England vs Pakistan: 1st Test, Day Four

Given the troubled and fractious relationship over many years between England’s and Pakistan’s cricket teams, perhaps the most startling outcome from this Test has been the realisation that they have become a likeable side.  The celebration at the end of a match they have thoroughly deserved to win made most onlookers smile, for it signified a team seemingly united and also enjoying their cricket.  Although that might have been the most obvious example, there were plenty of others, from Misbah’s century celebration to the adorable reaction of Mohammed Hafeez to the sight of a young Pakistan fan in the stands celebrating his catch to dismiss Alex Hales.  Rather obviously, over recent years Pakistan have had something of a PR problem, but under Misbah’s exceptional leadership and example, they have demonstrated themselves to be very welcome tourists.

It does of course help player demeanour when matches are won, and although England swiftly wrapped up the Pakistan second innings in a few minutes this morning, 283 was a big ask in the fourth innings of a match that had already showed declining batting returns.  Reaching such a target is quite possible, but it does require a fine batting performance, with few mistakes and bowling opposition that isn’t on top of its game – none of that was the case today.  Some were got out, but all too many of them were self-inflicted.  Cook certainly got a good ball, but his technique is looking ever so slightly awry again, his head moving over to off and ending up squared up by the bowler much too often.  In contrast, Hales and Vince were loose, Root and Ali downright careless, as England went helter-skelter at the target.  It wasn’t until Bairstow was joined by Woakes that a calmer mindset was brought to proceedings, and although the two of them battled hard against some exceptional bowling from Wahad Riaz in particular, much of the damage was already done – unless they were to pull off something magical, an end was always going to be open the moment the partnership was broken.  So it proved, from the moment Bairstow to his utter horror managed to miss a long hop to the end of the match was a mere five overs.  The final nail in the coffin came with the loss of Chris Woakes, who batted longer in the game than any other England player, for 58 runs and once out to go with his eleven wickets.  Seldom has an England player in recent times been more unlucky to finish on the losing side.

Yasir Shah’s ten wickets in the match will receive the plaudits, but the seam bowling today should give England pause that they are going to be up against an attack with no weak links.  As was suspected before the start of the series, the strength of the two sides is in the bowling, albeit Pakistan have a spinner on a different level, and both batting line ups look brittle.  For England the return of Anderson and Stokes will improve the side, with Finn and presumably Ball the likely ones to make way.  That would certainly improve the batting in the middle order, but that’s not the area where England look vulnerable. Vince doesn’t at this stage look likely to contribute more than a few breezy runs,  while Hales at the top still doesn’t exude reliability.

From a series perspective, Pakistan’s win is probably the best thing that could have happened; England now have to show they are capable of more than beating up weakened opposition.  But if nothing else, three more Tests as enjoyable as this one certainly won’t harm interest in the game.  These are two fairly well matched sides, both flawed, both capable of brilliance.  Pakistan won this Test rather than England losing it, because when it came down to it, their key players stepped up and delivered to a greater extent than England’s did.  That may not be the same next time, but for now they can reflect on a fine performance, that had the added side effect of winning over some hearts and minds.  Not a bad day’s work.



97 thoughts on “England vs Pakistan: 1st Test, Day Four

  1. man in a barrel Jul 17, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    Broad was down on pace, presumably looking to last things out. Compare with Wahab giving everything against Bairstow and Woakes, letting them know they needed to fight. For me, Broad should go if Anderson really is fit to return. He coasts when he can.

    Stokes got 20 and then was bowled by 20 year old leggie. Nasser thought this proved he was fit to play a Test! Stokes was all at sea against Yasir last November, but maybe Nasser knows best


    • thelegglance Jul 17, 2016 / 7:16 pm

      You want to drop the bowler with 55 Test wickets at 21.47 over the last 12 months?

      Liked by 2 people

      • RufusSG Jul 17, 2016 / 9:22 pm

        Made Woakes take all those wickets instead of him, a less lazy cricketer would have done the job himself… 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  2. SimonH Jul 17, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    A few random thoughts:

    1) The toss was very important – that’s now 23 of the last 24 Lords’ Tests where the team batting first hasn’t lost. Credit though to Misbah for making the right decision to bat – we’ve seen teams chose to bowl first afraid that they’d be five-down at lunch on Day One.
    2) The reluctance of Pakistan’s seamers to go around the wicket was baffling. Wahab looked twice the bowler when he was forced to after having been warned for running on the pitch twice.
    3) I thought Sarfraz kept really well today (just one bye) on a very difficult pitch for keepers and his energy in the field during the long Bairstow-Woakes stand was excellent.
    4) I still think England may well win the series – Pakistan’s batting has collapses in it and I expect Strauss has been winging off some burn-after-reading emails to certain groundsmen about the length of their rotor blades. The press boys don’t need to delete those “holding all the trophies” pieces they’ve zealously cut-and-pasted from the ECB press release just yet. Still, it’s a bit embarrassing for those who claimed England were going to win this summer 7-0. (Yes, Newman, I mean you).
    5) I hate to raise it as I love watching him bowl – but are we just going to ignore Yasir Shah’s drugs’ test? How did what he do differ from Warne?


    • RufusSG Jul 17, 2016 / 9:07 pm

      The Yasir Shah case is a bit of a weird one, but having read the background I’m just about willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. You’re likely aware of some of this already, but like everyone else in his family plus his wife, Shah suffers from high blood pressure which requires medication presumably cleared by the PCB to control. Shah’s account, which WADA claims they have the evidence to corroborate, is that that he woke up feeling extremely unwell one night, and in his haste to treat the pain accidentally took his wife’s blood pressure medication instead, which of course would have not been through all the same official clearances and happened to contain chlortalidone, a banned diuretic which was found in his sample.

      He was still suspended for three months back in February for his negligence, although as he’s never been a particularly effective limited overs bowler and not in their first choice ODI and T20 squads, his absence went under most people’s radar anyway. I don’t think we’ll ever know how much Shah’s story is embellished, but in the absence of evidence to suggest otherwise I’m happy enough to accept that it was a human error made in a moment of panic. I’m far less forgiving of Warne’s judgement, since he knew full well he was only taking his suspect pills out of vanity and showed a staggering irresponsibility in not getting his medication cleared properly, preferring to do it behind the team management’s backs instead.


      • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Jul 17, 2016 / 9:36 pm

        I look at the ICC’s experience in dealing with drug cases and I’m left feeling dubious indeed. We need to believe that two people in their 20s from different families have high blood pressure. And that the high blood pressure leads to serious acute symptoms. And that despite this a professional athlete does not have the correct medication to hand. And that it occurred while trying to get back to fitness for a test series and while working with someone banned for exactly the same reason. I’ll suspend my belief on this one I think.

        All of which might be relevant to the winter tour but not to this match where he bowled splendidly. But I don’t think the ICC are a body who can deal with such issues.

        Speculative question. Is Pakistan’s form in unfashionable Test cricket a symptom of their inability to compete as other nations do? In other words, is it just talent and the rest or are they particularly hungry and driven?


  3. Mark Jul 17, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    This morning I decided to risk it and watch CWOTV. I wasn’t disappointed. Mr Selvey was on, all dressed up like the dogs dinner. Didn’t take long for them to get their excuses in. The blame for this, according to the experts were the selectors for not picking Anderson and Stokes. Apparently Selvey, Cook, and other senior players including Anderson have all taken medical degrees in the last few weeks, and are now better at diagnosing injuries than the medical staff, and selectors. In Andersons case his seniority should, apparantly allow him to diagnose himself. I seem to remember the big cheese doing the same thing. It didn’t end well. Seeing as this is the first test and if Anderson breaks down it will probably be his series gone, I guess they were going to play safe.

    I suspected this would be the line trotted out. It was clear before the match that the clique of senior players, backed to the hilt by their media stenographers were not happy with the selectors. We even had Broad questioning the decision before the match saying he was surprised. Quite wtf it’s got to do with him I’m not sure. But as we know this dressing room seems to think they are above everyone else. Selvey also informed us that Finn was just a hair breath away from being back to his best. He was bowling from the wrong end apparantly. Funny, no blame was therefore given to the captain if that was the case.

    This was not a UAE pitch keeping low and slow. (Despite Selveys claim we had provided them with a UAE pitch) it was not as deadly. A good England line up should have been able to get close to this score. Certainly 250 was very gettable. The number of ENGLAND batsman who have thrown their wickets away in this match only confirms my suspicion that they are not as good as their fans in the media would have us believer. (Can you imagine this lot against Warne?)

    England will bounce back mainly because I’m not convinced with The Pakistan batting either. I think there will be times we will roll them over very cheaply. Anyway the blame game should be interesting tomorrow.


    • Mark Jul 17, 2016 / 8:11 pm

      By the way I forgot to say Cook touched on this when he said in his post match interview ” it’s good to have Anderson and Stokes back for Friday.” SORRY? Since when has he become a selector? He did then change it to hopefully we will have them back, but even so.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 17, 2016 / 9:46 pm

        It seems as though the Pakistan celebrations have cheesed him off. You see, I genuinely enjoyed the Pakistan approach to this match and the way they played. It looked like fun. It looked like they were “mad for it”. England, too frequently, act as if it’s a job. A process. A functional unit. As if it’s a fight. Yes. You enjoy winning but Cook looks like a curmudgeon by saying these things. Never felt for one second that it was showing us up.


      • Mark Jul 17, 2016 / 10:00 pm

        I don’t have to tell you Dmitri the contempt I have for Cooks captaincy. But one of the reasons is he does say f…….. stupid things at the wrong moment. Imagine if you are an ENGLAND player sitting in the dressing room just after the match has finished, and you immediately hear your captain tell the media how pleased he is that two of you will be replaced for Friday.

        Now of course he may think that but he doesn’t have to say it publicaly. He could be diplomatic. But he hasn’t got a brain cell to rub together. he is a terrible leader of people. I wouldn’t follow him through an open door, never mind a brick wall.


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 17, 2016 / 10:16 pm

          Inexperienced and naive. Seems the two worst shots were by Root and Moeen. That don’t wash.


      • d'Arthez Jul 18, 2016 / 7:54 am

        But have you forgotten that this is a young inexperienced side Dmitri?

        That includes the captain too. Probably the only inexperienced player to have ever made 10 000 Test runs, but hey, don’t forget the narrative that we have been constantly fed by the ECB and the press.

        Wahab Riaz (16), Amir (15), Rahat Ali (15) and Yasir Shah (13), have played so many more Tests than Root (43) and Moeen Ali (27), that you obviously will read that this Pakistani side has played together for so many Tests ….


      • Zephirine Jul 18, 2016 / 11:58 am

        “it’s good to have Anderson and Stokes back for Friday”
        Cook continues to display his remarkable talent for undermining people without seeming to mean to do it.
        It also appeared to me that he talked a lot after that match but only allocated about half a sentence to appreciating/congratulating the Pakistan side. Classy as ever.
        Misbah, on the other hand… charming, articulate, grown-up, and as Quebecer pointed out, possessor of a winner’s beard.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. northernlight71 Jul 17, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    Moeen Ali is, by all accounts, a really nice person.
    He also isn’t seeming to be an international standard spinner or batsman at the moment.

    I know we’re all supposed to love him because he’s got a big beard and it proves how not-Islamaphobic we are, but does he really get the whole series? I’m not particularly sold on Rashid but . . . but . . . well, he isn’t the only spin-bowling batsman out there.


    • thelegglance Jul 17, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      He does need to improve on his current showing, that’s for sure. I do think his batting average is a little depressed because he so obviously plays for the team – slogging wildly when in with the tail to try and get a few more runs rather than aim for a nice red inker, but obviously that’s not his primary role in this team.


      • SimonH Jul 17, 2016 / 9:03 pm

        Er, is Bairstow the tail?


    • Mark Jul 17, 2016 / 9:13 pm

      According to Selvey this morning, Monty might get a recall.

      As for Moeen I think Cook trusts him as a batsman more than a bowler. He likes having someone who can come in low down and blast a 50 from time to time.


      • LeningradCowboy Jul 17, 2016 / 9:38 pm

        I don’t see it. He’s taken 5 wickets at an average of 85 this season.


    • RufusSG Jul 17, 2016 / 9:33 pm

      I’d honestly be tempted to give Kerrigan another shot at some stage. Doing a pretty serviceable job for Lancashire this season, and one bad game surely can’t be reason to shoot an international career down forever. Sure he can’t bat for toffee, but we already bat deep enough as it is, and he is actually a specialist spinner.


    • jomesy Jul 18, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      Have to agree. I was there on Thursday in upper Erdrich stand and there was simply no flight….none. How you can have a spinner with no flight at test level is beyond me.


  5. man in a barrel Jul 17, 2016 / 9:22 pm

    But they really wanted Anderson to risk a weird injury just to win a match? I realise that the Sun desperately needs to misquote me because they have an educationally sub normal correspondent called John Etheridge, but this series is about more than one match. When Anderson is Available, Cook overbowls him so he becomes inefective. Ref Ashes 2014. Hello John, I hope you are sitting comfortably.


  6. man in a barrel Jul 17, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    Butting out now, a relative has had a stroke. Let etheridge worm his way out


    • Grenville Jul 17, 2016 / 9:51 pm


      I am sorry to hear about your relative. Could somebody point me to a link with the relevant spat with John Etheridge.


      PS. What a bloody brilliant game of cricket. Probably the first good game in England since New Zealand at Lord’s all that time ago.


  7. man in a barrel Jul 17, 2016 / 9:29 pm

    My take is, if Anderson bowls more than 15 overs, his stress fracture will re open. JOURNOS are unaware of medicine…. Take your guess


    • Mark Jul 17, 2016 / 9:45 pm

      The ECB can now save money by sacking all the selectors, and medical people. According to the pundits players can now self diagnose injuries, and require no follow up to operations. If Cook wants them in the team then that is all that matters.


      • thelegglance Jul 17, 2016 / 10:20 pm

        It’s quite astounding that with 16 Tests this calendar year, some are complaining when a player is told not to play when injured. Astounding.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. SimonH Jul 17, 2016 / 10:43 pm

    Jason Roy picked a bad day to get out for a duck.


  9. Mark Jul 17, 2016 / 11:50 pm


    Oh dear, oh dear. Pakistans press ups have wound up Cook. They do make it so hard to like England these days. After all their pious pronouncements before this match about what happened 6 years ago they are now behaving like brats.

    I said before if Pakistan get on top it will get ugly. Looks like a few press ups is all it took.

    Liked by 2 people

    • nonoxcol Jul 18, 2016 / 6:35 am

      Should have pissed on the pitch or done Lovejoy’s oh-so-hilarious sprinkler instead.

      Pathetic little boy.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Jul 18, 2016 / 9:05 am

      and that Mark, is the measure of the man….brat!!


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Jul 18, 2016 / 9:13 am

      I think I am more than happy to say that it gives me more reason to dislike Cook, not that I need too much. On Saturday afternoon I was getting mighty hacked off yet again with his “captaincy by numbers” routine in which he took an age to get Woakes back on despite his obvious form. Then he goes and does that post match presser. Mug…….

      Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Jul 18, 2016 / 5:27 pm

      Hmm. To be honest I’m not sure Cook is suggesting that he’s upset at the celebration itself, more that watching the opposition celebrate is a motivation for the next game. It’s a little hard to tell without hearing the inflexion from those words. He does say that he isn’t offended by it. Cook often makes odd complaints in his interviews, but he may be being done a disservice here.


      • Mark Jul 18, 2016 / 5:57 pm

        Just don’t know why you bring it up as captain? Leave it, and move on. If you want to make something of it let one of your subordinates make an issue about it. As leader you need to be above that stuff. It just looks petty.

        And we all know that one of the biggest complaints about Pakistan cricket is their fitness so they are just giving a tribute to the soldiers who trained them. I think it was light hearted. Also it’s a Lords test match, all foreign teams celebrate winning there a bit more than normal. Might have something to do with the fact we keep calling it the home of cricket.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. AB Jul 18, 2016 / 7:55 am

    The bit I don’t get is that people are surprised by this result. I had Pakistan as slight favourites heading into the series. The teams are reasonably closely matched in terms of batting and pace bowling, but they have a huge advantage when it comes to spin bowling and captaincy.


    • MM Jul 18, 2016 / 5:14 pm

      That sounds bang on the money for me, AB.


      • thelegglance Jul 18, 2016 / 9:25 am

        It seems so yes. I’m not going to celebrate that at all, I might have strong views on his writing, but it’s a miserable thing to happen to anyone, and I feel very sorry for him on a human level.


      • northernlight71 Jul 18, 2016 / 1:40 pm

        He’s lost very little apart from the kudos of being able to say “I’m the senior cricket correspondant at the Guardian”
        He’ll get generous redundancy, continued work from other sources no doubt and he’ll also never stop sharing his bon mots on Twitter, I assume.
        As a human, he’ll be fine. Materially at least. Perhaps he might learn a small amount of humility? That’s probably too much to hope for.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Jul 18, 2016 / 9:40 am

      Right that quote from Selvey has infuriated me. I haven’t posted here for a while (still a regular lurker mind), like many of you, I’ve lost interest a bit in the last 12 months due a to a myriad of reasons.

      However, you may recall, that I too also work at the Guardian, albeit, in a commercial capacity. Mike Selvey has taken what would be an extremely generous voluntary redundancy package. The Guardian has been forced to offer redundancy because despite building one the worlds largest English language news websites, digital revenues have not replaced falling print revenues, because you know Google and Facebook swallow everything. At the same time, our esteemed editorial colleagues decided they needed to hire more than 100 additional full time jounalists…

      His woe is me demeanour sticks in the craw here, 276 other people have also exited the business, some of whom who have been here for much less than 30 years and some of whom go onto to an insecure future.

      Perhaps if he hadn’t had spent the last 4 years pissing off most of his readership, the Sports Editor wouldn’t have taken this oportunity to guide him to the door. Unbelievable.

      Apologies for the rant, but his attitude stinks.

      Liked by 4 people

      • nonoxcol Jul 18, 2016 / 10:31 am

        Well said. I have about as much sympathy for him as he had for Kevin Pietersen. Karma is a bit shit really, isn’t it?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sean B Jul 18, 2016 / 10:37 am

        Couldn’t agree more. I’m sure he has secured himself a nice little nest egg, before disappearing over to the Cricket Paper for a bit of cosy writing with his old pals Pringle etc.

        Don’t buy the woe is me one little bit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Jul 18, 2016 / 10:39 am

        I don’t advise the Guardian county blog today…..


      • Simon K Jul 18, 2016 / 10:55 am

        I don’t welcome anyone losing their job, but… I mean he’s 68. It was going to end at some time and for reasons that no one here needs to be told, there was ample reason to think that a parting of the ways would be better for all parties (readership very much included)


      • Mark Jul 18, 2016 / 11:02 am

        Thank you Mike for telling the real story. And not the self pity that Selvey and his lemming like fans are all currently engaged in.

        Selvey has defended the ECB s hiding cricket away behind a pay wall. He has been extremely pompus and rude to anyone who disagrees with him. A reign of terror has been extended to BTL writers who dare to point out his views are not quite as clever as he likes to think. As you say, others will leave with no pay off.

        As I understand it The Guardian is still losing about £100 million a year. I think he has had a very good run. 31 years he claims. Perhaps he should be a bit more thankful for that fact, because his output over the last 3 years has not been worth the money.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Simon K Jul 18, 2016 / 11:05 am

        When Andy Wilson was replaced by Ali Martin they increased their full time cricket staff from 1.5 to 2 (as Wilson also wrote on Rugby League). Assuming that’s going to fall back to 1 with the gap filled by freelancers.


      • Simon K Jul 18, 2016 / 11:07 am

        It is worth adding that his reputation for rudeness was not confined to interactions with the public.

        Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol Jul 18, 2016 / 11:10 am

        Odds suspended on the subject of the next Michael Henderson column in “The Cricketer”….


      • Clivejw Jul 18, 2016 / 11:16 am

        I very much agree with this. It’s very typical for Selfie to see things only from his own perspective. The only reason I will be sorry to see him go is if it means that the Guardian’s cricket pages are run down even more than they have been over the past five or six years. Otherwise, as a subscriber, I am glad that there will be one less person at the Guardian to whose salary I contribute who does nothing but piss me off in return.

        I was a big fan of his columns once, but the arrogance that he has displayed towards his readers in recent years has completely turned me off him. Let’s hope his replacement is someone who can forge a better relationship with his readers as well as report more independently and forthrightly on the game, rather than use his column to act as a mouthpiece for the ECB management and his personal chums. Having said all that, I would like to place on record that although he was a lousy reporter, he was actually a very good writer, and his prose was often a delight to read. His insights into bowlers, particularly but not only swing bowlers, could be very informative and he had an easy way with an anecdote. He should also be remembered for making up the story about graffiti that read “Thatcher Out. Bowled Alderman,” which many journos have subsequently reported as fact.

        I do hope this doesn’t mean that Vic Marks is at the parting of the ways too.

        Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol Jul 18, 2016 / 12:17 pm

        Did he ever get round to watching, writing a single word about, or even just acknowledging the existence of, Death of a Gentleman? It’s been nearly a year since its general release, after all.


      • Clivejw Jul 18, 2016 / 12:46 pm

        He’ll have plenty of time in his retirement.


      • Zephirine Jul 18, 2016 / 12:59 pm

        Interesting insights from Mike there. Money is obviously extremely tight at the Guardian and the readers still expect the sports department to cover everything – it’s surprising that Mike Selvey has held on to the job as long as he has. He had 20+ years on TMS too, so he really hasn’t done badly.

        As clive says, he can write very well. But he seems to have had real problems adjusting to the digital world and the changed status of print journalists, even though generally the online readership in his field is more knowledgeable and less nutty than most.

        I also hope they keep Vic Marks on. But Marks seems to have a broader life and be less bound up with his identity at the Guardian, so would probably cope.

        Liked by 1 person

    • MM Jul 18, 2016 / 5:16 pm


      Bit too long?


  11. Andy Jul 18, 2016 / 9:34 am

    I managed to see more of this test than others I have tried to watch recently, so my thoughts are tempered a little by perhaps uneven comparisons. (i.e. reader beware!).

    I thoroughly enjoyed this test – despite England loosing. I thought it showed exactly what test cricket should be. The balance shifted back and forward and either side could have won it.

    Pakistan appeared to play with a smile and joy and seem to be much more of a TEAM, than england.

    It will be interesting to see how england fight back across the series. I just hope that it is done on the square, and not in the press – but I think that is too optimistic and perhaps naive (see the wingy cook article in the Mail above….) Seriously – how can you be that peed of by that celebration.

    I want england to be challenged, not to just steam roller an opposition (sorry Sri Lanka), this is probably the best thing to happen to this series from a cricket point of view – just not from a press POV.

    While I like to see the odd big score, so often its the lower scoring match that has more excitement in it. Its a please to see runs and wickets earned, and not just given out.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. SimonH Jul 18, 2016 / 9:53 am

    Asif and Ajmal were both second but couldn’t dislodge Steyn.


  13. SimonH Jul 18, 2016 / 10:40 am

    The pod person who has replaced the real Nasser Hussain made some odd statements after the defeat yesterday.

    Firstly, he blamed Joe Root’s first innings’ shot as the single most important moment in the game. Root has been using the slog-sweep as his release shot against spin for two years and it hadn’t got him out once (to my recollection). That seems a fairly good risk-reward equation to me. Still, as we all know, getting out to an attacking shot is the ultimate crime in English batsmanship. Root looked becalmed in the second dig against Yasir – it’s going to be interesting to see if/when he feels he can play that shot again or what his Plan B is.

    Secondly, pod-Hussain then said he had no problem with Root’s shot in the second innings’ dismissal. That’s despite the fact there was a fielder back and Root has got out hooking before (to Ishant Sharma in 2014 and to MJ at The Oval last year to name two). Pod-Hussain said that was because England’s “last two No.3s” had been too passive, had allowed the opposition to get on top and England needed a Ricky Ponting at No.3 to launch counterattacks. I’m sure you can all work out who the last two No.3s were. And England might want a Ricky Ponting at No.3 but if you haven’t got one then it’s probably better to accept that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM Jul 18, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      “pod-Hussain”… I love that.


  14. Clivejw Jul 18, 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Good review, by the way, legglance.


    • Mark Jul 18, 2016 / 5:02 pm



    • jomesy Jul 18, 2016 / 8:55 pm

      Sorry but how he thinks he can post messages like that (in his private capacity) and maintain a job at a leading national tells you how out of hinge he is. Bit like calling Pietersen, best batsman of a generation, a “pest” and thinks that’s fine in discharging his role to report on the saga. The man was spoon fed Flowers view of the world at took it, without question. Excuse my French but sod him, he’s a self-serving twat. The G have realised it, hopefully others will.

      Liked by 2 people

    • nonoxcol Jul 18, 2016 / 9:06 pm

      Nice to see him overusing commas to the last. Dashes after “counterpoint” and before “is” would greatly improve his tweet here.

      From a very low base, mind.


      • jomesy Jul 18, 2016 / 9:45 pm

        Indeed. I don’t do Twitter but get it. To end with calling the guy a “twat” is just astonishing. I’m trying to teach my kids how to interact on media…he’s a perfect example in not how to.


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 19, 2016 / 8:26 am

          Can’t blame someone for having a pop back to be honest. I know how I feel when the resident morons have a go.


      • jomesy Jul 18, 2016 / 9:46 pm

        Or how not too!


  15. Clivejw Jul 18, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    “He will not play for England again and to suggest otherwise is just delusional. How did it all come to this? That, Kevin, is a question you should ask yourself, not of others. Maybe one day you will realise.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Jul 18, 2016 / 4:47 pm



  16. SimonH Jul 18, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    One of the memes over the weekend from the MSM and repeated by their BTL useful chumps was “of course England can rely on Cook and Root in the 4th innings – but who else?”

    I had a strange feeling that I couldn’t remember St Alastair of Mental-Toughness playing much in the way of heroic match-winning or match-saving fourth innings’ scores so I decided to look more closely.

    Cook averages 36 in the fourth innings of Tests. Limit it to performances against top eight teams (which cuts out an unbeaten century against Bangladesh) and his average is around the 33.6 of Ian Bell. Graeme Smith, by means of a counter-example, averaged 52 in the fourth innings (plus Gavaskar, Boycott and Greenidge also all average over 50 in the fourth innings among openers).

    Cook’s record is particularly poor when one looks at his record when England were chasing scores between 200 and 400 (i.e. scores like on Sunday in the demanding but gettable bracket). Lower targets tend to be a chance for some red ink against bowlers who’ve seen the writing on the wall and higher targets tend largely to be exercises in face-saving or delaying-the-inevitable. Cook averages 19 when England have been chasing 200-400 against top eight teams. He’s been in this position 18 times in his career and made just one fifty (63 in Sharjah on the last tour).

    As usual, the MSM have stuck the boot in to every other batsman and passed over Cook. Next time England are facing 200-400, they’ll start the same meme all over again. And so it goes…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Jul 18, 2016 / 4:58 pm

      He made a score in the first innings so he gets a pass. Also, I noticed they were all quick to say he got a good ball in the second innings unlike some of the others.. Now of course this all may be true, but we have been here so many times before that it’s like the boy that cried wolf.

      I still think England will bounce back because I am not convinced by Pakistan’s batting unit anymore than Englands. However, it’s tiresome to see Cook do his stroppy teenager routine. As you said over the weekend Simon, his captaincy was not great again. It reminds me of India 2014 when England had gone behind. He was bailed out then by Jimmy Anderson. He needs the same again now.

      One thing you do see from yesterday’s innings Is the influence of 20/20 cricket. Bob Willis said they would try to get the runs quickly and not bat time. They had 2 days, They could have finished yesterday 180/3 and come back today to try and get the remaining 100. No one bats time now. It’s a dying part of test cricket. Look at the hostility towards Compton for going too slow.


      • SimonH Jul 18, 2016 / 5:38 pm

        I don’t like the tendency to blame batsmen who got some runs and ignore the ones who didn’t.

        However, it’s noticeable how some of the MSM do it except when it’s Cook. What do they say when Root gets out in the 80s? Not cashing in, shoulda been a daddy etc. Cook did get a good ball in the second innings (although if he’d been further forward, he’d have got a thicker edge that may not have carried) but what was he doing in the first innings? A defensive shot at a ball on a fifth or sixth stump line? Either leave it or attack it!

        On his captaincy, I think it shows that much of the supposed improvement in his captaincy has come from Anderson. Bowling changes stuck to the script (Woakes on fourth?) and field placings were uninspired and negative. There was also very little aggression in England’s play.


      • Mark Jul 18, 2016 / 5:50 pm

        It’s interesting about players who get out in the 70s or 80s and do you blame them, as opposed to someone who gets out for 12? I guess it’s all about if you have done all the hard work and get a start, you need to finish off the job. One of the complaints about Bell was too many stylish 40s and 50s. If Cook makes 150 England have the lead.

        Maybe he would not get so much criticism if his fans didn’t keep telling us he was the greatest ENGLAND cricketer of all time.


      • Clivejw Jul 18, 2016 / 5:59 pm

        Before the series, I said that I would refer to him by all the letters in his name, instead of as ***k, if he averaged over 30 in this series. I was being cautious, I really thought he wouldn’t average over 20. I reckoned without the butter-fingered Pakistani fielders. What was it in the first innings, 81-3? I have no doubt that the Pakistani seamers will continue to dominate him in the rest of the series (he is a fine player of spin), so the bet is still on.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Jul 18, 2016 / 6:05 pm

        Yes Clive, he got a away with it in the first innings. Pakistan fielding gave him 2 lives.


  17. AB Jul 18, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    There’s just no room in journalism these days for someone with no real insight or any deeper knowledge about the game than your average fan, who relies entirely on his past reputation and leaks from insiders.

    He really genuinely won’t be missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Jul 18, 2016 / 5:02 pm

      Don’t forget the intimate knowledge of both cricket, and rather alarmingly cricketers.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. quebecer Jul 18, 2016 / 5:26 pm

    At such times, magnanimity is always the way to go. Over the years Selvey wrote much that was informative, and of a kind that was uncommon. I choose to remember that. Plus, I know he always checks out this blog, so it’s good to say it here.


    • Mark Jul 18, 2016 / 6:01 pm

      How do you know he checks out this blog if you don’t mind me saying?

      Clive said above he used to like his work, and he writes well. Shame he lost way. I think he got too close to Cook, and the ECB.


      • quebecer Jul 18, 2016 / 6:28 pm

        Totally joking about Selvey reading this blog, and poking fun at myself for writing about/to him here.

        There was a lot that I have read in Selvey’s work that simply wasn’t available anywhere else, but as soon as the Ashes debacle and fall out began, his absolute refusal to in any way analyze the failings of that our and utter determination to never do so affected nearly all his writing. When you have such deep denial, you have to keep propping it up, and it just gets more and more ridiculous.

        That is so shaped the guardian pages allowing and encouraging very silly and uninteresting people to lord around in some odd little of victory parade, dismissing any attempts at posting about reality was very sad indeed.

        Apart form a few notable exceptions, and some really good posters from other countries, those pages are not worth it for me anymore. Selvey wasn’t completely to blame for this, but he certainly had a hand.

        Liked by 4 people

      • Zephirine Jul 18, 2016 / 7:28 pm

        It started earlier than those Ashes, q. Remember that article that came out of the blue, saying that Flower couldn’t work with KP any more? Can’t remember when it was, now, but with hindsight it was a signal of intent.

        That was when Selvey started writing pieces in that strange convoluted style, with a lot of hints about how much more he knew, etc etc.

        Maybe he’ll wake up one day and realise he was manipulated.

        Or maybe we know nothing.

        As for the effect on the BTL ‘community’, totally with you there.

        Liked by 4 people

      • nonoxcol Jul 18, 2016 / 9:55 pm

        Corker that one Simon.

        Can anyone spot the difference between number 8 and an ECB press release?


      • Quebecer Jul 18, 2016 / 10:29 pm

        Zeph, you’re right. I think I felt (as I did with Flower, come to think of it) that a certain amount of time had been earned. I suppose I’m remembering my own breaking point.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Jul 19, 2016 / 7:25 am

        It’s quite a wake they’re having over there. Highlights include:

        – wctt thinking MS won’t fit in at Cricinfo because it (Cricinfo!) is a sycophantic site
        – “Mexit is as incredible as Brexit, just as hard to swallow”
        – “Echo the comments on here about MS (except those from the silly Kp apologists).”
        – palfreyman being his usual cloying self

        Someone on the c*unty blog wanted a “Selvey Anthology”. I’m sure we could cobble one together between us…

        Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Jul 19, 2016 / 8:20 am

          Sackings out of the blue, unexplained, and to the bewilderment of your avid followers are really hard to take without getting angry, aren’t they?

          Liked by 2 people

      • LordCanisLupus Jul 19, 2016 / 8:25 am

        We are given to believe that at certain times this blog is read by many of our finest. The number of hits we get from test locations involving England is pretty revealing. But no absolute proof, no.


      • SimonH Jul 19, 2016 / 8:48 am

        The number of moderated comments on that Selvey article is starting to pile up.

        Jomesy’s post of Mike’s comment here was one that obviously could not stand.



      • Mark Jul 19, 2016 / 10:23 am

        I’m sure that will go down well.

        I love the people who follow him because they hate him so much. Freud would have a field day with these people. Apparantly posting pictures of himself in exotic locations is a crime. What is he supposed to do with his millions and his free time? Repent, I guess.


      • SimonH Jul 19, 2016 / 11:26 am

        The replies to the Pietersen Tweet showing humanity at its finest.

        The numbers who don’t seem to realise Pietersen tore his calf muscle in the IPL and is out until November are quite amazing.


  19. quebecer Jul 18, 2016 / 5:36 pm

    MIsbah is rightly getting plaudits from all sides, and his really was a match winning performance. His captaincy was superb, and his humour (for that’s what is was) delightful.

    But this Pakistan side is fit, united, strong, organized, and every player knows his role. Misbah again gets credit, but even though it’s early on, I’m surprised Mickey Arthur isn’t getting a few mentions. Fit, prepared, and organized? If you see that in any sport, that’s down to the coach.

    As for England, I can see why we stick with Hales, and even Ballance. But Vince? I’m really not seeing it. I think of those three, he’s the one not to invest any more in to.

    I can’t help thinking the most test ready batsman not in the side right now is Robson, and I’m also of the mind that moving Hales to 3 or 4 isn’t the worst Idea ever. He’s done very well when he’s played there for Notts, it it’s not as if dropping in to the middle order didn’t help Root enormously.

    Rash for Ali is tempting, certainly, and as much as Ball did well, I think in the end FInn looks the better bet for Manchester.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. CRICKETJON Jul 19, 2016 / 9:36 am

    I am really ashamed of the way the ECB machine thinks that it is the role of visiting sides to just visit this country, get beaten and be patronised throughout the series. I am trying to get my daughters into sport and physical activity and I couldn’t possibly show them cricket on the evidence available.

    Pakistan are a better side than England and we will see better days this series from Azhar Ali and YK. I don’t agree there are collapses round the corner for Pakistan at least no more so than the home side. What this has provided is thrilling cricket , a good contest and a visiting team so well led that their captain has potential in other walks of life when he retires.

    To hear Cook (however he tries to wriggle out of it) publicly admonishing his batsmen and musing the possibility of changes for Friday only serves to demonstrate his lack of leadership qualities. By God he sails close to the wind with the people who pay to watch the game, I can think of previous England captains who would not get away with that.

    I thought the whole idea was to get busy with players behind closed doors who underperformed but back them in public. Not difficult to see now why there was an alarming unwinding of that Urinating but Un-unified team that went to Brisbane in Nov 13. It’s so easy to see now. There are cracks that get papered over when we play a poor side but they widen significantly when we meet opposition. So much so a player can disappear mid series.

    I fully expect Pakistan to expose the issues prevalent in the Test team that have been largely dealt with in the ODI team. The fact that 10,000 man is nowhere near the ODI team is not lost on me in this regard.

    Man up and take some responsibility you awful man. It is not inner steel I am looking for , it is leadership and whilst the ECB machine back you no matter what you will never be the leader that Misbah is who by the way has had far more on his plate than you could ever hope to deal with if it was on yours.

    Whilst writing, I hear Selvey may have lost his job. Here we experience entitlement versus merit. Where does this rainbow end? People lose their jobs for heavens sake. It’s called life. My grandfather lost his when the car industry in the West Midlands succumbed to globalisation in 1980. He had to deal with it and he did with dignity. And therein lies the problem, the uncomfortable lack of dignity at 68. Once again, Mike where does this rainbow end? Deal with it.

    Disgusted of West Midlands signing off.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s