Duel In The Desert #4

The morning after the KP documentary. Interested to hear any thoughts on that.

Main order of business is today’s ODI in Dubai and a chance to seal the series. An absolute pain that these games have all been on when I can’t watch so I rely on your views.

Comments below.


49 thoughts on “Duel In The Desert #4

  1. Mark Nov 20, 2015 / 10:32 am

    Didn’t see the documentary, but I heard KP give an interview on 5 live at about 7.30 where he attacks England for dropping Bell for an up coming series against the worlds number 1 test team.

    I’m sure it will anger the usual suspects as he mentions that Captain Cooks average was also poor for a couple of years. But the bit that will make them scream is when he said…… “this is the biggest series of the year against the worlds number 1.”

    Supporters of the big 3 stitch up won’t like that. Only Ashes series matter now.


  2. MM Nov 20, 2015 / 10:45 am

    Hope KP earns enough dough from whatever ventures to buy the ECB and sack ’em all off.


  3. d'Arthez Nov 20, 2015 / 10:50 am

    England are unchanged and won the toss. Elected to bat. Might not be the worst toss to lose though.

    Shehzad and Yasir in for Infitkhar Ahmed and Gohar. Will be interesting to see what is happening with the Pakistan batting order.


    • SimonH Nov 20, 2015 / 11:26 am

      Overdue recall for Shehzad. Hopefully he can get back to being the player he was before he fractured his skull.


  4. Zephirine Nov 20, 2015 / 11:05 am

    I wasn’t sure that was the first time that documentary had been on, as it was in a graveyard slot on a repeat channel. Quite odd, really, could have been on ITV1 somewhere, but I suppose that’s about the place of cricket in the national consciousness now.

    I thought, as a programme, it was quite good. It didn’t tell the likes of us anything we didn’t know, but you got a good sense of his big, restless physical presence around the place (seemingly doomed to terrible haircuts). I’d have liked more comments from other people rather than the predictable Warne S and Morgan P, but Darren Gough was good value, Vaughan did his usual and as I said on the other thread, Mrs Kevin seems lovely.

    An interesting thing was the part where they were on safari and he was the one who kept spotting where the animals were hiding. I don’t think this was staged, because his parents said that when he was a kid, they always got him to look for anything that had been lost. That’s the eyesight you need to be a terrific batsman.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SimonH Nov 20, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    Barney Ronay piece on KP with open comments.

    Popcorn time.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 20, 2015 / 2:19 pm

      The article is twaddle. The responses will probably make the article look good.

      It was soft focus? Really? I hadn’t noticed.


      • SimonH Nov 20, 2015 / 4:03 pm

        Three hours in and so far BTL we have:

        1) Reference to the All-Blacks ‘no dickheads’ policy.
        2) There’s no room for him in the team on current form.
        3) DDB posting several times how tired he is of it all.

        Not seen a “he’s fallen out with every team he ever played with” yet but the night is young.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. SimonH Nov 20, 2015 / 2:25 pm

    Meanwhile, Buttler’s going beserk.

    If Buttler’s back in form, are they going to keep picking Bairstow because of continuity – or even take this as proof that Buttler is an ODI specialist?


    • SteveT Nov 20, 2015 / 2:37 pm

      He certainly has gone berserk 104 off 46 balls! He’s got his mojo back!


  7. Topshelf Nov 20, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    Absolutely starving, have delayed my lunch – didn’t want to miss a ball of Buttler’s innings!To my eye he’s already capable of being the best ODI punisher/finisher we’ve ever had. He is an extraordinary batsman.

    It would be ridiculous if he can’t translate this ability into a successful Test career. The selectors must give him the time to work out a method. It can only be an issue of mental approach, and a good coach should be able to help him with that.

    His keeping still needs work, but that will come too I’m sure – Gilchrist was pretty ropey in his early days as well.


    • Zephirine Nov 20, 2015 / 2:53 pm

      Or we could get a specialist keeper and let Buttler do what he does best,

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Nov 20, 2015 / 7:57 pm

        Indeed I suggested as much a couple of weeks ago. If he really is as good as people think why not save time and take the gloves off him now. It’s not as though we’re overburdened with quality top order batsmen. Imagine how many more runs BMac and Kumar could/would have scored had they played as specialist batsmen from the off.


  8. BobW Nov 20, 2015 / 3:04 pm

    Buttler? Wow!


  9. Andy Nov 20, 2015 / 3:11 pm

    Dave Richardson is on with Aggers at teh mo. I’m not listening, but the BBC text feed has a few pearls of wisdom. Probably worth getting the podcast when its done.

    here are a couple

    ref corruption in FIFA/ drugs in athletics “Cricket has a simple governance method… we don’t have the complicated politics that the IOC have, or FIFA for that matter.”

    hahaha – simple….

    re Cricket at the olympics “In many people’s eyes, it would help us globalise the game, and make it more visible” & “They don’t want second rate teams, they don’t want mickey mouse formats, they want one of our major formats, preferably T20”

    Don’t think that was the script from on high previously…


    • SimonH Nov 20, 2015 / 3:24 pm

      “They want one of our major formats, preferably T20”.



      • Mark Nov 20, 2015 / 3:33 pm

        What is a Mickey mouse format?

        Are these examples?

        1 Test match with no snicko because host broadcaster or governing body can’t aford it?
        2 Test match where one side refuses to use technology?
        3 Test match where it’s only be being played for money and more competitive series are turned down or reduced to only 3 match series?


      • metatone Nov 20, 2015 / 7:55 pm

        Seems logical for the IOC to prefer T20, opens up scheduling with 2 games a day…


  10. Mark Nov 20, 2015 / 3:39 pm

    Can’t wait for the news of a huge IPL contract to be offered to Josh Butler. You now have Butler, Hales, Roy, Morgan, even Root all capable of getting contracts if they keep delivering.

    What is Strauss going to do.? Prepare a dosier on all of them?

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Nov 20, 2015 / 4:18 pm

      The problem is that the Test specialists will not be that attractive. They will go missing in action at the business end of the IPL, in order to play often highly disinterested opposition, who’d rather be in the IPL to make some money.

      That will cost the players on two counts: one is that their contracts are worth less – if they get contracts at all. Two that they won’t be paid for the games that they can’t be available.

      The ECB stance as it was in the past will have cost players serious money (making it look like the 250k Pietersen missed out, courtesy of sheer incompetence of Graves is mere pocket change). Good thing that the central contracts are worth close to 800k / year, or else there would be a lot of grumpy England players out there …


    • d'Arthez Nov 20, 2015 / 4:28 pm

      And the other point: Quinton de Kock has an excellent ODI record against India (3 tons in 3 ODIs at that time), but last year he was on a $25k contract. Not exactly big money. So who is to say that Buttler will get much more than say $200k?


      • greyblazer Nov 20, 2015 / 9:20 pm

        Nail on head. ECB contracts are worth much more, so coupled with national pride at the moment the IPL isn’t an option


  11. SteveT Nov 20, 2015 / 4:42 pm

    Pakistan having a go, 127-2 in 18th As I speak there’s another comical run-out – Hafeez again. Have they got Boycott as their running coach?


    • d'Arthez Nov 20, 2015 / 5:00 pm

      Pakistan are well ahead of where England were at the same stage.

      171/3 after 24 overs (England were 114/1) England reached 171/1 in the 32nd over. A few more wickets down for Pakistan – good finish in prospect.


  12. d'Arthez Nov 20, 2015 / 5:52 pm

    No one hangs around long enough for Pakistan. Everyone got starts, no one has made more than 52.

    Game still going on, but it is highly unlikely that England mess this up.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mark Nov 20, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    England win by 84 runs. Pakistan still had 10 overs left so they gave it a go runs wise.

    As we saw with England against New Zealamd this summer the England team does have the batsman to score 300 plus runs on a consistent basis. They have improved a lot since the World Cup now that the right selections have been picked and negative coaching has been removed. (We don’t near much about laptop scores of 220 these days.)

    Still have some concerns about the bowling and their ability to keep teams down to managable scores. However, if you put 350 on the board you are going to put huge pressure on the opposition.

    The England ODI team is a much more likeable and exciting team to watch. They are better lead, and seem more relaxed. Much prefer them to the Test team and the Orwellian punditry that goes with that circus.

    So onwards and upwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. SimonH Nov 20, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    So the hard questions to the powers-that-be about why the right tactics and personnel weren’t in place nine months ago will be coming along shortly…. any time now…..

    Liked by 3 people

    • Tregaskis Nov 20, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      OK, I accept it was not a brutal, hard-arsed question, but asked it all the same –

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Nov 20, 2015 / 7:54 pm

      Dig out your copies of The Cricketer magazine after the tour to Sri Lanker before the World Cup. Was there detailed articles calling for the sacking of Cook? And a plan to turn England around?

      Who knows, who cares?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tregaskis Nov 20, 2015 / 8:00 pm

        As I understand it, Simon Hughes does not run the editorial stance of The Cricketer.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 20, 2015 / 8:09 pm

          Wondered what editor at large meant. Who is running it? Marland? Afford? Swann?


      • SimonH Nov 20, 2015 / 8:25 pm

        Hughes did call for Cook to go as ODI captain after SL:


        One of his reasons – ODI captaincy doesn’t matter very much. As Brendon McCullum showed during the WC…..

        Newman and Berry were the two I remember arguing Cook should stay (Berry wanted him captaining in 2019!). I’m not sure if Hughes called for Cook to go from ODIs at the start of summer 2014 which is when he should have gone in my view. Also I don’t recall him writing anything about Moores who was a greater problem than Cook in terms of overall strategy.

        Tregaskis, how’s the piece on Selvey going? Any release date and place planned yet?


      • Tregaskis Nov 20, 2015 / 9:55 pm


        I am not doing a Selvey piece. Did I say I was? I am struggling with a piece on sports journalism and the Caesar’s wife principle I raised a couple of weeks back. Quite a lot of stuff has happened since I first started; some of it unfolded on this blog. Selvey may or may not feature. My struggle is getting the tone right and finding something new to say. I can’t do the extraordinary extempore stuff that Dmitri is so brilliant at. Mine is a long read at the moment. Needs to be better. Hopefully will refine and post over weekend on my new Drop in Pitch blog. No promises though 🙂


      • BoredInAustria Nov 20, 2015 / 10:55 pm

        Is this the Hughes wearing a Waitrose Chef’s jacket on his Twitter page?
        Very independent analysis then….


    • Escort Nov 20, 2015 / 8:17 pm

      What a statement from the analyst.
      Who is paying him money for this kind of stuff?


      • SimonH Nov 20, 2015 / 8:35 pm

        Of course beating the 8th ranked team (nice as it was) means we’d have got to the WC Final! Just because Pakistan have lost 9 of their last 11 ODI series in UAE doesn’t mean anything.

        Beat NZ at full strength in their own backyard? A doddle! After all, we got so close.

        Or beat SA? With our eyes shut! We think 355 was a massive score – SA made 438 in their last ODI in India.

        Or India? They wouldn’t even bother turning up! How many tournaments have they won? And what’s their record in WC ODIs against England again?

        Jeez, it’s been a good series with some encouraging signs – but talk about getting ahead of himself.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Zephirine Nov 20, 2015 / 7:16 pm

    Nice win. Great to see Roy do well, and then Buttler back in style and Joe Root jumping up and down with excitement at how he was batting. Everybody happy. It may not be ‘proper cricket’ but they’re a proper England team.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Escort Nov 20, 2015 / 10:20 pm

    Anybody else heard of accusations of fixing in this series? The daily mail carrying a story about the second game in the series being investigated.


    • Ian Nov 20, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      Yes read the story. There was an exchange earlier on twitter between Ed Hawkins who has written a lot about match fixing and George Dobell. George said there wasn’t anything in it but Ed said there was.


    • Mark Nov 20, 2015 / 10:44 pm

      I am not surprised The Mail has this story. Their cricket writer was tweeting in the third ODI that Pakistans peformance with the bat was the worst he had seen for some time. So there must have been suspicion in the air.

      To me it just looked like a flakey performance but who knows?


      • d'Arthez Nov 21, 2015 / 9:20 am

        You mean since said cricket writer watched the England efforts in the World Cup?

        Just because it is bad cricket and comes from a bunch of non-Englishmen, does not mean it is fixing.

        And let’s be honest here: Pakistan batting has been woeful in ODIs for the last 4 or 5 years.


  17. THA Nov 21, 2015 / 12:22 am

    I’m not on Twitter – and wouldn’t follow Simon Hughes if I were – but now it’s put in front of me, interesting cover photo he has, speaking of Caesar’s wife, and all that. Good deployment of the sponsor’s logo, too.


  18. man in a barrel Nov 21, 2015 / 12:26 am

    It looks to me as if the Pakistanis want to win way too much to fix things


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