Ashes: 4th Test. Day Three comments

Here it is, the big day. All in here…

Dmitri Comment – Congratulations to the England cricket team for reclaiming the Ashes from Australia. They have taken their opportunities with ruthlessness and vigour. The bowling has been very very good, and the batting has been mostly solid where the opposition’s has been rickety.

We can discuss everything that surrounds this series in due course. The fact is that we’ve hammered Australia in two successive matches to put Lord’s behind us. Only subsequently will we find out if this is the start of something special, or a false dawn. I have no problem at all with people celebrating. I’m sorry I can’t feel the unbridled joy of 2005 or 2009 (when I was there when they were won).

Feel great for most of those players today. They did England proud.

171 thoughts on “Ashes: 4th Test. Day Three comments

  1. BoerInAustria Aug 8, 2015 / 9:49 am

    Vic MarksEx-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    “It is not a captaincy issue, it is a run issue. If you are the captain of a losing team and not scoring runs it becomes an issue. But Clarke is not scoring runs.”

    Vic does not do irony does he?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 10:21 am

      Vic’s usually one the few that does do irony… perhaps he’d argue that Cook not scoring did become an issue. It was just an issue that was firmly ignored.

      Liked by 2 people

      • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 9:25 pm

        You haven’t seen his latest paean to Strauss. A real lapse in judgement, replete with all the wrong classical references.


  2. Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 9:56 am

    “Here it is, the big day. All in here…”

    I didn’t know we were celebrating the start of the football season here?

    Let the street party’s begin, and indulge yourself in a month long orgy of Cook worship. Never mind he has not contributed a single innings in the winning of this Ashes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • d'Arthez Aug 8, 2015 / 10:04 am

      Just one fifty I think thus far?

      Only Atherton ahead of him, in terms of an England specialist batsman (batting in the top 6) never to make an Ashes ton in England. Atherton had 19 matches (38 innings), Cook now on 14 (26 innings, possibly 27 if Australia avoid an innings defeat). Atherton had 10 fifties, compared to Cook’s five. Atherton’s average was higher too than Cook’s (31). But the same can be said of Stuart Broad’s batting average …


      • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 10:12 am

        His 96 at Lords was in the one test match England have lost. So it had not influence on the win.

        As unusual when his batting is not producing results his sycohants distract attention by focusing on something else. So today all we are hearing about is what a brilliant captain he is. Last year it was a nice bloke he is.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 10:09 am

    You know how much I’m up for this? I’m trying to work out how Koji Uehara got a save for pitching 0.2 of an innings against Detroit last night with a 7-2 lead. This is concerning me,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. d'Arthez Aug 8, 2015 / 10:15 am

    Clarke announces his retirement. So Smith will take over for their next series in Bangladesh in all likelihood.


  5. Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 10:19 am

    So the rumour is Clarke is going to announce his retirement from the game at end of series.

    Sir Ian pointing out he predicted England would win because Austalia are an aging team. Nasser pointed out that England are good at home in the right conditions. Australia have only won 2 test matches in England out of the last 18 played in England.

    But this tis the greatest ever…………..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 10:24 am

      According to the Australian, Clarke was told there would be no place for him in the Test side after the tour, having averaged just 16.71 with the bat in his eight innings against England.

      Well, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs. They dropped the captain. I was led to believe that wasn’t possible ….

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 1:10 pm

        And therein lies the difference between England and Australia. Australians don’t tolerate failure.


  6. d'Arthez Aug 8, 2015 / 10:29 am

    2 runs, 2 wickets thus far. This must be the greatest ever fightback started on Day 3.


  7. Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 10:29 am

    TMS: Jim Maxwell into the comm box at 11:20. Standard slot is 20 minutes. Ninth wicket falls after five minutes, he hands back to Aggers.

    There is no impartiality left, even here (never mind Sky).. It sounds like a bloody royal jubilee in there now.

    PS if Cook is so in tune with the game and fans, why hasn’t Broad bowled yet?


    • d'Arthez Aug 8, 2015 / 10:30 am

      Because Broad has already been gifted a free-wicket by the press to collect his 10-fer?


    • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 10:31 am

      No, Arron, TMS have a long standing policy of a commentator from the country that wins the Test on air at the time the match finishes. That’s why they switched back to Agnew. It’s absolutely their normal policy.


      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 10:39 am

        Ok, apologies for my ignorance. Looking forward to a tenth wicket stand between Agnew and FICJAM.

        By the way, Jim Maxwell was on the air when England won at Edgbaston 2005.


      • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 10:42 am

        Yes, Maxwell was on air then. It had been English commentators all that morning, and they handed over to Maxwell when Australia needed about four to win because it looked like Australia would do it.


      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 10:44 am

        Bloody stupid policy then, isn’t it? A series I can understand, a Test, no.


      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 10:51 am

        Well, I suppose so. I changed my mind when I read Marks’s post specifying series. It has been faintly nauseating since the game ended though, largely because Ed Smith is back and it’s Cook Cook Cook.


      • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 10:53 am

        Oh yeah, that’s a different thing. That they’ve always tried to get a commentator on air from the winning country as the Test concludes is a nice policy, what else they do with the love in is a separate matter.


    • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 10:37 am

      In fairness Arron they have always handed over to a commentator from the winning country at the point a series is won. They used to hand over to Tony Coizer through most of the late 70s and 80s when the WI were thrashing us.

      But I can imagine the mass circle jerk in thir at the moment. It’s quite funny how many English cricket journos think they are members of team England/Waitrose.


  8. LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 10:31 am

    Comparing this attack to 2005’s? Come on Nasser. Now you are spouting tripe.

    That attack had to get out Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Clarke, Martyn, Katich and Gilchrist.

    This one has Rogers, Warner, Smith, A Marsh, Clarke, Voges and Nevill.

    Bloody hell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 10:41 am

      The lame attempts to compare this to 2005 are comedy gold. I didn’t realise until the start of this series how much the modern cricket media hate that series. We all know why? Cough cough.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Simon K Aug 8, 2015 / 11:44 am

        I wouldn’t worry about it. History won’t record this or any other series in the foreseeable future as comparable with 2005.

        Liked by 2 people

      • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 1:12 pm

        Quite right Simon. No-one’s seen this series!


  9. thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 10:33 am

    It’s obviously going to be a footnote, but Voges has batted bloody well this innings. The others could take note.


  10. LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 10:40 am

    So Nasser says it’s “Cook’s redemption”.

    There in a nutshell. What it is about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 10:43 am

      Yup, f*** England, it’s all about Cook.

      Just sums up what English cricket has become . A one man band. Never mind he has contributed virtually nothing as batsman.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 10:43 am

      “It’s all about team spirit and team unity”, says Agnew. And here comes the fawning over Cook before anyone else.

      Get ready for a hatchet job from someone, Dmitri.

      Liked by 2 people

    • BoerInAustria Aug 8, 2015 / 10:46 am

      Jonathan Agnew – BBC Test Match Special: “It seems odd that Broad hasn’t had a bowl. He has taken nine wickets to set up the win, and he hasn’t had a bowl at the last batsmen. It’s like being declared on on 98.”

      Cook – Mr Nice Guy. Dont piss on my parade

      Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 1:14 pm

      I’m waiting for Selvey to lead calls for an open top bus and MBE’s all round Cook will argue that he deserves it and this victory proves that he should have been in the team in 2005. When rejected out of hand he’ll lamed ‘friends like these’ and the MBE being ‘taken away from me’ before shooting an old dear.


      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 1:46 pm

        Vic will be doing the match report, so Selvey will have a theme piece up later. Would you like to hazard a guess as to the theme he will choose, anyone?

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 10:43 am

    And Ricky Ponting continues the grace and stoicism with which he accepted Ashes failure in his playing days. No, I’m not being snide – he always commanded respect in those moments and he’s just done it again.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 10:49 am

      I read that was the first ball of the 11th over from someone on Twitter.


      • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 10:58 am

        Oh how odd. Sky said 62 balls, Cricinfo said it was after 9. Confused now


      • d'Arthez Aug 8, 2015 / 11:01 am

        The last over yesterday was not completed. So we had 10.2 overs bowled today. Not sure if the 4 balls from the incomplete over yesterday count towards that total.


  12. d'Arthez Aug 8, 2015 / 10:45 am

    So, if Cook had declared overnight on Day 1, and Australia would have batted in the same wayt, they had to chase 40 from 15 overs to win inside 2 days. Great Test.


  13. Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 10:45 am

    And Australia didn’t even manage to wait for 10 overs this morning. So Nottinghamshire will have to issue a full refund.!

    Not going to make much money this two day cricket.


    • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 10:57 am

      Find a nice sunny spot Bogfather, and open a bottle of red , and just laugh at the complete absurdity of it.

      This is how Disney would do Test match cricket!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 10:59 am

      Selvey’s fired the starting gun I see.

      “Traduced by a vocal minority and retained his dignity throughout.”

      Cook then starts his interview on TMS with a pop at whichever journalist told England fans to watch this Ashes from behind the sofa. Post- Mankad, moan about the ODI captaincy, “something must be done”, “so-called friend”, “I won in India”, all dignified. Handling the death of a teammate and close friend: “self-absorbed”.

      Here we go….. strap yourselves in.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 11:08 am

        That was Mark Butcher who said that line about behind the sofa. But he also criticised the media. So he has placed a big target on his back.

        You can see how little dignity they really have now as they settle old scores.

        Bring it on Selvey, if you can tear yourself away from jerking off to pictures of Pringle?

        Liked by 2 people

      • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 1:15 pm

        What dignity?


      • MM Aug 8, 2015 / 10:00 pm

        God damn it, Mark. I’ve got a mental image in my head of Selvey bashing one out over a picture of Pringle. It’s stuck now… right in my third eye. I can’t shift it. Gonna have to top myself.


  14. Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 10:52 am

    Oh good the red arrows are going to fly over……..

    Can you say ‘orchestrated production?’ They so want this to be like 2005, and it so isn’t.


    • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 10:59 am

      The Red Arrows flypast was always scheduled for Saturday lunchtime. It’s a happy coincidence it’s as England won. I remember them sending a tweet Thursday morning that the game might not get to Saturday.


  15. OscarDaBosca Aug 8, 2015 / 10:52 am

    Happy to win back the Ashes as beating Australia is always good (even when they send a schoolboy xi like they have this time).
    I actually think that Bayliss has made a difference to Cooks captaincy (his instructions are much clearer and suited to the players, whereas Moores clearly didn’t give him instructions that he understood or could follow).
    It may just help Joe Root to have Cook captain two tough away series against Pakistan and SA, I think those tours (particularly Pakistan without a proper spinner) will be the end of Cook’s reign as captain as i still think he cannot cope with pressure (days 4 headingley 2014/15, Lords this series).
    More fight for the Oval please Australia!


    • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 10:56 am

      Yes, agree. They’ve kept it simple and it’s been much better. That it’ll be used to excuse the past doesn’t mean this isn’t a good win.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OscarDaBosca Aug 8, 2015 / 11:06 am

        Totally agree, it will be used to airbrush all the poor decision making by Cook, Downton, Moores et al.
        ‘The tough 18 months’ appears to the meme that allows all the previous to just be airbrushed over.

        Hope Clarke bows out of test cricket with a century at the Oval. It took until the untimely demise of Phil Hughes for me to recognise his character was as fine as his batting.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 10:59 am

      But Cook immediately made a point of paying tribute to Moores and saying how much progress the team made with him as coach.


      • OscarDaBosca Aug 8, 2015 / 11:13 am

        I heard that, but he was always going to pay tribute to Moores, but we all know that it was a poor decision to re-employ a coach who had failed before, compounded by the fact that Bayliss was available and interviewed back in 2014.

        Clarke speaking to Atherton got a lovely round of applause from the Trent bridge crowd. Spoke really well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 1:16 pm

        Could be sinister, could just be a nice touch.


      • MM Aug 8, 2015 / 10:02 pm

        Utter bull, ain’t it?


  16. Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 10:55 am

    Ian Bell has now won the Ashes five times. One quick reference to that and otherwise he’s being pretty much ignored.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OscarDaBosca Aug 8, 2015 / 11:14 am

      Great record that


  17. SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 10:55 am

    Wanted: a good home for redundant alibis.

    We have several alibis, lovingly fostered but no longer needed, in search of a welcoming home. ‘We’re building for 2019’ is one. ‘It’s a young, inexperienced side in development’ is another. ‘Foreign coaches are a disaster – we need an Englishman’ is the third. ‘They were distracted by the Great Traitor’s latest Tweet’ is the last.

    If your team can provide gainful employment for these alibis, please write to:

    Soon-to-be-Lord Strauss,
    Director Comma comma
    St John’s Wood,

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Sherwick Aug 8, 2015 / 10:59 am

    Cookie to be Director Comma as soon as Straits decides to step down?

    Joy unconfined.


    • Sherwick Aug 8, 2015 / 11:01 am



      • BoerInAustria Aug 8, 2015 / 11:27 am

        Dire Strauss??


    • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 11:13 am

      The Criceter magazine is a journal of shite, written by little men with big egos and little talent.

      So they would tweet that while patting themselves on the back at how dignified they all are. Liars, hypocrites,,and Cook pimps.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 11:20 am

        We’ll get a lot more of it, trust me. “Your Kevin is finished” (we know that, Strauss finished that off) as if this is about him. That a “respected” magazine thought that was appropriate speaks volumes.

        The ECB are dancing a jig. Good luck with Death of a Gentleman in this atmosphere, Jarrod and Sam. You are going to need it.


      • Fred Aug 8, 2015 / 1:27 pm

        “The ECB are dancing a jig. Good luck with Death of a Gentleman in this atmosphere, Jarrod and Sam. You are going to need it.”
        Not sure about that. Surely the big three didn’t really want this series to turn out like this. The ashes imploding on itself is probably good news for DOAG.


        • LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 1:48 pm

          You’re not going to get much traction or publicity for it going forward in the UK. This Ashes win will be absolutely rammed down the malcontents throats.

          The Big 3 think about today, and short-termism, not the future.

          Today is not the day to gripe. Stand back, let the emotions flow, let those who feel unbridled joy feel it (and I don’t deny them that), and then let’s see where the land lies. I’m pleased for a lot of the players, Broad being one of them because he absolutely did not let us down in 2013/14. There’s some decent new talent coming through, and let’s be happy we have that. The whole sport? Not so great.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 1:53 pm

        Fred, they managed to spin the many top eight mismatches from the World Cup into a need for fewer associates, they told us the top eight side with the worst win ratio in Tests (India) deserved special treatment on account of its history, and they convinced way too many people of their spurious rationale for more Ashes series. I think they can handle DOAG in this climate of self-vindication and “never mind the bog standard quality, feel the scoreline”.


    • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 11:30 am

      Their apology tweets are even better:

      “It was just a suggestion that Strauss and the board’s decision has been vindicated.”

      “Not the best wording admittedly.”

      One of the saddest, most abject and least noticed declines of the last 18 months. They might as well ask Giles Clarke to edit it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 8, 2015 / 11:41 am

        For too many folk it is all about the Ashes. Sure I am happy to beat the Aussies but if there is not some serious work done, there could be a rather different outlook after the winter.


      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 11:50 am

        The best one is this though:

        “At no point did we tell people to move on.” (From KP)

        No, you just asked Peter Moores to write the first post-Miller editorial, and then Hughes’s first issue (which coincided with The Book) had the cover headline “DO WE REALLY NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN?”

        Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 1:17 pm

      Pathetic. Are wctt and the Analyst one and the same?


  19. d'Arthez Aug 8, 2015 / 11:08 am

    Bear in mind that the only Englishman to average more than 40 with the bat this series thus far is Root.

    Most of the time England batted when there was no real scoreboard pressure on them either. Certainly not in the last two Tests. So we still don’t know if Bairstow is the answer. We still don’t know if Moeen is going to work in his allocated role.

    And we still don’t know if Cook has really improved to average as a captain. When the opposition is as inept as it was in the last two Tests, it is impossible for a captain to look bad. Plan A has simply worked 3 out of 4 times, and when it did not, England were slaughtered at Lord’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OscarDaBosca Aug 8, 2015 / 11:15 am

      I totally agree, but i take the positive that Root won’t be made captain for two very tough away series.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Tuffers86 Aug 8, 2015 / 11:13 am

    Good on you Michael Clarke. That guy has bloody heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 11:17 am

      Quite frankly, Clarke after the death of Hughes showed he was a man you’d follow to the gates of hell. It’s a shame for him to go out like this.

      Liked by 2 people

      • MM Aug 8, 2015 / 10:12 pm

        Bang on Leggers. I’m liking The Clarke very much and I too would’ve followed him to the gates of Hell just like yerself. BUT… I have a fear that they (that hulking Rod Marsh thing, and whoever) might not give him the last game at the Oval. He’s retired, he’s lost the Ashes, and he’s batting like Monty. “Let’s give Watto another crack”.


  21. Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 11:16 am

    So no tribute paid to Captain Morgan and the ODI side for setting the tonne of the summer?

    No, can’t have that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoerInAustria Aug 8, 2015 / 11:40 am

      Broad: “I was glued to the one-day series against New Zealand like everyone else and I think that excitement has continued through to the end of the summer. I hope we continue to play this style of cricket because it’s entertaining the crowd”

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 1:18 pm

        That’s his career over!


  22. pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 8, 2015 / 11:16 am

    I realy hated Atherton interviewing Clarke there. He should have kept it a whole lot shorter.

    Given that it was already known he was going I dind’t see what they could gain over keeping him on there anything longer and it was no surprise he was on the verge of breaking down.Clasless stuff from Sky but I guess that is to be expected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 11:22 am

      Funnily enough I saw it the opposite way – I thought Atherton was trying to get Clarke the time and the applause and not dismiss him too quickly.

      Got to admire Clarke’s courage, and he loves cricket so much.


    • Tuffers86 Aug 8, 2015 / 11:27 am

      I disagree here. It’s the match ceremony, and this is the first proper interview with him after the new broke.

      It wasn’t cringeworthy. It wasn’t like Kay Burley probing at Peter Andre for instance. I think it shows what a honest chap Clarke is. He is demonised at times, especially by Agnew. He is not, he is a human being and he’s just reached the end of his career.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 8, 2015 / 11:39 am

        I would have left it for a couple of days. It as all too emotional just after the end of a game where he’s been tanked and is going out on a real low.


  23. thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 11:18 am

    Cook actually acknowledged he may have got it wrong in the past. Surprised and actually quite impressed by that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 11:24 am

      Yes, he also admitted that the changes were driven by the younger players.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 11:27 am

        Yep. If there might be one good thing (in wider terms I mean) it is an opportunity to admit past errors.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 11:44 am

        It’s not a good thing if it reinforces the idea that the only time to be honest is when you’re winning.

        It’s a disaster if that notion takes hold.


      • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 11:46 am

        That’s true, but given the last 18 months of bullshit and bluster, if it presages a different approach, that’s welcome in itself. We shall see.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 12:12 pm

        “The changes were driven by the younger players”.

        Who are arguing largely what one of the older players had been arguing……

        Liked by 1 person

    • OscarDaBosca Aug 8, 2015 / 11:38 am

      But not over the decisions made 18 months ago. Broad also bought up Prior apropos of nothing, which was clearly point scoring.

      Still Clarke got in a beauty about staying for the Oval and not jumping ship in the middle of a series.

      The problem with Cook is we don’t really know him, because the MSM don’t interview players any more, you get these puff pieces ‘sponsored by Hardys/Investec…’
      So we know him by his actions on and off the field and his public pronouncements.

      Over the past 18 months we have seen a somewhat entitled individual who has benefited from press coverage so skewed (so that it could continue a narrative of KP bad, all things ECB good), comments like ‘right sort of family’ don’t help, his post World Cup interview made things worse.

      Plus his dreadful form that went on with barely a murmur from the MSM has all contributed to a view of Cook the character that may be harsher than reality.

      I am always willing to change my mind if the evidence warrants it. The problem is that Australia have been so ordinary in 3 out of 4 matches it is difficult to tell whether his captaincy has improved. Were Headingley and Lords outliers, or are they the norm when conditions don’t suit and England are put under pressure?

      I hope Rashid is picked for the Oval so that we can do how Moen and he bowl together, we will need two spinners in the UAE (although Broad bowled superbly during the last series) to perform well

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tuffers86 Aug 8, 2015 / 11:46 am

        I agree. We need to take a look at our spinners as we’ll get slaughtered without a front line on.


  24. thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 11:26 am

    That was very good from Stuart Broad. A little implied criticism for the past from him, talking about having a balanced five man attack, and the style England are now playing being much better, as well as acknowledging how the one day team set the tone.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever been impressed by a Broad interview before, that was measured and thoughtful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 11:40 am

      They are speaking better, there is no doubt about that.

      They have obviously decided to stop taking advice from Selvey, Hughes, and Pringle and get someone professional to point them in the right direction.

      Whatever they really think they are trying to retain some class. Unlike Hughes and Selvey.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 11:51 am

        A certain irony in that. For all their desire to move on from anything that might be critical of the ECB and England, it makes them look yesterday’s men more than anything.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 11:39 am

    Bayliss is fascinating to listen to. A throwback to the style of Fletcher, behind the scenes work more than dictatorial. He’s exactly what England need.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. thelegglance Aug 8, 2015 / 12:07 pm

    Clarke is going to get a standing ovation when he walks out at the Oval. Expect more tears.


    • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      Not from the English media he isn’t.

      They love kicking a man when he’s down. And they have a bizare hatred of Clarke.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OscarDaBosca Aug 8, 2015 / 1:51 pm

        He suffered from not being an archetypical Aussie sportsman both in the Australian and UK media.
        He had a famous wife, he appeared to be aloof from the rest of the team, and he didn’t do team events.
        The Katich incident (throat grabbing, not going to a team event, not singing the southern cross) was used as evidence to show that he wasn’t a team man, just a selfish individual.
        The incident when he attended some event with his wife instead of going for a drink with the team, could have been spun as him being a good family man putting his Family First, or (as it was) spun as a hen pecked metrosexual who wasn’t into ‘mateship’.
        The MSM just define a prism in which we can view an individual and it takes discipline to discern facts from all of the opinion.

        Gideon Haigh commented in 2006 that the Flintoff potrayed in the UK press (a yeoman English cricketer) was different to the man he observed behind the scenes. The drinking and poor attitude to training was only revealed after he retired (although in the early part of his career Hussain and Fletcher were both public about his fitness levels)
        The thing is with Clarke the untimely and unfortunate death of Hughes revealed the true individual, and his eloquent words said much more about him that 1000 opinion pieces ever could.
        They might still hate him (MSM), but it was clear from the applause he received at Trent bridge, that the fans now like and respect him.


  27. SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    I have a dream that…..

    Root, Stokes, Buttler and a few others (Morgan, Hales, Wood, Jordan) interrupt Strauss dictating his knighthood acceptance speech (“okay, drop take that you **** and insert I consider this recognition not so much for myself as for the team”) and tell him that a way must be found for them to enter next year’s IPL auction if they wish (and not at some ridiculous reserve price that all but guarantees they won’t be chosen as has happened to Hales).

    This is still one of the acid tests for me that anything has really changed in the attitude of the ECB.


  28. Boz Aug 8, 2015 / 12:22 pm

    I’ve just heard TeamECB won the Ashes and Clarke has resigned, dignified, just like Cook when they lost 5-0 and he sacked Pietersen ….. Andrew Strauss got the wrong cunt …. no wonder I cannot counternance this rabble …..bye I’ve got some useful things to do

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Fred Aug 8, 2015 / 1:21 pm

    I feel really sad that an Ashes series has just disappeared up its own backside. I was making my plans for how I would be able to follow it from the countryside, but now I needn’t bother. What a miserable implosion and finish to a series.
    Well done to England I guess, but it feels more like Australia shot its own foot off.
    And now Clarke is retiring too. Sad his decline wasn’t more graceful and gradual, but such is sport. Australia has rarely had such an accomplished captain.
    I’m not going anywhere near the Guardian today, I can imagine the hysteria breaking out.
    I wonder what the big three think about this. The cricket has ranged from average to pathetic, with the occassional outburst of good, (I don’t think Broad’s 8 nor Smith’s double ton are ones for the ages). More importantly, the earnings have probably been severly dented. What are they going to do if the Ashes, the “greatest” series of them all, continues to be a farce?
    I’d like to propose that England holds on to them for the next ten years or so, come down to Australia in 2025 to defend them, and in the meantime lets focus on getting Bangladesh, WI, Afghanistan, SL, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Pakistan to the big boys table. Australia really should be playing NZ more often too.
    Reasons to be cheerful? Can’t think of many. Maybe just that DOAG may be the start of something. Also, the confirmation that Root is going to be entertaining us with excellent cricket for some time to come, it’s nice to have genuine stars.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 1:38 pm

    Wonder how ECB-TV are starting to feel about now that they have no product to show for a large part of Saturday and all Sunday for the second week running?

    Possibly they’re back-slapping and high-fiving all round that it coincided almost exactly with the start of the football season. (As a once keen football fan, I’m reminded there is something I care less about than the Ashes and it’s the start of the football season).


    • Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 4:01 pm

      Sky don’t care, they’ll just fill up the time with replays and repeats of Graham Gooch: the Legend or whatever.

      I, on the other hand, have paid them for a ‘week pass’ to cover 5 days of cricket.


  31. SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    Eighteen year old English leggie just taken a five-for (all top six batsmen including two internationals) in his second f/c match.

    Mason Crane – one to look out for.


    • SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 5:16 pm

      Not sure he bowls it quick enough though.

      Liked by 2 people

    • lionel joseph Aug 8, 2015 / 5:40 pm

      he played a royal london one day cup that was televised the other night. he looked very very good for his age.


    • MM Aug 8, 2015 / 10:22 pm

      Yes, and for about five minutes. Seriously is there nothing on planet Earth more important tonight?

      Very, very sadly there’s kids going to bed hungry in our towns – maybe even my own street – and we get “Cook is God-like” piffle from the BBC’s news team.



  32. thebogfather Aug 8, 2015 / 5:58 pm

    Dear BBC, now that you’re saving fortunes following the demise of Clarkson, and will continue to gather the worldwide revenue from Top Gear repeats etc, please buy some live cricket for FTA exposure rather than fill Chris Evans coffers – thank you – a despondent cricket lover…


    • BoerInAustria Aug 8, 2015 / 6:43 pm

      … and at 2,5 days a Test it also comes cheaper these days…

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 6:43 pm

    Assassination is an interesting choice of word to describe an Ashes victory.


  34. Rohan Aug 8, 2015 / 7:09 pm

    I have heard that some folk, not on here I hasten to add, have compared this ashes to 2005. Just to prove this is codswallop, below is a brief comparison.

    1st test, 2005 – day 4 finish, both teams took 20 wickets, Aus won by 239 runs. 2015 – day 4 finish, both teams took 20 wickets, Eng won by 169 runs.

    2nd test, 2005 – day 4 finish, both teams took 20 wickets, Eng won by 2 runs. 2015 – day 4 finish, Aus took 20 wickets, Eng took 10 wickets, Aus won by 405 runs.

    3rd test, 2005 – day 5 finish, Eng took 19 wickets, Aus took 16 wickets, match drawn. 2015 – day 3 finish, Aus took 12 wickets, Eng took 20 wickets, Eng won by 8 wickets.

    4th test, 2005 – day 4 finish, Eng took 20 wickets, Aus took 17 wickets, Eng won by 3 wickets. 2015 – day 3 finish, Eng took 20 wickets, Aus took 9 wickets, Eng won by an innings and 78 runs.

    5th test, 2005 – day 5 finish, Eng took 10 wickets, Aus took 20 wickets, match drawn. 2015 – to be decided……

    I have only scratched the surface, but it is clear from wickets taken, the results and the day the tests finished on that 2005 was a far superior series to 2015. This is without even getting into the nuances of the matches and the close and ‘nail biting’ nature of many of the 2005 tests. They had a ‘cut and thrust’ far beyond those of 2015.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Comparing 2015 to 2005 is like comparing Westlife to the Who on the number of singles they got to the top of the charts.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Rohan Aug 8, 2015 / 7:34 pm

        For me they are incomparable, one is a joyous celebration of cricket at its very best. The other has been a sad imitation of the competitive game I so enjoy.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Rohan Aug 8, 2015 / 7:50 pm

        Yes second that, what a great piece!


    • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 7:40 pm

      Yep, lovely stuff. Particularly when contrasted with our yellow journalists. Has there ever been a bigger tit than Matthew ‘Haydos’ Hayden?


    • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 8:02 pm

      There are some at Guardian BTL who would probably call that “self-indulgent verbosity”. Because they can’t deal with nuanced analysis of top-class players. Because they’re just fed lines like “self-absorbed”, “untenable”, “bullshit” and “Daniel Vettori knows how to retire properly”. And when it comes to their own captain, they live in an almost exact mirror image of what Clarke put up with, and are far too incurious and trusting to recognise it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 8:23 pm

        TLG is going to do something on Clarke in the next few days, so look out for that.

        Clarke’s never going to be in the top echelon of my favourite cricketers. He also wasn’t a hate figure other than when too many were blowing smoke up his arse over his captaincy, some of which was out of the “look at me” drawer. But he was a very good skipper, had a brain, played an attacking style, and captured the bloodlust in 2013/14. He is another of those cricketers who suffers from the media letting you in only to the contrary side of the story because he had a reputation. There was a lot of nudging and winking. I bought some of it (and got thoroughly told off on HDWLIA).

        My opinion changed over Philip Hughes. He took up the cudgels and although the maudlin got too much for my tastes at times, he did pretty much everything spot on at the time. Still there were barbs. I have a rule, borne out of something that happened to me at my mum’s funeral, that those grieving need to be treated with sensitivity and respect, and never had a go at in immediate proximity. You have a problem, do it later. A few didn’t.

        The fact is it was the broken arm statement to precious Jimmy that was the meat for our slavering hordes. This was evil. What a bastard he is. We revel in pantomime villains, and Clarke made himself one there and then. Fact is, he had our number and never took his foot off our windpipes.

        I’m not reading the normal media today. I think you need distance from many of these charlatans at this time. Instead, Jarrod writes pieces like this that are better than 99% of stuff you see in our papers. That’s the new media that Kimber wants to see. I agree. Just as his piece at the end of the 2013/14 Ashes captured the mood while our lot were digging inside sources to discredit or prop up as the case may be, so this one captures the essence of the Clarke issues in his home country.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Fred Aug 8, 2015 / 9:05 pm

        “The fact is it was the broken arm statement to precious Jimmy that was the meat for our slavering hordes. This was evil. What a bastard he is. We revel in pantomime villains, and Clarke made himself one there and then.”
        I just don’t get the attitude to Clarke. Anderson and Bailey had been at each other for several minutes before Clarke stepped in and got caught on the mic, what does everyone think they were saying to each other up to then? The fact that Clarke’s reference was to the danger of facing MJ rather than a threat of personal threat to JA seems to be too difficult to grasp. Storm in a fucking teacup.
        My opinion didn’t change over Hughes. I thought Clarke acted with the dignity I would expect from him. I didn’t follow much of it, the act was done and I felt no need to read other people’s views or add my own on blogs. But I did watch Clarke’s eulogy and thought it was appropriate. I will always hold Agnew in disdain for his subsequent comments on this.
        I too am avoiding any other media today, other than cricinfo which is always reliable. I’m too depressed about a miserable collapse to destroy the series, about the ashes being another landslide, about results that don’t reflect the potential of the players, and most of all about MC retiring.
        I think I need some sun.


    • BoerInAustria Aug 8, 2015 / 8:03 pm



    • Fred Aug 8, 2015 / 8:08 pm

      Great writing.


    • Tuffers86 Aug 8, 2015 / 9:38 pm

      That’s a superb summary of Clarke. Great stuff Kimber.


  35. SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    Anyone else astonished how many people are turning on Buttler?


    • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 7:41 pm

      Are they? They should leave him alone. There’s no need for any scapegoats, none at all. Ingrates, the lot of ’em.


  36. Pontiac Aug 8, 2015 / 7:31 pm

    Australia’s comprehensive consecutive collective middle order failures from positions 3,4,5,6 are what decided this.

    16 innings between Edgbaston and Trent Bridge and the only solitary 50 was Voges’s 51*. Next highest score: Voges’s 16 at Edgbaston. Coupla thirteens, a ten, an eleven, then we’re duck farmin’.

    That openers, the tail, etc, managed at least to get by for a while, here and there, suggests strongly to me that this is more about handing out onions than orchids.

    I’m nominally neutral – admittedly I dislike the ECB more than I dislike CA and everybody knows who my favorite player is, so really not all that neutral. But any which way, I think there’s a stronger argument that the Aussie middle order beclowning themselves is what this is about, rather than excellent England captaincy, amazing England bowling, poor Australian bowling, etc.

    As to the Australian bowling, Lyon, Hazlewood, and Starc are all averaging below 30 for the tour. Johnson, just below 40. (BTW, Ali’s averaging 49.33 so far)

    There was solid competence here from England — the kind that we saw in that good 1-1 mini-series with New Zealand.

    England fans have every right to feel shortchanged. (ECB fans seem perfectly satisfied, natch….)


    • Rohan Aug 8, 2015 / 8:00 pm

      I don’t really like to pinpoint one moment because, as you point out Pontiac, there were a number of reasons for the outcome we have arrived at. I do, however, in this case, feel that one event was absolutely crucial. Haddin drops Root at Cardiff. Root was on 0, if he is caught, England are 44 for 4 and at least 134 runs less on their first innings.

      I think if Haddin had caught Root, England would have lost at Cardiff, then 2 down after Lords, I think it’s game over; scars from the last series fully opened and no return…..

      Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, but even at the time, many said the dropping of Root was crucial, but was it more than that, did Haddin drop the ashes?


      • Pontiac Aug 8, 2015 / 8:19 pm

        I’m not so sure. I mean, the story here to me is more about a collective bull-headed failure to adjust for whatever reason – getting it very wrong on a selection and strategy basis, and doubling down, combined with skills problem. Being 2-0 after Lord’s would have only made it more likely that they did what they did.

        Even mediocrity from the Australian middle order would have given more time for things to happen in these games — like a little more fatigue for the England bowlers — but when what you get is pure excrescence this removes the chance for any of the other players to do a thing.

        I do agree that that drop probably lost Cardiff, and after losing two in a row England would have started losing their own equanimity. I don’t see how it would change the results of the two most recent matches, though.


      • Rohan Aug 8, 2015 / 8:31 pm

        Pontiac I agree completely about the failure to adjust and the fact that Root being dropped would not have affected Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.

        I think the point I was trying to make, was that at 2-0 down things could have ended very differently to where we are. All ifs and buts anyway. As you point out, Aus were mostly architects of their own downfall.


      • Pontiac Aug 8, 2015 / 9:17 pm


        Sure enough it would have led to a much more interesting Ashes – a meaningful final match, for one. Tying things up from 0-2 would also have proven a lot more about England’s internal equanimity as well. Scars opened or not, as long as Broad and Anderson were smart enough to use the conditions on their first spells, given Australia’s selection and mindset this was gonna happen, and 4/not-much is a big deal.

        Maybe 6 months ago they wouldn’t have been smart enough to do that, and that’s the point. They did waste the new ball in the West Indies.

        I guess the thing that upsets me most about how the quadruple collapse went down is that it devalued the whole thing – throwing into question the value of England’s performances, taking out the chance for other players to play, and on the whole making the only thing to talk about at this point all the PR happening outside the boundary.

        This is apart from the results and any of the inside-cricket spin. I figure, why get upset about that so soon. To the extent that England won it was because they made a lot of changes in attitude and execution that were darn obvious before the fact from the outside – so the outside should take credit for that and count it as a victory. The only thing the outside’s got are integrity and a memory.


  37. Rohan Aug 8, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Something I have been mulling over, regarding the Nasser Hussein comment above. He never captained in a winning ashes side, let alone took part in one. Maybe this has clouded his judgement regarding the attacks.

    Nasser’s attack, at its best, had Gough, who when fit was superb and Caddick, who when mentally up for it was very effective. Maybe he views the current attack and that from 2005 as far superior to his. Both attacks had a huge influence on results in England ashes victories, perhaps Nasser is not able to differentiate between the 2 as a result of his limited experience, in terms of commanding a strong attack and winning the ashes.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    The first “It Was Straussy Wot Won It” article has arrived at the G.

    Odd that Vic forgets Colin Graves’s “But I never” interview in May. I suppose “we” don’t remember stuff like that any more, because Martin Samuel said so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 8:28 pm

      I’m not going to read them. It’s going to be “Rejoice At That News” and a little bit of perceived score settling.

      I saw someone say that the justification of a vitriolic response and gloating over this win is the behaviour of the Aussies in 2014. Erm, since when has I’ll behave badly because they did ever been justifiable. I thought the 2013 team was a poor one, but this one fell apart much more easily. It did remind me of the 1985 lot, to be honest, as they fell apart at the end of the tour.

      It’s going to be an interesting winter.

      I read my post, logical, earlier. The Ashes preview. I wasn’t very wrong….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 8:41 pm

        1985 (last three Aus innings) is my benchmark for rubbish tourist batting. And even that has the Ritchie/Phillips caveat. Before 2014 only Bangladesh 05, WI 04 and Pakistan 10 had crashed through the barrier. Now two major sides have done so in consecutive years. Sad.


    • SimonH Aug 8, 2015 / 8:34 pm

      Second comment on that thread, “Kevin who?”

      It makes one proud of humanity, really.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Aug 8, 2015 / 8:51 pm

      They seem to be having a problem getting their stories straight. All bow to the great Strauss. Er , hang on a minute. Didn’t Strauss sack Peter Moores? The same Peter Moores that Cook claimed was for a large part responsible for this success.

      Also I do love all these “Cook is stubborn, he could have walked away” pieces. His wife wouldn’t let him. He never had any intention of walking away. He was like a limpet hanging on for dear life. Now you can give him some credit for his stickability, but spare me the clap trap about how he could have walked. He wasn’t going anyware.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Aug 8, 2015 / 9:27 pm

        The greatest irony being that his greatest success is born from his finally listening to others.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 9:27 pm

        Nothing at the G is as special as Scyld Berry’s “Cook cried and no wonder – he has etched his name into history”, though.


      • Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 9:36 pm

        Jonathan Liew chips in with “Cook has a smile that could melt glaciers”. He also argues that there was no middle ground between Team Pietersen and Team Cook, which is probably the sort of Manichean analysis that suits everyone in the latter camp.

        Liked by 1 person

  39. Fred Aug 8, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    Kimber and Collins interviewed about DOAG. Very good.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 8, 2015 / 10:23 pm

      Kimber’s sign off could apply to all of us “outside cricket”. Cracking interview, highly recommended.


    • BoerInAustria Aug 9, 2015 / 6:08 am

      Thank you, great watch. As others have said – this is journalism.


  40. Zephirine Aug 8, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    “Cook has a smile that could melt glaciers” Yet again a middle-aged male journo is convinced Cook’s some kind of cricketing Rufus Sewell.

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall when he’s talking to one of them, because he certainly knows how to, erm, get them going.


  41. Fred Aug 8, 2015 / 10:26 pm

    The two best quotes came right at the end.

    Sam Collins;
    “We as media, who are involved and whose responsibility it is to draw attention to this stuff, because otherwise why the hell are we in our jobs anyway? We should not stand for the way the game’s being run, we need to draw attention to the way cricket’s being run we should try to change things. We can’t say that FIFA’s a problem and not say that this is a problem….It may be that our own national boards … are involved in this but we need to hold these guys to account and we need tio change the way that cricket’s run, we need to give the game the best chance possible for surviving into the future.”
    Would anyone at the Guardian ever dream of saying something like that?

    Kimber, on the question of repercussions about his film:
    “There’s already been some blowback…I’m just going to keep doing what I do, I have said to the odd administrator that if my accreditation is ever taken away that’s fine I won’t write about cricket anymore, I’ll just write about cricket administration. Full time. And you know, I’m sure I will get enough work doing that.”

    Thank God for real journalists.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tuffers86 Aug 9, 2015 / 6:38 am

      Kimber wouldn’t be the first CricInfo correspondent to lose his accreditation anyway. I seem to recall from a Dennis podcast that the lady that covers South Africa doesn’t have one. Fidose, I think her name is.

      These boards should be bloody scared of CricInfo. Their reach is far far more greater than any poxy yellow press rag. And they have a spine to boot.


  42. BoerInAustria Aug 8, 2015 / 10:28 pm

    The more I think about it, the more this is a complete demolition of the Flower legacy. – what Liew decribes as an introverted, stuborn “us against the world” mentality. With many being defined as “not us” (outside?).

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Arron Wright Aug 8, 2015 / 11:03 pm

    The word “bullshit” has mysteriously disappeared from Selvey’s horrible little opening paragraph.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Simon K Aug 9, 2015 / 7:46 am

      But “assassination” is still OK to use about a side one of whose former members was literally killed by a cricket ball just months ago.

      He’s just a nasty little man.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Arron Wright Aug 9, 2015 / 8:06 am

        Quite. Don’t know how that hasn’t been picked up BTL. Or perhaps it was, and those sensitive souls were just “disappeared”.


  44. Arron Wright Aug 9, 2015 / 7:21 am

    Guardian goes with Telegraph’s “marks for the series so far” concept. Hilarity ensues…


  45. LordCanisLupus Aug 9, 2015 / 8:54 am

    I’ll go into this a bit more in due course, because, believe it or not, I am perfectly comfortable with people celebrating yesterday’s Ashes conclusion. I recognise there are a number of views out there, and they aren’t all going to agree with mine.

    But I’m seeing the “you’re not cheering hard enough” meme starting and the anti-KP stuff rising out from the woodwork to beat blogs like this and people who commented throughout the last 18 months on the the issues. My personal favourite is a football journalist, who was sent down for assault, criticising KP’s character!

    I will defend this blog, and the commenters on here to the hilt. The reason people get angry with this blog is because it is not irrelevant. They know it resonates, maybe a little, maybe more than I think. I understand why people don’t want to celebrate just as much as I understand why those people do. I didn’t feel overwhelming rage when that final wicket fell, as no doubt the Nashes of this world think I did. It was more “ok, that’s all right” and then I switched over to the football.

    For someone supposedly obsessed by Pietersen, I’ve not really mentioned him much (a bit after Lord’s, but you wouldn’t be recognising reality if you didn’t) and he’s not the issue. I really don’t know what more I can say on this, and just have to give up with these people and think they are the ones with problems.

    Have a nice Sunday.


    • paulewart Aug 9, 2015 / 9:39 am

      You too Dmitri. I find that simply typing ‘obsessives’ under each Pietersen post works for me. Because the antis are the only ones bringing him up these days.


      • paulewart Aug 9, 2015 / 9:42 am

        Btw, had an off-line contretemps with Barry Glendenning about his referencing Pietersen in the football commentary. His responses were predictably glib and aggressive; the personification of the ‘move on’ school of journalism.


      • Zephirine Aug 9, 2015 / 10:02 am

        It’s childish stuff these days. The ones who followed the ECB line in any reasoned kind of way know they’ve won and don’t bother to go on about it. Most of the people making those comments now aren’t actually interested in Pietersen himself and know very little about him, least of all about his achievements. His name is simply a tag, a ‘kick me’ notice, to attach to others. “Yah boo, you like KP, you like Piers Morgan! You’re the kids from the other estate! We throw stones at the likes of you!”

        It’s not really worth engaging with them, but in future I shall sometimes reply to “Kevin who?” with this link;home_or_away=1;home_or_away=2;home_or_away=3;template=results;type=allround


        • LordCanisLupus Aug 9, 2015 / 10:28 am

          First up, this got held in the spam response box, so just freed it up.

          Did you notice the players staying with the fans and signing all the autographs? Did they do this, to this extent, a few years ago? Notice the revamped England cricket twitter feed, which although a bit annoying, is a reach out to the supporters? Notice those changes, people? Little ones they may be, but there’s a decided change of tone within the England set-up now. And no, it isn’t down to me. It’s down to the large numbers of people who got angry and disenchanted at how things were being handled.

          You’re never going to get that if you think it is all about KP. I can’t help you. I really can’t. Enjoy England’s win, because that’s what you want to do.


      • LordCanisLupus Aug 9, 2015 / 10:07 am

        They’ve been proved “right”. They’ve waited 18 months to say it, and now they have their proof.

        Which now invalidates every single word people have said. I even see people suggesting we are being inconsistent and moving on to other issues. I don’t know. I’m glad I don’t write the blog posts for them.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aug 9, 2015 / 10:06 am

      I won’t back down, and I won’t appologise. And the morons who demand such a thing can whistle Dixie, and should understand this………


      All accross Sky yesterday was the continued theme that England had changed. The coach had changed, the style of cricket had changed, the general attitude of the players had changed. (They speak with humility and humour now) good grief they even learned to pitch the ball up on pitches that help. (remember India at Lords last year.) Selveys mate the bowling coach was also changed.

      Now the lunatics who call themselves cricket journalists would like everybody to believe that this all happened naturally, and has nothing to do with those of us who dared to point out that England were crap. Badly run, badly led, and steadfastly sticking to outdated methods that didn’t work. Through all this the midgets of the media (Selvey, Newman, Pringle, Brenkley and Hughes ) defended the status quo and old ways through think and thin. Mostly thin.

      Left to fleets streets finest nothing would have changed. Downton would still be boss. (Remember that, when they are all praising Strauss) without people like Dmitri and others Downton would still be leading things. Peter Moores would still be coach, and Cook would still be leading a bunch of grumps.)

      Cook was finally removed from the ODI team. Too late for the World Cup, but with a new coach at the start of this summer and some new players things changed. Cook was nowhere to be seen. He even admitted yesterday they the changes had been driven by the new younger players. The cretinous media should remember that,

      For two years what held back English cricket was not us on the blogs, but the English cricket media and their ludicrous defence of everything that was wrong. So they can enjoy the success of the Ashes today, but deep down they know they played no part in the change. Left to them we would still all be living in caves.

      Where we didn’t get what we wanted was the return of KP, and for many in the cricket world this was all that really mattered. The Cricketer magazine yesterday revealing what a low life publication it is by tweeting “Kevin who?” Within minutes of the win. Of course they quickly removed it. Too cowardly to stick to their true instincts. But anyone who thinks England are back to being world beaters will have to wait until we can win on flat pitctches, where there is no seam movement. Then we will see how good we are. Who knows we might even still realise we miss a batsman that can score big runs against good spinners.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LordCanisLupus Aug 9, 2015 / 10:12 am

        An Exhibit of too much too soon:

        Is it rude to point out that he’s played one test match on the sub-continent / Asia? Can we just wait to see how he goes in a couple of months? No reason to suggest he won’t, but the others have.


      • Mark Aug 9, 2015 / 10:24 am

        Poor old Root. Or poor young Root.

        To be praised by someone who was wrong about everything is the award you don’t want.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Zephirine Aug 9, 2015 / 10:42 am

        “Now the lunatics who call themselves cricket journalists would like everybody to believe that this all happened naturally, and has nothing to do with those of us who dared to point out that England were crap. Badly run, badly led, and steadfastly sticking to outdated methods that didn’t work. ”

        Also, it would be good to know how many of these changes that have supposedly come out of thin air or from the inspirational leadership of Cook were being demanded/suggested by Pietersen in 2013 and before – at times like the notorious team meeting or in conversations with Cook and Flower (when Flower would speak to him).

        Though we more or less know the answer.

        Liked by 2 people

  46. SimonH Aug 9, 2015 / 11:22 am

    Home team advantage? Is there something go on here? Some of us have suggested there is – so here’s a first attempt to look at it:

    % of Tests won per decade by home team:

    50s 40%
    60s 31%
    70s 35%
    80s 33%
    90s 41%
    00s 46%
    10s 48% (so far)

    So home advantage does appear to be an increasing factor – with the big increase in the 1990s and a continued upward drift since then.

    I’d also argue that two further factors mask a stronger recent upward trend:
    a) Pakistan’s matches count as neutral on statsguru – if they were factored in as home matches the win % for the 2010s would increase as Pakistan have a strong record in UAE.
    b) The presence of Bangladesh (and to a lesser extent Zimbabwe) understates the home dominance enjoyed by the ‘top eight’ Limit the figures to the top eight and they become:

    00s 51%
    10s 52%

    This is, no doubt, a simplistic measure and there are several other ways of looking at it (some of which I’ll go into later when time allows). However, at first glance, the case that home advantage is becoming more of a factor is certainly not dis-proven here.

    The ICC might be grateful to SA because without their away record the figures would be embarrassingly lop-sided.


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