded any feelings of isolation.

      Like

      • hatmallet Jun 1, 2015 / 7:22 pm

        The problem is that Bell never looks out of touch. So whereas with Cook we could easily see that he was off balance and lacking judgement, or that Root the opener hung back too much, or that Ballance is taking his eye off the ball, with Bell it is harder to spot a problem for him to work on. Seems to just be confidence and shot selection (which itself is related to confidence)

        Like

      • dlpthomas Jun 2, 2015 / 8:52 am

        You do wonder if Bell’s heart is still in it after all that has gone on. He must have been pissed off that he was replaced as test vice captain whereas Morgan, who put playing in the IPL above captaining England against Ireland, was “punished” by being given the 20/20 captaincy as well.

        The only explanation I can come up with to explain Broad’s bowling is that his parents are first cousins. If he can’t follow the bowling plan, then he needs to be dropped. It’s a matter of trust.

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 9:57 am

        Bell is an outsider. He seems not involved in any cliques, nor does he lack the tact that Kevin Pietersen lacks at times. Which may well mean, that he is still okay in everyone’s books, but that fatigue due to all the ECB shenanigans may have set in.

        Lest we forget, it is not like he was well treated in the ODI squads either. Constantly dropped, playing out of his best position, all to accommodate the f(l)ailing captain. The leaking against him when the Captain looked even more inept than he usually does (team bonding exercise).

        Throughout the years, there must have been a fair number of such incidents. He was willing to bat at #3 after Trott went home in the last Ashes (if you say so in public, then yes you want to). Flower ignored him. And we know how well that turned out, since there was no review needed. Having to bail “migraine” Broad out. Having to constantly shore up Cook. That is something that is going to affect the other players as well.

        If he returns to Warks, I expect him to score a bucketload of runs. Because he is away from the England squad, more than who he is facing as opposition bowlers. Ditto with his catching in the field.

        It looks like, that if you want to get Bell back to his best, some serious reforms in the ECB and dressing room are needed. This is not just about Bell. Others’ will suffer similarly if nothing is done about the toxicity.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Mike Jun 2, 2015 / 10:05 am

        I’d be of the opinion, that Bell, is on notice soon. Not forever, but a little time away from the team might see him come back better. It’s worked before with him (and Strauss in recent times). It’s not just his recent abysmal form with the bat, he’s basically been one of our best all round fielders for a long time and his catching gone to seed too! We don’t want to go back to the chopping and changing from test to test, but as we constantly say, no player should be untouchable.

        As mentioned above, I think he’s generally never been treated that well by the England set up, I get the impression that he’s not really too pally with Cook or Anderson, who clearly run the dressing room and probably feels a little undermined at the minute with the VC thing. I do hope he finds some form again because an on form Bell is a joy to watch.

        Fortunately, we’ve a bloke with 8000 plus runs at nearly 48 who could happily slot in if this run of form continues….oh.

        I’d also be concerned that Ballance is going to be in for a tough time, think he’ll still come good and be a good player, but he’s going to have a tough summer at times.

        Liked by 2 people

    • SimonH Jun 1, 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Bell and Root should swap places in the order but they should have done so in the Caribbean and not in the first test of the Ashes. Bell’s average at Nos. 5 and 6 is much better than at No.4. Also move him out of second slip.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tuffers86 Jun 1, 2015 / 7:34 pm

        SimonH has it spot on. I think if he is dropped it will be a hospital pass for whoever is next in line… James Taylor?

        For all the clamour to drop batsman, I don’t think there is many without “Trust issues” and battle ready for an Ashes series. It will be like dropping Thorpe for Bell in 2005 only this time the rest of the team can’t carry any passengers.

        Bell is mentally out of nick. What has caused this is probably important. You don’t go from a 143 innings to nothing in a month.

        He could learn a lot from this NZ batting line up and playing his shots because when he is in his shell, he is a walking wicket.

        Like

      • hatmallet Jun 1, 2015 / 7:53 pm

        Two options:

        1) Pick a batsman. With a long-term view, Taylor is very likely next in line. If you’re looking more at recent form (which Taylor lacks, and Vince has none whatsoever), then Hales or Roy could be aggressive selections.

        2) Pick a spinner and play Moeen as a top-order batsman again. Though the identity of the spinner is another question entirely. If Cook struggles to trust Moeen, then Rashid will go the same way (and their last game together didn’t go too well – a T20 in SA). Borthwick barely bowls anymore. Riley is having second season syndrome (best of 1-37). Monty isn’t even in the Essex side. Tredwell is easily under-estimated but a reluctant pick. Ansari is the same as Moeen – a batsman and second spinner.

        Like

      • thelegglance Jun 1, 2015 / 10:21 pm

        You’ve just reminded me that David Hopps wrote a piece for Cricinfo talking about batting orders becoming more flexible in future. I can’t entirely subscribe to that, because batsmen tend to hate being messed around in position, but he did make a good point that when England face the second new ball (assuming it’s the current side) it might be sensible to swap Moeen and Stokes around, because the former has far more experience of, and is better at, facing the new ball.

        Like

    • BoerInAustria Jun 1, 2015 / 7:37 pm

      He is due….

      Like

    • Grenville Jun 2, 2015 / 3:34 pm

      I’m quite a Bell fan. I think that he should stay in the team, preferably at 5 or 6 where he has done best. I was all for dropping Cook because of his piss poor 18 months, but he came good. There was no reason to think that Cook was done for (well maybe a little bit, his technique needed changing) and the same is true of Bell. They are both very good cricketers. We know that, why gamble on Hales/Taylor yet. However, Bell, along with KP (and imo Bopara) never became the players they should have been. They are all players who looked like they could have been very, very special. The first two, at least, became special players, but that isn’t good enough. Something went wrong, and I blame the set-up. They have been stiffled and squashed by a horrid, bullying, ‘me-first’ dressing room. That was made very public in KP’s case.

      George Dobell, who clearly knows a thing or two about the Warwickshire dressing room, said that Bell is voluble at confident in the Bears set-up. He has been reported as too quiet in and around the England team. My best guess as to the reason is that there is no mileage in dissent or taking initiative with England. Just what you don’t need when you are trying to create world leading cricketers.

      As for Bopara, that is probably just my prejudice, but I thought the he had all the talent but was set-up to fail by the ECB because his skin was the wrong colour.

      Like

  5. paulewart Jun 1, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    Wow. Selvey’s essentially accusing Cook and Broad of cowardice. One can only assume he’s bitter about the treatment of his mates, Andy, Peter, Goochy, David and now Oittis. Now if only he could apply similar critical reasoning to Pietersen. No? Thought not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • northernlight71 Jun 1, 2015 / 8:03 pm

      Selvey’s had the nod that Cook’s resigning at the end of the Ashes, so it’s safe to criticise him now.
      No other explanation makes sense for such a reality-challenged and cowardly cricket “journalist”

      Like

      • paulewart Jun 1, 2015 / 8:24 pm

        I’ve thought that for some time. Not just Selvey but the press pack. Cowardly, jaundiced and splenetic. Bilious?

        Like

    • metatone Jun 1, 2015 / 9:33 pm

      I said upthread, I find it interesting that Broad is being called out.
      After all, he’s been slipping into the short ball mode for a long time.
      In the past it was all “yorkers are harder than you little people know…”

      Like

      • Rohan Jun 1, 2015 / 10:22 pm

        I hate the Yorker rubbish that they (Broad, team England etc.) trot out. If you watch the IPL, almost every fast bowler on show could bowl a yorker of some sort. If bowling yorkers is as hard as team ECB say it is, why can pretty much every other fast bowler in most other test teams bowl one. Surely our boys think they are as good as the other test playing nations bowlers, so they should be able to bowl yorkers.

        I don’t buy the ‘they are too hard to bowl’ line, yes they may be trickier to bowl, but that’s what practice and central contracts are for, they allow you greater time to hone the ‘top level’ skills! Or is it that these skills need to be refined in county cricket, now there is a contradictory thought. Even Botham on sky today, was lambasting England bowlers for the lack of yorkers, something along the lines of ‘they are not illegal you know’.

        Finally if I was Cook, I would ask Broad, ‘how did Henry bowl you out in the first innings at Headingley?’ When he responds, I would say ‘good you do know what one is then, now bloody well bowl one!’ End of.

        Like

      • thelegglance Jun 1, 2015 / 10:22 pm

        Interesting that so many of the press pack are doing it at the same time isn’t it?

        Liked by 2 people

  6. MM Jun 1, 2015 / 11:04 pm

    Yorkers? I just look at the base of the stumps and aim at the base of the stumps. I reckon I can bowl 3 yorkers out of 6 attempts. I ain’t a very good bowler any more, playing at a very average level. I’m 46. I’m overweight. I’ve got a bad elbow. Seriously, how hard can it be for an fit international bowler? Crap plans, craply executed… dumb-ass Waitrose XI.

    I am totally in love with this Kiwi side. They are playing the kind of cricket I can barely play on my playstation 3 game. Did I just go and lose man-points there?

    Like

  7. man in a barrel Jun 1, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    I am thinking of becoming a kiwi. Love the way they play cricket. They enjoy themselves and joke when things go wrong. Did anyone see that dolt Anderson get all snarly as Craig and Southee tore him to bits?

    Like

  8. amit Jun 2, 2015 / 4:54 am

    So, what has caused such a regression in Bell’s form? Being dropped as the VC, may be? Batting order being mucked around, may be? Or is it just the dressing room environment?

    Like

  9. Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 5:20 am

    Prediction: if the weather doesn’t save England, umpire Ravi will.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 8:12 am

      I was actually contemplating writing:

      If weather saves England, then you could argue that Ravi is man of the series.

      Cook scored some runs, but his captaincy was a big negative in the second Test. The bowlers were AWOL this Test, so none of them really qualify to get it. Bell and Ballance have not performed at all. Lyth did little in the first Test. Root and Stokes have done little thus far. Buttler has not done enough either.

      But, when the going got tough, Ravi got going, and no matter what the game situation was, he was always there to help England’s cause, sometimes in the most ludicrous of fashions. Plumb lbw Cook? Let’s not give it. Twice. Marginally hitting the stumps? Let’s give it – everyone in the commentary box thought the Jordan dismissal was ridiculous, so the McCullum dismissal, which was the same, was necessarily a “great decision”. And it is not like Root (at least twice) got away on marginal umpire’s calls as well. One of which really saved England’s first innings at Lord’s.

      Find of the series? Sorry Wood. It has to be Ravi as well, if he is not forced into never standing in Tests again. With Ravi umpiring in the Ashes (I hope not!), I’d be willing to bet England win the Ashes 4-0.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 9:03 am

        I’ve heard people praise him for the Latham decision (Ali lbw not given), purely because umpires call backed him up. But Swann on TMS, and later Nicholas and Boycott on TV, were all certain that the impact “outside the line” related to where his leg ended up, not where and when it actually hit him. That’s how it looked to me when I finally saw it. Perplexing that others overlooked it so readily (I don’t know what Sky said).

        Like

    • dvyk Jun 2, 2015 / 8:54 am

      I only saw McC’s and that was a disgrace. Even made hawkeye look stupid, or even stupider than it is.

      Like

      • Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 9:17 am

        Well, we had to get McC out at that stage, or their score would have been mental!

        Like

  10. Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 7:14 am

    Cookie: “Broadie, please would you pitch it up a bit?”

    Broadie: “Sod off skip!”

    Cookie: “OK Broadie, you know best.” ::shuffles back to slip::

    Like

  11. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 8:03 am

    Dry overnight in Leeds and only occasional light showers forecast. That is the same forecast that didn’t predict yesterday’s rain mind – although the rainfall radar looks to be backing it up today.

    Strong winds forecast all day but especially after tea. NZ, of all the teams in the world, are used to those!

    Like

  12. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Boult strikes. Lyth gone, nicking one behind, without adding to his overnight score.

    Like

    • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 10:17 am

      Surely they’ll bring Southee on to bowl at Ballance.

      Like

  13. lionel joseph Jun 2, 2015 / 10:17 am

    right, let’s try posting on the right thread.

    I think this is a pretty important innings for Ballance. Another failure and there are some very legitimate questions.

    Like

    • Amit Garg Jun 2, 2015 / 10:19 am

      If he continues to bat on back foot, so deep in crease, it’s a matter of time before he nicks it.

      Like

      • lionel joseph Jun 2, 2015 / 11:10 am

        Alison Mitchell shutting down any KP chat with ruthless immediacy.

        Like

  14. Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 10:23 am

    … all guns blazing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phil Jun 2, 2015 / 10:30 am

      And the journos wonder why no one has turned up. Who wants to watch England slowly capitulate or dig in at 1 an over in cold weather with possible rain delays on a work/school day. I can’t even be bothered to watch it on TV.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Phil Jun 2, 2015 / 10:31 am

        Root may have been positive, but I don’t think his teammates got the memo.

        Like

    • BoerInAustria Jun 2, 2015 / 10:32 am

      … I can see a doctoral thesis on concentration being written by Ed at the moment …

      Liked by 2 people

      • Larry David Niven Jun 2, 2015 / 10:47 am

        “It is axiomatic that a paradigm shift has occurred in the dialectic presemiotic theory and Sartreist absurdity of those criticising Cook…”. The bellend.

        Liked by 4 people

  15. Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 10:27 am

    dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot
    dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, OUT
    dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot
    dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot
    dot, 1, dot, dot, dot, dot
    dot, dot, dot, dot, 2, dot

    Like

  16. thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 10:42 am

    Two wickets in the first session was what New Zealand needed to have a chance. Well they’ve done that with power to add.

    Like

  17. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 10:43 am

    And just as I was calling for Boult to be replaced he takes out Ballance with a beaut.

    Ballance averages 9 for the series. But the middle order is solid …

    Like

    • Phil Jun 2, 2015 / 10:46 am

      RRR now 4.6 and climbing. Bell is in though so all is well…..

      Like

  18. Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 10:43 am

    Bowled in three innings out of four, caught at slip in the other. Left arm pace has done him three times out of four.

    Yeah, that middle order is impregnable and England don’t need 8,000 runs at 47 in reserve.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 10:59 am

      See above. I feel desperately sorry for Bell though. Not sure any senior player with his overall record has been so poorly treated or so consistently maligned. There’s no way his awful form will be as indulged as Cook’s was; there will be no fluffy stories about him and his wife, for example.

      I might think Thepoetseye goes OTT, but I think I agree with everything that poster has ever written about Bell’s mental state, confidence, status and personal relationships within the set-up. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if the vice-captaincy – as with being overlooked for no.3 in 2013/14 – is a key factor in this slump.

      Liked by 3 people

  19. BoerInAustria Jun 2, 2015 / 10:44 am

    “…being yorked by a full delivery….”
    After a lot of exposure to England bowling, I do not understand the above sentence. Could someone please explain this to me?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 10:44 am

    George Dobell makes an interesting point that England should leave Moeen Ali out of the ODI squad so he can bowl in the CC (Worcester have three matches before the Ashes – although they also have Saeed Ajmal coming).

    On other spin options he says, “Monty Panesar hasn’t played since April and continues to struggle with health problems. There is no chance whatsoever he could be selected for the Ashes”. I hadn’t considered him an option for the Ashes but hadn’t noticed he hasn’t been playing for Essex. Very worrying.

    Like

    • thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 10:48 am

      Panesar is not in a good place at all by all accounts. Although I don’t have first hand knowledge of it, reading between the lines of the occasional comment by the journalists, it’s serious. The problem is that the ECB have been so underhand over the last few years that their silence on it invites criticism, but in this instance I think they’re just looking after his interests and maintaining confidentiality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 11:00 am

        I hope the ECB are trying to help Monty behind the scenes. He has done a lot for English cricket, and he may still have to offer quite a bit.

        Like

      • thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 11:03 am

        Apparently they are. We might be highly critical of the ECB, but they’re not the spawn of Beelzebub. They are rightly staying completely silent on this one.

        Like

    • BoerInAustria Jun 2, 2015 / 10:48 am

      Does anybody know what kind of health problems he has. I very much feel for Monty and worry that he is still a victim of the gung-ho bowling clique.

      Like

      • thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 10:50 am

        No I don’t think so. Really. It’s one of those to just leave alone at the moment.

        Like

      • BoerInAustria Jun 2, 2015 / 10:52 am

        OK – But just would like to send out there: All the best to Monty!

        Liked by 3 people

    • SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 11:30 am

      I forgot to add that Dobell also wrote, “To see Broad and Anderson forced into yet another spell on the fourth day, with fielders on the boundary and instructions to bowl short, was to see chaos reign”.

      Instructions to bowl short……

      Like

      • paulewart Jun 2, 2015 / 3:24 pm

        But, but, but, that contradicts the ‘facts’……..

        Like

  21. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 10:52 am

    Bell goes to Craig, for just 1. But the middle order is solid …

    Like

  22. Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 10:52 am

    Can someone just stop this man tweeting?

    Your precious Lord’s got half-term week, a Bank Holiday Monday, a proper Thursday start and fine weather, what the hell do you expect?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andy Jun 2, 2015 / 10:59 am

      He is a knob,

      It’s crap weather & no one wants to see england grind out a draw, or as is increasingly becoming the case, throw it away with gusto!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 11:41 am

        Similar moans from Newman and Etheridge on Twitter.

        I’ve done a long post on this issue before, but Headingley has had one Ashes Test in four series since 2001 and only three other peak summer Tests in the last twelve years (two of them against SA, the second of course scheduled against the Olympics). The only opponents it’s seen in a Test since the Australians last visited are Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

        Chicken and egg springs to mind.

        Like

      • thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 11:45 am

        I have nothing but utter contempt for spoiled journalists who get in for free and sit in the nice warm press box moaning about people not buying tickets.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 11:53 am

        ^ only *other* opponents (apart from the SA match already referred to), that should have said.

        Like

      • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 12:21 pm

        In spite of the fact that he has been utterly pwned by the people responding, I would not even open a book on this moan finding its way into tonight’s report.

        Like

    • amit Jun 2, 2015 / 11:13 am

      He didn’t have to pay for the ticket, whatever little it cost. Did he?

      Liked by 1 person

    • northernlight71 Jun 2, 2015 / 5:02 pm

      Maybe he should talk to Simon Hughes about the “silent majority” beyond social media. Maybe….just maybe….people aren’t coming because they find the England set up a bit….well, shall we say, exclusive at the moment?
      It’s all very well the embedded press hailing the Lord’s performance as if it were the second coming of Jesus Christ and a host of Angelic cherubim, but everyone else knows it was just one match, in a line of several when England have been dull, inept, badly led and pretty toxic to be honest.
      I wouldn’t shell out ECB prices to sit and watch them live. Even if I didn’t live in Scotland 🙂

      Like

  23. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 10:56 am

    Root gone just a few balls later to Craig as well. For a duck.

    62/4. But the middle order is solid …

    Like

  24. thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 10:56 am

    Ha. Many years ago fielding at silly mid off, I caught a full blooded drive. Never saw it, never had the slightest idea about it, it drilled straight into the gap between body and arm.

    Batsman swore all the way off the field. 🙂

    Like

    • amit Jun 2, 2015 / 11:19 am

      To be fair, having seen him bowl all his overs so far today, his wickets have been indeed luck and stupidity combined. He hasn’t bowled pies but the length has been either too full or too short. Not quite consistent good bowling, though he has bowled some real good ones too. That he hasn’t been scored off, reflects more on the “all guns blazing” approach, we were told about last night.

      Like

  25. "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 2, 2015 / 10:59 am

    Note to Root ;- There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip!!

    Like

  26. Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 11:04 am

    cricinfo says “Craig hasn’t bowled that well this morning but has two wickets…”

    10.0 5 7 2

    How did our spinner get on in both innings?

    Like

    • d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 11:22 am

      At least Craig is bowling quickly. New Zealand’s overrate has been good today thus far. And it keeps the quicks fresh for short bursts. And with rain around the corner, that is fairly sensible.

      Like

  27. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 11:05 am

    By my dubious statsguruing, Boult has the most wickets by a visiting bowler in a two- match series (beating Southee on NZ’s last visit).

    Like

    • d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 11:16 am

      The only bowlers who have done “better” while playing 2 Tests in a series in England are Chetan Sharma took 16 wickets (in 1986) and J.J. Ferris took 13 (just like Boult now) for Australia in 1890.

      Those were 3-Test series, but they only played in two of those games. Chetan Sharma missed the second Test of that 3-Test series. Ferris missed the third Test of that series.

      Like

  28. Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 11:18 am

    I think if Stokes gets out for below 50 it pretty much guarantees Cook the England series award.

    New Zealand’s is set in stone already I would have thought…

    Like

  29. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 11:21 am

    David Lloyd’s just done an excellent piece on the technique of the NZ fielders in catching Bell and Root. Latham had a bit of luck with the Root catch but he maximised his chances of getting that luck.

    Most of the commentators have been too busy piling into Bell to notice what a good catch that was by Williamson.

    Like

  30. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 11:35 am

    Weather radar showing some showers are bubbling up not too far from Headingley.

    Like

  31. thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 11:42 am

    Ha, a funny:

    Liked by 1 person

  32. thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 11:55 am

    Getting hit on the inside of the knee is even worse than getting hit in the nuts. It really is.

    Like

  33. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 11:59 am

    Henry still has not gotten a bowl. And he may not get one. Kane Williamson strikes, on the stroke of lunch.

    102/5.

    Like

  34. Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    Is it safe to say “9 out of 12 required” yet?

    Like

    • d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 12:06 pm

      Did he also not predict a fair number of series win in the process?

      Like

    • thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 12:36 pm

      Since I refuse to follow him, do people point that particular stupidity out to him on a regular basis?

      Like

  35. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    Morning session: 58/5 in 32 overs.

    Like

  36. Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    and out of that 58, Stokes got 20 in 5 shots.
    So effectively 38 scored in 31.1 overs.

    That’s what I call a Chris Tavare style of “all guns blazing”!

    Like

  37. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    35 overs to second new ball and NZ bowled 32 in the first session so assuming no rain interruptions (heavy showers aren’t far off but look to be missing the ground) it’ll be available just after tea (if needed).

    Like

  38. Silk Jun 2, 2015 / 12:53 pm

    I’ve just sat through 30 minutes of “Journalists club” with Agnew a lunchtime.

    What a bunch of fat, complacent, tossers. I mean, I have no idea what these guys look like, but they /sound/ like bloated old farts slouched in chesterfields drinking port. It made me want to barf, it did.

    Apparantly Cook’s captaincy is OK so long as he’s making runs, and anyway him making runs proves sticking with him was the right call. And Clarke is hated by everyone in the team and coaching side, so the Aussies aren’t all that good. And this is a ‘young’ team (no matter that the young players are, in the main, performing and older ones (bar Cook) aren’t. And NZ had nothing to lose, so you’d expect them to play well.

    KP – The decision has been made. No one thought to say “It was the wrong decision as Bell’s form now shows”

    These guys would /genuinely/ rather lose the Ashes than see KP back in the England side.

    I wanted to climb inside my radio and stuff the microphones somewhere painful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 12:57 pm

      “Clarke is hated by everyone in the team and coaching side, so the Aussies aren’t all that good”

      FFS, who said this? Everyone *still* hates him even after his conduct following Philip Hughes’s death, and after he captained a World Cup winning side?

      Barely need to ask who was on: they perm any three from four, don’t they, to ensure balance and a plurality of views?

      Like

    • Grumpy Gaz Jun 2, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      Winning the Ashes is simply not important. The Director, Cricket being able to trust the players is the issue that overrides all else, including common sense and actually winning cricket matches. #strausslogic

      Like

  39. amit Jun 2, 2015 / 1:17 pm

    Whatever be my criticism of Cook’s captaincy – and there’s a fair bit of that, he does seem like the only English batsman to be able to bat time. May be he doesn’t have anything beyond the first gear, but for days like this, his skill is indeed commendable. Without him, this innings might have been over long ago. It still might not be enough to save the game and I hope for the kiwis sake that it doesn’t cost them the game. 1-1 will indeed be a fair result for all the aggression they’ve shown in the series.

    Like

  40. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 1:32 pm

    Cook gone to Williamson. Given by Ravi. Two umpire’s calls involved. Looked out though.

    Like

    • Grumpy Gaz Jun 2, 2015 / 1:34 pm

      I’m pretty impressed with Nasser on that one. He predicted it just before it happened including video of the difference between the two spinners.

      Like

    • SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 1:37 pm

      Umpire Ravi does seem more likely to give them later in the match.

      It looked out at normal speed and NZ have been owed one of those (at least).

      Like

    • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 2:44 pm

      Having fun with Neil today…?

      😉

      Like

      • thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 3:08 pm

        I keep saying it, but I really don’t mind people disagreeing with me as long as it’s done respectfully!

        Like

  41. Andy Jun 2, 2015 / 1:35 pm

    I reckon the rest will probably fold fairly quickly now

    Like

  42. Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 1:35 pm

    Supposed to be rain on the way: lots of it in Ilkley and Harrogate and heading for Leeds.

    Like

    • Silk Jun 2, 2015 / 1:37 pm

      forecast stil says dry

      Like

      • lionel joseph Jun 2, 2015 / 3:56 pm

        fully deserved victory for the kiwis

        Like

  43. Andy Jun 2, 2015 / 1:36 pm

    “England and NZ have now batted for almost exactly the same amount of overs,” notes Tom Francis. “Just the matter of the 320 run deficit. We don’t deserve to draw this series really.”

    Don’t know who Tom Francis is, but this was on OBO

    Like

    • Andy Jun 2, 2015 / 1:47 pm

      Hmmm – interesting one that. I wonder how they obtained the conversation…………

      Just because he has been a faithful servant and has done very well does not mean he justifies selection. It states in the article that he was averaging 16 and just didn’t look like a player who was going to get better again. It is the selectors job to select. Hopefully they didn’t think ‘lets not let him overtake Lara’ but who knows.

      You don’t get selected just to hopefully get to the top of lists, or stats etc.

      Apply England to each statement above and consider how it changes…..Leaks….Cook…..asshats

      Like

      • thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 1:54 pm

        Occam’s Razor would suggest one or other of them passed it on. Whatsapp isn’t the most secure of platforms, but you’d say that was most likely.

        Agree with you.

        Like

    • Pontiac Jun 2, 2015 / 2:15 pm

      Chanderpaul was never going to retire, simple as that.

      Like

      • thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 2:18 pm

        Beckham rather made that point – that England would retire him, not the other way around, and that he’d be eligible for his country in a wheelchair.

        I’ve a lot of admiration for that attitude, but you have to then accept it when it comes.

        Like

      • Zephirine Jun 2, 2015 / 4:11 pm

        Well, it has always been pretty hard to get him out.

        Liked by 1 person

  44. Andy Jun 2, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    lots of rain being shown on weather maps. PLEASE DONT RESCUE ENGLAND WITH RAIN!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    Moeen leaves a ball. Problem is, it hit the stumps. 153/7. Henry strikes. And still 48.4 overs left at a minimum if rain does not ruin things.

    Like

  46. thelegglance Jun 2, 2015 / 2:00 pm

    Just to note that England have so far batted around 10 overs longer than New Zealand in this match.

    And are 297 behind.

    Like

    • Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 2:04 pm

      Must be the new positive, aggressive brand of cricket that the Director, England Cricket has them playing.

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    England’s openers: 131 runs each, total 262 from 4 innings.
    England’s numbers 3-8, all of whom are middle-order players and not tail-enders: 125 runs in total, from 11 completed innings and a not out (at time of writing).

    Fill in your point here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 2:14 pm

      Middle order:
      1. Is set in stone.
      2. Are young so must be stuck with
      3. Are good team players
      4. Most importantly, will not question the Captain or the Director, England Cricket. Ever.

      Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 2:20 pm

      The selectors will decide that fairly soon, England need an opening bat.

      Sadly, I think it is more likely that Lyth gets the chop, than any of the incumbents. Ballance because he averages 50+, Bell because he is the sole middle order player with serious experience. Root has actually looked the part. And Stokes / Woakes are definitely needed for the balance, if the ECB can’t pick a proper spinner, and have to stick with Moeen Ali as a spinner.

      Alternatively, Wood gets the chop when Woakes is fit and shows some form.

      Like

  48. amit Jun 2, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    What a day Kane W is having. not done much with the bat, but he’s now taken 3 with the ball. Just brilliant!

    Like

  49. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 2:34 pm

    Williamson has a bit of a golden arm. 3/6, getting Broad to play it on to his stumps.

    New ball due in 6.5 overs. And still nearly 40 overs left for New Zealand to get the win. Again, weather gods permitting.

    Like

  50. Andy Jun 2, 2015 / 2:52 pm

    I hope Buttler can get to 50 before Wood & Anderson go (or he goes)

    Like

  51. amit Jun 2, 2015 / 3:24 pm

    Kiwis must be approaching some anxiety now. wickets haven’t been easy to come by…

    Like

  52. d'Arthez Jun 2, 2015 / 3:56 pm

    Buttler pads up, does not play a shot. Given by Ravi, and though technically impact was umpire’s call on impact, that should not matter at all.

    New Zealand square the series.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    NZ’s first win in England since 1999 by 199.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tuffers86 Jun 2, 2015 / 4:01 pm

      Tbf things got a little better after that nadir!

      Like

  54. paulewart Jun 2, 2015 / 4:06 pm

    Will Hughes, Pringle et al just pipe down! Or are they too busy kicking their cats? And what of Etheridge? Hubris doesn’t begin to cover it. Splenetic, jingoistic, elitist, craven, purblind cretins, the lot of them.

    Having said all that, I do detect signs of a more likeable England emerging from the detritus of the last few years. With the right coaching and leadership (not a given) they could blossom into a fine entertaining batting team. The bowling needs some work, mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Amit Garg Jun 2, 2015 / 4:11 pm

    What a welcome to the new coach. 🙂
    The only silver lining seems to be that Cook has probably rediscovered his run scoring mojo a bit. God knows they are going to need that and a bit more in a short while as Aussies come hard at them. And, if there’s a slot open now in the middle order, we know who will not be asked to join in. So, do expect a bit more of Ballance and Bell show for a few games.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 4:16 pm

    It won’t stand out from the scorecard in future years but I thought Taylor’s 48 in the second innings was an important moment. Coming in at zilch-for-two and taking the attack back to the bowlers really shifted the momentum in the game.

    Like

  57. Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 4:29 pm

    Cook on TMS when challenged about short bowling: “When we pitched it up they hit us back over our head.” He said it twice in the same answer.

    I know for a fact it had nothing to do with Cook though, eh?

    Liked by 3 people

    • FustedBlush Jun 2, 2015 / 4:38 pm

      It was rather fortunate that he was ‘called away’ before that subject could be taken further. And when he returned to Aggers, they moved on to the struggling batsm … sorry, batters.

      It’s all fine, because Ballance and Bell are both wonderful players.

      Can’t help feeling that the XI that play the first test next summer will be markedly different from this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  58. Zephirine Jun 2, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    A positive: Colin Graves is much better at presentations than Giles Clarke.

    Like

    • escort Jun 2, 2015 / 6:24 pm

      Could he be worse? Clarke dressed like a tramp after doing a charity shop sweep.

      Like

      • Zephirine Jun 2, 2015 / 9:23 pm

        It would be hard to be worse, but Graves looks genuinely pleasant towards whoever’s hand he’s shaking (as opposed to looking as if they’re something nasty on his shoe, Clarke-style) and even does a bit of mild shoulder-patting.

        If he’s only going to be a figurehead (and the jury is still out on that, I feel) at least he may not be embarrassing in the role.

        Like

  59. Silk Jun 2, 2015 / 4:55 pm

    They made the decision (KP)

    It’s blindly obvious now that it’s the wrong decsion. When asked about who could replace Bell or Root, the most compelling answer anyone could come up with was Taylor (who has not form) or Roy (who would be an enormous punt).

    I wonder if anyone in the MSM has the balls to say “It was the wrong decision and Strauss should reverse it.” Particularly if KP scores any more runs.

    Like

    • pluckywingate Jun 2, 2015 / 6:37 pm

      What rot! The last thing England could have done with in this Test was a batsman who averaged 85+ at Headingley, with 3 of the best of his many fine centuries coming at the ground…

      Like

  60. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 5:07 pm

    Still, one of them didn’t involve the middle order……

    #novacancies

    Like

  61. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 5:17 pm

    Rashid the only spinner in the ODI squad? That’s so barking I’m not sure where to start with it. Ian Smith was far too polite to say it directly but he clearly thought the decision to leave out Ali is ridiculous.

    The entire post-match discussion on Sky didn’t mention the fourth day bowling or captaincy once. The form of Bell and Ballance and the catching are the only concerns apparently. “Won five of the last eight Tests” was used by Nasser Hussain twice. Risible.

    Like

    • Arron Wright Jun 2, 2015 / 5:39 pm

      “Won five of the last eight Tests” is exactly the form they had going into the last Ashes series….

      Like

    • northernlight71 Jun 2, 2015 / 7:09 pm

      Are they leaving out Ali so he can get some overs under his belt in the CC? I have no idea how many games are scheduled in the next few weeks, so it might not be. But he needs to get into some bowling rhythm, and a few ODIs won’t do that for him. Some time away from the toxic England set up won’t hurt him either…

      Like

      • Zephirine Jun 2, 2015 / 7:49 pm

        That’s what Farbrace said in the post-match. Said normally Ali would have been a picked for the ODIs but needed the time to work on his bowling.

        Like

      • SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 7:55 pm

        NL – yes that was the reason given. I think Worcester have three CC matches scheduled although they also have Saeed Ajmal arriving. It was apparent in an interview by Farbrace that he was the only player explicitly identifies as missing the ODI series becuase of the subsequent Ashes (although Farbrace also didn’t say Bell, Anderson and Broad were finished in ODIs either).

        Ian Smith’s point was that Ali needs to bowl in pressurized situations and he won’t get that enough in the CC. I can’t help wondering if there is an element of protecting Ali from some hammer in the NZ ODIs – and in my really cynical moments I’m wondering if Rashid cops that hammer then we’ll have a lot of “see, told you he wasn’t good enough” thrown back in our faces. Not even picking Tredwell in the squad seems daft to me.

        Like

  62. SimonH Jun 2, 2015 / 5:26 pm

    The 199 run margin of victory is NZ’s best against England ever and their second best away against anyone ever (205 against WI in 2002 their best).

    Like

  63. Sherwick Jun 2, 2015 / 5:30 pm

    NZ could have won the first Test too after their first innings lead (which should have been even greater than it was). England played out of their skins to win that one, just.

    Here, however, it was a walk in the park for NZ.

    Like

  64. Rohan Jun 2, 2015 / 7:04 pm

    Just watched the loathsome D Cork on sky sports news, spouting utter rubbish. He thinks the ashes will be close, 2 – 1 either way! Not sure what he is basing that prediction on, he can’t have been watching the last 2 test matches, that’s for sure. I doubt it will be a whitewash, but I can see us losing the ashes 3 – 1 or something in that sphere.

    I think New Zealand have shown Australia the way to go, not that they necessarily needed them to do that. I hope the Aussies play a controlled attacking game as NZ did and take the game to us. It will be interesting to see which England test players are left standing at the end of the summer. MSM already asking huge questions of Bell, Ballance, Ali and Broad, who will be added to that list?

    Like

    • northernlight71 Jun 2, 2015 / 7:13 pm

      My 2 tips of the day:

      Don’t ever watch Sky. Uncle Rupert doesn’t need our money.
      Don’t ever watch Cork, on any channel. He’s a waste of oxygen.

      Like

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