England v Pakistan – ODI #3 – Preview and Comments

Now. I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to tomorrow’s game with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. I’d be lying if I said this was the number one thing on my agenda tomorrow. I’d be lying if I said this series had gripped me by my lapels, shaking my pent up excitement like a pair of maracas. The first two games have been unutterably dull.

This may be the case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show, given the excitement and verve of the recent test series. It might be that Pakistan are outmatched with a dodgy batting line-up, while England have a murderers row all the way down to Adil Rashid at number 10. The bowling is more even, but England haven’t had massive chases to test how much the visitors might bend. It’s been routine so far, and that’s not what we like to see. ODIs need the touch of the extraordinary or they become extra ordinary. A bad ODI, an uncompetitive one where the first score is low is no recipe for future enjoyment. I sat through Saturday’s game and I was phenomenally bored. I fell asleep for 45 minutes during our chase – part older age, part not caring as much, part the dullness of the game.

This much is true. (cue Spandau Ballet) 18 months ago we were garbage at ODI cricket. Absolute unmitigated rubbish. Now we (I) get bored when we win routine matches. Yes, I sound like an entitled Manchester United fan fed up that we aren’t winning in style. I get this. Except there’s not a lot of fandom, other than dearly hoping Jason Roy or Jos Buttler go off. I don’t mind Hales or Root play very well either. Less enamoured of Morgan, ever since the “that’s from me” macho bullshit, and Stokes really needs to justify his white ball place with performances rather than “I want to bowl because I’m bored” stuff, even if that was tongue in cheek. This isn’t unconditional fandom at all. But you knew that!

Tomorrow the match takes place at Trent Bridge. A couple of months ago there was a thrilling game where England got out of jail with a tie when Liam Plunkett hit the last ball for six. It was the sort of ODI that gets your attention. England, through Buttler and most notably Woakes, gave us a thin chance, and then got the rewards. Last year New Zealand made 349 and England chased them down with six overs, yes six, remaining. Eoin Morgan made 113, and yet not much more than a year later there are whispers that he should not be in the team, He made a half century on Saturday, so maybe that clamour has receded. Just mentioning those two matches show how the landscape has changed, and probably why the last two matches have been dull in comparison.

In my opinion, and I said it on Saturday, Joe Root should be given a couple of weeks off. He plays all three formats, has hardly had a break, and got a knock on Saturday. We do push our players to extremes at times, and I think he’s earned a break. No doubt Joe won’t want one, and no doubt the medical and management staff know better. But it looks to me as if there is no harm in doing so. Maybe, if we clinch the ODI series tomorrow, we can take a more pragmatic line, whether we are placing equal weight on ODIs and tests or not. It’s not as if there isn’t some exciting young talent behind the scenes. Duckett, Billings, Bell-Drummond et al. I know we are building a solid team for the Champions Trophy next year, but health has to come into it.

Comments on the game below. Come on now, you WILL enjoy it.

As a reminder, it’s 12-8 in the Super Series.

DID YOU KNOW? Kevin Pietersen played 5 ODIs at Trent Bridge, but batted just twice? 41* and 0. Why now? Just trailing the upcoming look at his test hundreds


63 thoughts on “England v Pakistan – ODI #3 – Preview and Comments

    • Mark Aug 30, 2016 / 10:08 am

      Read the comments section, if you dare. Some examples….

      “Patriot vs mercenary”…….” Why the hell is the clown Morgan captain anyway.”

      This is what passes for the knuckle dragging morons the ECB has so encouraged as England fans over the last few years. Much enabled by scumbags like Newman.

      Notice how Cook is elevated to hero status. Once again we have the emergence of dear old Alice, dragged into the fore to help show how wonderful Cook is. The “frame” is so obvious….Brave Cook, who’s wife is expecting their second child is prepared to sacrifice, and wants to go. While Morgan, is odd, strange, not to be trusted, who may be having a bad effect on the younger players.


      Thankfully the best comment BtL is this…” And the report on the Warwickshire Vs Somerset one day semi final, Where is it? ” ……to which someone else has replied…….

      “Any game starring Bell is not likely to be highlighted.” They see right through your tawdry agenda Mr Newman. Shame your editors don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clivejw Aug 30, 2016 / 11:24 am

        I don’t mind Cook being praised for his decision to go, but if England players are given the choice, they shouldn’t be criticized for taking the opposite decision.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. SimonH Aug 30, 2016 / 9:33 am

    NZ set 400 in 11 hours of play at Centurion.

    Steyn got both openers in his over. Unlucky drag on for Latham but Guptill got a brute.


    • d'Arthez Aug 30, 2016 / 9:38 am

      So, that is Latham, Guptill both gone for first ballers, and now Ross Taylor (who has a poor record against South Africa) gone for a 5-ball duck.

      5/3. This could end very quickly.


      • d'Arthez Aug 30, 2016 / 9:43 am

        To be fair to Ross Taylor, that was an impossible ball. The ball hardly bounced up all hitting him in front of the stumps on the ankle. You can’t hold that against Taylor.

        Philander now takes out WIlliamson, 7/4.

        I suspect that the winter conditions really have not helped the pitch and pitch preparation. An experiment (winter tours) not worth repeating for me


      • SimonH Aug 30, 2016 / 9:51 am

        Superb catch by QDK to get Williamson. The latter may well turn out to have a broken finger after that blow he took in Philander’s first over.

        Not disagreeing about the wisdom of playing at this time of year – but it’s worth remembering NZ did win the toss here and could have been bowling last.


      • d'Arthez Aug 30, 2016 / 10:00 am

        It was a strange call by Williamson to bowl first, given the history of Centurion. But that does not negate the concerns one may have about the pitch.

        As we saw in the South Africa innings (3rd), the pitch was seriously misbehaving on Day 3 as well. So whoever had to bat last would be struggling to make whatever runs would be required. Seems the wear and tear is excessive for just 3 days play (and remember we are already 21 overs short after 3 days).

        If CSA are that desperate to start the domestic international season earlier, why not play in September? Through most of the country weather should be improving then (compared to August), and that may make it easier for the groundsmen to prepare better wickets as well.


      • @pktroll Aug 30, 2016 / 11:06 am

        I know you are not exactly comparing like with like but the Joburg/Pretoria weather forecasts are fairly similar to London’s temperatures at the moment although of course it is a fair bit cooler at night. I’m hardly a weather watcher but I would suspect it’s probably been a good bit colder than that at night in the last few weeks which might have made a difference.

        I did see a certain amount of the early play and I thought Southee wasted the new ball in the first innings and they let SA get off to a flyer.


      • SimonH Aug 30, 2016 / 3:04 pm

        All over in Centurion with a five-for for Steyn after some valiant defiance from Henry Nicholls (who looks like he should have a long career at this level).

        I wonder how long Williamson is going to tolerate this “slog at everything” approach by his tail? Sometimes it’s okay – but when you have a young guy with a chance of a Test century, you’d think they’d sell their wickets a bit more dearly.

        NZ have some major issues with their team. The opening partnership looks fragile, all-rounders Anderson and Neesham seem permanently injured (plus maybe aren’t that good), Watling hasn’t done anything since the century against England (his batting, keeping and decision-making were all poor here), Santner is a second spinner at best, Southee in particular is going backwards at an alarming rate of knots. Nicholls and Wagner are their only pluses from the tour.

        SA move up to 5th in the rankings. NZ can’t improve their terrible record against SA.

        Haven’t checked it but I think SA play a stand-alone ODI series at home against Australia next before touring Australia and NZ tour India.


        • LordCanisLupus Aug 30, 2016 / 3:17 pm

          All in my next review of world cricket which I drafted yesterday. I like Watling. Has he gone that badly off the boil?


      • SimonH Aug 30, 2016 / 3:48 pm

        One fifty in the last fourteen innings (excluding “fill your boots” time in Zimbabwe).

        His keeping had mostly held up in that time but he dropped a couple of catches in SA’s first innings here (one tricky but one straight-forward). It’s maybe a bit unfair to blame him for the two LBWs NZ missed by not going for DRS but the keeper has the best view and he didn’t seem to be pushing for them.

        I’ve got a lot of time for him so hope he can get back on track. He’s good against spin so India might be just the trick for him.


  2. SteveT Aug 30, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Anyone know why they are playing the ODI today rather than on the Bank Holiday Monday? No one I’ve spoken to can think up an explanation, nor can I


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 30, 2016 / 10:31 am

      Higher police costs? Can’t play a day nighter on a public holiday? Lord knows.


    • Benny Aug 30, 2016 / 11:05 am

      ECB aren’t very bright?


    • SteveT Aug 30, 2016 / 11:25 am

      Could they have made it a day match? Then again it is the ECB……….


    • Mark Aug 30, 2016 / 12:24 pm

      Probably can’t sell as many corporate packages with fancy lunches, and fine wines on a bank holiday Monday………..because the the directors are already having the day off.

      What’s the point of corporate hospitality if you have to do it on your own private time? Much better to have it on a working day when you get the chance to skive off to the cricket on the company shilling.

      Or is that just too cynical?


      • SteveT Aug 30, 2016 / 1:20 pm

        Could be quite plausible that, you just never know with the ECB. They reckon it’s a sell-out though – looks about 75-80% full at the moment.


      • "IronBalls" McGinty Aug 30, 2016 / 2:31 pm

        Now it turns out that the “independant” expert is a former work colleague of Tom Harrison??
        Well,well, well, fancy that?


      • SteveT Aug 30, 2016 / 3:01 pm

        Says it all!


      • Mark Aug 30, 2016 / 5:32 pm

        It’s all coming out now. And they wonder why people don’t believe a word they say?


  3. Clivejw Aug 30, 2016 / 10:44 am

    I think Pakistan are modeling their game plan in this one-day series on Moores-Cook-era England.


  4. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Aug 30, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    Very true Clive!

    Top class knock from Hales. Very composed innings building for a long time and now he is attacking in quite serious style.


  5. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Aug 30, 2016 / 3:17 pm

    The CC Twitter account is holding a poll on who should replace Jason Gillespie. Geoff Boycott currently in the lead, but unclear whether it is Yorkshire members voting for him πŸ™‚

    Lawrence Booth asking what this means for Hales’s Test chances. Maybe this innings in an argument for further specialisation, although admittedly this does not address the lack of quality red ball openers in our game.


    • SimonH Aug 30, 2016 / 3:51 pm

      Is Farbrace likely to go for it? If so, what does it mean for the England set-up?


  6. SteveT Aug 30, 2016 / 3:47 pm

    The Judge finally moves to second place. Don’t think Hales even knew why everyone was clapping. Was then out next ball!


  7. pktroll (@pktroll) Aug 30, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    Does anyone have the dark thoughts that if certain members of the press pack and perhaps even some in the ECB hierachy forced out Flower and if Flower ever got his old job back, it wouldn’t be too long before the old and methodical way of playing ODIs would be back for England?

    Oh dear, some of this fielding is awful and Yasir shells a dolly.


  8. RufusSG Aug 30, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    Er… good surface to bat on, you reckon? Bit of a flat deck but this is absolute carnage.


  9. d'Arthez Aug 30, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    Yet another yawnfest of an ODI. England to win by at least 150 runs. How exciting.


    • Escort Aug 30, 2016 / 5:35 pm



    • d'Arthez Aug 30, 2016 / 6:44 pm

      Yeah, the 150 might have been a bit optimistic. If Pakistan are not careful it could be 250. What a close contest.


  10. Rooto Aug 30, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    Even just seeing the Ball-by-ball is cringe inducing. Full marks to Hales, Butter and Morgan, but …. Ow!


  11. Mark Aug 30, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    Well that was fun. I must say I enjoyed watching that.

    The purists will moan, but it is a world record and as Mike Atherton has pointed out in commentary……the top 10 England scores, most of them have come in the last 2 years. What a transformation. Just shows what a complete Muddle the thinking was before. Butler and Morgan’s partnership was carnage. Both had strike rates over 200 at one stage. Fair play to Hales for not knowing he had beaten Robin Smiths score. Shows he was playing for the team.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Aug 30, 2016 / 5:33 pm

      Well done Eoin Morgan’s men, a wonderful record to achieve!
      I wonder if Cook still believes that this side still needs “real leadership”? The kind only he could provide?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark Aug 30, 2016 / 5:39 pm

        Yes, what was it he said after the World Cup? Paraphrasing……” The selectors got it wrong.”

        Er no they didn’t, not as far as the new captain was concerned. The laptop says 230. Not today it didn’t.


      • hatmallet Aug 30, 2016 / 7:51 pm

        Funnily enough, I don’t think the selectors got it wrong. The squad was decent, albeit not world-beating. Though once Ballance broke his hand, he should have been replaced – probably by Stokes who at that point had scored some BBL runs. The problem for me, aside from the historical stuff, was the last minute change of XI by Moores that just screamed “panic” and that filtered through to the players.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 30, 2016 / 9:05 pm

      Who kidnapped Mark? And what is the ransom? You fiends……


  12. nonoxcol Aug 30, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    “I think he [Moores] would be an excellent appointment.” (Feb 2014)

    “[Six inches of carry 2.0, copyright SimonH, re Chris Jordan v Bangladesh] Had England dragged themselves over the line, [a win against Afghanistan would see them qualify for] the quarter-final, when the real challenge would start… England’s preparation for this World Cup has been first class.” (Mar 2015)

    Thanks for the memories. πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rooto Aug 30, 2016 / 6:14 pm

      First class, as opposed to List A?!


      • nonoxcol Aug 30, 2016 / 6:48 pm

        The comments below that March 2015 article (for my money, among his three worst* that don’t mention Pietersen) are amazing. Especially Simon’s “Ethelred the Unready”, which was probably the 2015 Comment of the Year. It’s almost literally 95% of the community, including some middle grounders, just ripping the piss relentlessly.

        * the others being “Thank you kindly Mr Clarke for explaining how you are, in fact, standing down selflessly and voluntarily”, and – obviously – the first response to the Big Three stitch-up.


    • Mark Aug 30, 2016 / 7:25 pm

      That is priceless! Comedy gold.


  13. Rooto Aug 30, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    I might watch the highlights of the England innings later, for cheap thrills. Well done them.

    Just a reminder,
    Steyn – career average 22
    Philander – career average 22
    Rabada – career average 24
    Morkel – career average 29.
    It’s probably not the time (though it may be the place) to point it out, but *that’s* mouth-watering cricket.


    • nonoxcol Aug 30, 2016 / 7:31 pm

      According to some bloke down the pub, one of the 22s missed all four Tests against England and the other missed three and a half Tests (taking 4-70 in his only completed innings).

      I don’t believe it though – I think we’d have heard more about this if it were true.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rooto Aug 30, 2016 / 7:44 pm

        I need to get down your local! πŸ™‚


      • nonoxcol Aug 30, 2016 / 7:47 pm

        Currently doing a craft beer tour of Budapest. I love holidays. πŸ™ƒ


  14. hatmallet Aug 30, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Struggled to get much work done earlier once things really went runs. So many records. Really remarkable innings from the team.

    The Pakistan innings was always going to be a bit of an anti-climax, but none of the spectators will be going home disappointed.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 30, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      England are much, much better than the 8th/9th best ODI team in the world. It’s a great performance, but let’s not do the “get carried away in friendlies” thing our football counterparts are prone to do.

      Trent Bridge is becoming like the UK’s Wanderers. Increasingly hard to contain when the weather is beautiful and the pitch and outfield dry.

      Well done Alex Hales. That record had to go. Very nice of you to Sergei Bubka it as well. (Look up what Bubka did to the world pole vault record).


      • hatmallet Aug 30, 2016 / 9:29 pm

        I’m guessing he beat the WR by a millimetre?


        • LordCanisLupus Aug 30, 2016 / 9:35 pm

          Yeah. A centimetre at a time. He got paid a bonus for each world record.

          No point doing a Bob Beamon and putting it out of sight for 23 years. Actually, Mike Powell has held the long jump record for longer than Beamon now….


      • hatmallet Aug 30, 2016 / 9:33 pm

        Absolutely, can’t get carried away – they’ve got to do it in a tournament, but one doesn’t come around for another year.

        One of England’s historic flaws in one day cricket is not being able to make the most of a batting wicket like this. It may make for one-sided contests (and I don’t care that it was one-sided, provided it’s not the norm) and it may be too easy (especially when Pakistan played so poorly) but England needed to learn how to play on these type of wickets.


    • Zephirine Aug 30, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      Great stuff. Hales!! Buttler!! Morgan back in form! All the bowlers! And some good spectator fielding, with all those sixes.

      When is Root going to get a rest? He walks as if he has a permanent backache now. It’s ridiculous to keep flogging him – terrific though he is, this one-day side can manage without him.

      Interesting to be reminded, in the records and stats fest, that the Director comma still has three of the best individual scores in ODIs for England*.

      *It would be churlish to add that two of them were against Bangladesh.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 30, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      Good grief. He’s been all over twitter as well.

      This is an exciting team. But no. We have to have him going ott.


  15. quebecer Aug 31, 2016 / 12:11 am

    Bloody Hell. Just watched it all. Buttler and Morgan were just ridiculous, Root…well, Root, but Hales was staggering. Some of his shots were perfect ‘cricket’ shots, and some were crunches, but what impressed me most? His hitting in terms of where the deep fielders were. When mid on was up, he hammered repeatedly over mid on. It didn’t matter where the ball was bowled, that’s were it got hit. They moved mid on back so had to bring up the deep cover, and then wherever the ball was bowled, not matter how tight and tucked up, he pierced the ring on the off side to hit there. So they had to bring up the fielder backward of square instead. And o matter where the ball was bowl, no mater how full or wide of off, he hit the boundary behind square on the leg side. That was staggering hitting. it made some of his shots look a little ungainly, but they were in fact all superb. And some of those shots were played to a ball landing in the same place! If you can hit the same ball to the mid on, deep cover, or deep backward square boundary AT WILL, you’re a heck of a player.


  16. Nicholas Aug 31, 2016 / 10:07 am

    Today’s Sri Lanka-Australia ODI is being shown live on Quest, Freeview channel 37. Believe it or not, this is the first ODI to be shown FTA since Scotland v Australia was shown on the BBC Red Button in 2009 (they also showed Scotland v India in 2007). I think I’m right in saying this is the first ODI between two full-member nations to be shown live on FTA since the 1999 World Cup final. Which is incredible, really.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Aug 31, 2016 / 10:41 am

      Good spot, I’m on it!! πŸ™‚


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