Ashes 2nd Test Day 3 – Comments Thread


Back to normal for me, I’m afraid.

I’d like to thank Justin for inviting me to share the day with him and his colleagues yesterday. I had an absolutely brilliant day and appreciated it so much. A day like yesterday reinforced to me how great it must be to watch this sport and get paid for it. I know it was a one-off so it was probably more special for being so.

Some quick thoughts. Stuart Broad was immense yesterday. I thought he bowled superbly on a wicket not giving him much help. This isn’t Nagpur, as some tedious irk said on Thursday, but it is a benign surface and thought processes and proper considered bowling were required. Once again, Anderson, who was such a rock on surfaces and conditions like these, was below par. I really believe we hit the high-water mark two years ago at Trent Bridge, and something inside Anderson went with him. Sure, you’ll get good performances now and then, but the tiger inside may have roared its last. I’m probably talking nonsense, but he did not bowl well.

Steve Smith was a pleasure to watch. It’s not for the beauty of his batting, but for his temperament. He’s also a photographer’s nightmare / dream.

As for England’s batting. Knock me down with a feather. We collapsed. I missed Bell completely (toilet break) and Australia did Root up like a kipper. Watching Johnson in full cry was an amazing sight.

To today. England need a miracle, but I’ll say this. Ben Stokes came out at 30 for 4, and the Aussies are nervous of him. He was allowed to plonk his front foot down and drive, in stead of Johnson starting off with chin music. He has that swagger about him. It’s the first time I’ve seen him in the flesh. I was impressed. Cook’s knock at the other end was what was required.

Comments on the day’s play here. I might put some of the 235 pictures I took yesterday up during the day.


78 thoughts on “Ashes 2nd Test Day 3 – Comments Thread

  1. Sherwick Jul 18, 2015 / 9:59 am

    I may have missed it, but were you a guest of Justin Langer yesterday, LCL?


  2. Ian Jones Jul 18, 2015 / 10:08 am

    Looks a beautiful day at Lords.

    I’m hoping for some excellent bowling and plenty of wickets. I’ll probably end up watching Cook score 250′


    • Arron Wright Jul 18, 2015 / 10:25 am

      Well that would ruin my Statsguru fun. And, quite honestly, my sporting summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ian Jul 18, 2015 / 10:19 am

    I keep seeing people tweet (I probably need to unfollow these people) England can do this, Remember Adelaide 06. Not really a comparison. The best we can hope for over next few days is that we don’t lose too heavily and make Australia work hard for the win.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 18, 2015 / 10:27 am

      Australia lost their 4th wicket at 257. England at 30. Tell these people to stop being morons.


      • Ian Jul 18, 2015 / 11:08 am

        I have don’t worry.


    • thelegglance Jul 18, 2015 / 10:56 am

      It’s like when England are set 600 to win, and people say that it is possible. Yes, it is indeed possible. It’s also possible Sandra Bullock will text me saying she wants my body, but it’s not very fucking likely and I won’t be putting a bet on it.


      • Ian Jul 18, 2015 / 11:12 am

        I just don’t what it is with these people. Last week these were the people when Australia were 90-1 saying they could easily chase 412.


      • thelegglance Jul 18, 2015 / 11:14 am

        Try and point out to these people how rare it is for a team to chase over 300 and they just won’t have it.


      • Ian Jul 18, 2015 / 11:17 am

        I try but instead I just make the most of it and lay teams chasing on betfair

        Liked by 1 person

      • OscarDaBosca Jul 18, 2015 / 1:02 pm

        She’s just texted me to say she’s lost your number 😦


  4. LordCanisLupus Jul 18, 2015 / 10:21 am

    After Cook had made a hundred at Lord’s, I got a question on Polite Enquiries, wondering whether Cook Heretics should be tortured or merely burned at the stake. Or something like that.

    In his reponse, George, who appeared in a bit of a mood, said that these people would now probably focus on someone like Ian Bell now….. As you know, I was gently miffed.

    Now, you know, I love Dobell’s work. There’s a reason he was the #1 Dmitri Award last year. So I do need to point out this from George’s fine piece on yesterday’s play..

    “Ian Bell looked aghast the pitch when he was bowled, but he would have been better served looking at his technique. While Bell was undoubtedly the victim of a lovely piece of bowling – a full ball swung wonderfully late – he will reflect from the replays that his attempt to whip it through midwicket hardly gave him the best chance of negating the movement. The game may have changed in many ways, but the old adage about playing with the full face of the bat and into the V remains as relevant now as ever.

    Bell is often talked of as having the best technique in the England side. But it is a basic tenet of the game that the new ball is better played straight than with an angled bat. For an experienced player who had just seen his side’s No. 3 bowled by a late-swinging ball, his was a poor stroke. He has now reached 30 once in 11 innings and, on seven of those occasions, failed to pass 1. Of equal concern is the fact that, in those 11 innings, he has now been bowled four times. Coming during a game when he dropped a tricky but vital chance in the slips, the pressure on him is growing.”



    • thelegglance Jul 18, 2015 / 10:53 am

      The reason he’s one of my favourites is that he isn’t prepared to try and make excuses for things. Doesn’t mean he’s always right, doesn’t mean his articles are always good. But it means he’s a….well you know. Journalist.


  5. thelegglance Jul 18, 2015 / 10:50 am

    Well that’s a first. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Cook come down the track and bunt the spinner back over his head in a Test match before.


    • Rohan Jul 18, 2015 / 11:18 am

      It certainly shocked me. I looked away from the screen just as Lyon bowled, looked up again and the ball was well on its way to the boundary. Left me thinking what happened there?mWhen I saw the replay I initially wondered if Cook and Stokes had swapped gloves, bats and helmets and it was Stokes playing the shot, but no Cooky taking the attack to Lyon……


  6. Rohan Jul 18, 2015 / 11:24 am

    Fifty for Cook and a standing ovation reminiscent of that given to Bradman for his double century here, at least that is how I imagine the MSM will report it.

    Don’t get me wrong, we needed these runs, but Cook’s strike rate is incredibly low, circa 33.00. Even in his his best blunting days, in the 2010/11 series when he ground out big runs, I am sure he was generally between 45.00 to 50.00 for strike rate. Maybe, however, he is the perfect foil for Stokes.

    Whatever, I still struggle to find joy in Cook getting runs, Stokes on the other hand, great to see!


    • thelegglance Jul 18, 2015 / 11:26 am

      He’s doing fine. Stokes, Buttler and Moeen will score quickly at the other end. Partnerships are all. As long as he isn’t becalmed it’s not an issue. Staying in is.


      • Rohan Jul 18, 2015 / 11:38 am

        Fair point, he certainly isn’t becalmed and he is rotating the strike.


  7. metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 11:49 am

    Hide the lockers…


    • metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 11:51 am

      And this is why life gets so hard once you’re faced with a big total. The slightest bit of uneven bounce, an inside edge – and you’re back facing defeat…


      • thelegglance Jul 18, 2015 / 11:53 am

        It is when the first four throw their wickets away. It means Stokes can get 87 and be nowhere near enough.


      • metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 11:58 am

        Well indeed. Lyth surely is on very thin ice now.
        And you have to wonder if Ballance needs to go back to CC to work on his game too.


      • metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 12:00 pm

        (And if it needs saying, I take no pleasure at all in saying that about White Rose players.)


  8. SimonH Jul 18, 2015 / 12:01 pm

    Weather forecast for Sunday now much better. If he has the option, Clarke wouldn’t need to enforce the follow-on (especially as Starc seems to have some sort of back twinge).


    • metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      Warne thinks Aus will bat to give the bowlers a rest.


      • Ian Jul 18, 2015 / 12:15 pm

        I think they will too especially as they will have plenty of time and also Stokes and Cook have held them up a bit here.


  9. Arron Wright Jul 18, 2015 / 12:01 pm

    Dozens of people about to write a comparison to Southampton….


  10. BoerInAustria Jul 18, 2015 / 1:04 pm

    did not see it – any comments?


    • thelegglance Jul 18, 2015 / 1:15 pm

      He spilled it after initially catching it. Nevill wouldn’t have realised.

      Smith just dropped Cook. The wheels are coming off! 😉


    • OscarDaBosca Jul 18, 2015 / 1:15 pm

      According to Guardian OBO he dragged it on the ground…but that may be a one-eyed view


      • Ian Jul 18, 2015 / 1:23 pm

        Nevil wouldn’t have known but there were others who appealed who would have


      • ianrsaan Jones Jul 19, 2015 / 11:55 am

        Nevil wouldn’t have known but there were others who appealed who would have

        No they wouldn’t. Were you watching. It happened so quickly no one could have seen it. Even the umpire thought it was out.


  11. dvyk Jul 18, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    I notice Buttler is the only other batsman along with Cook who doesn’t know how to back up. He’s also wandering out of his crease before the ball is bowled. Mankad each of them, one after the other, and Australia would be well on the way to retaining the Ashes. (They might perhaps cop a bit of flak from the media, but it would all blow over soon, I’m sure.)


  12. thelegglance Jul 18, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    That Buttler dismissal is a perfect example of what I bang on about that a keeper doesn’t realise there’s been an edge until after its in the gloves when standing up. He went for the stumping. The brain doesn’t process information that quickly.


  13. pktroll (@pktroll) Jul 18, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    200 or so for 2 since that horrid hour after tea yesterday but I’m afraid the die has been cast. A good effort from Cook and Stokes. I’m afraid I’m less happy about Buttler after this latest innings. Too impulsive outside his off stump. Not enough game management. I think praise of Cook’s regardless of the end result should be a lot measured than the idiocy of that given to last year’s effort at Southampton. This has been a fine effort given the circumstances.


  14. Arron Wright Jul 18, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    Oh well, looks like he’ll manage his first ton in 13 Ashes Tests, break his tie with Pietersen (4 Ashes tons each) and leave Brearley and Butcher behind…

    Guess I’ll just have to resign myself to tomorrow’s rapture…


    • Arron Wright Jul 18, 2015 / 2:18 pm

      Oh dear. What a tragedy.

      (Boycott jinxed him on TMS by the way, not me)


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 18, 2015 / 2:23 pm

        Heard it. Ironically I was on the way to Waitrose at the time.


      • SimonH Jul 18, 2015 / 2:28 pm

        Atherton put pressure on Holding to raise his estimation of Cook from “batting well” to “batting very well”.

        Holding: “I’m not saying anyone’s batting very well on this featherbed”.

        Another reason to love Michael Holding.

        By the way, not a single mention that Cook hasn’t made a home Ashes’ century. Not relevant apparently.

        Meanwhile, another wicket for Mitch Marsh while the regular bowlers have catches dropped, marginal decisions turned down etc. Anyone else getting Mudassar Nazar flashbacks?


      • Arron Wright Jul 18, 2015 / 2:31 pm

        SimonH: they mentioned the lack of a home Ashes century several times on TMS, though only while he was in the 90s. Jim Maxwell said it, and Boycott replied “he’ll have one in a minute”. Hence the jinx.

        Sky just *is* ECB TV, isn’t it? Who’s on “Manufacturing Consent” tomorrow morning by the way?


      • Fred Jul 18, 2015 / 2:33 pm

        This will give him another two years in the team. Regardless of results in the next two years.


      • SimonH Jul 18, 2015 / 3:02 pm

        CWOTV tomorrow – Dean Wilson, Vic Marks and Bunkers.

        ECB-TV is just awful. It was quite unusual for me to hear the Atherton-Holding exchange because I mostly mute the commentary these days. If, for example, you want to retain any affection for Nasser Hussain it’s the only answer.

        Still, at least it’s balanced by other sections of the cricket media:

        Or not.


    • d'Arthez Jul 18, 2015 / 2:26 pm

      But to be fair, he finally improved on his best Ashes score in England. And after the drivel of that wonderful 95 against India in 2014, we all know what is going to happen next …


  15. Arron Wright Jul 18, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Dave Tickner will be loving the unironic “deserved a hundred” action on Twitter right now…


  16. metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    To be fair to Cook, I’ll say what I always say, there’s a nonsense concentration on round numbers in cricket. In most matches, 96 is pretty much as good an effort as 104.

    To revert to type, if Cook was the player he is supposed to be, he’d have been getting up around 150. Esp. given that Rogers managed over 170.


  17. metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 3:37 pm

    England 312 all out – perhaps 450 is par on this pitch.
    So there’s plenty of blame to share around between batsmen and bowlers…


  18. SimonH Jul 18, 2015 / 4:57 pm

    Dropping Warner on nought when 250+ behind not working out too well.


    • metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 5:23 pm

      Letting him get confidence for the next game could be bad for England in this series.

      However, I think in terms of this game, Aus are only looking for around 250.
      Difficult to see England getting them out for less than that even if Warner had gone for 0.


    • wrongunatlongon Jul 18, 2015 / 6:34 pm

      after a lot of trumping for Lyth in the slips, that was a poor one…although I’m not sure, was he at 2nd slip or wider in the cordon? would that make much difference?


      • SimonH Jul 18, 2015 / 6:46 pm

        Wider – more like about 5th slip. The ball came at shoulder height and he tried to go for it with hands pointing down which looked awful.

        Australia have dropped at least two catches as well so it’s not a case of the winning side holding all their chances. Australia’s batsmen cashed in better on their let-offs and their bowlers have created more.


  19. OscarDaBosca Jul 18, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    Bell is starting to remind me of how Vaughan lost his batting, the shots are still there but the eyes are going a bit. If he is dismissed again in the same manner the knives will be out.

    Well they would be if we had an experienced number 4 waiting in the wings…but as we haven’t I guess it will be mild murmurings of discontent

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Jul 18, 2015 / 5:57 pm

      Argh. Now I’m having flashbacks to that terrible period. Vaughan essaying the perfect forward defensive as behind him the stumps cartwheel…


      • OscarDaBosca Jul 18, 2015 / 8:20 pm

        Sorry, but it is somewhat reminiscent. Shame I like Bell, I love his collar up strut where he thinks he looks like he is bristling with intent (for those of my age he looks like Ritchie Cunningham impersonating the Fonz). However whilst class is permanent, entropy is unrelenting and the sands of time are running out for him.

        Ballance is also a major concern, his trigger movement pushes his weight back and he struggles to play forward.

        Can England drop two batsmen for the next test?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Fred Jul 18, 2015 / 9:30 pm

        “for those of my age he looks like Ritchie Cunningham impersonating the Fonz”
        Very good. 🙂


      • SimonH Jul 18, 2015 / 9:49 pm

        For heaven’s sake, Bell is only 33! By all means drop him because his form isn’t good enough but to drop him because he’s too old at that age is bonkers.


  20. Arron Wright Jul 18, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    One guess what Selvey has chosen to write about today….



    • Pontiac Jul 18, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      Waittasecond, I thought that the pitch was super-flat.


      • Arron Wright Jul 18, 2015 / 7:14 pm

        I have actually got significantly angrier about it since finishing the piece. It seems just about passable to begin with – and the usual suspects will offer their usual arguments as to why it should be regarded as such. But he’s written *exactly the same* about Cook over and over again since the India series a year ago, and especially since he was dropped from ODIs. There is nothing new at all, apart from the horrendous chutzpah and double standards about playing a glory shot when you’re close to a hundred. That and the downplaying of what 22 failures to make an Ashes hundred actually means in a historic context.

        And as TLG has pointed out, the emphasis on Cook every times he makes any runs at all is so woefully predictable. This is exactly why I couldn’t bear to hear him making a score this afternoon.

        Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus Jul 18, 2015 / 7:54 pm


            The time has come for the selectors to examine their options. In five of the past seven Test matches, England have lost their first three first innings wickets without going beyond 42.

            This is not designed to win many matches and both Gary Ballance and Ian Bell have signally failed to contribute enough runs. Drop one, however, and it would be difficult to make a case for keeping the other. Dropping both would be a sign that England are desperate and there is not exactly a long queue of likely candidates.

            I dunno. Can think of one, myself. But let’s not go there.

            “Drop one, and it would be difficult to make a case for keeping the other.” Nick Compton, Michael Carberry and Sam Robson in particular should be chortling at that old swaddling.


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 18, 2015 / 7:58 pm

            Someone is really trying too hard to win those awards…

            It was an occasion which lent itself to lyricism. Lord’s was a study in colour and texture; the green gingham check of the lush outfield contrasted with the supine, straw- coloured pitch and the terracotta splendour of the pavilion.

            It’s a stuffy old place, largely inhabited by people who need to dress better. Yes, and I was there.


      • Mark Jul 18, 2015 / 8:18 pm

        And when a certain person who mustn’t be named made 300 odd runs, we were told there are no vacancies in the top order.

        Nick Compton, Michael Carberry and Sam Robson must be spitting feathers. But as the King of English cricket told us it’s all about “trust.”


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