Bangladesh v England – 2nd Test Day 3

And that is it. All over.

I slept, like most of you no doubt, through the first two sessions. England seemed to have put in a decent effort to keep the damage down to needing just 270-odd, but then I caught up with the news that the fielding was duff, the conduct might not have been all it was and, well, we weren’t that good.

Then I saw 100-0 at tea and thought, oh well, we’re doing very well, and maybe there are not so many terrors in the pitch. Then we watched the collapse. Duckett went for an aggressive 56, and then the house of cards collapsed.

There’s so much to say, but the immediate aftermath isn’t it. What we can say that Bangladesh demolished us today. Absolutely thrashed us. Humiliated England. Watching the media this week is going to be incredibly interesting. The spinners will cop it, of course they will, but what about the arrogance of our selection? What about the batting, the bloody batting, which is still paying for the sins of the past. I’m not even going to talk about our captain. Well, I will, but not now.

England, remember, were being cited as a “great team” not so long ago. World number 1 team. But it’s ok. Matt Prior has just told us the players “will be hurting”. I look forward to the nonsense that will follow. As I watch Twitter, James Taylor is being turned into Graham Thorpe in terms of batting on the sub-continent.

Bangladesh. Well done. To Mehedi, a fantastic display. To Shakib and the others who have been through the travails, all praise.

Let’s have some truths here. Let’s be honest with our cricketing public. We’re watching you Team England, we’re watching you Team ECB, we’re watching you media.

Comment away.


171 thoughts on “Bangladesh v England – 2nd Test Day 3

  1. nonoxcol Oct 30, 2016 / 10:51 am

    Only England captain to lose the early summer Test series since their introduction in 2000.
    One of only three England captains to lose 5-0 in Australia.
    Only captain of a top-seven nation to lose a Test match to Bangladesh.

    Just pointing out the other side of the ledger. The same way I tried to do with Saint Andrew Flower.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. d'Arthez Oct 30, 2016 / 10:59 am

    A spectacular collapse of 64/10. But we know there are no vacancies in the middle order. And of course Ashwin and Jadeja won’t be a real threat.

    Only Woakes (55), Stokes (32) and Bairstow (31.50) averaged over 30. Of course the pitches played a role in that, but it is not like India won’t be considering to prepare pitches like this.

    Cook, Moeen, Duckett, Root (though he can be partly excused due to illness) and Ballance all averaged less than Rashid. I expect them all (with the exception of Ballance) to get higher series ratings from the cognoscenti, despite Rashid averaging less than 30 with the ball as well …


    • MM Oct 30, 2016 / 5:36 pm

      Like shooting fish in a barrel, Dennis.


  3. AB Oct 30, 2016 / 11:04 am

    I thought the pitches have been absolutely brilliant. Why can’t more countries produce such excellent cricket pitches?

    Maybe if we produced some dry pitches in England, we might produce some spinners capable of bowling on them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rooto Oct 30, 2016 / 11:08 am

    Happy to hear some genuine enthusiasm for the victory from TMS. Also interesting to hear Agnew explicitly cast doubt on Hawkeye during the final session.
    At tea, Dobell and the guy from the ST sounded quite confident about the chase, which was still quite a long way off. It showed a belief in the experience of the England team seeing them home, when the pressure was on. With this captain, we should have learned that experience don’t mean shit.
    Well done Bangladesh. I hope Australia tour next year. They’ll get spanked.


  5. "IronBalls" McGinty Oct 30, 2016 / 11:11 am

    The third worst collapse in Test history? FFS!!


    • d'Arthez Oct 30, 2016 / 11:31 am

      Nah, only second worst for England in Asia. It was not as bad as you make it out to be.


  6. BoredInAustria Oct 30, 2016 / 11:12 am

    England captain Alastair Cook: “Today we showed our inexperience in these conditions. A lot of these guys haven’t played many Test matches and when that ball got rolling we found it hard to stop.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria Oct 30, 2016 / 11:14 am

      “… I’m really glad I’ve been able to lead an England side here, so many people came out to support us. People need to come here and play cricket….”


      • Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 11:22 am

        Nasty smug dig at Morgan and Hales there. Quite typical!


    • d'Arthez Oct 30, 2016 / 11:33 am

      Moeen has played more Test matches than all the Bangladeshi’s with the exception of Tamim, Shakib and Mustafiqur.

      Yeah, England are the more inexperienced side here …

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Oct 30, 2016 / 11:36 am

        A number of the English team had played 14 Tests in the last 14 months.

        The Bangladeshis had played none.

        Anyone buying this is an idiot, or an inveterate excuse-maker.


      • RufusSG Oct 30, 2016 / 12:19 pm

        I’m kind of curious as to what England fear the worst thing that could happen if they admit that they aren’t generally inexperienced, and simply that the batsmen that played these games just didn’t play spin very well and haven’t done so for some time. I mean, as far as condemnations go for international cricketers these days it’s hardly a scathing one – many of the best international batsmen in the world don’t play quality spin that well. Just ask Australia and South Africa.

        A lot of the cynicism on these pages about the way the England management operates, and the attitude they have towards supporters, from my view seems to come from the fact that they seem unwilling to admit they’ve made mistakes when it comes to the short-and-long-term planning of the team, and try to muddle on with the same failed strategies to avoid being proven wrong. As you might suspect, sometimes I think the criticism is justified, other times I think it’s reaching a bit.

        Not that I know the inner working’s of Trevor Bayliss’ mind, but a simple acceptance that sweeping their deficiencies under the carpet of inexperience has not worked for a long time now, and that a new approach is required for England to progress as a side against spin, would be seen as an encouraging start. It doesn’t entail anything drastic like sacking Cook or recalling KP, if that’s what they’re afraid of, but I genuinely think it would heal a lot, if by no means all, of the contempt some hold the England management if they would admit that their supporters are occasionally right when it comes to pointing out that it’s time for a change in thinking. It’s alright to admit you’ve been wrong sometimes, as you can earn back a lot of credit if you use that first step to go on and genuinely fix the issues.

        Whether or not that’ll happen is of course another matter completely, but it would be a very promising step in the right direction both on the field (the team might actually start batting better in Asia) and off it too (fans won’t feel like they’re deluded for pointing out the obvious).

        Liked by 5 people

    • SimonH Oct 30, 2016 / 1:29 pm

      On inexperience, England’s team had nearly 120 more caps (344 to 226) than Bangladesh’s. The average ages of the two teams was virtually identical.


  7. oreston Oct 30, 2016 / 11:13 am

    I’m happy that Ben Duckett made some runs today, but what does it portend for the future of the batting line-up? England passed up the chance to blood Haseeb Hameed against Bangladesh and are most unlikely to bring him in immediately as an opener against India since Duckett will be judged to have staked his claim. It’ll be interesting to see how they restructure the top order – although of course we must bear in mind that there are no vacancies.


  8. jomesy Oct 30, 2016 / 11:13 am

    Have to say I thoroughly enjoyed that!


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 11:19 am

      Did anyone catch Matt Prior’s “analysis”?

      “England’s batting has been magnificent” (up until this collapse).

      Now, when Ian Ward pulls up Cook’s “inexperienced batting line-up” bit, Prior says England players have not played many test matches. That includes Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. In his desire not to offer any criticism, he jumps straight over the shark.


      • Escort Oct 30, 2016 / 11:36 am

        Oh yes. The Big Cheese and The Little Murmur. Why bother asking for their views if we already know what they are. Cook currently laying all the blame on the English spinners as I type. 😂😂


      • MM Oct 30, 2016 / 5:39 pm

        “he jumps straight over the shark…”

        Bingo! Bullseye.


  9. Alex Oct 30, 2016 / 11:18 am

    Before this tour started, this very blog proclaimed:

    “This tour will be low key on the field, and all hopes are that it will be equally low key off it.”

    I think some humble pie is in order there too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria Oct 30, 2016 / 11:37 am

      and then stated after the 1st ODI:

      “This may prove to be a little tastier a tour than imagined before the start. Bangladesh appear to be no-one’s fools on their own patch. It’s taken nearly 20 years, but these guys relish a fight.”


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 11:40 am

      Not sure who wrote it, but I was pretty effusive about how great a game the first test was!


    • BoredInAustria Oct 30, 2016 / 11:20 am

      “Paul Newman @Paul_NewmanDM
      Daily Mail cricket correspondent and Spurs fan.
      All views are my own”


  10. BoredInAustria Oct 30, 2016 / 11:27 am

    Mehedi Hasan – MoM: “The senior players have helped me. Sometimes when you are nervous, they were a lot of support for me,” he says.

    Matt Prior on Ducket: “Alastair has been able to stand at the other end and just knock it around. All the pressure has gone, the field has spread and so it has opened up easier options for Cook in the end as well.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • MM Oct 30, 2016 / 5:41 pm

      Matt Prior = tool.


      • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 5:48 pm

        That kind of punditry is in an insult to all who pay Sky subscriptions. Later on Ian Ward asked a pretty searching question, asking why we failed in these conditions, and apportioning some of the blame etc.

        “Thanks for throwing me that hand grenade” he answered.

        What? You have been employed and paid quite a sum I’d imagine to give your “expert opinion” and you want to pull punches? Because it’s tough for you to do so without implying criticism of your former colleagues? What sort of nonsense is this. Either give an honest opinion or do one. Because if you want to pull your punches and object to answering questions like that, then you should not be there. You are insulting your audience.

        We know the undercurrent. You say bad things, there may be consequences. Cheese might be on toast with the ECB. He may be cooked cheese with the skipper.

        Liked by 5 people

      • SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 7:57 am

        Joining the band of “so-called friends” would be a badge of honour if it didn’t put you in a club with Lovejoy.


  11. Julie Oct 30, 2016 / 11:28 am

    So Sir Cookie admits they just don’t have the experience.Has he stopped to think what happened to it.Go and ask Straussy and Andy Flower.They decided the young ones, inexperienced as they were could carry England to victory.Bad luck Cooky, perhaps you could have Bell back but KP has other commitments with people who appreciate his talent and knowledge.Bad luck Cooky, you’ll just have to wear it but of course it will all be swept under the carpet so don’t worry.


  12. SimonH Oct 30, 2016 / 11:31 am

    Mehedi the 6th youngest bowler to take 10wm:


  13. adriangsykes Oct 30, 2016 / 11:36 am

    I came to see the response on here there’s lot of glee and any pretence of anyone on here being an England supporters has been comprehensively abandoned, it’s weird but it was absolute what I expected.


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 11:39 am

      Thought you might show up.

      No. I feel angry. But then I suppose you’ll be e-mailing Sky to complain about Bob Willis later today.

      Liked by 1 person

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Oct 30, 2016 / 11:43 am

      This is Team ECB dear boy!


    • jomesy Oct 30, 2016 / 11:48 am

      We’ll just to make your trip worthwhile I’ll say it again, I THOROUGHLY enjoyed that!


    • Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 11:48 am

      Thanks for your CONCERN!

      Although why you would care one jot what we have to say is a mystery!


    • nonoxcol Oct 30, 2016 / 11:49 am

      It’s not half as weird as turning up on a blog with whose contributors you appear to have absolutely nothing in common. I was thinking of dropping in on Digital Spy’s X-Factor blog later, and flagellating everyone for still watching such unmitigated, worthless, cynical shite. Or I could do something I enjoy instead. There’s a novel idea.


    • RufusSG Oct 30, 2016 / 11:53 am

      If it was what you expected, why did you bother visiting? What are you expecting to accomplish here other than being a magnet for angry responses? I consider myself an England supporter and I’m disappointed we lost, but in terms of the bigger picture I’m delighted for Bangladesh as it’s a great day in their cricketing history, which they fully deserved for the way they played.

      Plus for what it’s worth, not that I’m of as strong opinions as others here, but whilst we’re by no means a bad team and have some fine players surely you can’t deny that England have basically been carrying the same deficiencies (top order, spinners etc.) for a good couple of years now, our failure to fix them reflects poorly on a) the management and b) the system tasked with finding the solutions, even if the rest of the team is good enough to ensure we still win games in spite of our issues.

      That’s what the frustration comes from, ultimately, and to put it all down to the critics being anti-England is unfair. (Hell, quite a few visitors here aren’t English anyway!) If no one accepts there are problems, and there have definitely been some heads buried in the sand as pointed out in the quotes mentioned in this thread, how can we expect to solve them?

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 12:16 pm

        Thanks Rufus. That pretty much nails it from my perspective.

        I’m not holding myself up as some paragon, but critics should read what I’m putting together on Adelaide 2006. Not an England supporter? Yeah. Really.


      • Benny Oct 30, 2016 / 3:31 pm

        I’ve been an England supporter since sitting with my dad, listening on the wireless to May and Cowdrey’s wondrous 411 partnership v the mighty WI in 1957. So many great times since then – Botham of course, 2005, Underwood bamboozling everyone, Boycott’s 100th century, Gooch’s 300, Devon Malcolm on fire, KP nullifying Warne, Monty and Swann in India, Stokes’ 200. Let’s just say I’ve been disappointed in recent times by the modern England outfit. Not rose-tinted specs, just begging for something special now and then and I’m not holding my breath


    • Escort Oct 30, 2016 / 3:40 pm

      Your comment is really know different than anybody else’s who goes to the MSM to read a match report in any publication written by a journalist (ha ha) that they don’t like and then come here to lament about it.


    • Rooto Oct 30, 2016 / 4:23 pm

      I’m a cricket fan. What are you?


    • MM Oct 30, 2016 / 5:43 pm

      Cheers Adrian. That means chuff all to me.


    • Badger Oct 31, 2016 / 12:17 am

      It’s because I’m such an ardent supporter of England that I can’t support this team, if you do, then I have to question your credentials as an England supporter.


  14. AB Oct 30, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    I’m a cricket fan first, England fan second. I support England when they’re playing Australia, South Africa or India. Other than that, I support the underdog.


    • Benny Oct 30, 2016 / 2:56 pm

      I’m pretty much in the same boat, except that, Test cricket, being the pinnacle of the game, gives me a chance to watch Steyn, Kohli, Herath and countless others in the past producing extraordinary cricket. For me, it’s about exceptional performances like Botham 81, the bowlers in 2005, Hales’ 160 at Hove, not to mention Sir Viv’s 200 at the same venue. Get Monty back and fit and I’ll be roaring him on


    • Rooto Oct 30, 2016 / 4:47 pm

      I think if test cricket were in ruder health, then it would be easier to just be partisan for your own national team. As it is, it often seems very important for the future of the sport that Bangladesh win a test, or that Pakistan put up a good performance in England. Or indeed that England put up a good performance in India.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. RufusSG Oct 30, 2016 / 12:52 pm

    My biggest hope is that, as a result of Bangladesh’s victory, other boards will recognise that they’re a team on the rise and becoming increasingly competitive, thus making them more of a commercial draw in the eyes of the treasurers. Boards have of course generally been reluctant to invite Bangladesh anywhere in fear of the games being over in three days and no one turning up, so those days should be coming to an end.

    They’ll thus be invited on more tours and be able to organise more of their own (security concerns notwithstanding), meaning the double benefit of a) being able to watch their obvious talents even more frequently and b), as anyone with any sense can tell you, them being able to improve even further and thus the overall competitiveness of test cricket through them playing more regularly. If they do well on their upcoming tour to New Zealand and their one-off test against India (not that my hopes are honestly too high that they’ll win), who knows what might happen?

    Improving Test Cricket 101, a book the ICC seem reluctant to read…

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Oct 30, 2016 / 1:03 pm

      That kind of optimism would be warranted if the ICC were a competent governing body. More likely is that Bangladesh will be punished for winning. Just as they have been punished for defeating India in the World Cup of 2007, and England in 2011 and 2015. It is only because West Indies in particular have declined even more, that they may escape the intended punishment.

      Ireland and the Netherlands have been punished for decent performances in global tournaments as well. While England have been rewarded for crap performances in the same tournaments (because let’s be honest, WC 2011 and WC 2015 were not exactly great from England).

      If you want more Test cricket for Bangladesh, start digging for oil, or valuable minerals. Employ slavery to excavate the newly uncovered wealth. After all, Giles Clarke does not mind hanging out with (suspected) war criminals …


    • BoredInAustria Oct 30, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      hear hear


  16. SimonH Oct 30, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    The Guardian’s “analysis” of Cook’s captaincy starts off by telling us to feel sorry for Cook then goes on to consider when he bowled Ali and Ansari while ignoring his handling of Rashid and his field-settings (like Ali starting with a long-off).


    Liked by 2 people

  17. Zephirine Oct 30, 2016 / 3:04 pm

    Cook is Peter Pan with his team of Lost Boys who live in a perpetual state of inexperience and ‘learning’. Somehow, Test after Test goes by but they’re still dewy-eyed newcomers. They should market this effect, cosmetic manufacturers would pay a fortune.

    Liked by 5 people

    • fred Oct 30, 2016 / 4:19 pm

      That’s very good! The imagery of the lost boys playing cowboys and Indians on their island is perfect for this team, and not just in cricketing terms. It applies to other teams too, professional sportsmen only need to be good at one thing to be selected. Steve Smith would fit right in with the lost boys.

      I wasn’t paying attention today, what the hell happened? Ten wickets in a session?! That’s really impressive. Sounds like I missed a very entertaining afternoon.

      Desperate times, better drop a few bowlers, issue a press release reinforcing Cook’s authority, and find another opening partner.

      Every time something like this happens, the grip of the big three is loosened just a little.


  18. SimonH Oct 30, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    One of the OC list has been tweeting that England making 160 was a “good” effort and that the peformance was “courageous”. He’s then clarified the latter by saying he meant going on the tour at all (not that he’s saying Morgan is a coward….).


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 4:02 pm

      Love the fact he’s being smug about his “prediction”. That Bangladesh would win on Monday.

      Sorry matey. You wouldn’t get paid out by a bookies on that one.


      • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 5:29 pm

        Compare this charlatan to George Dobell…

        Perhaps the most damning aspect of this defeat from an English perspective is that it was hard to deny the painful truth that the better team won. Throughout the series, England had been rescued by outstanding individual performances that masked the general failings of the team. Ben Stokes played that role in Chittagong but England ask too much of him. If he isn’t provided with more support, he’ll be burned out and broken long before his time.

        It will not do to throw our hands up in despair and say: ‘Ahh, but the conditions are alien.’ Yes, it is hard to win in Asia. And yes, Australia have lost nine Tests in a row on the continent (including the UAE).

        But it was not the conditions that caused Ben Duckett to drop a simple catch at midwicket; it was not the conditions that saw England’s spinners unable to maintain a decent line and length or even hit the cut strip at times; it was not the conditions that saw England’s bowlers – seamers and spinners – bowl short and wide in a horrible display in the first session of the match. And, while the conditions undoubtedly played a role in England’s second-innings batting collapse, you wonder what else they expected when they embarked on a tour to Asia.

        So instead of calling them courageous for going, and saying 160 is a good score on that surface, and patting yourself on the back for a tweet that was a day out, how about you analyse?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 6:19 pm

        Just watching The Verdict. Bob Willis has used “disgraceful” one of the biggest disasters in cricket to lose all 10 in 22 overs. Showed disrespect to Bangladesh by picking a weaken team after just scaping through the first test.

        He’s only be going 5 mins.

        Adrian, would you like Skys number to ring? I have it if you want. I’m sure they would love to hear from you.


      • Ian Oct 30, 2016 / 7:14 pm

        Expect an essay comparing sport to brain surgery

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 7:22 pm

        You need brain surgery after listening to his commentry.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AB Oct 31, 2016 / 10:47 am

        This idea that only former test cricketers are qualified to commentate on test cricket is like arguing that only monkeys are qualified to commentate on wildlife documentaries.

        Most of the very best commentators and analysts over the years have never played any professional sport whatsoever. Yes you need to understand it, but of course being able to do something and being able to understand, analyse and communicate that thing are two complete different things.


      • simplyshirah Nov 1, 2016 / 11:40 am

        Nothing like stating the obvious. Does he really get paid for this tripe? Answers on a postage stamp.


  19. Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Before this match I predicted an England win, and was told I was wrong by Escort. Fair play to you, and I hope you got good odds, and made a bit of cash.

    My prediction was really based on my view that it would be difficult for Bangladesh to lift themselves after the disappointment of the loss in the first test match. And when they collapsed in the first innings, I thought I would be proved right. However, no one ever got poor underestimating the incompetence of the England middle order. Without England’s lower order in the first innings this test match might not of even made a full two days. I guess I should have known. England have a record of very poor follow up test matches to wins. Often losing the next one.

    Critics of this site are already appearing to complain about Schadenfreude. For those, I would remind them that we were told there were no vacancies in the much vaunted middle order. And without reopening the whole KP saga, we well remember the relish in which they laughed and scoffed at the idea that England would even consider a player who had just made 300 trying to get his test place back. The KP ship has sailed, and no one really believes he will be recalled. However, it might have been wise for a less smug, patronising tone from the powers that be. Don’t now be surprised if we have a little chuckle at the large dollops of egg all down your faces. Perhaps you also need to distinguish between support, and blind obedience, marching, Lemming like over the cliff.

    It might also have been wise not to elevate the England captain to God like status. It would appear he has feet of clay. Not his fault, but if you set the bar high, don’t be surprised when he falls over and everyone laughs. Frankly the nonsense written over the last couple of years about him is due a good kicking.

    So on to India……. where the spinners are even better, and so are the batsman. England bat like this, and India may only have to bat once each test match. Then Team ECB can airbrush this winter out of history, and we can all turn up again next May on a green seamer with Anderson and Broad back. Happy days!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Northern Light Oct 30, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    I hear Colin Graves is hoping to use this match to push forward his idea for 3 day Test matches.
    The man’s an opportunistic genius, I tell you.


  21. MM Oct 30, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    Yep, 6 batters, 4 spinners, the best keeper they’ve got, and a mower with a triple razor blade attachment. I can’t see any of the India tests going beyond 3 days unless it rains. Actually, even if it does rain. Sorry Strauss(y), you’re gonna have to sack yerself come 2017.

    And y’know what? I think Bayliss is a bit of a charlatan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rooto Oct 30, 2016 / 6:17 pm

      How about not a charlatan, but just a useful fire curtain? Sitting in front and hiding what (and who) goes on behind. It’s just an idea bubbling away at the moment, but watch out for more similarities with Fletcher’s ‘reign’ in India.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MM Oct 30, 2016 / 6:22 pm

        You are probably right Rooto dude, I’m all #emoshe right now. But I did say “a bit of a charlatan”.

        Maybe 35% – 40%?

        Liked by 1 person

  22. MM Oct 30, 2016 / 6:16 pm

    “I thought 240 would have been a really good chase,” Cook said. “They got 30 too many.”

    Am I missing summat here? They got 100 too many.


    • oreston Oct 30, 2016 / 7:11 pm

      I heard him sat that chasing 220 would’ve been “…a different story”. As England were bowled out for only 160-odd I’m not really quite sure what point he was trying to make.


      • SimonH Oct 30, 2016 / 7:38 pm

        He was also saying that in the context of England dropping catches. Bangladesh dropped three (Duckett twice and Stokes once).


  23. MM Oct 30, 2016 / 6:18 pm

    “haven’t got world-class spinners”

    Haven’t got world class batting either. Or world class catching. Nor coaching. Nor captaincy. Duff decision after duff decision. Gary Ballance is due one soon though.


  24. fred Oct 30, 2016 / 6:51 pm

    There shouldn’t be too much angst about England getting rolled like this. It’s Asia, it happens. It’s a tough place for other countries to play cricket. It doesn’t mean the players are stupid, the coach is incompetent or the ECB is deluded, it just means it’s hard to play cricket in Asia. Admittedly this is Bangladesh not India, but still, Bangladesh have come along, they’re a pretty competent team nowdays, when given a chance. England played quite well for alot of the time (although it might have been just a few individual performances).

    You could argue that they should tour Bangladesh more, but I’m not convinced England can aspire to breed Asian style spinners, it’s just not what you do in England. How can you prepare for Bangladesh conditions when it touches 35C about once a year in England? Maybe global warming will help.

    Hayden famously practiced sweeping on dry pitches, and subsequently had some success. But he seems to be an exception. This article below underlines that Australia hasn’t solved the problem either. The 2004 victory in India was a breakthrough, but remains the only series victory in India since 1960, and the current lot don’t look like changing that:

    If the press, as they no doubt will, blame all the wrong people, have at them. But don’t be too hard on England for competing and ultimately failing. It’s cricket, and spinners are cunning, conniving tricky little people. England did quite well overall.

    (None of the above means that I’m not pissing myself laughing at England’s ineptitude, the pain etched across the face of Cook in the one photo I’ve seen so far (at least he didn’t abuse his opposite number this time), the fact that this result is indelibly in the history books, nor the mouth watering prospect of what this might mean for the Indian tour. But that’s just me).

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 6:57 pm

      All good points. But…

      England won a test series in India in 2012. I accept there is no Swann, no Monty, no Jimmy on the bowling front.

      But the batting? The batting?

      We’ve done this to death. Those pitches in 2012 turned miles. They’ll be the same this time around. Ashwin was bowling then with an in-form Ojha. It’s not mission impossible.


      • quebecer Oct 31, 2016 / 1:24 am

        “But the batting? The batting?”

        Exactement, mon billious inadequate.

        When England first went to the UAE and got decimated, most thought it was because we were caught cold, hadn’t played for a few months etc. But I remember Pietersen saying how he was having to completely rebuild his play against spin, simply because you couldn’t stick that front pad out there any more. It took years, years for our batsmen to be able to play in India, and by that I mean Cook and Pietersen: Cook, working out how to block and sweep, and Pietersen working out how to block and also do all manner of things (i.e. come down the track and putting the same ball wide of long on or over long off depending on where the fielder was). Those two working it out helped others increase their runs too, but it was the fact that we could actually put enough runs on the board to compete that brought the bowlers in to the equation at all.

        Now? We’re not close.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 7:20 pm

      I agree with some of what you say Fred, but ENGLAND have been elevated to genius level. It’s not true, and has been quite clear for some time if they don’t play on green seamers they are not that good. Selection seems very confused. I know Nick Knight is not a favourate on here but he just said they should have started the first test with Duckett at 4 and the Lancy opener with Cook. Some are saying Butler must come back in and keep wicket with Bairstow moving to 4. But Butler
      has shown little red ball form against spinners. Is India the place to bring him back? It’s all a bit of a mess.

      Interesting Comemt by the coach when asked his best 3 spinners he blocked, and then said I guess whatever Alasdair feels comfortable with. Hmm Is Cook now the only selector as well? Looks like Balance is a goner and so too Rashid. I would also question the policy of bringing both Englands best two players straight from home without any cricket. Cook is not in the ODI team ,but Root was rested. They are England’s best batsman and have contributed little in 8 innings between them.

      What was it the empty suit told Agnew in his interview? Something about poor quality warm up games, so best not to have them. It’s what the fans want apparantly. Tell that to those fans who shelled out their hard earned to go and watch a team little prepared for this tour.

      Liked by 2 people

      • jennyah46 Oct 30, 2016 / 8:56 pm

        Mostly we are not good on dry turning wickets and mostly the Asian teams are not good on green seamers. Other than that you make good points.


      • AB Oct 31, 2016 / 9:41 am

        The really good teams are the ones capable of succeeding in all conditions. KP-era England briefly achieved that, although they were inconsistent.

        The reason we won in India last times was because of a 186 from KP to win the 2nd test, a 190 from Cook to win the 3ed and a 146 from Trott to save the last. We passed 400 3 times, and only got bundled out under 300 once.

        This winter so far, we have scored 293, 240, 244 and 164. That’s simply not good enough.

        I would actually rate this Bangladesh attack as comparable to the India attack of 2012/13, and the pitches played like any subcontinental pitch. But the India attack has improved, and England’s batting has deteriorated significantly.


      • jennyah46 Oct 31, 2016 / 9:01 pm

        My earlier reply was a comment, not an attitude. It was to say that England are obviously not the only team to be more competent at home, playing in the conditions they were brought up on, and on pitches designed to suit them. That’s all.


    • quebecer Oct 31, 2016 / 1:38 am

      There is so much wrong with this post I don’t know where to start. Wait, I do. If Aus hadn’t canceled, then this would have been the second test the Banglas would have won against a top nation, and would be feeling miffed at not making it their second series win.

      Secondly, I’m sorry you didn’t see it: it was good cricket and a compelling series. Such a shame there was no third test.

      Thirdly, England didn’t fail. Well, eight batsmen did today in rather quick succession, but that’s not the whole of England, is it?

      Fourthly, I am happy for the Tigers, and this is good news for test cricket. England weren’t shabby (apart from one session today), and it was a deserved and valid win.

      And lastly, was Sri Lanka really that long ago?


      • fred Oct 31, 2016 / 7:56 am

        Dear oh dear.

        “If Aus hadn’t canceled, then…”
        Speculation. Objection overruled.

        “Secondly, I’m sorry you didn’t see it”
        No you’re not. But don’t worry, I’ll catch the highlights. Won’t take long for the fourth innings.

        Thirdly, England didn’t fail.”
        True, Cook got 59, which is effectively a ton in the circumstances. All’s OK if Cook didn’t fail, even if England did lose. To Bangladesh.
        Fourthly, yes, good news. You got that right at least.

        You did, against all the odds, stumble across a valid point in your other post, one that I was thinking of making in response to Dmitri’s comment on the batting. England won in India because they had two really good batsmen. One of them got fired, the other one has had a quiet Bangladesh tour. You can go on all you like about selection, field placings, batting order etc but the most important things is to have very good players. England doesn’t so much anymore.


        • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 9:16 am

          No it wasn’t just those two. Trott and Bell made hundreds. Root made a great debut. Prior batted very well.


      • fred Oct 31, 2016 / 7:57 am

        PS. Your avatar sucks.


  25. SimonH Oct 30, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    Likely opening partners for Cook in India in order of probability with media rationales –

    1) Duckett – he made runs here.
    2) Buttler – up and at them plus batting’s at it’s easiest.
    3) Ali – it worked so well in UAE.
    4) Root – get best batsman in early.
    5) Woakes – stop wasting him with all those not outs.
    6) Stokes – see 2.
    7) YJB – see 2.
    8) Ansari – opened in the CC plus he’s brainy.
    9) Ball – batted well in an ODI.
    10) Ballance – er….
    11) Finn – um….
    12) Batty – lots of experience.
    13) Anderson – top Test score against India.
    14) Broad – just what he needs to rediscover his batting form.
    15) Rashid – the captain can keep a close eye on his fragile mind.
    16) Hameed.

    I hope I’m wrong but it feels like Hameed has been parked in the place last occupied by Lyth and Rashid on the WI tour i.e. picked by the selectors in the squad but the team management didn’t want him and won’t play him. I’m not at all sure it was right to select him – but having selected him, he should have played in one of these games. Now if they pick him he has to debut in tougher conditions.

    Speaking of the WI tour, there was much in this match that reminded me of Bridgetown. Still, as we pretend that never happened, we’re never going to learn from it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 8:17 pm

      I agree entirely Simon about Hameed. We have seen this movie before. And Cook gets what he’s “comfortable” with, and if that is not what the selectors picked then tough. Some people say this is right the captain should take to the field with only those he wants. Hmm


      • oreston Oct 30, 2016 / 8:38 pm

        Rumour has it that the ECB has a team of elite, if somewhat unprincipled, scientists working on replicating Captain Marvel “Boys From Brazil” style for posterity. When they grow up, the first two Cooklets (re)produced will become the first pair of clones to open the batting for a Test playing nation and will lead the team as co-captains. Selection problems re. batting, opening of, solved ad infinitum…


      • Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 8:45 pm

        I wish I thought that was just satire. I believe the ECB are quite likely to try it.


      • BoredInAustria Oct 31, 2016 / 5:35 am

        Is there a Dr Blum in the background?


  26. SimonH Oct 30, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    ‘Interesting’ Twitter debate between Julie and OC #26 about behind-the-scenes Flower power.

    You’ll never guess which one is arguing that Flower doesn’t still pull strings.


  27. SimonH Oct 30, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    The nation’s #3 best TV pundit (see DT recently) offers his analysis. The culprits:

    1) The spinners
    2) Rashid specifically.
    3) The selectors.
    4) Gary Ballance specifically.
    5) That’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Oct 30, 2016 / 10:05 pm

      Yes because you lose all 10 wickets in 22 overs it must be the spinners fault.


      • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 11:08 pm

        We know our bowling limitations. We know we have a spin “problem”. But we’re told there isn’t a batting one in the same way. We’ve not had a decent opening partner for Cook in four years, and even then Strauss was at the end of his career. We jettisoned a middle order player, saw another break down and the other was dropped.

        Yet we have two expert pundits saying Gary Ballance, the spinners, and not the fact this top order has been subsiding for ages. I really don’t know what the truth is any more. Because what I see and what I am being told is happening is completely different.

        Liked by 2 people

  28. Elaine Simpson-Long Oct 30, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Simon Hughes said the England batting was ‘courageous’
    Bob Willis said that the England team demean English cricket
    Blimey to both is all I can say

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Oct 30, 2016 / 11:11 pm

      Willis went at Rashid as well – has this been a thing on The Verdict for a while? A “luxury we can’t afford”. Send him home with Ballance to Leeds / Bradford Airport?

      I’d like to say I was stunned. But I’m not.


      • SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 8:26 am

        I’m starting to think Rashid’s better off out of this. He should play in the ODI team where he’s valued and make a fortune in franchises. If they think they can win this with a spin attack of Ali, Batty and Ansari, let them try.

        Just to say again – I’m not convinced Rashid is a Test-class leg-spinner. There are weaknesses to his game and he’s not Shane Warne reincarnate. But if he’s picked. he deserves a fair crack of the whip. He (and nobody) deserves to have to try to perform in circumstances that are constantly undermining. Some might say it’s only the media but I’m damn sure some of this is coming from within the set-up (who exactly we all have our suspicions – I’d only say for sure it isn’t Bayliss). Even if it isn’t coming from “a word off the record” and a nod-and-a-wink, and it’s more a product of media group-think, they could get it pulled in with a quiet word or some counter-briefing. On the latter, for example, I’m sure we’ve all noticed how the media all seem to quote the same stats – but I haven’t seen one mention Rashid’s record-equaling performance in the ODI series.

        It also has to be seen in context – he isn’t the first player this has happened to in recent years. It looks very much like a established, sustained modus operandi. He joins the band whose faces didn’t fit:
        1) “Doesn’t quite convince somehow”.
        2) “Anonymous in the field”.
        3) “Too intense” (plus various synonyms like “overwrought” and “weird”).
        4) “Fragile mind”.
        5) Next?

        Liked by 2 people

        • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 9:02 am

          I was stunned when Willis, even in jest, said Ballance and Rashid should be on the next plane back to Leeds/Bradford airport. I get his view that he might be a luxury but to be so vindictive, even in jest, is odd.


      • Mark Oct 31, 2016 / 8:38 am

        Great post Simon, and I agree with your points completely.

        If your face doesn’t fit you might as well get out. We have seen this all before.


      • d'Arthez Oct 31, 2016 / 10:58 am

        Legspin is a difficult art, so you can’t reasonably expect that once a legspinner gets into the side, he is a finished product. It takes time, and confidence. The clear lack of confidence from the captain does not help.

        Anyone who wants to look up the stats in terms of economy rates, feel free to do so. If we take Tests from 1980 onwards, the top 20 right arm spin bowlers (min. of 10 wickets) are all regular offies, with just one leggy. A rather surprising exception (Ramnarine at 12, with an economy of 2.37). The stats simply bear out what we all know.

        Asking a leg spinner to bowl dry, is like asking Batty to bounce the Indian top order out.. Credit to Cook, he at least has figured out that Batty should not be asked to bowl the Indian top order out. Brilliant from Cook. No other cricket follower could have figured that one out. Or at least, that is what we’re being told.

        Personally I think Rashid has enough potential to be good enough in the side. With the caveat that Cook cannot be the captain. But all the agenda-driven nonsense will take its toll, to the point where you start to believe that your teammates want you to fail. We all know how healthy such a situation is.


  29. Zephirine Oct 30, 2016 / 9:39 pm

    The on-field umpires had also advised the England captain of Stokes’s actions but the player didn’t comply with the instructions.”

    This response to Stokes’s behaviour did not impress Cook greatly. “I do find it a little bit frustrating,” he said. “Both Sabbir and Stokesy are very competitive cricketers. To me people love it [when they confront one another]; that’s what people watch. Sometimes I believe the umpires can get involved too quickly and then it blows up even more. It drags the episode out and brings more theatre to it than you need.”

    I didn’t see these events, but that reads to me as if the umpires told the captain he needed to control his player and he failed to do so.

    Liked by 3 people

    • nonoxcol Oct 30, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      I wonder what Angelo Mathews makes of it all. Or Ravi Jadeja.

      Still, according to one lovely new Guardian commenter, this is the most exciting England team in *decades*. So it’s me who’s missing out I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

    • quebecer Oct 31, 2016 / 1:50 am

      The umpires getting involved drags it out?? Bloody umpires. Getting involved. Trying to stop things. Telling captains maybe they might put a gentle arm around their player and calm things down. Malcontents.


    • d'Arthez Oct 31, 2016 / 10:30 am

      I wwatched that particular passage of play (it has been trying, as power failures are frequent here).

      Actually the umpires conversed with Cook, telling him to make Stokes behave (or it seemed). Several minutes later, Stokes was still behaving in the same manner. Then the umpires went to Root, seemingly to discuss the same matter. Maybe they were not exactly impressed by Cook’s efforts to calm Stokes down.

      It was just before Tea, so something may have happened in the interval as well. Would not be the first time in the recent past either …


  30. quebecer Oct 31, 2016 / 1:53 am

    On the subject of umpires, i see we’ve got Dharmasena for the first two tests in India and he’s the TV umpire for the third. Groaning as I am for the first two, I can’t help giggling at the third.


    • d'Arthez Oct 31, 2016 / 10:31 am

      Good thing the BCCI has agreed to some form of DRS. Else, they might as well go to the casino and play a variation of roulette. Dharmasena had a terrible series in Bangladesh. Let’s hope he’ll have a good one in India.


  31. quebecer Oct 31, 2016 / 2:17 am

    *raises bat, does not punch the air*

    Thought I’d bring up the hundred.


  32. SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 8:49 am

    Here we go:

    Rashid gets 4. That’s lower than Cook, Root and Duckett despite the fact that Rashid had a better series’ batting average than all of them (and ignoring the former’s shithouse captaincy). He took 7 wickets at 29.8, not great on helpful wickets but not catastrophic. He gets a lower mark than Ansari.

    By the way, does anyone else notice the lack of flak for Woakes and all his not outs? Wouldn’t a less favoured son be accused of, at best, brainlessness and, at worst, selfishness? Plus why did he only bowl two overs in Bangladesh’s second innings?


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 8:54 am

      Why is Duckett getting all this smoke blown up his arse when he made a chancy half century. I wish him all good luck but Robson and Lyth both made hundreds in their second tests and didn’t cop this reverence. Then again, I don’t remember Cook being a effusive in his praise for those two as he was yesterday.

      You really are in with the in crowd if you are getting press like this.

      Liked by 3 people

      • SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 9:15 am

        I wouldn’t bracket Lyth with the ‘face doesn’t fit’ team – he didn’t get the character assassination directed at others and was given a whole Ashes’ series despite the lowest average of any postwar England opener who played that much. There was some media support for bringing him back last summer which didn’t achieve lift-off because he didn’t get enough CC runs.

        I think what Vaughan said about Moores is also true of Cook (no wonder they hit it off) – he prefers junior players who he can mold and who accept everything he says; he’s poor with established players who have minds of their own (unless they’re close personal friends like Anderson). No wonder we end up with an “inexperienced” team.


        • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 9:20 am

          I’m not Simon. I’m saying the lack of an evidence based approach to this assessment of Duckett. It is what I call “magic beans thinking”. Duckett may well go on to fine things. But based on this? No. If a century in your second test isn’t evidence then how can a chancy 50 be?


    • nonoxcol Oct 31, 2016 / 9:02 am


      There Is No Agenda.


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 9:04 am

      One thing LB told us is how much journos hate the marks of of 10. Most clicks and most stick.

      May have tweeted it. I don’t know. It’s Monday.


      • Tuffers86 Oct 31, 2016 / 9:52 am

        Perhaps the press corp, radio commentators, TV pundits and Tweeters & podcasters need marks out of 10 at the end of each series?


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 9:09 am

      If you can survive an Ashes whitewash by scapegoating a player, survive headingley day 4 in 2014 by saying you have a steel back or something and a home test defeat to India when not having scored a ton for two years, and lose a test to a mediocre team, then excusing a first loss to Bangladesh is no sweat. None at all. Inexperienced. Spin. Hot. No sweat at all.

      Liked by 4 people

      • nonoxcol Oct 31, 2016 / 9:16 am

        Whereas, this time last year, the other guy was slagged off even after his five-for provided England’s only chance of winning a Test, and (most egregiously) scapegoated for one shot *in his second Test* after his fifty brought them within reach of saving another.

        “His card has been marked.” Yeah, nothing could be more obvious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 9:27 am

        Yesterday is already being put to work by useful chumps (like OC #26). 5-0 has become the expectation and anything better, like 4-1, is ready to be written up as somewhere between Agincourt and Dunkirk in the annals of England heroism.

        Again, to be clear – India is a tough tour and the hosts start rightly as heavy favourites. India are a good team in Asian conditions. But they aren’t a great team and Asian conditions should not be impossible for visiting teams.


      • nonoxcol Oct 31, 2016 / 9:41 am

        Of course, none of this quite matches Cook receiving 8/10 for literally his weakest ever performance in a series of three Tests or longer (in SA last winter). For literally reaching half of his career Test average.

        From Mike Atherton.


      • Amit Oct 31, 2016 / 10:28 am

        Rashid is not yet in the same league as swann or monty. On the basis of the performance of the spinners at disposal, england are likely to struggle in india. However, to mark out the spinners as “not world class” in public isn’t exactly the hallmark of a good leader. But then, we know Cook is not really a leader.

        Even to a neutral, non english cricket fan, this scapegoating of spinners comes across as a massive spin, a misdirection from the real problems around batting.
        Bowlers can’t be expected to do their job when they dont have much to defend.

        Cook has toured BD before, but failed with the bat. Broad (another experienced hand) didnt do much either. Root failed for once. Most batsmen, didnt really turn up.
        Stokes has some fight in him, but his constant bad boy behaviour tells me that he will be spending a lot of time with the match referees in his career.
        So why pick on rashid alone?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Oct 31, 2016 / 10:48 am

        Cook really is Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong. But then, a lot of top athletes probably are. The mystery, which after some years we’ve never really unravelled, is why in Cook’s case so many journalists go along with it. Even people who have had the temerity to criticise him in the past have now got the same hymn-sheet as all the rest and are singing away.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Oct 31, 2016 / 12:14 pm

        Hell’s bells Zephirine, there’s no need for that. Now I’ve got a Spin Doctors earworm even worse than “Two Princes”.


      • SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 2:00 pm

        On that “not at a low ebb” article:
        1) Who’s been saying it’s a “humiliation”? He doesn’t quote anyone, so it’s a straw-man. The reaction I’ve been reading has acknowledged Bangladesh are an improved side and tough in their home conditions. However while losing ten wickets in a session for the first time since 1938 may not be humiliating, it’s somewhat short of a valiant succumbing to overwhelming odds.
        2) The comparisons with Stanford and the rebel tours – WTF are they even doing there? Off-field shamings are not the same thing. Interesting, though, that if he wants to go down that route he doesn’t even mention the Big Three power-grab.
        3) Being bowled out for 72 in Dubai? Is he seriously comparing Ajmal with Mehedi? Mehedi’s got a ton of promise but he isn’t Ajmal (yet).
        4) Last but definitely not least – “they have very shallow experience of batting against spinners”. No context again of why England ended up with such an inexperienced batting line-up (even if one accepts that the likes of Ali and Bairstow can be called inexperienced). That batting line-up of c.2011 was just ‘lost’ like loose change down the back of the sofa.

        Liked by 3 people

        • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 2:49 pm

          I’ll say it. Losing 10 wickets in a session to a team without a test victory against anyone of note should be humiliating to a team that is centrally contracted, prepares assiduously (we are told) and has the budget it has.

          Liked by 3 people

      • nonoxcol Oct 31, 2016 / 2:26 pm


        Rob Bagchi used to do the Guardian OBO when it was good. He always struck me as a bit more sceptical of the company line than Bull (not difficult, I know) and Smyth, but from memory wasn’t there for very long after the First Great Schism of 2012.


        • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 2:47 pm

          So he was on OBO but if you have a contrary opinion that might be tough on England and it’s 6-0-6 ? Chalk another one up for self awareness classes.


      • SimonH Nov 1, 2016 / 8:48 am

        On whether it was a humiliation, I think I’d distinguish between the result and its manner.

        I don’t think losing to Bangladesh away in itself is a humiliation. They genuinely are an improving side. Their best players like Tamim, Shakib and Mushfiqur would get into most teams and they seem to have found some good newbies in Sabbir and Mehedi (subsequent performances against others still needed of course). Bagchi is right to say the schedule has denied them possible wins against other ‘big’ teams. They might well have beaten SA in one of the matches that was rained off.

        What Bagchi glossed over though was the manner of the defeat. Duckett, YJB and Rashid got near-unplayable deliveries but the rest? It was deer-in-the-headlights stuff from an extremely wealthy and well-resourced team. Humiliating? To lose in that manner, yes.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 1, 2016 / 9:08 am

          I’d just say Adelaide 2006 was a humiliation even though we collapsed to a world class bowling line up, on the top of its game for four hours, and who had beaten us ragged for decades. It’s not always the quality of the opposition, but the manner of the failure. 10 wickets in 22 overs in Dhaka meets my criteria!


    • Mark Oct 31, 2016 / 9:28 am

      And they say Cooks job is stressful. Not with this pravda media giving unconditional support. It’s a breeze! There are no consequences for failure. WTF has he contributed to this series?

      At the time of KPs sacking we were accused of being one issue obsessives. Some of us pointed out that KP was a symptom not a cause. And we predicted this model would be used against other players in the future. We were accused of being crazy.

      It was never just about KP, and this site stood by that point. Once agin we have been proved right. It would be nice if they could tell the truth just for once.

      Liked by 2 people

      • simplyshirah Nov 1, 2016 / 11:42 am

        Excellent post Mark. Couldn’t agree more. Brilliant.


    • Tuffers86 Oct 31, 2016 / 10:00 am

      Just out of interest, why on earth would Woakes deserve flak for his not outs? It was hardly his fault the tail crumbled at the other end. And in general, he is quite a difficult batsman to get out as he has a more traditional technique and isn’t as aggressive as Stokes or Mo.


      • SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 12:19 pm

        It’s a minor point about Woakes and of course it’s the others who got out who are more at fault.

        However he didn’t attempt to farm the strike and while he’s not a ball-striker like Stokes (not many are), is it unreasonable to think he should play some shots when batting with the No.11?


    • nonoxcol Oct 31, 2016 / 10:01 am

      Rashid the same mark as Finn!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha….

      You’d think Bob would be in a better mood after his hero won the Nobel Prize for Literature, wouldn’t you?


  33. Keeper99 Oct 31, 2016 / 11:37 am

    Whether it’s a reflection of quite a weak period of Test cricket or something more worrying, it does seem that players generally are less capable of adapting to what is for them alien conditions. The way in which top teams and players change and evolve their games for different conditions is one of the most fascinating aspects of the game for me.

    More specifically for England I retain my frustration at last winter’s Lions schedule. a dozen plus games in UAE but no red ball cricket, no batsmen who challenged for tour spots this winter and only Dawson and Parry being given a run-out on the spinning front. I assume the ECB knew that we were touring Asia this winter? I knew, I found it on the internet.

    Surely the point of Lions tours should be immersion in difficult, alien environments that prepare them for future England tours and fast-track their development. Or is this winter being sacrificed on the altar of next summer’s B-list ODI tournament?

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria Oct 31, 2016 / 12:05 pm

      Our host has said we should stop putting blame at Flower’s door, but I think there are some arguments:
      – The legacy of tactics (possibly still imbedded in Cook’s mind) e.g. bowling dry;
      – The choice of players “pushed”, as was made somewhere yesterday in the case of Leach (not coming through the “system”). The legacy of “face fitting”;
      – The general unclarity on his role in breeding new talent (Loughborough);
      – The way the Lions (Who I understood is his responsibility) are used to prepare players as your post sets out ;

      These might be reasons why Bayliss appears somewhat limited in his reach…

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 12:07 pm

        Which host?

        I know I said banging on about him would get us nowhere, but he’s not being absolved of anything. He’s the very evidence of success having many parents but failure being an orphan.


      • BoredInAustria Oct 31, 2016 / 12:55 pm

        I could revert the “the boss”, but being a Springsteen fan…:)

        Flower still seem to have a large influence behind the scenes: “He (Dawson) left a good impression on Andy Flower on a Lions trip last year, and was picked by Bayliss for the World Twenty20 squad despite the England coach not having seen him bowl in a competitive match.”


  34. Benny Oct 31, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Just to mention that four of our nine rival Test playing nations are subcontinental so it might be an idea to get the hang of the conditions rather than using them as an excuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 2:46 pm

      Never saw Iceland’s defeat of England in the Euros as a national humiliation did we?

      But Bangladesh booting us out of the World Cup was when they had far more pedigree in that format.

      However losing to them yesterday. No. Fine. Good side at home. Inexperienced.

      I despair. Someone explain this nonsense to me.


  35. simplyshirah Oct 31, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    Dire, dire & dire. I’d truly rather clear rubbish in garden and go to the tip than have to watch this rubbish. Still I note that some commentators still think Mr Cook is great. Also note that Mr Cook says the team hasn’t had enough Test matches yet!!! Aye? Blimey was Summer really that far away. One must be grateful for very small mercies, at least Cook didn’t blame everyone but himself. No matter what anyone thinks about Eoin Morgan (who I happen to love) he always take responsibility for failure on himself and praises all players for team’s success. The lack of Cook’s insight into his own captaincy continues to astound me.

    Bob Willis: English team demean the name of English cricket. Yay I can go with that. Wonder if England Cricket’s illustrious masters will agree? Yes? No? Won’t hold my breath that ECB will ever say: “We need to change this team and get a new captain!” Not until hell freezes over.


    • nonoxcol Oct 31, 2016 / 2:18 pm

      By pure coincidence, he’s also pushing the ISM contingent back up to four.


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 2:43 pm

      Sam Billings. The new shiny toy for Shiny Toy. Thought the other Sam at Kent made more of a case for test selection last year!


  36. SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    One thing that’s hacking me off about the India tour is the way that all discussion seems to assume that the only way England can win is by copying the last tour. I didn’t watch much of that tour (work was crazy and my health not great) so I’ve never had a strong emotional investment in it. The idea that history must repeat itself and that that tour provides some sort of universal template for winning in India is daft, if you stop to think about it.

    Andy Flower’s England are not the only team to have got results in India. I know this is a shock for some and it may be hard to believe – but it’s true. Could we not learn something from the Saffers who were able to draw series in India before their last car crash tour? They didn’t have two world class spinners.

    Could we learn something from our own history? We also won in ’76/77 and ’84/85. The ’84/85 team was weak on paper and took a battering at first – but they hung in there, the batsmen gradually mastered the spinners and spin and seam won one game each (Edmonds/Pocock and Foster). Maybe the lack of results after ’85 was a mixture of bizarrely misconceived strategies (like ’92/93) or the fact that India were a bloody good side after the mid-1990s. If one was picking a composite side of India a decade ago and India now, how many of the current team would get in? Three?

    This “we don’t have Swann and Panesar so anything better than 5-0 is a triumph” narrative is cobblers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Oct 31, 2016 / 6:01 pm

      And you notice how they bang on about the previous tour, while all the time downplaying the importance of “he who can’t be mentioned.”

      Swann & Monty were excellent with the ball, but that result also depended on Cook and KPs batting. Cook hasn’t looked that good for years, and they couldn’t wait to get rid of KP.


  37. fred Oct 31, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    I’d like to respond to an earlier comment but the chain has become so fragmented I can’t work out where to put it. So I’ll just put it here.

    To summarise: Julie thinks it’s hard to bat in Asia, so it’s understandable. Lordcanislupis doesn’t want to accept this as a excuse, and says they succeeded in India before, so a poor performance here shouldn’t be accepted. Quebecer’s worried about events in parallel universes. (Now they’ll probably respond saying I misrepresented them).

    My point is that prior success doesn’t gaurantee future results. Just because Cook and KP with help from others did it before once in India, doesn’t mean the puzzle is solved. Eg. Australia won in India in 2004, but it didn’t seem to help Khawaja much in SL last year against spin, when he was doing his Bambi on ice skates impersonation. Since 2006, Australia has demonstrated beyond all doubt that global dominance has a use by date. The All Blacks are the only exception to that rule I know of.

    England just isn’t as good as it used to be, that’s all, so it’s no wonder they struggled. It’s only frustrating if you expect more from them. I don’t.

    Did they underperform? Maybe a little, but not much. They did quite well with a bunch of newbies, a poor captain who’s not in great batting form, and the strike bowler injured.

    It’s amazing how the world can look if you adjust your expectations.


    • LordCanisLupus Oct 31, 2016 / 4:56 pm

      I don’t accept that England won just because of two players and thus we should expect anything different here. These are well paid, well trained professional sportsmen, and as well funded and prepared as any team. Except all that goes to pot if you can’t play proper warm ups, or any at all.

      You (England) don’t have the right to make excuses. Sorry. School of hard knocks and all that.

      Bangladesh are not a good side. Their history shows it. Their performances might have improved, but good grief, this isn’t Pakistan of 2011/2012 we were facing. If we accept that we might as well just pack it in and go home. They VASTLY underperformed. Joe Root vastly underperformed for starters and he’s supposed to be a World #1 batsman, every bit the equal of he who should not be mentioned. On the flip side, Ben Stokes didn’t just accept he was crap against spin bowling, but knuckled down in Chittagong and won us the match. If we see that in India, then I’ll be pleased. If we develop decent players out there, then we will have moved forward. But don’t confuse a defeat in Dhaka as being somehow expected. Somehow more noble than the humiliation of losing 10 wickets in 22 overs is. Now if Bangladesh go on, and say put up a show against India in February in their one game against them, we may be able to enhance our knowledge, put this into context. But not yet.

      The one thing I do on this blog is to try to cut through the spin put out by the press and the others. Remember, six months ago this was a team on the verge of #1. They’d won in South Africa. They’d hammered Sri Lanka. The team was a “great one” in waiting. And now look. Bullshit. We’ve known they weren’t that good but were told otherwise. We’ve seen the weakness in the middle order for two years. Others brushed it away. I don’t. That’s what I try to do on here.

      Liked by 2 people

    • quebecer Nov 1, 2016 / 1:18 am

      “Quebecer’s worried about events in parallel universes.”
      You totally misrepresented me there. There was nothing like that in my post at all. IN the interests of full disclosure, I admit I am worried about events in parallel universes, but that’s a completely different point.

      I fall between yours and Dmitri’s points. I do believe England’s success in India last time was driven by the runs of Cook and Pietersen, and that they were the crucial efforts. It led to others being able to then do their thing too. But I see is point. As I do the idea of what we can expect of England here and now.

      The point is that #4 was a hole for us going in, it still is, and it’s a major bloody position to have a hole in. I think we made errors in selection (in the tour parties and the line ups for the tests), and we’re now in a mess because of it. At the very least, no further ahead.

      What’s frustrating is that Dmitri is right; we CAN have expectations about this team, but to do well we need to be largely error free, and that’s not what’s happening. Despite all that’s good (and there is quite a bit), from on field captaincy to selection, to batting order and more, there are too many mistakes being made and we’re going to pay for them. The proof of that is we just did.


    • fred Nov 1, 2016 / 11:38 am

      Hmmm. So you argue that it’s not a case of England being average and playing to that level, but rather England is better than average but underperforming due to leadership/management issues.

      Not sure I buy that. England is hard to beat at home, as SL found out recently, but so are other countries.

      You’ve got an opener who’s in a quiet period/slump, the other opening slot is rotated regularly, no #4, dubious spinning options, a rookie keeper who coming along, two ageing seamers who perform inconsistently, and conservative captaincy. You’ve got a bunch of young guys with good potential.

      It’s not a terrible team but expectations should be tempered.

      I know this site is the last place you would find unrealistic patriotic-driven expectations.


  38. SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 5:20 pm

    Dobell reckons Anderson may be ruled out of the whole tour next week and a spinner called up as a replacement. He adds, in a Mandy Rice-Davies moment, that this wouldn’t be undermining the existing spinners.

    I had a look at Hawk-eye for the last Test. Ansari and Rashid bowled at virtually identical speeds (one was 0.5 mph faster in one innings, the other 0.5 mph faster in the second innings. Moeen Ali was 5-6 mph faster in both innings). Their speeds were closer to Ashwin’s in his last Test in India when he took 13 wickets against NZ. Ansari/Rashid were at 50/51, Ashwin at 51/52 and Ali/Jadeja at 56.

    Which all goes to show Selvey didn’t have a Scooby when writing about Rashid. Which doesn’t matter except that Selvey was parroting the view of England bowling coaches. What Selvey never mentioned was how many revolutions spinners put on the ball. I only know from reading Steve James’ ‘The Plan’ that Rashid was measured as putting the second most revs of any bowler they assessed at Loughborough (I think I’ve remembered that right – he may have been the first but he certainly wasn’t lower than second). In this Bizarro World we now live in, even that has been turned against Rashid. I love this argument that he should be dropped because he turns the ball too much. It’s one of those arguments that thinks it’s clever but is incredibly dumb. When England play in Australia, do they argue we don’t need tall bowlers because the pitches are bouncy anyway? When we play where the ball swings, do they argue that we don’t need swing bowlers because they’ll swing it too much and beat the bat?

    Another argument I’m expecting to see shortly is about Warne’s mediocre record in India. Hey, even the greatest couldn’t do it! Warne was up against one of the greatest-ever batting line-ups and in their most famous series was not fully fit having only just had shoulder surgery. Check out Richie Benaud’s record in India (average under 20). Two of the five greatest wicket-takers in Tests in India are leg-spinners.

    The English attitude to leg-spin makes me despair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • amit garg Nov 1, 2016 / 7:04 am

      That’s some good insight into the speeds. thanks.
      Is there a way to look for speeds of Swann and panesar on the last tour to India? i do seem to remember that Indian batsmen struggled to adjust to the speed with which English spinners bowled. Certainly, to the naked eye, Swann seemed a lot quicker with his action, while Monty too was turning it at a decent pace. I am fairly sure there were plenty of other reasons as well, for the series loss, such as poor form of most batsmen, but this would be an interesting analysis.


      • SimonH Nov 1, 2016 / 8:36 am

        Hi Amit, good to see you back.

        Bowler speeds can be found under Cricinfo scorecards in the Hawkeye section. Panesar seems to have bowled around 56 mph and Swann around 54 mph on the 2011/12 tour. It doesn’t mean that was the only reason they were successful or that only bowling that way could have been successful, of course.

        Do you have any thoughts on what’s been going on with the BCCI in the last six months and in particular this story:


      • amit garg Nov 1, 2016 / 10:25 am


        That’s just behind the scene politics. Manohar seems to have turned into a bit of an activist since taking up the role at ICC and it clearly hasnt gone down well with the current folks at BCCI. With the indian supreme court also involved in the reform process as outlined by the Lodha committe, the BCCI is surely feeling the heat. This stress is going to keep on manifesting in some form.

        Having given up on my cricket channel subscriptions before IPL this year, I haven’t really followed the sport as much as i used to. This hasn’t been as hard as i thought it might have been. I have managed to watch the occasional game on streams – works most of the time and it certainly means i have had more time for other, more important things in life.
        It also meant though, that i missed the england tour to bangladesh, except for cricinfo.

        and, i am looking forward to the upcoming tour to India.

        4 years ago, Ashwin wasn’t the bowler he is now and Harbhajan / ojha were largely ineffective.
        swann, KP, Cook, Monty, Swann all contributed to the series win

        I do think however, that the upcoming series will not be as one sided as the results of the bangladesh series might suggest unless the pitches are close to what cook and co. encountered in bangladesh – in that case games won’t be close for Ashwin and Jadeja are a cut above their friends across the border.
        Otherwise it should be a fascinating contest where England will only lose if batsmen don’t show up. i don’t really think they can win the series though a drawn series wouldn’t have been out of question.


      • SimonH Nov 1, 2016 / 11:18 am

        What happened to Ashwin in that series against England?

        KP wrote a tour preview where he said Ashwin thought he got his plans wrong against Cook – although of course he didn’t go into details. I also remember reading an old Cricinfo piece that Ashwin believed he developed a technical fault in that series and was getting his weight-transference in delivery wrong.

        His figures were certainly well down on what he achieved before and after that series. Of course maybe these are the sorts of things a bowler is going to say and maybe England just played him better. Any thoughts?


  39. SimonH Oct 31, 2016 / 6:47 pm

    Lawrence Booth –

    “It’s true that Moeen Ali performed well, taking 11 wickets in the series at 22. But Gareth Batty, Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari combined to claim 13 at 33”.

    In fact, Batty and Rashid took their wickets at 29 and Ansari averaged 56. I don’t want to get at Ansari who’s a youngster on debut who had some catches dropped but this is egregious stat-mining. This makes Batty and Rashid look worse than they were and covers Ansari’s figures. Who was backing Ansari’s selection? Look at the headline of last Friday’s TCP….

    Perhaps they’ll do this for other players? Lump all the recent opener stats together so Cook’s figures are combined with Trott, Lyth and Hales? Lump all the seamers’ figures together so Jimmy’s stats are merged with Chris Jordan and Liam Plunkett? I thought not.


  40. nonoxcol Nov 1, 2016 / 7:41 am

    I wonder how many of the “when last in India we had Swann and Panesar” people have forgotten that Panesar was omitted from the first Test in favour of Tim Bresnan, because England were “playing to their strengths”.

    I haven’t. But you all knew that, of course. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Nov 1, 2016 / 7:43 am

      Probably the same people who think our strengths includes picking a seam bowler who averages 143 in India because reasons.


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