A lovely day, weather set fair, and I’m dragged out food shopping for the morning session. Oh well.
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So I came back home just after Ian Bell was out. Cook seemed immovable, Root was in with him. This was probably our last chance for that major partnership that you need to get out of a massive hole like this. In reality, when you have a hopeless situation you usually need the openers to do so. Or at least one and three. I’m thinking something like this. Or perhaps this. But these two rearguards, fuelled by obstinacy and great talent started at the fag end of Day 3, not an hour or so into it. This then takes you into Kolkata territory, and that’s a once in a lifetime event. We think.
The psychology of simplicity is upon closer examination almost philisophical in its liberalism. And keeping it simple, adhering to the sound founding narratives of test match batting, was the requisite skill set. The workman’s indentikit is ensconced in the fibre of Alastair Cook’s foundations. His venerable, multiplicity of leave, block, leave, block variations were just what the university qualified medical practioner anticipated. He alone stood there, a veritable Rock of Gibraltar, as the ships masquerading as fellow travellers departed one by one. An Emperor, ruling without strong enough yeoman. It was a most ineloquent, morale sapping visage.
The sanctimoniousness of independence is very nearly socialistic in its obfuscation. Yes. That’s me innit.
OK, back to the cricket. I saw Joe Root’s dismissal, and there’s just this little double standard that wrenches at me. When the situation merits it, I’ll mention it. This was the “if KP did that moment” for me. The social media wires would have been alive. The torrent of abuse would have been writ large. Press and TV commentators would be all over it. This was not the first time Joe has done that. Not even this year – remember Lord’s. I’ve not done the stats, and I’m afraid of Tickers’ #rootmaths, but I can’t remember many great hands when the game is there to be saved.
Before people take this out of context, I’m not having a pop at our great young player. I’m having a pop at the double standards. Is it OK for a player to do that and because he shows visually with cursing and flailing of bats his disappointment it is more meritorious than someone who walks off as if it is a normal dismissal? I don’t know. Joe’s a team man, that’s clear. I think that repeats of this dismissal are a little concerning. However, this bad test and suddenly Stuart Broad, who’s also been not so good, seems to have moved into the lead in the Player of the Series ballots if the cognoscenti in the Sky Box (ECB-TV Pravda for the Masses (well, masses of subscribers)) are anything to go by.
Bairstow stuck with Cook for a while, but he doesn’t suggest permanence to me. So while Vaughan is picking him for the UAE tour, Etheridge is adamant on Twitter that he won’t be in the team. I hope that isn’t guesswork, John. Bairstow’s return has been neither here nor there. A useful half century at Trent Bridge suggested he’d sorted himself out a little, but it may be that tests are not for him. Maybe. I hope I’m wrong, but you think he’s going to cope (albeit he was a trifle unfortunate today) with spinning tops in the UAE? I’m not confident.
Stokes, well…. that happens. He’s delivered his fourth bowler wickets in this and previous tests, and he’s played some decent knocks, but we know he can do more. Not been his finest test with the bat.
Which takes me back to Adam Lyth. The conservatism of injustice is really quite prosaic in its trendiness. The dismissals of Lyth have been greeted with the all-knowing Twitter verdict. Off with his head. The consistent part is temperament. That is being questioned. I don’t think anyone believes that Lyth is going to play for England again. He’s had an awful Ashes, played on some funny old wickets, and when on a good surface, facing a big Aussie first innings. I do ask people to remember that hundred at Headingley which was a really, really good knock. He’s not a bad player. But we’ll do more of this in the Ashes round-up after the series is finished, where we’ll also talk about Ian Bell.
England are six down, and we still sent in a night-watchman to protect Moeen Ali. Jos stuck at it tonight but looked horrendously out of nick. The drums are going to start beating for him to score more runs. He needs a successful ODI series, perhaps to get his mojo back.
As an academic once said “the isomorphism of omniscience is in reality quite independent in its hubris” and if you caught Graeme Swann on TMS I know you’d concur. This England team is still a work in progress. It’s like a shed with no roof – you might have the foundations in place, but when tomorrow afternoon’s weather hits, you’d better have a good tarpaulin. At the moment, our batting line-up is that piece of rag you’ve had for years. Full of holes, and liable to leak a lot.
Have a good evening. I’m currently preparing Dried Oatmeal and Cheese Soup with Baked Mystery Meat and Lime Juice. Sounds delicious.
EDIT – Bairstow at Trent Bridge, not Edgbaston, of course.
UPDATE – Oliver Holt – subject of a wonderful description by Mark a while back “people like him (Martin Samuel) and Oliver Holt thought if they didn’t shave on TV, and wore a leather jacket it made them like Keith Richards.” – says don’t you worry your little heads about The Oval.
OK, so England collapsed against Australia at The Kia Oval on Friday afternoon. And, sure, the fifth Test didn’t turn into quite the victory parade we were hoping for. But let’s not be too dismayed. It’s a dead rubber. We’ve already won back the Ashes. The tension has gone out of the series. Worry about it if you want, but the result of the final instalment of a compelling summer of cricket is close to irrelevant.
So, Olly. This is almost an exact replica of the Lord’s test. Explain. Also, how come Aussie put the hammer down when we are down, and we think we can put our feet up when we win? Wasn’t 5-0 the ultimate humiliation for the nation? OK, Olly….
Still, earlier in the article, which is principally about athletics, Olly rails against the “smug commentariat” who sneer against each drug revelation and “giving the impression that their state of denial knows no bounds”.
He’s obviously not been hanging with many of the cricket journos.
|All FICJAM-esque cobblers in here courtesy of http://phrasegenerator.com/ – the rest is my fault.|