2015 Ashes – 4th Test Day 2

So, after a Goring, what will we see today?

I kept off the newspaper sites last night.
I think people do get carried away. Stop and smell the roses. It’s great we are winning but what’s happening here?

I find this a rather curious state of affairs. Two years ago we were routinely winning a series 3-0 against an Aussie team that at least put up a fight. This is supine nonsense. We’re really not in a position to be giving it “all that” after 2013/14’s debacle, but the one thing about being totes “loyal supporter innit” is not having a memory. “Just enjoy the now, you miserable old prick” would be some retorts.

Don’t get me wrong, don’t confuse my approach with sympathy for Australia. They don’t deserve any for a display like that, and for some of the pain they’ve put me through. But this is like putting an old animal out of its misery, isn’t it? They came for one last dance, and found the music had stopped. I’ll mix my metaphors and won’t care.

So England are 214 in front with six wickets in hand and a long batting line-up that will have Moeen Ali coming in at 9. Dear God. Top teams can pull themselves out of mighty holes, but to do so they need belief and confidence, and have undoubted top players. Australia are showing none of those qualities. Their bowling has been found seriously wanting in these last two tests. Their batting, Smith and Rogers apart at Lord’s, hasn’t been anything to write home about (Warner’s second innings digs are not relevant here). I would love us to win one of these tests in a balls-aching, close, tense encounter. This is rubbish.

If this test pans out, it will be the fourth one-sided match in a row. There’s been little tension. The result has been known, pretty much, by the end of day two. We’ve might have had the flow, but there has been precious little ebb.

All comments on Day 2 here, please. Have a good one. I’m in the office all day…..

109 thoughts on “2015 Ashes – 4th Test Day 2

  1. Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 7:17 am

    “I kept off the newspaper sites last night.”

    You did right. There are over 1,100 comments on the main Guardian article. I reckon I’ve read less than a quarter of them, yet I’ve still seen:

    “better than Botham and Willis in 1981”
    “finest century by an England batsman since Gower in 1985”
    “this gave me more pleasure than 2005”

    I want no part of this bullshit. We play five-Test series against only two sides, and both the India and Australia series have been truly awful spectacles, in both cases following far superior “series” of two Tests against the “lesser” nations. The ’84 Blackwash was better than this garbage. And what does the future hold? More and more of the bleeding same.

    “c’est magnifique* mais ce n’est pas le cricket, et ce n’est pas le sport”

    *and even that’s debatable

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 9:22 am

      New entry on Andy Bull’s thread:

      “Only the fourth and fifth day of Headingley 1981 is its equal for astonishing Ashes drama.”

      Pity this individual, for he appears to have slept through 2005.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 10:07 am

      And now to the Telegraph we go, for this:

      “I’ve been enjoying playing and following the greatest sport for 40 years and I have yet to see a better England batsman than young Root. He could be our greatest since Hutton. I think he already is.”

      Can we not wait until he’s been to the UAE and South Africa? Apparently not…


      • LordCanisLupus Aug 7, 2015 / 10:10 am

        He’s lucky he’s in an era where there isn’t a truly great team to test him.

        Do you ever wonder what this world would make of Viv?


      • Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 10:25 am

        Exactly. I hope he proves me wrong, but let’s see how he does against Morkel, Steyn and Philander on their pitches and let’s see how he does against Yasir Shah on the slow turners near me.

        Utter fucking nonsense.


  2. pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 7, 2015 / 7:20 am

    That’s truly the thing. I was texting a mate yesterday (and he’s that rare beast of a Scottish cricket fan) and we both agreed that it was utter horse**** that had been served up by the Aussies with the bat, sheer utter ineptitude that managed to eclipse our joke showing in any of the 5 tests down under last time, although they will at least come away from the series without being whitewashed. Although I have a bit of a laugh at Australia’s expense, I mean who can’t with muppets like Warner in the side, I can’t help wonder about the continued withering of test cricket.

    This morning my mailbox was hit with Nick Sharland’s change cricket campaign that I had previously signed, and this was inevitably linked to Death of a Gentleman, the contracting of the world cup and the malevolent influence of the big 3 and their campaign too. I signed theirs for good measure. If the last rites are put to this series in the next day and half (and they really should be) that is 4 shocking test series out of 4 that we will have seen between the three Ashes series of the recent past and last year’s showing from India. Perhaps India might have regained a smidgen of pride in drawing 2 test down under last year but that may well be special pleading

    Optimistic for test cricket’s future if the big 3 marginalise the others and serve up dross when they play each other? Not for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 7:37 am

      Seriously, if this is what the second best side in the world serves up continuously on the road (UAE was abysmal too), we might as well stop bothering with Test cricket.

      Oh, and it is not like England’s record on the road is any better. Two whitewashes, two drawn series (against West Indies, and with a fair bit of luck against New Zealand in 2013), and one series won against an aging India, since the Ashes of 2010/2011.

      I have detailed it in another thread, but since 25 December 2011, all teams barring South Africa have been whitewashed in a series at least once.

      England in the UAE and in Australia.
      Australia in India and the UAE.
      New Zealand in South Africa, West Indies (2012) and England.
      Sri Lanka in Australia (2012).
      India in Australia (2011/2012).
      Pakistan in South Africa.
      West Indies at home against Australia, away to India (Tendulkar’s farewell series)
      Bangladesh away to West Indies (2014).
      Zimbabwe just about every “series” they play, since most of their series are 1 Test only.

      These are just from the top of my head, so I may have missed a few series.

      Of the major nations, only South Africa, West Indies and New Zealand have escaped whitewashes in series of three Tests or more. The latter two mostly because either the weather helped (as it did against for West Indies against New Zealand in New Zealand, and West Indies against South Africa in South Africa), or simply because they hardly ever play three-Test series (which “helps” the West Indies too).


      • Pontiac Aug 7, 2015 / 12:45 pm

        Well, there was one heck of a Bravo double with the one legged Sammy 80 to thank for one of those draws too.


    • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 7:39 am

      Exactly. It’s depressing that so few people on the Guardian thread (of all places) can even be bothered to look at the bigger picture. Instead there’s tedious jingoism of a kind that – as the poster retsdon has pointed out – far exceeds what Australian posters dished out in 2013/14.

      I bought a book called “An Ashes Anthology” as a 16-year-old in 1989. I remember looking at some of the old scores from the late 19th century and thinking “thank goodness we don’t get innings like that any more, I’d hate to watch that”. This is completely different to Sabina Park in 2004 or Port of Spain in 1994. They were hard-fought, proper matches that were decided by extraordinary spells. 60 all out in the first innings of the match, just from someone putting it in the right areas over and over again, shouldn’t please anyone who gives a toss about competitive Test cricket.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Aug 7, 2015 / 8:06 am

        You aren’t rejoicing hard enough Arron. You are, therefore, not England cricket enough. You have not thrown around enough “this is the greatest ever” tags to be truly a cricket fan. Now go away and don’t come back until you have the memory of a goldfish.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 8:12 am

        I think I might just match your aversion to Greatesteveritis.


      • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 8:19 am

        I think it comes from being a historian by training. Perspective just comes naturally. Gushing overexcited tripe and nationalistic fervour do not.


      • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 10:57 am

        I just saw your “itis” tweet.

        I really wanted to know what Chris “rebel tour, Zimbabwe apologist, cancer clanger” Broad thought.

        Honestly though, it wasn’t even near my personal top twenty.


  3. Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 8:00 am

    Berry, still uncorrected:

    “last time at Trent Bridge they were 117 for nine before the last wicket stand of 163 between Brad Haddin, who yesterday brought out the drinks when Australia were seven wickets down, and Ashton Agar”


    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 8:17 am

      Seriously, how hard can it be to check the facts like that? You just have to go to one of the gazillion sites such as cricinfo and you can see who the batsmen were. Never mind the fact that he might have written about that game too, two years ago.


      • LordCanisLupus Aug 7, 2015 / 8:18 am

        We all make mistakes. I do. Quite a lot. I’m a bit more forgiving of memory failures than I used to be.


      • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 8:21 am

        But Phillip Hughes, though? And believe it or not there was (for obvious reasons) an interview with Agar on the Telegraph’s own site on the eve of the match!


      • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 8:42 am

        Also, bear in mind that Berry is paid to get the facts right. It is his livelihood. I am fairly confident that this blog is not your livelihood Dmitri. Assuming that Berry watched the match in 2013, he should have realized that “Haddin” was batting lefthanded … or did it not leave much of an impression on him?


    • paulewart Aug 7, 2015 / 9:09 am

      I suffer the same disease Arron, hence my aversion to the MSM narrative. I think the thing I find most amusing/repugnant is the frequent citing of Orwell in support of patriotism with no understanding of Orwell’s distinction between nationalism and patriotism. It’s lamentable, but darkly comic.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 7, 2015 / 9:26 am

    I have to confess I didn’t look at the day 1 review until this morning and the sentiments I expressed earlier in my comments here largely match those of a lot of folk here.

    I was truly appalled at the quality of batsmanship of the Aussies, not from a jingoistic English point of view but that of a cricket fan. it was good that so many folk either here or just folks that I know who are cricket fans think similar without having kow-tow to self-righteous prats who write in our media on the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. MM Aug 7, 2015 / 9:34 am

    Yesterday, God help me, I felt some sympathy for the Aussies and Michael Clarke. I think I still do. I am a human being after all, so I’m OK with a range of emotions – including one that might seem inappropriately soft towards the failing Aussies.

    I think Johnson is amazing. But I’ve got a big tash and tattoos so there’s the link. Rogers gives hope to any old bloke thinking their time will never come. Warner! He’s made a decent living for himself, ain’t he? Steve Smith’s done damn well in the last few years, considering how idiosyncratically average he originally seemed. He cracked a brilliant 200 not so long ago. I know the Lord’s conditions favoured him but I’d have thought those same condishes would’ve favoured us to grind out a draw.And now Lehmann can’t tubthump a performance out of them now, FFS.

    Something has to be rotten here. I don’t want to see a tearful Aussie captain breaking down at a press conference. I don’t want the press getting that particular money shot ever again. I want exciting cut and thrust cricket, and if the Aussies can’t provide that against Team Waitrose there’s a big problem waiting to reveal itself – over and above 60 all out.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mark Aug 7, 2015 / 9:35 am

    On a light hearted note you gotta love channel 9. I went on their web site last night to see if I could watch the highlights of this debacle with the most one eyed commentry team in the world. They had a number of clips with titles such as “Broad gets his 300 wicket.” Or “stark takes 3 quick wickets” The one I wanted was ” watch all 10 Aussie wickets go down.”

    The funny thing was that whatever clip you pressed you only got the same content.. Namely Englands 4 wickets. No matter how many times I tried you could not get it to play any of the Aussie wickets going down. Channel 9 showing more fight and stubborn resistance than their batsman.


    • SimonH Aug 7, 2015 / 11:07 am

      Ian Healy on Broad’s 8/15:


  7. metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 9:55 am

    So Australia are looking for a VVS Laxman. Who might stand up?


  8. thebogfather Aug 7, 2015 / 10:01 am

    This is a shotgun wedding
    The blood of cricket everywhere
    Where monetary mutual bedding
    Is all that the ICC3 do care
    Fuck the cricketers
    Screw the supporters
    No series with warm-up games
    Away teams to the slaughter
    Test cricket – shat down the drain
    By self important bodies
    Accruing dollars before death
    Press luvvies and TV monopolies
    Deciding when to deliver the last breath
    And do they truly care?
    When the skill cupboard is bare?


  9. Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 10:05 am

    Just on the cricket for once, I did tip Stuart Broad as the key player for England, and (Root apart) I think he’s been our best performer overall. What has disappointed but not, of course, surprised me is the way in which his performance has been written up. As if he needed to “stand up” because Anderson was missing, and did so. Anderson’s 6-for at Edgbaston was his first decent bowling performance in twelve Ashes Tests, during which Broad took eleven wickets at Durham, was by a mile their best bowler in Australia, and ditto on the unforgiving pitch at Lord’s.

    And the fact remains that he has outbowled Anderson – often by a distance – in every Ashes series where he’s been fit.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Sir Peter Aug 7, 2015 / 10:09 am

    Never take your foot off the windpipe (in and Ashes series)


  11. Sir Peter Aug 7, 2015 / 10:10 am

    an Ashes series


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 7, 2015 / 10:11 am

      Throwing my quotes back at me, eh?

      Do not confuse current comments with feeling sorry for Australia.


  12. Sir Peter Aug 7, 2015 / 10:16 am

    That’s a relief…Pav Ending?


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 7, 2015 / 10:18 am

      Got a leaving do this evening. Doubt there will be a Monday session!


  13. Sir Peter Aug 7, 2015 / 10:21 am

    Maybe Thursday of the Oval or a Friday Roebuck…?


  14. Mark Aug 7, 2015 / 10:22 am

    The ECBs bat phone to Sky central will be ringing off the hook at the moment.

    Warne and Holding complaining that World Series cricket stats are not counted in the record books, but Goochs 100 during tha apartied test series does count.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 10:23 am

      Not in Wisden Test stats it doesn’t, or are they just on about first class?


      • LordCanisLupus Aug 7, 2015 / 10:25 am

        First class I world’s presume. There were those doubts over which one was Gooch’s hundredth first class hundred.


      • Mark Aug 7, 2015 / 10:50 am

        Yes it must be first class. They checked with The Sky scorer and he confirmed it. They were appealing do Dave Richards at the ICC to amend the situation.

        Don’t think Richards can fart without taking his orders from the big 3 though.

        Funny they want to airbrush out of history one South Africans record in KP, but they seem quite happy with the South African rebel tours These days.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 10:32 am

      Still a pretty shitty, if completely unsurprising, discrepancy though.


      • paulewart Aug 7, 2015 / 12:15 pm

        Yep, as I said yesterday, they genuinely believe that the IPL and World Series are worse than the sanctions busting apartheid tours.


    • paulewart Aug 7, 2015 / 10:48 am

      That is utterly appalling and altogether unsurprising.


  15. d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 10:27 am

    Root just perished to Starc. Still, I expect only Bell to score less than any Australian has managed (or Finn to be stuck on 5 not out).


    • metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 10:31 am

      Starc seems to be bowling pretty well this morning. Aus might well get England out with only a 300 lead.


      • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 10:36 am

        If only Johnson hadn’t apparently turned the clock back to 2009, figures-wise. I can’t see what’s happening, but 17 runs from a NW off 2 overs doesn’t look great.


      • Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 10:48 am

        Starc might just trump Broad in the wickets column. And this is the guy Warne wanted dropped, don’t forget.


  16. Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 10:49 am

    I think Starc is reversing it.


  17. d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 10:55 am

    At this rate, I would not even be surprised if this will be a 2-day Test.


    • SHERWICK Aug 7, 2015 / 11:14 am

      At least it wasn’t a 1-day ‘Test’.


    • metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 11:37 am

      I’d guess that it will take longer than that…


  18. metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 11:38 am

    I’m finding the OBO’s realisation that The G website now tries to sell itself in Aus rather amusing…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 11:42 am

    That was an “excellent” declaration. FFS


    • metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 11:44 am

      Right – far too much hyperbole.


    • Arron Wright Aug 7, 2015 / 11:44 am

      “Greatest ever” captaincy.


      • Pontiac Aug 7, 2015 / 12:49 pm

        Compared to how Clarke used his bowlers, maybe it is.


  20. metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 11:47 am

    So a lead of 331 – be interesting to see if Aus are still scrambled or can get a good score this time around.


    • metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 11:49 am

      Also curious what impact the heavy roller has.


  21. metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    Going to take a lot more patience this time around…


    • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      Already the highest partnership for Australia this Test …

      Liked by 2 people

  22. Andy Aug 7, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    just catching up – what have I missed…..

    Who is going to blow smoke up Cookie Monsters bottom for the revolutionary move of declaring?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. SHERWICK Aug 7, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    One of the best declarations that I’ve seen in over 40 years of following Test cricket. The manner and execution of it was sublime, as if performed by someone from the right sort of family. Very unlucky indeed not to get 3 or 5 Australian wickets before the Lunch interval too.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 12:49 pm

    Ridiculous review. That fully negates what was the best declaration of the 21st century.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 1:05 pm

      It was not the review. It was “bad technology”. Or has that argument not been made yet?


      • Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 1:09 pm

        No, I’ve heard no mention by Sky over the Bell dismissal, so hawkeye is probably a moot point.

        Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria Aug 7, 2015 / 1:07 pm

      I think morally that was indeed out

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Fred Aug 7, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Australia looking quite calm and relaxed so far. Imagine if they played a good old fashioned test innings over a couple of days, including one or two centuries. Unlikely, but at least we might have a match after all.


    • Fred Aug 7, 2015 / 1:43 pm

      Second dropped catch in the slips. England caught everything without fail yesterday, the pendulum is swinging.


  26. Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 1:08 pm

    I think whoever blew the smoke up Cook’s arse during lunch has caused him to drop that dolly.


    • Zephirine Aug 7, 2015 / 1:16 pm

      Perhaps he read Vic Marks’s piece about Root and was seized by a pang of envy.


  27. BoerInAustria Aug 7, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    The Essayist has spoken: “It’s looking increasingly like a normal cricket pitch. There are no great demons.” BBC


  28. Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    Ian Bell always seems to drop off Stokes.


  29. d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    Rogers survives a dismissal from a no-ball. 106/0 now.


    • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 2:17 pm

      But gets caught next over. Stokes the bowler who provides the breakthrough. 113/1 after just 24 overs.


    • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 2:27 pm

      Warner soon follows (to Stokes as well), and after an excellent start in their reply, Australia are still nowhere at 130/2 (or -201/2).


      • Pontiac Aug 7, 2015 / 2:39 pm

        I think they just all want to go home now. Where’s the integrity?


      • BoerInAustria Aug 7, 2015 / 2:42 pm

        BBC – “It’s brilliant, innovative captaincy from Cook, whose unusual field-setting strikes gold when Smith drives hard and uppishly at a wide one from Broad”

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Pontiac Aug 7, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    I’d submit that it’s more the Australian batting that has been found seriously wanting. Their bowling isn’t anywhere near this bad.


    • Mark Aug 7, 2015 / 2:47 pm

      It’s their bowling that has kept them competitive the last 2 years.

      I would argue their bowling was largely responsible dor their World Cup win.


      • LordCanisLupus Aug 7, 2015 / 3:00 pm

        I remember how angry I was over Sydney. That was Custer’s Last Stand compared to this.


      • Pontiac Aug 7, 2015 / 3:55 pm

        As someone else had mentioned, if it was Pakistan or West Indies playing this way one would start questioning the integrity of the situation.

        OK, so Voges hasn’t got out yet. At Edgbaston over both innings, Australia’s 3,4,5,6 collectively scored 50 runs. First innings here, they score 17. Second innings, 40*.

        So, over those four innings:

        15 outs. 107* runs.

        That’s averaging 7.133.


  31. d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 2:43 pm

    It just seems that the collapse in the second dig was delayed by about 105 runs. This is pathetic from Australia. Even PNG would be more competitive with the bat. But I suppose this borefest is a “meritocracy”.

    And i still have not heard from Richardson, on the fact that away sides should be banned from the Ashes, as cricket is all about “competitive cricket”.


    • Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 3:51 pm

      Lyon didn’t bowl out the Messiah for a second ball duck, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    Voges and Clark looking to make a game of it…


    • Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 3:54 pm

      Good work Metatone


    • Mark Aug 7, 2015 / 3:56 pm

      Not anymore. Clarke gone. Initially Cook dropped the catch. Made another grab at the ball, dropped it again, and Bell took the rebound.

      And yes Henry my dear old thing classes that as great thinking by Cook TWICE.

      Left to MCGrath to point out that it was Nell who was the one with the quick thinking. But that does not fit with the ECB agenda.


      • Mark Aug 7, 2015 / 3:59 pm

        Nell? Should have been Bell.

        Can they finish it tonight and cost Nottinghamshire a small fortune?

        Sky delighted the football season starts tomorrow.


  33. paulewart Aug 7, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    Cook’s parry won the Ashes I’ll have you know!


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 7, 2015 / 4:01 pm

      I was going to make a sarcy comment about how wonderful it was that Cook brought Bell into the game by parrying it to him deliberately but hey a couple of others have got there first.


      • BoerInAustria Aug 7, 2015 / 4:28 pm

        Boycs on BBC: “If Steve Smith is the best player in the world then there’s a problem for Test cricket. I don’t care what runs he gets, he’s not better than AB De Villiers. He’s not better than our two, Alastair Cook and Joe Root.”

        Cook and Root in one breath…


      • Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 4:32 pm

        So far, so good for Root. But he has a lot to prove outside of England. I’ll reserve judgement after the UAE and South Africa tours.


      • paulewart Aug 7, 2015 / 4:57 pm

        Boycott knows his batting.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 7, 2015 / 5:16 pm

        Steve Smith is definitely no high class number 3 in swinging/seaming conditions. He will still succeed at home I suspect and in more familiar bouncy tracks like SA where like the better Aussie players he can play the ball well on the rise.


  34. Tuffers86 Aug 7, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    Another front foot no ball. This is shocking from the umpires and England.


  35. pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 7, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    Well done Stokes on the 5fer. He may be erratic with both bat and ball, but you can’t buy talent. England continued to pick the honest trier that is Tim Bresnan long after he was the most busted of busted flushes. Sure he’s not done so well in the last couple of tests with the bat but he will log jam his efforts with bat and ball and he’ll get more consistently productive. Of that I’m sure.


  36. Sherwick Aug 7, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    Ozzies trying their best to have the weekend off.


    • Sherwick Aug 7, 2015 / 5:41 pm

      But tarted by the umpires.. or someone..


      • Sherwick Aug 7, 2015 / 6:21 pm

        *thwarted !


  37. metatone Aug 7, 2015 / 6:05 pm

    This game looks to be going out with a whimper. No dramatic ending either way.
    Aus may make England bat again, but probably not – and even if they do, it’s unlikely to change the result…


    • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 6:33 pm

      The game was decided in the first 15 minutes. If an Associate batted like that, they’d be embarrassed, and hauled over the coals and what not. In the case of Australia, the boards that are involved insist that fans want more of these “greatest ever” series.

      I have seen Sesame Street sketches that had more depth and plot than this farce.


      • escort Aug 7, 2015 / 7:16 pm

        What is it that you find difficult to understand about the fact that England won an important toss and then backed up that with good bowling and some help from Australia with bad batting?


      • d'Arthez Aug 7, 2015 / 8:20 pm

        Not sure why you’re directing this at me.

        As noted above, if Pakistan or West Indies batted as ineptly in the first 30 minutes, the cries would be “they don’t care, that bunch of T20 mercenaries”, “Fixed!”, etc. If it was India, the IPL would be blamed for the lack of technique, the lack of application, etc.

        Broad bowled well, but for the love of pizza, since when do batsmen have to get out like a bunch of suicidal lemmings, when a pair of bowlers bowl well? As if two bowlers bowling well in tandem has rarely ever happened in the history of Test cricket.

        Does anyone really think that 60 was par given the playing conditions at the start of Day 1?

        But, no, because it is Australia doing this, this is “the greatest series ever”. I don’t buy it. Does anyone really think that say Ireland would have done worse than Australia on the first two days? Especially if they would have gotten millions to spend on their team, like Australia?

        I do not believe that no other team other than South Africa could have put up a bit more of a fight. Either with the bat or with the ball. If I am wrong, why do we even bother with Test cricket anymore?

        As Arron has pointed out several times before, check the scheduling for the 2019 World Cup and the Ashes in the same year, and you will know exactly what the big boards are aiming to achieve. It is all about the money, and thus we have to deal with idiotic hyperbole to sell these increasingly farcical series to the general public.

        Liked by 1 person

      • escort Aug 7, 2015 / 9:54 pm

        Things like this happen in Test cricket, its part of the reason why people love the game.


      • d'Arthez Aug 8, 2015 / 7:49 am

        They happen. Sure.

        Sure it was a good toss to win, but that does not mean that this is what competitive cricket looks like. Because the Ashes spin money, administrators think we want more of this nonsense. We don’t even want more. We want competitive cricket.

        The main reason that England did not win inside two days is that Cook did not declare overnight.

        When Zimbabwe showed such levels of ineptitude a decade ago, we could point to various political and selectorial reasons (all the experience had gone, and they picked young squads). ZC recognised that there was no point in continuing to play Tests. We can now point to the various boards, and their shortsightedness and greed.

        Ask Mr. Richardson, he who decreed that Bangladesh beating England in 2011 and again (2015) is not competitive cricket. Ask Mr. Giles Clarke, who thinks it is meritocratic not to play Bangladesh for about 12 years in any bilateral series.

        Just because the incompetence comes with a tag of Australia does not make it better cricket. Pleasing to an English person? Yes. But good for the game? Hell no. The tour of India in England 2011 was not good for the game. India did not bother to show up barring Dravid and Praveen Kumar, and they got REWARDED with a fifth Test. Meanwhile sides that have done okay in England (such as Sri Lanka) can’t even get a third Test. Yes, Sri Lanka lost the series in 2011, basically in a single session on the last day of a Test (from what looked like a drawing position), but they fought hard in the other two games, which they drew.

        Honestly, ask yourself: has this series been an advert for Test cricket or not? And the answer is a resounding no. You don’t generate interest when the game is basically decided (at worst) half way through (Lord’s, Cardiff). No stirring fight backs either, since neither of those games even made it to day 5. And even less when the game is already done and inked into the record books at the halfway point. Which is what has happened at Edgbaston and will happen here.

        What is it that you find it impossible to understand that the administrators are selling us short, and that there is little joy to be derived from such substandard matches?

        Liked by 1 person

      • BoerInAustria Aug 8, 2015 / 8:16 am

        Great posts D’A.

        This feels like an broadcast of X-Factor where we have just witnessed the “best ever” this or that, someone has “given 200%”, and “nailed it”. While in fact we have witnessed a piss poor third rate karaoke show.

        Is there an equivalent of a Rage Against the Machine download? Eh… this blog, I suppose…


      • escort Aug 9, 2015 / 7:31 am

        Is it the games administrators fault that neither India or Australia cannot play the conditions❓ in cricket at the moment no team is good enough to win consistently either away or at home, you always seem to be searching for a kind of cricketing nirvana that doesn’t exist. Perhaps as Australia are performing so badly you would like to cancel the oval test and invite new Zealand back over for a one off game because they might put up a better fight against the swinging ball❔


  38. emasl Aug 7, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    I can summon up no interest in this series at all. None. I really do not care who wins. This is not a Test series, it is a slog fest. Nothing wrong with that but I expect to see that in T20. This series has stumbled from catastrophe to farce and back again and. Despite what the BLTers think, it is one of the most boring. I switched off half way theough the afternoon. Simply could not be bothered to watch it.

    Also dreading the press afterwards and the usual suspects making snide remarks about you know who and canonising St Alastair.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. emasl Aug 7, 2015 / 6:50 pm

    My daughter, however, is delighted. She lives in Australia and she says the shite she has had to take in the last couple of years re our team has been awful Payback time Mum she said


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