The Decider

Memories of Newlands – Being Able To Walk On The Outfield

At 8am tomorrow morning (just, as I start writing this at 11:50) the decider will commence at the iconic Newlands ground. South Africa have clawed it back to 2-2, with a skin of their teeth win I’ve not seen a jot of. I have the highlights on my Tivo so I’ll get around to it. But it’s not exactly a priority at the moment.

You can share your comments below, as always. I’m not sure when I’ll surface from my pit, but it won’t be 8am, that’s a certainty.

I did describe myself to someone, after a particularly superb flounce on Thursday, as a world-class sulker. Difference between me and many others is I’ll admit I can be a right old stroppy sod. But this series is doing nothing for me. It changed tack a little more when the media strategy, about as transparent as the cleanest of windows, to build up to the World T20 announcement, and then throw Cook out to do his “aww shucks, down on the farm” routine, and I’m honest in that. Me and English cricket are currently in a phase of conscious uncoupling.

So while we look at the loss of Waitrose (worth reading George Dobell’s tweets on this) and the rearrangement of the deckchairs on SS Cricketer Magazine – and Evans-Tipping entrepreneured brilliantly – there’s a series to be decided. The essence is in the lack that this really matters. Do we care who won the deciders in our ODI series in the summer? Not really. We enjoyed it when we beat New Zealand, shrugged when we collapsed in a heap against the Aussies. It’s the overall, and I hate this phrase, “direction of travel” that matters. The Champions Trophy in 2017 is the target.

Simon Hughes - The Analyst

So enjoy this piece of cricketing fluff if you like – yeah, I know what I said before, but let’s face it, I have to face reality – and get involved emotionally if it’s your thing. I’ll be around mid-morning if you need me.

Meanwhile Adam Voges becomes the third man to make 239, while dropping his average below 100. Andy Ganteaume stands alone, still.

Was someone thinking of Mr Yellow?

Happy Days!


52 thoughts on “The Decider

  1. jennyah46 Feb 14, 2016 / 12:17 am

    You seem a bit jaded Dmitri! I can understand why.

    “There will be days like tbis, Mamma said…”

    There’s always the Maldives swear box to look forward to. Hope the indentations on your tongue have healed!

    Cheers πŸ™‚


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 12:39 am

      Not at all jaded, Jenny. Sitting up and thoroughly enjoying the NZ v Aus test.

      Most definitely not jaded with cricket.


      • nonoxcol Feb 14, 2016 / 9:20 am

        More Morgan karma for you there…


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 10:53 am

          He’s no Cook. There’s no Irish Mafia in the media to protect him from the furore when it comes.

          Liked by 1 person

      • jennyah46 Feb 15, 2016 / 9:14 am

        That’s me told! Hope you enjoyed the game.


  2. Tuffers86 Feb 14, 2016 / 7:40 am

    South Africa drop JP while England stay unchanged (why, I don’t know).

    Eoin Morgan is short on a few, and Eng have been put in. Gonna be testing with the conditions.


  3. pktroll (@pktroll) Feb 14, 2016 / 8:55 am

    After a dodgy start England are doing quite decently, although Root was dropped very badly by Amla off Morris. Although his early hunch with Tahir paid off, some of his latter bowling changes have been somewhat head scratching.


  4. Tuffers86 Feb 14, 2016 / 9:30 am

    Morgan’s form heading to the world t20 is a real concern. He looks really scratchy.

    Hales is key now. Needs to bat for just about the duration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Feb 14, 2016 / 11:53 am

      Morgan does seem to run out of puff after an extended run of games, so it is a worry for world T20 (I’m sure some statto will diss this lol)


      • jennyah46 Feb 14, 2016 / 10:22 pm

        There must be a care home somewhere for these stattos.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Narelle Feb 14, 2016 / 9:49 am

    I can understand why you complain about the channel 9 guys, but I have to say Nassar Hussain is a patronising pain in the bum. Nick Knight is just an idiot who blathers.

    Glad you are enjoying the Aus v NZ game. I can live with the Sky commentators there.

    Bit sad to see Brendan McCullum not reach the heights in his 100th game.


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 10:52 am

      I’ve watched the last 40 minutes.

      Think I’ll put on Dumb and Dumber for half an hour during the interval.


  6. SimonH Feb 14, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Keemo Paul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • nonoxcol Feb 14, 2016 / 10:32 am

      Token reference on TMS to being good for WI cricket “in one sense”.

      Followed by discussion on you-know-what, for three minutes and counting.


    • nonoxcol Feb 14, 2016 / 10:41 am

      “Shameful Mankading” – Paul Newman.

      Normally he’d be happy for them though.

      That word again. The one that is conspicuous by its absence when referring to the ECB or ICC.


      • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 11:00 am

        I think I should be clear.

        I am absolutely fucking 100% fed up with the Mankad “debate”. Both sides of it. Cricket’s ability to create a storm over absolutely sod all.

        Newman is a twerp for writing that. So are all those still going on about how it is right. No shades of grey, you’re either in or you’re out.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Feb 14, 2016 / 11:00 am

        So Paul Newman doesn’t like the rules of cricket then?

        Shameful reporting!

        One good bit of news for Newman……He can run his favourite headline tomorrow.



      • Mark Feb 14, 2016 / 11:16 am

        Sorry to sound dim but who are they talking about?


    • SimonH Feb 14, 2016 / 11:45 am

      Superb article by Tony Cozier on the state of West Indies’ cricket on cricinfo. They haven’t had a West Indies A tour for 18 months. One would think that should be the next step for someone like Alzarri Joseph (who should be the next Kagiso Rabada) if the game was properly administered.

      For India, who had been the only unbeaten team before today, Sarfraz Khan scored more fifties than anyone ever has in the tournament and the slow left-armer Dagar bowled well. Better fielding and they’d almost certainly have won.

      The TV commentary varied from condescension-lite to condescension-nauseating. The prize for the winning captain, full of excitement and the joys of youth, was to be interviewed by…. Paul Allott.


      • Mark Feb 14, 2016 / 12:06 pm

        Listening to D Cork droning on about “the incident” is enough to put anyone to sleep.

        Cork……”As an ex international cricketer it doesn’t sit well with me”

        It’s in the frigging rules you pillock. Since when does DCork get to write the laws of the game? And since when was D Cork, and P Newman guardians of cricket morality?

        Dmitri will get cross in a minute if I carry on.


      • BoredInAustria Feb 16, 2016 / 5:48 pm

        Wonderful article. Thank you. I am all the way with you on this one. And hate the hypocracy of Selvey, Cook and co.


        • Tregaskis Feb 16, 2016 / 6:34 pm

          Thank you for reading it and for your comment. Much appreciated.


  7. SimonH Feb 14, 2016 / 11:01 am

    What’s the betting the fact that Moeen Ali hasn’t scored over 21 for nearly 20 ODIs since his century against Scotland passes yet again without MSM comment?

    “He bats down the order and doesn’t have time to build a proper innings” is the reason they’d give if they had to. That’s at least the fourth time recently (today, the last ODI, the 2nd and 5th ODI’s against Australia) where he has had plenty of overs to bat and has given it away with a poor shot.

    Rashid’s also played a poor shot but at least he made 39 (which Vic Marks dismissed as “a few runs”) in the last game. The different attitudes to Ali’s and Rashid’s batting (proper batsman vs. decent tailender) make precious little sense based on actual achievement.


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 11:03 am

      I’ll wager at least one journo will point out that Jason Roy never made a score in this series, and we could get Moeen up the order for another bowler in the future.


    • nonoxcol Feb 14, 2016 / 11:51 am

      How dare you? He’s a dead cert in all formats.


  8. LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 11:06 am

    Getting sick and tired of former pros, with loads of replays, and who watch the game for 30 minutes on and an hour off, slagging off umpires. They have to concentrate for every ball. Mistakes happen. They really would do well to remember that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. "IronBalls" McGinty Feb 14, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Hmmm….on this performance…”Who would you drop for KP?”…..Answers on a postcard to….

    Liked by 1 person

    • northernlight71 Feb 14, 2016 / 12:19 pm

      I’d get him in the commentary box instead of…oh, just about anyone. And he could probably bash out a better newspaper column than…..well, just about all of them.
      Playing the actual game of cricket for England though? Well…..again, there’s a few vacancies in the T20/ODI setup, I’d wager. But we’re not allowed to talk about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. nonoxcol Feb 14, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    Debate: if England win the series, what mark out of ten does Morgan deserve?


    • d'Arthez Feb 14, 2016 / 2:17 pm

      Well, if his name was Alastair Cook, he’d get a seven, even if it was the worst ever batting performance in a series for him.

      Since he had two worse series, BD 2010 (8.33) and WC 2007 (10.11), it surely is a 9?


      • Sherwick Feb 14, 2016 / 2:28 pm

        A solid Cook 10.
        Even if he loses.


    • SimonH Feb 14, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      9/10 for shafting Pietersen. Like the cricket stuff matters?

      Doesn’t get 10/10 because there wasn’t a supplementary ‘inadvertent’ comment into a convenient microphone.


  11. Sherwick Feb 14, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    Well done England women. A really well worked victory!


  12. SimonH Feb 14, 2016 / 3:58 pm

    Post-match discussion:
    1) Lack of experience – check.
    2) Building for 2019 – check.
    3) Blaming those dropped catches – check.

    Alec Stewart the prime offender I’m afraid to say.


    • SimonH Feb 14, 2016 / 4:30 pm

      Just to add on experience, England’s team today had 613 ODIs and 1358 List A games between them. SA were slightly more experienced but not by much – their combined totals are 648 ODIs and 1442 List A games.

      The big difference is in respective ages – SA had six players over thirty and England none.

      That’s a choice, not an act of God (of course I mean ‘him’ but not just him – I’ve no problem with the dropping of Bell and Anderson from the ODI team but there are experienced county pros who could have a role like Lumb and Sidebottom in the past).


      • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 4:52 pm

        My current favourite moron is off on one…

        This bloke is a one trick pony, with the debating skills of Aquitted, and the intellect of a rock. But best of all is his “all England fans don’t want anything to do with KP” meme. It’s magnificent.

        I’m obsessed, don’t forget.


      • nonoxcol Feb 14, 2016 / 5:25 pm

        I am pro-KP but don’t want Morgan out of the ODI side.

        *jairey’s head explodes*

        Think I should also mention that the journo discussion on TMS at the interval was refreshingly positive about Morgan.


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 5:29 pm

          Neither do I. I know positive leadership skills when I see them. He has instituted a culture change in this ODI team and this team is going to lose games along the way. That’s ODI cricket.

          That said, I’m not going to pretend that the “that’s from me” line didn’t knock him down in my estimation. Stupid macho bullshit that could have been handled differently. We’ll never know why they went that way, but we can all surmise.

          I’ll see if I can catch that discussion.


      • Mark Feb 14, 2016 / 5:34 pm

        Mr Stupid…..”England supporters are bored with KP.”

        Says moron who follows Piers Morgan, KP, and Dmitri on Twitter.

        Not just a one trick pony, a very stupid one trick pony, and one that lies like a rug. If he was genuinely bored he wouldn’t follow these people. No wonder he supports the ECB, he can’t his facts straight either.


      • Mark Feb 14, 2016 / 5:42 pm

        The reason they went down that road Dmitri is because a chasm is opening up between the test team, and the ODI team.

        We like the ODI team because it’s exciting and doesn’t have Mr (me me me) Cook in it. Also it’s properly covered by the jounalists because they are not bound by their idiotic Cook man love.

        The ECB don’t like that. They don’t want us enjoying the ODI team, so Morgan gave us the finger. Probably on the orders of Mr C***.

        These people want us driven out of cricket. Just like they want to drive out of cricket SA, WI, and NZ. They are very stupid and selfish people we are dealing with. That’s why everything they touch turns to shit. Morgan should have told them to piss off.


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2016 / 6:29 pm

          Imagine, just imagine, if KP had played the world T20 and been an amazing success. The can of worms wouldn’t be open… they’d have escaped and would be slithering all through the ECB offices.

          That is a no-no.

          He couldn’t be silenced, and nor could the people who thought it would be an idea, when they’d been unequivocal for that long. Imagine a successful return.

          Add to that, it would mean admitting you were wrong, then it was even more remote.

          Why Morgan had to be the face of this latest refusal is hard to fathom. I found it really odd when the article came out that the Mail didn’t make it the headline, or any one of the five bye-lines (I think). Almost as if they thought “hang about – that’s from him?????”

          It’s done now. Absolutely, totally done. They’ve lost me. I don’t hate this team, I just don’t care about them. Well done ECB.

          Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Feb 14, 2016 / 7:03 pm

        Lazy “real fan” klaxon!

        Seriously though, I stayed faithful throughout the late 80s and then the 90s. Not even the best efforts of Dexter and Illy drove me away. I also have my pet theory that the 90s weren’t that bad: the three teams we regularly lost to had A1 all-time greats playing for them, as did SA and we even beat them once. I would say 1992/93 and the WI series of early 98 were the worst moments, until NZ 99 anyway.

        2012-16 is substantively different. Can’t get away from that.


  13. Sherwick Feb 14, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    I haven’t managed to get going. That’s from me.


  14. SimonH Feb 14, 2016 / 6:57 pm

    Today was like a bog-standard ODI from England abroad that we’ve seen a billion times before. If we can get away from the fixation on batting, the fundamental problem was that the bowling couldn’t take wickets once the new ball had gone. It’s why, more than any other reason, England haven’t won an ICC trophy.

    In itself, this isn’t the short-term issue. Nobody could conjure up overnight what English cricket has been unable to produce for decades. There isn’t some fantastic bowler lying about who they aren’t selecting. However the writing about England in ODIs recently have given the impression that Strauss in ‘Triumph of the Will 2’ had magicked that all away by his genius (and sticking it to that c***). In the long-term, it is profoundly damaging because it distracts from putting in place what’s needed to produce better bowlers.

    What we have now is like a longer version of the obsession with runs scored in the first PP in the build-up to the WC. England had the second highest PP score in the WC – and lost every meaningful game. At least now there’s some acknowledgement that what happens after the PP matters – but the bowling side is still ignored. NZ have a similar problem and they tackled it in the WC by a mixture of all-out attack with the new ball and compensating for bowling weaknesses with sensational fielding. England’s answer seems to be hoping scoreboard pressure will do the job.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. man in a barrel Feb 14, 2016 / 11:01 pm

    2 thoughts. I wish Piers Morgan would shut up. He does not help to enable a true debate to happen. A world ODI should have a rest of the world team. A team of everyone’s discards such as KP, Luke D, Mark Cosgrove might be fun to watch.


  16. MM Feb 14, 2016 / 11:46 pm

    Dear Top Brass at the ECB and dear journos in the printed media:

    Throw us a bone. What has Kevin Pietersen done that is so wrong that it requires him to be sandblasted from cricket history? Please, just say. Is it so bad that you’d rather come second? Please, just end it now by telling us. Don’t use that “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you” bilge. C’mon, let’s have it.

    Aw heck, I’m angrying myself up to the point of infarction. You ain’t got sh*t on him have you? The real revolting thing for me, and maybe others here too, is you will do this to someone else one day. Like serial killers. You will do it again.

    I used to stay awake all night listening on my crappy radio to England losing all across the globe. When I was a kid and a younger man. I’d fake being awake at school and at work, and I’d do it days in a row. If a Test went a full five days I wouldn’t know what planet I was on. Where’s that devotion got me? Hating the game I simultaneously can’t help but love. The game is run in the UK by bitter little corporate whores, and worldwide by goddamn economic hitmen.

    Balls to them all.

    Liked by 2 people

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