Coming Live And Direct From Johannesburg

Hello all,

Things have been mega-hectic, as always, and time has been precious. Apologies for not posting on the blog. I am taking the opportunity of a brief interlude in my schedule to post a quick update.

As it states above, I’m currently around a mile away from here…

10 Years Ago Now…

I will try to put up a post tonight on the test match.

I bought a cricket magazine out here, for the princely sum of £1.50, which is quite impressive if a little too official for my liking. It has an interesting piece on Alviro Petersen and his take on the Ashes (he wasn’t surprised) and the upcoming series out here (doesn’t think England are adaptable enough). Also a little bit on KP coming out to play for the Kwazulu-Natal franchise in the Ram Slam. Was nice to watch the end of the ODI yesterday with a bottle of beer that cost just over £1, whereupon, on the game’s conclusion, they immediately showed the highlights!

Keep the comments flowing, because tomorrow looks like being a very, very interesting day’s cricket in the life of the England team.

20 thoughts on “Coming Live And Direct From Johannesburg

  1. Julie Oct 12, 2015 / 9:23 am

    Hope it’s all play and no work, Dmitri.Also looking forward to Test tomorrow. On TV of course but not having to miss too much sleep.Just wish KP was playing Think they’ll be sorry he’s not there. Looking forward to your blogs.😇


  2. SimonH Oct 12, 2015 / 9:32 am

    What’s the word….?

    More prosaically, Finn is ruled out of the First Test. Worryingly, it’s being reported as a stress injury in the left foot which doesn’t sound like the sort of thing that’s going to clear up quickly.

    Some doubts too about Yasir Shah although latest reports sound more optimistic.

    Stat of the day (from Scyld Berry): number of first tests in overseas’ series England have won against ‘top eight’ opposition since 2004 – none.


  3. Rooto Oct 12, 2015 / 9:32 am

    So, Finn is injured and Rashid is playing. God, I hope those two announcements were unconnected.
    Ali also confirmed as opener, crazily. Opening is surely the only time guaranteed (almost) to be facing two seamers. Play him at 6 instead of Stokes. Please.


    • hatmallet Oct 12, 2015 / 7:38 pm

      Rashid was always going to play. It’s not the same management as in the Windies. Bayliss wants him to play and believes in him, unlike Moores. He may even have turned Cook around.


  4. Narelle Oct 12, 2015 / 10:49 am

    I’m looking forward to your test too. Apart from the Matador cup one day series here in Oz where Mitch Starc has taken 19 wickets in 4 matches, I have been engrossed in the RWC. Can you shed some light on why Wales, Scotland and Ireland are through to the quarters but not England?
    Lancaster seems to be getting the Moore’s treatment….the team has failed, so let’s hang the coach.
    Good luck against the Pakis. Are the selections made the right ones?


  5. Arron Wright Oct 12, 2015 / 2:45 pm


    “The Pakistan batsmen will understand that he bowls slower than he might like if he is to maintain control over the ball and still spin it, that he can be played off the pitch if necessary and often on the back foot, and that if they wait they will get a regular bad delivery. It will test to the full his temperament. To this end, Cook will be relying heavily on Moeen to tie up an end in order to rotate his seamers.”


    • SimonH Oct 12, 2015 / 2:55 pm


      “Given the clamour before he was picked in the first place, though, there is a great reluctance to omit Buttler”.

      How does that work?

      “In seven Tests here, no one, apart, oddly, England, has come close to upsetting Pakistan, whose batsmen have flourished: they have won four and drawn three with a degree of comfort”.

      Is he saying what I think he’s saying here? That England, despite that pesky 3-0 scoreline, came closer to beating Pakistan than anyone else? Let’s add that one to the Andy Flower Book of Achievements….


    • Mark Oct 12, 2015 / 4:33 pm

      ” To this end, Cook will be relying heavily on Moeen to tie up an end in order to rotate his seamers.”

      Ahh the old chestnut. Essentially the Andy Flower/Andrew Strauss one trick pony approach. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Meanwhile Mark Nicholas has a piece about the importance of Pakistan cricketers to world cricket. He says all the right things about flair, and raw talent vs county text book forward defenses, but then touches on behavior of players and captains……

      “Both current captains appear to have a tight rein on their men. Misbah-ul-Haq is coping immensely well with an assignment that has left many before him at the mercy of those on high…………Cook, meanwhile, has a stroppy few to keep a close eye upon. They know who they are and seemed to toe the line for the greater good against the Australians. ”

      I take it one of those is Stokes? I can’t imagine St Jimmy of Anderson ever being criticized for his behavior by the MSM. Nor Cook himself after the Mankad shambles, and Cooks petulant reaction.

      But who else are these “stroppy few” he talks about? It seems stepping out of line is a criminal offense with the punishment of permanent banning in this England team. Or is that only when you are stroppy with the management?


      • Arron Wright Oct 12, 2015 / 7:06 pm

        Having told us a dozen or more times about Rashid’s lack of credentials, Selvey somehow omits to mention that Moeen Ali’s economy rate in his most recent Test series was 4.42rpo.

        I look forward to Moeen tying up an end, in between saving kittens stuck in trees, rescuing damsels from burning buildings and brokering peace in the Middle East.


      • Zephirine Oct 12, 2015 / 8:03 pm

        We few, we stroppy few, we band of brothers…

        Getting the scapegoats lined up early, eh?


      • SimonH Oct 12, 2015 / 8:06 pm

        Ben Stokes has a new tattoo…


  6. SimonH Oct 12, 2015 / 6:04 pm

    First sighting of a “losing 2-0 will be a decent result”. It won’t be the last. The likes of Selvey are hyping Pakistan up not because they have any real regard (or even knowledge) about them but as a get-out if England are beaten.

    Pakistan are a good Test side in UAE conditions but not great. Their top order is flaky, their middle order aging, none of their bowlers has 100+ Test wickets and their fielding can be ragged. There’s no Javed nor Imran nor Wasim in this side and only Younis Khan might have the term “great” applied to him as a player (Misbah deserves it for his captaincy).

    SA, SL and NZ have managed to draw 1-1 in UAE. If England are this side we’re told they are, then that seems the minimal acceptable result.


    • Mark Oct 12, 2015 / 6:30 pm

      “The likes of Selvey are hyping Pakistan up not because they have any real regard (or even knowledge) about them but as a get-out if England are beaten.”

      Which in a nut shell is why Selvey is not a real journalist. He’s a tub thumper for the ECB. This tour will be written off if England lose because “we won the Ashes,” so nothing else matters. If England should win however, I t will be held up as one of the greatest wins since the defeat of the Spanish Amada. If you thought Southampton was over the top, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

      It’s easy peasy for Cook. If he loses, no one cares, if he wins, its a great achievement. Cook has the easiest job in English sport.


      • BoerInAustria Oct 12, 2015 / 6:45 pm

        Spotted BTL: ” HaroldKaneEsq – To win here will outstrip Cook’s win in India and will be his finest achievement.”

        It hasn’t really started yet and I am already fed up with it….

        PS Dimitri, don’t order Sushi in Jo’burg just yet…:)


    • mdpayne87 Oct 12, 2015 / 11:01 pm

      Pakistan have never lost a series in the UAE – I would say they are a bit better than good. I think you’re a little harsh on Younis Khan too, his Test average puts him among the very best.


      • SimonH Oct 13, 2015 / 7:05 am

        This ‘undefeated’ stat obscures the number of series Pakistan have drawn (oh, this very English emphasis on avoiding defeat rather than winning!). Put another way, one could just as truthfully say Pakistan only win about half their series in UAE.

        It’s worth mentioning what happened in the drawn series against SA, SL and NZ. In each case , it was 1-1 and the test Pakistan lost was by a thumping margin (twice by an innings and once by 9 wickets).

        The ICC rankings are also worth noting. With Shah out, Pakistan have no bowler playing in the top thirty of world bowlers. Their attack is, in Test terms, extremely inexperienced. They also only have one batsman in the top ten (Younis at 6th). Most of Pakistan’s batting is rated between tenth and twentieth (Misbah, Shafiq, Sarfraz).

        These aren’t the stats of a great team. Very good at home and at full strength maybe, but not great.

        I’m not sure how I’m harsh on Younis when I say he is great. I’ve said that he’s 37 and not quite in Javed’s league.


  7. SimonH Oct 12, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Pakistan will go second in the rankings ahead of Australia if they win the series 2-0.


  8. Sherwick Oct 12, 2015 / 9:04 pm

    The stroppy one must be Bell, surely…?


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