Duel In The Desert #3 – This Time It’s Sharjah

You lot don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. WordPress have changed the post drafting interface again. Jeepers. Leave it alone, peeps.

Anyway, enough of the moans, here’s your comments space for the third one dayer to be played in the venerable old stadium in Sharjah, scene of famous triumphs of the past, and an unimpeachable reputation.

The series is level at 1-1 as England revert to glorious inconsistency. The glimpses of something are there, almost tangible, but not quite. Alex Hales made his first ODI hundred in the second match in Abu Dhabi, while Jason Roy made a half century. We’ve rather been here before with Hales, when that T20 century against Sri Lanka made his future selection almost irresistible (but resist we did for six months), but the England man he reminds me most of, Ali Brown, made a century in his third international and it was, with a couple of exceptions, all she wrote.  Hales will certainly be backed for much longer than Brown, and we should wait for Roy too. But as I noted on a separate Twitter feed on another subject, Quinton de Kock has eight ODI hundreds and isn’t 23 yet, while Hales is 26, and this is his first. I love watching Alex play, but the press have over-reacted again, pumping up his tyres, asking us to sort of forget some of his early struggles.

Bowling was also a concern after game one, but those extra runs and the early wickets certainly made the task easier. These guys have Wood and Finn to compete against in the not too distant future (Broad, I think, won’t be tried again) so competition is there, which is good.

Pakistan? Well who knows which team will turn up. They are like England at the moment, rather unpredictable.

We also have Day 5 of the Australia v New Zealand test, which looks nailed on a draw. There is Day 4 of the water polo match between India and South Africa.

Some upcoming news. TLG is nearly back from his manic workload and is working on a major piece, or pieces, on the cricket media – a subject we know nothing about. It’ll be broad in scope and take some work, so keep checking in. I’ve written up an introductory piece, with the interaction between the blog and the media its focus, while also finally announcing the top 10 worst journalists, as voted by you (and me).

I’d also like to thank all of you who contributed to the ODI pieces at the weekend. I’ll do a couple more bringing the pieces together, and perhaps one on T20s to coincide with the Pakistan v England series. And, I know you all want to see this, The Bogfather has written one of his poems (not the filthy ones he puts on Twitter) and it will be coming (oooo er) to you soon.

Double century watch – well Ross Taylor and David Warner, of course, but also Natraj Behera, who made 255* for Odisha against Haryana in the Ranji Trophy. He’s 27 and this is his career best.

So, comments on all the cricket below, and your white ball views too….

 

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68 thoughts on “Duel In The Desert #3 – This Time It’s Sharjah

  1. Mark November 16, 2015 / 9:27 pm

    While it does look like a draw in Aus, I still think New Zealand could get themselves in trouble. Stark has looked very quick and the pitch is throwing up the odd uneven bounce. Also the spinner was getting some turn yesterday.

    The Aussies could give then a very nasty 60 odd overs to survive. Of course they should but the Kiwiws do tend to be set up to attack. Potential banana skin?

    Like

    • SimonH November 16, 2015 / 9:48 pm

      If NZ lose (and I agree they could be in for a tricky time), Ross Taylor would hold the unwanted record of highest score in a losing score.

      Quiz question: who holds that record currently?

      Like

      • escort November 16, 2015 / 10:46 pm

        i’m guessing Brian Lara, perhaps against Sri Lanka, and i promise iv’e not checked.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus November 16, 2015 / 10:53 pm

          Lara holds the record for most runs in a match I think with a double and single hundred. But sure it’s Punter’s 242.

          Like

      • Gambrinus November 16, 2015 / 10:46 pm

        Collingwood?

        Like

      • LordCanisLupus November 16, 2015 / 10:49 pm

        Not checked but Ponting made a 240 or 250 v India and lost at Adelaide.

        Like

      • SimonH November 16, 2015 / 11:03 pm

        Yep, Ponting’s 242 against India. Ajit Agarkar’s second finest hour.

        Lara’s 226 (also at Adelaide) is second and Astle’s 222 third.

        Like

      • Escort November 16, 2015 / 11:19 pm

        They can’t lose this can they? Will Smith (no pun intended ) declare and set a target or just bat out time?

        Like

      • Culex November 17, 2015 / 1:02 pm

        In terms of total runs scored (both innings), the record is held by Brian Lara. He scored a total of 351 (221 & 130) versus Sri Lanka at Colombo in November 2001.

        For the highest score in a single innings, that goes to Ricky Ponting. He scored 242 against India at Adelaide in December 2003.

        Just for the amusement value: just behind Lara on “most runs in both innings on the losing side” – a certain A. Flower, playing for Zimbabwe against South Africa in Harare in September 2001. He got a total of 341 (142 & 199*).

        Like

  2. Sean B November 16, 2015 / 10:00 pm

    Can we have a filmed, live announcement of the “worst top ten”? I’m happy to throw in a few quid for a proper trophy for the “winner”. We might even be able to claim a tax rebate on Justgiving…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MM November 16, 2015 / 10:31 pm

    I’m hoping the NZ bowling finally turns up tonight. Goes through the Aussies like a dose of the campylobacter. And then they blast their way to a 10 wicket win. That, my friends, would be 21st century Test match cricket.

    Pakistan v England? Meh… one of them will win. Probably Pakistan, maybe England. Meh, again. And possibly a whatevs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. man in a barrel November 17, 2015 / 12:20 am

    at least these teams have made a game of it…Let’s not forget that England have not lasted 4 days at Perth for a long time…even without the sainted Alastair Cook. Some teams play cricket…other teams play Cook top trumnps. OOOO Cook lost in an environment where his bowlers could not bully.

    Like

  5. mdpayne87 November 17, 2015 / 2:33 am

    Mitchell Johnson has announced his retirement. Not sure I’d go as far as calling him a ‘legend’ but certainly a great, great fast bowler on his day. Could see him finishing off by winning the game for Australia later today…

    Like

    • Culex November 17, 2015 / 2:42 am

      I’d say his contribution to the 2013/14 Ashes series was legendary, but I’ll leave judgement of the rest of his career record to wiser heads.

      Like

      • mdpayne87 November 17, 2015 / 5:45 am

        Yes, that’s a fair comment. Was unplayable for that series.

        Like

      • SimonH November 17, 2015 / 9:53 am

        His 12 wickets against the Saffers at Centurion in 2014 I’d rate as the second greatest display of fast bowling I’ve seen (Holding at the Oval in ’76 tops it because of the pitch – but only just):

        http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/648673.html

        The figures of the other fast bowlers (and there are some greats there) in the match tells the tale. I can’t find any highlights of it but some of the wickets are in this compilation:

        Also, as we’re under instructions to take it seriously, it’s worth pointing out what a good white ball bowler he was. He wasn’t the most economical but he was that thing that England have most lacked in ODIs – a wicket-taking threat in the middle overs.

        Like

    • Arron Wright November 17, 2015 / 6:19 am

      Very much looking forward to the English tributes that mention “tail enders” but somehow omit 12 wickets in his first Test after the 13/14 Ashes….

      Like

  6. SimonH November 17, 2015 / 10:37 am

    Pakistan won toss and bat.

    One team change – Gohar (who is 20 and played 9 f/c matches) in for the injured Yasir Shah.

    Like

    • SteveT November 17, 2015 / 1:13 pm

      141-5 in the 34th. Batsmen getting in and getting out and 2 shambolic run-outs.

      Like

      • SteveT November 17, 2015 / 1:46 pm

        Latest Twitter offering from everyone’s favourite muppet:

        ‘2013 WACA , great bowler retires mid series. Opprobrium heaped . 2015 WACA, great bowler retires mid series. Hero.’

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arron Wright November 17, 2015 / 2:47 pm

        29.96 though…

        Oh, and there’s a pretty obvious theory here as well – the man can’t abide Johnson because he wrecked his mates’ legacy in hugely entertaining fashion. He’s also one of those “tail ender” types, to no-one’s surprise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rohan November 17, 2015 / 9:34 pm

        Saw that from the plonker as well. I thought it was a very poor comparison from a charictiture of a journalist.

        One jumped a sinking ship. Left a team that was 3-0 down. Did not stay to help fight the whitewash. Was a senior player and our only realistic spin option, head and shoulders above the rest. Left as if it was all a good laugh and ‘just one of those things’. Blatantly the wrong decision.

        The other leaves his team in a strong position in the series. No chance of a whitewash, likely to win or at least draw the series. Probably not a senior player and huge dressing room influence in the way Swann was. Leaves when his team have strong fast bowling reserves and plenty of young talent waiting to come in and replace him. Most importantly is not jumping a sinking ship. A fair decision.

        There are probably more reasons why it is a shoddy comparison, but can’t think of them all now. It is clear, however, that the tweet is written as s friend of Swann and not a unbiased journalist trying to be balanced……

        Liked by 1 person

      • BigKev67 November 18, 2015 / 1:50 am

        Rohan,

        With respect, if you read what both Swann and Johnson said about their retirements, they both make the same point – when the tank is empty, it’s empty, and you can’t always pick and choose when that is. Adam Gilchrist decided on the first day of a test that he was done (after he dropped a catch) – and apparently spent the rest of the test hoping he wouldn’t embarrass himself. That test just happened to be at the end of a series.
        So what? If any elite sportsman decides that he’s no longer capable of performing at an elite level, then they have every right to walk away. Whether that decision is arrived at after planning or overnight is irrelevant to me.
        I tweeted the Swann/Johnson comparison myself yesterday. It’s a perfectly valid one to make and the differences that you point out are irrelevant – because they would have played no part in either decision. Johnson didn’t say he retired because he was happy that Australia’s bowling stocks are healthy – he retired because he couldn’t perform at the level he expected any more. Swann said the same thing. Once that’s been decided – why hang around? I’d rather have that level of honesty than watch someone scratching about for a final paycheck.

        Like

      • Benny November 18, 2015 / 2:25 pm

        I never got into the Swann jumping a sinking ship thing. I don’t like the irritating cheeky chappie at all but if his repaired elbow wasn’t working well, not using it was an obvious decision. England had selected enough crocks already. The management, as with most things on that tour, handled it badly. They did have an alternative, my favourite Monty, and they promptly treated him like shit.

        Don’t believe either retirement took the respective managers by surprise for a minute. How they handled it is the issue.

        Like

      • Rohan November 18, 2015 / 9:02 pm

        Kev

        The points I make are not an irrelevance, quite simply because both players were part of a team. To that end it means you have to consider others, your decisions cannot be solely about you. Both could be accused of being selfish leaving a series half way through and this would be fair comment.

        Cricket is a team sport and although your point about honesty has some merit, your responsibility to your teammates and duty to support them overrides that. Tours are long and arduous and often it is only the team spirit that carries players through. You fail to even acknowledge the issue of Swann’s importance to the team and many (including himself) are happy to point out his ‘big personality’ and role in the dressing room. Ask yourself this, regardless of his ability to perform, what would younger players/those touring Aus for the first time, think when a pivotal player, a vital part of the team, unexpectedly drops out halfway through and seems to think it is quite a lighthearted matter…….

        It is a poor comparison and clear proof of Selvey’s vested interest and bias, the 2 situations are too different. Feel free to disagree…….

        Like

  7. greyblazer November 17, 2015 / 1:29 pm

    Is Johnson’s haul of 12 wickets at Centurion in 2014 underrated? I thought he was at his peak in that game at Centurion.

    He’s up there in recent times,

    Leading Test wicket-takers since Johnson’s Test debut:

    Anderson: 366
    Steyn: 351
    Broad: 315
    Johnson: 311
    Herath: 258
    Swann: 255

    My summary; Steyn – the most complete pacer of his generation. Mitch – the most intimidating. Anderson – the swing-king and deceptive

    Like

    • SteveT November 17, 2015 / 1:49 pm

      162-8 in the 42nd, another run-out. Sounds like pitch pretty lifeless.

      Like

  8. Andy November 17, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    England need 209 to win. Riaz with a blast at the end to push Pakistan over 200. Will England make it or throw it away?

    Like

    • SteveT November 17, 2015 / 3:12 pm

      Depends which England turns up.

      Like

  9. keyserchris November 17, 2015 / 7:14 pm

    Apropos of nothing, but noticed a certain exiled T20 player is being beaten with a new stick for leaving the Ram Slam early; apparently he doesn’t see tournaments through….

    Ignoring any actual facts, the reason he’s left early (& is back for the finals I think) is because his wife is pregnant & due any day I believe.

    Honestly, would have thought blind hatred would have been shown up for what it is this last week, but no.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. SimonH November 17, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    Crowd in Perth was 40.3k. Viewing figures:

    Like

  11. MM November 17, 2015 / 11:08 pm

    Hey, England won. Well done fellas. 9 overs to spare. That’s tidy.

    Like

    • Zephirine November 18, 2015 / 11:27 am

      Taylor’s terrific, isn’t he? Smart, generous (in his post-match interview he talked about Buttler all the time). The ODI side are generally likeable, I find, and he’s a great addition.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. man in a barrel November 18, 2015 / 12:30 am

    Is Hales the answer? He seems to have 2 shots, the square cut and the agricultural mow. Is he really a Test match opener? I am saying this on the basis of the few times I have seen him on TV. Maybe he has a 2 dimensional game but, so far, he is showing me, a 1 dimensional game.

    Like

    • Benny November 18, 2015 / 2:31 pm

      I watched Hales score 167 in a 3 day game v Sussex at Hove last year and it was the complete package. Totally commanding and Magoffin is no slouch with the ball either.

      Like

  13. d'Arthez November 18, 2015 / 5:05 am

    Meanwhile Shaun Marsh got recalled for the umpteenth time. As if failing umpteen minus two times is not enough to be permanently not considered for selection. I would either have gone with a young one (say Bancroft), or an old one (say Klinger, possibly Ferguson – even though he is only 30). The former to already break in a real prospect. The latter to avoid future selection headaches, and have a backup ready, in case Voges breaks down. Even if they don’t have much Test experience, at least they will have much FC experience. Shaun is 32. So hardly THAT much more cricket left in him, compared to Klinger.

    27 innings, 7 ducks. Yeah. That is an excellent record in Test history. Clearly demanding of inclusion.

    Oh, and his stellar form brought him all of 207 runs from 6 innings, for an earth shattering average of 34.5. That is really a number that means all others ought to be ignored. Even Ferguson has done better, and his form has not been too stellar either. Oh and Klinger has 365 runs at an average a touch over 90.

    You would almost think that the ICC should investigate gambling on selections by some insiders. Because, I am not sure by what meritocratic metric Shaun Marsh should have been picked. And seeing that corruption is the norm, rather than the exception in cricket these days …

    Like

  14. SimonH November 18, 2015 / 10:33 am

    Agree on Shaun Marsh – Klinger or Bancroft seem much more understandable selections.

    Rain in Bangalore has saved the Saffers from a probable 2-0 and the tour looking in danger of turning into the kind of rout Australia suffered in 2012-13. Any thoughts on what’s going wrong – and whether they can turn it around?

    Are the bowling injuries just bad luck? What’s going on with the batting? They were perhaps ambushed with a bunsen in Mohali and Ashwin is a class act in top form but the Bangalore first innings was (ABDV excepted) woeful.

    One thing I’d say about India under Kohli – they are certainly bothered about Test cricket. It was obvious in SL and it’s been obvious here.

    Like

    • d'Arthez November 18, 2015 / 3:15 pm

      Really not sure what is going on with the Saffers at the moment. Mind you, they have played all of 5 Tests this year. Two of which only saw a bit of action on day 1 (second Test in Bangladesh was a rainfest as well). So could definitely mean that they are a bit rusty. Also, it is not like most of these new players have that much experience on wickets like the one in Bangalore. The closest you’d get facing such conditions would be in Durban. And that is not exactly South Africa’s happiest hunting ground.

      Faf in particular seems to be really out of nick, and Amla is in a horrible rut as well. He hardly scored runs in the ODIs too. Now both these players are class players and they can turn it around quite quickly.

      I would not be too worried about the result of the first Test. Winning the toss was a massive advantage, and it is not like India piled on the runs (the collapse of 39/8 in the third innings suggests that India probably would have struggled if they had fielded first). It is not like Tahir, Harmer and Elgar were completely ineffective. So provided Amla wins a toss on a bunsen, I’d be quietly confident that they can make a real game of it.

      South Africa have had their freak injuries. Duminy in Australia got himself out of reckoning for 6 months, due to an accident after stumps day 1. He had not even done a thing that match, and South Africa had to play the remainder of the Test with just ten men. That is really hard – England found that out in the third Test when Stokes suffered a freak injury.

      As long as Steyn is back, missing Philander for the India series is not the biggest disaster – three quicks is overkill on bunsens. These things happen, and they have the record to show that they can bounce back from such setbacks.

      They might be better off going:
      1. Elgar 2. van Zyl 3. Amla (not ideal, but Faf needs a bit of a break – and if SA bat first obviously fatigue will be less of a factor for Amla than when having fielded) 4. Faf 5. AB 6. Duminy 7. Vilas 8. Harmer 9. Steyn 10. Morkel 11. Tahir.

      Really think the selectors screwed up by not picking de Kock. His form has been poor in Tests (battingwise, his keeping was still very good) , but against India he has done really well in ODIs. And it is not like Vilas is the next Gilchrist in any shape or form.

      Like

  15. SimonH November 18, 2015 / 11:41 am

    On Mitch, I wanted to say (as we’re under an injunction to take it seriously!) what a good ODI bowler he was. His record is, perhaps surprisingly, good for a bowler with a reputation for waywardness and inconsistency.

    The raw stats are impressive enough: 153 matches, 239 wickets, 25.26 average, 4.83 ER.

    However he’s played in an era where things have been increasingly stacked against seam bowlers in ODIs. That makes comparisons with bowlers from past eras tricky – so how does he compare with his contemporaries? He made his debut in Dec 2005 so that is almost the last decade of ODI cricket.

    Number of wickets:

    http://goo.gl/rFW5Ix

    So he’s second only to Malinga – who played 30+ more ODIs and mostly didn’t play Tests.

    Bowling average:

    http://goo.gl/8WdMzY

    Only Morkel, Bracken and Lee have lower averages of bowlers who’ve taken 100+ wickets. I’ve shown the table with a minimum of 90 wickets as it’s clear Mitchell Starc will soon join them – and that his record is way out ahead of anyone.

    Economy Rate:

    http://goo.gl/yTBt7o

    This is the surprising one – only six seamers have better ERs. It is perhaps complicated by issues such as whether a bowler tended to bowl at the death and whether he played mainly pre-2010. Still, whichever way one slices it, that’s an impressive record.

    Home track bully?

    http://goo.gl/Miqv7b

    He took more wickets at a better average away from home in ODIs.

    Conclusion:

    Mitchell Johnson – modern ODI great!

    Like

  16. Mark November 18, 2015 / 1:38 pm

    I thought Sir Ian Botham was right yesterday when he said about all the criticism Johnson was getting from journalists was wrong……”journalists, what do they know?” He said. QUITE! Especially when you see what passes for cricket journalism in the last few years.

    Disappointed to see also how much real hostility there was from elements of English suppporters. One was quoted as saying with great relish that he was “mentally weak.”

    The mentally weak tag and the barmy army’s ability to wind him up particularly in 2010 will always count against him in many people’s eyes. Yet his ability to overcome that so called mental problem and destroy England in 2013/14 seems to have angered them just as much. Dare one say it but perhaps the much vaunted English managememt of Flower and Gooch were a wee bit complacent about Johnson in that series? Preferring to worry about 87 page diet sheets instead of hostile fast bowling on quick pitches. I remain to this day of the opinion that England went into that series with tremendous arrogance and complacency. They never saw it coming.

    But anyone who does suffer from a so called mental weakness should be praised for overcoming it. Plenty of Ex players have not managed to come back from problems of a similar nature. Unfortunately for Johnson those problems will also mean that some people will never regard him as a true great. But there aren’t many fast bowlers who have taken more test wickets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Benny November 18, 2015 / 2:40 pm

      I doubt if Johnson, the Aussies, or anyone else outside England, give a monkeys what the English press says about him.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. SimonH November 18, 2015 / 6:35 pm

    Call the plumbers again…..

    SA squad announced tomorrow – Stokes in but Finn and Wood out.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. man in a barrel November 18, 2015 / 11:53 pm

    I hope that the Stokes decision is based on medical evidence rather than his desire to play. And I am glad that Wood seems to be getting his ankle properly fixed.

    Like

    • SimonH November 19, 2015 / 10:02 am

      Some curious goings-on. The Guardian, DM, DT and DM all had stories out yesterday teatime giving the same info on the Test squad. Wood and Finn out (Finn has since Tweeted he is not unfit for the whole tour; Ballance reserve batsman; Plunkett, Jordan and Woakes probable back-up seamers; only question is whether they take 17 players to squeeze in Lyth as reserve opener.

      Now Newman has a story up:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-3324236/Nick-Compton-Samit-Patel-set-named-England-Test-squad-tour-South-Africa-selectors-look-start-anew.html

      Compton in for Ballance and Samit Patel in (not clear how – instead of Rashid?).

      Briefing and counter-briefing. My best guess is that the first stories came from Whitaker and the second from Bayliss or Farbrace.

      Like

      • mdpayne87 November 19, 2015 / 10:15 am

        Rashid going to play in the Big Bash apparently. Surprised Plunkett didn’t get in, no 3rd fast bowler on SA pitches seems strange.

        Like

  19. mdpayne87 November 19, 2015 / 10:02 am

    Bell out of the SA Test squad. Compton and Ballance return.

    Like

  20. thebogfather November 19, 2015 / 10:27 am

    SA squad – first thought is thin bowling attack…

    Like

      • Arron Wright November 19, 2015 / 10:53 am

        Leaving a batting line-up with all of 14 Tests v SA, 11 of which are Cook’s.

        Like

      • SimonH November 19, 2015 / 10:59 am

        Bell’s better average than Cook in SA (44.7 to 41.0) going to mentioned ATL….. never.

        Like

  21. stevetuffers November 19, 2015 / 11:13 am

    Just seen Bell’s comments on Facebook that this is the first time in 11 years that he hasn’t toured during the winter in some form. I think the guy is frazzled.

    Still, if it means the Bears have him, we can try and win the Championship off everyone’s favourite darlings next season. And having Bell bat around Sam Hain will be good for the latter’s development.

    Like

  22. Zephirine November 19, 2015 / 11:25 am

    OK, I know this is irrational and he’s made some runs recently and it’s oh so wicked not to get behind the team yadayada, but now when I see a squad list with Cook at the top I just think ‘Yawn’.

    How long have we got till he retires?

    It will be slightly interesting to see how long he can occupy the crease against SA’s bowlers. But only slightly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SteveT November 19, 2015 / 11:29 am

      I admit he ain’t pretty to watch but we won’t half miss him when he goes (for his batting NOT his captaincy).

      Like

      • Arron Wright November 19, 2015 / 11:35 am

        I won’t miss him (or, more to the point, his ever-cloying retinue), tbqfhwy. But then I stopped using “we” regarding the England cricket team sometime in 2013 (Feb 2014 at the latest).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine November 19, 2015 / 11:50 am

        “Just imagine the articles when he does retire”

        Cricket-Watching Public in Mass Overdose of Syrup Shock. Diabetes Experts Called In.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SteveT November 19, 2015 / 12:15 pm

        Not to mention Mark self-combusting

        Like

    • northernlight71 November 19, 2015 / 11:37 am

      Same here. Bored of his face. His voice. His ugly batting.
      Relieved that Mark Wood has got injured – now the ECB will have to stop making those awful Facebook videos of him being oh-so-funny-and-approachable, just like the England team, yeah!

      Yep, I’m grumpy this week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SteveT November 19, 2015 / 11:45 am

        Just imagine the articles when he does retire ………………………………………………

        Like

      • Zephirine November 19, 2015 / 11:48 am

        Monty Panesar should have a word with Mark Wood about the dangers of letting the ECB cast you as the team clown.

        Like

  23. Arron Wright November 19, 2015 / 11:32 am

    Oh, and guess who’s kicking Adil Rashid all over Twitter at the moment…

    (the same person who thinks SA look like “a one-man batting band at the moment”… not a comment he made last summer, when England looked exactly the same)

    Like

  24. SimonH November 19, 2015 / 11:33 am

    Multiple Tweets from the house favourite about how correct the decision to omit Rashid is.

    However this one deserves a prize:

    When did Stokes/Woakes/Jordan/Ali/Patel trouble the Australians? Stokes took one six-for, Ali went for a load of runs and the other three haven’t played against them.

    As for the Saffer ‘one man band’ batting, they get caught on a bunsen against Ashwin at the top of his game and that means Amla and FDP are rubbish?

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus November 19, 2015 / 11:47 am

      Why would you say something that is such a hostage to fortune? It’s not clever.

      Like

    • Arron Wright November 19, 2015 / 11:49 am

      He’s no more than our answer to Malcolm Conn.

      Like

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