The Second Test – The Expectation

As I’m just using the phone at present, there will be no long discussion from me on the test starting tomorrow in Dubai. (UPDATED since)

Forged in the heat of battle.
Forged in the heat of battle.

I’ll write more tonight, all being well. The reaction to the first test has been interesting to say the least. If you can’t use a momentous 263 to “inform the malcontents of the error of their ways” then when can you?  Adil has been getting his props but don’t worry, one bad game and his critics will be out.

Some statistical stuff. The next man to score a century in Dubai will be the scorer of the 20th test century at that venue. Graeme Smith holds the record score (234) and is the only visitor to score two centuries at the venue. Younis Khan has four centuries there, and Sarfraz Ahmed two. Azhar Ali, who isn’t, it looks, playing tomorrow also has two, including his match-turning 157 in 2012.

The highest team score is 517 by South Africa in 2013. There has been a 454, and two 403s, but nothing else over 400. This indicates it is the sort of surface that doesn’t resemble DXB’s runway. England’s four scores are 252, 192, 160 and 141. The lowest score is 99, made by Pakistan on two occasions. Once, of course, against England.


Alastair Cook has the air of satisfaction, rightly it should be said, of a man who has scored 263 in the first Test of a series. But the left-hander has not become England’s leading run scorer (9,593) by looking back on his achievements. He looks forward with steely determination, ready to again quench his thirst for runs.

If you see quotes that contain steel (or other metals) and our Al, please let me have them!

Al’s record in Dubai. 3,5,1 & 49. Bell’s record in Dubai. 0,4,5,10. Yikes.

There is a fair bit of international cricket on tomorrow. Sri Lanka meet the Windies at PSS Colombo in the second test; India try to draw their ODI series level in Chennai against South Africa and Zimbabwe meet Afghanistan in Bulawayo. All comments welcome.

Did You Know? The highest ODI score in Chennai is 337/7 by an Asian XI. Pakistan have the highest score by a national team (327/5) and India have never made 300 there. South Africa have played one ODI in Chennai – England beat them in a World Cup group game in 2011.

I do believe this is the West Indies first test at the P Sara Oval. The record score at the stadium is 541/9 by the hosts against Bangladesh. The ground record score is Stephen Fleming with 274. It was also the venue of my favourite of the Master Trilogy Centuries by the man who can’t be mentioned.

So, looking forward to tomorrow, and let’s have your views on all the cricket.

I hear Stokes has the guts ache. The poor sod. Feel for you sir. Put it this way. He ain’t the only one!

16 thoughts on “The Second Test – The Expectation

  1. thelegglance Oct 21, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    Just a quick note – I’m back in the country, and although busy today and tomorrow, will be writing some stuff up as the Test goes on.


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 21, 2015 / 12:35 pm

      Hoping our man on the ground, Sean B, will furnish us with some insight too…..


    • Mark Oct 21, 2015 / 2:39 pm

      It’s not something you will read in the pro ECB friendly media, but this isn’t a very great Pakistan team. When you think of all the great fast bowlers they have had over the years or their mystery spinners, and top order batsman this is an average team. If this was being played In England on the sort of pitches that were created at Birmingham and Nottingham this summer, I doubt these matches would last more than 2.5 days.

      Unfortunately the truth has to be hidden from the pod people because everything is about glorifying Cook as captain and batsman, and Strauss as a modern day Eisenhower. In addition there is a mountain of merchandise and sponsors product to be flogged to the true believers. ( I wonder if the likes of Selvey and Newman are on a commission % deal with the ECB? )

      If England were really as good as the propaganda media would have you believe this would be an excellent opportunity to get a convincing series win under Englands belts. But as we have seen in the last couple of years, England are pretty useless away from home.

      You would hope the mostly Oxbridge university educated cricket writers would understand this. However it is left to us malcontents to, “inform the newspaper cheer leaders of the error of their ways”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mdpayne87 Oct 21, 2015 / 10:31 pm

        Well no-one has yet gained a series win over Pakistan in the UAE so I think it would be an excellent achievement if England were to do it.


  2. pktroll (@pktroll) Oct 21, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    Apparently Stokes has a dodgy stomach and may not make the test. If worst comes to the worst I hope James Taylor gets a go as a batsman. I just don’t think Samit Patel is up for it with either bat or ball.


  3. thebogfather Oct 21, 2015 / 2:59 pm

    Let’s just enjoy the fact that we’re playing someone other than Aus or Ind, and are being set some out of our comfort zone challenges.

    As for the MSM….they keep on giving…..

    Oh, as an aside, Happy 75th to Boycs (still grinding them out, still talking more sense than most)


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 21, 2015 / 3:22 pm

      Maybe it’s a sense of foreboding of the nonsense being spoken about the blog from this attention seeker that I am a bit cheesed off about.

      There was a possibility that I might be in Dubai for day 5, but that’s gone. Pushed back a few weeks.

      This is going to be an interesting test of where we are. Let’s hope it can be looked at without the hyperbole and without nonsense.


      • Mark Oct 21, 2015 / 6:15 pm

        It will never be looked at without the ” hyperbole and nonsense” until Cook is no longer part of the England team. As long as he remains, the idocy will continue. Too many people have either invested their reputations on him or see him as their best mate. This is not really Cooks fault. He is a pawn in a weird game of establishment brown nosing.

        All his innings can now never be judged in a cool calm way. None of his captaincy decsions can be judged on pure merit. There will always be an agenda.


  4. greyblazer Oct 21, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    The challenge for England is with Yasir Shah, they need to pick him from the hand.
    He has the ability to run through an inexperienced, nervous middle order.
    Cook, Bell & Root have to anchor.
    Would say its a very important toss to win.


  5. Rohan Oct 21, 2015 / 10:33 pm

    Cook seems keen on Patel for Stokes, if that call has to be made. To me that just smacks of a player being picked to further lengthen the batting line up. He bats and oh, by the way, is a handy tweaker, well let’s get him in the side then. Actually, apart from Broad, Wood, Anderson and Buttler why not pick 7 batsman who are part time tweakers like Moeen, what a good plan…..could that actually be done?

    Anyway looking forward to seeing Shah bowl, 61 wickets in 10 tests, wow! What would we give for that kind of return from Moeen or Rashid! Will we pick him……well we couldn’t fathom Ajmal last time, so what hope Shah. Although this England team looks like they might be developing the knack of surprising us and doing better than we think they can. Not convinced though, until I see us bat against Shah.


  6. d'Arthez Oct 22, 2015 / 5:50 am

    Umpiring under some scrutiny in Sri Lanka. Three reviews, 2 of which have been overturned. And they were not straightforward wrong decisions either. Sri Lanka 34/3.


  7. d'Arthez Oct 22, 2015 / 6:05 am

    Pakistan have just the one change (Yasir Shah in for Rahat Ali). England unchanged, and thus Stokes is playing. Pakistan won the toss and elect to bat. That is certainly not an automatic win – there is definitely something in this pitch for the quicks in the first session.

    Shan Masood is very lucky to be playing. He looked all at sea in the previous Test, and that was not exactly the liveliest of pitches. If Azhar Ali was available, I’d have opened with Shoaib Malik, and have Azhar back at three.


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