India vs. England, 2nd Test, Day 1

So after the initial wave of unbridled optimism after Rajkot and the need for some of the media to compare a batsman in his first Test to one of the all time greats, a more crushing reality was played out in Vizag today. It was perhaps all unsurprisingly ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ once again from England, just as it was in Dubai after Abu Dhabi last year. That isn’t to say that England were particularly bad, they stuck to their game plans on a Day 1 pitch that wasn’t offering much in terms of assistance to the bowlers, but you do feel that this was a toss that the Captain needed to win in order to give England a fighting chance of winning this Test. The pitch is already starting to wear as the odd delivery in the final session started to misbehave and I don’t think our batsmen will fancy batting on this pitch last even if we have the Bradman and Sangakkara elect in our line up!

It will have been of surprise to no-one that Jimmy Anderson started in place of Chris Woakes today, the fact that the ECB’s prime cheerleader had been banging on about it all week suggested that the decision had been made some time ago, though they also nicely added that Woakes had also picked up a niggle, which was highly convenient. That being said, Jimmy by far and away was England’s best bowler of the day by doing what Jimmy does. He got enough shape to trouble both the openers and then came back late in the day to snare both Pujara, who played magnificently again and an oddly out of sorts Rahane. As for England’s other quick bowlers, Broad looked to be suffering with a niggle from the start, which does beg the question why Woakes was binned (sorry rested) for this Test, and despite producing a good ball to get rid of Rahul, he again looked fairly innocuous on a flat sub-continental pitch. Stokes bowled with aggression but again bowled far too short on what is a very slow pitch and whilst he was unlucky with the dropped catch (more on that a little later), he never really looked a threat in these conditions. There is much to admire about Stokes with both bat and ball as he is a naturally aggressive cricketer, but it must also be quite infuriating knowing that if he doesn’t click with the ball, then he’s very unlikely to be able to build pressure from one end as a four ball always seems around the corner. I am probably nitpicking here, but I do think he needs to have a slight change of plan for when he has to bowl on these types of pitches.

As for the spinners, well Rashid aside, it was very much a day to forget. Rashid bowled well and offered control, which is something that he has been criticised for many a time in the past and it was also heartening to see Cook actually have some faith in him by bringing him on before Moeen and then sticking with him, although some of Cook’s fields didn’t exactly smack of total confidence. Whilst Rashid didn’t manage to get any wickets, he was by far the most effective of our spinners though I have no doubt whatsoever that his dropped catch off Stokes, which I thought was a pretty difficult chance, will have the media sharpening their knives. Agenda? What Agenda? As for Moeen and Ansari, the former is cursed with a consistent inconsistency whereby he can look an International class spinner at one moment and then a county trundler the next and the latter looks an average part time spinner being thrown in against one of the best attacks of spin in the world, which without trying to be harsh, he is. Ansari comes across as an intelligent and well-spoken guy in his interviews, but he doesn’t give the appearance that he has the skills and aptitude to play Test Cricket. His action certainly isn’t smooth, in fact I would say it’s as jerky as Simon Kerrigan’s and his batting doesn’t seem like it gives enough to warrant his place as a batting all-rounder. I can understand that England have a desire to get a left hand spinner into the side for variety, even if Kohli averages 161 against them at home, but I feel it would be better to at least have plumped for the Surrey number one spinner, right handed or not.

As for India, Kohli and Pujara once again showed them to be class acts in conditions that they are familiar with. Kohli will get all the headlines and rightly so as it was a quite sumptuous innings, but Pujara seems to be the glue that holds this Indian batting line up together. He isn’t as fluent as Kohli or Rahane, however he has a stout defence, the ability to milk the one’s and two’s and then put the bad balls to the boundary. He slightly reminds me of a wristier Jonathan Trott, and what we would all give to have a Trott type player in this England line up at the moment, despite having the media proclaimed “one of the greatest batsmen to ever play the game” opening the batting…

As for the rest of this Test, much will depend on the new ball and how much damage Anderson can inflict. If we can somehow keep India to under 420, then there may be a sniff of a chance as batting should still be fairly favourable on Day 2; however if we concede 500 or more, then I would certainly start to fear being rolled out cheaply twice as the pitch starts to wear more and Ashwin comes into his own. Let’s hope it’s the former rather than the latter!

On This Day….

As ever, thoughts and comments on Day 2 below:


82 thoughts on “India vs. England, 2nd Test, Day 1

  1. Mark Nov 17, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    “one of the greatest batsmen to ever play the game” opening the batting

    See, this why I hate the MSM. How can they saddle this young kid with such ridiculous expectations? Total drivel? I hope he has a great career, but it will be despite the media.


  2. SimonH Nov 17, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    They’re playing in Christchurch after the first day washout. Williamson won the toss and NZ bowling.

    Two debutants to have a look at from NZ (plus Todd Astle’s only played one Test). Bit surprised they’ve left out Henry and Neesham. Pakistan have left out Wahab.


  3. amit garg Nov 18, 2016 / 4:22 am

    Not many talk of Ashwin the batsmen but at this moment, he has as many 50s and 100s as Stokes, who is talked up so much by the media. That Ashwin has more impact with the ball doesn’t need restating, but I was indeed surprised to find his batting numbers stack up so well against Stokes – who people in media, talk as being in the same league as Botham or kallis. Hyperbole?
    Even though he has scored bulk of these runs in India, he provides a different dimension to the squad. He is certainly worth his weight in the team.

    In terms of being a strike bowler, (even though a lot of people point it to be in favourable conditions) I find his bowling record quite incredible. His home and away bowling numbers are better than Jimmy Anderson in both averages and strike rate – who again is being hailed by media as one of the best ever.
    This series will be decided as much by the batsmen who score big as by bowlers who take a lot of wickets. Exciting month ahead.


    • d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 5:05 am

      Ashwin the batsman cashed in against West Indies. All of Ashwin’s tons have come against West Indies. Averaging 20 against Australia (3 series), South Africa (2 series), and such does not make one a great batsman. A handy bat, but he needs to get some tons against sides other than the West Indies – I know he has the ability. Adam Voges is an extreme example to point out that the West Indies are not that great. That caveat does not apply to Stokes.

      Ashwin averages 33 on the road with the ball. Which is quite good, especially considering the fact that pitches in Australia, England, and South Africa don’t really suit him. Then again, he has played all of 1 Test in South Africa (where he was dropped in 2013 after the first Test) and just 2 in England. He has not done too well in Australia, but done well in the West Indies (but again, West Indies are even struggling to be competitive at home against sides like Australia, South Africa or India). One can argue that the evidence of Ashwin the bowler on the road is inconclusive at the moment – but that is not strange, since he has only playing in his 41st Test right now, and that is not much by modern standards.

      Will definitely be interesting to see how Ashwin bowls here. And of course how he bats here.


      • amit garg Nov 18, 2016 / 9:04 am

        In all these 4 centuries, he’s scored runs that mattered to the outcome. That’s probably a good way to look at what he’s added to the team. I can’t remember any other Indian spinner that offered runs consistently. These innings include double century stands so, he can also bat time. I suppose the point i was trying to make is that he could be making significant contribution to the game as a batsman too. He already has 2 50s in this series, both of which have, in my view made a difference to the game. Now if his bowling comes around to the same level as we saw a few weeks ago….


  4. Rooto Nov 18, 2016 / 4:25 am

    Michael Vaughan showing his value on TMS this morning as he goes Full Trueman and excoriates Cook’s super-defensive field from the outset.
    Agnew: Well, you won’t like this, Michael. We’re down to one slip.
    Vaughan (under his breath but audible): Jesus!


    • SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 4:35 am

      Atherton’s been almost begging for a gully to Ashwin for the first half hour.

      What was that short third man/fly slip position they had for Kohli? Utterly bizarre.


      • BobW Nov 18, 2016 / 9:09 am

        Cook and Anderson both missed a trick in not bringing in an extra slip fielder when Ashwin came in and promptly edged it. Boycott was not impressed. New batsman, new ball. Experience should have told them what to do.


  5. d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 4:50 am

    Not much happened in the opening 45 minutes. Neither Anderson or Broad could force the breakthrough. So Cook turned to Moeen and Rashid.

    Stokes drops Ashwin off the bowling of Moeen at first slip. Only to get another opportunity next ball. This time Stokes does not drop Kohli.

    351/5, and now it is up to the lower middle order to get India to 450-500.


    • d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 5:07 am

      And a little while later Moeen gets Saha lbw as well.


    • d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 5:10 am

      And Jadeja second ball as well, lbw.

      Dharmasena seems to lack the confidence to give decisions immediately. He took quite some time to give Saha.

      363/7, and 450 suddenly looks far away, as it is just J. Yadav, Shami and U. Yadav to keep Ashwin company.


      • d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 5:11 am

        Oh, and the Indians reviewed the plumb review of Saha, but did not review the lbw that was missing leg stump (Jadeja).


  6. d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 6:06 am

    Lunch at 415/7. 98/3 in the session. Ashwin (47*) and Jayant Yadav (26*) have added 52* already.

    India won’t be unhappy with the progress they made. Moeen definitely the pick of the bowlers. Ansari did not enter the field this morning, so he must be really not well. He might have been a useful option to bowl at this partnership.

    Also, Dharmasena seems to be past it. Gave leg byes to a ball that was padded away a meter outside of off, with the bat hiding behind the pads.


  7. SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 6:15 am

    3/98 in the first session. No swing of any sort for the seamers and some strange tactics. Moeen Ali bowled an excellent initial spell mainly by getting away drift and bowling fuller than he did yesterday. The ball that trapped Saha was the only one I can think of that turned appreciably and must have hit a footmark. Rashid was okay but nothing more. Ansari seems to have moved from first-choice to fourth-choice spinner (even Root bowled earlier – although Ansari may have injured a shoulder diving in the field).

    Of the Indian batsmen, Kohli got out to an off-spinner again. England’s idea that the ball turning away from the bat must be more effective to all batsmen isn’t born out by his career. I can’t remember the precise figures but TV showed his stats against SLA and he averaged about 150 against them. Ashwin looked vulnerable in the first half-hour but was allowed to get himself in and now looks untroubled. Debutant Jayant looks a useful No.9.


    • d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 6:34 am

      That average was 156.5, with just 2 dismissals in 34 innings. That implies on average he scored about 9 runs / innings against SLA. In other words, mostly against part-time bowlers, who bowled just a few overs in an innings. There are simply not that many frontline-SLA bowlers going around these days.

      But, yeah, really not sure why the England thinktank are suddenly going against the stats with regards to offspin against Indian batsmen. This team does not play spin as well as their predecessors (for instance Sehwag ranks among the best batsmen against spin ever).


      • SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 6:43 am

        He’d have played against Herath and Santner I suppose but yes I can’t think of many others. I guess his sample size against leg-spin is even smaller.

        Atherton’s lunchtime pitch report reckoned the pitch is showing few signs of crumbling and should be good for batting for a while yet.


  8. SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 7:19 am

    Good post-lunch spell from Stokes snared Ashwin. The dismissal may look a bit meh in isolation but he’d softened him up with some nip-backers and bouncers.

    Still not sure what’s going on with Ansari – he was observed clutching his back after a stop on the boundary.

    Rashid just got Jayany having a bit of a heave at a leg-break.


  9. d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 7:25 am

    India 455 all out. They’ll be quite content with that. Rashid getting Jayant Yadav and Umesh Yadav.

    Now, we’ll see how England bat here, and how effective Jadeja and Ashwin will be on this pitch.


  10. SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 7:33 am

    Someone ought to have a word with Stokes about his demeanour with Rashid. One of the commentators (can’t remember who) said yesterday he constantly barks at him in the field about being out of position and whatnot (this was before the dropped catch). Rashid pulled off a good boundary stop off Stokes which was unacknowledged by the bowler and the two were ignoring each other walking off the pitch at the end of the innings. I’m not saying he should be happy about the dropped catch but a bit of encouragement when he does something good wouldn’t come amiss.

    We’ve been here before with this sort of thing and it didn’t end well.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Nov 18, 2016 / 7:55 am

      Erm…what happened to the edict that those that drop catches should prostrate themselves before the bowler in abject apology and grovel for forgiveness?
      If that’s been binned, it’s maybe why Stokes is holding a grudge eh? 😉


    • amit garg Nov 18, 2016 / 8:54 am

      “We’ve been here before with this sort of thing and it didn’t end well.” – well said – though we never really established the existence of a clique 😉


  11. d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 7:51 am

    Cook gone in the third over for 2. To a beauty from Shami.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Nov 18, 2016 / 8:00 am

      Is the Captain not on the rotation list?


      • amit garg Nov 18, 2016 / 10:03 am

        I thought the Director (comma) addressed that question by stating that there’s no chance of Cook giving up the captaincy (even if temporary) 😉


    • nonoxcol Nov 18, 2016 / 8:10 am

      More Kleenex for Hughes!


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 18, 2016 / 9:07 am

        He was bowied and didn’t chop on? Must have been the ball of the decade.

        Just writing his press for him.


    • amit garg Nov 18, 2016 / 8:53 am

      That was a beauty from shami though an experienced batsman like cook getting suckered into outswing – outswing – inswing dismissals doesnt look good. Root and Hameed have been good since then at keeping the bowlers at bay. should be an interesting last session.


      • BobW Nov 18, 2016 / 9:07 am

        Nice bowling but Cook’s front foot was on the no ball line he was so far back. (Shades of Ballance)Not exactly good batting from him and he will be disappointed by that. On those types of wickets where the bounce is low and slow surely you need to step out more.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 18, 2016 / 9:08 am

          He was admonishing himself as he walked off perhaps indicating he knew something technical had gone wrong.


      • BoredInAustria Nov 18, 2016 / 9:10 am

        I though he was admonishing Rashid?

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Nov 18, 2016 / 9:30 am

        How did it compare to this one?


      • AB Nov 18, 2016 / 10:29 am

        The Harris ball WAS genuinely unplayable. It swung in and then moved away.

        But the Shami and Johnson dismissals were just poor batting.


  12. AB Nov 18, 2016 / 9:09 am

    The responses to the straight, full length ball that Cook played all around are hilarious.

    “Unplayable”. “Nipped back a mile”. “One for the ages”. “Lightening quick”

    At most, it moved a couple of inches. If he had been forward it would have hit the middle of the bat, Even stranded on the back foot, he should really have got something on it. It was a regulation full straight delivery that professional batsman normally keep out 100 times out of 100. Its just that Cook has a technical weakness to full balls on or outside off stump. Is there anyone here who didn’t know this?

    It reminds me of the time he missed a full, straight ball off Johnson and people started having similar hallucinations.


    • dlpthomas Nov 18, 2016 / 9:42 am

      I feel that I should start by saying “I’m no Cook fan-boy” before defending him. (really, I’m not). That was definitely a bit better than a “regulation straight delivery”. Maybe he shouldn’t have missed it and maybe 99 times out of a hundred, he wouldn’t have missed it. But today he did and that’s cricket. (Seriously though, not a fan-boy)


      • AB Nov 18, 2016 / 10:21 am

        If you play full balls off the back foot, you often make them look unplayable. You see it time and again in amateur cricket.

        It WAS just a regulation delivery, the type you see every over. 142kph, full, off stump, small amount of deviation off the pitch. Regulation forward defence and no problem. It was just that Cook played it so incompetently he made it look better than it was.


  13. d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 9:39 am

    Haseeb gone for a silly runout, and Duckett does not last long either. 72/3, Root on 47*. Let’s see if Moeen and Root can combine to rescue the innings.


  14. SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 9:40 am

    Duckett bowled by Ashwin. Only surprise is it wasn’t Jadeja who’s been looking more dangerous.

    Pitch turning more now and the odd one keeping low.


    • SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 9:47 am

      Duckett gets “Not for the first time, Duckett plays down the wrong line”.

      Cook got “It was a brilliant delivery that snapped back off the seam” followed by ” The ball to dismiss Cook was magnificent: it came back sharply off the seam” just in case one didn’t get the message.

      Rob Smyth on the Guardian OBO.


      • amit garg Nov 18, 2016 / 9:57 am

        AC fan club has been at work…


  15. d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 9:55 am

    Root plays an irresponsible shot off Ashwin. Does not get away with it. 79/4. But I am sure he’ll get a pass for that. Just like Cook (funny how Stokes bowling with a plan of “short, short, full” is deemed a genius for coming up with that plan, but no credit is afforded to Shami for a similar plan).


    • amit garg Nov 18, 2016 / 10:00 am

      Cook is such a brilliant batsman that only a ball that defies all other superlatives could get him out. It surely couldn’t be a mistake from the man of steel. Nothing can bend the steel in his spine. Shami – who is he?


    • d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 10:07 am

      80/5, Moeen gone lbw to Jayant Yadav. Another wrong decision by Kumar Dharmasena overturned. On the bright side, it would take something special to match Dhaka’s last session efforts today …


  16. man in a barrel Nov 18, 2016 / 10:04 am

    A few days ago, Nasser was saying that Ashwin had been rattled by the English batsmen! Also interesting how Shami and Yadav were faster and got more movement than Broad and the ever-so-special Anderson


  17. man in a barrel Nov 18, 2016 / 10:06 am

    English over rate averaged 13 over the innings. Will action be taken?


    • Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 10:13 am



  18. Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 10:06 am

    There now follows a million party political broadcasts on behalf of Alasdair Cook……….

    ” In these uncertain times the ball can suddenly nip back a mile, even Bradman would fail under such relentless lightening quick deliveries. The important thing is not to jump to conclusions, but realise sometimes the bowling is too good. Fortunately, Cook also brings his unique captaincy and field placings to the party. People may quibble about a slip here, and a gully there, but even Brealery didn’t get it right all the time. What is important is stature, good family, and organic farming……….”

    Liked by 2 people

  19. man in a barrel Nov 18, 2016 / 10:09 am

    No blame on umpire for not giving Moeen out. He was quite a way down the track


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 18, 2016 / 10:14 am

      The question for me is will we get to 2/3 million hits today or tomorrow due to this collapse!?

      I’m not saying I told you so but….


      • Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 10:22 am

        You can’t blame them for coming. It’s the only place they will get sensible cricket opinion. No soft focus, Farming weekly here. Just honest appraisal.


      • oreston Nov 18, 2016 / 11:32 am

        That’s a lot of people outside cricket.


  20. "IronBalls" McGinty Nov 18, 2016 / 10:43 am

    Will they make England follow on? What’s the follow on target?


  21. Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 10:58 am

    Did Sachin get run out in his second test match? Nothing against the young kid, but a simple question in response to the moronic media of the last week. LEAVE HIM ALONE!


  22. Andy Nov 18, 2016 / 11:01 am

    From listening to TMS, the pitch doesn’t sound as bad as England bastmen are making it look.

    I think it was BBC OBO that suggested cook might have been a bit tired after a day and half in the field……

    It’s not like one of the bowlers was opening the batting – I could imagine them being a bit knackered, not the guy who stands at slip / infield.

    From what limited stuff I’ve read / heard this morning, most of the problems are a result of england just playing badly. I wonder what the stats look like for England batting second, chasing a reasonable (but not huge) score?

    Think it was a twitter comment that suggested it wwas part of Englands plan to follow on so they don’t have to bat last on this pitch.


    • Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 11:11 am


      Of course Cook could be weary from being in the field for a long period. Of course he could miss a straight ball because he is back rather than forward. The two things may be connected. But if the media didn’t elevate him to superman status he, and they would not end up with egg all over there faces.


  23. BobW Nov 18, 2016 / 11:24 am

    I love Boycotts comment on TMS, ‘I didn’t expect them to bat like idiots…’
    Says it all really. Have to question Duckett’s place in the next test. He really is at sea against spin.


    • oreston Nov 18, 2016 / 11:49 am

      Granted Duckett has hardly nailed down his place as yet, but who would come in for him? If we agree that they’re most unlikely to bring back Ballance, from the current touring party that only really leaves Jos Buttler. To slot him in I think they’d have to give him the gloves and move Bairstow up to No. 4. Says something that we’re already talking about further changes to the batting line-up half way through the first dig!


      • BobW Nov 18, 2016 / 12:02 pm

        You are right, it is going to be a painful tour for Duckett then.


      • oreston Nov 18, 2016 / 12:27 pm

        I wonder what Ian Bell’s plans are between now and Christmas…

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Nov 18, 2016 / 12:38 pm

        Bell has not done too well in India. Averaging 27, with just 1 ton (on a graveyard, Nagpur 2012), and 1 50 (in 2006) in 16 innings. If Bell is the answer, then batting in India can’t be the question.

        But fully agreed that Duckett probably should be making place for someone.


      • oreston Nov 18, 2016 / 1:39 pm

        I.R. Bell wasn’t a 100% serious suggestion, but if not he then who? Trott’s gone and KP was drummed out of the Brownies. There certainly aren’t many available English batsmen who have the experience.


        • Sean B Nov 18, 2016 / 1:59 pm

          It’s fine, we’ve got one guy who can’t hit it off the square and another who hasn’t played a red ball game in over a year. No vacancies in this middle order…

          Liked by 1 person

  24. Andy Nov 18, 2016 / 11:26 am

    This fine piece of analysis was sent into the BBC;

    We’ve got a good team. The toss of the coin dictated the outcome of this match with a wicket that’s only any good for the first day’s batting. Don’t be disheartened England fans.

    Thats right folks, India are only doing well because they won the toss and not because of some terrible batting.

    I wonder if it was the bowlers fault for not taking more wickets yesterday…… I’m guessing Woakes back in for one of the spinners next test


  25. SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    Lawrence Booth:

    “Root had played well until now, despite his part in Hameed’s run-out, and had apparently calculated that attack was the way to go. This pitch is already showing alarming signs of uneven bounce, not to mention sharp turn. Root knew that, if England were to have any chance, they would have to get their runs in the first innings, and get them quickly. It was decent logic.And so he danced down the track to Ashwin, who found a bit of away drift, inducing a miscue. Umesh Yadav was waiting at deepish mid-off”.

    Explains the context….. understands his thinking…. gives the opposition a bit of credit…… fair enough (although “alarming signs of uneven bounce” is an overstatement for two balls that kept a little low and looked worse than they were because Root was back when he should have been forward).

    Now let’s imagine how that dismissal would have been written up if it were certain other batsmen;
    1) X, as so often before especially in the second half of his career of two halves, let his monumental ego the size of a gigantosaurus get the better of him, danced down the pitch and launched a wild slog into the hands of the waiting fielder. The opposition could not believe their luck. The innings fell apart as no-one else could possibly have made any runs after that reckless display. Surely something must be done….
    2) Y played the kind of piss-weak desperate shot that he always does when the pressure is on and holed out to the waiting fielder. It’s the sort of batting we’ve got used to from a player expected to score 10,000 runs for England but who always seemed to wilt when the heat was at its hottest and the match on the line. No wonder he was never fit to be captain. Have I told you how bad he was on a leadership training exercise….

    Liked by 3 people

    • nonoxcol Nov 18, 2016 / 2:26 pm

      Can you remember how Y played the “shot of a moron” in Ahmedadbad? Bet you can, given who wrote it….


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 18, 2016 / 2:36 pm

        I certainly can, but then again, said player used to annoy me immensely. However I think Root has been a bit of a deluxe version of that player, higher average for sure, but even worse in actually not converting hundreds and even doing a good impersonation of that player by causing a run-out as well as his dumb attempt at a slog.


      • SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 2:37 pm

        I should have added about Y that obviously the shot proved that his eyes are going – which I see on the G thread clivejw has puckishly suggested may be happening to Cook.


    • nonoxcol Nov 18, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      Here’s Simon Burnton on the OBO, reporting another shot I found moronic:

      “WICKET! Cook c Harris b Johnson 1 (England 1-1)
      Cook wants to impose himself, and goes after Johnson’s first bouncer. He imposes the ball down to fine leg off the top edge of his bat, where Harris takes a fine low catch. John Ashdown might get a lie-in here.”


  26. man in a barrel Nov 18, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    I think England will miss Woakes’s batting more than his bowling. Pick him in place of Duckett.


  27. SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 2:43 pm


      • Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 5:29 pm

        Do you think they are told what words to put in? It’s almost as if they are not writing for their readers, but signalling to their fellow pundits that they are on message.

        ” look at me, look at me ……I got (fragile) into my piece. Extra cake for me.”


      • Grenville Nov 18, 2016 / 6:33 pm

        I am away at present so cannot provide any comment on the action.

        Spotting the Yorkshire connection between Rashid and Vaughan does give me a (conspiracy) theory. I’m with the other posters here who think that there is no evidence that Rashid is in any way fragile, quite the contrary. He seems to know his own mind rather too well for the establishment. Here is the theory. Cricket is a pretty hierarchical game in the UK. Yorkshire and probably the ECB, after Rashid’s initial success, wanted him to make some changes to his game. That will be related to his dip in form. At some point Rashid has said, “this is the way I play cricket. I’m going to stick to what I know”. That put people’s backs up. It annoys them even more that Rashid has been proved correct. What they cannot accept is that they were wrong. Instead, they have to think that Rashid is a fragile character who clings to his comfort blanket. You can see how somebody who rejects your advice (and your alleged superiority) could appear as fragile.

        I suspect he is also quite prickly. There are shades of KP here. There are also shades of Gary Ballance, but Gary is an old Harrovian and Adil from a rather different sort of background. With Gary it is inflexibility and with Adil it is fragility.

        Liked by 2 people

        • LordCanisLupus Nov 18, 2016 / 10:49 pm

          Good to hear from you G.

          Rashid has had a remarkable press. Absolutely remarkable.


  28. SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    Newman. Read it if you dare.


    • Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 5:30 pm

      Time to send for Oliver Holt. International rescue.


      • SimonH Nov 18, 2016 / 5:49 pm

        He’ll find any flaws in anybody’s logic.


      • Sean B Nov 18, 2016 / 6:04 pm

        He’s waiting for the ODI’s, so he can have another pop at Morgan…


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