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.