Day 3

Comments below. Will populate later.

England start the day with a mountain to climb but a base camp set. At time of wittering we are 118 for 1 and Cook settled in. Here on BOC we fear the worst. A Cook ton. For no reason other than the tide of lamentable nonsense that follows. Newman is going to need sedation.

Keep the comments flowing.

Also, did you see Sky’s winter cricket promo? All those T20 leagues with a notable player who played for England signed to all of them? A draw card. No. It’s Chris Gayle and Freddie singing. I may be “obsessed” but it is genuinely funny the lengths they seem to go to avoid mentioning him.

On the plane home I watched the highlights of KP’S innings in Mumbai. In hindsight it might be a touch overrated. I still believe his Colombo knock was better. But it was still brilliant. Yet in reading the comments to his interviews online it is an innings many never wanted him to play. Many want never to acknowledge. Read the comments and stick nails in your eyes and tell me which is more excruciating.

May have another overseas trip during this tour. Getting harder to keep up with developments. Karunaratne and Chandimal putting the West Indies to the sword. An ODI series between India and South Africa, and of course Australia sitting at home. It’s a mad world!

62 thoughts on “Day 3

  1. Rooto Oct 15, 2015 / 6:59 am

    So Rashid takes no wickets and people call for him to be dropped. Then, Zulfiqar takes no wickets and people call for Rashid to be dropped as they are not spinners’ wickets.
    That’s how it works, isn’t it?


  2. SimonH Oct 15, 2015 / 7:54 am

    An edge, it carries, a wicket! IK2 strikes.

    Not captain courageous much I’m sure to the relief of one and all.

    Babar, who’s a much better bowler at RHBs, finally gets on to bowl at. Bell looks at sea against him. Possibly a touch of reverse swing starting for the seamers. There’s a bit of life in this yet.

    Bell possibly just dropped at silly point? Hard to tell but may have been pad-bat?


    • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 7:57 am


      Seriously though, everything I’m reading about his innings suggests he’s finished. Sounds as hopeless a case as Trott in the West Indies.


      • metatone Oct 15, 2015 / 8:03 am

        I find that rather sad. And while players often do just hit a decline (e.g. Vaughan) I can’t help feel that some of it is the way England have dealt with him.


      • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 8:10 am

        I also believe that to be the case. No-one’s ever going to convince me that treating him like a junior player after the series of his life – right at the point he also lost Trott and Pietersen as regular partners – didn’t affect his career.


        • LordCanisLupus Oct 15, 2015 / 8:24 am

          Never been Ian Bell’s greatest fan as he appeared to be the ultimate company man for much of his career. For him to be the cavalier in a bunch of roundheads is odd. But we’re good at burning people out. I’ll never understand him being dragged around Bangladesh in that world T20 when he needed a rest. Thought it was contemptuous treatment. Cook is treated like fine China. Bell is treated like old newspapers.

          That said, he’ll come good. He’s like that.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Oct 15, 2015 / 10:38 am

        I know the bowling isn’t as dangerous as it was on his last tour and that the pitch seems to be far more of a road, but at least Bell has surpassed his highest score that he did on his last tour there. I agree with Dmitri about Bell not really living up to his billing as a high class player for too much of his earlier career but I’ll add more.

        I’ve never really believed that he was quite the elite talent that folk keep going on about. In amongst some admittedly fine strokes he often played some highly careless shots especially in that early career that suggested not only a lack of game management but also the lack of a complete range of skills. The tiresome phrase “he never looks out of form” always irks me. It isn’t just the Poet’s eye or whatever she calls herself who goes on about his supposed A list talent. Apart from some admittedly fine spells of form, especially his home Ashes series of 2013 he’s just never struck me as being that special.


  3. d'Arthez Oct 15, 2015 / 8:08 am

    So, the runrate was close to 3 / over, and is now not even 2.5 / over. Are England setting themselves up for some silly shots to get the scoreboard ticking again? We’ll have to see.

    Bell really struggling against Babar. A couple of close shouts, a really tough chance to silly point and he is still on just 1. Now whether that is because Babar is bowling great, or Bell is really not that great a player in Asia (his 2012 record suggests as much) is almost moot. Only Greenidge (different era), Gayle, Grant Flower, M. Waugh, and Langer have worse averages in Asia among the top run scorers from outside Asia (minimum of 1000 runs).


  4. Mark Oct 15, 2015 / 8:49 am

    This match reminds me a bit of Lords this year in the Ashes. Aus made 566 on a flat pitch and England replied with 312. An ok score, but not the 450+ needed to really make the game safe. As it was, Aus didn’t enforce the follow on as there was plenty of time left. England collapsed to 100 odd in the second innings.

    England have had a good start after two days in the field. Can the middle order now deliver, and get England up over 450+ and make this game safe?


  5. Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 9:16 am

    Can’t possibly jinx it for a second time in five matches, so I’m not even going to try…


    • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 9:39 am

      “It’s also his 33rd for England in all formats, taking him past KP.”

      Oh *joy*. Another Simon Hughes statistical botch job article incoming.


      • Mark Oct 15, 2015 / 9:55 am

        “Taking him past KP”

        Who he helped remove from the team, and then threw a toddler tantrum when some suggested KP might come back. No wonder his hero is Gooch. He repeats the same deeds . But can he now go on and make a daddy? Anything less, having done the hard work on a flat pitch will be a let down in my view.


      • hatmallet Oct 15, 2015 / 12:18 pm

        I pointed that stat out to Ali Martin on Twitter. Knew it was coming. Surprised none of the journalists (on Twitter at least) had that stat ready to go as soon as he reached 100.

        I did also point out that in the all-formats run count, he’s 5th (KP, Bell, Gooch, Stewart, Cook).


    • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 9:52 am

      Get them priorities straight:


    • d'Arthez Oct 15, 2015 / 9:59 am

      They’re now counting the runs before he overtakes Kallis as the leading non-Asian Test batsman in terms of scoring runs in Asia.


      • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 10:02 am

        They keep tumbling:

        “Alastair Cook has now scored 1,000 runs in a calendar year four times, equalling Kevin Pietersen’s record.”

        Funny how everyone missed the historically shite home Ashes one though.


      • Mark Oct 15, 2015 / 10:12 am

        Funny how KPs record is suddenly relevent to all these Cook brown noses only when their hero is matching KPs feats.

        What was it Newman said about KP? Something about only being remembered for writing a book. Why are they celebrating Cook beating someone they have said achieved nothing?


      • d'Arthez Oct 15, 2015 / 10:25 am

        Yeah, if you get to play 16 Tests in a year, you’re bound to occasionally score 1000+ runs in a calendar year. You only have to average about 32, if you bat in all innings and get dismissed. It is an achievement when you only have something like 8 Tests, not when you have 16 Tests. Lack of context kills the relevance of such stats.


  6. Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 10:05 am

    Oh, now Hawkeye has a ball turning square on day two, on a pitch where spinners have 0 for 700.


    • d'Arthez Oct 15, 2015 / 10:32 am

      As long as the code of the software cannot be publicly scrutinized, I cannot say I trust it. It is easy to commit fraud with a few milimetres, and that may be enough to turn a “not out” decision, to an “out” decision.

      I refer to the Volkswagen scandal to illustrate my point. As a lay-person, you are left without too little information, and hence powerless to reliably assess the representation that is offered to us.

      And yes, I certainly would not think that matchfixing is beyond the ICC.


  7. Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 11:34 am

    Need a stat to wake you all up on the journey to Barbados 2009?

    Cook’s control percentage in this innings is 92%.


  8. d'Arthez Oct 15, 2015 / 11:35 am

    We’re past the halfway mark, and the spinners still have not taken a single wicket. It is that Pakistan batted for a declaration after tea yesterday, or else we would have seen all of 4 wickets (+ 1 freebie courtesy of Ravi) in 5 full sessions.



    • LordCanisLupus Oct 15, 2015 / 11:59 am

      So this test is going the way of trent bridge 2014. Conclude batting practice and on to the next one.


  9. metatone Oct 15, 2015 / 11:59 am

    Yes – this looks more and more like a draw pitch to me. There isn’t much reason (historically) to believe it will deteriorate even on Day 5.


  10. Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 12:12 pm

    Over to Poirot for this one:

    Most Runs In Calendar Year (Tests, Runs, Ave, 100, 50)

    AN Cook Eng 11 1044 58.00 3 6

    JE Root Eng 11 1001 62.56 3 6

    SPD Smith Aus 8 979 75.30 4 3


  11. SimonH Oct 15, 2015 / 12:24 pm

    Looks like the doom-mongers are being proved right about the pitch – not that it’ll ever be right to be too certain until both sides have bowled.

    Whether a class wrist-spinner would have made a difference, who knows? I doubt Yasir Shah would have run through England here (he needs some bounce). TV has said he will be fit for the second test.

    There had to be some reverse swing to give some chance of a result but there hasn’t been any yesterday or today. Why there was some swing on day one and not since is a mystery.

    Anyone thinking the funkiest captain since Funkadelic might reignite the match with a bold declaration? That this might be England’s best chance in the series with Azhar Ali and Yasir Shah out? Me neither.


    • Mark Oct 15, 2015 / 12:45 pm

      England would be better off batting all day tomorrow, and getting a lead, and then putting Pakistan under some last day pressure. Not that it will make much difference if the pitch stays this flat.

      Dean Jones just tweeted that they should build a roundabout in the middle of this pitch. Seeing as everybody is now happy with the idea of home sides creating the pitches they want, we can’t complain about this pitch. However, is this what Pakistan really want?

      They were debating last night on 5 live about Pakistan playing home matches in other parts of the world like Australia or Sri Lanka. In the hope they might get more people to come and watch. Does nobody in Dubai like cricket? Even the ex pats?


      • Ian Oct 15, 2015 / 1:26 pm

        Of course they like cricket but they just don’t have the time to come and watch a test.


      • d'Arthez Oct 15, 2015 / 1:35 pm

        Bell had a brainfade, and got himself dismissed. Wahab Riaz has some reward for his efforts. Wood goes shortly after, chopped on. Wahab has now taken two wickets in two overs.

        234/3 for the day. We did not get all the overs in, as England unexpectedly gave a few wickets away (1 short for the day); Misbah’s calculations did not account for those minutes lost, as he was on track to get the 90 overs in, even if barely. At this rate, England will be reaching Pakistan’s score an hour after tea on day 4.

        Even though the spinners have not taken a wicket for Pakistan either, the economy rate for Babar is 1.76; that is over 2 runs / over better than Moeen, and 3 runs / over better than Rashid. And that will give some food for thought, especially if the wickets are offering more for the spinners, like they are expected to do at the next two venues.

        The UAE made it to the World Cup not too long ago. So there is certainly interest from the expats. Bear in mind that UAE is not the most enlightened place on the earth, in terms of labour laws, rights, limited working weeks, etc. Also, the location is far from ideal.

        As for holding it elsewhere: Like where? If you hold it in Sri Lanka or Australia, do you really think gate numbers will be significantly higher? Unless there are large Pakistani expat communities to attend, the stadiums will be just as empty as they are now.


      • Ian Oct 15, 2015 / 1:38 pm

        Remember Pakistan v Australia in the UK? Lords test had an alright attendance but think they lost a lot of money at Headingley. Don’t remember what prices were though.


      • Mark Oct 15, 2015 / 2:01 pm

        Ian, yes the Leeds test match was a big disappointment when they held a test match there. I think the authorities charged too much from memory. So it served them right for being too greedy.

        As for this venue, I take on board everything D’ARTHEZ says about labour laws, and how little time off the public has, but even so……you might hope there were some people who might be able to attend. Even if they gave the tickets away for free?

        I’m not saying they should move it elsewhere, but it just seems a pity to hold it in a venue that nobody can or wants to attend. I great shame for the game. But I guess there are bigger issues.


      • Tuffers86 Oct 16, 2015 / 9:47 am

        Of course, but it’s the working week here. And some arsehole (the ADCC chairman is English), decided to charge fans to watch the Test. Not too sure what it is — probably around £3 or so, but Pakistanis here won’t pay for that.

        I’m going tomorrow, because I’m a glutten for punishment.

        The one-dayers will be rammed.


  12. Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 1:20 pm

    Why I loathe this England side – a nightwatchman at 281-2, on this pitch.


    • SteveT Oct 15, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      And now he’s out. What was the point!!


  13. Zephirine Oct 15, 2015 / 1:41 pm

    Well, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs – high treason from Dan Lucas on the OBO:

    I would think Cook will want to get to the other end here and, as the settled batsman, be the one to see off Wahab and his pace. Then again, he was never the most selfless batsman.

    Hope you’ve got another job lined up, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Oct 15, 2015 / 2:23 pm

      Well seeing as they are so keen to compare Cook with what KP achieved, its a pity they both can’t be in the same team. Perhaps KP would be on course for a double hundred too?

      Remember India, when the two of them scored all the runs? Lester See if the much vaunted middle order can bat all day tomorrow?


    • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 2:28 pm

      Cook: 10 paragraphs. Shoaib Malik yesterday: 1.

      In case you were wondering whether he had room for manoeuvre after overpraising innings of 43 last summer, this florid, vomit-inducing tripe should assuage your concerns at a stroke.


      • SteveT Oct 15, 2015 / 2:40 pm

        Well if 43 was worth a hundred, has Lara’s record gone yet?

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 2:40 pm

    Dive in:

    manilocutor 5m ago

    Does anyone else concur with my view that Cook is in the same class as Gavaskar as an opening batsman?


    • SimonH Oct 15, 2015 / 2:51 pm

      Some other pearls of wisdom so far:
      1) Pakistan should be banned from international cricket (meant seriously).
      2) Averages of Asian batsmen don’t really count (guess who…. ?).

      Not up to 50 comments yet.


      • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 4:37 pm


        “One of the best knocks ever by an English batsman.”

        Plus lots of “where are you now, haters” chest-beating, especially from the awfully sanctimonius losshakers.

        Some amusing stuff deriding people with much higher averages in Asia than elsewhere. But not deriding Cook, who is very much a member of that particular club, is he not?


  15. Zephirine Oct 15, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    Hold the basin, Mother –

    He does not fist-pump or grandstand, never has. Understated always, from his first in Nagpur nine years ago, to this the routine (how nice to be able to have a routine for acknowledging Test hundreds) has varied little: helmet removed and held diffidently above shoulder height, bat raised, an acknowledgement to team-mates and supporters sitting in the shade of the stand (a good crowd, with a real Pakistani atmosphere), and then a private glance at the sky.

    A private glance at the sky. See, as well as being a Bedford School alumnus, he’s a good religious boy (he was a choirboy, you know).

    Either that, or that Christmas birthday has got Selvey convinced that Cook actually is the Second Coming and the ‘private glance’ is just to say ‘Hi, Dad.’


    • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 3:10 pm

      It just isn’t reporting. It isn’t. It’s fanboy worship. Has been for ages.


    • Fred Oct 15, 2015 / 3:35 pm

      “and then a private glance at the sky.”
      A private glance. In the middle of an international cricket stadium. With half a dozen TV cameras on him. I wonder what a public glance would involve, spotlights? Convening COBRA? Calling off play for the rest of the day?
      I’m going through something like those 6 stages of grief with Selvey. I used to read his articles with vague interest, even though I found him a bit pretentious. Then I got angry at him. Then I became contemptuous and avoided anything he wrote, but now I’m starting to really enjoy him. His entertainment value is excellent, he rarely fails to provoke a laugh. Today’s piece (thanks Arron for the referral) was one of his best.
      Not sure what my favorite bit was: the opening statement that his hundred was always beyond doubt? The fact that his discipline was learnt in his choir? The class-laden reference to feudal lords? I’ll have to settle on the discussion of his personal sweating habits, given its leanings towards homo-eroticisation. Who was it that said a while back in defence of his captaincy that he had a strong jaw that would make ladies swoon? Something’s afoot in the press!
      Anyway, good to have Selvey back on the reading list, if only for comedic value.


    • thebogfather Oct 15, 2015 / 4:35 pm

      the ‘Second Coming’….? Slow down Selfry, newman et al with your ejaculations…or your lover-boy will have to bat on a ‘sticky’ as he grinds (oo-er missus!) his way to a Daddy fixated double ton….


    • hatmallet Oct 15, 2015 / 4:42 pm

      The private glance reference is to the little ear tug he does. He’s never made the story behind that public, although journalists may know – I think I remember one paper saying that it was a personal thing he didn’t want to reveal.


    • Mark Oct 15, 2015 / 5:14 pm

      It’s priceless that Selvey writes all that shite about the mechanics of a century celebration. Who gives a shit if he glances to the sky, or does not do a fist pump. I care not one jot if he has his helmet on or off.

      Selvey makes him sound like a Lego character. The media have to work so terribly hard to elevate their hero to their desired status. It all smacks of fake PR balls.

      ” a good crowd, with a real Pakistani atmosphere ” That claim makes me think Selvey needs to go to spec savers.


  16. SimonH Oct 15, 2015 / 6:02 pm

    Newman reckons Cook is on to break Lara’s world record.

    Will Selvey ever forgive himself that he didn’t think of that?


  17. Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 6:05 pm

    One of our keenest readers is on the warpath again, I note.


      • Arron Wright Oct 15, 2015 / 6:15 pm

        See moossyn to WCTT at the Guardian this evening…

        (I personally hadn’t given KP a single thought since August, and found the “coach” story a bit cringey and Sunset Boulevard. But my god, the reaction online….)


      • SimonH Oct 15, 2015 / 10:03 pm

        Moossyn to wctt gone to the great moderation bin in the sky.


      • Zephirine Oct 15, 2015 / 10:34 pm

        moossyn’s been modded, was it a good riposte?

        It seems to be Sanctimonious City over there again.


      • Arron Wright Oct 16, 2015 / 5:11 am

        Simply said that “move on” actually means “we can bring it up when it suits us”. Then he added “hypocritical tosser”.


  18. d'Arthez Oct 15, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    The England cricket media are doing their best to render the careers of their illustrious predecessors void of all relevance; how long will it be before the likes of CMJ are nothing more than an obscure footnote in most cricket “fans” memories? With all the nonsense being spouted by the fanbois, how many 14-24 year olds will even be interested in looking through the work of say a CMJ? The press is happily killing one of the supporting pillars of the game, and they’re too myopic to even notice, or care.

    If this is the best knock ever by a visiting opening batsman in the UAE, as all the Cook fanbois, are dying to point out, what to make of Graeme Smith’s double ton in 2013? Barring AB’s 164, the highest knock in the first two innings was 26 (!). That at least suggests the pitch was either difficult to bat on (and since the AB-Smith stand was worth 338, and the other 9 wickets combined for 179 in SA’s innings, it is an argument that has some merit; Pakistan were bowled out for 99 in the first innings; oh, and if 43 is the innings of the summer after Australia were bundled out on day 1, you can argue that on the metrics employed by the English press, Smith made the equivalent of 544).

    But no, batting on a featherbed is the greatest Test of skill. Hence Steven Smith can’t bat, as evidenced by his performance at Lord’s right? FFS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Oct 15, 2015 / 8:03 pm

      “The England cricket media are doing their best to render the careers of their illustrious predecessors void of all relevance”

      It’s a feature not a bug.

      In other news, KP is about to be on 5 live at 9pm

      Sure to drive the pod people insane.


  19. Burly Oct 15, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    Surely if you asked Cook what pitch, what conditions, and what bowling attack he’d most likely score big against, this would be right up there? There’s no great spinners attacking him and the pace attack is barely worthy of the name.

    No-one thinks Cook is a terrible batsman; in conditions like these, which are his absolute favourite, I’d not have anyone else opening the batting. It’s when he has to tough it out against good quicks that he really, really struggles.


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 15, 2015 / 7:52 pm

      He’s a top opener when on form. I’m really not that arsed in saying that. Does he set my world on fire? No. Did he deserve to have his place under scrutiny in his 2 year lean spell? Absolutely. Is his role in the KP stuff still on my mind? Yes. Of course. If they can dredge up 2012, I can 2014.

      We are dealing with the ADHD generation. Or “it is only the Ashes (at home) that matters” useful idiots.

      Don’t like it. Don’t bother me.

      Liked by 1 person

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