Logical

I tried to write something earlier today but it never really worked. Then, for some reason or other, it never saved. Maybe my tablet was operating on quality control.

Genuinely I’d like to thank you for all the kind words on the Lord’s memory piece. It may be nearly 10 years since that day 1, but the thought and the caring of my mates genuinely got me through some pretty dark times. We’ve probably all lost someone really close to them, and people say I “vocalise” it well, but it’s like the blog. I do try to be true to myself. This sport helped me when times were bad. That team not only lifted me, it lifted my even more heartbroken, even more devastated dad. I will never forget this frail old man, just six months from death, stricken, unbeknown to him, with an appalling illness called progressive supra-nuclear palsy, of which he was showing early signs, went up to see the Ashes parade. You know what that meant to me? To see my Dad show some joy because of what, in part, KP did that day before? That’s why, when anyone says to me “you’re not a true England cricket fan” I do get angry. I’m too much of a fan, that’s my damn problem.

The key to this is that the sheer depth of my respect for this 2005 team makes me even forgive the stupidity of Michael Vaughan and his flip-flopping, and yes, to a degree, Andrew Strauss and his trust issues. It makes me forgive Andrew Flintoff’s descent into reality TV hell. I will never forget what that team gave me and my dad. It’s personal. That’s what sport is.

So to this series, and how I think it will go. TLG has done a brilliant piece, and please, if you’ve not read “The Gathering Storm” (I do think we do great titles, in the main) then do so. I’ve tried to think on logical grounds, and whereas six months ago I’d have said this was a beating waiting to happen, now I’m not so sure. Why? Well, I’m not as convinced by Australia as I was six months ago, and that may sound strange given the World Cup and the beating they gave the West Indies that we couldn’t. It’s not even the over-hyped nonsense about a new positive attitude coming out of the ODI series. It’s not even logical, but stick with me people:

  • I don’t like this Australian team’s age if I were an Aussie. I’ve been there too many times before where a team gambles on people coming back from injury or for one last hurrah. So in the Aussie team they’ve lost Harris, they have Rogers coming back from a concussion and already announcing his retirement; they have Brad Haddin who looks out of his depth in the test batting arena recently and, of course, we have Michael Clarke’s rickety back.
  • They haven’t won here for 14 years. That counts for something.
  • We both beat India at home by two test matches, but India looked stronger the more the series went on, and Australia’s much vaunted bowling attack had fits with an Indian batting team that we were rolling over at the end of last Summer.
  • The linchpin is Steve Smith. If that falls apart, their batting could be a mess. The fact is he’s due to be a weaker link. Actually, that’s not a fact, that’s a hope!
  • Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle have never done it consistently over here. Nathan Lyon is a good bowler, but he’s got scars.

Yeah, wishful thinking, and then I get to the point when I have to think about our team:

  • We need Cook to have a good series. He’s had four below-par series and one amazing one. The bowling attack in that 2010-11 will go into history. There are no Doug Bollingers, Michael Beers, Xavier Dohertys bowling here.
  • As metatone said, Adam Lyth is a really important player. Root and Carberry did not pull up any trees (bar one 180) as Cook’s opening partner, and Cook couldn’t carry the weight. It’s vital he does.
  • Gary Ballance worries the heck out of me at 3. Even when he was scoring runs there last year and this spring, I had doubts. I do hope he plays well, I really do. I just don’t believe he will. Please, please prove me wrong GB.
  • Ian Bell. The enigma. Which Ian Bell is going to turn up?
  • Joe Root – there is that gnawing thought that he’s had struggles in both his Ashes series, and that he’s feathered a nice record against some of the more friendly attacks. It’s there, at the back of my mind. I’m hoping it stays there.
  • Ben Stokes – a goat last year, top dog this year. He’ll have a series in between that. It took Freddie a while to get consistent, and Flintoff was a much better bowler.
  • Jos Buttler – I have no fear for this guy, but still he needs to do it in the Ashes and again in South Africa. A century would be lovely.
  • Moeen Ali – No need to go over this again.
  • Mark Wood, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad – Hope over expectation!

I still think we will probably lose, but I’m not as sure about it as I thought I was.

Now, tomorrow, I won’t be around much. There will be alcohol. There will be a reasonably late night. I think TLG is also incredibly busy at the moment. We’ll do our best to put an Ashes preview, but if one of you would like to do it for us to kick off the 1st Test thread, we’d be delighted to have it. Drop me an e-mail on dmitriold@hotmail.co.uk……

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94 thoughts on “Logical

  1. Culex Jul 7, 2015 / 1:03 am

    If I were an England supporter, I’d be worried about the two drawn Test series against NZ and WI. The ODI series against NZ was good, but doesn’t really reflect on the Test side.

    I don’t think it is too much to say that Australia’s Test side is better than the Kiwis or Windies (and the recent result in the Caribbean highlights this). England didn’t really shine against either side – they had their moments but then so did their opponents. Does Bayliss have enough time to really change the Test team?

    Like

  2. SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 7:54 am

    Pakistan have just won in Pallekele. It’s the sixth highest run chase in Tests (between Sehwag/Sachin in Chennai and Langer/Gilchrist in Hobart) and the highest against SL and in SL. Misbah finished it with a six. Anyone who says the pitch was a road wasn’;t watching.

    Pakistan go third in the rankings, according to the TV commentary.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Jul 7, 2015 / 8:08 am

      This is Pam from nashville. If you had two bullets and had Charles mansion and Kevin Pietersen in front of you, would you use the second bullet on KP just to make sure?

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus Jul 7, 2015 / 8:11 am

        Of course I know it’s Manson but auto correct has a sense of humour.

        Like

      • escort Jul 7, 2015 / 7:33 pm

        Talk from the basement from sPam. How sad.

        Like

      • Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 8:17 am

        That’s the spirit!

        Might want to try this as a hors’d’oeuvre:

        http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/jul/07/ashes-2015-stuart-broad-james-anderson-partnership

        “It may not be how the general cricket public perceives it but the Broad and Anderson partnership is of equals.”

        I wonder where that perception comes from. Could it be partly due to gushing like this?

        “When the ball swings and he can pursue a full length, there is no finer bowler in the world, his command of the ball mesmerising.”

        (Of course, there’s no mention of Anderson averaging well over 40 in two of his four Ashes series, while Broad’s highest in a full Ashes series is only just above 30)

        Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jul 7, 2015 / 8:13 am

      Hi selvs, this is kevin from Berkshire. As you are so well informed could you let me know how the ECB would have celebrated my career. They’d never leak the details so I need someone on the inside to tell me.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus Jul 7, 2015 / 8:15 am

      Hi selvs, this is Dave from Melbourne. Do you think the media should be more detached from the England management. What do you think mate? Got a great spare room mate up for you when you travel down here.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus Jul 7, 2015 / 8:17 am

      Hello. This is Andrew. Who in your opinion has flowered as the best team director in England cricket history? Don’t be giving me Duncan any time soon. ….

      Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jul 7, 2015 / 8:20 am

      Hello Michael, Peter from Sussex here. I’ve checked the data on BOC and HDWLIA and it suggests you are the least respected journalist out there. Worse than Pringle. Is that down to you recommending someone as coach who failed before or are there other reasons?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 8:27 am

        Someone should *definitely* post that one!

        Like

    • metatone Jul 7, 2015 / 9:08 am

      So I ventured on there and served up a few full tosses.
      Notable to me that he can’t admit that Broad has been not just “mercurial” but has bowled some truly awful spells since coming back from injury. Indeed the reference to “30 months” seems to skip past the question of injury altogether.

      Like

    • paulewart Jul 7, 2015 / 11:47 am

      The Broad/Anderson piece is top trolling. I’ve commended him. He really does know how to take the Michael. Exhbit A:

      ‘The pair are in constant communication, and, as with the leg-cutter, bounce ideas from one to the other, communicating them through to Cook in his executive role.’

      A quite brilliant rewriting of history and several of his own more critical articles. Let’s repeat that assertion: ‘Cook in his executive role’. You couldn’t make it up! Headingley 2014 was a masterful display of executive fiat.

      Like

  3. Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 8:25 am

    Someone’s already asked “Moeen Ali or Adil Rashid?” I hope that’s a piss-take, because otherwise you might as well ask “Andy Flower or Kevin Pietersen?”

    Like

  4. Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 8:44 am

    “If someone calls you a c— below the line, can bloggers publicly celebrate it as a highlight of 2015?”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thebogfather Jul 7, 2015 / 8:54 am

    If you had one q to ask – what would it be? Bily is waiting to post his first comment there btl… 🙂

    Like

  6. Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 9:09 am

    Christ, straight away:

    “Lot of talk about what Aus intend to do to Moeen and I think they might be well served worrying about their own spinner.”

    What is it with the press, spinners and warm-up games?

    Lyon – recent Tests, not shit. Moeen – recent Tests, shit. 8 wickets for 154 in his last two matches, FFS. 23 wickets in 4 Tests home to India versus Moeen’s 19 in 5 Tests.

    Please, someone tell him!

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/272279.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling;view=innings

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 9:13 am

    Someone with a ‘g’ ( Guardian contributor) moderated for asking what Pietersen did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dvyk Jul 7, 2015 / 11:35 am

      Doesn’t that just sum up *everything* that is wrong with the English press?


      Do you feel that the KP debacle has damaged the levels of trust between certain sports journalists and their readers? With Test cricket safely hidden away behind the Murdoch paywall supporters often go to respected and talented writers for those fine details between the lines that cannot be ascertained from listening on the radio – issues of technique, of personality etc. In the same way that politically naive voters may believe spun statistics from a government, or heavily weighted headlines in the Daily Mail, do you feel that some sports journalists spin one sided arguments and refuse, once shown to be incorrect, to address any inconsistencies, therefore making them untrustworthy? I suppose what I’m asking is, have you, regarding KP, attempted to do your own version of ‘Ending Poverty’ by creating your own criteria and presenting only the information (or whispers) that back up only your argument, and thus biasing the whole debate?

      MikeSelvey:
      No.

      Journalistic standards.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Jul 7, 2015 / 12:31 pm

        It occurs to me that Selvey may have become a figure of fun/ridicule at The Guardian. The fact that this question was selected suggests a top troll at work in Kings Place. Not because of the question, which is perfectly legitimate, but because whoever moderated that webchat has set Selvey up.

        Like

    • paulewart Jul 7, 2015 / 11:50 am

      Hats off to Tom Osborne. I’m surprised that got through the gate.

      Like

  8. Mark Jul 7, 2015 / 9:56 am

    It sounds about as successful as when some bright spark had the idea of having a live web chat with Harry Redknapp.

    That turned into a total clusterf*** as dear old Harry was asked about his memory, his dogs, and his various business endeavours.

    I have just one question for Selvey…… Will you resign at the end of the season in conjunction with your hero Cook? The only two words we want to hear from you……..”I resign!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Jul 7, 2015 / 10:13 am

      His Lordship granted a whole 40 minutes for his chosen subjects. I just posted your question Mark, probably be modded soon…

      Like

      • Mark Jul 7, 2015 / 10:19 am

        Ha Ha Ha……thanks Bogfather!

        Like

  9. Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 10:16 am

    In other news, there’s a Telegraph article about how sledging is a “cancer on the game” by that renowned expert Simon Heffer. He gets the circumstances of “broken arm” wrong and goes careering downhill from there.

    I agree with Lizzy that the real cancer is consistently ignored by all bar a brave few.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jul 7, 2015 / 10:31 am

      In another surprise Pam from Nashville doesn’t like the KP advert (which, as much as I hate gambling is quality). It’s all me me me she says. Dear oh dear.

      Like

      • Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 10:42 am

        What’s this, a Sky advert?

        Like

      • Mark Jul 7, 2015 / 11:33 am

        Someone should tell Pam from Hicksville that it’s called capitalism. The thing she claims to support.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Jul 7, 2015 / 7:18 pm

        I’m surprised the ECB haven’t banned it/requested it not be shown. Something must be done!

        Like

  10. SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 11:27 am

    When Scyld Berry says “I’m going to write a piece on Alastair Cook” someone at the DT needs to snatch his quill away (although finding another photo of Cook with an idiot look on his face is a decent second). Some selected nonsense –

    “Nobody in the annals of English cricket, not even his distinguished antecedents from up north, has been more stubborn than Cook”.

    How did Sutcliffe, Hutton and Boycott end up with such better averages?

    “Stubbornness has kept Cook going for 10 years at Test level. It is an outstanding achievement in itself, this perseverance in an age of so many distractions, of so much noise”.

    Leaving aside whether the reputed £1m a year may also have helped, how many cricketers (especially batsmen) have managed 15-20 year careers? Ten years is a feat of sorts but not the miracle Berry makes it sound.

    “So much abuse – not only from social media either, but criticism from former England captains, the men whom Cook might have thought would support him most”.

    Is the job of former England captains in the media to analyse the game as they see it – or cheer-lead regardless? My answer isn’t the same as Berry’s. And as for all that “abuse”……

    “Stubbornness kept Cook batting through the 2010-11 Ashes series in Australia until he had scored 766 runs in only seven innings”.

    Do the other four series get mentioned? Do you need to look?

    “It was stubbornness that kept Cook going as England’s one-day captain until the end last year…. in an age where one-day cricket demands a little more variety in strokeplay, he doggedly grafted – until the knock on his door by the England selectors deprived him of his ambition to play in a World Cup”.

    Berry still thinks he should have captained in the WC – and in 2019 probably.

    “At Brisbane again in 2013-14, tempted out of his scoring zone by a ball angled across him and perhaps by memories of his previous glorious tour, he edged, and was gone, and swiftly his team followed. One loose stroke brought England’s edifice down”.

    So when Cook fails it is because he was so brilliant previously? That’s a new one.

    “At least Cook was not bowled. Nothing buoys a bowling team like the sight of the opposing captain who is ‘castled’…..But Cook, amazingly, gets bowled only twice a year in Test cricket”.

    And now Cook can fail but it’s okay as long as he’s not bowled? Tying up his own shoelaces will be an act of staggering genius next. And there has been the odd exception –

    “It is against spin, and Nathan Lyon, when Cook’s stubbornness might prove too much of a virtue”.

    Too much of a virtue? Then it’s not a virtue (except in the bizarre Cook-verse of Berry).

    “No less fascinating is whether Cook can grow as captain”.

    Ah, the ‘he’s still learning gambit’. Hello, my old friend.

    “Will the time come when [Bayliss] switches Cook to mid-off? That is where McCullum fields, and constantly liaises with his bowlers, and it would help to prevent Anderson and especially Stuart Broad implementing Plan B – bowl short – the moment a batsman attacks them”.

    Couldn’t a player with 100+ Tests decide this for himself? Anyway, is where Cook fields really the root of the problem? Many great captains (Ian Chappell, Mike Brearley, Graeme Smith to name three) fielded at first slip and it wasn’t a problem.

    ” If England were to win, it would be a great way to go: Cook would have won two Ashes series at home, as only Michael Brearley and WG Grace can claim to have done”.

    Oh lord, that’s going to be their stat of choice is it?

    “If England draw this series, after all the regime-changing, that would be a fine achievement too”.

    Hedging your bets a little there? No need to with such magnificence up front I’d have thought. One could mention that Cook would be the first captain since 2001 to fail to win the Ashes at home or that a drawn series would be a failure to regain the Ashes – but no, “regime-changing” trumps all that.

    “There are few quieter series for a new captain to bed in than one in the UAE against Pakistan, where the crowd can be numbered in dozens”.

    Leaving aside the often large crowds on Friday and Saturday in UAE, I’m sure Root (or whoever) will be thinking what an easy gig this is first up when Younis Khan is 150* and it’s nearly 40 degrees in the shade……

    ” When England captains resign, they have always been very good at returning to the ranks and not rocking the boat, so Root could not ask for a more amenable veteran in his side than Cook”.

    Just as long as Root accepts who he can and can’t have in the team.

    Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 12:04 pm

        I was sure you’d spot the reference!

        It was one of his five reasons why Cook should remain ODI captain. Five….

        Like

      • SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 1:03 pm

        Anyone want to join my Andy Bull bandwagon? I’ve been trying to get one moving down here but with no joy so far.

        What are you most looking forward to? Out of these 22 players? “Alastair Cook batting”. He means it too.

        Like

      • Mike Jul 7, 2015 / 1:23 pm

        To Simon

        Is that an anti-Andy Bull bandwagon?

        He’s hit and miss.

        On the plus side, he writes very well and eloquently, which you’d think should be a given, but isn’t always the case. He clearly loves his cricket and often writes from a fans perspective, which is refereshing. When not writing about the England team, he’s generally great, see his piece on Sangakkara last week.

        My only issue is, and really it’s just a difference of opinion, is that he overates the Flower team’s achievements, quite a lot, and can be a bit one-eyed in the pro-Cook camp. He often takes a more pro-ECB line but has been one of the few to at least mention the lack of cricket on TV.

        Honestly, I don’t mind him too much. He’s far from the worst writer at the Guardian, damning with faint praise…

        Like

      • SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 2:31 pm

        Hi Mike,
        Yes I’m not a fan of Andy Bull. I agree that he was too much in love with England 2009-11 (or 2009-13 as he’d put it). He can’t seem to bear any criticism of anyone associated with that period.
        It’s distorted his analysis beyond all recognition.

        Cook/Strauss/Flower worship isn’t his only offence. He is soft on the ECB. He has not attacked the scheduling and he let the Graves/Harrison reform proposals pass without comment. I find ‘The Spin’ increasingly avoids crucial issues like these and takes refuge in whimsy or nostalgia.

        He isn’t the worst Guardian cricket writer? True! I think we all know who garners that accolade. However ‘Terminator Genisys’ probably isn’t the worst Arnold Schwarzenegger film – but it doesn’t mean I have to like it! The ECB-fanboys BTL at the Guardian used to say, “why complain about Selvey -you’ve got Bull”. Maybe that creates an unfair burden on Bull in my mind – but if he pursued the anti-Selvey line with anything like the determination Selvey peddles his nonsense then maybe the Guardian’s cricket coverage wouldn’t be the embarrassment it has become.

        Like

      • Mike Jul 7, 2015 / 3:15 pm

        Loving the comaprison to Terminator Genysis! Nicely done.

        I can’t really disagree with any of that. Especially his tendency to overpraise 2009-11.

        In defence of the Spin, it’s tendency for whimsy or looking at peripheral or forgotten stories would be forgiveable if the more pressing issues were being given the time of day by the other writers.

        Actually, the more I think about it the more I agree, given he’s a journalist first unlike Vic Marks or Mike Selvey, he’s probably most qualified to do a proper piece of investigative sports journalism on the mismanagement within cricket. It’s a frustration certainly. How is it, that the most establishment of papers, at least has some regualr writers who occasionally dare to be critical in Jonathan Liew & Nick Hoult and the Guardian does not. Oddly disonant with the G’s ethos.

        Like

      • Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 3:23 pm

        You’re beginning to win me over Simon – he’s having a right old day today. Nearly posted details of all the centuries England batsmen made in those all-important pre-Ashes warm-up games in 2013/14, just to show how staggeringly irrelevant those matches usually are…

        I think my least favourite Bull articles (post ICC stitch-up, post Pietersen book, Flower > Fletcher) typify your objections to the letter. And I completely agree about the Spin.

        Like

    • Mark Jul 7, 2015 / 12:08 pm

      I wish these clowns would make up their minds. One minute we are a noisy minority of no importance. Next minute we are (according to Brenkely) “accepted wisdom”

      As for Cooks so called stubbornness it might have something to do with the fact he has nothing else to do. He did threaten to resign a few times, but was talked out of it. (in about 2 minutes I bet) Check in with Alice , Mr Berry.

      I find it particularly amusing how a real bug bear of the cricket writers is how former England captains are castigated for not showing enough loyalty to the ‘special one.’ This is a theme that is turning up more and more in their demented ramblings.

      “Will the time come when [Bayliss] switches Cook to mid-off? ”

      I guess Cook doesn’t move to mid off because of his stubbornness. Whoops, I thought you said that was one of his strengths.

      Never in England’s cricket history have the cricket writers set the bar so low for a captain. Even if he trips up, and hits the bar full on he can’t fail to fall over it. Even when he’s out, it only counts if he is bowled.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Mark Jul 7, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    This is my favourite line from Dmitri’s piece……

    ” The bowling attack in that 2010-11 will go into history. There are no Doug Bollingers, Michael Beers, Xavier Dohertys bowling here.”

    Read it and weep Selvey, Read it and weep.. The worst bowling attack in Australian history.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. LordCanisLupus Jul 7, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    Best birthday present ever (except for the ones from the family). KP favourited one of my tweets.

    Swoon.

    Yeah. I dropped it in there. Same birthday as MS Dhoni

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Jul 7, 2015 / 12:55 pm

      Have a great one LCL! (no wonder we were pre-warned about a week of alcoholic haze…)

      Like

    • dvyk Jul 7, 2015 / 6:13 pm

      That’s great to hear. And Happy Birthday, Dmitri!

      Like

    • paulewart Jul 7, 2015 / 7:25 pm

      Happy Birthday Dmitri!

      Like

  13. dvyk Jul 7, 2015 / 12:39 pm

    A few more “positives” for England:

    * The 0-5 (or 1-13 overall) in Aust was not indicative of the actual differences between the teams, but rather indicative of how a decent team can shamelessly capitulate when “led” by a dreadful coach and an even worse captain.

    * Although the worst English captain ever is still in charge, his weakness and multifaceted incompetence are openly acknowledged and the rest of the team will have been able to distance themselves from him by now, whereas in Aust, they were probably half expecting him to have a quarter of a clue. They also no doubt thought he’d be held accountable for the team’s pathetic failure.

    * Having noticed that they and not their captain will be blamed for team failures, they’ll be more likely to accept responsibility and put in some effort rather than meekly hand up their wickets on a plate.

    * For the same reason, they may show some initiative in the field and say something if the game is drifting away from them and Cook is standing at first slip dreaming of his classical leave outside off.

    * Knowing that Cook will be sacked at the en– ….I mean will nobly step down at the end of the series, will make it easier for them to fulfill their behavioral duties of pretending to take the captain seriously, and anyway, it looks like Bayliss might not even demand that of them. An immense burden will thus be removed from their shoulders.

    * Bayliss might find some kind words for Ian Bell, and give him the backing he deserves.

    As an Aussie, I am very uneasy about this series, and become more uneasy the more I look at the details. So much can go wrong, and each player either has a patchy record, is injured, or is an unproven in these conditions.

    But that said, looking at the big picture, comparing the ease with which Aust dispatched WI, to the way England struggled and scraped against them, one must conclude that Aust is the better team by a considerable margin.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. PaulE Jul 7, 2015 / 1:11 pm

    My God, I do wish the ECB would desist from publishing this vile series of a gurning Alastair Cook clearly ‘having fun with the lads’ under the new regime. What happened to the smouldering, man of steel? The ECB’s spin machine is embarrassing, the Stalinist rewriting of history and peronality cult just won’t wash. What do they take us for? Oh…..

    Liked by 2 people

  15. PaulE Jul 7, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    Another Selvey nugget for the memory box:

    Mike Selvey

    Who will win? Australia, just. The Australian team is not as invincible as many seem to think, while England are better than they are being given credit for and improving. There is little between the sides.

    Like

  16. PaulE Jul 7, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    My God, he’s the most realistic. The Guardian writers are deluded. Jingoistic and deluded, Vic Marks excepted.

    Like

    • Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 1:32 pm

      Andy Bull’s Spin column makes the prediction article sound like Glenn McGrath. You have been warned…

      Like

  17. SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 5:02 pm

    Highlights from yesterday in Pallekele:

    (The lack of a crowd is more a reflection of the ground than lack of interest in Test cricket in SL – the first two Tests were well attended from what I saw)

    Like

  18. Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 5:34 pm

    In case you hadn’t quite got the message, there’s another paragraph of Rashid-baiting from you know who this evening.

    Like

    • metatone Jul 7, 2015 / 7:50 pm

      *&%$ *!!

      Someone on the thread made the crucial point that if you compare Moeen and Rashid in CC this year, well, picking Mo doesn’t look smart. I loathe how bad we are at getting our bowlers fit and in form.

      Like

      • SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 7:58 pm

        Good grief – 3 wickets at 90 versus 15 wickets at 24. I haven’t seen one MSM piece mention that.

        You can bet if that was reversed we’d have heard about it…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • metatone Jul 7, 2015 / 8:11 pm

        What I find most bizarre is the elevation of the “King of Spain” approach to something you choose to do, rather than are forced to do. At the time we were all clear that if we had a wicket taking spinner he would have been in for Giles (modulo being able to bat a bit for balance of the tail) but we didn’t have one, so we worked with what we had.

        Now it’s a strategy…

        *&%$ *!!

        Like

  19. hatmallet Jul 7, 2015 / 7:23 pm

    Goodbye productivity. Being struggling enough recently, now got to stop checking Cricinfo every 30 second.

    Got tickets for Day 1 at Edgbaston and Day 4 at Trent Bridge. Naturally a bit apprehensive about how we’ll do on those days. This I will have a better idea after the first two Tests.

    Like

  20. hatmallet Jul 7, 2015 / 7:29 pm

    Crickets Funniest Moments currently on Sky One. Absolutely dire.

    Like

  21. SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Anyone know who the umpires are tomorrow? Ravi was in Pallekele so I assume we’ll be spared him.

    Please tell me it’s not Erasmus.

    Like

    • escort Jul 7, 2015 / 8:18 pm

      Dharmasena and your friend Erasmus apparently.

      Like

  22. Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Ivon Ivonovich alert at the Guardian! Read it before some miserable wretch sends him to the BTL gulag…

    Like

  23. SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 8:10 pm

    If these don’t fire you up…..

    Nice to see John Edrich though.

    Like

    • Arron Wright Jul 7, 2015 / 8:20 pm

      I now understand Dave Tickner’s zebra, and I am reminded what a superlative broadcaster Des Lynam was in the 90s.

      Like

      • SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 10:26 pm

        Talking of Tickner and zebras, this one never grows old –

        Like

      • hatmallet Jul 8, 2015 / 12:10 pm

        Every series he posts that. And every series I still laugh!

        Like

  24. Mark Jul 7, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    Just been listening to Cooks press conference today. He was asked about his captaincy style and his answer seems a little odd. In fact he seems to throw Strauss under the bus for Cooks own captaincy style.

    According to Cook, when he took over from Strauss he inherited a team which was more “methodical” than the current one. Its batsman liked to grind out scores. It’s players did not play as freely as this side he has now. So he had to captan the players he had differently to what he will do now. Translation (it was not my fault gov, because the players I had, determined my style of captaincy)

    This seems utter bollocks to me. He seems under the misapprehension he is leading out the current ODI team. And it gives the impression that there was a different Cook just wanting to get out. A supped up model Cook, with go faster stripes on the side. Is anyone buying this stuff?

    Apparently we have had the ‘Clark Kent’ Captain Cook, and now we are going to get the full blown ‘superman’ Cook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Jul 8, 2015 / 12:25 am

      So there wasn’t anyone in the side he inherited who played with dash and freedom and perhaps a bit of risk-taking….?

      Yes, there was, Alastair. And he was got rid of.

      Now there are some young players trying to imitate him and becoming very popular, and you’re saying you always wanted the team to play like that? It was your idea? Not like dull old Straussy, eh?

      It’s when he comes out with this sort of stuff that I really can’t buy Cook as the ‘decent, straightforward’ chap that even Mike Brearley thinks he is.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Mark Jul 8, 2015 / 7:28 am

        “Its when he comes out with this sort of stuff that I really can’t buy Cook as the ‘decent, straightforward chap ”

        BINGO!

        Maybe he knows Strauss is about to throw him under the bus.

        Like

    • paulewart Jul 8, 2015 / 6:59 am

      I noticed this. The word weasel springs to mind. As does the word stupid for reasons Zephrine elaborates.

      Like

  25. SimonH Jul 7, 2015 / 10:20 pm

    Currently chucking it down here in Wales.

    Forecast has improved for tomorrow and looks good for rest of the match.

    Like

  26. Rooto Jul 8, 2015 / 5:02 am

    Woke up having had a cricket-themed dream. Excitedly thought “it starts today!” But now the thread has reminded me how much English cricket is “not in my name”. Can’t bring myself to support Aus, though. Several conflicted weeks ahead, I fear.

    Like

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