1st Test, Day 2 – Pakistan v England – Comments Thread

Will be on the way home tonight from Johannesburg, where I’ve had a great time and done a lot of good work which has been rewarding.

I have seen none of the play, and caught the score only in glimpses. You’ve been filling in the blanks in the comments, and I look forward to tomorrow.

286 for 4. Pakistan look good in this position given England’s propensity to react to scoreboard pressure in the same way as I do to a plate of mushrooms.

The commentary and press seems especially rubbish. Long may that continue.


56 thoughts on “1st Test, Day 2 – Pakistan v England – Comments Thread

  1. Arron Wright Oct 13, 2015 / 5:32 pm

    In other news, ICC to meet IOC re cricket in the Olympics.

    ICC to be represented by Giles Clarke (and Dave Richardson).


  2. Rohan Oct 13, 2015 / 7:28 pm

    Apologies if I am behind the 8 ball, but some day one comments from me and thoughts about day 2.

    Tuned in to listen this morning (radio 4 LW), on way to work and was instantly disappointed as FICJAM was on commentary (gutted), although Tuffers was with him, so could be worse I thought. I was wrong! Had to listen to Tuffers drone on about how Rashid was bowling too slowly (48 mph). None of the other commentators challenged him on this or offered an alternative view. Do they not remember the greatest wrist spinner ever and the speed he bowled at……..it was frustrating and exasperating. When Tuffers had finished going on about Rashid, he then started a thinly veiled criticism of Wood’s action, run up and delivery positions on the crease. By this time Dagnell had joined him and he cajoled Charles into saying Wood’s action was not good.

    Whilst there may be some truth to all of the above, what annoys me most was the complete lack of acknowledgement of the skills Wood and Rashid do posses and the positive attributes they bring to the team…….

    Anyway a good day’s play I thought and once again Broad showed what an excellent bowler he is, in all conditions. I thought Jimmy got lucky, but otherwise he looked innocuous. I was surprised, however, that Ali and Rashid did not take a wicket between them. I expect the Pakistan spinners to be far more effective.

    Tomorrow I expect us to bat at some point. I would imagine we will face 400+, maybe even 500…….if Riaz brings the pace of the World Cup and his ability to reverse, I think coupled with their spinners, we could be in for a tough time. As always though, I would wait until both teams have batted, it’s a cliche, but so true. The only caveat I would add, is could this be setting up like the ashes, i.e. the team that does best on day one wins (in this case Pakistan) and the other team, England in this case, just folds. It could happen.

    Looking forward to tomorrow so nice to not be playing Aus or India!


  3. SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 6:33 am

    “I now want to become the first Pakistani to pass 10,000 runs and, if I work hard, I think will achieve my goal.” Younis Khan wouldn’t have played any more matches if Downton was in charge of the PCB.

    Important morning session coming up – a couple of wickets with the new ball and England are in a good position. Sarfraz Ahmed in next is very dangerous but there’s not much after him (the Pakistan tail is statistically the second worst in world cricket after Zimbabwe – although Riaz and Babar aren’t complete mugs).

    The negativity of the Guardian OBO is extremely grating. Perhaps they could find someone who enjoys what they’re watching….


    • Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 6:37 am

      Just read it for myself and can’t help but agree. Also liked “the innings of the day was Younis Khan’s”. That sub-50 being better than a hundred because of who you are business must be spreading beyond our shores.


  4. SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 7:43 am

    Finn ruled out of the rest of the tour and Jordan called up.

    England’s tactics have been very strange this morning. The seamers carried most of the threat yesterday and took all the wickets. They’ve hardly bowled this morning. One lesson England have had to relearn is that taking the new ball in this part of the world can make batting easier for a while but it started reverse swinging quite quickly yesterday (about 15 overs in) and there doesn’t seem any attempt to repeat that (although Stokes has at long last just come on).

    I’m really enjoying Bazid Khan’s commentary on TV. Atherton is also excellent.


  5. d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 7:57 am

    In slightly interesting news, the BCCI is launching an official complaint about umpire Kulkarni (who is Indian), who seemed to have made a massive howler in the T20, which Duminy sealed for South Africa.

    Now, if everyone was equal, of course Mr. Ravi would have had difficulty to stand in this Test (and thus give England another free wicket), but we all know that those pesky upstarts from New Zealand are irrelevant.


    • Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 8:00 am

      Ravi is the worst umpire I’ve seen since Javed Akhtar in 1998.


  6. d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 8:03 am

    103/0 in the morning session. Pakistan have almost 400 on the board, with six wickets left. If Sarfraz gets in, and gets going, the runrate could go up significantly. Any predictions on who will be batting at stumps for England?


    • thebogfather Oct 14, 2015 / 10:57 am

      Moeen, Root (after ‘our leader’ completed a gritty 11 (worth 70) off of 38 balls and Bell went for 1 caught swinging 3rd ball)


  7. Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 8:20 am

    I didn’t see any of the action yesterday, but I did watch The Sky verdict. They were all very keen to point out what a good day Cook had as captain. Almost as if it was written into the contract. To be fair he can’t do much about dropped catches and no balls. Or could he?

    Bob Willis questioned how long Cook could keep Bell at slip if he keeps dropping sitters? But if they take him out of the slips will that crush his confidence with the bat? Pardon my ignorance but shouldn’t a top international batsman be able to deal with being dropped from the slips? After all, if he keeps dropping catches he is not an asset for the team. I wonder if Bells mind has already retired from international cricket. If he has a poor tour here you have to question if they will take him to South Africa.

    Cook got a lot of praise for his funky field settings. Particularly his straight mid on position in front of the no striker where he took a catch. Who knows if this is his idea or the management back room? But the bennifit of doubt goes to the captain.

    As usual there was a lot of angst about the spinners. Lack of penetration, too expensive. Too slow for test cricket blah blah blah. But the cupboard is pretty bare, so if you don’t like these two who else is there? Where does all the Sky money go in the field of spin bowling? Perhaps there is not much call for spinners these days in English cricket?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 8:29 am

      Apparently the genius Cook just hooked Rashid immediately after he beat the batsman twice in an over.


  8. Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 8:25 am

    Lovely stuff:


    • Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 8:57 am

      Some comparisons on the two England spinners.

      Rashid …27 overs for 122 runs at an economy rate of 4.51………99 dot balls and 14 fours and 1 six. 0 wickets.

      Ali …….. 24 overs for 95 runs at an economy rate of 3.95…… .. 92 dot balls and 7 fours and 1 six. 0 wickets.

      So the stand out difference is the extra 7 fours that Rashid has conceded. As Ali has bowled 3 overs less you could probably say he might concede another 1 or 2 fours.

      For an inexperienced leg spinner making his debut on a flat track against good players of spin this is not that different from the more experienced spin bowler. Yet he is getting all the criticism. Interesting to see how they go this afternoon with the batsmen looking to push on.


      • SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 9:34 am

        They could also look at the figures of the Australian and New Zealand spinners in the last two Tests on this ground. Nathan Lyon, for example, went for 1/154. England (or the MSM at any rate) seem only to look at what happened when they last played and to be oblivious of what’s happened with other teams more recently.

        Pakistan went on to win both the matches against Australia and NZ with both spinners and seamers taking wickets. Australia didn’t learn and went on to lose the series; NZ learnt, drew the next Test and won the 3rd to level the series. If McCullum really is England’s model, then this series is going to be a good test of it


      • d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 9:51 am

        Of course, the Selveys of the world won’t acknowledge that. And point to the record of Moeen vs. India. India, are among the worst players of offspin at the moment (only MS Dhoni, of the players that tour has a career average of 40+ against offspin). Which is nothing too spectacular, especially if you compare them to their predecessors, such as Sehwag (I think Sehwag averaged 65, but I could be wrong).

        Now, as for Moeen being a part-timer – then why would he be batting at 8? Is the spin cupboard really that bare for England? Or is it that they mistrust their batting too much, and want to bat all the way down to #10, thus weakening their bowling attack? Honestly, if you have to rely on the runs of #9 through #11 to get to competitive totals, you’re doing something wrong. Never mind the fact that the opposition generally will find it easier to score runs against part-timers than frontline bowlers. So, the weaker your bowling attack, the higher a competitive total will be.

        Moeen is probably a bit in the mould of Hafeez (when he was allowed to bowl). Useful bowling option in ODIs, can usually get his 10 overs in. But not much more than a part-time bowling option in Tests (52 wickets, at nearly 34 in 70 innings he has bowled in; incidentally his bowling average is worse in the UAE than his career average).

        It may not be a problem, but if a side like South Africa regularly get chastised for a lack of good spinners (despite getting better results in the UAE and Sri Lanka, and having a none-too-shabby record in India), then why can’t the English press do the same for England?

        Drinks break at 442/4, with Malik and Shafiq approaching their respective landmarks. Needless to say, Bell and Broad won’t be too happy about their contributions to these batsmen’s scores.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 9:14 am

    Having blamed the pitch, the heat and the crowd is there anything else we can blame:


    • BoerInAustria Oct 14, 2015 / 3:20 pm

      Then we can expect England to score a ton of runs against balls like that…


      • Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 4:36 pm

        I wondered who would be the first to spot the flaw in his argument.


  10. SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 9:39 am

    Two other international matches going on – SL off to a good start in the Test series against WI (being played in Galle despite earlier reports that SL couldn’t afford to play there) and India (without Ashwin) struggling apart from Rahane in the second ODI against SA.


    • d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 9:58 am

      Well, with Rahane dismissed (bowled around his legs by Tahir), orkel took care of Raina, with a short ball. India were suddenly 106/5 at the 25 over mark.

      Only Duminy has gone for more than 5 runs / over, and that is one of the part-time options. If Dhoni gets out now, there is a real risk that India won’t even bat out their overs. This could be a long home series for India if South Africa keep performing like this.


  11. Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 9:53 am

    The natives appear to be getting restless…….

    From cricinfo….Julian: “We currently have a fantastic Rugby World Cup, an historic effort from Wales and Northern Ireland in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, an exciting Premier League season and we just had the rugby league Grand Final. There is some terrific sport around at the moment. Then there is this dross”

    Crash bang wallop is the way we like our sport these days. Action, action, action. No wonder they want to go to four day cricket. First day at Nottingham is the model now. Two day test matches.


    • Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 10:05 am

      Sounds very familiar from days one and two of the Ashes Test at Lord’s in 2015. The team batting second then subsided to 30-4 on the same pitch, before being skittled for 103 on day four.

      It ain’t Trent Bridge 2014 or Barbados 2009 yet (thank goodness).


    • Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 11:06 am

      I think 5 live are giving him a whole show either today or tomorrow night to talk about cricket. Which will please all his media fans who said when his book came out ” why can’t he just talk about cricket.”

      I’m sure the goal posts will now be quietly moved, and the typical response will be why doesn’t he just….. F… Off?


  12. Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 10:44 am

    I’m absolutely convinced that 90% of published Guardian OBO contributors have not the slightest clue about cricket that doesn’t involve England. It’s all pitch, pitch, pitch. Still, when paid broadcast “experts” laugh at an opposing spin bowler’s name instead of citing his Test record, what can you expect?

    This one is even more hilarious when I read it more closely:

    “the lifeless, batting nirvana pitches do not make for the kind of thrilling, unpredictable test tussles, in front of large crowds, we all enjoyed this past summer.”

    Doesn’t even have a clue about cricket involving England. There was only one thrilling and unpredictable Test tussle. Out of seven.

    I won’t soil the blog by quoting what he said next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 10:59 am

      The ECB dumbing down of their customer base is working marvelously!

      Only matches against India and Australia matter. And of those only the ones in England really count. It’s a bit like Premiership football. They all wear the shirts, and pay the over inflated prices. From a share holders point of view what’s not to like?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 10:49 am

    499/4 at tea. Fantastic bowling by England on Day 2 thus far. Clearly the performance of a side that is destined to be #1 after the tour of South Africa, right, oh English media sages?


    • SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 10:58 am

      Pringle’s going to need six out of six after this one…


      • LordCanisLupus Oct 14, 2015 / 11:05 am

        Hello everyone. On the Piccadilly line having had an eventful flight. Woman taken seriously ill while over central Africa and we were diverted to Abuja. Got into London three hours later than expected.

        Put on phone. Saw Shoaib Malik has a daddy. WTSF?


  14. d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 11:10 am

    England have their first breakthrough of the day. 499/5, with Shafiq gone lbw to Wood.


    • d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 11:30 am

      Safraz gone soon after, for just 2 from 7 balls. 514/6. To Stokes, leading edge. Bell took the catch.

      Of course Pakistan have enough runs on the board to feel reasonably secure. Let’s see if the tail whack it a bit, to set up a declaration.


      • d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 11:43 am

        Stokes gets Malik as well, but Malik was playing his shots, undoubtedly to set up the declaration. Also Malik was quite exhausted, and had to be treated for a minor injury the ball before Sarfraz was dismissed. Still, 245 was a very good effort.

        Of course, no one will mention that Stokes was lucky to be bowling now (the chances of reporting this are reversely proportional to the mentions of Stokes being unlucky in the summer).


      • d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 11:47 am

        And Zulfiqar Babar is the next to go to Stokes. Misbah promptly declare on 523/8.


      • SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 11:51 am

        England have just over 20 overs to bat to the close. We’ll get more idea of the pitch now.

        England’s spinners took 0/300 (including the over of spin from Stokes).

        They’ve shown some pictures of the groundsman – he’s from Mohali.


  15. d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 11:51 am

    Combined figures of the spinners: 69-3-297-0.

    For the pacers; 82.1-23-226-7.

    And for Umpire Ravi: 3 chances to mess up, only 1 taken. Solitary wicket for his effort, just as he managed most innings against New Zealand.


  16. Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 12:01 pm

    You have to say that is a pretty dam good effort from England’s seamers. If the catches had been taken yesterday this may have been a very different result.

    So 320 odd to avoid the follow on. This should be more than achievable. Ok, they are tired but if they can see out today without too many wickets they get a nights rest again.


    • Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      By the way, Moeen Ali has bowled 30 overs, and is now being asked to open the batting. Is this sensible?


  17. Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 12:22 pm

    Umpire’s call is great isn’t it?


    • Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 12:25 pm

      Ha! Only just realised Paul Reiffel is a standing umpire. Poor Bruce Oxenford.


    • BoerInAustria Oct 14, 2015 / 5:26 pm


    • Arron Wright Oct 14, 2015 / 12:41 pm

      I love how his writing combines pretentious “JAM”mery with the essential “FIC”ness that blinds him to the intelligence of other people. Such as his own readership. Here is a perfect illustration of both JAMmery and FICness:

      “Silos – derived from siros, the ancient Greek word for “corn pit” – are the tall towers used to store grain on farms.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Oct 14, 2015 / 3:17 pm

        The words ‘No shit, Sherlock?’ are never far from my mind when reading Mr Smith.


    • thebogfather Oct 14, 2015 / 12:51 pm

      Ficjam…..wallowing in his own little sewage silo…..


    • Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 1:58 pm

      I love the way he admits he questioned his coach once on why they had been brought back early for extra training. Almost every week he manages to argue (without realizing it) for people like KP questioning his bosses.

      He so wants to admire the maverick, yet when he finds one right in front of him, he reverts to pro management group think.


    • SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 3:41 pm

      Sorry – that should have been a ‘reply’ to an earlier post. Still, I’m sure you all know who I mean.

      It’s taken about 20 comments for the Guardian thread to get on to him. It’s as edifying as usual.


  18. SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 3:19 pm

    India won second ODI. SA collapsed to weak bowling attack on placid pitch for no apparent reason. At least one diabolical umpiring decison.

    Odour of rodent, large.


    • Mark Oct 14, 2015 / 4:41 pm

      In the first match it was India who were cruising at 200/2 chasing 303 and then screwed it up.

      It’s terrible to feel suspicious about results isn’t it. I was reading about the court case involving Cairns, and Vincent said the hardest thing was to get out without looking too obvious. He claimed he was told to go and practice getting out in league cricket.


      • SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 6:43 pm

        I have nothing more than circumstantial evidence of course. India would have experienced their fourth consecutive defeat in a series of games with much time, money and status riding on it.

        The best one can say is that there was an atrocious umpiring decision by the home umpire Kulkarni. He’d been publicly criticised by the Indian team manager and threatened with being reported to the ICC.

        The worst one could say is that the SA Cricket Board have been on the receiving end of the BCCI’s financial clout and many SA players have a hefty stake in the IPL. Some of my favourite players in world cricket are in that SA team so I really hope there’s nothing in it.

        In case anyone thinks otherwise, I’m fully aware that India are a very good ODI team, especially at home, and I’m not for a moment arguing India can only win a game if it’s fixed. I’m just saying that there were some things about this game that look suspicious.

        Of course we can all look forward to a robust examination of the game by the ICC…. ha, ha……

        On a happier note, it was nice to see Bhuvneshwar Kumar playing and playing well. He was about the only Indian player to come out of the wretched England tour with any credit and he seemed to disappear afterwards so it’s good to see him back.


      • d'Arthez Oct 14, 2015 / 7:54 pm

        Don’t forget Ishant Sharma. When he was injured, England suddenly found the batting a lot easier.


      • metatone Oct 14, 2015 / 8:28 pm

        My instinct is that this was actually a tougher pitch to bat on than people assumed.
        SA failed to win more because they let Dhoni dig India out of a hole than anything.
        But in ODIs, Dhoni has a record of being able to do that…


  19. Rohan Oct 14, 2015 / 9:12 pm


    Interesting, not sure what to make of this. LOVEJOY chips in as well, but not sure I think he is as happy or ready to give Rashid a fair chance, as some others might be…….has an ECB edict been passed to give Rashid a chance, or is this some of the MSM/ex pros being able to freely speak their minds?


  20. SimonH Oct 14, 2015 / 9:48 pm

    Stat of the day:


  21. man in a barrel Oct 14, 2015 / 11:01 pm

    I guess it is to do with the bigger bats but I wonder why Cook did not set a tight ring on the off-side for Rachid with 3 men in the deep and get him to bowl an off-stump line. He was getting turn and surely there would be a chance of something happening. There really seemed to be no field tactics going on…but then Cook is a great captain so he knows best. What does Etheridge think…has he had a thought?


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