29 December Comments Thread

Australia are forced to play a Day Four. Will Smith (geddit) get two centuries in a Boxing Day test?

England 250+ up with Root en route (geddit) for a ton in South Africa.

Comments thread for the evening and morning’s action. Glad to see the West Indies put up some fight, and in Carlos Brathwaite they have a real character (the celebrations of his first wicket were brilliant). Smith is playing the party pooper and looks sure to get another hundred if they don’t declare.

England are in almost total control of this game, South Africa are falling apart at the seams, and if we were ruthless, this could get ugly. However, we’ve also seen how South Africa play if they can’t win. They are harder to dislodge than….. (fill in the blanks).

Comments here, and also on TLG’s day review below.

Meanwhile…new FICJAM. From “Intelligent Life”. I don’t think I’ve seen this before, but then, I think I have. It has that ring of familiarity.

WHY DO VIOLINISTS have mentors, sportsmen have coaches and doctors (usually) have neither? That was the starting point for Atul Gawande’s examination of his career as an elite surgeon.

Don’t ever change, FICJAM. Please.

Also. Came across this tonight. Match report for the 5th test in 2007. Matthew Engel. Rather good I thought. image


33 thoughts on “29 December Comments Thread

  1. LordCanisLupus Dec 29, 2015 / 12:00 am

    Well. They declared.

    You really only get the true abomination that is Channel 9 coverage by watching it live. Bill Lawry is a museum piece now, but is infinitely more entertaining and informative than the two clowns with him. We know Bill is biased about Victoria, then Australia, but good god what is Warne up to and as for Brayshaw. It’s teeth-itching. It’s the faux familiarity – “Jimmy Pattinson” – from Brayshaw that gives me the hump.

    We’ve Haw Haw Nicholas to come, (steroids in the chicken from Brayshaw as I write this. Sack him, please) and Slater, who can’t do anything but shout. I thought I’d never hear myself say it, but bring on Ian Chappell for some sense.

    Or you can read this classic article that I left out of my review of February.



  2. SimonH Dec 29, 2015 / 9:08 am

    Any thoughts on when a declaration should be in Durban (if it comes to it)? Is it better to encourage a Saffer blockathon or leave something of a target?

    England lead by about 315 with an hour or so gone at the time of writing.


    • thelegglance Dec 29, 2015 / 10:21 am

      There are 150 overs left in the game. I’m not sure a blockathon is an option for South Africa unless England go on far too long – if they survived the match they’d win*.

      *They’ll lose.


  3. Escort Dec 29, 2015 / 9:29 am

    Swann currently tying himself in knots over the declaration on TMS. Neil Manthorpe making him look silly over his figure of 350 suddenly changing to 300, there was also a short exchange about how the batsman have got out when trying to up the scoring rate. I think Manthorpe has got the measure of Swann. Back to the declaration perhaps England would be better off being bowled out with a lead of say 340-360 than let captain cautious agonise over declaring with a lead of over 400

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thelegglance Dec 29, 2015 / 9:50 am

    Rather negative from South Africa, even taking into account the injury to Steyn. Those early wickets gave them a (very) slim chance of bowling England out and having a not totally impossible target. And they’ve declined to take the new ball. Realistically England have more than enough, but an interesting mindset.


  5. thelegglance Dec 29, 2015 / 10:59 am

    Mildly amused that the South African commentators were apparently unaware that Woakes can properly bat even though he’s at 9 in this line up.


    • RufusSG Dec 29, 2015 / 11:07 am

      He averages 37 in first-class cricket, so bat he most certainly can: you’d think the commentators would have done their research beforehand.


  6. SimonH Dec 29, 2015 / 11:16 am

    404 lead and Woakes out – shouldn’t that have been the declaration?


    • thelegglance Dec 29, 2015 / 11:22 am

      I’m not really worried, there’s so much time left, South Africa will need less than three an over so it’s not batting too long. If they batted another hour it’d be an issue but they won’t. In other words England won’t get extra overs to bowl if they declared early so there’s no point.


      • LordCanisLupus Dec 29, 2015 / 11:24 am

        I don’t think they’d make 400 in the time left even if they could. Risking injury to your quick bowlers seems a nonsense to me.


      • thelegglance Dec 29, 2015 / 11:26 am

        No they won’t. I’m just saying that if you don’t get the extra overs there’s simply no advantage to declaring, you might as well demoralise them.


      • thelegglance Dec 29, 2015 / 11:30 am

        Even being defensive, if they batted that long (and they won’t) they’d not be far away. They have ages to bat.


      • thelegglance Dec 29, 2015 / 11:35 am

        If they bat out 150 overs, good luck to them and well done.


  7. Rpoultz Dec 29, 2015 / 11:59 am

    Did anyone catch Atherton talking about van zyl and saying that his fate in his own hands as sport is a meritocracy? The lolz


    • LordCanisLupus Dec 29, 2015 / 12:10 pm


      As I had to clear the comment I am assuming this is a first postinf here. If so, welcome.

      Atherton is a funny one for me. Just enough establishment to know where his bread is buttered, but just independent-minded enough, and able to scan the horizon, to be a little subversive. A pity his stuff is behind a paywall. I’d disagree with him, but he doesn’t seem to talk down to his punters.

      As for the meritocracy…. well. You have to keep up the visage, don’t you?


      • Rpoultz Dec 29, 2015 / 12:17 pm

        Thanks for the welcome!

        ive generally enjoyed atherton the writer and commentator but, as you note, he does have a slight note of establishment about him.

        That has also recently become apparent in hussains commentary and newspaper pieces too. It is a shame as earlier in his sky career he was one who would also ask the difficult questions.


      • Mark Dec 29, 2015 / 12:51 pm

        I have always had a respect for Mike Atherton. Both as a player and as a cricket journalist. He doesn’t suffer fools I think,, and has an independent spirit. He sees it from the players point of view, but also the bigger picture. Including the paying public. Something you won’t find in most of the muppets who lounge about freeloading in the modern press box. His autobiography is worth a read. His battles with Illingworth as the cricket supremo are fascinating reading. The management wanted to re model Devon Malcolm’s bowling action in the middle of a SA tour. There is also comedy gold in trying to deal with Tuffers seemingly going round the bend on an Aussie tour.

        I particularly respected him as a batsman. He was trying to hold together a very flakey England batting line up, and was facing some very good opening bowlers.Aus, WI, SA, Pakistan all had very good opening attacks. Far better than today.

        He got hammered by Agnew and the press for the dirt in the pocket saga. I bet the media would not do that to Cook if he did the same. A very different media environment today. Almost total obedience to the ECB line.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. thebogfather Dec 29, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    Oh my, the new FICJAM is a wonderful new year gift for us all….


    • Mark Dec 29, 2015 / 12:57 pm

      I’m resisting at the moment Bogfather. Trying not to spoil my Christmas.

      In the 1970s there used to be a quiz show called Ask the family with Robert Robinson. There were some particularly snotty little kids who were rather too clever by half. I can’t help thinking FICJAM is one of those in a mans body.

      Liked by 2 people

    • SimonH Dec 29, 2015 / 1:36 pm

      “uncommitted dilettantism”.

      That’s just the second sentence.

      “delaying saturation-level commitment”.

      ” Philipp Lahm, Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning captain, doesn’t seem especially good at anything”.

      WTF? Apart from passing, shooting and tackling perhaps….

      “At decision-making, however, he is unparalleled. So Lahm’s presence in any side – regardless of the position he plays – enhances the team’s shape and collective intelligence”.

      Not seen him play as a striker or in goal much.

      “If you want an innovative team, encourage the widest spectrum of temperaments from the broadest range of backgrounds. Include the odd scholar”.

      Decoded – my three caps were a travesty!

      It’s one of his New Staesman pieces if you wish to enjoy its full magnificence.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Mark Dec 29, 2015 / 2:02 pm

    “If you want an innovative team, encourage the widest spectrum of temperaments from the broadest range of backgrounds. Include the odd scholar”.

    This is why his articles are meangles drivel. You could apply them to the enormous elephant in the room which he keeps ignoring. Is KP not from the widest of temperaments, and the broadest range of backgrounds? not so long ago Smith wrote a piece about the worth of players in their middle 3os. Again, who is another player in his mid 3os?

    He is always writing about thinking out of the box. Yet, when faced with an out of the box situation he got in line behind the estbalishmemt position. He is a management self help book 101 for dummies. He doesn’t have a clue about implementing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. d'Arthez Dec 29, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    Seems like Faf gifted England a wicket in the last few minutes in the day. Hard to see beyond 1-0 now. Oh, and immediately after the Faf dismissal the umpires are changing the ball …

    Quinton de Kock just hit another ton for his franchise, so obviously he can’t be picked. Great going South Africa selectors, and people like Fikile Mbalula.


    • BoredInAustria Dec 29, 2015 / 3:39 pm

      Anybody see this?
      Cricinfo: “In comes Dale Steyn as nightwatchman, despite his injured shoulder… And the umpires have now decided to change the ball, something they had been asked about and declined earlier in the over. Sure Faf will be happy to see that

      46.3 – Finn to du Plessis, OUT, extra bounce, du Plessis plays… and he’s gone, taken at slip! What a breakthrough, brilliant delivery from Finn and Cook does not blink at the chance, England have knocked another brick out of the wall in the dying moments of the day! It was a ripper of a delivery from Finn, coaxing something extra out of the surface, enough to breach du Plessis’ barricades at last.

      What was with the ball…? Surely not…


    • SimonH Dec 29, 2015 / 4:14 pm

      D’Arthez, FDP got a brute that lifted after going through the top so gifting his wicket is unfair.

      Will the SA selectors swallow their pride for CT? Naming a squad for two Tests looked odd (even if they are so close together) and leaving out QDK and Tahir looked even odder.


    • d'Arthez Dec 29, 2015 / 5:38 pm

      Agreed Simon, my wording of the dismissal was incorrect. It was a gift in terms of timing (just before close of play), rather than a loose shot or anything.


  11. Arron Wright Dec 29, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    Guardian writers’ Test XI for 2015 is up at The Weekly Whimsy.

    It’s not so much the captain…
    It’s not so much the four players from a side with as many losses as wins…
    It’s who else was considered for certain slots and who was apparently not.


    • SimonH Dec 29, 2015 / 4:30 pm

      W/L ratios this year:


      So a team with a W/L ratio of 0.8 gets four players included and two teams with W/L ratios of 5.0 get one each (and one of them only just by the sounds of it)?


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