Sharjah Day 3 – Short On Detail, Long On Hope (and a couple of 200s)

Sharjah Racing
If that had been number 5 in front, the picture would have worked!

Well, I have to be honest. I’ve not seem much at all of today’s play. A bit of a problem when you have a cricket blog! You also have to say that the highlights are not going to give you a great sense of the rearguard action and accumulation that Taylor undertook, in concert with Johnny Bairstow (who, I’m chuffed to say, is making me eat my words). But the sense from Twitter, if FICJAM allows me to source that, is that these two played compactly, sensibly and within their limits. They have put England in a good, but not unassailable position. Tomorrow needs to be more of the same, with the best outcome being two new centurions. England need them.

I posted this on Twitter at around 9:20 (actually I was on the train coming in to work – still can’t figure out how to get Sky Go on the tablet via Virgin Media – does my head in) and it did reflect the sense of pessimism I was seeing:

Hey. A rare time I can say, I was right!

I’ll say nothing on the cheap lines that have been put on the internet regarding the “relationship” between Taylor and some former batsman who didn’t rate him. OK. I will. Those who thought that remains a salient point are muppets. The end.

Just checked up on the Independent – Bunkers wrote a piece yesterday, but today it’s agency staff? Not sure what’s going on. Thought he’d mention you-know-who. I’m all disappointed now. Newman did, but I actually didn’t have a problem with how he did it.

But, Dean Wilson, please. Tut Tut…

Despite putting on 147 together against South Africa, Kevin Pietersen told then England coach Andy Flower that he ‘didn’t think Taylor was up to it’ at Test level, and somehow that view stuck for longer than it should.

Pietersen also had an issue with Taylor’s height. At five foot, six inches tall, he is one of the smallest players in the game, prompting team-mates to have a joke on him with ‘youth’-sized equipment earlier on the tour.

I am very disappointed.

No-one can ever be certain that a player will do well for his country, and it is easy to appear clever after the event. But you always felt he should be given another go. The jockey has his nose in front…

Comments on Day 3 below.



The paradox of successful traditions, however, is that they rely on constant adaptation and subtle change. In The Invention of Tradition, the English historian Eric Hobsbawm showed how apparently iconic national traditions were, in fact, skilful constructions, creations of opportunism and salesmanship as well as the stock of collective memory.


Double Century Watch…

Paras Dogra - 209 not out for Himachal Pradesh
Paras Dogra – 209 not out for Himachal Pradesh

I’ll try to feature every double hundred I come across…Paras Dogra, a 30 year old middle-order batsman, made 209 for Himachal Pradesh v Tripura at the lovely looking ground at Dharamsala. It wasn’t his career best – that is 230 not out. He completed his 200 yesterday and HP went on to win by an innings.

Another double hundred to report…..

239 and a carerr best - Mominul Haque
239 and a carerr best – Mominul Haque

Bangladesh test batsman Mominul Haque made a career best 239 for Chittagong Division against Barisal Division. It contained 37×4 and put his team almost on terms.


89 thoughts on “Sharjah Day 3 – Short On Detail, Long On Hope (and a couple of 200s)

  1. Mark Nov 2, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    And not surprisingly Dean Wilson completely ignores the fact that someone then leaked KPs opinions to the media. Why was that necessary?

    The England management did not have to make KPs views public. One can only assume they either agreed with him or were quite happy to use this as another way to cause trouble. But Taylor played well in the ODI team, so their decsion to not pick him for Tests sooner is down to the selectors, captain, and coach.

    But then if you are a batsman of a short stature, or an uppity South African there were no vacancies in this Rolls Royce middle order.


    • SimonH Nov 2, 2015 / 9:37 pm

      Where and when did that story first appear? Anyone remember….


    • Mark Nov 2, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      Well done for finding that one Dmitri. The official story is that it was revealed in KPs book which was published in 2014. But it was known before then. This article was from 2012.

      I would just like to say that this thing about Taylor’s height is such clap trap. KP was completely wrong about a players height. Taylor it is claimed is 5 foot six which is 1 inch shorter than Don Bradman and about 1 inch taller than Sachin. Sunil Gavaskar is listed as also being 5 foot 6 inches. There have been lots of short batsman who could play. I was surprised to see Boycott also question his height a year or so ago.

      Still think he should have been in earlier. Certainly he should have started this tour as he can play spin.


      • Rob Nov 3, 2015 / 12:03 am

        If you said that Taylor has a far more “limited physical striking range” where he can score as compared to other players, would that be less objectionable, if not also correct, even now?

        Ponting was said to be small at 5 foot ten than “ideal” – if these statistics are accurate and Taylor has said he adds to the self reported stats – but is this linguisitic short cut necessarily lazy?

        He can certainly work “the ball around” better than most others in the team – Root the other small former youth cricketer retaining that skill – but would be have been able to hit a Warne or a Qadir around? I still think not.


      • THA Nov 3, 2015 / 7:46 am

        It’s true that Taylor’s height is comparable to a number of great batsmen, but that’s probably a bit simplistic. Taylor’s also very slight. The bat looks huge in his hands and there are times he seems to lack power and leverage, in a way that the likes of Tendulkar or Lara – or Da Silva, say – never did. He’s overcome it in impressive fashion, but he *looks* like a child when he’s batting. Standing next to the 6’4″ Pietersen could hardly have helped.

        It was often said that Evander Holyfield was too small to be a heavyweight boxer. One of the first people to say it to him was Mike Tyson. Tyson was a similar weight and several inches shorter, but no one ever suggested Tyson was too small, curiously.


      • SimonH Nov 3, 2015 / 8:27 am

        Pietersen’s comment always read like an ill-judged attempt at a witticism to me. If he was serious (and even most of us Kevinista fanboys acknowledge that he could say daft things at times), then Vaughan summed it up best that the solution was simply to say “shut up, Kev” when necessary (rather than, say, drip poison into the media inkwell for years then sack him).

        More specifically, I think I remember Pietersen made a particular point that Taylor could be bottled up by bowling short outside off-stump. Well as he’s played here, this innings on such a slow, low pitch hardly disproves that concern. Runs at Centurion or CT, on the other hand, would.

        That said, there are so few bouncy tracks around world cricket at the moment that a batsman could enjoy a successful overall career without being able to master them.


    • man in a barrel Nov 2, 2015 / 11:44 pm

      … and if KP is such a moron, then why did the management accept his assessment of JT? Except that he and Kp made jokes about it on twitter afterwards, suggesting that something was being misreported.

      Sir Ian thinks England are in the box seat, but he has no idea about how the pitch will play tomorrow. Sohail on The Verdict predicted last week that the pitch would start “damp”. Stuart Broad on interview last night said the pitch was “tacky” and seemed disappointed that Pakistan got as many runs as they did. Sohail is coming across with Butch as the best pundit around.

      It comes down to when and if the wicket will crack. If the water is near the surface it could all break up, maybe tomorrow afternoon, otherwise it will just flatten out. Certainly, the pitch was less tricky today than on day 1 when even Samit made it deviate alarmingly. I think the problem was the English spinners were so erratic that they did not wear bumps into the damp pitch in a good area. The spin today came from an English trundler length rather than a spinners’ length. It looks dramatic when it turns and bounces and misses the bat but it misses the bat. The bart is to get the pitch bumpy on a spinner length

      I sincerely hope that Stopkes’s shoulder is ok. It would be truly horrible if his bowling career were ended by that attempted catch yesterday. Similarly, I am thankful that the English management resisted temptation and rested Wood rather nthan dosing him up on tissue-destroying drugs.


  2. paulewart Nov 3, 2015 / 5:12 am

    I really don’t like it when Ed Smith cites the late, great Eric Hobsbawm in his second-hand ‘essays’.


    • MM Nov 3, 2015 / 8:39 pm

      I really don’t like it when Ed Smith anythings.

      Just sayin’!


      • Rohan Nov 3, 2015 / 9:18 pm

        Agree with that and annoyingly whenever I get in the car and listen to TMS he is on! What I don’t understand is why do all his co-commentators think he is so clever…….


  3. d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 6:38 am

    Taylor gone, but it was an excellent innings. Still a fair bit of work to do to get a decent lead for England. Batting last will possibly be a nightmare, so you really don’t want to chase too many.


    • Zephirine Nov 3, 2015 / 12:16 pm

      Terrific piece, that. Thanks for the link.


    • Mike Nov 3, 2015 / 11:33 am

      Gutted about the closure of Grantland, which I only discovered had happened yesterday morning. If like me you like the NFL (or NBA/MLB), their long form reporting and analysis was the best on the web, by a long, long, long way. In depth, assuming decent knowledge on behalf of its audience (which I don’t have but learnt A LOT), reporting on incidents rather than personalities and using analysis backed up with evidience (data/analytics/gifs) to make points. Not in thrall to player or coaching personalities or bullshit media contructed stroyline..Genuinely brilliant. A massive shame.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 3, 2015 / 11:40 am

        Sports on Earth, backed by USA Today, I think, went the same way a year or so ago. There are fewer decent sports blogs around now too. Sport is to be consumed. Sport is to be discussed only in soundbytes and then as soap opera. It’s being devoured by big business and there’s sod all the fan can do about it.


      • Mark Nov 3, 2015 / 1:42 pm

        Confirms what that Mail journalist and host of Sky Sunday supplement said last week. “The Premiership is about soap opera.” Sports editors don’t want formations, tactics, or straterdgy. It’s all about show biz, and meaningless drivel.

        And unfortunately they know what sells their publications. Because it is all about what sells. And we today live in a dumbed down society where people have a small attention span, and need instant sugar hits every 2 minutes. Sad, but it’s the race to the bottom.

        The only alternative is sites like this, which you Dmitri do for love rather than profit. There are some good sports blogs out there, just as there are some good political blogs out there. But they don’t make any money. They rely on dedicated hosts who do it in their spare time. A sad reflection on the modern world I’m afraid. I rarely read or watch anything turned out by the MSM these days. If you want to stay informed you need to avoid the MSM on almost every subject.

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Nov 3, 2015 / 2:05 pm

          In the process of writing about this sort of thing. Good grief, it’s 1500 words already and I’ve only just got started.


  4. SimonH Nov 3, 2015 / 8:41 am

    Encouraging first news on Stokes’ injury that it seems to be the collarbone rather than dislocated shoulder.

    A more complete diagnosis is expected in 7-10 days (Yossarian wrote an excellent comment on the Guardian thread about shoulder injuries generally – and specifically about why it takes time to diagnose them correctly).


  5. d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 8:54 am

    Stokes is batting now. Any runs this partnership can get would help, as the lead was just 62 when Anderson departed.

    Shoaib Malik 8-3-24-3. But apparently he is not a frontline spinner, since someone with a FC 40 is. Courtesy of the Sky commentary team.


    • d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 9:05 am

      It seems that the code of wordpress ate a part of my comment. Note to self: the “smaller than” and “greater than” signs confuse the wordpress software.

      It was meant to read:
      “But apparently he is not a frontline spinner, with a FC average of less than 30, since someone with a FC average on the wrong side of 40 is. Courtesy of the Sky commentary team.


  6. SimonH Nov 3, 2015 / 9:52 am

    Hafeez ‘dismissal’:

    Exhibit #486345 why there should be Snicko on all Test grounds paid for by the ICC.


    • d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 10:07 am

      It is really sensible why the ECB should get more money, if only to ensure that most other teams won’t bother with toys likes Snicko and Hot Spot. Great going Giles!


  7. d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 10:49 am

    Pakistan have made it to tea unscathed. Hafeez survived on review, and just before tea Azhar had a stumping scare.

    Pakistan trail by 14 runs now, are not batting last, and of course Stokes’ batting is almost non-existent due to injury, so in terms of batting depth, there is not that much to separate the two sides. Pakistan have a slight advantage now.

    We’ll see how the rest of the match unfolds – anything can happen. Delicately poised.


    • SimonH Nov 3, 2015 / 11:35 am

      It’s looking more and more that the help for the bowlers on the first day was dampness rather than wear and the pitch now looks very dead for finger spinners. The ball keeping very low was also seen as a threat but they’ve been very few and far between and so far never when the ball’s been straight.

      There’s a long way to go but I wouldn’t rule out a draw here. That said, both sides’ batting has got collapses in them.


      • SimonH Nov 3, 2015 / 1:24 pm

        Alternatively, Azhar could commit hara-kiri with his running and the ball could suddenly start reverse swinging….

        This is why I don’t bet on sport.


  8. THA Nov 3, 2015 / 11:19 am

    I was looking at the odds before today’s play (wasn’t particularly interested but was already on the site betting on the Melbourne Cup). England was paying $1.44 to win, Pakistan $6.

    Now, I wouldn’t bet against England on principal, but that $6 looked a bloody good bet to me then, and an even better one now (Pak 66/0 as I type).


  9. Arron Wright Nov 3, 2015 / 11:32 am

    Baffles me how anyone could say the Ashes was a better series than this.


    • Mark Nov 3, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      Next summer when England are thrashing Pakistan on green tops in 3 days you will again be told what to think. Namely “isn’t it brilliant!”

      As for this game, it looks like England have missed their chance. Broad was disappointed Pakistan got as many as they did in the first innings, and he may have been right if there was dampness in the pitch on day 1. England should really have made a better score. Cook, Bell, Taylor, Bairstow all got good starts and nobody went on and made a hundred. Unless Pakistan collapse it will be England trying to hold out for the draw on the final day.


      • Mark Nov 3, 2015 / 12:27 pm

        Talk of the devil, 2 quick wickets have fallen.


  10. d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 12:14 pm

    Opening stand broken, with a runout of shambolic proportions. Pakistan 101/1 (+29/1). Azhar Ali gone.


    • d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 12:19 pm

      Malik confirms that he is not a long term #3. Gone first ball, lbw, to a good inswinger. Certainly not unplayable though.


      • d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 12:20 pm

        Sorry, my comment was posted too soon (joys of internet in Kenya. It was reverse swing, but still. You’d back a decent #3 to survive those first ball.


      • d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 12:44 pm

        As an aside, how often has a batsman made a double ton in a three-match series, and still fallen short of averaging 50 for the series?


    • escort Nov 3, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      I bet you will keep reading it though.


      • jomesy Nov 3, 2015 / 10:03 pm

        Always need a barometer for perspective.


  11. d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    Younis perishes just before the close – given lbw playing no shot to Broad. Just 14 balls left in the day , Rahat Ali comes out – Misbah stays in the shed for the time being.


    • d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      146/3 at stumps, a lead of 74. Pakistan have improved their position in comparison to stumps Day 2, but I feel that England have a slight advantage here.


  12. Mark Nov 3, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    David: on Cricinfo made this observation ……. “James Tredwell would’ve run amok out there…”



    • LordCanisLupus Nov 3, 2015 / 2:05 pm

      That there are a lot of people with a lot of different views.


      • SteveT Nov 3, 2015 / 3:57 pm

        Some of which may be considered a tad eccentric! One thing in Tredder’s favour is that he would not have sent down 1-2 hittable balls every over and might have bored a few batsmen out. Running amok might just be pushing things a bit.


    • fred Nov 3, 2015 / 5:57 pm

      Piss poor effort though, I only counted half a dozen clauses in that sentence. Not up there with his best.


  13. man in a barrel Nov 3, 2015 / 4:37 pm

    This match is turning minto a classic, maninly because neither side is without flaws. One has a long tail and a set of inconsistent seam bowlers. The other is reliant on a very few batsman and has an unpenetrative spin attack and has suffered a loss in both its batting and seam departments. All results are still possible at the end of day 3, though a draw or tie are both outsiders. What a relief from those Ashes Tests.


  14. SimonH Nov 3, 2015 / 5:02 pm

    Highest fourth innings’ totals to win by non-Asian teams in Asia (excluding Bangladesh):;filter=advanced;groupby=innings;home_or_away=2;home_or_away=3;innings_number=4;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;orderby=runs;result=1;team=1;team=2;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=9;template=results;type=batting

    Nobody’s ever made over 200 unless they had Viv Richards. Nobody’s ever made over 200 against Pakistan.


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 3, 2015 / 5:11 pm

      This game could really go any way but I think a chase of much above 150 could be mightily difficult for England. That said a couple of wickets tomorrow morning including Misbah and another main batsmen early and a chase of less than that isn’t out of the question.

      Re the intriguingness of this series versus the Ashes. All day long. Sure much of the first four days at Abu Dhabi were very dull but since then it really has been proper ebb and flow in a way that your really like to see in test matches.


  15. Ian Nov 3, 2015 / 5:26 pm

    Enjoyable tests and the first test although four days of not much was good to just dip in and out of just like a test should be really.


  16. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 3, 2015 / 6:11 pm

    RIP Tom Graveney. Before my time as a player but I remember him as a commentator.

    There seems to be a mixed opinion on ‘The Verdict’. Butcher and Willis think that Pakistan will win, Aamir Sohail thinks England will win. The reason why the former two are so reticient is of course the lack of threat and economy of the spinners. The latter thinks that the lack of pace in the pitch means that a moderate chase isn’t too difficult. I would say wait and see if the pitch disintegrates a bit before making that judgement. I assume England will start with Broad and Anderson tomorrow I just don’t see that England can do anything else. One last hurrah in the series for them tomorrow.


    • alan Nov 3, 2015 / 7:17 pm

      Tom Graveney was my favourite batsman as a child. I think it was because he was batting when I first briefly watched cricket on tv in 1956. Before we had a telly, I was visiting a neighbour! Then the following year I remember listening to the radio commentary while he scored a century against the West Indies. He’d be dropped for years at a time. A very stylish batsman but considered unreliable by the powers that be. He was recalled for the last time aged 39 and had a wonderful Indian summer to his career which lasted 3 years until he fell foul of authority by playing in one of his benefit games on a test rest day. Andrew Murtagh’s book about him ‘Touched by Greatness’ is worth a read


    • man in a barrel Nov 3, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      My guess is that Aamer Sohail thinks the pitch will die, whereas the others think it will break up. It is hard to say. The pace seems to be fading but there is still bounce. Anyone’s guess really. The game thrives on uncertainty.


  17. SimonH Nov 3, 2015 / 6:39 pm

    Newman’s report starts with seven paragraphs on the DRS overrule for Hafeez.

    Outbreak of ‘greatest everitis’ in the Selvey report as well.


      • d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 8:42 pm

        Actually, they’re the greatest figures for a non-Asian seamer in Asian conditions.

        In fact only Imran Khan (14/116) vs Sri Lanka (1982) and Vaas (14/191) vs West Indies (2001) have better figures in Asian conditions.


    • d'Arthez Nov 3, 2015 / 8:59 pm

      How many complaints were there in the English cricket media about when Misbah was Ravi-ed in the first Test? How many England cricketers complained that they really did not deserve that wicket? Crickets are still chirping, eagerly in anticipation for some faux outrage in the English media or from the players. They’ll be chirping indefinitely in all likelihood.

      You can’t have a system where all the marginal calls go your way. England can have little complaints about that, since Ravi basically did everything in his powers to hand the New Zealand series to England. That he nearly succeeded is nothing but an indictment of the ICC Elite Umpiring Panel.

      Oh, and Selvey can’t even bother to get the facts right. The opening stand was 101 runs, not 105.

      Other than that, I feel that Selvey is way too pessimistic. The pitch is not doing that much yet – it is doing less than on Day 1 and thus far most England players have contributed with the bat (Moeen excepted), which is a massive improvement compared to 2012.

      Sure, England are Stokes’ short, but Rashid who is not the worst player of spin to say the least, will be batting at #8 now. I honestly would not be surprised if England chase 200 relatively comfortably tomorrow and on Day 5.


    • Alan Nov 3, 2015 / 10:14 pm

      Yes that was at Trent Bridge but the one I followed was at the Oval in August. School holiday time so I was able to listen


      • man in a barrel Nov 3, 2015 / 11:56 pm

        wow ..,that was a classic… the rains fell and the West indies got bowled out twice at the Oval by Laker and Lock but Sobers made a real mark, when he decided that he ws going to be a great batsman.


  18. BoredInAustria Nov 3, 2015 / 7:28 pm

    A strange day it has been. A colleague from work passed. I saw your aunt did as well. And Graveney.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. man in a barrel Nov 3, 2015 / 7:29 pm

    Re Hafeez, I don’t think any commentator either on radio or TV thought it was out. He reviewed it instantly. Only NewmanNewman or Pringle would make an issue of it. I think the decision against Younus was far more questionable.


  20. Rohan Nov 3, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    Well I was not expecting that. I thought England would struggle to get to 200, but to get to 300 was a great effort! This England team are inconsistent, but it makes it fun to watch them.

    This test is turning into a real classic. I managed to watch about an hour this morning and was very impressed by the bowling of Rahat Ali…….and it was riveting stuff, carried on listening when I could at work, had to keep up to date.

    All this KP stuff has got me thinking. What happened, what was the trigger for the ECB and English management and parts of the media, that caused them to turn against him. Or was it a cumulation over time? Either way, I really struggle to understand why you would undermine, whisper, leak and denigrate such a talent. Especially one who was and still could be winning tests and playing great innings, as well as drawing in new supporters, big crowds, etc. etc. Just clueless ECB idiocy and certain people with an axe to grind, probably jealous of his outrageous talent and popularity.

    Looking forward to day 4, shame it’s not 5 tests……


    • THA Nov 4, 2015 / 1:44 am

      The memo and subsequent sacking shambles. There was a noticeable change or direction right then, and it stayed that way to the end.


  21. Rohan Nov 3, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    Forgot to add. I read somewhere today/heard, probably TMS or the live TMS text feed, that one of the commentators (ex-England player) was accusing the English spinners of firing it in too fast! Make your mind up, Rashid is too slow, but now Moeen and Patel are too fast…….ridiculous, you couldn’t make it up


  22. man in a barrel Nov 3, 2015 / 11:57 pm

    Four innings later, Sobers overtook Len Hutton. At the start of the series he wa not even opening the batting.


  23. thebogfather Nov 4, 2015 / 5:56 am

    Hugs to Dmitri for the passing of his Aunt….

    So, in his understandable absence



    • SimonH Nov 4, 2015 / 6:13 am

      Dramatic first over – Hafeez nearly LBW first ball (just pitched outside leg) and missed off a stumping (neither batsman nor keeper seeming to pick Rashid’s googly).

      Rahat Ali bowled in second over, a nip-backer trimming the off-bail.


      • SimonH Nov 4, 2015 / 6:40 am

        On 109 Hafeez edges Broad’s first ball of the day through second slip. There isn’t a second slip. There’s a first and third slip.


      • SimonH Nov 4, 2015 / 6:44 am

        And he’s dropped off a caught-and-bowled as well – low and to Broad’s left but no great pace as it was a looping leading edge.


      • SimonH Nov 4, 2015 / 7:20 am

        Throw in Misbah lobbing a catch to short leg on nought – but there wasn’t a short leg. Two balls earlier Ramiz Raja on commentary said there ought to be a short leg. Of course Misbah might have played the ball differently if a fielder was there…..

        What’s the betting that the chances that Bairstow and Broad missed get mentioned but the chances Cook has missed by negative captaincy don’t?

        Also noticeable that Cook has turned to Rashid and Patel before Moeen Ali to bowl this morning.


      • Mark Nov 4, 2015 / 8:15 am

        Cook is a crap captain. Always has been and always will be. No matter how many times he is lauded by the yellow media. Whenever England win it is despite his captaincy not because of it.

        He is a good batsman but should never have been England captain. His reluctance to ever have a short leg Has been a problem for years. He has no feel for the game. It is all done by numbers. Why no second slip? England may have blown it in the first hour here.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Nov 4, 2015 / 8:43 am

        Who didn’t think that in a tight corner overseas Cook would revert to type? It’s one thing to be Captain Funky at home with runs in the bank but another to do it when the game’s even.

        This morning has been like the return of the ‘bowling dry’ mindset. Keep it tight and pressure will bring wickets. Not with the bowling attack they’ve selected it won’t.

        The bowlers need to take some responsibility as well. If Anderson demanded a short leg I doubt Cook would say no. I’m not saying the two main bowlers haven’t bowled very well but with this team (and with England being 1-0 down in the series) they seem unwilling to trade a higher ER for a better SR.

        I wouldn’t mind so much if there hadn’t been all that spouting off about bold new eras. This has been classic Flower-era cricket this morning – but with no Swann to make it work. Also, Lawrence Booth reported yesterday that Strauss is in the UAE and needless to say there haven’t been any reaction shots of him watching this morning (unlike at the end of the Ashes when he was being shown every 5 minutes).

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Nov 4, 2015 / 9:03 am

        It is one thing to talk about bold new eras, it is another thing to back that talk up with results. Thus far, the results have been okayish, but nothing more than that. Out of six series since the “difficult winter”, England have won two, drawn two, lost one. This series will require a great effort to draw.

        For all the guff articles that appeared in the media about being #1 in the world after the tour of South Africa, the reality is that if England don’t win this Test, they’ll slip to sixth in the rankings – just ahead of Sri Lanka, and a fair bit ahead of the West Indies. The latter team have hardly been the hallmark of excellence in the past decade though.

        Just as I write this, Broad takes care of Misbah. Pakistan are effectively +173/5, with Shafiq coming to the crease.


      • SimonH Nov 4, 2015 / 9:10 am

        Shafiq’s made two scores under 6 and three over 79 in the series. Probably a good idea to get him early.

        Hafeez just brought up his 150. Rest of his team have 99/5.


      • Mark Nov 4, 2015 / 9:18 am

        I think in Selveys piece yesterday he admitted that if England lose this series 2-0 they go down to 6th in the rankings……..6th? Will we keep a captain who has taken us to sixth?

        No doubt all the TINA argumemts will start up again, and then a full house at Birmingham on a green top, and everything in the world will be back to ECB normal. “We won the ashes, we won the ashes!”

        This nonsense has carried on just so the ECB can cover themselves. If we don’t get a green seamer, we are shit. Where does trust get you when we are shit Mr Strauss? We have 3 spinners and hardly any of them have any expeirence of bowling long spells and learning their trade because our domestic game is crap and is all about county cricket in May and September.

        But look over there…… Waitrose has a new offer on Mature English Cheddar. Oh goody, that will please the chocolate cake munchers.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 4, 2015 / 6:59 am

    Morning all. Firstly, my condolences to Dmitri/Lord Canis.

    Secondly I can’t help feeling the missed chance off Hafeez is basically a pivotal moment in the match. Although Rashid bowled well it hasn’t happened for him this innings and indeed this match as I didn’t think he bowled that badly in the first innings. After Rashid didn’t break through Cook has gone to Broad as well. I really think England think this is the last chance saloon in terms of them winning the game as the lead is now over 100.


  25. Sherwick Nov 4, 2015 / 7:44 am

    Never saw him bat, but have very fond memories of Tom Graveney on TMS commentating with Trevor ‘The Boil’ Bailey amongst others. Condolences to you too Lord Canis.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Sherwick Nov 4, 2015 / 7:52 am

    (Others included ‘Firey’ Fred Trueman of course!)


  27. d'Arthez Nov 4, 2015 / 8:03 am

    My condolences Dmitri.

    Pakistan had a dream session. Lost the nightwatchman early, but Misbah and Hafeez bedding in nicely. Hafeez in particular provided a few (half-) chances, which only added to the frustrations for England.

    That session went 83/1 to Pakistan, and now they can feel quite comfortable with a 157-run lead, with six wickets left (and only three of those are of bowlers). However the new ball is due, so if Broad and Anderson can grab a couple of wickets, England are back in it.


  28. ArushaTZ Nov 4, 2015 / 9:26 am

    Moeen gets another shit wicket. The master of getting wickets gifted to him despite mostly bowling rubbish. Worth having in the team as a lucky charm.

    Another 50 runs and Pakistan can rest easy I think.


    • d'Arthez Nov 4, 2015 / 11:01 am

      They all count.

      The problem is of course, that if you’re looking to bowl a side out, Moeen’s effectiveness becomes even more questionable, since batsmen with a decent temperament won’t bother too much trying to get on top of a spinner, especially if they feel that he is not the most threatening proposition, compared to the others who could be bowling.


      • ArushaTZ Nov 4, 2015 / 11:28 am

        My observation of Moeen, for what it’s worth, is that he bowls too flat, too fast and too straight.
        It reminds me of Harbhajan from about 2010 onwards. I really think Moeen needs to flight the ball more and pitch it two feet outside offstump. I want to see batsmen having to lunge forward defending on the front foot against him.


  29. SteveT Nov 4, 2015 / 12:10 pm

    Some damning stats from TMS: “In this series England’s pace bowlers have taken 31 wickets at an average of 24 and an economy rate of 2.28 an over. Their spinners have taken 20 wickets at 59 apiece, at at 4.07 an over.”

    282 needed. This would be a monumental effort. Sounds like Mo has taken a nasty blow in the same place as Phil Hughes, but is OK and has now got the neck-guard in place.


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