An Ashes Exchange Of Views – Part 2 – Dennis asks, Dmitri Answers

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So you’ve read part one….. Now on to the questions set by Dennis of Dennis Does Cricket to me. These are my honest views, and feel free to take them to pieces if you wish!

1) Australia has the Brutal issue of having to squeeze four world class quicks into three spots. Who are the lucky three and why? 

England fans cannot believe you won’t pick Ryan Harris. He appears to have achieved that status reserved for a few Australians, in that I get the sense he’s really liked! I think we all love to see a bowler who suffers for his craft. That said, England have had enough experience of relying on old crocks with injury issues to know you should always go with the younger fitter model (I recall 2002/3 all too well, waiting on Gough and Flintoff) so unless Hazlewood gets monstered in the early tour matches, you should go with what you had in the West Indies. So it’s Johnson, Starc and Hazlewood, and Harris and Siddle up your sleeve. Of dear lordy.

2) Fawad Ahmed and Nathan Lyon lead the Shield wicket taking table last summer. Should the leg spinner be used in tandem with Nathan Lyon at any of the grounds? What about instead of Lyon?

My blog has Nathan Lyon’s number 1 fan (outside Australia) so I’m not ever suggesting he should not play. Nathan Lyon is a bloody good bowler, and the problem is that when you’ve had superstar spinners in your team, you always shoot for the moon (something we should remember now Lovejoy* isn’t in our team). Fawad Ahmed is an interesting wildcard, but none of the venues we are playing at are going to be raging Bunsens because we don’t have Swann any more. I think our allergy to leg-spin is overplayed a bit, but also the other reason for playing them – that they are great at getting tailenders out – is our problem rather than yours. You seem to take great pleasure in a 90mph left armer coming in to the lower order players and smashing them out. I don’t think there will be any “two spinners” wickets and I cannot see you dropping the lead singer in the Under the Southern Cross ensemble.

*Swann is called Lovejoy on here because of his remarkable similarity in personality to a much loved, sorry much loathed, football geezer of the 90s, called Tim Lovejoy. It’s a running joke.
 
3) How should Australia attempt to reduce the influence of Joe Root? 

I put the same question to you! We’re all going a bit mad about Joe Root, and why not? He has this knack of making big hundreds now, so once he’s in, and past the century mark, he’s not satisfied. The drop down to number 5 has been huge, but it also left a major hole we’ve not filled yet at opener. I’m a little disappointed, to be honest, because I’ve always felt 5 is the armchair position in the batting line-up; you’re not likely to be up against the new ball with fresh bowlers, and you get time before the marshalling of the tail (which Root is good at).

I think Root has the same sort of weaknesses as many other player, i.e. good bowlers, bowling well. Also, Australia will play on the mental side of things. He was dropped in the last series. He also, one innings apart, didn’t cut it as an opener in 2013. He has “mental scars”. We’re comparing him a lot to Steve Smith and I see much the same sort of characteristics in the two players. If they get in, watch out.

4) What tactics by Australia will cause the biggest headaches for the captaincy of Alastair Cook?

What was it Ricky Ponting said about the 2005 series? “Win the first test and let the British press do the rest”. That worked. 🙂 It needs something more tangible than that. He had a point at the time, though.

The one thing that 2014 and the fall-out from the whitewash proved is that Cook is, at the moment, unsackable. I’m aware not everyone agrees with me on that, but look how long we held on to him as ODI skipper against all the evidence. Now he’s scoring some runs again, he’s the saviour returned. He’s leading from the front. We can forgive his tactical abominations. The world has changed in 10 years – the press were complicit in the retaining of Cook – and now the British press are more likely to rally around a losing captain than bury him.

Cook’s series depends on him scoring runs. You’d think, by the way ECB-TV goes on, he’s only ever played one Ashes series, because every time he needed bolstering, the 2010/11 series is mentioned. If the Aussies pray on that off stump weakness, don’t feed his outlet shots, and bowl him to a standstill, he’s not going to hurt you. Whether the public will turn on him, I don’t know. The one side effect of this New Zealand ODI series is that without our behemoths, the new team looks like it is enjoying itself and playing like it. How much that attitude seeps through if we lose early will be interesting. If Cook is scoring runs and we are losing, the press over here might blow a gasket. 

5) Should Shane Watson’s position at 6 be in question?

Do you have anyone better? I’m a believer that if you don’t perform, you shouldn’t have a divine right to play – see Alastair Cook, 2014, see Ian Bell 2015 – but also that if he’s the best player and isn’t letting the side down, for his role, you can lose a lot of ground trying to find someone better. His last test here saw him make his career best, he’s used to the role, and although we laugh about his LBW review skills, he still appears a formidable presence even if he probably doesn’t back it up with stats. His bowling is also really useful for the team as he does perform an important role for Clarke.

Put it this way – if he’s one of your best players, you’re in trouble. If he’s one of your worst players, we’re in trouble. 

6) Will this be Clarke’s final Test series? If so, is Smith ready to fill his shoes? 

You’ll know that better than I, but the mood music appears to suggest Clarke’s coming to the end of the road, and it’s another couple of years before we go out to Australia to get smashed again. He’s won the World Cup, he’ll have another Ashes win in all probability so why not go out on top? I’m not sure what drives him these days.

I don’t really have a feel for Smith’s captaincy, and part of me thinks it is a little too soon. You have a tendency to not play retired captains, and he is just 26. If Australia will stick with him for 8 years even if the results turn for the worse then fine. I don’t think the captaincy has such a corrosive effect on Australian captains than it seems to on English ones in terms of batting form.

You can’t fail to be impressed by his attitude, his mental strength and his results. Wind back to our commentary teams (and yes, me) in 2010/11 when we laughed at his selection! Eating humble pie now.

7) The last Ashes series in the UK saw Australia constantly at 5/150 and requiring Haddin to save the day with the bat. Is this likely to happen again? 

Our propensity to go spectacularly off the rails when it comes to lower order batsmen is gaining legendary status. I have genuine fear that this will be a major difference in the two teams. We are simply not good at blowing away the tail. We don’t have express pace, not really, and we don’t have a spin bowler on form who can tease them out. If you want Exhibit A of this monumental inability, we refer to Day 4 at Headingley – this year it was at New Zealand tailenders, last year it was Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath. We were pitiful. Haddin was a key last time, but he also, often got a lower order player to stay with him once the top order man he was with got out. It takes two to make partnerships.

So the ball goes into Brad Haddin’s court. Is he the same player as 18 months ago or are there now too many miles on the clock? Are the manner of his dismissals the sign of the twilight of a career? Was the 2013/14 series just a freak?

Frankly, I don’t think you’ll be 150/5 (this is an England piece, so not putting the numbers the wrong way around) very often. I think we’ll make pitches to make it a batting contest, and not feed your strengths. It’s why I fear what David Warner might do.

8) Haddin is averaging less with the bat that Nathan Lyon over the last 12 Test matches. Should Australia be worried about this, given his keeping is at the top its game? 

As long as he’s not keeping a Gilchrist-like figure out of the team, and he’s not a total liability with the bat, then fine. To turn the debate around, we brought Prior back into the test team last summer (with a tear in his achilles that turned out to be career-ending) and held back Jos Buttler. We all thought it was madness at the time, and were proved right. Prior wasn’t the same batsman, and was as mobile as a wheelie-bin behind the stumps. Who is backing up Haddin these days (hastily checks tour squad)? Peter Nevill, it seems, who is 29 and not exactly a young gun, but appears to have been picked on a good batting season for New South Wales.

If Haddin gets blown away early in the series, I’d be interested to see if any pressure is exerted from your press.

9) How should Australia play Anderson? Attack or defence? 

You seemed to have little trouble with him last time out. In fact there’s a school of thought that his tour de force at Trent Bridge in 2013 marked the high-water point for James, and it’s been a lot, lot tougher since. If Anderson isn’t taking wickets, we’re in trouble. You were pretty positive against him last time out in Australia, and rather more cautious over here. I don’t think Warner or Smith in particular are going to let him tie you down.

I know Anderson is a source for much of your “bantz” Dennis, but he’s quite a divisive character on the blog. I believe he’s one the diehard, love England regardless section adore, while some of the more cynical, jaded among us believe he got the record because he stayed upright longer than any of our other decent bowlers in the past 20 years.

I think my attitude to him could best be described as “tepid”. I find him remarkably dour and uninteresting, although I can’t ignore 400 test wickets -it’s a fact and he did it. My belief is that if he were around in 2005 bowling like this, I wouldn’t have picked him in our team. There’s a debate over whether he would have replaced Matthew Hoggard, but not for me (as he’d won us the South Africa series with his spell in Jo’burg). The first test will be key in setting the tone. Let Anderson get on top of you, and your batting might struggle to free the shackles. See him off, weather him at Lord’s where he usually performs, and I think you’ll have got the better of him.

10) Is Stokes capable of stealing a game or two off his own bat? 

No. And I like Ben Stokes. We see Stokes as a KP figure. He doesn’t appear to march to the disciplinary drum. We had someone like that recently.

The rub on KP, and you knew I’d get him in somewhere, is that individual performances are all well and good, but you need to be a team player, a team man, as if individuality doesn’t count as much in jolly old England. Stokes is almost the ultimate individual. He will play the most idiotic shots to get out, or bowl a load of old nonsense. That is the way he plays. He will get drunk on tour, or he’ll punch a locker, and the old heads and the stuffed shirts will sniff and snort, and want to teach him a lesson. I fear for him. He’s not nice amiable Jos, who won’t say a controversial word. He’s brash. He’ll give it a go.

Stokes had a brilliant Lord’s test against New Zealand, and immediately it’s “Flintoff this” or “Botham that” from our hyperbolic press or ECB-TV. There was great focus on his record paced 100, but it wasn’t even his best innings of the match. It was the 90-odd he made in the first innings, pulling us out of the 30/4 mire we were in. He got the two big beasts of New Zealand batting in the second innings, but his bowling is erratic, and while there is a lot of promise there, he’s still not a key cog in the bowling wheel as the other two mentioned above were. He’s the fourth one used, and there is no doubt that is his place.

That said, he’s exciting, he’s got talent, he has an attitude, he plays with passion and his heart on his sleeve. We’re a nation that loves that, when we’re winning, or when that individual is successful. But once that individual has a dip in form, watch out. As we saw last year when the media piled into him over his locker-punching incident and his inability to provide anything last summer. They’ll take the good times and be over him in the bad. That’s us. I think you call it “tall poppy syndrome”.

11) Which Englishmen are likely to quit mid series this time?

Ah. Damien Martyn syndrome, you mean? Well, if we’re 3-0 down I would imagine Alastair Cook might have to quit as captain, but then again, I thought he’d have gone ages ago. Anderson would be the likeliest, or maybe Broad, but they would be extreme long shots. I think Bell is more likely to be dropped than quit.

That tour was such a disaster it makes you wonder what was really going on. We are still wondering!!!!

12) Swann was the difference last time in the UK. Is Moeen any chance of getting close to having Swanns impact? Why no Rashid?

Ian Bell was the difference in the last series, and Stuart Broad too (as well as a one man show with the ball by Anderson at Trent Bridge) so I don’t agree with the immediate contention. Moeen Ali is, by most people’s definition, a decent county bat and a decent spin bowler, but he’s nowhere near Swann’s level. We did what we usually do as a media in this country – blow too much smoke up his arse when he has a couple of decent performances, and then say we told you so when he struggles. He now bats at 8, which is scandalous for a man with his ability if not results, and his bowling has been disappointing if you compare it to his early days.

Rashid is an unknown quantity to me in the long form of the game. I’m not a Yorkie, my county plays second division cricket, and I don’t like judging spin bowlers on one day form? Why no Rashid? Well, ask the brains trust out in the Caribbean that. He wasn’t played in the first game, supposedly, because he bowled badly in the nets. And boy, were we told he bowled badly in the nets. Again and again and again. That’s the way we roll. After that, Moeen came straight back into the team, and not pulled up any trees. It doesn’t look promising.

My thanks for Dennis’s co-operation, and he has expressed an interest in being on the Ashes panel this summer. It was a lot of fun for me putting the questions and answers together last weekend. Remember, Dennis can be found on his blog – http://dennisdoescricket.com/ – and on Twitter https://twitter.com/DennisCricket_ or @DennisCricket_ – so follow his unsubtle (unfunny, always!) japes at our expense……

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42 thoughts on “An Ashes Exchange Of Views – Part 2 – Dennis asks, Dmitri Answers

    • escort Jun 26, 2015 / 11:29 pm

      I heard Lovejoy talking in a mocking way about this on TMS last Saturday and when he was asked who was in charge at the time he became vague and had an attack of amnesia.

      Like

    • BoerInAustria Jun 27, 2015 / 6:21 am

      … or the one 2010/2011 in Bavaria, the one Cook missed…!!!

      Like

  1. SimonH Jun 26, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    It would almost be a shame if Jimmy Neesham got fit and was lost to Twitter:

    Like

  2. SimonH Jun 26, 2015 / 7:44 pm

    Proposed rule changes in ODIs:

    http://goo.gl/TTuq9b

    Also, MJ clearly outbowled Ryan Harris in the warm-up match. Selvey will be delighted.

    Like

  3. SimonH Jun 26, 2015 / 10:25 pm

    Oh joy, look who’s back and all over the papers…..

    Sam Peters gets the gig in the DM. Peters and Cook puffery – what finer start could there be to the weekend?

    Take this line –

    “With run rates through the roof, Cook’s form in decent order, a new coach and a five-pronged bowling attack possessing more than an air of menace, England will begin the first Test in Cardiff on July 8 in fine fettle”.

    Losing two of the last three Tests (one in three days and the other by 199 runs) isn’t worth mentioning, obviously.

    Or this one –

    “For Cook, with 114 Test caps, 27 hundreds, 9,000 runs, three Ashes triumphs and an away win in India, there is little he hasn’t achieved”.

    Winning a series against South Africa? Winning the World Cup? Averaging over fifty? Winning more than one of the last five series? Such little things…..

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-3140969/Alastair-Cook-welcomes-fresh-mood-optimism-ahead-Ashes-series-backs-England-attack-Australia.html

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arron Wright Jun 26, 2015 / 10:40 pm

      Is it pure coincidence that his opposite number *has* achieved all of those things…???

      🙂

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus Jun 26, 2015 / 10:54 pm

        Is Sam Peters on retainer from the ECB? I’ve read some old tosh in my time, but that was absolute balderdash.

        Like

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 26, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      I’m now watching Cricket Writers from last week. Blimey. Did Sam Peters sleep through the last three days test cricket in this country?

      Like

    • escort Jun 26, 2015 / 11:19 pm

      “Alastair Cook is no longer carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders but is looking forward to the upcoming Ashes buoyed by the fresh mood of optimism sweeping English cricket”

      Being propped up by other people’s good work i think is more the case.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Jun 27, 2015 / 12:21 am

        At least he gives credit to Root and Stokes for taking the Lord’s match by the scruff of its neck and turning it around. But then he claims the credit back again by suggesting they were inspired by his words about playing your natural game.

        http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jun/26/alastair-cook-england-ashes-feelgood

        (weird, weird photo with that interview… looks like they were obliged to use one with the Hardy’s logo and that was all they could find… )

        Like

    • d'Arthez Jun 27, 2015 / 7:58 am

      Forget the World Cup. ICC silverware? No.

      Series win in the West Indies? No. Series win in Sri Lanka? No. Winning in Pakistan / UAE? No. Beating South Africa anywhere? No.

      Score a century at home against Australia? No. In a mere 19 innings. That average of 26 is really looking splendid too.

      Compare that to Clarke. Clarke’s missing achievements are wins in the UAE / Pakistan, and England, and beating South Africa in Australia.

      We can safely discount Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. We know how much the ECB and CA thinks of Bangladesh, when you look at the schedules from say 2005 to 2020. Hardly the players’ fault.

      Cook may be the youngest to 9000 Test runs, but he also had the worst average getting there. And anyone who thinks that Graeme Smith or Sunil Gavaskar (the other openers who have made it) played against significantly weaker opposition than Cook, dream on …

      For a man who has achieved almost everything, the “almost everything” seems to exclude half of everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Arron Wright Jun 27, 2015 / 7:19 am

    Currently three of the last five Guarduan cricket headlines lead with the words “Alastair Cook”, and he’s even the subject of the ‘You Are The Umpire’ cartoon.

    I’d laugh like a madman if he was out first ball in Cardiff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Jun 27, 2015 / 9:15 am

      Though I do rather like the cartoon of him as a Regency dandy with a cobweb hanging off his nose… could almost have been drawn by someone outside cricket…

      Like

  5. SimonH Jun 27, 2015 / 9:01 am

    “We will go in as underdogs because they are the best side in the world”.

    The rankings say differently – “they” are second and by a considerable distance (19 points – more than the distance between England and West Indies, for example). Recent history in England says differently – “they” have lost their last three series in England whereas some other bunch have won two and drawn one of their last three series. But Cooky knows best.

    Moving away from our local bilateral affair, there is this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/33296828

    Not even debated. Several boards (including Australia and South Africa) are on record opposing the Ten-team WC. They didn’t even discuss it. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to see whose fingerprints are all over that one.

    Like

    • SimonH Jun 27, 2015 / 9:05 am

      Another issue lurking in the background – there are still no official dates for the UAE tour. Cancellation because of the rebel T20 league is still a distinct possibility.

      Like

    • d'Arthez Jun 27, 2015 / 9:53 am

      The problem is that for most of the English “punters”, the best side in the world, always has to be the one England last beat (Swann’s comments on New Zealand). Or England itself (when rankings indicate such a thing). There is no other possibility. Henceforth, South Africa cannot be the best side in the world (maybe with the exception of the dead rubber England won in 2008, but by that time Australia still had not lost a series at home for more than a decade).

      The World Cup 2019 will be a farce. And that is the best possible outcome.

      Even if you could argue that there were only 9 sides that were competitive in 1992 (7 Full Members, South Africa after their unbanning, plus Zimbabwe who won the qualification event, and soon got Full Member status after the event), the tacit admission is that the ICC will have failed over 27 years to grow the number of competitive nations.

      Because just one extra team will be playing in 2019, we’ll add a full 9 games to the schedule. So, that is a week’s worth of delay… Does anyone really think that say Zim or Hong Kong, after losing their first 4 games, still will have a realistic shot at making the knockouts? Don’t think so.

      None of the group games will really matter, barring maybe 3 to 5 games. Out of 45. Which was a problem in the last World Cup. Sure, New Zealand beat Australia in an exciting game in the group stages. But honestly, who feared for Australia’s qualification after that? No one. Sure India beat South Africa. But who feared for SA’s qualification after that? No one. Because there were too many chances to make up for bad results, the results did not really matter, except for determining who’d be the fourth qualifier in the respective groups (and we were lucky, that it was a three way fight between WI, Pakistan and Ireland in Group B; there was one game of import in Group A).

      The lack of import was also not helped by the idiotic decision to allocate venues on basis not of standing in the group, but on the basis of who qualified. Which was a minor disaster if your team happened to be in Group B.

      I really don’t see a situation arising where more than 3 teams reach something like W5, L4, and that NRR will influence proceedings. And if we’re reduced to watching rain giving whatever team the final point to qualify it will be a real disaster. Imagine Pakistan knocking India out on rain. Yeah, that will be a success story.

      After the first 20 games or so, the interest in the next 25 (barring India-Pakistan, if schedule permits it), will be limited. And then, after the first 6 weeks, we finally get to the game(s) that matter. I am surprised they did not add quarterfinals to the mix. Just to make certain that England, Australia and India will make it that far.

      Also holding the qualification event in Bangladesh is grossly unfair. New Zealand were seeded 9th the past World Cup. They had been leaving Bangladesh with ‘0’ on the ODI-series scoreboard before that. So there was a realistic chance that they would not even have qualified if they had to play a qualifier in Bangladesh. Something tells me that they find playing competitive cricket easier in the actual conditions faced in the World Cup, than in the conditions they would have faced in Bangladesh. Also, you have to wonder, how much it will help having 4 good spinners in Bangladesh to qualify, and then getting tarmac roads in England in the World Cup …

      Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Jun 27, 2015 / 3:05 pm

      Some very good Tweets on the ICC decision:

      (The ICC resolution to make the game the most popular in the world is genuine – the brilliant Tim Wigmore has plenty more to say about that)

      Like

      • Mark Jun 27, 2015 / 3:55 pm

        The ICC might as will convene a focus group of their corporate sponsors, and ask them who they would really like to win the World Cup for financial reasons. Then, just hand them the trophy and save everyone else the expense and aggravation of giving a shit.

        It’s a win win. The corporate sponsors get their preferred winner, and everybody else doesn’t waste any of their life on a giant corporate jamboree. Except of course the corporates wouldn’t make any money, which is the sole purpose of the competition in the eyes of the ICC.

        Spreading cricket globally is now NOT seen as an ICC priority. Looting the fans of the so called big 10 is their only objective. What was it they said in that cheesy baseball film?………. “If you build it, they will come.”…………. In the ICCs case ……..”If you build it, nobody will care less.”

        Like

      • Pontiac Jun 27, 2015 / 6:34 pm

        They’re trying to turn cricket into yacht racing.

        Like

  6. SimonH Jun 27, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    Day three in Colombo just finished because of bad light with the match interestingly poised. Pakistan (effectively down to ten men with Riaz injured) have all but wiped out their first innings’ deficit of 177 for the loss of just the openers.

    Twenty minute highlight packages of Days One and Two are on Youtube. Among the pleasures to be enjoyed: michelles for Kaushal and Yasir Shah, two brilliant Sanga catches, two comedy run outs, a cracking innings by Angelo Mathews and more evidence for the file entitled ‘the case against umpire Ravi’.

    Some stats on Yasir Shah – he’s the quickest ever Pakistan bowler in terms of Tests played (9) to fifty wickets (some achievement given the quality of some of their past bowlers) and he’s the first spinner anywhere to get his first fifty Test wickets in 10 months. He’s also the top wicket-taker in the world this year:

    http://goo.gl/UUlDVc

    The ECB comic formally known as the Manchester Guardian will presumably carry on ignoring it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Jun 28, 2015 / 6:32 am

      Day 4 saw another extremely marginal lbw call go Sri Lanka’s way. I guess I don’t have to tell you which umpire gave it. So Reiffel managed to gift Sri Lanka 59 free runs through his lack of action on Day 2, and now Ravi is trying his best to stymie the Pakistan fightback.

      Please, please, I pray to the gods that the supporters will be spared from Ravi and Reiffel officiating in games their team(s) play in.

      Like

      • SimonH Jun 28, 2015 / 9:42 am

        D’Arthez, my point about Ravi is more about competence than bias. (I think maybe there is an issue about Big Three bias with him but this is not the match to look at that).

        The terrible decision I saw was the not out for LBW when Riaz was batting against Kaushal – when it was reviewed it was hitting middle two-thirds of the way up with the impact clearly in line. That one was in Pakistan’s favour. (Having said that Ravi’s just given the last Pakistan wicket LBW when you could see two stumps at the moment of impact – but DRS showed ‘umpire’s call’ on the leg stump so the decision stands).

        My objection to Ravi is that he isn’t consistent. He starts as a not outer but then is firing batsmen out on Days four and five. It’s as if he gets worn down by appealing – or just gets bored.

        Like

      • SimonH Jun 28, 2015 / 9:53 am

        On the match itself, SL need 152 to win and the level the series with one match to play. This will be SL’s 8th highest 4th innings total to win but Pakistan have only successfully defended two lower scores so history favours SL. There is also some weather about.

        SL’s seamers did the damage. Prasad was the pick but Chameera looks highly promising and offered good support. Pakistan must be kicking themselves that all the middle order from Younis downwards got in but found ways of getting out rather than supporting Azhar Ali.

        The pitch is excellent – some help for all types of bowlers who bowl well but possible to bat on if the batsman works hard.

        Like

      • d'Arthez Jun 28, 2015 / 10:46 am

        Exactly Simon. Either he gives them all or he gives none of them. And at the moment, it seems to be random at best. If we look at the decisions he made in the England-New Zealand series, that “at best random” call, is suspect as well. Not saying he is necessarily biased. Bias comes in many shapes and forms (eg. bias to home sides in football is something that is tough to eradicate – referees are influenced by the noise of the crowd).

        Marginal calls happen. But they should roughly even out, and when it is basically the same decision, should both be given or both not be given Not given in one instance, but given in the second. Especially with lbws, the review system shrinks the stumps or increases the size of the stumps, depending on the original call. That can really make or break an innings – the difference between defending 4 stumps and 2 stumps is massive, and can often decide the outcome of a game.

        Not all decisions are equal either. A howler against Chris Martin the batsman is much less likely to lead to catastrophe for the bowling side, than a howler against Sangakkara.

        Like

      • SimonH Jun 28, 2015 / 10:56 am

        Last session In Colombo washed out. SL have tomorrow to score 152. Forecast is for a chance of more storms.

        Like

      • d'Arthez Jun 28, 2015 / 10:59 am

        The Azhar Ali lbw appeal was given, even though it hit the batsman outside of the line, by Ravi as well. Ali managed to get that overturned (and just outside the line on review means that it would be in front of a fourth stump). If you compare that to the last lbw of the innings, then you have to wonder on what basis Ravi gives them.

        Consistency is very important, and at the moment it seems to be lacking.

        Like

  7. SimonH Jun 28, 2015 / 8:12 am

    I’ve given CWOTV a miss recently but seeing Nick Hoult on (with Lizzy Ammon and John Etheridge) I thought I’d give it a go.

    Charles Colvile in the chair with Paul Allott injured. First question – why aren’t the English press backing England more?

    FFS.

    I’ll be having a drink every time the Headingley Test is mentioned. I’m expecting to stay stone cold sober.

    Like

    • Mark Jun 28, 2015 / 8:55 am

      You see this is an excellent example of why I hate the English cricket media. Their reporting is shit, and then they create straw men to knock down.

      It’s like when they say “why do the press hate captain Cook?.”

      It’s complete bullshit. Very few major cricket writers hate Cook. What’s more, not only to they love him, and admire him, most cricket writers let their personal feeling rule their journalistic skills.(what ever they may be.) So to pretend the media hate Cook is disengenuious horse manure. I haven’t bothered watching for a few weeks. I got sick of the Cook /England genuflecting by the same media that pretends they criticise him a lot.

      Oh, and I got tired of “taking the positives” of another Cook failire or cretenious captains performance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dvyk Jun 28, 2015 / 10:25 am

        More interesting thoughts from Ian Chappell about Cook/ECB–

        In fact it’s the one non-appointment made by England that may well hamper their pursuit of the urn. Despite the many changes to personnel in the English hierarchy, Alastair Cook remains captain, and he’s not proactive enough to ensure this team fulfills its undoubted potential. When choosing a captain, selectors must take into account the nature of the team. Are they a dour bunch of fighters who will wear the opposition down or are they an aggressive group whose best option is to attack at every opportunity?

        Andrew Strauss was an appropriate leader for a team that contained a few stars but mostly good, hard-working cricketers. That’s not the type of side England are now….

        “Something should be done!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Jun 28, 2015 / 11:35 am

        Mark, I think I remember you arguing that Lord’s is more part of the social season than anything much to do with cricket. Here’s some grist to that mill:

        http://www.lords.org/news/2015/june/ladies-day-at-lords/

        Now, what does that you remind you of? And I recommend reading the full blurb – in the class of patronising, elitist, archaic bullshit it is right up there.

        Like

      • Mark Jun 28, 2015 / 11:54 am

        Yes Simon I did argue that. Although I was mostly referring to the Lords TEST match. Which has magically become two test matches per summer. (I still think that was the real reason for having two test series per summer.)

        What of course is very funny about The lords cricket ground making a big deal of “ladies day” is that they fought tooth and nail to keep ladies out of the pavilion. Only relenting when it was made clear they would have lottery money cut off from them. Quite why the lottery fund should be used to build this giant corporate Ivory tower I don’t know. (Another reason I have never bought a lottery ticket. The good causes sem to be what ever the elite want building for themselves.)

        “*Only one glass of champagne per-person, served between 12 noon and 1pm only, and subject to availability.”. ……How generous!! Sounds a bit McDonalds actully.

        Like

    • SimonH Jun 28, 2015 / 10:51 am

      CWOTV this week more worth watching than some. There was some decent discussion of the ICC meeting in Barbados and genuine anger and despair at the 2019 WC format (albeit entirely viewed from the Irish standpoint). There was also an acknowledgement that the British press reporting of the meeting has been appalling (although the analysis why that might be was feeble. It’s boring was one explanation. There isn’t the corruption you see at FIFA was another). Predictably, the ECB’s role was glossed over – although Nick Hoult managed to get in that the ECB are the main obstruction to cricket at the Olympics because they fear it will disrupt the English season. Just ponder state of affairs that for a moment……

      Some purely factual points that may be of interest – 1) Strauss is doing a press conference on Thursday 2) The ODI rule changes come in on July 5th (there was little support for them from the panel) 3) Gary Ballance’s scores since the last Test are 31, 29, 1,16, 9, 14 (three in CC and three in T20).

      The Pietersen issue was most curious. For 80 minutes he wasn’t mentioned – even when there were moments when he was clearly relevant (like why Moores was chosen over Bayliss last year). Then someone (can’t remember if it was Etheridge or Ammon) finally mentioned Pietersen and it was like a dam burst. Whether they don’t mention him because they’re under the clear impression it isn’t wanted or because it is a self-denying ordinance (i.e. they are bored by it – or think we’re bored) would be fascinating to know. For the record, I don’t want endlessly to re-fight that battle but the apparent avoidance of even mentioning his name when he is obviously relevant to an issue under discussion is creating this bizarre, 1984-like, ‘unperson’ status.

      Liked by 2 people

      • dlpthomas Jun 29, 2015 / 1:53 am

        The show (podcast) was OK but I am getting tired of hearing about England’s new aggressive style of cricket. I don’t think the performance of the one day team is going to be that relevant once Cook, Bell, Lyth, Anderson, Ballance and Broad march back into the dressing room.

        Like

  8. SimonH Jun 28, 2015 / 11:13 am

    This line from Cook’s recent presser has been nagging away – “You need to have the captain and coach totally aligned”.

    Doesn’t that decode as “don’t disagree with me, Bayliss”?

    Said in that sort of passive-aggressive way that the South English mistake for niceness?

    Like

    • d'Arthez Jun 28, 2015 / 11:30 am

      So, is there a subtext of Cook, after throwing a tantrum after the World Cup, played his part in the sacking of Moores and the way it was done?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Jun 28, 2015 / 11:35 am

      “You need to have the captain and coach totally aligned”.

      Well bugger off then, because Morgan and the coach seem very aligned

      Just like “something should be done, “. ……..and how dare you sit in a comemtary box with KP.

      I really find it very difficult to support England while this pompus man of entitlememt is captain.

      The worst captain in England’s history in my opinion. He has not made one captains decscion that has effected any England result of note. A pot plant could not have done any worse. Probably would have been an improvement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dvyk Jun 28, 2015 / 2:16 pm

        It’s also worth noting that after Warne said Headingly day 4 v SL was the worst captaincy he’d ever seen, the ECB & Sky ordered Warne Cook to have that amiable, “air-clearing” phone call with Cook.

        So, the players all have to like Cook, and will gather around him and give high 5s at each wicket (not ignore him completely as they were all doing in Aust last year); the coach will have to submit his will as well, from the outset; and the commentators and journalists also know their place.

        And of course the fans. Come on you lads, be patriotic. He is your captain. You must support him or be banished to the Tower.

        The game of cricket has its own way of dealing with hubris and silliness — as we also saw in Aust and afterwards. It looks like that particular show will roll on, albeit somewhat tempered, perhaps, by some positive input from Root and maybe Stokes (if he can keep his hair on).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Jun 28, 2015 / 2:49 pm

      “Don’t disagree with me, Bayliss, because Giles Clarke adores me and he still gets what he wants around here, plus the new Director comma England Cricket is ever such a good chum of mine and we have a lot, like I mean a lot, of history together. So get aligned.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria Jun 28, 2015 / 4:05 pm

        “….and trust in me…”

        Like

  9. Belgianwaffle Jun 29, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Loving the Cook hate down here! Keep it up.

    Like

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