South Africa vs England: 2nd T20 Review

Enter The Cauldron…You Get Boiled!

For reasons which have never been entirely clear, the BBC in their wisdom decide that while Test matches and tournaments are covered on the Radio Four long wave frequency, a T20 like this one isn’t, with them advertising coverage of Sports Extra which is of absolutely bugger all use to most people driving a car at the time as without digital radio there’s no way of listening to it.  It’s a curious policy for the BBC to have – one would think that those who listen to TMS usually would probably also listen to a T20 match, but apparently not.

All of which is by way of explanation that this afternoon was spent driving back from a family engagement, tuning in to try and listen to South Africa’s reply, and being unable to.  Having watched England perform a collapse that was spectacular even by their exalted standards, the final total was unlikely to ever be enough, but the hammering that followed wasn’t entirely expected.

All of which means that this is going to be a short post due to an inability to reasonably assess the defeat, except to say that the collapse was partly bad luck (the run out of Morgan) and partly self-inflicted (the run out of Hales).

What isn’t surprising is that the response concerned it being an inexperienced side and the various excuses therein.  As so often, there may be a grain of truth in it, but at some point those have to stop – with a global tournament next month you couldn’t say England go into it as one of the favourites, no matter how some have tried to big them up.

Over to you to tell me what the hell happened.



34 thoughts on “South Africa vs England: 2nd T20 Review

  1. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Feb 21, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    Been a problem for me for years. Back in the nineties I proudly picked up my new car and immediately tried to tune into the Test Match that as on, only to find all LW missing. Went round the block and back to the garage where I was told that they don’t need LW in Germany. Current car is the same so I prop a portable DAB in the storage tray. Fortunately these work in a modern car when traditional portable radios don’t…

    But I can’t explain the BBC at all, sorry.


  2. northernlight71 Feb 21, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    It doesn’t always work on car radios, but I’ve found sometimes that if you are on MW and you manually tune further and further down, sometimes the radio will go to 198 LW even though everything you read about it and that you see tells you that your radio doesn’t receive LW.

    Don’t know if that helps at all.


    • Topshelf Feb 21, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      Doesn’t help with Sports Extra I’m afraid, which is digital only. I don’t have a DAB radio, so that is a pain. Never understand why they don’t use LW for all England cricket that is covered.

      It is worth knowing that – in London at the very least – 720 MW carries the same signal as 198 LW.

      As to the game, I left the house at 157-4, expecting 190-200 and a probable defeat. On that pitch 200 would have been barely competitive, so not a surprise we lost.

      Someone else can hopefully analyse our bowling – was it as bad as the figures suggest?


      • Sherwick Feb 21, 2016 / 10:04 pm

        I don’t ever remember a bowler conceding 40 runs after only 1.4 overs..


    • Topshelf Feb 22, 2016 / 12:12 am

      Very well as it happens – played another 15 seasons, and the following year took 71 wickets at 18.98 as Glamorgan won the Championship.

      Hope still for Jordan?!


  3. amit Feb 22, 2016 / 5:09 am

    Saw the game almost completely for a change. While Buttler and Morgan were batting, 200 looked a distinct possibility. They were both amazing with their hitting. Clearheaded in decision making and completely on top of David Wiesse and Duminy (why does he even bowl?).
    That said, while their wickets were lost at an inopportune moment (bad luck or whatever), the collapse was truly spectacular. England have a history with it.
    Rabada and Morris made their own luck and none of the players coped up.
    Billings was an insurance policy. It failed. Why Moeen bats that low with his batting being in the Amla mode is beyond me. He is not known as Viv Richards (nor can he imitate him) for hitting sixes at will.

    Then we all got to see the ABDV / Amla show. Those 55 balls of their partnership felt like the highlight reel, except that it actually happened in the live show. Boundaries were hit at will. Amla kept pace with AB and that takes some skill.
    England got murdered yesterday. The papers might have been kind in not saying as much.
    But, the criticism will have to be on the strategy of playing an extra batsman.

    Most commentators questioned the logic given that the number 7/8 rarely get more than 5-6 balls in a normal T20 game. If anything you needed an additional bowler to cover for the high altitude (mis-hits too go over the ropes here). And England went with 2 bowlers short. One, by leaving Willey out and second, by including Jordan.

    I don’t think WIlley is yet there as a lead bowler but Jordan has no hope.
    He is not a multi dimensional player I hear about. Certainly far, from the evidence on view. I saw him in the first game – he can’t be relied to bat even if he will get you a few runs occasionally. His bowling is serviceable with players in the outfield. As a front line bowler, he can’t bowl in power plays. He was cornered yesterday by AB but in India, on slightly slower pitches, most other opening batsmen might take a liking to his length and pace. If it’s his fielding that keeps him in the team, then I don’t want to be in Liam Plunkett’s shoes. Or Bresnan. Or Woakes. Or even Meeker. That’s the kind of confidence he inspires.

    With this bowling line up, England will struggle to defend even higher totals.
    I am inclined to think that with the squad being what it is, England (given a choice) are likely to chase most time in the world cup and will hope that the batsmen are up for the task. They certainly have more talent on that front.
    But then, most players haven’t shown skill in facing good spin either.
    And, most don’t have enough experience on Asian pitches.
    There will be plenty of both in a months time.
    The world cup should be good fun.


    • MM Feb 22, 2016 / 8:45 pm

      “And England went with 2 bowlers short. One, by leaving Willey out and second, by including Jordan”

      Love that.


  4. Clivejw Feb 22, 2016 / 6:50 am

    These five losses in succession, especially this latest thrashing, should, in a normal universe, temper once and for all the inordinate and shrill bullishness in the English cricket press about our prospects in the coming T20 world cup. But it won’t, of course. Because any decrease in the volume of cheer-leading from its current Full Botham levels might just possibly allow the idea to creep into people’s heads that maybe, just maybe, not even discussing the inclusion of our best ever T20 batsman, despite the tremendous form he has been demonstrating in this form of the game recently, was not in the best interests of the team.

    And don’t forget, this is what is important. Not winning or even competing, but the continuation of the Clarke-Strauss-Whitaker vendetta. This is now the third T20 world cup since 2010, when we won it, with KP as the man of the tournament, in which Pietersen’s services have been deemed superfluous. Time has exposed the illogicality, not to mention the injustice, of those decisions, but Strauss was appointed precisely in order to replicate them. What else should we expect from a board prepared to sacrifice an entire four-year world cup campaign in order to shore up its favourite against criticism?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sherwick Feb 22, 2016 / 8:28 am

      The ‘Great’ James Whitaker.


    • MM Feb 22, 2016 / 8:47 pm

      “current Full Botham levels”… love it.

      In fact, they’ve not only gone Full Botham but also full retard.


    • MM Feb 22, 2016 / 8:52 pm

      Don’t fret Clive. Strauss is building towards a future world cup when KP has retired, so he can blame his retirement for him not getting picked. And then, axiomatically, blaming him for England going out in the group stages.


  5. Clivejw Feb 22, 2016 / 7:00 am

    As a Sussex supporter, I should put in a good word for CJ, but I tend to agree that this format of the game is not his forte. In the county game, he often appears to be coasting along, but will then suddenly deliver you four or five wickets out of nowhere. There’s room for a “cold starter” like that at test level, but not in T20.


  6. SimonH Feb 22, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Let’s look at the data…..

    Spinners are more effective in PPs:

    Even yesterday, with his seamers taking the mother of all poundings, Morgan wouldn’t bowl a spinner in the PP. And it seems Rashid must always bowl ahead of Ali.

    There’s still far too much of playing to a pre-conceived plan about England. The plan may be a better one than it used to be – but it’s still no substitute for playing the match circumstances in front of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Topshelf Feb 22, 2016 / 11:58 am

    That article is a little shallow really. A lot of teams now use a spinner (often part-time) in the first over, which has always been the lowest-scoring over in both innings. So that skews the figure in their favour somewhat. And with so much T20 on the sub-continent on slow pitches spinners are a sensible option in the PP.

    It is hardly news that Gayle prefers pace on the ball early on – an off-spinner is a great option to him.

    In the Big Bash Rashid didn’t bowl at all in the PP, having been given a clear role to perform. Everyone seems to think that every player knowing their role is the key to T20 success, so that may be why Morgan was reluctant to deviate from the plan. Bowling “out of position” as it were and getting clonked might be a confidence denter.

    However, I agree that England do suffer from rigidity in thinking. If worried about confusing or demoralising Rashid it still couldn’t have hurt to throw the ball to Moeen or even Root for the 4th over, not like they could do any worse than what was already happening.


    • SimonH Feb 22, 2016 / 12:56 pm

      Yes, it should been fleshed out more and the point about Gayle is quite specific to him – but it is still a valid argument I think.

      I don’t think it is down to an isolated first over – that’s an idea that seems to have gone out of fashion (I’m getting a flashback to the previous T20 WC and England’s use of Moeen Ali there. Argh!). I’m looking as a model at how SA used Tahir – they brought him on early if England got off to a flier or held him back if the seamers were doing well.

      I was thinking of Ali more than Rashid (hence my point about why Rashid was always bowled first). Ali hasn’t looked like taking stacks of wickets but they haven’t really got on top of him either and there was a good chance he’d have exerted more control (and certainly not less!) if he’d bowled the 5th, or even 4th, over.

      The point about the option of Root is interesting. The MSM haven’t noticed the decline in Root’s bowling. He hasn’t taken a Test wicket all winter (the last was Lord’s against the Aussies), he hasn’t taken an ODI wicket since before the WC and he hasn’t taken a T20I wicket since May 2014. He doesn’t seem to turn it any more. Whether it’s his back condition or he’s had the ability to spin it coached out of him who knows?


      • amit Feb 22, 2016 / 3:12 pm

        Funnily enough, it was pointed out in the game yesterday by Nick Knight, no less, that England could use another spinner who happens to be in the squad – Joe Root. That Morgan couldn’t quite bring himself to use Root is I think a touch disappointing, given as the result was a formality after 7 overs.
        But yeah he does seem to bowl less and less these days. May be it’s the phenomenal batting that’s just considered too important and they don’t want to burden him any more.


      • Tuffers86 Feb 23, 2016 / 7:06 am

        Hasn’t he gone the way of Atherton? It was before my time a little, but didn’t a bad back end any development of Atherton’s legspin?


    • Mark Feb 22, 2016 / 1:15 pm

      Sounds like an ideal job for Simon Hughes. He knows all about batting. He wrote a book about it.

      So he must know what he’s talking about!


      • Sherwick Feb 22, 2016 / 2:31 pm

        Remind me, what did Boycott say about Simon Hughes’ book on batting?


  8. nonoxcol Feb 22, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    aquitted on a homo-erotic roll at the Guardian.

    Quote facts and averages, get accused of having a hard-on, using up lots of tissues watching old DVDs, wanting to see KP in tight shorts and wanting to suck him up.

    There’s enough material there for an entire conference, as someone once said.


    • Zephirine Feb 22, 2016 / 9:20 pm

      Back in the day, I used to wonder if a particularly awful troll was actually one or several of the G sport staff having a laugh…


  9. SimonH Feb 22, 2016 / 6:12 pm

    New Geek & Friends has Russ Degnan discussing a Test Championship.


    • Mark Feb 22, 2016 / 6:28 pm

      I have never understood the attraction of a test match championship. I don’t believe there are thousands of people out there who don’t like cricket who would suddenly be interested if we created a test championship. Test cricket has always been about the here and now. This current series, and the next one. That’s it. In 2/3 years both sides may have lots of new players.

      We already have a ranking system, which has a number one ranking. The logistics of a test championship and the time it will take to play it mak it pointless in my opinion. Far better to create better pitches with pace and bounce in them.


      • Benny Feb 22, 2016 / 6:34 pm

        You’re being far too sensible


      • SimonH Feb 22, 2016 / 6:43 pm

        Give it a listen and find out what they say! Forcing sides to play each other home and away in a given cycle is one good reason. Improving pitches isn’t an either/or thing of course. There are real logistical questions – but these are usually a cover for a lack of will to do something at all.

        Sports Journalist of the Year Awards on tonight.


      • SimonH Feb 22, 2016 / 9:30 pm

        Mike Atherton won Cricket Journo of the Year with commendations to Liew and Hoult.

        Lizzy Ammon has a photo of Sam Collins with an award so DOAG won for something but I’m not sure exactly what.


      • Benny Feb 22, 2016 / 9:44 pm

        DOAG sports documentary of the year !!!!!!!!!!


  10. Topshelf Feb 22, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    DOAG won Best Sports Documentary, and well deserved.

    Can’t generally read Athers behind the paywall, but not sure that giving Cook 8/10 qualifies anyone for “best.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Feb 22, 2016 / 11:01 pm

      That is a huge FU to Selvey. And all the others who laughed at it or ignored it.


  11. SimonH Feb 22, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    Christchurch Test getting interesting – NZ nearing fifty ahead with 6 wickets left. Williamson refinding his mojo, Anderson hanging in with him.


  12. Clivejw Feb 23, 2016 / 3:04 am

    NZ now 200 ahead with one wicket left. Will it be enough?

    In view of Australia’s history of being bowled out for low fourth innings targets — maybe NZ have too many already!


    • SimonH Feb 23, 2016 / 9:44 am

      I’d have loved NZ to get something out of this series (and there’s a faint chance they still might) but they’ve been comprehensively out-played.

      What has happened to their bowling? Across the two series against Australia, and excluding the pink ball Test, the lowest they’ve bowled Australia out for is 505. They’ve not looked the same since losing Shane Bond as bowling coach.

      The same NZ attack routed SL in their two Tests in NZ – so that doesn’t bode well for the Lankans in England.


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