India v England – Match Drawn

Maybe we’ll do a more considered piece later, but some immediate reactions are always worthwhile:

  • The declaration – I hate declaration speculation and pretty much always side with the skipper when it comes to them. For example, in the West Indies in 2009, I could understand both Andrew Strauss’s declarations where the opposition were left 8 or 9 down at the end. So, unlike others, I’m not going to lambast Cook over the timing of the declaration. I also have to say that I was asleep until the Indian innings had begun, and with those wickets in hand we might have scored a little more quickly but that is easier said than done. There is no way our media is going to say we didn’t score quickly enough because that would be to criticise our captain, and we aren’t having that. That one member of the media felt it necessary to retweet Alison Mitchell’s pro-Cook piece in TCP immediately after the game finished speaks volumes. As does someone tweeting that this was one of Cook’s best tests as captain (er, really? On what basis?), the message requirement speaks more than the words they contain. Cook did what 95% of international captains would do. Maybe that’ll stop one former correspondent for saying how influential BMac has been on our game after 2015. In summary, we might have batted more quickly, but it’s at the margins.
  • Hameed’s 82 is a really promising start, but just that. Gary Ballance made test hundreds in his second, fifth and sixth tests, with a 71 in the fourth and 74 in the third. I am not doing this to be a killjoy, a malcontent, a churl. I’m doing this to inject some realism. We need a new opener in the worst way. We love the fact the kid is 19. Brilliant. Young talent, temperament to die for, a great story. But he couldn’t get a game in Bangladesh and so there were obviously doubts. He has a career best of 122, so he’s not pummeling in massive hundreds yet. So let’s wait before we anoint him the king of the hill. Why rush to excitement when we’ve been disappointed before after great starts. The other day marked the birthday of Ben Hollioake. Remember how he looked to the manor born on his international debut? Remember how difficult it was to establish yourself in the game once people have seen you play? Remember how Joe Root had a horrible time, and was dropped? Let’s be measured here.
  • Adil Rashid did not win man of the match (but someone tweeted he did – sorry) but had a top match. I could laugh my head off. In fact I will. Stack that fragile, luxury, card marked agenda away for a couple more tests, pundits. He is an attack weapon, not a stock bowler. If he can be our Stuart MacGill, an attacking expensive bowler who took wickets at a rare old click, we should be delighted. Anyone watching notice how Nasser did a complete “Shiny Toy” on Rashid saying we had found a wicket-taking spinner (then qualifying it by saying for one test). We don’t have memories of goldfish Nasser. He was fragile a few days ago. Well bowled Adil, you did your fans proud. I’m sure Bob Willis will be gracious enough to admit his error on The Verdict.
  • Overall – a really good England performance. Four centuries and a good debut by HH. A couple of “what ifs” but none we should really dwell upon. This blogger never thought we’d lose 5-0. One of the reasons is that the Indian batting “ain’t all that” despite the hype. Gambhir opening was a joke. Ashwin at six is at least one place too high on wickets like these. It just takes a little weakness and the chasm could open. Of course, that goes for us too, but this team, as it stands, looks balanced. Of course, there are vacancies in the bowling, despite in the same circumstances as Anderson finds himself now, KP had “no vacancies in the middle order” (don’t laugh). They’ll find a way in for Jimmy, and the rumours are it will probably be Ansari now (as the bigging up of Joe Root’s spin seemed to hint at in the evening session comms). In a test where three spinners seemed to be confirmed as the right way to go, it now appears as though we’ll think of four seamers instead. I do hope they are wrong.
  • For information, Stuart Broad now averages 125.6 with the ball in India after his match figures of 1 for 80-odd.

I enjoyed the bits of the Rajkot test I saw, and it reaffirmed five day tests brilliance in my eyes. Reaction and all the other stuff to follow. Comment away….

UPDATE – On the man of the match thing…

I love you India….

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70 thoughts on “India v England – Match Drawn

  1. Keeper99 November 13, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    Decent game in the end considering the pitch and there is plenty to mull about. Not least that our spinners did well overall. All three lack consistency but bowl very good balls in-between. Rashid was on a different level to what I have seen before from him, with many more balls landing in the right areas. Wonderif his goggly gets enough credit? Not sure India will now be as confident against us as they were against the Saffers when it comes to spinning wickets.

    The other bowling performance of interest belonged to Chris Woakes. Low on wickets but often bothered the Indians with pace and bounce, not something that seemed likely a few years ago.

    It wasn’t easy to score this morning but 20 off the first 10 was still underwhelming. I’m more inclined to blame poor catching and a slovenly over-rate if we have to blame anything though. Fielding should in theory be the hallmark of a young and vibrant team but problems still persist.

    I haven’t seen Kohli in this type of situation before and somewhat ominous how he stood tall. Sheer class…

    Series looking more interesting to me than it did a few days ago. A shoot-out on a turning track will tell us a lot more.

    Like

  2. d'Arthez November 13, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    I have seen it reported that Moeen got MOM. I am sure the MSM are happy about that, as it will not look as odd when Rashid gets 4/10, despite getting MOM.

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  3. Mark November 13, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    I have put my views in the thread below. So Instead I will make a request…..

    Can we please, please have a new captain? Not this selfish, cynical one trick pony.

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    • jennyah46 November 13, 2016 / 6:47 pm

      I can’t seem to find the thread which you refer to.

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      • jennyah46 November 13, 2016 / 6:48 pm

        Better… to which you refer …

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  4. Keeper99 November 13, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    I think Rashid may have got the sponsor’s award?

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  5. Escort November 13, 2016 / 12:30 pm

    With so many sponsors to satisfy it won’t be long before the BCCI start to name players of the day as well as player and man of the match awards. 💰💰💰💰😂

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    • Keeper99 November 13, 2016 / 12:33 pm

      Award for the best Anglo-Asian bowling all-rounder from Yorkshire for the post-tea session goes to…

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      • LordCanisLupus November 13, 2016 / 12:34 pm

        On a Sunday. You forgot on a Sunday.

        Hope the trophy isn’t fragile.

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    • d'Arthez November 13, 2016 / 12:59 pm

      Also MOM for the best handing out a trophy to another player.

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  6. SimonH November 13, 2016 / 12:36 pm

    Agree with all LCL has written.

    I wasn’t down on Cook for his declaration against SL in 2014 and I’m not here. It wasn’t BMac cavalier and I can’t think that BMac himself would have been at 0-0 in a five-match series. There may be more to answer for about the batting rate this morning and the over rate on Day 3 but I wasn’t watching at the time for either.

    I wrote that I thought England would be competitive in the first two games. All the “it’s going to be 5-0” after Dhaka seemed hysterical. England have seldom started series badly recently. By my reckoning there have been ten series since Flower and England have lost the first Test only once (against Pakistan at Lord’s).

    India are a good side but their recent home record flatters them. They’d won 12 of the 13 Tests before this win – but that overall record masks some issues. Their wins have come on very particular types of pitches (which this wasn’t) and with the opposition in various types of disarray (Australia were in a state of civil war, SA had injuries and got their selection all wrong and NZ’s results have been falling through the floor). They’d also won every toss in the last two series.

    The next two matches look likely to be on pitches more like those prepared for the other recent series. We’ll have a clearer idea then were we stand.

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    • LordCanisLupus November 13, 2016 / 12:43 pm

      Can’t wait for the new money-spinning blog for analysis like this:

      Broad is “outstanding” in these conditions.

      Prepare for “outstanding” stats…

      http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/10617.html?class=1;template=results;type=bowling

      In India – 3 wickets at 123 with a strike rate of 1 per 216 balls.

      He has a very good record in the UAE and that’s obviously why he is extrapolating that to this. But he does not have an outstanding record in Sri Lanka (3 wickets at 66) and Bangladesh (8 at 40).

      When’s the new blog due? Missed the start of a test series already, which is a schoolboy error.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Keeper99 November 13, 2016 / 1:12 pm

        As I said above Woakes bowled very well. 63 runs off 35 overs without being negative, definitely out bowled Broad.

        Lucky for TMS this didn’t go as far as being a total nail biter given they went off air for a 2 minute silence with a couple of overs to go.

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      • quebecer November 14, 2016 / 1:34 am

        Woakes also kept on smacking people in the head. I know it’s not a gentlemanly thing to say, but, well, you know what I mean.

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      • oreston November 14, 2016 / 3:44 am

        He responds to one of the several naysayers on that thread with a snotty appeal to (his own) supposed authority: “What you clearly don’t understand is that bowling in India is collaborative.” He’s right, you know, I really don’t understand – although this was an outstanding collaborative effort in sub-continental conditions: http://m.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/63178.html Didn’t even bowl in the India second innings and that was the end of his mayfly career. Would it be too unkind to suggest that he’s been in denial for 40 years of his own failure as a test cricketer and that there’s a sense in which he’s projecting some of this when he makes seemingly irrational calls for individual players to be either dropped or retained?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Escort November 13, 2016 / 12:45 pm

      Marks comment on the previous thread is spot on as regards overs not being bowled, most teams are slow but England under Cooks captaincy have it down to a fine art.

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      • Mark November 13, 2016 / 1:00 pm

        Bloody hell Escort, I don’t think you have ever agreed with anything I have said! 🙂

        I must be slipping, I guess there is first for everything.

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      • Escort November 13, 2016 / 1:16 pm

        Ha ha 😂😂

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    • d'Arthez November 13, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      Only 5 times have totals bigger than 216 been successfully chased in India (and 4 of those by the home side). And only one of those was 300+ (against England, in 2008). With a minimum target of 100 runs, there have been all of 3 chases at 5+ / over (127/2, by England in the Delhi test of 1984, 190/3 against Zimbabwe in the Delhi Test of 2000, 158/4 against Australia, again in Delhi, 2013).

      There have been 47 successful chases in India. In 24 of those cases the target was less than 100.

      Of all the 5 run chases with a runrate higher than what was needed here, the highest target was 70. There is a world of difference between a target of 70 and 280-ish.

      So yeah, I am on the side of too cautious a declaration.

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  7. nonoxcol November 13, 2016 / 2:36 pm

    “For example, in the West Indies in 2009, I could understand both Andrew Strauss’s declarations where the opposition were left 8 or 9 down at the end.”

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/390680.html

    Sheesh, that’s generous. The final Test had a very difficult time equation and a first innings disparity of two runs, and would have been nowhere near a result without a genius batsman, so he can have a pass for that. But not St. John’s. Not the “night-watchman at an effective 304-1, batting for an hour in the morning at SR < 40" Test. Not "they might chase 450, better get 500". No way. He copped everything he deserved for that.

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    • LordCanisLupus November 13, 2016 / 2:52 pm

      I was a more generous soul then and this was St John’s. A road despite not being played on in years!

      Also, what isn’t mentioned a lot is we lost 10 overs to rain. Again, not a total excuse but a mitigation.

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      • nonoxcol November 13, 2016 / 4:32 pm

        Fair enough. It was the night watchman that did my nut in more than the declaration tbf. Brought me out in hives at the time.

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      • SimonH November 13, 2016 / 8:20 pm

        The big difference in the West Indies was that England were behind in the series.

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        • LordCanisLupus November 13, 2016 / 8:23 pm

          Very true, but he gave himself 135 overs to get them out on a fast scoring ground.

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  8. fred November 13, 2016 / 4:31 pm

    Good test for England. The new guy batted well, Rashid did OK, they scored a shedload of runs and they didn’t lose. Can’t ask for much more than that. They’ve got their foot in the door for the series.
    Of course it’s all going to go to hell in a handcart sooner or later, but at least they started pretty well.

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    • oreston November 13, 2016 / 6:17 pm

      And let’s not forget the true achievement of this game: that Captain Marvel now has 30 test centuries to his name – his place amidst the pantheon assured. Even the Don could muster but a paltry 29 centuries. (OK, he played only 52 tests, finished with an average more than twice AC’s and had the ill manners to lose several years of his international career to WWII, but only a bilious inadequate would be chippy enough to add some context to the comparison).

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    • fred November 13, 2016 / 7:02 pm

      Churlish of me to have forgotten the most imortant aspêct of this match.

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  9. pktroll (@pktroll) November 13, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    I do still feel that England could have given themselves a few more overs than they did and I stand by it. I guess I won’t go as far as say the likes of James on TFT, but I am certainly not with the Cook love in. It is difficult to speculate of course how that would have ended up had they have had the extra overs, but I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t as it suggested that they didn’t quite have the ambition to press for the win.

    On reflection it is disappointing too that the last part of the first session didn’t go quicker but as I said before, the pitch really wasn’t that easy to play on, on the 5th day.and that the likes of Cook don’t really have it in their armoury to accelerate like that.

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    • LordCanisLupus November 13, 2016 / 8:04 pm

      I think much of this falls under “fair comment” rather than criticism. Matches evolve at the pace they evolve, and yes, sometimes England take the safer option. Jadeja, for instance, has at least two triple tons at Rajkot, and looked pretty comfortable so there is really no telling. To me that is the sort of pitch your great sides force wins on, because they have the confidence, because they have the class. No surprise that India’s talisman was there at the end.

      You all know my real problem with Cook. He’s treated by the UK print and TV media as some sort of Messianic figure. Any criticism of him, of his approach, of his delivery is couched with huge deference. Then there is the almost Soviet-esque praise that he attracts. Newman, as always, goes right over the top:

      At the centre of it all, of course, was the extraordinary figure of Cook who looked out on his feet at the end of five long, hard days which saw him record his 30th Test century and, remarkably, fifth in India to set up England’s victory bid.
      When you consider he has now overtaken no less a figure than Sir Don Bradman’s tally of tons then it really should be acknowledged that Cook is a truly great batsman who has yet to fully receive the credit he deserves.

      I mean. Come on. Is every hundred going to be greeted like this? And he’s certainly got all the credit and more from Newman, who has penned a love letter of an article. Again.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-3932084/England-took-major-step-forward-against-India-Alastair-Cook-comes-close-defining-moment-captain.html

      I find it sad, really. This need to constantly buff him up. Polish his clock. It smacks of total insecurity.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Rooto November 13, 2016 / 8:10 pm

        What?! Oh, I see: ‘clock’…

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      • Dmitri Old November 13, 2016 / 8:24 pm

        Trying to undo liking my own stuff! Muppet.

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      • pktroll (@pktroll) November 13, 2016 / 9:01 pm

        Oh of course I was more than aware of your real feeling about it, heck I’m more than with you on it. I’m one of the first ones to mention his relatively ordinary overall performance since the start of the 2013 home Ashes series, let alone the ludicrous pedestal he was placed on after ‘that’ return series.

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        • LordCanisLupus November 13, 2016 / 9:09 pm

          PKtroll – your comment was my launch vehicle!!!! On the same page, I know.

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      • alan November 13, 2016 / 9:44 pm

        It’s a fine achievement for anyone to score 30 test centuries but why do these people have to go over the top about it and give it no context. The clear implication is that it puts Cook on a par, at least, with Bradman which is utterly absurd

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      • Mark November 13, 2016 / 10:34 pm

        “At the centre of it all, of course, was the extraordinary figure of Cook”

        The only thing Cook is at the centre of is Newmans extraordinary pis pour journalism.

        So he is better than Bradman now is he Mr Newman? And if not, why even insert Bradmans name into the piece? The England cricket teams only purpose it seems , according to Newman, is to be just a vehicle for Cooks meaningless land marks.

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      • pktroll (@pktroll) November 14, 2016 / 9:01 am

        In fairness on cricinfo’s twitter feed it appears that Cook himself has downplayed Bradman comparison is given that the no of centuries by the Don was achieved in a 3rd of the knocks.

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        • LordCanisLupus November 14, 2016 / 9:12 am

          Cook has to be embarrassed with rubbish like that. But then we are dealing with people who think most runs = better batsman.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Mark November 14, 2016 / 9:17 am

        I’m glad Cook has down played the Bradman comparison. It’s a great shame that a very good cricketer’s reputation has been ruined by a fawning, Moronic media who have elevated him to Christ like status. Real shame he just can’t be judged in a fair way. Like evey other cricketer and ENGLAND captain.

        I blame the media for the fact that Cook does not get the credit his media supporters think he deserves. (According to Newman) The media should look at themselves and see they have played a huge part by treating him like a God. This has caused many people to be repulsed by the pravda like reporting, and have come to the conclusion that something stinks. Newman should look in the mirror if he wants to understand why.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark November 14, 2016 / 10:52 am

        It’s the same Mark.

        If the media had judged Cook honestly over the last 3 years and not tried to force on to him and England fans a crazed fairy story that he was a genius, Cook would be more respected. Which is what Newman claims he wants. But Newman and his chums are to blame for this. It would have also done Cook more good because there would have been more impartial balance in judging him.

        Perhaps Cook might have then tried to improve as a captain. If the media keep falling to their feet and worshiping him as a deity why feel the need to change? If you keep being told you are wonderful you come to believe it.

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      • Stevet November 14, 2016 / 1:38 pm

        ‘Adil Rashid who at long, long last finally looked like a Test-quality bowler’

        After 6 effin’ tests for FFS. Talk about begrudging praise.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Rooto November 13, 2016 / 8:08 pm

    I haven’t been reading the main newspaper sites. Too many comments to wade through at the ends of matches. I do agree with LCL on the declaration though. Maybe it’s Stockholm Syndrome, but after years of Cook’s captaincy, I expected nothing better, and was happy it wasn’t worse.
    Would my reaction have been different, if I hadn’t just gone through 10 days of ‘Operation Expectation Limitation’ in the newspapers? I suppose it might, but without Dhaka, and without the operation, we might have had the confidence to push on and declare earlier.

    Essentially, to those bemoaning a victory that got away today, I’d give the Irish directions: “I wouldn’t start from here”…

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    • LordCanisLupus November 13, 2016 / 8:21 pm

      Newman actually spent part of his piece defending Alastair Cook from Malcolm Knox’s attack. I mean, for David Sakers…

      He certainly did not deserve the astonishing attack on him from Australia yesterday where one of their most respected writers accused him of ‘killing the game’ with the speed of his innings and timing of his declaration in Rajkot.
      That observer might be better off aiming his guns at an Australian team in turmoil after being bowled out for 85 by South Africa in the second Test in Hobart rather than taking a pop at Poms who are building nicely towards next year’s Ashes tour whatever happens in the rest of this series.

      If he is astonished at shite coming from the Aussie media, he needs to get out more.

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      • Rooto November 13, 2016 / 8:34 pm

        I’d have to check with Fred, but isn’t Knox a blowhard laughing stock whom nobody takes seriously? If so, then the OTT defence is even more unnecessary. I suppose whenever he hears a bell being rung he starts salivating.
        I’m so glad you read all this stuff, Dmitri, so I don’t have to!!

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        • LordCanisLupus November 13, 2016 / 8:37 pm

          Until now, no, not really. Not a Conn (who gleefully retweeted it, of course, the weapons grade imbecile) and I hadn’t ever been bothered with/by him. It was extraordinary, all right. It needed laughing at, not some reaction akin to telling a teenager that Bieber is bollocks.

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      • Mark November 13, 2016 / 10:25 pm

        I have to say I’m pretty relaxed about what Knox has said. I think he makes some good points. Fact is, test match cricket is in trouble, and few people want to watch a Cook innings against an all singing, all dancing one day knock. I also think Cooks innings this morning was a disgrace. Completely selfish and put above the interest of the team. Knox is also having a pop at cricket in India and the way it’s played. So it isn’t just a usual Aussie obsession about the poms.

        The problem for Knox is he speaks from a position of great weakness. His own country’s cricket team has become an Ealing comedy. It is also something of an irony for an Australian to be pointing out that 20/20 and ODI cricket is much more popular with the paying fan seeing as it was the Aussies who sneered at the very invention of 20/20 as ” hit and giggle.” This of course happened at a time when the Aussie test team of Warne and McCrath were lording it over everyone. How the times have changed.

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      • Rooto November 14, 2016 / 5:01 am

        New morning, and I realise I’d got my Malcolms mixed up. Apologies.

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    • fred November 13, 2016 / 10:07 pm

      As regards the declaration, I agree with others, it wasn’t so bad, and very aggresive declarations are more a media talking point than an actual real cricket tactic. Australia has tried it once or twice, wasn’t always a success. I don’t have a strong view on the declaration because I didn’t follow the game closely enough, but it seemed from a distance to be OK.

      I thought Knox’s piece was fine. I think it’s a perfectly reasonable proposition that Australia is aggressive in cricket, to the point of recklessness, and England is conservative. It’s not just a reasonable proposition, it’s part of the orthodoxy. It’s why we are so astounded when someone like Botham pops up.

      Australia clearly has a problem. I was looking forward to seeing what would happen when Ponting took over the team after the legends retired, I was looking forward to seeing what the new lot could do. Despite some highlights, (like Clarkes batting) they haven’t been able to do much. At the moment they seem to be going backwards.
      Warner has transformed himself from a western suburbs bogan biffer, into an intelligent professional, world class cricketer. It’s been wonderful to watch the progress, and I expect he will captain Australia before long. But unfortunately no one else has followed that path. I had such high hopes for Khawaja. Instead of real cricketers playing with real intent, we have a bunch of all rounders, who are almost good at everything. Australia has become what England used to be, is there any greater indignity?

      It’s right for Knox to call out the proactive style. Wasn’t NZ recently lauded for that? Inconceivable that Australia could be given credit for such an approach, but I’m sure Brendon would admit over a glass of Coudy Bay that Australian cricket influenced him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • fred November 13, 2016 / 10:14 pm

      I forgot to add, I read somewhere that India had been making overtures to this new England batsman Haseeb. Oh no, you’re not pillaging the colonies again are you? It didn’t turn out so well with Robson, but overall it’s been a good strategy.

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      • fred November 13, 2016 / 10:38 pm

        English cricket is invigorated by the former colonies. It’s not a value judgement nor a criticism, just a fact. In fact, England probably should have made more of its Indian and Pakistani population.

        Now England may have a real leg spinner and look what colour his skin is! Look, it’s not Geoff from down in the pits, or Andrew from the home counties, it’s an immigrant, or the son of an immigrant, who can see the world in a different way. All strength to them.

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      • quebecer November 14, 2016 / 3:09 am

        We’ve talked about this a lot, you and me, and I know you’ve thought about it and been open enough to change – well, or at least shift – your views and thinking on this. Adil Rashid’s family came to the UK in the 60s, and Rash was born in ’88. In fact, I’m trying to think of the last England player of South Asian origin who wasn’t born in the UK. I’m probably missing some, but maybe Owais Shah? Yet Ace himself was here by the age of 12 I know for a fact, because I played against him in the Middlesex County League when he first got in to the Wycombe House 1st XI – aged 12. I remember it clearly, as he smacked out increasingly fuming well respected opening bowler back over his head while my pal and I in the covers tried to hide giggles.

        But an interesting note to this, Fred, is that for many years we DIDN’T integrate well with the Asian population in cricketing terms, with many preferring to play in all Asian leagues, especially in the north of England. Yorkshire, for example, took a LONG time to break down that particular door, and it must be remembered, far too long.

        However, while acknowledging the past, it is fair to talk of the present in positive terms. Rash, for example, is as English as I am, and more English than I am Canadian. However, my boys are Canadian and Quebecers to boot, and you know how I feel about anyone denying them either this, or their British heritage and birthrights.

        I think my position has always been, I don’t draw the line. The law draws the line. I know you’ve often put forward the position that where you grow up, where you learn your cricket, matters, and obviously there is validity in that argument.

        But I also know you softened towards my stance, that as “English” we are mutts, we are many people, we always have been, and thank goodness always will be. What’s reassuring to me, however, is that if we look at the generation of South Asian players now representing England, we’ve moved beyond that issue of where they learned their cricket. They learned it where they were born and raised: in Bolton, in Bradford, in Birmingham, and in Surrey and at Cambridge University in the case of Ansari, because he’s actually incredibly posh.

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      • fred November 14, 2016 / 12:03 pm

        Quebecer, yes I changed my stance a bit once I had to argue my case, and found a few holes in it.
        As you point out, the law is the ultimate arbiter. Preventing someone from playing because of their background would be illegal.

        I haven’t changed my views that much though, I still think it’s useful for a national team to be made of players mostly formed by that country. What “mostly” means is of course debatable.

        I still think it’s clear that England has benefitted from being a focal point of the former colonies. Imagine if Mr and Mrs Strauss has not decided to emigrate to the UK with their son, or Mr & Mrs Trott, or Stokes, or Kieswetter, or Compton or Ballance or Pietersen etc. It’s a long list. English cricket would look quite different.

        I guess where I’ve shifted thinking a little is that I don’t see this as cheating, but rather an inevitable results of the UK’s unique position.

        There’s also the other aspect, that if England has genuinely unearthed a decent batsman, well, there must be some way to question his legitimacy:) eg. Cook is a good batsman, but he’s a tosser. Swann was a decent spinner, but: sprinkler dance. Just exploring possibilities:)

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  11. Clivejw November 13, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    It may have been a too cautious declaration, but let’s face it, England were not about to give India a sniff in a match in which the visitors had dominated for almost five days. It would have been irresponsibly reckless with four tests to come.

    England played very well, but it should be remembered that India are traditionally slow starters, despite their record at home in recent years. It’s going to get tougher, but so far, advantage England.

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  12. SimonH November 13, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    Play under way in Hobart after the Day Two washout. Showers forecast today but looks clear for last two days.

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    • SimonH November 13, 2016 / 11:50 pm

      The Win Predictor showing Australia at 4% prompting some bantz about algebra from Slats and Warney there.

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    • d'Arthez November 14, 2016 / 3:43 am

      South Africa have taken a tiny lead of 241. Burns gone for a 4-ball duck, after Aleem Dar seems to have missed a leg side strangle, and SA reviewed. And then rain sets in. Looks like it will be a short break though.

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      • SimonH November 14, 2016 / 10:56 am

        Australia came back a little after I turned in but only to the extent they’re now five feet under as opposed to six feet under in this game.

        The prospect of the ‘Chef Revenge Tour 2017/18’ is getting a little closer. Don’t tell me they aren’t thinking of Nasser bellowing “Redemption for Cook – and STFU Warne” followed by “Arise, Sir Alastair” at the Palace. It’s Comma’s business plan and Newman’s wet dream.

        Australia seem to have abandoned Plan A to prevent it i.e. being good enough. Plan B would be the one SL adopted in 2016 to spike the revenge of 2014 i.e. be so pitiful that nobody can take much pleasure in beating you. What SL realised is that Plan B needs to be accompanied by deploying likability on (Herath) and off (Russel Arnold) the pitch. Recalling Chris Rogers and getting Punter in the comms box to replace Heals (“what village is he from?”) must be the way ahead.

        Pity England’s plan sacrifices the prospect of being No.1 in the rankings and turns the Ashes into a potential 3rd vs. 5th in the rankings shite-out. Still, we must get our priorities right.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark November 14, 2016 / 12:18 pm

        Yes Simon, the Cook redemption tour is baked into the cake. They are all desperate for it.

        Which is why I hate the media and so dislike Cook. It has become all about him and nothing else. They might as well rename England …….”The Alasdair Cook eleven.” As it is it’s always “Cooks England” or “Cooks win.”

        Perhaps he should have his own logo. Three sheep perhaps? The father, the son and the Holy Ghost of sheep? Goodbye 3 lions, and hello 3 sheep.

        Like

      • SimonH November 14, 2016 / 1:18 pm

        Mark, looking round the Twitter accounts of the MSM journos yesterday they’re all full of the latest Cook batting stat (all measured in absolutes of course, nothing proportional – although Cook’s record in Asia stacks up whichever way one cuts it).

        The proverbial Martian looking at them would conclude that these people care more about Cook’s batting feats than England winning. Even if England lose now, Cook’s average will look okay so their coverage won’t have that edge of desperation about it. The blame can safely go elsewhere.

        By the way, was I the only one to detect a slight note of mutiny in Root’s dismissal and the look on his face when he trudged off? I didn’t think he looked a happy bunny and I don’t think England would have batted like they did yesterday morning if he was captain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark November 14, 2016 / 1:54 pm

        “The proverbial Martian looking at them would conclude that these people care more about Cook’s batting feats than England winning.”

        Ain’t that the truth!

        And then they attack us for not cheering louder. But I want ENGLAND to to better, not just Cook. That is the difference. They are one trick, one issue people. It’s all about Cook. Which is what they accused us of with KP. Hypocrites.

        Like

  13. metatone November 14, 2016 / 8:32 am

    Thoughts:

    1) Declaration was too late, but that’s a game wide phenomenon which is only going to change when some Bill Belichick figure looks at the stats (c.f. D’Arthez’s comment) for various grounds and starts adjusting declaration expectations in the light of them. So I don’t blame Cook particularly for that.

    2) What I do blame Cook and the England setup for is a persistently bad attitude to over rates which then in turn lands them at the end of games with overs running out. When you have this many spinners there is no excuse. Alas, other teams are starting to go the same way. If Captains are not banned more often b/c of over rates, it will be yet another huge problem for Test cricket.

    3) All that said, I looked at some small bits of footage on Day 1 and I put money on a draw. (Not much, b/c I’m poor at the moment, but it is not that often I’m certain enough to bother putting money down.) So, I can’t really get too exercised about Cook’s decisions/actions, I don’t think they would have made much difference.

    4) Loving that Rashid is finally looking like the bowler he can be. Hope it lasts, but I doubt it b/c England still believe Plan A is “bowling dry.” (Not altogether thrilled that it’s taken the brains trust this long to work out that encouraging Rashid to loop it more is the way forward. Many years have been wasted…)

    5) If the pitches are all like this (and it happens sometimes in India due to climactic variations) then it’s 50/50 who’ll win the series as most games will be draw material and it’ll come down to one or two individual performances that swing a Test.

    6) However, this was a real “Kumble” pitch, but India don’t have him any more. I’d be surprised if we don’t get a couple of pitches that really suit Ashwin better. At which point I think it will be a bigger challenge for England. Can they rise to it? Perhaps, but the coaching staff are going to have to get more flexible about their bowling plans. Time will tell.

    Like

  14. man in a barrel November 15, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Nasser is Woeful, isn’t he. Woakes the best seamer in the match although he acknowledges that Yadav could have got five. And we must not forget the nonsense about Cook doing well when he makes a ton in the first match.

    Like

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