India vs England: 2nd Test, day four

The old truism that you can lose a Test in a session has been perfectly encapsulated in this match. England’s dreadful post tea effort late on day two means that even when they have a good day like today – in fact an exceptionally good day – they are so far behind that it merely has the effect of turning certain defeat into probable defeat. That’s not to negate the efforts, for the previous day’s post on here talked about the need for England to show some spirit and fight, and they’ve unquestionably done that and done it well.

And yet ironically enough the first part of the day couldn’t have gone any better for India in terms of the match position, while going badly in terms of the innings itself. The temptation to bat on too long exists in the hearts of most captains not called McCullum. By being bowled out, and removing that possibility from the equation, it gave India all the time they should need to bowl England out and go one up.

England needing 405 on days four and five of a pitch offering variable bounce is out of the question. There is invariably the temptation to believe any target below 700 is possible, but the rarity with which it happens when chasing over 300 let alone 400 merely indicates that the inherent conservatism concerning targets extends as much to observers as participants. For England to so much as draw the game from where they were would amount to a serious achievement.

Adil Rashid did most of the damage with the ball, once again. He has been the pick of the England attack throughout the series so far, yet seems peculiarly unlikely to receive much credit for it from those who have invested so much capital in discussing his shortcomings, both real and imagined – and in some instances bordering on character assassination.

Broad too picked up a further couple of wickets from the day before, and while it is good to see him bowling well, it remains to be seen if there will be a price to pay given the compacted nature of the series. He is clearly not fully fit. In terms of the match position it hasn’t actually done any good, except in terms of morale, which certainly shouldn’t be underestimated. Perhaps the coaching and medical team are quite right and there will be no ill effects, but their record is decidedly mixed in that regard.

One thing the England attack do need to work out is how to get rid of Kohli. He is proving the difference between the teams at present.

Cook and Hameed’s response was excellent, taking up nearly 60 overs and blunting the Indian attack. It wasn’t flashy, it wasn’t exciting, but it did provide England with a chance of saving the game. The two late dismissals swung the likelihood back towards an Indian victory, but it gave the tourists a potential way out. Cook’s dismissal to the last ball of the day was celebrated by an Indian team entirely aware that he was probably the one man who could bat an entire day to frustrate them in a defensive rearguard.

Safe in the knowledge that there is no prospect of losing, they will be able to crowd the bat all day, and have a second new ball arriving shortly before lunch. That does mean at least Root and Duckett will have the chance to play themselves in against an old ball.

England have got themselves into this position through one bad session, and have given themselves a slim chance of saving it by winning almost every subsequent one. A bad session on the final day will lose the match, but more than that even a balanced session will go a long way to doing the same. They have to win all three. Should they do so, it will be one of England’s better escapes in recent times. It’s unlikely, but they fought well today. In itself that’s a good sign.

Day Five Comments Below



78 thoughts on “India vs England: 2nd Test, day four

  1. SimonH Nov 20, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    “Cook’s dismissal to the last ball of the day was celebrated by an Indian team entirely aware that he was probably the one man who could bat an entire day to frustrate them in a defensive rearguard”.

    This is despite the fact that Cook has never, in 136 Test matches, batted out the last day to save a game? These backs-to-the-wall fourth innings’ match-saving innings exist only in the realm of myth (where he has a very good record is in the third innings). Moeen Ali has come closer to saving a Test match on the last day. Heck, Rashid has come closer to saving a match on the last day!

    Cook has never had a fourth innings’ not out when England have drawn. His highest score before today was 55. He’s failed three times and every other time he’s got out between 34 and 55.


    • thelegglance Nov 20, 2016 / 3:38 pm

      Fair point, but they’ll remember his innings four years ago that almost did it. And it’s the Brian Lara mentality, whereby teams would bat on until Christmas because they were terrified he might just do something outrageous.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jasspass Nov 20, 2016 / 5:05 pm

        India is afraid of only two English batters,Cook and Root,so its obvious that Indians are happy to see cookie getting out,that too on the last ball of the day.I still think this match will be a draw unless Ashwin running riot either in the first or second session of the day tomorrow.

        Now Vian,I got a question completely off topic,DT stopped comment section?? Now a days I cannot find any options to comment below the dt articles!!!! Or is it that they blocked comment options for unsubscribed users like me? I am really missing the good ol days of having funny fights with the great Weezer,Aussie in Switzerland etc….where they all vanished?? There was a great grandpa from Colombia too in DT,missing everyone….Hope you all are doing well in different parts of our globe….


        • thelegglance Nov 20, 2016 / 6:16 pm

          Hello Jass, how are you? That went quite some time ago I’m afraid. I would guess quite a few decamped to the Guardian cricket pages

          Liked by 1 person

    • amit garg Nov 21, 2016 / 7:32 am

      I think Indian players recognize that Cook has the requisite skill against spin and has the mentality to bat time, even if he goes without scoring for extended periods. He is never going to score a hundred at run a ball but he is indeed prepared to bat for long periods of time. So they were clearly happy at getting his wicket. I am not a fan of Cook the captain, but his test match batting still commands some respect.


    • amit garg Nov 21, 2016 / 9:27 am

      Just looked up the longest innings (balls faced) by English players in 4th innings to save a game. In last 20 years, some really interesting names show up above Cook – Colly, Bell, KP and even Prior have successfully batted for longer.
      Well spotted.;filter=advanced;innings_number=4;orderby=balls_faced;result=4;spanmax1=21+Nov+2016;spanmin1=21+Nov+1996;spanval1=span;team=1;template=results;type=batting;view=innings


  2. SimonH Nov 20, 2016 / 6:37 pm

    Just to give some idea of the task facing England – they have to hold out for a minimum of 900 deliveries which I can only find eight teams doing to draw a Test in the 4th innings. England have done it twice – 1746 balls in the Timeless Test and 1017 in Jo’burg 95/96.

    It’s longer than Faf in Adelaide (889) and longer than Matt in Auckland (859). The longest in Asia I can find (excluding one against Zimbabwe) was England’s 844 in Kandy in ’03/04 (when Vaughan made 105). The longest I can find in India by a visitor was NZ’s 815 in ’99/00 (the match where Dravid and Tendulkar scored big second innings’ tons – the NZ batting was a team effort led by Stephen Fleming’s 250-ball 73 against an Indian attack including Srinath and Kumble).


    • thelegglance Nov 20, 2016 / 6:40 pm

      Good statting Simon. Are you able to find any of that kind of 4th innings length that end in defeat?


      • SimonH Nov 20, 2016 / 7:20 pm

        The longest 4th innings in defeat I can find is NZ’s 188 overs at TB in 1973 (Bev Congdon made a century and they lost by 38 runs). England also batted slightly longer than they have to here in the ’77 Centenary Test.

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Nov 20, 2016 / 7:22 pm

        For visiting sides in Asia, the record is 143.1 overs South Africa lasted against India. Only 3 other visiting sides lasted more than 100 overs (NZ 123.5 vs SL, 2009; 116.2 England in Kolkatta 1961; Pakistan 114.0 in SL, 2012).

        If you include neutral venues, England’s 137.3 in Dubai (2nd Test, 2015) is second on the list of lengthy lost causes in Asia. Recently West Indies managed to last more than 100 overs in the UAE twice against Pakistan as well.

        The longest a home side lasted in a lost Test was 131.5 overs (Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, 1998).

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Nov 20, 2016 / 7:42 pm

        Just to add to SimonH’s reply with regards to 4th innings losses, anywhere in the world:

        Statsguru has the answer, with regards to the longest unsuccessful rearguard. England’s 191.3 overs against the West Indies, at Lord’s in 1950. Second is India’s 141.4 (8-ball overs) against Australia at Adelaide in 1978. Third is New Zealand’s long vigil Simon referred to.

        Then England’s 158.5 overs against West Indies (Georgetown, 1930), Australia 151.5 overs (Adelaide, 1929), and England’s 112.4 (8-ball overs; 900 balls), in Melbourne 1977.


  3. alecpaton Nov 20, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    That England have had a good day on a result pitch in India is remarkable in and of itself.

    Sky kept showing the scorecard from the Delhi test between India and South Africa last year as if they were the same situation. The reality is that the 2 matches only had superficial similarities. South Africa in that test were reduced to a strokeless effort to avoid being thrashed in every single match that was not beset by rain. They blocked and blocked because they had no other option. They had removed every shot form their repertoire that got them out and found they had nothing left. (Thanks to Gideon Haigh for introducing me to that quote from a player whose name I forget).

    If (or more realistically when) England lose this test, they know that they have at least pushed India hard in 2 successive games. Since their last tour there, teams have counted themselves as blessed if they had pushed India for 2 successive sessions.

    On the downside, England have still to answer the question “which middle order batsman has any hope of being the equal of Ian Bell and He Who Shall Not Be Named”. Ben Duckett has not convinced in either Bangladesh or India thus far and his potential replacements hardly inspire confidence. The retirement of key players is a feature of sport but it would be nice if England’s management could at least publicly acknowledge that those two players (whose combined stats add up 15000+ runs, 45 centuries, over 100 test caps and nearly 2 decades of international experience) left a hole in the side and no amount of exciting potential can hide that fact.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thelegglance Nov 20, 2016 / 6:43 pm

      Which reminds me that for all the selectorial disasters and favouritism of England, at least they hadn’t descended to the firing squad at dawn after one match approach of Cricket Australia. Yet.


      • alecpaton Nov 20, 2016 / 6:54 pm

        England’s memories are long enough to remember the 80s and 90s.

        I’m happy to give Duckett more time to state his case (it is ultimately only sport after all and the worst that can happen is that England will lose a trophy in the 1st half of December). I wish that Gareth Batty had been given a longer run in the team this time around but I can also understand why Ansari was selected in his stead.


    • d'Arthez Nov 20, 2016 / 7:35 pm

      To be fair to South Africa, the “result pitch” here plays a lot better on Day 4 than it did on Day 1 of that series in Mohali as well as Nagpur – both pitches where India struggled to make 200 in the first innings of the match (201 in Mohali, 215 in Nagpur – India were 789/40 in those two Tests as well – by comparison, England conceded 659 runs in this Test alone).

      That South Africa finally got a decent wicket in Delhi (certainly by the standards set in Mohali and Nagpur), when the series was gone, and the confidence had been sapped does not make for an entirely fair comparison.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Nov 20, 2016 / 7:51 pm

        I’ve seen Newman crowing how much better England are doing than SA. It’s worth remembering SA were without Steyn and Philander so that’s like England being without Anderson and Broad. SA won the preceding ODI series. They lost every toss in the Tests. SA lost two of the first three Tests by margins of just over 100 runs and held out for 143 overs in the last Test. At the end of the series, we’ll see how England compare.

        Those pitches really don’t bear much resemblance to what England have had (look at the SA spinners’ figures for the proof). Mohali was poor and Nagpur was diabolical. I remember Vilas being bowled on Day Two by a Jadeja ball that pitched leg and hit off – and on the last day Amla held out for 160+ balls before getting a ball from Mishra that took one of the biggest chunks out of that pitch I’ve ever seen.

        India were the better side in 2015 and would have won anyway.


  4. man in a barrel Nov 20, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    The batsmen need to look for singles to stop the bowlers settling. The chances of a wonder ball surely increase if you let the bowlers steadily work away at one man.


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 20, 2016 / 8:54 pm

      You are right that they should take this route. I said this before and I’ll say it again, I never liked the Collingwood approach in Adelaide (sorry Dmitri!) 10 years ago. England would never have lost that match if he’d not decided to go to sleep with regard to at least showing a moderate inclination to rotating the strike and would have meant a far less crowded area for the batsmen and the pressure to overload. Not just for him, the men at the other end too.

      I don’t think that any of the other batsmen in this team from Root downwards would ever take that option in any case. They look for a run scoring option all the time. The paradox/downside is of course that it brings the bowler into the equation a little more with a slight miscalculation on the shot often leading to a dismissal.


      • Mark Nov 20, 2016 / 9:04 pm

        I think the problem in Adelaide was we declared too early in the first innings. The Aussies were a bowler down, and were tired. England should have batted on that evening, and not declared, and then not needed a second innings. Far better to get the runs in the first innings against a tired attack than try to get them on the final day against Warne.

        Just a thought with the luxury of highnsight.


        • thelegglance Nov 20, 2016 / 9:07 pm

          Damn, that reminds me of something I was going to put in the post but forgot – the importance of England batting long to tire the Indian bowlers in a compacted series


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 20, 2016 / 9:08 pm

        Just reminded me how much I need to write on Adelaide! Might have to scale down my ambitions. Still, we do have an England test-free first six and a half months of 2017 to fill! Lots to write about.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 20, 2016 / 9:16 pm

        Hindsight is always a wonderful thing Mark. Having scored over 550 first dig and being 1-0 down, they had to try and put pressure on the Aussies. I blame the approach of the batting second dig for the nature of the loss rather than the declaration. The slight difference is that it was still the third innings of the match, but a relentless Australian team could chase down even a rather stiff target of over 4 runs an over with little difficulty, even on a 5th day pitch.

        Dmitri, it is only a short while to the 10th anniversery of that fateful test, do you have a small thing for that?


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 20, 2016 / 9:22 pm

          Written a ton on the old blog (which was originally set up for me to write about it) but like most things with me, I never finished it. That test was more than just a heart-breaking loss. It was a horrendous time in my life, losing both my parents in the 18 months before it, and failing badly at fending for myself. Then a disaster struck on the night of Day 3, and I found out the beauty of human spirit, from close, and remote friends and family. I could write an extremely dull book about it! I’ll have some stuff – I’ve even got a Day 5 memory from a former England test opener for it – up during the test. Just got to find time to write it. I’m only up to Ian Bell’s dismissal on the Day 5 piece, for example!


  5. SimonH Nov 20, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    Anyone lucky enough not to be listening to Nasser Hussain’s commentary need not fear because he’s been kind enough to write most of it down:

    It starts off like it’s going to be quite reasonable and several of the points are quite sensible in themselves – some might even Tweet that it’s “masterful”. But then in kicks the agenda: “Look at the way Cook does it”. Could a still quite inexperienced captain (which Hussain does at least acknowledge) usefully look at every captain he can? Probably. But that’s not what’s going on here – Cook had a shocker on the first two days and Hussain wants his revenge. Kohli’s possible misuse of DRS has cost his team considerably less than Cook’s bowling strategy on Day One – Kohli didn’t put his most inexperienced spinner on first and bowl him for something like 9 consecutive overs to get the opposition Nos.3 and 4 thoroughly established.

    Then he gets on to the England innings. “Cook didn’t need to prove anything: we know he’s capable of playing that kind of innings”. Ah yes, all those match-saving (let alone -winning) fourth innings’ tons he hasn’t made. “Others in the past have taken refuge in the excuse about ‘that’s just the way I play’”. Others? Who could he mean? Will they ever ‘move on’? Will they ever stop score-settling and think about the game? The highest run chase in India was launched by Sehwag, the epitome of the “just the way I play” batsman. I’ve never read an Indian fan criticise him for it.

    All that stuff about new era England play attacking cricket without fear is, now the team is under pressure, going out the window quicker than KP’s attention in an Andy Flower team-meeting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • nonoxcol Nov 20, 2016 / 10:01 pm

      I’m going to sort of channel Lloyd Bridges in Airplane! and say that it looks like I picked the right time to quit watching Sky.

      Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel Nov 20, 2016 / 10:20 pm

        You don’t get anywhere at 1 run per over. The pressure builds ; the fielders gather. Yes Root holed out but at least give some credit to Ashwin the bowler… The drift and flight deceived a well set batsman.


    • Mark Nov 20, 2016 / 10:23 pm

      As I said yesterday…… Whatever happened to Nasser Hussien? Has he been replaced by an Andy Flower drone from Sandhurst?

      What has he got against Kohli? And what a pity we didn’t see this laser like critique of the art of captaincy in 2014. Instead we got *crickets* SILENCE.

      Its ridiculous for him to bring up the “It’s the way I play.” Who will ever forget him standing out in the middle at Lords showing the press box the number 3 on his back. ” it’s where I bat.”


      • Mark Nov 20, 2016 / 10:35 pm

        Oh, and by the way, Nasser’s greatest moment was his interview with Sky when he was captain the day before the first test match at Brisbane. He droned on and on about how people must do there jobs……..

        Then, the next day he went out and won the toss, and put Australia into bat on a belter…….

        Sky should dig it out for Christmas………….


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 20, 2016 / 10:35 pm

        It’s the silence of the Indian commentators next to him when he does it. Poor sods can’t say a word against any of them, can they?

        I would rather Hussain say what he thinks than be a drone. I genuinely think that this is what he thinks and he’s mad for England to do well. I would be more prepared to have a reaction to what he says rather than why.

        But this constant reaction to the it’s the way I play makes me laugh. We shouldn’t have a go at Cook for a slowish hundred at Rajkot that may have denied us a better shot at winning because “it’s the way he plays” (I remember a similar ton against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, in 2011, was it). It does rather work both ways. That’s actually not having a pop at Cook, because he’s doing his job, just as aggressive players did theirs. One of the best rearguards was in Auckland a few years back and Matt Prior played his natural game to save it (having some luck). If he’d got out he’d have been slagged right off. But there’s a huge doubt he could block for the duration.

        Nas sometimes wants his cake and eat it.


  6. LordCanisLupus Nov 20, 2016 / 11:13 pm

    A little off topic, but that Aussie selection isn’t a panic one, is it?

    Anyone tweeted Malcolm Conn about the English opener they’ve picked?

    Nic Maddinson has been mentioned in dispatches for a while but never made the breakthrough.

    Love they dropped Mennie and Ferguson after one test. That’s pure Dexter.

    Nevill showing that you can’t stay in a team on keeping alone. You knew that though.

    I’m still convinced they’ll be a tough nut next winter, but they could also go all 2010-11 on us.


    • Mark Nov 20, 2016 / 11:41 pm

      The complete clusterf*** they are in at the moment ensures The Cook redemption tour next year is on. It’s a slam dunk. Cook can return to his humiliation to seek redemption, and the bloody Aussie are going to hand it to him on a silver plate.


      • Jayman Nov 21, 2016 / 3:58 am

        If you bring Rashid out and play him in every test with decent fields set we are completely f****d. He was unplayable in the big bash last year, and his bowling has improved markedly since then.


      • oreston Nov 21, 2016 / 4:50 am

        Australia seem to have reached the nadir but they’ve got 12 months to sort themselves out before the Ashes. A lot can happen in that time, so I think it’s just too early to make a prediction.

        Meanwhile in Visakhapatnam, f*** it! Ben Duckett has gone for a duck and Ashwin has a new bunny.

        And even as I type, Moeen’s gone for 2. This may not take very long.


    • SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 8:46 am

      Australia’s mistake was picking Mennie and Ferguson in the first place – surely it’s better to admit an error quickly and rectify it? Mennie had the most favourable bowling conditions for his type of bowling you’re going to find at Test level (outside Christchurch anyway!) and looked completely unthreatening. Ferguson looked panicky in both innings. It would be wrong to drop them if one could see some potential there – but I didn’t see it.

      I can’t comment much on the alternative players they’ve selected. I’m looking forward to seeing the likes of Maddison who’s been on the fringes for a while.

      Nathan Lyon was probably saved by O’Keefe and Agar being injured. Lyon’s one of those cricketers everyone seems to like and who doesn’t get much criticism because there is a feeling he didn’t get much credit early on. But he’s been poor not just in this series but in SL. A period out of the team to rethink his game out of the spotlight looks like it might do him some good (and that used to be quite usual before the continuity fetish set in).

      The thing about this continuity obsession is that it’s presented as if it’s all for the good of the players. It’s also (and more) about protecting administrators. This way they don’t have to admit errors. It used to be quite usual to pick a guy for a bit, let him go away and improve his game and then come back and re-establish himself in the side. Langer, Hayden, Martyn, even Steve Waugh and Ponting were all dropped for a while – the ones of the great Australian generation of batsmen who weren’t were Mark Waugh, Taylor and Slater and they ended up with the lesser records. Those last three started strongly but tailed off badly.

      There’s a lot of mythology about England selection in the 1990s. I’m not defending all of it by any means – but it wasn’t all like people now say. I remember a 1990s’ defeat being discussed on TV and Allott said something like of course they dropped half the team for the next game. I looked it up and exactly the same team played next game. The problems were England were up against some very strong teams and had a number of players of similar ability levels.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 9:37 am

        I see Hohns has called Maddison a “game breaker” which just goes to show managerial BS has conquered the world.

        Plus here’s a good historical anecdote from Russell Jackson –
        “the concept of the selector as hate figure stretches right back to 1912 and Peter McAlister, the man who felt national captain Clem Hill’s wrath during a selection meeting in an office overlooking Sydney’s Martin Place. “You have been asking for a punch on the jaw all night, and I’ll give you one,” fumed Hill as he lunged across the table and did just that, biffing his adversary before an impromptu wrestle nearly sent McAlister flying out one of the room’s windows”.


  7. d'Arthez Nov 21, 2016 / 4:49 am

    Not looking good at the moment. In the first 45 minutes, England lost Duckett (more or less as expected), and Moeen. Really tough ask on Root, Stokes, Bairstow, and to a lesser extent Rashid and Ansari to last the day.

    Overrate is about 20 overs / hour, despite two wickets falling. So we’re still looking at another 100-odd overs to survive here ….


    • d'Arthez Nov 21, 2016 / 5:50 am

      And before lunch, England have shipped Stokes, Root and Rashid as well.

      129/7, from 90.4 overs. With Shami picking up Root and Rashid. Jayant picking up Stokes.


  8. Rooto Nov 21, 2016 / 5:55 am

    Listening to the radio, and so not best placed to judge of this morning’s collapse is due more to the bowling or to a lack of fight and belief – it certainly seems a different performance to last night.

    I’m expecting Kohli (whose patience has been rewarded today) to have a few choice words to say in the direction of Nasser Hussein in the post-match presentation. Could be interesting.


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 21, 2016 / 6:37 am

      More the bowling. Jayant got Stokes with a snorter as did Shami to Root and Ali was seen off by a delivery that flew from Jadeja.


    • amit garg Nov 21, 2016 / 7:49 am

      Kohli 2.0 doesn’t react like Kohli 1.0.
      He still is fiery no doubt but the reactions are toned down. Just a sign of maturity i guess. But then he is probably coming into his own as one of the best players of this era and is comfortable in his skin. He has absolutely owned the short formats but his record since picking up test captaincy is simply awesome. With more experience as a skipper, he will get better at the field placements, and most certainly at DRS, which has been a source of consternation in the game.


      • d'Arthez Nov 21, 2016 / 7:54 am

        It may go unreported, but DRS are 4-3 ahead on correct referrals for the series thus far.

        Sure, their DRS decision making can be improved, but as it is practically the first time they’re using it (there are no players from the SL – India series, involved in the current setup), their returns are not that bad.


      • d'Arthez Nov 21, 2016 / 7:55 am

        India are 4-3 ahead on correct DRS referrals. I hate it how I sometimes eat up words in editing my posts …


  9. d'Arthez Nov 21, 2016 / 7:01 am

    Game done and dusted. England lasted 97.2 overs. India won by 246 runs.


  10. Rooto Nov 21, 2016 / 7:40 am

    Thanks PKT for the info.
    There were a couple of mentions on TMS about how down the England team looked at breakfast in the hotel, from Vaughan and (I think) Laurence Booth at lunch. MAYBE, it’s just journalists fitting events to the narrative of day 5, but IF it’s true that the mood of the camp was flat, then it’s worrying. Remember that before play today England had a chance, and I hoped for a lot of fight. IF Cook’s wicket last night knocked the stuffing out of the team, then it means they are buying into the media idea of Cook the saviour (not borne out by Simon’s stats above). That can’t be good for anybody.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Nov 21, 2016 / 8:14 am

      Say what you like about Flower and pre-comma Comma (and we do) but their sides knew how to draw matches from tough spots, and certainly didn’t rely wholly on one man (or even two) to do so.


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 21, 2016 / 9:23 am

        Selvey’s tweet from Costa Coffee is actually quite sad. And I’m being serious.


      • thebogfather Nov 21, 2016 / 10:55 am

        Aw, come on LCL, surely your not going to leave us ‘blocked badge of honour’ owners guessing what selfry has been crying into his overpriced coffee cup about?


      • Rooto Nov 21, 2016 / 11:23 am

        You make it sound like Alan Partridge!
        “Big thanks to my new friends at the Thetford A11 Costa Coffee” ? 🙂


  11. SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 7:44 am

    Some discussion about the pitch for Mohali – Shastri was asked if it’ll help the seamers and said it’s earlier in the season than a usual Test there so the pitch may well be slower than it often is. He also quite openly acknowledged that he requested a spinning pitch for the last Test there against SA.

    All the post-match discussion so far concentrating on the first innings which is fair enough. Less fair is that all the focus is on the dropped catch and Root’s two mistakes. Some blaming the toss but at least not much on the pitch. Several moving to drop Duckett. A whole host of other issues are not featuring.

    I’d be concerned (and Bayliss has more or less just said it) that Duckett’s troubles are reinforcing their views about the CC and that players can’t progress from it directly into the Test team.


    • Rooto Nov 21, 2016 / 8:52 am

      Haven’t seen what you saw, Simon, but that seems a very convenient excuse from Bayliss. After all, Duckett came through the Lions (briefly) and Hameed not at all. Trying to set an agenda, perhaps.


  12. SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 9:11 am

    Stokes’ match bowling figures are 27-4-107-1. Nobody much seems to have noticed that he not only didn’t take wickets but was going at 4 RPO on a pitch that wasn’t easy to score quickly on. Some bowlers would get slated for not giving their captain control for that….

    Stokes looks to me to have a technical problem in that he falls over to the off-side in his delivery stride and tends as a result to push the ball down the leg-side. I’m also not sure he has a strategy for keeping the runs down when conditions aren’t favourable. I’ve had a go about ‘bowling dry’ here before but I was never against it as a Plan B, only as Plan A. Alternatively, he shouldn’t have bowled so much.

    I’m of course not saying drop him or he isn’t a good cricketer – but the narrative that England lost because of one difficult dropped catch and half an hour’s bad batting is missing a whole lot else.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 21, 2016 / 9:16 am

      It’s the blithe acceptance that there was nothing we could do about this loss that grates with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 9:24 am

        A bit like….


      • Mark Nov 21, 2016 / 9:50 am

        Par for the course. That would mean the media looking at things they are not allowed to question.

        This test match was lost in the first innings. If you concede a 200 run lead on a pitch like this you are in big trouble. However well they bowled against India in the second innings or how well Cook batted yesterday it was too little to late.

        Sure the toss was important but I still think ENGLAND should bat better on day 2 and 3. They need to bat 2’sessions longer and reduce that lead to no more than 50/75. I also think it was not a given India would make 450. Once again Cooks field placings and generally negative approach helped let India off the hook. It’s no disgrace to lose to India in India but I ask once again….

        Are we getting the best out of what we have got? I say no. But then if you keep propping up a poor captain for political reasons then you don’t deserve to succeed. Perhaps a little less hanging around Sandhurst military academy pretending to be The Parachute regiment, and more emphasis on cricket, and cricket tactics.

        England have the players to be competitive, but they are badly lead, and make crucial decsions based on propping up a poor captain rather than what’s right. Briefing against your own players in the media for political reasons is not a good approach. How about building players confidence up rather than whispering against them because they don’t fit some bullshit narrative? If Jimmy and Stuart blast sides out Cook is hailed as a hero. If they don’t, Cook is reduced to the most over rated captain in test history.


      • SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 10:02 am

        I missed Kohli after the match – what did he say?

        The real expectations, not the later rationalisations, were that England would take this quite deep into the day. For example:

        There’s a TMS Tweet that makes it clear it’s what most of them thought as well.

        As for “unplayable” balls, Hameed got one yesterday and Stokes today. That’s it. 10/83?


      • Mark Nov 21, 2016 / 10:11 am

        Having read some of Chris Stocks work, for what it’s worth, I don’t give a flying fig what he thinks.


    • amit garg Nov 21, 2016 / 10:49 am

      Stokes, for all his immense talent, is a batsman first. He will score more runs in his career than blast teams with a ball in hand. He is certainly not Imran or Botham. Not yet. Not by a long mile.

      Based on what i have seen so far, I would probably choose Woakes above Stokes most time, if England had better wicket taking spinners because Woakes will get more wickets and is a decent batsman (not at the same level as Stokes) and that combination would probably allow for more wicket taking bowlers. At the moment, i feel having Moeen and Stokes play together does leave England little bit light in terms of wicket taking ability.

      Stokes and Woakes are very similar and yet it would probably be fair that both are slightly limited at this level. Stokes is unlikely to win enough games with ball while Woakes is unlikely to win it with bat.

      However, having picked Stokes (more for his batting) it would be good to define a containing role for him. I don’t think Cook does that. If the expectation is that he will be bowling these inspired spells all the time and picking wickets most times, then he will come up short, as you’ve rightly pointed.


      • thebogfather Nov 21, 2016 / 11:52 am

        Hi Amit, there’s a lot of sense it what you say, however defining Stokes and Mo in that way precludes their ability as impact bowlers. Mo has had to learn to be TeamSKYECB’s no.1 spinner on the job in all conditions. Stokes is expected to be Botham – in all ways – and his fielding is supreme, his batting is seriously developing the ability to explode and frustrate (the opposition), and as a 3rd or 4th seamer, he is getting there.
        With the increasing body fragility of our seam attack, coupled with no ‘tween match rest, let alone warm-up games, a bowling attack can only get respite if the batting does their job in the first place, and the Craptain understands how to manage his bowlers and field settings for each and every situation… or at least occasionally

        Liked by 1 person

      • amit garg Nov 21, 2016 / 12:27 pm


        I realize that both Stokes and Moeen will bowl those wicket taking spells once in a while and so certainly there has to be room to work with. Both are clearly, very talented players, but if I have to be brutal about it, I don’t think Mo would’ve cut at this level as a bowler, without as many chances as he has had – which is part of being an allrounder. He adds a certain value as a bowler, but most of his wickets are had when people try and attack him after seeing off the pacers. If people tried to milk him for 3 an over, i am not sure how impactful he would be.

        It is not Mo’s fault that he’s had to learn it on the job despite coming in as a batsman who could bowl. He is certainly trying hard to fit the squad as a leading spinner. I just don’t think he’s ever going to be a true specialist and hence be a threat in test matches as a spinner, even if he turns out to be a very competent one.

        Likewise for Stokes. He has the pace to trouble the batsman, but as a bowler, he won’t be the leader of the pack – Woakes could be developed for that role. I would’ve said that in the last few months, Woakes has played that role often.

        They will both contribute to victories but i can’t see either of them turning into Botham or Imran.
        Workload is certainly an issue but to my mind, a well defined role could help manage those loads better while bowling. Had Rashid gotten injured, who would’ve been taking wickets? Would they be then able to come out and bat as they would be required to, at 5/6 respectively?

        I think sometimes, Stokes has to take on the role of bowling dry to keep the run rate under check – he tends to struggle with that role, even as plan B, i think. This is not about his skill but more about defining a certain role and for the bowler to accept it and deliver. I have’t seen all his games but been a general observation across the games that i have seen. I could lay the blame at Cook’s door as a skipper but for all i know it might be Stokes who doesn’t think it to be his role…

        Liked by 1 person

  13. man in a barrel Nov 21, 2016 / 10:19 am

    India rattled through the overs. If they had taken the Cook approach, the game might have lasted till after tea.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. amit garg Nov 21, 2016 / 10:21 am

    Going into the next game, I think India might need to tinker with the squad. Saha has looked light on his batting while Rahane doesn’t seem to last long enough to score like he is certainly capable of. The forecast for temperature in Mohali is mid 20s and clear skies, so if an early season pitch is a bit sticky, I would expect India to add to their good record in Mohali. I don’t think mohali will be a road…


    • SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 12:14 pm

      Do you think India will bring in a third seamer for Jayant at Mohali? If so, who? Bhuvi, Ishant, Pandya or another? Jayant seemed a good bloke from the interview I saw with him and also it was a good selection to pick him rather than go for ‘continuity’ and pick Mishra again (as Atherton was pointing out).

      India have some concerns with three of the top seven not contributing (Gambhir/Rahul, Rahane, Saha). I guess they’ll stick with them with the team winning but Pujara and Kohli can’t resurrect the innings every time (well, maybe Kohli can!).


      • amit garg Nov 21, 2016 / 12:50 pm

        Mishra and Gambhir will turn out for their state teams so don’t think they are in picture for Mohali unless someone gets injured at the last minute. Even Dhawan is fit and will turn out for Delhi, so Gambhir certainly looks out of the picture, even with injuries.

        Pandya has yet to convince me of his test match credentials – he can develop into one but certainly too raw at this point.
        Picking Bhuvi might seem sensible, but he is likely to struggle in second /third spells when it’s not swinging. He did take wickets against the kiwis recently but has been injured since. He could be accurate, but i am doubtful if he can be the wicket taker against this English squad, given his pace, in Mohali.

        I would be tempted to play an additional batsman. India could replace Saha (as keeper) with Rahul who is also a keeper and bring in another specialist batsman (give Karun Nair his first cap) and give some comfort to Rahane who has struggled in this series. Rahane scored a big 100 against the kiwis recently so could just be a minor blip but who knows. Karun is a top order player, well regarded in domestic circles and a middle order role might be a good way to initiate him.

        That would still retain 5 bowlers (i would go with the 5 we used in 2nd test) but will certainly bolster the batting.


  15. Mark Nov 21, 2016 / 10:25 am

    On a lighter note…..

    the Aussies are making complete morons of themselves. They have now, in there usual deluded maner convinced themselves that the reason they keep losing is because of mints rather than the fact they are complete crap.

    As usual channel 9 is leading the race to be the biggest arseholes on the cricket planet. Some jumped up moron who thinks he’s Woodward and Bernstien harassing the SAF players at an airport. There is nothing funnier in this world than the Ausssie media when their team is losing. Pass me the polos Bruce!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Andy Nov 21, 2016 / 10:54 am

    I see Duckett and Bairstow " taking positives". Guys, you really don't have say that. You really don't. It's not compulsory.— mike selvey (@selvecricket) 21 November 2016


    if the above has worked (should be a Selvey tweet)- does it mean that Selvey is becoming more critical of players post match junk talk now that he is one step removed (some might say on the way outside…)


    • northernlight71 Nov 21, 2016 / 11:56 am

      Outside of the bubble, he may well start to talk more like a normal person. Don’t ever expect him to admit he was ever wrong in the past though. He doesn’t have that kind of character.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 21, 2016 / 11:56 am

      Worries me that I reacted in much the same way. Except not in Costa Coffee.


    • thebogfather Nov 21, 2016 / 12:07 pm

      Oooh… is the ECB worm turning?
      Dropped by G, perhaps now by GilesOily too, yet still yearning…
      A bit of a bitter twist, FFSake, has he lost big mate Saker too? Without a goodbye kiss?
      Oh Selve… perhaps your money making blog will delve
      Much more deep, now you’re outside… and if you won’t…then into coffee cups
      Filled with tears and fears and we won’t sup or weep…

      guessing the Selveblog has fell into a financially uninterested BOG?


      • Mark Nov 21, 2016 / 1:28 pm

        He is starting to sound like a verse out of The Streets of London…..

        And in the all night cafe at a quarter past eleven
        Same old man sitting there on his own
        Looking at the world over the rim of his tea cup
        Each tea lasts an hour, and then he wonders home alone.

        All together now………

        How can you tell me that your lonely, and for you that the sun don’t shine
        Let me take you by the hand and lead you through Costa coffee
        I’ll show you something to make you change your mind.

        Hasn’t he got a kettle at home? Or a Sky connection?

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Nov 21, 2016 / 1:59 pm

        Can we, heartfelt from BOC, send him a badly spun VHS copy?
        Of ‘Death Of A Gentleman’, with kisses of not missing you Selve, yet not sounding btl sloppy
        Perhaps in his selfry imposed dotage, he’ll, comma, comma, note
        That loneliness induced by idiotically imposed secrecy is but the secret of the remote
        In which he may now find himself, bereft of those once ‘friends’ who still grow their wealth blind
        Without him, St Johns Wood and will, Lord’s it over the ex-Lord,who he? Never mind…


  17. BoredInAustria Nov 21, 2016 / 11:01 am

    A few impressions from me, not having seen any play, but following it on cricinfo and TMS, it might be completely wrong.

    I cannot help thinking that England did too little too late. All credit to the bowlers in the second innings(Broad and Rashid especially, but it sounded as if Anderson bowled well), as well as Cook and Hameed yeseterday.

    As I mentioned yesterday the feeling is that Broad and Anderson came out angry (at the situation, at their batsmen or at DRS) and channeled this into their bowling. But this was already part of a heroic rearguard action.

    The team seems to be reactive to the extreem, and this I am afraid is part of the Cook captaincy model. The bowlers should have come out with this focus on the first morning and the batsmen with the determination in the first innings. He seems not able to motivate them in this regard (he seems to tick different – his batting is attricional bloodymindedness that serves him very well – and to be clear, if I need one person to bat for my life it would probably be Cook).

    This is the biggest culture clash that came with the KP approach – a brash confidence and belief to not die wondering. I would argue Prior and Swann was similar, Broad and Anderson when motivated can swith this on. The beauty was, and certainly one of the biggest successes were when the 2 approaches merged – See India 2012.

    In conclussion – I am still of the opinion England could have done more in the second test, and their approach here costed them some valuable sessions and the match. Some performance in a lost cause were great, but they need to rise to these levels proactivly to put themselves in a winning position. Easily said.

    Happy for Rashid, hope they keep believing in him. Worries in the middle order. Great game of cricket. Looking forward to Mohali.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria Nov 21, 2016 / 11:19 am

      Sorry meant: In conclussion – I am still of the opinion England could have done more in the FIRST test…


    • amit garg Nov 21, 2016 / 1:46 pm

      More importantly, how did Duckett get 3/10 for 5 runs and Ansari for 4 runs and 0 wickets?


  18. SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    No post-match interviews with Comma? Astonishing.

    Liked by 1 person

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