India v England – 2nd Test, 2nd Day

This England team really are a mine of material, keeping me motivated to continue. Whenever you think that this blog might die down, go through a period of stability and calm, so that we don’t have to keep stating what appears to be the obvious (to us), they come up trumps with a display full of talking points. I think what gets to me, and looking at the comments, us, is that we are so often right. Sure, a stopped clock and all that, and I don’t have an editor or a line to take to tell me what to do, but some of the stuff I read, or hear on the radio, baffles me. In the words of the late Fred Trueman “I have no idea what’s going on out there” half the time. Are they watching what we are? Are we so off the beaten track of cricket opinion? Is our evaluation of a days play so anathema to the others who report on it?

It’s tough to make it clear how I’m thinking, and it’s nothing to do with a convivial lunch. But there’s a frustration watching this England team. It has ability. It just doesn’t seem to believe in itself enough. I find it hard to define. But if I’m frustrated with the team, it pales into insignificance when I read about the game. There the matters on the field seem, for some, to mean less than how they should be reported against some message that needs to be conveyed.

The last test match did not follow the script. This script appears to be an exercise in managing expectations. England were supposed to lose 5-0, because (a) we can’t spin and (b) we can’t bowl spin. Add to that scraping a draw in a series against Bangladesh, and the fear of God was put in us all. Then, one very positive, encouraging performance, and the managing of expectations is going to be a bit more tough to put out when England played so well. Where do we stand after Rajkot? The players have to be positive, we know that. We would be worried if they weren’t, but the watchers and writers have to display more scepticism. “Now we are ready to take it to India toe-to-toe” they imply, remarking that Ashwin has a block against England…. Kohli still hasn’t really made hay. Then the last two days happened and it is almost a volte face. The expectation management, or as I know it “excuse” is that we lost the toss and then we lose the match. So this is to be expected, or as Newman said this is “the performance we all feared”. Funny, this wasn’t really what I was reading last week. Clearly the toss is important, but as you’ll note from a remark in my “On This Day” below, it doesn’t have to be fatal.

Yesterday four wickets fell, today eleven. The game has moved forward quite rapidly and India hold all the cards. They got first use of the wicket, capitalising on their chance to use the pace and bounces, such as it was, to its fullest, while our bowling wasn’t quite up to it (and I’m not mentioning the captain). Two of India’s top four made centuries. England fought back well this morning, but still 455 looks a good score on this wicket. In fact, there aren’t many test wickets where 455 isn’t a good score.

England’s demise wasn’t so much as predicted as bloody well certain. Now a lot of this is predicated on me not seeing the action (job etc.) but following on Twitter and the comments here, but once Cook was toppled early there was an air of inevitability about this. I saw his dismissal, and a very good ball, make no bones about it, got him, but heavens above they didn’t half go on about how great a delivery it took to get the opener. As you know, I’m not setting up an Alastair Cook Appreciation Society on here, and as you may also conclude, I may go out of my way to find reasons to get angry about it, but the media he gets is preposterous. It’s as if any word of criticism is going to be met by the most awful of repercussions, and any dismissal has to be explained away with reverence reserved for royalty. Honestly, I’ve known nothing like it. Nothing like the Hughes puff piece interview in the Cricketer (which is really getting better if you could just shove #39’s bloody ego out of the way) which might as well have had a soft focus border and ended up with the question “Alastair, sir, do you have any words for your subjects to explain how they could be great like you?”.

This is what gets our ire – Cook is venerated, and even his mistakes are given a veneer. Contrast that with how the Joe Root dismissal has been treated. More of that later.

I’ve not seen the run-out. By the time this goes to press on the blog I would have. Most people indicate that Root was the guilty party, HH the victim. These things happen sometimes. They just do. You can’t legislate for them. Quite often, when they happen, the TV and news pundits will say it is evidence of “a scrambled brain” but that was obviously not going to be put forward for the manchild or for the putative World #1 batsman they’ve all very reasonably buffed up this week. So remember that the next time someone of a fragile mind might get run out, or play an injudicious shot, that scrambled brains don’t happen to the star players or the prodigies. (I’ve seen it now, it’s the sort of thing that happens, but let me make a point. Hameed made 13 in 50 balls and an hour and 20 minutes. He got run out with a dozy piece of cricket. Replace Hameed’s name with Compton. Not Compton now, but the Compton of 2013. Think he’d be getting that same lovely press for an innings every bit as slow as his. It would be unfair to have a go at Hameed, but that never stopped our media laying into Compton).

Next in was last month’s Bright Young Thing, Ben Duckett. Now I really want Ben to do well for a number of reasons, not least that he plays aggressively, seems to have a good head on his shoulders, and it might debunk the myth about Division 2 being too big a gap to bridge to play test cricket. His half-century in Dhaka was greeted with joy unconfined even as England toppled like wet cardboard after he got out to post that ignominious defeat (still not buying Bangladesh being a good side, yet). Today those that were praising are now burying. A number openly calling for him to be removed from the action for his own benefit. Hey, maybe opening with him and letting him get his eye in to quicker bowling might be better for him, instead coming in against spin, cold, is not working out well. There’s a lot being made of his technical flaws (watch out Ramps, they are after you) but two test matches ago we were being feted by tales of a “brilliant half-century”. As I write this Colvile has previewed the next part of The Verdict as “Is Duckett’s career in a spin”. Two tests, two innings, time to go. Now, just as people might be right about Hameed, so they might be wrong about Duckett. Not every top player has a watertight technique. Give the guy a bloody break.

Joe Root’s dismissal is getting the easy, lazy lines out again. Far better for a player to have his technique undressed, albeit in a one-off scenario (Cook) than for you to get out having an attacking shot and getting caught in the deep. I understand Farbrace  said that he did not want to hear anything about “that’s the way I play”, but if he did say that then he’s a dolt. Of course Newman has piled in, comparing this dismissal to his usual bete noire, Ian Bell (and SimonH’s prescience on this in the comments is spooky) playing well and getting out to a soft shot. Really. As usual, we pop at the one who showed most aptitude, rather than those who didn’t. Sure, Root will be mad at himself. He sets himself high standards, but maybe, just maybe, I’m smelling a Cook preservation rat, and Root’s name being discussed recently means a higher bar being set for Joe. Odd, because I think Cook is as secure as he’s ever been. I’m probably looking for my tinfoil hat.

Moeen’s LBW has me chuckling all the way to the end of this piece. For years we have rightly excoriated the BCCI for going their own way in not using DRS. The theory was that Sachin wanted no part of it because he might get out more, and the word of the Little Master was never to be contravened (it kept him playing well past his prime). The other theory is that the other word of the Lord in India, MS Dhoni, was implacably turned against DRS by an LBW decision overturned in the 2011 World Cup against Ian Bell. Whether these two contentions are true or not, let’s recognise that India have taken up the DRS. Now they use it to overturn an LBW decision based on a couple of change of regulations over the years, and suddenly we (well Newman does in the Mail) get all precious about it. “I’m sorry, that’s just not out” isn’t a defence when DRS has given it out. We can’t pick and choose. Sure, Moeen was unlucky. Sure, Moeen wouldn’t have been given out in years gone by, but spare me us moaning about DRS when we wanted it imposed on India.

So what now. The S&B crew need to get us out of trouble again. Stokes has shown much better aptitude against spin this winter, and Bairstow has put out so many fires in the past few months we almost expect him to do so. For the record I think getting to 256 is academic – India are going to bat next in this test match – so it’s a combination of time and runs that are going to matter.

So that’s more than enough for one day – I didn’t see the India innings, but I want to get this out because I have things to do. Which leads me to a topical On This Day…

On this day in 2012, Alastair Cook batted for 90 overs at Ahmedabad adding 94 runs to his overnight score of 74 not out, as he and Matthew Prior undertook a long rearguard to attempt to save the match for England. On a wicket that had seen 8 of England’s first innings wickets fall to spin (Ojha taking 5/45), Cook thwarted all that was thrown at him on the fourth day to take England ten runs ahead with five wickets in hand, and at least give England a chance of saving the match.

I thought I’d put this in because just because a pitch is aiding the spinners, it doesn’t mean you can’t make runs on it.

Sure, on Day 5 we were bowled out for 406 – Cook making 176, Prior 91 – and just five second innings wickets fell to spin, and India completed the win, but their rearguard inspired England that they could play on these wickets, Cook was brilliant all series, and England won on a ragging Mumbai snake-pit having lost the toss.

So for one of his best, most valiant, most stubborn knocks, Alastair Cook is today’s “On This Day”.

Comments on Day 3 below…


58 thoughts on “India v England – 2nd Test, 2nd Day

  1. LordCanisLupus Nov 18, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Kick off… Just listened to Nasser Hussain say “if this was Cook, everyone would be having a go at his captaincy.”

    There’s your case for the defence.


    • Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 9:44 pm

      Nobody has done more to undermine Cooks credibility than the in house ECB media. They have turned him into a laughing stock. Look at Hughes’s honey drenched interview with him. Barbara Cartland couldn’t have written a bigger love story than this nonsense.

      No wonder the magazine didn’t have him in the top 10 captains list. If they had done, with Hughes interview in the same edition The Cricketer magazine would have been reduced to a Cook comic.

      What I don’t understand is why this nonesense continues. KP is never coming back so why the need to keep up the pretence about Cook? It’s almost as if the journos can’t let it go because it would mean they have to admit we were right all the time about his poor captaincy.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 18, 2016 / 10:01 pm

        Cook is a perfectly decent leader of his team. I am not going to pretend anything else because there is no doubt he has the support of his players, and that is vital in that regard. I’m not sure there’s a challenging culture in that team, but only they know. The problem is that I’m going to have a hard time believing any journalist when it comes to him. If you were Cook, wouldn’t this rather put you off?

        The constant defence of his captaincy – all captains have bad sessions, bad innings, they are not all geniuses – is what grates. Nasser’s line is peevish. Don’t have a go at my boy (except he did a bit last night) if you aren’t having a go at Kohli (actually nice to know Nas didn’t get the memo about not slagging off Indian players on BCCI TV). There’s also the need in some quarters to make sure the next leader is put in his place in a way I’ve not seen before. Bell, as we know, had that dripfeed against him, and I now sense the same with Root. Again, who knows how much Cook has to do with this?

        We live in strange times.


      • Mark Nov 18, 2016 / 10:31 pm

        Are you surprised there is not a challenging culture in that team? Look what happened to KP and others of independent thought. After 2014 if you wanted to Play for England you had to get with the programme. Other wise you were out the door.

        The whole team has been turned into a cult. The management can deny it but the media give the impression there is only one person of any importance. I have never seen any England captain have so much power. It’s unheard of.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 18, 2016 / 10:36 pm

          I seriously cannot imagine Stokes keeping his mouth shut if there’s something he thinks is amiss. In my mind, and given some of the early, quite subtle hints, there may be a lobby for Stokes to be the next captain. There’s certainly a fair amount of whisper (especially something I read from Swann) about Root’s position as next in line. He’s another I think would have a hard time going with something he doesn’t like. I also think Broad and Anderson are no-one’s fools, but they appear fully behind him.


      • "IronBalls" McGinty Nov 18, 2016 / 11:19 pm

        For me, Stokes is the next “natural” Captain. He’s got all the leadership qualities you could want….except…in the Establishment’s view…not quite “one of us” too mouthy, too aggressive and, no ” right sort of family”…I’m sure the usual suspects will be “briefed” against him


    • Escort Nov 18, 2016 / 10:04 pm

      I heard that comment from the Nasser. I’m just watching the live coverage from New Zealand on Sky and a graphic has just popped up on screen saying that Mohammad Amir’s best bowling was at St Johns Wood, London.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 18, 2016 / 10:07 pm

        Is it on the red button, because they had that dartist with the stupid haircut on when I looked.

        Watching yesterday’s highlights.


  2. Escort Nov 18, 2016 / 10:12 pm

    No 406 for me. I did briefly see the dartist with the Mohican in red😂😂


  3. Escort Nov 19, 2016 / 4:15 am

    Great stuff from Boycott on TMS about the old snob Jim Swanton. Not much love lost there😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LordCanisLupus Nov 19, 2016 / 6:04 am

    Woke up at 5 so thought I might watch the rest of the pre-lunch session.

    Ben Stokes looking pretty damn good. The hard work he has evidently put in to addressing the problems he had on Asian wickets is paying rewards. The hour I’ve watched he hasn’t remotely looked like getting out.

    The one wicket to fall was to the quick bowling of Umesh Yadav. He provided a shock full and fast delivery, not quite yorker length, but not far from it, and JB appeared a little beaten for pace.

    Whoever told me this was a ragging square wicket has been telling me porky pies. This is not a nest of vipers.


  5. d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 6:31 am

    But, but, but … the wicket was unplayable when having to bat second.

    Nah, it is what used to be a typical Indian wicket.


    • BoredInAustria Nov 19, 2016 / 6:58 am

      Vaughan on TMS: “I still think England are learning in Test cricket. With the all-rounders, then add Hameed to Cook and Root. If they could find a number four and a spinner, they would be a real team. They should be so well set-up to play in Australia.”


      • d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 7:24 am

        Which is begging several questions (no vacancies in middle order, all the assassination jobs on Compton, Rashid, etc.). And that is already assuming that Hameed lasts, and Duckett won’t come good. Sure Hameed looks good, but we have been there before (Ballance, quite a few of the “failed openers”). Let’s see if he comes good first.

        Where is the spinner going to come from? Thin air? Where is the #4 to come from? The Blast? Mind you, England have already spent 3 years finding answers to three questions, solved one, and by the time the second one gets solved Anderson may well be retiring, leaving another hole in the lineup.

        Sure, England have a talented pool of cricketers. But so do Australia, and so do India, South Africa, etc. You can only put 11 names on the team sheet. All those on the fringes of the team are just that. They won’t be taking wickets, and they won’t be scoring runs as long as they’re not in the playing XI.

        Oh, and learning in Test cricket after playing more than 25-30 Tests? There are 4 players who have played less than 28 Tests (Hameed, Duckett, Ansari, Rashid). Contrast that with India, whose most experienced current Test player is playing his 50th Test right now (Kohli). Or Australia. Lyon (59), Warner (56) and Smith (46) have the most experience. Mitchell Starc, the 4th most experienced Test player to play in Hobart has just played 30 Tests. For South Africa, Amla (96). Duminy has just played 38 Tests in an 8-year career, but was the second most experienced player for SA on the field then. Philander (36) and Faf (33) are the only ones others who have played more Tests than Stokes (29).

        There is no reason to suspect that any of those other sides is done “learning” and done “improving”. Far from it. Funny how “learning” is only allowed to apply to England.

        And just as I am about to post that Stokes is gone to Stokes, despite a review (either lbw, or caught; it was three reds on the lbw anyway). 225/7. Good innings from Stokes, and promising for the rest of the series.


      • d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 7:28 am

        Stokes gone to Ashwin. Silly typo.


  6. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 19, 2016 / 7:37 am

    The ‘learning’ argument falls apart even more when you consider the resources for Lions tours and the opportunity to gain experience in these conditions. Of course someone decided the Lions should play no red-ball games the winter before we play 7 Tests in Asia.

    We are being outplayed in seam bowing and fielding as well as api and batting. We lost control in the field on day one and batted abysmally yesterday.

    Real positives about the way in which Stokes and Bairstow batted though.


  7. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 19, 2016 / 7:44 am

    One thing the efforts of Stokes and Bairstow (and Rashid) have achieved is to raise some doubts about the follow-on that looked possible at one stage. I can’t see the Indians risking that England get 350 second dig and leave India to bat last on a crumbling pitch.


    • d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 7:47 am

      Ratings watch:

      Rashid has contributed more with the bat than the English top 5, with the exception of Root (Rashid is still batting at the moment, 26*, but with Broad for company). So, do we expect a 2/10 or 3/10, compared to the 5/10 Cook will get (with one point deducted for losing the toss, I imagine).

      India won’t follow on in all likelihood. Pitch is not going to get better, and bowlers could do with some rest.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 19, 2016 / 7:58 am

        Fell asleep on the sofa during the lunch break and just woken up. Has Rashid looked fragile?


      • d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 8:06 am

        He has looked quite good. Sure, some minor technical issues show up from time to time (but after 73 balls that still has not resulted in a clear chance, that is not ) – and that is bound to happen in an innings of such length, no matter who you are, or what the wicket does – it is simply the nature of the game.

        Of course he is batting with the tail now, so that may lead to some expansive shots, just to get the fielders back

        Broad gone, to Ashwin. 255/9. Leg before air it seems, Dharmasena gave it.


      • Mark Nov 19, 2016 / 8:23 am

        I’d love to know which of the media used the word “fragile” first. They could then be sacked for incompetence. Perhaps they already have been.


  8. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 19, 2016 / 8:02 am

    This has been a good effort today from what I’ve seen, and I’ve been a bit of a lightweight today as I didn’t wake up until the post lunch session. Stokes’s batting v spin has improved out of all recognition. I’m afraid that re Duckett that his game looks all over the place.

    Re Hussain and his comment on Kohli vis a vis Cook, what a dolt, he’s basically bagged both (and not unreasonably so) and justifies those of us who have no interest in going along with the unquestioning tone that him and his media colleagues wish to take. At least Big Bob on Sky the other day got stuck in and at least goes against that pathetic prevailing culture.

    Oh, and nice to see Rashid have a good innings too for such a supposedly fragile soul.


    • SimonH Nov 19, 2016 / 9:10 am

      Not seen much of the play this morning. I did catch the Gower-Key-Knight discussion between innings. Key put the apparent change in the pitch down to the heavy roller. The possibility that the pitch wasn’t so bad yesterday could not be considered. Knight put it all down to the England batsmen who made fifties not going on like Pujara and Kohli. Watch out Joe, they’re really after you (although with Knight one can never dismiss the possibility that he’s really just that stupid).

      On Hussain’s comment, he was right within the very narrow point about Kohli’s field-settings. Some of his field placings were strange and could have been more positive. However Hussain’s looking at a pebble at his feet and ignoring the ocean in front of him. Kohli’s brought a daddy ton, huge will to win and a great orchestration of the occasion to the table. Cook doesn’t have that charisma (outside the imaginations of some of the press corps) so he has to be tactically spot-on or what else is there? There’s also the question of method – Kohli’s bowlers are attacking the stumps more whereas Cook’s bowlers bowl on a 4th/5th stump line so they need catchers in place or how else are they going to take wickets? Hussain can say what he likes but not having a third and possibly fourth catcher for Ashwin was diabolical captaincy on that first evening.


  9. d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 8:07 am

    England 255 all out. Rashid unbeaten on 32. 3/10, with one bonus point for being unbeaten I imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 19, 2016 / 8:11 am

    Rashid batted very well I thought, dealing with a team crisis, an old ball in the hands of Ashwin and a new ball in the hands of an interestingly aggressive Indian seam attack. Dug in and wasn’t afraid to attack the bad ball.

    India to bat again, great opportunities to boost some averages here…


  11. Mark Nov 19, 2016 / 8:20 am

    Well that puts paid to Lawrence Booths claim yesterday that you had to score runs fast before the pitch got you. This of course was an attempt to exempt Root for his poor shot. Just goes to show that once again Englands top order through it away yesterday.

    I’m not sure what England would have done without Stokes and Bairstow over the last year. They certainly would not have had anything like the results they have had. England would be languishing down the list of test sides.

    India batting again, so the follow on was pretty meangingless. England needed 350 minimum to have any chance of staying in this game.


  12. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 19, 2016 / 8:49 am

    The only equation that works, irrespective of the follow-on decision, is India making 120-150 and England 320-350. I’m an optimist by nature but it’s very hard to imagine any circumstances where one of those scores wouldn’t preclude the other. I suppose the follow-on might have allowed for the pitch to disintegrate but only one result now.

    Wonder how many overs Ansari will get and whether his back injury will determine this or something else. Might provide the diplomatic excuse to call up Leach. Ditto, with Broad injured Woakes likely to return.


    • d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 9:03 am

      I posted some stats after the late declaration in the previous Test. 300+ has been chased only once in India (against England, 2008). Then 4 more chases of 250+ (one by West Indies, the rest by the home side).

      Containing India won’t help England in this situation.


      • amit garg Nov 19, 2016 / 9:17 am

        The pitch hasn’t really broken down yet. I would expect that to happen tomorrow given that it would be the 4th day and even relaid pitches such as this one would develop some cracks for bowlers to exploit. Unless India collapse to a sub 100 inning, any chase is likely to be a tough one.
        To me, among other things, one major difference has been that Indian pacers have been better than they were in the previous game. Both Yadav and Shami have more pace than Broad or Jimmy but someone like Yadav hasnt sprayed around the ball so he’s tested batsmen. Woakes might have been more useful here both as a batsman and as a bowler.


  13. Mark Nov 19, 2016 / 8:57 am

    Another batting failire, time to drop a couple of bowlers.

    Broad may be out to injury, so Wokes back in. The call for Butler to come back in, and perhaps play Bairstow as a batsman only. I seem to remember that Butler struggled against spin in non 20/20 type matches. But then if he bats at 7 the pressure is off a bit.


    • d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 9:00 am

      Anyone know how Buttler’s keeping has developed, especially in India? Keeping is a tough task in India, so not sure if that is the wisest move. At leat Bairstow has 2 Tests worth of experience now …


      • Mark Nov 19, 2016 / 9:20 am

        Fair point. Trouble is I can’t see Butler batting at 4 where I could see Bairstow doing that. But you can’t have either batting at 4 and keeping wicket.


      • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 19, 2016 / 9:31 am

        I think if Buttler comes in it has to be as a specialist batsman. They shouldn’t mess with a successful part of the team to fix a weak part in my view.

        Rashid bowling very well, this is probably because England are so far ahead in the game. Good by Broad too, although I am still a bit troubled by the use of very small spikes on snicker.

        Kohli looking terrifying already.


  14. Rpoultz Nov 19, 2016 / 9:13 am

    Hussain talking absolute crap, again!! Talking how Rashid must repay the captains faith for bowling him in the 8th over. What is he on about?? His deterioration is almost complete I say.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 19, 2016 / 9:17 am

      I don’t know. Botham on playing with injuries was pretty awesome stuff too.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 19, 2016 / 9:21 am

      Now he’s fucking go on about him being a leader of the spin attack. Moeen is a permanent member of this team. How’s he supposed to be a leader when they’ll never play him in England?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rpoultz Nov 19, 2016 / 9:37 am

        Really??! I was so annoyed I just switched the commentary off. Found myself riled at each passing comment. A leader after 7 tests??? Was Nasser the leader of the batsman after 7 tests then?? Can only assume on this evidence.


    • amit garg Nov 19, 2016 / 9:23 am

      Hussain the commentator is beginning to disappoint these days… though i would agree (well, sort of) with the commentators for pointing out that the skipper is probably beginning to have more confidence in Rashid – bringing him on as the first change and in 8th over could be interpreted as either a realization that Rashid is the man to go to, or an absence of another option…


    • Mark Nov 19, 2016 / 9:27 am

      What ever happened to Nasser Hussien? & can we have the old Nasser back please.

      When Nasser took over the England captaincy he took on an England team down and out. He introduced a no nonsense culture even though they were limited in talent. He laid the groundwork for Michael Vaughn to take over and take England on to new heights. When Nasser went into the commentary box he took this no nonsense approach with him. He gave robust opinions, didn’t hold back, and was one of the best voices on Sky. Now he has been reduced to a fan boy. While I accept the dreaded ESSEX Mafia connection it is a great shame such a strong voice has been lost to the cult of Cook.

      As I write he’s banging on about how Rashid must be a “leader” WTF? He has to be a leader of the spin attack apparently. The leader of the pack, Wasn’t that a song in the 60s? When has he ever demanded the captain lead?


      • Mark Nov 19, 2016 / 9:37 am

        It all just smells of another way of claiming he is fragile. You know, if he can’t lead he must be suspect. As Simon says below there are so many double standards in the way England players are judged.

        The reality is the only judgement that counts is “does your face fit?” If it does, all manner of excuses will be found. If it doesn’t…. look out. ” Fragile, odd, strange, too slow Blah blah”


      • BoredInAustria Nov 19, 2016 / 10:10 am

        Maybe he did not do as well as “expected” at one of these… memories of Bell:

        “I think it’s a great place for the players to spend some time,” Flower explained. “It takes them slightly out of their comfort zone, and makes them think about teamwork and leadership – areas in which the military have such vast experience, with Sandhurst’s motto of Serve to Lead. It’s about their development as people, not just as cricketers.”


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 19, 2016 / 10:19 am

          Sanjay Manjrekar might read the comments on Twitter (joke). He’s trying to get Nasser Hussain to say that he thinks Rashid is mentally weak.


      • Mark Nov 19, 2016 / 10:32 am

        Why can’t they just let the kid bowl? Just leave him alone and let him find his way. Stop imposing theories on him about his mental state, or his lack of leadership qualities.

        I watched a lot of Shane Warne bowl, and I don’t think I ever heard once from the commentary box that he had to be a leader. Yes he had natural charisma and could lead, but they never talked about it. I don’t remember ever hearing that John Embury had to be a leader. They just invent stuff so they can bash people over the head with it.

        Monty was not a particularly confident character, but they never accused him of being fragile or having to lead.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 19, 2016 / 10:36 am

          TBF, Nasser is praising how he is bowling. But I agree, why impose anything more on him as he tries to prove his case by bowling well and taking wickets.

          Meanwhile, keep an eye on those two shrinking violets, Sweet Jimmy and Calm Kohli, who appear to be on speaking terms of a not altogether peaceful manner.


  15. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 19, 2016 / 9:23 am

    2 quick wickets for Broad. It is clearly academic for the match situation, and may well be doubly so for Broad, who if he is carrying a signficant injury will likely not play in the next match at least, but good bowling nonetheless.


    • d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 9:34 am

      Not really academic for Broad. First time he has taken more than 1 wicket in an innings in India.


    • amit garg Nov 19, 2016 / 10:45 am

      The way it’s going, it looks to me that England are likely to play woakes in place of ansari in the next game and possibly JosB in place of Duckett. Longer batting line up and fast bowlers that are easier to manage for the skipper.


  16. SimonH Nov 19, 2016 / 9:25 am

    Shami’s ball to dismiss Cook:

    Only at 90 mph, obviously.

    Cook and Duckett both got good balls that they played badly. Both should have been able to get edges on those balls – whether those edges would have then been caught would have been in the lap of the gods. All the press about the Cook ball concentrated on the ball, all the press about Duckett concentrated on him playing it badly. It’s that double-standard that’s so infuriating.

    Establish the captain’s alibi first…. then everything else. It’s what they do – and have been doing for two years.


  17. BoredInAustria Nov 19, 2016 / 10:00 am

    It is great that in this situation Broad and Anderson are angry (possibly with their own batting line up failures rather than India) and suddenly bowling at pace (Anderson at 90mph) and Broad through an injury.

    However, I may be wrong, this is a huge chase (effectively 248/3 as I type). So caution to the wind, risk life and limb for…what?

    Compare this with the conservative “closing shop” mentality of the Great Leader when in the last test there was indeed a chance of victory?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mark Nov 19, 2016 / 10:03 am

    This is about as ludicrous as Nasser’s commentary

    Watch Nasser ride in on the bike half way through. The leader of the pack!


    • Escort Nov 19, 2016 / 10:17 am

      You besmirch a great song 😂😂😂


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 19, 2016 / 10:26 am

        I’m banging my head against the wall over this leader of the pack guff. Jesus wept. Still going on about it.

        Botham actually speaking sense. The world has gone mad.


  19. d'Arthez Nov 19, 2016 / 10:31 am

    I said it in my Mount Cricketmore comments, but I really don’t see the point of Nasser dressing up in anything more than a cheerleader outfit these days.


  20. BoredInAustria Nov 19, 2016 / 10:39 am

    2nd test. Anderson back from injury, Broad possibly injured, Woakes have a “niggle”, Ansari has a back problem and then:

    “Ben Stokes might be the most dedicated fielder in the England side. He goes haring after a little tickle from Kohli that flies to fine leg, and Stokes chucks himself after it to knock the ball back in and save a run”

    Very clever…

    I am all for dedication, but why all of a sudden now – they should have shown this fight in the first innings…


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