Well, hello all.

Can’t stop long. Work been really hectic, taking me on a day trip to Monaco on Monday (seriously not as glamorous as it sounds) and then picking the beloved up from the airport on Tuesday. Work is a serious problem at the moment as a year long project comes to fruition and is on a knife edge, and sleep is deprived. Add to that, an important interview early next week which I seriously need to prep for, and cricket is a bit of a way down my list of priorities. A really massive thank you to thelegglance for all his work this week. Without it, the blog would have not given the last test the attention it deserved.

I’m not in the habit of saying “I told you so” but I did tell them so, and so did many here. In the headlong pursuit of shutting down the debate, and in so doing rubbing those who dare to criticise noses in it, the acclaim for the first test victory was ridiculous. Look, it’s not as if we’ve got an event long before to instruct us is it? After Grenada, won on the back of a ridiculous individual performance by Jimmy Anderson, England flopped, when in a decent position, at Barbados. Here again, a wonderful England win, fuelled by great individual feats by Ben Stokes, and a top hundred by Captain Invincible, was followed up by England getting in a good position with a great opening stand, and pissing it up the wall. Yes, New Zealand bowled well to restrict us, and batted even better, with little or no fear. But England need to press those positions home.

There’s a crowd out there that say “well played New Zealand” and they are bang on. But that doesn’t absolve England from blame. Come off it. We were 170 for no loss and couldn’t get past their 350. We bowled like clowns in that second innings. You have to hope, too, that fourth innings efforts could be a bit better than falling to Williamson and Craig. I didn’t see the 4th day’s play at all (and not yet watched the highlights) but you didn’t need to be buried in an office in Monaco to know that it was awful.

I’ll do a more full review, maybe, if I get fed up working out a marketing strategy or deciding whether I’m competent enough, over the weekend. Can’t imagine I’ll be doing that 24/7.

I read that KP is now going to play in the Caribbean T20 and leave Surrey. I’m just about had it with a country who decided to chuck that talent away while watching what has happened in a number of our last test matches and thinks it is OK. I would not blame him if he turned his back on England and I won’t forgive the powers that be that decided this was the thing to do. I’m really sorry if this offends anyone who just backs those in the shirts. I’m glad that’s fine with you. You are a better person than me. Andrew Strauss could pull a rabbit out of a hat but that decision, based on that premise, and supposedly with the backing/ultimatum of an entitled skipper who should be thankful he’s still in the team after 2014, will define him in my eyes. Even if we won the Ashes, the World Cup, the World T20 and managed to avoid defeat this winter.

Enough of this wibbling. I am fully aware I am now four centuries behind on the Century Watch – Stokes, Lyth, Watling and tonight’s by Adam Voges. I’ll do what I can, when I can.

Good night.

157 thoughts on “Wanderer

  1. Ian Jones Jun 4, 2015 / 9:52 pm

    I am seriously pissed off!

    I only found this blog by accident from a link at the full toss. After asking what happened to HDWLIA some time ago after missing the last post there I was told that you had closed it down after some issue with copyright I believe.

    And now here you are been up and running for ages and I had no idea. Well you may not like Australians but you’re stuck with this one and I suspect you’ll like us a whole lot less in a couple of months time.

    Nice to see you back by the way even if I am several months behind the times.


    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 4, 2015 / 9:53 pm

      Wasn’t copyright, Ian, and wondered if you’d joined the those who didn’t post any more…..

      Good to have you over, You might notice we have two authors now.


      • wrongunatlongon Jun 5, 2015 / 6:47 am

        Will we ever find out the exact reasons? Not that they particularly, well, matter, but they’re probably mildly more interesting than anything in my horrendously dull life..!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Silk Jun 5, 2015 / 8:26 am

      Ian – Nothing has happened in those months, nothing at all. Except that England are developing, have won two excellent Tests, lost none (if you discount the ones we have lost) and Cook is now batting like Gavaskar, as we always knew he would.

      Oh, and the middle order is solid as a rock.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 9:47 am

        I know I could be wrong here but I think I’m detecting the tiniest and most subtle nuance of sarcasm.

        But as I say I might be wrong.


    • northernlight71 Jun 5, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      I’m sure I posted a link to this blog for you on TFT . . . maybe it was someone else . . . or it got lost in a nest of comments . . . or I’m just dreaming all of this and when I wake up, England will win the Ashes under their new captain Ian Bell and Vice captain KP, and Mike Selvey will present the Man of the Series award to him with a generous speech praising his many virtues.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 2:21 pm

        Definitely hallucinating.

        Hi NL nice to see you.


  2. Ian Jones Jun 4, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    I see the posts from thelegglance well written and interesting it’s great to find both of you at last.


    • Arron Wright Jun 4, 2015 / 10:05 pm

      Hello IanRSA! Isn’t the Guardian simply frightful these days?


      • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 7:26 am

        God yes, it’s a cesspool of ignorance and stupidity but I do enjoy winding some of them up.


      • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 7:38 am


        I just wanted to add that one of the more enjoyable guilty pleasures in life is reading you clinically eviscerate someone with facts and stats at the Guardian.


      • Arron Wright Jun 5, 2015 / 8:28 am

        They never take any notice though, do they? Yesterday, for instance, SimonH/holdingahighline was accused of nicking anti-Cook stats from the “prejudiced” James Morgan at The Full Toss! I know for certain that James took one of his recent stats (about Cook’s home Ashes record) from posts made by myself and Mildred Plotka. We in turn took this information from the free, publicly available and entirely objective resource known as Statsguru. Which I presume James also uses. My original motivation was to provide a counterweight to all the subjective fluff about Cook, which deliberately ignores the holes in his record. I would imagine James’s motivation was similar.

        Once again, those defending Cook really can’t see that they’ve been instrumental in causing the backlash.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Zephirine Jun 5, 2015 / 9:38 am

        The G BTL is doing terrible things to my online manners. I used to really try to be scrupulously polite on comment threads, but I find myself now being, shall we say, blunt.
        And somebody called me an idiot there the other day, that’s a first. Been called many things in my life but never stupid.

        I still resolutely don’t respond to the patronising smugs-in-chief, though, better things to do.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Jun 4, 2015 / 10:43 pm

      Sorry, Ian! Would have pointed the way if I’d realised you were looking. It took me a while to find it too, Dmitri went very mysterioso there for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 7:27 am

        Thanks Zeph’ at least I’m now back amongst sane cricket supporters.


      • thelegglance Jun 5, 2015 / 8:58 am

        It’s funny really, I was thinking about this. I rarely ever commented in the Guardian on cricket, mostly doing so in the Telegraph (as Vian) for reasons that I’ve long forgotten. But I would always read, and you’d see the same names talking sense time and again. And you were always one of them. All of which is a longwinded way of saying “hello’ really!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 9:50 am

        Thanks thelegglance, you’re very kind and it’s an absolute relief to find you all again, thankyou.


  3. Sherwick Jun 4, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    That decision will damn Andrew Strauss.


    • dvyk Jun 5, 2015 / 8:57 am

      None of them have quite realised that yet.

      Pope Urban VIII thought he had achieved a great PR victory over Galileo. Two hundred years later his Church admitted that the earth does in fact orbit the sun. And in 1992 they apologised for their behavior, but it was too late — people are still laughing at them.

      Strauss is still enjoying the afterglow and thinking it will all blow over soon, but it won’t. And the effects of such idiocy and maltreatment have barely even begun to kick in.

      Liked by 2 people

      • thelegglance Jun 5, 2015 / 9:01 am

        Well it took them over 30 years to recognise Tony Greig had a point and that he wasn’t Lucifer incarnate after all. The pleasure at him actually being treated like a human being before his premature death doesn’t change that it was awful how they refused to even recognise a former England captain for those years.

        Liked by 3 people

      • SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 10:31 am

        The treatment of Greig was nauseating and is the only real parallel with Pietersen that I’ve seen in my cricket watching life (dating back to 1975). What Gooch did to Gower isn’t in the same league.

        Greig and Pietersen shared some qualities – 1) they challenged the concept of who owns the game and found it wasn’t the ECB (or whatever it was then called) 2) they didn’t flatter county cricket or have much time for its insecurities and “whimsy” 3) they didn’t do passive aggressive so came across as impertinent and not “nice”.

        Liked by 1 person

      • dvyk Jun 5, 2015 / 6:33 pm

        Pope Urban XIII not VIII — I knew it, I even checked it, but I typed a V instead. Mea Culpa.


    • Zephirine Jun 5, 2015 / 9:41 am

      Both decisions, I think – the Peter Moores one was right ,but the way it was done showed a lot of people the true nature of the organisation and also that Strauss wasn’t any better than his predecessor at treating people properly.


  4. alan Jun 4, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Well said Dmitri. I don’t class myself as a Pietersen ‘sycophant’ anymore than you do and I feel exactly the same about Strauss and his decision. The level of hypocrisy around English cricket at the moment is breathtaking


  5. MM Jun 4, 2015 / 10:18 pm

    1. Seeing as you mentioned KP… I love him and wanna wish him all health and happiness in his next thing. I’d really like him to update his autobiog. I reckon the last 18 months would provide a meaty pair of chapters.

    2. I love them Kiwis and hope they carry on playing their gloriously sexy cricket for years to come. One-one doesn’t feel like a draw to me this time.

    3. With regards the Ashes, we’ll lose badly and Andrew Strauss will be allowed to continue building for some non-specific future. Bayliss won’t alter squat, through no fault of his own.

    4. Selvey et al will spout loads of wrongheaded pony all Summer, all Autumn, and all Winter. We will oppose them and the ECB as per, but it’ll be like spitting balls of chewed-up paper at the Ark Royal. Not that that’s a reason to stop. They’ve got the guns but we’ve got the numbers.

    One day, people…

    Liked by 2 people

    • SimonH Jun 4, 2015 / 10:39 pm

      On KP he has two articles up over at the DT – one about county cricket and one about England. It’s difficult to disagree with a word in either (the first is particularly telling). The MSM will probably find something in them to rip out (his comments about Ballance’s technique perhaps) and whip themselves into a synthetic fury about it.

      One thing, perhaps the main thing, they can’t forgive him for is that he’s usually right.


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 4, 2015 / 10:43 pm

        I’ve played my last four day game for Surrey. Ah bollocks.


      • Zephirine Jun 4, 2015 / 11:16 pm

        The county one is very interesting indeed and those problems lie behind a number of other things that have been wrong, like the Team England bubble and all that that entails..


      • metatone Jun 5, 2015 / 12:26 am

        The remark about pitches seems very important.
        I’d throw in my usual about scheduling rain days – far too often the competition is decided by the number of draws. That has led to “result pitches” at some counties – but it’s not helping develop bowlers who can do the business on Test wickets…


      • thelegglance Jun 5, 2015 / 9:19 am

        He’s now the Cassandra of cricket though. Whatever he says is ignored because it is him saying it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • FustedBlush Jun 5, 2015 / 9:51 am

        The castigation is bound to include (again) the accusation that KP’s money-oriented motives have re-surfaced:

        “If he was any kind of analogue of an imaginary sporting gent he would remain at Surrey, despite being spurned by Strauss et al., thus demonstrating his loyalty, which we reserve the right to question in the future.”

        The double-standards used when addressing KP’s ‘mercenary’, ‘self-centred’ career choices rather reminds me of Gen. Melchett’s contrasting of British and German spies in Blackadder Goes Forth. That anyone maintains their faux outrage with a straight face is utterly beyond me.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Narelle Jun 4, 2015 / 10:44 pm

    Like Ian, I was lost from here too. I have to say my early morning coffee is complete when there is an email from Being Outside Cricket and/or The Full Toss. Both well written and thought provoking articles.

    You guys should never complain about channel 9 when you have Nassar and Athers fawning over Cook and Anderson. It really is nauseating to listen to. So they hit a record, we know, we have been told a million times!!!!

    I felt for NZ on the rain day, thought Another God was playing for you. They showed their class and the Poms how to play exciting cricket. the sad news from Aus is that they are wanting to change the test we have against them to 3 ODIs.

    Keep up your good work and good luck with your interview and your project Dmitri!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Rohan Jun 4, 2015 / 10:54 pm

    LCL, TLG, Dmitri, Vian, Mr Old, Chris, our boy’s took a hell of a beating in the second test! I am not as much of a football nut as I used to be, but I have many memories of that famous Norwegian commentary, that also mentioned the Iron Lady and it just seemed rather apt for where we are right now.

    I am disappointed, I feel disillusioned, I feel let down and I feel deprived. Yet I hate myself for feeling like this, why do I let my hopes rise and let my heart sway me. You would think I would have learnt, after the past 2 years, that English cricket, in particular our national team (management of), is rotten to the core. I cannot let it go though, something stirs inside me and emotion takes over and I think things have changed, things will be good again, we will attack and play positively at Headingley as we did at Lords. But alas, I am always let down; on a long journey of hope and despair.

    What really irks me, however, is that if we were just in a lull, in a period of flux where good/world class players were hard to come by and our poor performances were nothing to do with ECB management, but just the aforementioned issue, then I could reach some form of acceptance. But we are not!

    When I see self-important captains. World class players dropped because of trust or forced back when clearly not ready. Bowlers bowling short, not capable of bowling a full delivery, clearly not sticking to plans. Coaches trotting out the same old cliches ‘taking the positives’ or ‘developing side in transition’ or ‘they are young and inexperienced’. Management talking absolute trollocks, spouting claptrap about vibrancy, moving forwards, due diligence, environments and leadership. To top it all clear cretinous incompetency from board and executive members. Well, when I see all of this I find it hard to accept, to let my emotions persuade me into supporting England, because a lot of it could have been avoide or rectified.

    Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of ones self-importance. To be able to realise the alternative way may be the right way, not yours. In my opinion this is the one major facet lacking in the ECB, many of the MSM ECB acolytes, some of the players and coaches. If they could show just a modicum of humility, many of the problems which stem from the arrogance, self-worth, entitlement and self-importance they display, would dissipate and things would improve greatly!

    Unfortunately I have no faith in this happening as they lack any self-awareness to make this possible; so I shall remain at once excited and bitterly disappointed!

    Liked by 2 people

    • emasl Jun 5, 2015 / 7:14 am

      Exactly how I feel. I found myself supporting NZ all the way in the Tests. I will be supporting Oz as well. My daughter lives in Sydney and I visit often so feel I qualify! I hate feeling this way. I really do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 7:33 am

        Embrace the dark side Emasl it really is fun and rewarding. Just think how much more enjoyable watching the Ashes will be when you can take a proprietorial view of the Mitches and Hazlewoods bowling and the nuggety innings from Steve Smith.

        Your spirit will soar I tell you, soar.


  8. PepperSydney Jun 5, 2015 / 12:30 am

    I came this morning to gloat a bit over Voges 100 ( and at his age, too !!… 36 is the new 25, if you are OZ ) but I ‘ve stayed to offer a group hug to all Eng cricket fans who get treated like red headed stepchildren every damn day of every damn year.. its enough to make me and my dog Mango cry , and that’s no joke from an AU cricket fan. greetings to IanRSA who’s contributions are generally devoured by me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 7:35 am

      Hi Pepp, it’s nice to see you away from the abbotoir BTL.

      I never ever miss reading your bear baiting compositions there. Thanks for the G’day.


  9. emasl Jun 5, 2015 / 7:15 am

    The Guardian and DT comments section are constantly being taken over by a troll who keeps popping up under different names. He makes BTL unbearable at times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Jun 5, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      BTL or ATL? You can’t tell with the Guardian anymore. Sad, sad days.

      Oh wait, the one ATL sticks to just one name.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. thebogfather Jun 5, 2015 / 8:07 am

    I’ve got to ask a Q… why do so many of you go BTL at G or DT if it is such inane drivel (as a whole – some of your – all names above, comments exceptions to the rule), especially when so much of it gets personal and irrelevant to the ‘topic’ ? #JustAsking 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 8:16 am

      Sometimes I suppose it’s just fun to get down and dirty in the pit I suppose, a bit like mud wrestling really.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Jun 5, 2015 / 8:34 am

        I bow down to your knowledge of mud wrestling!!!! Just can’t understand the mud-slinging, unless it’s aimed at the main piece and/or writer of (ok..Selfey…mainly) 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Silk Jun 5, 2015 / 8:29 am

      For me, you (can) get a better discussion about the actual cricket BTL. I find we tend to focus too much on political issues here.

      But on the KP issue, I just keep going back. It’s like an itch I can’t scratch. Or rather more like picking at a scab.

      It’s bad for me but I can’t help it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Jun 5, 2015 / 8:37 am

        Political? Here? lol
        I understand the need to scratch, but applying vitriol won’t cure the disease, new thoughts need to be hatched, on here, preferably, if you please 🙂


    • Mark Jun 5, 2015 / 8:41 am

      I don’t ever venture over there Bogfather. Anything I would write would be removed in about 5 minutes so it would be a pointless exercise.

      But I admire the people who do, and force the duplicitous Selvey to have to censor his own BTL comments. Airbrushing out criticism is like the way they airbrush out facts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Jun 5, 2015 / 8:46 am

        been there, done that! Trying not to encourage the MSM click-bait too often, ignoring the BTL sycophantic inanities…


    • escort Jun 5, 2015 / 9:10 am

      Don’t ask that question. It tends to upset some Guardian followers. I’m with you on this issue though. Why waste your time by always going back to something that makes you want to puke.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance Jun 5, 2015 / 9:28 am

        To be fair, you always commented on Pringle’s nonsense and couldn’t stay away…


      • escort Jun 5, 2015 / 12:45 pm

        I guess you’re right vian. I certainly did comment on the Pringle but I don’t recall being obsessed with every article the man ever produced.


    • Zephirine Jun 5, 2015 / 9:52 am

      The G used to be really, really good BTL on the cricket threads – nice commenters, good sense talked (and a bit of good nonsense). And there are still some people there whose comments are excellent – Gent.ofLeisure is always valuable, Quebecer too when he’s not just batting back the smuggery, LuketheDrifter can be brilliant though he doesn’t post much now, jno50 is common sense personified, and others. And there are some people that I often disagree with but they write well.

      So hope springs eternal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 10:50 am

        The well-argued post that I disagree with is something I value. Here and at TFT it does have the danger of ‘preaching to the converted’. For example, someone at the Guardian made the point about Graeme Smith and Chanderpaul going two years without a Test century and someone else pointed out how few Test openers average over fifty – both valid points that I wouldn’t have realised otherwise.

        However the most depressing thing about the anti-KP comments is how badly argued nearly all of them are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Jun 5, 2015 / 1:31 pm

        Looking at that latest thread, Simon, I think there are certain trolls (or one very active troll with several names) who are now going into any Guardian thread about KP and just stirring – indeed, I notice steve1040 has now posted warnings about them.

        So perhaps for the time being any suspiciously new name in such threads should be ignored. The trouble is that in KP’s case the lies need to be contradicted.

        Re: preaching to the converted, you’re quite right. We shouldn’t be creating our own bubble 🙂


      • SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 1:55 pm

        Which thread for the steve0410 comment?


    • Ian Jones Jun 5, 2015 / 9:55 am

      My knowledge of mud wrestling is based mainly on fantasy, tragically.

      Thanks for the welcome. It’s wonderful how all the people that one likes and whose comments one particularly enjoys atG BTL are to be found here and at TFT.

      Liked by 1 person

    • northernlight71 Jun 5, 2015 / 1:24 pm

      Personally, I try not to but so many of the hard of thinking who populate the BTL pages seem to think that if nobody comes along to argue with them, they must be right. “Where are the sycophants now?” they ask, as if absence is all it takes to prove their righteousness.
      So I remain a presence. Well, sometimes under a different moniker, just to get around the odd ban 😉
      They need an annoying gnat, biting them every so often, just to let them know the real world is watching.


  11. Mark Jun 5, 2015 / 8:33 am

    I have always enjoyed it when a an England player, particularly a batsman who has gone through a poor run of form comes out the other side. But I have no such feeling with Cook. I don’t care if he’s making runs now. (And by the way I’m still not convinced he’s back to his so called best. Let’s wait and see if a side can keep bowling to his weakness).

    The reason I say this is because he has been indulged by both selectors and media. While he has been the blue eyed boy a lot of other players have been thrown under the bus. His captaincy is poor, and the medias contortions to try to pretend that he is good has only destroyed their reputations as honest critics. His sense of entitlement has only grown as the media fawning got more and more extreme. I have never seen such arrogance from a former player never mind a captain. The final straw was his “it’s him or me” which his media mates couldn’t wait to inform us about. And then in the usual yellow way England operate once KP had been thrown under the bus again, we are told that he didn’t ever make such a threat. This is duplicitous vomit that if was carried out by KP would be used to show how he can’t be trusted.

    The last 18 months have seen the media lose all their credibility in my eyes. A cosy cabal of freeloaders sponging off the game and propping up their mates and chums. Hiding behind semantics like “The ECB doesn’t leak” (if it’s not an official ECB leak , it’s not a ECB leak in their bizarre world). For example within 5 mins of KPs meeting with Strauss someone had leaked to Agnew who was going live on radio 5 to tell us what had happened, and with a straight face telling us the problem with KP is a lack of trust.

    Rumour has it Cook will stand down after the Ashes. I find it difficult to believe if we win that Mr Entitlement will resign. If England lose he should be sacked as captain. But then he should have been sacked after the last Ashes debacle. He only kept the job as part of a bigger stitch up to rid England of one particular player. For me that will be Cooks legacy. Not his runs, but his role in “The grande affair.” 5-0 defeat to Aus. 1-0 defeat to Sri Lanka, 3-1 win against India, 1-1 against WI and 1-1 against New Zealand. It’s not exaxtly great is it? Can you imagine any other England captain of this era being given such an easy ride for such a mediocre record?

    Liked by 3 people

      • Sherwick Jun 5, 2015 / 9:03 am

        I’m still waiting to hear why Cookie ran along to Daddy Flower to grass on what KP said about him in a “no holds barred players’ only team meeting”.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Silk Jun 5, 2015 / 8:57 am

      I disagree. I’m very happy he’s back to form, and it vindicates the fact that the selectors stuck with him as an opening batsman after the Ashes. Indeed if you look at his series performances, he scored runs against India (however scratchy he was), got a century in the Windies and was exceptional with the bat against NZ.

      I’d expect him to fail against the Aussies because he largely does, and the Aussies, as a bowling unit, offer far more than NZ. But they won’t find it easy against him.

      (I’m from Essex so I’m a big fan of Cook the batsman. And Gooch to. But not the persons)

      Cook won’t stand down if we win the Ashes. It might suit him, and the cabal around him for people to believe this, however. I suspect if we lose badly he’ll be given the option of falling on his sword, and if he doesn’t take it, he’ll be sacked. We’ve thrown Flower, Gooch, Giles, Saker, Downton and Moores under the bus. There is no one else.

      His captaincy legacy will be, obviously, seen as one of failure (unless we conjure up an Ashes win this summer). His period of captaincy of the ODI side was nothing less than calamitous, and led directly to the World Cup debacle. His Test record has been awful since Swann’s elbow failed. And new players have singularly failed to develop under his watch. Every single one of them (perhaps excepting Buttler) has gone backwards.

      He should have been sacked after the Ashes. Instead the sacked the man who pointed this out. The rest has been so utterly predictable. And depressing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Boz Jun 5, 2015 / 9:59 am

        ” it vindicates the fact that the selectors stuck with him as an opening batsman after the Ashes”

        FOR TWO YEARS????

        but he is definitely from the right sort of family, surely a more important reason to stick with him??????


      • thelegglance Jun 5, 2015 / 10:06 am

        I don’t mind them keeping faith with a player of proven ability per se. It’s quite reasonable to do so. The problem was the way it was done, the double standards, and the pretence that it didn’t matter because he was the golden boy.

        And that’s the trouble – you can end up thinking that the actuality was understandable and the job of the selectors to make that call, and at the same time see that the rationale behind it was ridiculous. If they’d come out and said “yep, he’s going through a bad trot, but we think he’s a quality player and will come out the other end and score lots of runs if we stick with him”, then you could accept that. But it’s not what they did.


      • Silk Jun 5, 2015 / 11:24 am

        Boz – I don’t have a problem with sticking with him for 2 years. There wasn’t another obvious opener knocking the door down (though I think Compton was incredibly harshly treated) and averaging 34 (in 2013) and 33 (in 2014) as an opener was hardly disasterous, The guy has shown that he can get back to his best, and at his best he’s the best opener in the world right now.

        Or, put another way, without Cook we’d have lost 2-0 to NZ, and the result in the Windies wouldn’t have been any different.

        His capatincy sucks, mind you. And his continued selection in ODIs last year beggared belief.

        I agree with Vian that the way its been handled was bonkers. But that was more about keeping KP out than anything else.


    • thelegglance Jun 5, 2015 / 10:14 am

      I’m a little unsure what the point of this article is. The press know what the issues with Panesar are, and it’s all desperately sad. There’s nothing new or of note here, it’s just what he wants and can do with his life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dlpthomas Jun 5, 2015 / 10:30 am

        The press might know but I haven’t got a clue (though I’d guess it’s at least in part alcohol related). Does anyone know if it is true that Monty did not drink prior to playing for England?


      • thelegglance Jun 5, 2015 / 10:33 am

        I don’t know for sure either, I’m just reading between the lines. But the press definitely do, and don’t want to talk about it publicly in Panesar’s own interests. Anyone following it will have a rough idea, and if that’s so then he needs that privacy to work it through on his own.

        That’s why I’m not sure what the point of it is.


      • Zephirine Jun 5, 2015 / 10:42 am

        I believe that while he was in the England side, he didn’t drink at all, and this was suggested at one point as a reason why he didn’t really fit in.

        He may not have started drinking until after England dropped him, not sure about that.

        But we don’t even know if his problems are purely to do with alcohol or something else, so I suppose it’s better not to speculate.

        I just hope he knows that he’s always been one of the best-liked cricketers around.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Silk Jun 5, 2015 / 11:25 am

        It matters to me because I want him playing for England again.


    • Belgianwaffle Jun 6, 2015 / 2:24 pm

      Thank you for that link. That is just terribly sad. I wonder what the problem is.


  12. SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 8:47 am

    “There’s a crowd out there that say “well played New Zealand” and they are bang on”.

    Some of that crowd (especially in the MSM) has a certain whiff of rodent about it. They found nothing NZ did last year more memorable than Strauss calling Pietersen a ****. They wouldn’t normally know Tom Latham from their elbow. So, pushing all affection for this NZ team aside, it’s worth asking in the cold light of team how good are this NZ team?

    The two accepted benchmarks of great players are over a long career a batting average over 50 and a bowling average under 25. NZ don’t have one player with either of these career stats. Not one. Australia have two of each, SA have two of each. Williamson and Boult may get there but both have some way to go. NZ are not Australia or SA – they are well behind both in the rankings for a reason. Last time they played SA they lost heavily and although they haven’t played Australia in Tests for a long time they were soundly beaten in the WC Final.

    The benchmarks of ‘very good’ are a batting average over 40 and a bowling average under 30. NZ had just two batsmen of that standard (now three with Watling). Guptill averages just 30, Latham averaged 40 but in a short career, McCullum averages 38 (more as skipper of course), Corey Anderson averages 30. This is not, for example, the great Australian batting line-up of the 90s and 00s when the top seven all averaged 40+ and half of them averaged 50+. As for the bowling, NZ have one bowler averaging under 30. Southee averages about 30, Henry was a 23 year old debutant and Craig inexperienced and averages about 40. Again this is not, for example, the great West Indies attack where three out of four bowlers averaged under 25. NZ also had neither of their all-rounders fully fit for the series, were playing away from home and had less than ideal preparation.

    This NZ was routinely dubbed by the media their “greatest ever side”. Really? The NZ of the 80s beat Australia away and WI at home. Their batting was about the same (in output – not entertainment!) as the current team – two batsmen averaging in the 40s (Crowe and Jones). Their bowling had an all-time great, two support seamers averaging low 30s (Chatfield and Cairns) and two spinners averaging mid-30s (Boock and Bracewell). The Stephen Fleming era side was also at its peak a very fine team. The batting was perhaps weaker (Fleming and Richardson both averaged 40+ but nobody 45+ unlike Crowe and Williamson) but the bowling when they had Bond, Chris Cairns and Vettori fully fit was the best of the lot. They fought the great Australian side to a 0-0 away draw in 2001/02 in a series of some of the best Test cricket I’ve seen. I doubt the current NZ side could have done that.

    So, in short, NZ are very good? Yes. Tremendously likable and entertaining? Yes. Going to get better? Almost certainly (although McCullum can’t go on full-time much longer and I’m not sure about Williamson as captain). Great? No. This wasn’t like trying to get through a Du Plessis/Amla/ABDV middle order or bat against Johnson/Hazlewood or Harris/ Starc. It wasn’t even trying to bowl out Azhar/Younis/Misbah in the UAE. This could be about to get very ugly.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mark Jun 5, 2015 / 9:13 am

      I don’t think for one minute NZ are a great side, but they play in a refreshing way. They attack, they counter attack, they don’t seem to snarl and sledge like certain goody two shoe teams. They seem to be able to do the basics like bowl Yorkers. Funny how doing the basics is an out dated concept in England.

      But for me the important thing they try to do (which England don’t ever bother to do) is they want to get the best out of what they have. For me this is the bench mark of all teams from the highest to the lowest…….. “Are we getting the best out of what we have got?”

      For England the answer is no. We don’t pick the best as players or captain. We have a whole agenda of class, face fitting, sponsor fitting toadying that means players are not picked for just their cricket ability. You get the feeling NZ are a national team that try do get the best out what they have. England on the other hand are not a national team. They are an ECB invitational eleven sponsored by Waitrose. I bet the school McCullum went to is of no priority to whether he should be NZ captain.

      NZ are a country with the same sized population as Wales. It’s amazing they can keep producing at both Rugby and cricket. Are they perfect? Hell no. But why can’t England produce better with the resources they have?……. Answer……we prefer Men in Blazers.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Amit Garg Jun 5, 2015 / 10:54 am

        Very well said. The last bit encapsulates why this team is not liked by many. Unfortunately, they don’t even seek to connect with us… if this is not arrogance, what is?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Amit Garg Jun 5, 2015 / 10:50 am

      You are about to be proven right in a few weeks time when the Aussie juggernaut sweeps this side away. This English team couldn’t handle the kiwi aggression with bat or ball. Trying to do that against the Aussies who are going to come even harder with the tongue is going to cause shivers. None of this lot can keep their calm and stay on their game, in the face of sustained aggression, both cricketing and verbal.


    • SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 11:10 am

      Correction – Australia have one bowler averaging under 25 (Harris). MJ averages 27.8. Although anyone who thinks Starc’s and Hazlewood’s averages are going to end up where they currently are hasn’t been paying attention.

      There’s a magnificent post at TFT about how everyone is overrating Australia with some of the most selective statsguruing you could ever wish to see. I seem to remember this poster using stats to prove that Chris Woakes was as good as Jacques Kallis and that Will Gidman should be playing for England.


      • dlpthomas Jun 5, 2015 / 11:37 am

        “There’s a magnificent post at TFT about how everyone is overrating Australia with some of the most selective statsguruing you could ever wish to see”

        Surely he was just taking the piss?


      • Mark Jun 5, 2015 / 11:41 am

        Australia are certainly not the cricketing colossus they were 15 years ago. I think their top and middle order batting is very brittle, but as we saw yesterday their lower order seem to mange to get them up to decent scores. England had the Ausies very little for 5 a few times in the last series but then Haddin walked in.

        Seeing England bowl to the NZ tail is slightly alarming for the coming Ashes. If the Ausies can score consistantly over 350 England will be under a lot of pressure against their bowling.


      • Arron Wright Jun 5, 2015 / 12:14 pm


        Based on previous experience, I think BITRA is quite earnest and sincere.


      • thelegglance Jun 5, 2015 / 12:23 pm

        I largely agree Arron. It was merely because he posted some stats about Australia’s bowlers in the last year on the DT that amounted to just three Tests.


    • d'Arthez Jun 5, 2015 / 12:26 pm

      AB, Faf and Amla all average over 50 in Tests. Faf has only played 20 Tests though.

      Other than that, South Africa will have 2 new openers (Elgar, van Zyl?), a new gloveman in de Kock, and Harmer as a spinner, who has hardly played any Tests. The potential is there, but the new kids have something serious to prove, before we can assess if they’re very good or not.

      Will be a couple of interesting tours to Bangladesh and India coming up. We’ll see what happens then, and if Tahir is getting yet another opportunity in the subcontinent.


      • SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 12:50 pm

        D’Arthez, I didn’t include FDP because I felt he hadn’t quite played enough matches. He’s a very good player but I suspect his average will settle in the high 40s rather than 50+ category.


    • metatone Jun 5, 2015 / 12:28 pm

      I’m less concerned about the stats – and more about the reality that we (England) won the first Test against a team with players flying in at the last minute. Of course NZ were a bit undercooked and the way the media conveniently forget that drives me up the wall.


  13. Waikatoguy Jun 5, 2015 / 11:10 am

    The NZ side is a good one at the moment but not the greatest one. The sides of the 80s was better. It has some good players, but still had gaps in it. I still get the impression that the bowling attack lacks something, when the shine goes off the ball and boult and southee tire. The opening batsmen are stillwork in progress as well.

    Its a great thing to see Voges get 100. Him and chris rodgers couldnt play when they were 25 years old because the aussie side was just so good then. When they were 30 they were dissmissed as being too old, and now they seem like they are in their prime. It will be a scream this year if haddin, harris, voges and rogers all perform well.


    • Benny Jun 5, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      Fair comments but I don’t feel it matters too much whether this is the greatest side or not. What is wonderful about NZ is that, for as long as I can remember, they get the utmost out of their players, as someone mentioned. Can’t help but admire their spirit and determination.


      • waikatoguy Jun 6, 2015 / 1:49 am

        You can say that about the present lot in the NZ side (get the utmost out of them) but not of a lot of past players. I won’t name names but over the past twenty years “unfulfilled potential” is something you could say about a lot of NZ players. Shane Bond described this quite well in his autobiography. That said the present lot seem to be a lot more dedicated to improving themselves compared to many in the past.


  14. Zephirine Jun 5, 2015 / 11:49 am

    Kieswetter retiring, sad. Good player.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Jun 5, 2015 / 12:30 pm

      Sad for Kieswetter. I wish him well in life beyond sports.


    • Rooto Jun 5, 2015 / 7:00 pm

      Big Northants fan here, who feels a little guilt by association. Gutted. He deserved better, but I totally respect his reasons. It appears that he just doesn’t trust his eyesight the same, and therefore wouldn’t be able to play to the same level. I hope he’s got plenty of other life skills, but it seems like he’s a nice guy. Hope it serves him well.


  15. Sherwick Jun 5, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    Well played Craig. MotM in the Final of the only World Cup that we’ve ever won. Strange how we never saw you and KP open together again in a tournament after that one.


  16. Sherwick Jun 5, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    Sorry not open


  17. @pktroll Jun 5, 2015 / 1:02 pm

    More than anything England has to look at a batting order that seems to be in a constant state of flux. I like Stokes at 6 and Buttler at 7 more than other recent combinations but the problem is this doesn’t hide the fact that none of those two are experienced and that there seems to be more than a few players out of form. Couple this with at least 3 bowlers who can be regarded as ‘developing’, i.e. they are often hit and miss and get bashed for a lot of runs very quickly there are quite a few recipes for a bit of a pasting.

    I think the Full Toss has rather got it right with their latest article.


  18. Sherwick Jun 5, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    Decent mini fightback by WI. Hope they can go on…


  19. SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    Good fighting stuff from the West Indies and a potentially exciting finish in prospect as they are 19 ahead with six wickets left (especially if Bishoo is unhindered by his finger injury and able to bowl properly).

    Australia’s attack that had looked so awesome looking a little more human today – particularly the spin department.


    • Benny Jun 5, 2015 / 7:24 pm

      Pretty sure the MSM will now be telling us the Aussies aren’t that good after all. However, I’m idiosyncratic (make up my own mind) – I just enjoy watching good cricket and, if it’s a battle, so much the better.


      • SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 7:40 pm

        Oh Jermaine (out stumped running down the pitch at Lyon).
        Oh Marlon (out hooking for the second time in the match)
        Oh dear (28/6 effectively)


    • d'Arthez Jun 5, 2015 / 7:39 pm

      Dowrich made a good 70. Blackwood got himself stumped playing a ridiculously aggressive shot, and Samuels holes out.

      198/6 (or +28/6), and the new ball is around the corner. Might still finish on Day 3.


    • d'Arthez Jun 5, 2015 / 8:07 pm

      Ramdin suicides to Lyon, just the last ball before the new ball is due. Really not sure what he attempted to do.Taylor did not manage against the new ball, so from 181/3, WI have reached 206/8.

      Instead of having to rely on Jimmy magic, Aussies rely on all their bowlers to set up what increasingly looks like a comfortable win. All 4 frontline bowlers have taken 2 wickets each this innings thus far.


      • SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 8:16 pm

        The Starc delivery that got Taylor would have got just about anyone. An absolute pearler.


      • Pontiac Jun 6, 2015 / 4:17 pm

        As a Lyon fan I wanna point out that here he has two wickets in a four over spell and off he comes for the new ball.

        Bowler figures depend a lot on what attack they are playing with because there are only so many wickets to take.


      • d'Arthez Jun 6, 2015 / 8:16 pm

        I firmly believe that Lyon is underrated. I certainly did not mean to suggest that Lyon is flattered by his bowling figures. Far from it. I certainly would not be surprised if Lyon picks 20 wickets in England in the Ashes. His average certainly does not flatter him, and though I suspect it will remain on the wrong side of 30, it won’t be by much. Bear in mind that he has been dropped quite often by the selectors, and the Australian pitches are not exactly ideal for offies (Geoff Miller seems to be the only offie since WW2 who averages less than 25 with the ball in Australia; and I suspect the Packer-series contributed to that).

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jun 6, 2015 / 8:21 pm

        To clarify, that G. Miller stat is based on all right arm slow bowlers who bowled in Australia and picked at least 25 wickets. Statsguru may have missed one or two.


  20. dvyk Jun 5, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    Well I’m not so impressed with Aust, although I’m always paranoid and pessimistic about the Ashes. It looks to me like everything will depend — once again — on how well Australia’s bowlers bat!


    • escort Jun 5, 2015 / 8:27 pm

      Not sure if i agree with that DVYK. I’m worried about how our Batting will cope with Mitchell Starc.


      • dvyk Jun 5, 2015 / 9:23 pm

        Yep, I take it as a given that Aust’s bowlers will do okay, but the Aust top order… Smith is the only reliable one, and Warner will be good for the odd score, but apart from that, there’s not much.

        I was just wondering if you could put together a good top order combining Aust & England teams, but I stopped after trying to imagine Cook and Warner opening together.


      • escort Jun 5, 2015 / 9:27 pm

        Very presumptuous of you to think that Cook would make the team. Unless of course he is selected for his captaincy? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  21. SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 8:32 pm

    Australia set 46 to win. Send for Sir Curtly.

    Starc demolished the tail by bowling straight, full and fast. It’ll never catch on.


    • metatone Jun 5, 2015 / 8:40 pm

      It’s really hard to avoid the feeling that this Ashes series is going to be a horrorshow.
      We’re not going to be able to get the Aussie tail out and ours is going to fold like a cheap deckchair…

      (Which, while it wouldn’t have been enough for WI to win this game, is basically the story we’re seeing right now. If WI had gotten the last 2 Aussie batsmen out cheaply, the game would be much more challenging for AU…)


    • Rohan Jun 5, 2015 / 8:42 pm

      I agree, I think they are called YORKERS, but they don’t work and are far too hard to bowl, no chance of England wasting time on them. Back of a length gets wickets…….

      If staff bowls like this in the ashes, Ballance and Cook could both be vulnerable to his full inswinger to them, they could have a torrid time!


    • escort Jun 5, 2015 / 8:48 pm

      Why would a simple idea like that be taken seriously by a team lead by somebody who is continually praised for his stubbornness and who has two opening bowlers who just simply blunder on without any thought about what they are doing when faced with the tail. Bowl short and then be hooked/pulled to the boundary after giving the obligatory single to the last recognised batsmen.


      • escort Jun 5, 2015 / 9:08 pm

        Australia have won by 9 wickets.


  22. SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    Hazlewood match bowling: 31-14-50-5.

    Hazlewood vs. Cook in the Ashes is going to be like time standing still

    Liked by 1 person

  23. SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 9:31 pm


    • simonk133 Jun 5, 2015 / 11:45 pm

      Of course, you don’t need too many of your own batsmen to turn up if you can take 20 wickets for 370.

      So what about the bowling, Mike? Mike…?

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jun 6, 2015 / 7:50 am

        Bishoo bowled too slow. That is why he was highly ineffective, as demonstrated by the wicket column (he had match figures of 33-10-80-6) by mostly bowling between 50-53 mph. That is the kind of ineffectiveness that the ECB fear with Rashid, and why they’re desperate for Adil to add a few mphs to his 50-53 mph bowling.

        Bishoo did not even take a second innings wicket (admittedly, he did not get a bowl, but that is never a valid criticism of any captain as evidenced by Cook’s appalling use of spinners).

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Jun 6, 2015 / 7:58 am

        “A 35 year old debutant”. What does he even mean by this?

        a) His runs count for less because of his age? I missed that rule change.
        b) He’ll be gone in 2019? Australia will just have to settle for winning now – how terrible for them.
        c) Poor Australian journos can’t write puff pieces about CA’s ‘exciting new era’ and ‘vibrant young players’? I suspect they’ll manage writing about wins in the here and now.
        d) He should have been picked earlier? Quite possibly – maybe Australia would then be first in the rankings rather than second. As opposed to, say, fifth.


      • metatone Jun 6, 2015 / 8:11 am

        @SimonH -Players of 34 or above can only come into the team if they are debutantes is probably what Selvey is thinking?


      • metatone Jun 6, 2015 / 8:27 am

        @D’Arthez – I just wish someone of status (i.e. maybe Warne himself) would remind Selvey that Warne’s typical speed was around 48 mph…


      • SimonH Jun 6, 2015 / 8:35 am

        D’Arthez, David Hopps makes the point on the new Switch Hit that rushing Ali back after injury damaged him (as Ali says in his interview) and damaged Rashid.

        Two bowlers with one decision – I heard Graves was keen to economise at the ECB and this must be what he meant!

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jun 6, 2015 / 11:48 am

        It was obvious that rushing Ali back could only harm him, due to the lack of clarity on his role. A batsman who bowls a bit? An all rounder? Or a spinner who can bat fairly well? Rushing him back signals that he is important, but since his role is not defined, important in what capacity?

        He is also not helped by the constant shifting in the order. In the West Indies he batted at 6, and in England he batted at 8. While for his county he bats at three. For his county, he is usually the fifth bowler coming on, and often a specialist spinner comes (Choudhry or Ajmal) on before him. In Waitrose XI, he is usually the fifth coming on (but that says more about Cook’s captiaincy with regards to spinners), but he operates behind four right arm medium-fast pacers.

        In short, no one really knows what he is supposed to be doing. Can’t blame Moeen if he does not know then either. Rumour has it that management is supposedly about managing players, but not according to the ECB apparatchiks.

        Moeen could very well end up on the Waitrose scrapheap soon enough. England might then be forced to go for an all-pace attack, since a) there are no spinners who are “ready” for the Test side, b) Captain Cook does not trust any spinner other than Swann (and Strauss in his new function). And that is asking for overrate offenses, and slaughter from all and sundry. And then there is the matter of a tour to the UAE in a few months’ time …

        The failure to display even a shred of trust in Rashid is appalling as well. If some guy who barely averages 50 in FC cricket with the ball in the past 2 seasons, who was not a regular feature for his county, is ahead of you, what realistic hope do you have then to make it to the Test XI?

        How motivating is it that people who are clueless about your craft tell you you have to do things differently? If Rashid paid any attention to Bishoo this Test, he will not exactly be brimming with confidence with regards to the people who are trying to convince him to go for the extra few mphs.

        That Rashid is now picked as the sole spinner in the ODI squad reeks of the same idiocy as not playing Tredwell in the World Cup, and then giving him a Test in the West Indies. How has James “stuck record” Whittaker managed to remain in his position?

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Jun 6, 2015 / 12:04 pm

        Here’s Bishoo bowling Haddin in Dominica for those who haven’t seen it (only genuine highlight of the test I can find on Youtube – good to see the ECB aren’t the only board failing to grasp that opportunity):

        I go along with Silk’s idea that they’ve picked Rashid for the ODIs expecting him to be slaughtered so they can then say they were right not to pick him in WI and can ignore him in the future.

        The name that is starting to crop up more and more for the second spinner in the UAE is Ansari.


      • d'Arthez Jun 6, 2015 / 12:57 pm

        Ansari, is he not an opening bat for Surrey? Does he not take an average of 1.2 wickets / innings he bowls in. Last season 24 wickets at 37. In Division 2, where batting is supposedly so easy, that 355* hardly counts. Why do I have the feeling that Ansari is not the answer?


      • metatone Jun 6, 2015 / 4:07 pm

        Ansari very much looks like a defensive pick – another batting all rounder is the theory I presume…


    • dvyk Jun 6, 2015 / 9:31 am

      Ah, of course — the 35 year old debutant will have retired by the time the Ashes rolls around.

      The commentators all agreed that taking the 2nd “hyper-lacquered new Duke ball” was what took the pressure off the 35 year old debutant and allowed the tail to hammer it to all parts. It’s “always dangerous”, but only for the openers.


  24. SimonH Jun 5, 2015 / 10:41 pm

    Peter Moores:
    ‘I will have my say when the time is right because things have been said and done that just haven’t been right.’

    As reported by Charles Sale so usual health warning applies.


    • Zephirine Jun 5, 2015 / 11:14 pm

      Moores has been treated appallingly and must know that he has a lot of public support. But who would he blow the whistle on? And when will he think the time is right?


    • d'Arthez Jun 5, 2015 / 11:17 pm

      Honestly, I would not be surprised if Moores has a few rather explosive things on his mind. As he is still not out of the clutches of the ECB, I can fully understand why he does not speak yet. Or even won’t in the foreseeable future.

      Sure, the results were poor, but we must not forget that he was effectively set up to fail, most notably in the World Cup. Courtesy of having to pick two captains who would hardly merit a place in the side (Cook, Morgan). Some strange mistakes were made (Ballance, Taylor), but it is not his fault that say Gurney did not set the world alight. He did not pick the squads. Something similar applies to the Test captain. Did he really have a choice but to front for Cook? I am not too certain. But we can rest assured that the ECB are desperately trying to apportion all the blame to Moores, instead of their own pigheaded idiocy.

      As annoying as some of his utterances were, they never criticised the incumbents, nor his employer. It was not Moores who said that Buttler was not ready, it was not Moores who said that Prior can play as long as he sees fit. It was not Moores who had the “right family” gaffe. It was not Moores who came up with “outside of cricket”. It was not Moores who played with the possible recall of Kevin Pietersen. Part of the job was fronting up for Cook, no matter what. That may well be the source of “Alastair has been magnificent today” at Headingley versus Sri Lanka.

      I have no idea how much autonomy and authority Moores actually had on the job. How much influence he really had – if the bowlers could ignore bowling plans under Farbrace, or Captain Cook could not enforce them, it is quite possible that the same happened to Moores. If Anderson really did not believe in the original bowling plans versus India, how come England have resorted to them again, against New Zealand, when they were clearly not effective? Something simply does not add up. Combine that with a corporate culture of entitlement and one in which the players cannot be criticised, then he could not have been anything BUT a caricature.

      And remember, as much as “the book” is being used against Kevin Pietersen, “the book” by Strauss is never used against Strauss, in his decision making capacity. Talk about trust, and apply that to the various statements by Strauss, in public and in his autobiography.

      He tried, and even though he fell short, he cannot be criticised for the effort he put in. But to be the last person in the country to know of his own sacking, probably because Nick Knight could not keep his gab shut, that is atrocious, even by ECB standards. While he was in charge of an England squad in Dublin.

      Something is seriously rotten in the ECB.

      Liked by 1 person

      • PepperSydney Jun 6, 2015 / 12:02 am

        It would be the severest folly to imagine , then, that Bayliss , a born scapegoat, one could almost say, a professional scapegoat is going to be any different. Anyone who believes that Bayliss got the job , ahead of oh… anyone…. anyone at all, because of his inspirational and original theories and ideas on cricket coaching is , frankly, not dealing with a full deck.

        Bayliss is there because he is disposable to the Australians, that’s the first criteria, , the second being he is compliant and at the crossroads of his coaching life, where whatever he is asked to produce, and that will mainly be a soft and incredibly blind estimation of English cricketers is the theme on the agenda.

        Liked by 2 people

  25. PepperSydney Jun 6, 2015 / 12:27 am

    oh.. and well played , AU… bad luck WI.. but even so, some terrific bowling from WI, which bamboozled a nice haul of AU batsmen, it was excellent stuff, …


  26. Mark Jun 6, 2015 / 10:49 am

    Did anyone watch that 20/20 roses match last night?

    Great innings by Butler but the Yorkshire bowling at the death was pants. Lancashire got a about 40 off the last 3 overs. Leg side wides. Leg side full toss’s. Slow half volleys. We have a major problem bowling at the death these days. It’s not that they can’t bowl Yorkers, but they can’t bowl them consistently. Too many turn into cannon fodder. Which makes them resort to half pitched so called safety bowling. Just like England bowl at the tail Enders.

    They gave the second to last over to a 17 year old who tried to pitch it up, but kept losing it leg side. He got wickets but also went for plenty. Nasser talked about bowling oustside off stump but the captain kept the third man up in the circle so the bowler didn’t dare bowl wide of off stump.

    It has become a real skill to bowl in these conditions with batsman trying to hit out of the park, but the ability to repeat good balls just isn’t there.


    • SimonH Jun 6, 2015 / 11:21 am

      I was watching the WI Test rather than the T20 but looking at the scorecard was it Bressie-lad bowling at the death? Any signs of his ‘heavy ball’? (More seriously, what about his remodelled action? Does it look noticeably different?).

      Several England players did well last night – Root, Buttler, Ali, even Ballance hit three sixes. Not sure it’ll mean much from what I’ve just seen of Starc and Hazlewood but it’s better than them not making runs.

      On England’s death bowling, I guess Mark Wood will be earmarked for that role. David Hopps on Switch Hit pointed out that Wood’s pace dropped between the First and Second Tests (his average speed was 2mph down and his fastest ball 5mph down). Hopps questioned whether, given his injury record, Wood can physically cope with back-to-back Ashes’ Tests (although it was also reasonably pointed out a first test is unusually draining on any player and that could be the reason for the drop in pace).

      I hope Wood is used sensibly – perhaps two ODIs at most? Alternatively England will do what they always do when they have a new toy – play with it endlessly until they break it and then move on to the next.


      • SimonH Jun 6, 2015 / 5:09 pm

        By the way, Vic Marks in his latest article points out Wood has played just 19 List A matches.

        He also writes some a hilarious list of excuses for England losing before they actually lose (demolished by Fred66 in the comments) and seems to be setting up Morgan as the fall guy for when the inevitable occurs.


      • dvyk Jun 6, 2015 / 6:57 pm


        Fred’s comment is funny. Those who can stomach the idiocy A&BTL and can get past the mods are in a target rich environment for some easy LOLs. Last time I looked just about all of PyrrhicVictory’s comments were being modded, but s/he is still gutsing it out.

        I agree — Morgan’s days are numbered. Strauss just didn’t want to be seen dinging too many puppies on the head all at once for fear of being labeled a sadist.

        And all this talk of being aggressive and playing without fear is, I’m afraid. hilarious. We all know what happens to English players who take risks. And anyway, instead of ordering the players to stop fearing failure (or else, presumably, be dropped), they’d be better off trying to convince the administrators to *start* fearing it and taking it seriously.

        Bayliss won’t make any difference, incidentally. I don’t care what kind of a record he has. He was always a fairly mediocre Sheffield Shield bat with an average of 35. It’s all very well for him to bark at the players that they should be aggressive and not fear failure, but if they are going to get dropped if they fail, then it will merely make them as paranoid as they were in the WC. I thought the modern idea is pick the best players, and then figure out how to get the best out of them — not sack the best and then try to get all the others to play exactly the same. (In the past it was safe and steady for all, now it’s aggressive and fearless for all.)


      • MM Jun 7, 2015 / 9:03 am

        DVYK: “stop fearing failure (or else, presumably, be dropped)”

        In other words: stop fearing failure, or else!


      • MM Jun 7, 2015 / 9:05 am

        Actually – sorry – that was exactly the same words, but minus three, and punctuated differently.

        I’ll get me coat.


    • metatone Jun 6, 2015 / 4:10 pm

      Fisher is one for the future – but he’s very inconsistent at the moment.
      He’s had some stunning spells, but now and then it all gets out of rhythm.


  27. SimonH Jun 6, 2015 / 6:06 pm

    NZ win their ODI warm-up match crushingly.

    Centurions Grant Elliott and Luke Ronchi to be dropped because it was Only Leicestershire they were playing plus Elliott is 36 and Ronchi 34 so how the hell can they still be playing cricket anyway?


  28. pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 7, 2015 / 9:40 am

    Cricket writers on tv and some pontificating about how NZ would struggle to grind things out to gain a result and that they are best off playing gung ho cricket all the time. I thought that these comments were likely to not be completely true so I checked their recent series v Pakistan in the UAE. The draw that they achieved in the 2nd test is testament to the fact that NZ are a more adaptable team than given credit for as has their record in the last couple of years since the 2013 series here.

    It should be pointed out that NZ went off like the clappers in the first innings of the final test of that series and won comfortably to get a highly creditable series draw but the point remains that NZ are more than one trick ponies.


    • waikatoguy Jun 7, 2015 / 10:45 pm

      NZ did pretty well at home against Sri Lanka as well in the tests. Dominated fairly easily I thought. I know SL are not the greatest test side at the moment, but the 2-0 victory over them was a solid one.


  29. Grumpy Gaz Jun 7, 2015 / 12:50 pm

    I need to stop watching it, it isn’t good for my blood pressure. A whole discussion on how we once were T20 world champions with Lumb and Kieswetter batting and why we aren’t that good any more.

    Not a single mention of the player of that tournament and his foolish omision from the current ODI an T20 sides. KP is being erased from English cricket history and hard-earned lessons forgotten.


    • Sherwick Jun 8, 2015 / 8:34 am

      Yeah, KP was rubbish in that tournament.


  30. Amit Garg Jun 7, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    In other news, Dravid has been appointed as the coach for India U19 and A tours. If those guys can absorb a fraction of his work ethic, humility and commitment, India will be served well in times to come.


    • Boz Jun 7, 2015 / 3:32 pm

      …….. in other, other news, the wind has died down today


    • Zephirine Jun 7, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      He’s great fun! – my favourite is:

      New Zealand CricketGingerninja1324 27 points 18 hours ago

      What are you thinking as you are batting?

      [–]Jimmy NeeshamUnleashTheQuiche[S] 291 points 17 hours ago

      “Ok get through the first couple of balls. Jeez that was quick. Ok knuckle down here. Oooh that girl’s quite pretty-Oi stop it, concentrate. Watch the ball. Shit that came off the bat quite nicely. I wonder how long it is til lunch? These pants are a bit tight, maybe I should get some new ones. Watch the ball. NO KANE NO. Come on mate there’s no run there, jeez. Oooh it’s lunch, I wonder if there’s cheesecake?”


      • SimonH Jun 8, 2015 / 8:03 am

        Not only is he a fine twitterer, batter (40+Test average with two centuries) and bowler (32 average) he’s another of NZ’s ridiculously good fielders:


  31. Tuffers86 Jun 7, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    And Ian Bell clobbered 90 at the top of the innings for Warwickshire, sorry Birmingham. Just. Like. That.

    Amazing what happens when in a cosy environment, with no office politics at play.


    • Arron Wright Jun 8, 2015 / 9:37 am

      How fascinating that Ballance can already be proclaimed “mentally strong” based on some Test runs against largely piss-weak attacks, but Bell dismissed as “infuriating” after ten years, over a hundred Tests, 22 hundreds, recovering from early chastening experience against one of the great sides, recovering after being dropped to out-average everyone in the side during its peak phase, that ton in Durban, saving a game in Cape Town, winning the 2013 Ashes almost single-handedly, etc. And no-one thinks to ask whether external circumstances might be playing a part in his latest troubles, whereas the same people had excuse after excuse for the dauphin?

      Bloody sick of it tbh. Why not tell us all about the team-building exercise again while you’re at it, Paul?


    • dvyk Jun 8, 2015 / 8:59 pm

      All of Newman’s statements are a bit kinda weird. Was that really “one of the greatest ever English teams” that got whitewashed last year, lost 13 out of 14 games and then got thrashed by the Netherlands in a T20? Really? I guess I must have massively overestimated teams with people like Cowdrey, Edrich, Snow, or Hobbes & Sutcliffe etc (sorry if I spelled their names wrong). Even if that bunch of pikers is the best England have ever managed, no team that capitulates like they did in Sydney on (was it) day 4 deserves to have the word “great” placed anywhere near them.

      And blimey he’s really got the knives out for Bell — verging on saying he looks disengaged….

      Also interesting that Nasser H said he would have kept it open to select KP. No wonder Strauss got that job.


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 8, 2015 / 9:06 pm

        That bit about slip catching is borderline nasty. His beloved Alastair has certainly shelled a few too. He really has it in for Bell.


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