India vs England: 2nd Test, day five

England did at least do cricket watchers at home a favour – in that they subsided so quickly the match was over before many had even hauled themselves on to the train or into the car to head to work.  No watching or listening with irritation, no lamenting a poor performance or berating a poor shot.  Having worked so hard to try and get some semblance of a chance on the final day, it all went wrong within minutes of the resumption.

It would be a mistake to view the events of day five as the reason for defeat; the hole England were in was so deep that it required virtual perfection even to take the game into the final session, but to collapse as badly as they did was not the end hoped for even in a match that they looked destined to lose from the second evening onwards.

There are a few things that can be taken from it though.  Firstly, India’s over rate was astounding, bowling ten overs in the first half hour.  While they were spin bowlers and England were not smashing the ball to all parts, if nothing else it should put to bed any justification whatever for tardy over rates in the wider game.  Teams can do it when they put their minds to it, there is no excuse whatsoever for failing to complete the necessary number in a day.

England seem quite likely to drop Ben Duckett for the third Test.  This smacks of the same kind of panic currently afflicting Cricket Australia.  He’s played only four Tests, and it’s only a couple ago that he was being lauded for how he played in scoring his maiden Test fifty.  If he was good enough then, he’s good enough now, or why pick a young player for the future to begin with if faith isn’t going to be shown? That doesn’t mean that a player is given licence to fail repeatedly, but it’s either a bad selection in the first place or it’s nothing other than panic from the selectors.  Neither reflects well on them, and Jos Buttler is no noted player of spin either.

Likewise, only two Tests ago the media were lamenting England’s spin bowling options and expressing a peculiar wish for them to try an all seam attack.  No matter what the situation there is always a suitable target for blame which never involves the captain, coaches, selectors or administrators.  They are above reproach.  Again, creating what David Warner so gloriously described as escape goats doesn’t help anyone, and it’s not a call to shift blame to others in any way.  England will lose Tests sometimes, and India is a challenging place in which to tour for English teams.  A rational and thoughtful approach in discussing where the shortcomings are is hardly a radical request.  Equally, that doesn’t mean people will agree as to what those are, it is a game of opinions after all.  But it would be far better if there was less flip flopping around and blame gaming towards some individuals and not others.

For this is what grates more than anything else.  It’s not traitorous behaviour to acknowledge that Cook isn’t the most acute captain in the world; he is what he is, and since he’s the skipper then it’s just a question of getting on with it – no one’s perfect.  But instead of any discussion around perhaps how India should not have got as many runs as they did in the first innings, instead everything that flowed from that is dissected and other individuals placed under the spotlight.  The point about the slating the spin bowlers received after Bangladesh is a case in point – the form of Adil Rashid is now being mentioned as a positive.  And so it is – but that was always a possibility anyway, for he’s a talented bowler trying to perfect a difficult art.  He deserves far better than having his character questioned repeatedly when things aren’t going well for the team, yet a pretence that it never happened now he’s doing well is quite obvious.

Consistency from the players is very hard to achieve.  Consistency from those commenting is not.  People can be wrong, and they often are.  Observers on cricket and economists could interchange on each others’ discipline with no discernible difference in accuracy, but it’s not asking too much to hope they would maintain a line and stick to it.

Of course, some will say that Cook gets plenty of criticism on this blog and is he not a scapegoat too?  Well no, because the whole point of that is that the cricket media never so much as whisper that he’s anything but perfect.  Cook is a fine batsman (though not a great, no matter how much some might try to claim it based on volume of games) and his captaincy is certainly better than it was.  But it doesn’t make him immune from comment either, and it is abundantly obvious that absolutely anyone else will be criticised before he ever is.  Virat Kohli received no end of stick for his captaincy from Nasser Hussain while Cook got none.  That’s simply bizarre and an avoidance of comment for reasons unknown, and as ridiculous as Shane Warne slating Cook while refusing to address Australian problems.  That doesn’t for a second mean he should be fired as skipper just because England have lost a game, but it does mean a reasonable analysis of all England’s flaws is the least anyone ought to be able to expect. That doesn’t mean a focus on Cook either, for the principal reason for the loss was the batting collapse, but it does mean that it is one of many areas that could and should be discussed.

Where do they go from here? Although there’s been an attempt to massage expectations so that anything other than a 5-0 defeat can be portrayed as a good tour, there’s not that much between the teams; the size of this defeat is slightly misleading.  England are well capable of winning against this India side, even in alien conditions.  This should be a highly competitive series, and in truth apart from one disastrous session with the bat (day five can be discounted to some extent because of the scale of the challenge) England have competed fairly well.  Cook observed that winning a couple of tosses would help, and although some will see that as making excuses, he’s actually quite right.  England did have the worst of the conditions here, and the toss is important.  It isn’t too hard to imagine that had England batted first here they could be now celebrating a win.

The bowlers have done pretty well overall; although England didn’t have a good day with the ball on day one of this match, that can happen and does happen. They don’t look out of their depth at all, neither the seamers nor the spinners.  Could they be better?  Absolutely they could, but there’s little point in engaging in wishful thinking – England need to cut their cloth according to what they have.  And what they do have is a leg spinner who is a definite weapon, two off spinners who are competent enough, and four seamers (one of whom sits out) who are actually very good.

The batting has been an issue, but not because of an inability to score runs, but because of the tendency – not at all new – to fall in a heap in combination once in a while.  That’s shown by the nascent series batting averages to date, four players averaging over 50, and only Duckett genuinely struggling.  The implication that it’s all his fault is ludicrous.  What England need to do – and there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever why they shouldn’t – is put together partnerships so they compile a good team score.  Easy to say, harder to do, but not something that they are incapable of achieving at all.

India haven’t lost at home since England’s last tour here four years ago, and while it’s a big ask for them to repeat the feat, the idea that England are hopelessly outclassed is nonsensical.  If they play well, they have every chance of levelling this series.  England are not even close to being a great side, but then neither are India.  The overreaction to England wins is nauseating.  The overreaction to England defeats deeply irritating.

All of which means the match review ultimately amounts to one sentence:  England ost the toss, had a bad day or so and it cost them the Test match.   Better luck next time lads.



75 thoughts on “India vs England: 2nd Test, day five

  1. thebogfather Nov 21, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    Leggy, a cracking dissection overall!

    I did wonder whether this lil paragraph was shooting arrows at the ECB numbed press?

    ‘Observers on cricket and economists could interchange on each others’ discipline with no discernible difference in accuracy, but it’s not asking too much to hope they would maintain a line and stick to it.’

    Observers (or Guardians) (depends on the over-papered cracks of any session/confession or day of the week/weak)
    Economists or much missed Plagiarist? (oh, his USA election ‘selfry’ erection was a backdoor disciplinary toy ploy – ouch!)

    Yet the ECB/MSM still plough the ‘ok, our good boys lasted’… this acceptance of the paucity in selection and play, is my dismay, so, it should be blasted, despite ‘being in India, the unknown’ – a fallacy that we’ve been presented with, thus it has grown…


  2. BobW Nov 21, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    On The Verdict on Sky, Cook was getting criticism as well.
    As for Duckett I kind of disagree. Sometimes batsmen need to go away and work out their own game to come back as better players. Being dropped in your career is not a bad thing, it offers the player to re evaluate their technique. The problem Duckett and England have here is that he has no other games in which to play himself back into form. England through their selection for the tour as you have pointed out already have no Plan B. You might as well give Buttler a place because he can’t do any worse?


    • Andy Nov 21, 2016 / 3:22 pm

      I read somewhere (counld have been on here and if so – I whole heartedly apologise to whomevers post I am about to butcher), or could be BBC or Guardian.

      There was a list of players who were dropped and came back stronger. The likes of Hayden, Langer, steve Waugh, our own Root.

      There is always a place for someone to go and work ‘on it’. and the flip is also true. Just look at Ballance. He went away and has demonstrable not worked on his game and is no better than before (infact worse as bowlers have his number).


      • BobW Nov 21, 2016 / 3:28 pm

        I guess the problem is when you keep picking and dropping players like they did back in the 90’s. Then you start to create a culture of fear for those who are not established in the team.
        The only other thing I would consider is the state of the pitch at the next ground. If it is more seamer friendly then there is an argument for keeping Duckett since the conditions will be more to his strengths. HIs confidence must be pretty shot right now though.


      • Andy Nov 21, 2016 / 3:39 pm


        I read somewhere else (maybe the Guardian) that it should be a more seamer friendly venue. This was in the context of hoping that Broad would be fit and if so Ansari would be dropped for Woakes.

        I’ve also read they should bring Billings over as he is a specialist spin player so there is perhaps no consensus of what the next venue will play like


    • thelegglance Nov 21, 2016 / 3:54 pm

      On Duckett, the problem is that a mere two Tests ago he was being praised to the skies for his maiden fifty. Now he’s likely to be dropped. Anyone can have two quiet Tests, and although I totally agree that being dropped is no bad thing, this doesn’t seem to me like a considered view that he needs to go and work on something specific.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 21, 2016 / 4:08 pm

      I’ve just read Newman and he has partially blamed “questionable captaincy by Cook” for the loss.

      As you can imagine, I’m a little shocked. Is he ok? Has he been kidnapped? Wow.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Andy Nov 21, 2016 / 3:32 pm

    Just for shits and giggles (and given Indias flying over rate has been mentioned), I thought I would quickly run the numbers. So my fag packet calculation that may or may not be correct suggests that the match over rates (the important one from a match refs perspective remember) were;

    England Bowling = 15.56 Overs per hour
    India Bowling = 18.10 Overs per Hour.

    England did alright (but still no prizes for not getting 90 overs done in a day), however as mentioned – India flew along, so it is evidently possible to get them in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mark Nov 21, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    This will come as no surprise to anyone on here, but I have decided to end any last little lingering support for the England cricket team. The ECB persist with a captain who is a buffoon. He has not improved one iota over the last two years. He is kept in situ for purely political reasons. Cricket has nothing to do with it. Worse still, apparently he can continue as long as he likes. He gets to choose his term of office. Results are irrelevant. We beat a poor Sri Lanka in the North of England in the spring, were held at home against a Pakistan team that has just been well beaten in NZ, and then scrapped a 1-1 against Bangladesh, and are now losing 1-0 in India. We know that even if they lose 4-0 this will be deemed acceptable. They are not fooling anyone but themselves. The English cricket set up increasingly resembles a banana Republic. A dishonest leadership, a clown like leader, and a fawning media who slavishly worship at their masters feet.

    It’s time now for the media to reveal who keeps leaking against their own players. Is it the captain? Or the management? How can you engender trust (Remember Strauss telling us over, and over that trust was so important?) in young players. The media can’t wait to inform the public that either the captain or the management don’t rate them or think they have character defects like fragility? Is this coming from the captain? Or strange forces behind the throne? We need to know the truth, because it has reached a level of toxic proportions. These are the same bunch who told us what KP did in texting opponents was the worst you can do. How is it any worse whispering in a tame media’s ear that one of your own players isn’t up to it? Someone told the media that they think Rashid is fragile or other players are odd. Who the fuck is it? I know who I think is responsible, but I can’t say for legal reasons. If the media had an ounce of integrity they would blow the whistle. They know only too well. But are too craven or cowardly do do so.

    What is tragic Is England have some really good young players who need top level leadership. Both from an inventive, and street wise captain, and senior management who will have their back. Neither is possible in the current set up. The ECB have created a situation where all the success the team achieves is attributed to the captain, and all the failure is blamed on certain players who they don’t like. It’s the very worst type of management. It’s not that we haven’t had bad leadership before, but that was different. Sometimes you just appoint bad captains. This however, is deeply political. They appointed someone for the wrong reasons, and now keep him in the job for the wrong reasons. I’m sick and tired of the lies and the pretences. The lie that he is good at his job. The scapegoating of players who don’t fit in. The double standards are too much to tolerate anymore.

    I hope soon someone in high authority will say enough is enough. The results are not acceptable, and the captain has to go. Then maybe ENGLAND can get the best out of what she has. Until then the captain will just bumble along taking the plaudits for other players efforts,and being blameless for the defeats. Until then I’m done with Bonaparte!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Julie Nov 21, 2016 / 9:19 pm

        Mark, yes me too. Couldn’t agree more🤗


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Nov 21, 2016 / 7:32 pm

      Selvey’s remark that Rashid’s card was marked was not, I believe, an off the cuff remark, as he had Rashid in his sights for ages.
      Selvey has ECB running through him like Blackpool through a stick of rock, after all they created a special award for him for services rendered!
      One of those sleazy bastards tipped him the wink, but, since their pet attack dog was “let go” the “fragile” thing surfaced on a few fronts.
      I suppose it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it does resonate!
      Don’t forget Mark, that after the Difficult Winter…..”we will build our team around our Captain, Alistair Cook”..and they will reinforce that, by any means, to the bitter end!


      • Mark Nov 21, 2016 / 7:43 pm

        Oh yea Dave, that’s my point.

        Selvey didn’t just pull it out of his arse. If he did he is a fraud because then he just made it up about……. “his card has been marked.” No, someone in the set up told him. Also someone has said that he is ” fragile.”

        It’s not just Rashid, it has been going on for some time. The leaks against Bells captaincy when dear leader was under pressure. The sudden concern about Comptons scoring rate. It doesn’t come out of thin air. This is coming from within the camp, I fail to see how this is worse than what KP did. I challenge the journalist to say who is telling them this stuff. They know who in the team are undermining their fellow players, and they are doing nothing about it. I wonder why?

        Maybe the people/person who is doing it is supported by the media. Oh, I wonder who that could be?


  5. SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 4:24 pm

    Today’s highlights from the wonder that is Newman:

    “It is hard to pin too much blame on England for crashing from 87 for one before Alastair Cook’s untimely dismissal on the fourth evening to 158 all out 20 minutes after lunch on Monday as India rammed home their superiority”.

    10/83 doesn’t deserve “too much blame”? As for that “untimely dismissal” I saw that it changed CricViz’s India win probability figure from 84% to 92%. Not exactly crucial, then.

    “After all, the pitch had finally deteriorated to make conditions in Visakhapatnam just as hazardous for batting as facing Mitchell Johnson in Perth”.

    Bit surprised he hasn’t gone full 1980s’ West Indies here – perhaps that’s in the locker for later in the series?

    “There really was nothing Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, to name but two, could have done to avoid dismissal”.

    Fair enough on Stokes – but what was so magical about the ball that got Moeen Ali?

    “What you can blame England for was their indifferent bowling and the questionable captaincy of Cook on the first day”.

    Eh tu Paul? But only after Comma has said Cook has the job until the next Ashes if he wants it…..

    “Those latest collapses mean another change will have to be made and it now seems certain that Jos Buttler will finally be given a chance to prove that he should be in England’s Test team”.

    Newman wants Buttler picked? He’s been keeping that well-hidden.

    “Not that the treatment of Duckett has been England’s only mistake in a year of questionable batting selections”.

    See where this is going?….

    “England started making mistakes when they retained Nick Compton for the early summer Tests against Sri Lanka”.

    That’s cheered the old boy up – give Compton another kicking.

    “It is all very well prioritising one-day cricket with the Champions Trophy and World Cup ahead of us and sending Buttler to the Indian Premier League but he is so gifted that he must join Stokes, Joe Root and Moeen in playing in all formats”.

    Who set the priority? What was his name again? It couldn’t have been someone who we were told again and again had got every major decision right?

    “There is no shame in England being one down here after two Tests – most of us expected it to be 2-0”.

    Managing expectations 101. What did he expect the score to be after three Tests? 4-0?

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebogfather Nov 21, 2016 / 5:45 pm

      Wot? No new newman adulterating himself with adil-do?


  6. thebogfather Nov 21, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    So…India can bowl 18p/h while, as a number of ex-Eng captains ‘jocularly’ accuse Kohli of ‘cluelessness’ for changing field placings after every ball, and being too intense and dramatic in the field…. and our Craptain, exemplifies his steely control and tactical acumen by chewing his granite-hewn fingernails… hmm


  7. nonoxcol Nov 21, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    “And what they do have is a leg spinner who is a definite weapon.”

    Good grief, everywhere you look Adil Rashid is copping abuse. Even here. Shocking.


    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Nov 21, 2016 / 5:50 pm

      I would guess that in this new, enlightened and utterly professional ECB period that they’ve rejected a bid from Clarke’s mate from his prison cell…. after much deliberation of course. Either that or the bid wasn’t big enough nor included sufficient ‘riders’…


      • SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 7:38 pm

        Haigh said after Stanford that the ECB’s concept of “due diligence” was “ability to pay”.

        Still, Wigmore is presumably reporting about the consortium that Lizzy Ammon mentioned at the time and that never seemed to get much coverage elsewhere. I’m still curious how they could have been worse for Durham that what the ECB alternative was.


  8. SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    ‘The Verdict’ has been a waste of time this Test. Willis, Cork and Stewart are too similar.

    One good moment from this last one though: “England need someone who can take the pressure off….. someone at No.4……”.

    Thank you Dominic – we had one but you felt settling your little score was more important .


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 21, 2016 / 6:54 pm

      No vacancies in the middle order. Still a Whitaker era corker. It will never die.


  9. pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 21, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    Maybe, just a little that the worm is turning, though only a little. The fact that the identification of the players and the mish mashing of the schedule to prioritise limited overs cricket suggests that a bit of wires crossing by the middle management is getting called outt. Then again it could just be that the likes of the captain and the director (comma) are just the useful whipping boys for the senior management when things go pear shaped. That was the case for Downton before and Moores at the same time. When it is next time for a bit of a changing of the guard, there’s only so long that you can go without at least finding fault with some of the decisions that their chosen ones have made.

    I reckon, just a little that even if this test tour takes a real bad turn for the worse, that Bayliss has enough credit in the bank for both the Ashes and South Africa tours and the progress of the limited overs sides.


    • thelegglance Nov 21, 2016 / 7:19 pm

      I wouldn’t say I see Bayliss or Farbrace as being a particular weakness or problem with this England side, but I’d be interested to hear the views of anyone who does. The coaches are easy to blame, but they can’t magic better players than are already there. To my eyes they seem to be doing pretty well on balance. The issues I have with the England set up tend to be higher up the food chain.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 21, 2016 / 7:43 pm

        Oh my problem isn’t with either of those two at all, it is with those higher than them largely. I’m actually a bit more sanguine on Cook. Don’t get me wrong I’m no fan of his captaincy nor am I fan of the rubbish that is spewed about him in the media and indeed one or two self important bloggers with regards to the status of his batting, but the reality is that there doesn’t seem to be a case of Root absolutely chomping at the bit to take over the team. I don’t believe in ‘TINA either but unless there is a real nosedive in the form of the test team I just don’t think there will be a change coming in the next few months save for 3 monstrous beatings more this series (I actually don’t think that will necessarily happen as the Indian team isn’t quite at that calibre).


      • man in a barrel Nov 21, 2016 / 7:48 pm

        I agree with leggy here. Surely there should have been a Lions tour taking place at the same time as this Test series so that there would at least be a chance for a batsman to discover form or stake a claim for Test selection. I think that Duckett, who is apparently working very hard in the nets, probably should be rested because he really does seem to be a walking wicket at the moment. There are precedents – eg Gower and Gooch both missed the 6th Test of the 1981 Ashes because Alderman and Lillee were taking their wickets for fun and, of course, J Bairstow was rested after Roach gave him that going over. All of them came back stronger. However, there is no one to replace Duckett with – apart from a guy who is distinctly short of red-ball cricket and who did not exactly cover himself in glory against Yasir and co in the UAE, or the poor unfortunate Ballance. To be honest, I have no idea who the guys could turn to, unless it was one of the discarded openers.


        • Sean B Nov 21, 2016 / 9:42 pm

          Without seeing your comment first MIAB, I’ve just written a fairly long and ranty piece covering something similar. Should be up by the middle of the week, when I’ve removed some of the expletives..


      • man in a barrel Nov 21, 2016 / 7:51 pm

        posted too quickly….The responsibility for this state of affairs has to be laid somewhere in the senior layers of the ECB for devising a ridiculous schedule.


      • BobW Nov 22, 2016 / 10:07 am

        I too agree with the A team tour as well. Should have been one on at the same tine. But then again planning at the top end for these tours has always been poor. It’s about the money and not the players.


      • SimonH Nov 22, 2016 / 10:25 am

        On the narrow point of the Test team’s schedule, 5 Tests in 41 days without any intervening games is exactly the same schedule as India had in England in 2014. In fact, it’s so identical it doesn’t look like a coincidence but that someone may have been making a point.

        India had two warm-up games – against Leicestershire and Derbyshire. While we all had our opinions about using the Bangladesh Tests as warm-ups for India it would be difficult to argue those Tests were worse warm-ups than those two county games.

        The ECB will say that the players wanted to be home for Christmas and many of them prefer nets to a warm-up match. Kevin Pietersen I’ve seen express that opinion for one. In a warm-up game a batsman might be out first-ball or may not face the type of bowling or conditions he needs.

        But….. but…. have they asked the fringe players as opposed to the senior players? A player can always use the nets as well as a warm-up game – but it doesn’t work the other way. Scyld Berry wrote a good piece about the schedule when he compared it to a business itinerary. Businessmen land at an airport, go to the hotel, have their meetings and jet out. No nonsense like getting used to the light or the conditions. Berry’s allowed to criticise the schedule because he named those responsible (Clarke-Collier) and was critical of them when they were in power. If things start to get ugly (they may, they may not – I think India’s batting has a potential collapse in it when Kohli eventually fails and it’ll depend if England can seize that opportunity), any journo who starts blaming the schedule without saying who specifically is responsible, and who hasn’t criticised them before, can do one as far as I’m concerned.


  10. SimonH Nov 21, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    A brief rankings update for those interested:

    India are now over 10 points clear in 1st but there’s a three-way tie between England, Australia and Pakistan for 2nd with SA 1 point behind. The next few Tests can have quite a significant impact on ranking standings even if (as with Adelaide) they are dead rubbers.

    India look well entrenched at No.1 for some time with more home Tests coming up and some of their poor away results from a while back going to be wiped off. It’s probably fair enough that there’s very little to choose between the other four although I feel SA are on a steadier upward curve with the other three teams more crazily inconsistent (Pakistan looked to have established some consistency but then lose to WI and to NZ).



  11. man in a barrel Nov 22, 2016 / 12:18 am

    As justice cocklecarrot said, “Sometimes justice doesn’t have to be done, it has to be seen to be believed”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. AB Nov 22, 2016 / 9:59 am

    The bit I don’t get, is that you would only have to look at Duckett and Ansari in the nets to realise that they’re not test cricketers. Neither has the technique or game plan to prosper at this level – particularly not in challenging game situations on difficult pitches – and neither does Buttler, for that matter.

    Any idiot could see that.

    So the question is, do the selectors not attend net sessions? Or are they genuinely so incompetent that they don’t know what they’re looking at?


    • BobW Nov 22, 2016 / 10:02 am

      I get your point but I’m not so sure. Playing in nets and then being out on the square are two completely different things. The pressure, the fielders, noise and so on. Plenty of cricketers are good net players but not good outdoor players.


    • quebecer Nov 22, 2016 / 3:37 pm

      I think the point was made here before: Duckett is getting out to the same ball. Hadn’t THAT been happening in the nets? Surely some offie net bowler at some point came round the wicket and landed one on leg stump.

      That’s the weird thing about the Duckett situation; we don’t really know about his whole technique yet, only to the off spinner pitching on leg stump. We haven’t been able to analyze any of the rest of his play yet.


      • BobW Nov 22, 2016 / 3:57 pm

        I have to say I haven’t been that impressed with some of the players technique against spin in Asia. Very few use the sweep, neither do they use their feet. You have to be positive against spinners. One of the commentators on Sky was talking about using your feet but always playing the ball on the ground. A fair point.


        • thelegglance Nov 22, 2016 / 4:31 pm

          True enough, yet I wouldn’t underestimate the concern amongst players that they’ll be slaughtered if they are beaten in the flight and stumped.


  13. SimonH Nov 22, 2016 / 10:42 am

    FDP fined for ball-tampering but not banned. That seems a nonsense to me – he’s either got to banned or acquitted. It reeks of compromise. There will be an appeal.

    Presumably all players’ mouths will now be scrutinised? The game allows cortisone and all sorts of other things – and is feeble at detecting those things it doesn’t allow (whatever happened about Andre Russell?) – and is worrying about mints? You couldn’t make it up.

    Geoff Lemon calls out his countrymen and all credit to him:

    I’d add that Australia were about 50/8 in Hobart when that footage was taken. As for the stunt at the airport, the reporter must have known with the matter sub judice FDP couldn’t comment on it so the whole thing was cynical in the extreme.


    • Escort Nov 22, 2016 / 10:47 am

      A penny for the thoughts of the Pakistan board on the FDP verdict.😬😬


      • thelegglance Nov 22, 2016 / 11:11 am

        This is preposterous. Are they going to ban all drinks apart from water as well? Those evil sugary energy drinks are clearly only there to allow people to cheat…


        • BobW Nov 22, 2016 / 11:24 am

          Fred Truman had it right. Pint of beer was the only liquid refreshment he needed…


      • thelegglance Nov 22, 2016 / 11:51 am

        Years ago when my club had an outstanding pacey swing bowler, we’d accidentally on purpose spray the Deep Heat on various trousers. Impossible to get caught, impossible to prove it was anything other than seeping through from the inside.

        Worked though. 😀


      • amit garg Nov 23, 2016 / 12:32 am

        What about the cream, sunscreen or any amount of oil people use for various uses? This law has got to be reviewed and changed. And, while we are at it, why even allow for spit to be applied? leave the ball as is and just rub it if required.. how about adding some specific patch to their trousers for the purpose? ICC might even be able to make money out of it 😉


  14. Tom Nov 22, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    I was right pissed off.

    I managed to watch most of the first four days of the test online on the US Pacific west coast (some of it even in the bar!). I don’t often get the chance to do that and it wasn’t fun watching England do badly, but at least I got to see test cricket again in real time.

    Hameed looks really good and Rashid bowled very well – definitely the best leg spinner I’ve seen play for England. I hope they both get treated well in the next year or so as they both have real talent. Rashid’s googly is exceptional. I was also impressed by Anderson. I thought he was finished, but he bowled well and still has pace. As for Broad, I think I would have selected Woakes instead. His bowling is just as effective in India and his batting is a plus, but doubt it would have changed the result.

    On the final day, I had to fly to Honolulu and hoped I’d catch the evening session when I got there (2-hour time difference from LA at this time of year) but when I finally got online England had already collapsed and lost.

    Oh well, I enjoyed the first four days…


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 22, 2016 / 12:58 pm

      On the final day, I had to fly to Honolulu.

      Don’t get that line in many blogs.

      Cheers Tom!


  15. SimonH Nov 22, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    Nasser Hussain player ratings:

    Not quite as silly as some we’ve seen but –
    1) India won the match by 250-odd runs or 50-odd overs.
    2) India won the player ratings by 78 to 71.

    Three or four England players are over-marked by a mark in my book. Or there’s always the whole thing about player ratings being a nonsense…..


  16. thelegglance Nov 22, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    Latest email from the ECB:

    “Vote for your favourite of Straussy’s Top 5 Moments this Summer”

    Who did he call a cunt this year?


  17. Mark Nov 22, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    My favourate Straussy moment was when he told us with a straight face that “Trust” was important.

    It’s still funny,………as the insiders leak to their media chums that certain players are fragile.

    Just smell the Trust and loyalty from the ECB.


  18. SimonH Nov 22, 2016 / 3:00 pm

    Comma’s had a bit less to say after this match than the last one.

    Meanwhile, India recall Bhuvi Kumar and drop Gambhir:

    Kohli’s alleged ball-tampering won’t be investigated. I’m astonished…..

    On the Botham-Hussain-Atherton review of the last day, Ian Ward asked Hussain if England batted too slowly and Hussain said it was up to every individual to find the correct tempo. That’s quite clearly not true because Cook said that a blockathon was the team strategy that had been agreed. I wonder what Root and Stokes, in their heart of hearts, thought about it?


    • Mark Nov 22, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      It does appear the ICC is dispensing justice very much according to how big and powerful a team is. I don’t think any captain from the big 3 has been banned for slow over rates. Mint gate seems to be changing into what brand of mint will get you in trouble. SA mint vs Indian mint.

      By the way, remember jellybean gate a few years ago when jelly beans were thrown on the pitch. Makes you wonder why they had them them in the pockets? Sugary sweets again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sri Grins Dec 26, 2016 / 10:23 am

        Factually wrong. MSD was banned at least twice if not more. It is only cook who has not been penalized despite everyone knowing that England slow down over rates below 15 when things are not working for England.

        Virat not being pulled up was i think due to lapse of time from when it happened to when an offence should be filed.


    • AB Nov 22, 2016 / 4:26 pm

      Seemed an odd team to pick to then attempt to engage in a five sessions of stonewalling.

      As odd as it sounds, I honestly think we had a better chance of winning that game than drawing it.


      • thelegglance Nov 22, 2016 / 4:30 pm

        It does sound counterintuitive, but I think you might be right there. At least once Cook had gone, although the way the openers played (no criticism from me for that) rather removed that option on day five.


    • d'Arthez Nov 22, 2016 / 4:38 pm

      What a surprise. It is only cheating if the “minor powers” do it. This is simply exhibit #257189 of why the ICC as it is currently constituted is not fit for purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Nov 23, 2016 / 6:05 am

        Now the convenient excuse is that they got access to the footage too late. How very convenient. So in effect Faf lost his match fees, because of some spoilt brats in Australian media, who could not even be bothered (naturally), to air similar footage of David Warner in the same Test.

        I wonder how thorough the ACSU is, with regards to “cheating” – after all it is supposedly changing match results, is not it?

        I suppose it has never happened before that when someone cheats on an exam or in professional life, that they won’t be penalised long after the event. Maybe we should get a second opinion from the Plagiarist.

        But lesson learned: it is only cheating when someone in the whiny media sends some evidence to an overpaid and otherwise wholly superfluous ICC official within 5 days. If it is later than that, the entire action was fully legitimate. And people think DRS is difficult to understand …


  19. BobW Nov 22, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    Atherton was fined for ball tampering so I guess the form is there. (albeit the fine was from Illingworth)


  20. SimonH Nov 22, 2016 / 6:53 pm

    Pretty much the A Team on Switch Hit and some good analysis (mainly from Mark Butcher) but –

    “The most encouraging defeat for England I’ve seen”? Oh George….

    Plus the claim that the two teams are very close if you take out Kohli must introduce #viratmaths.
    Take the opposition’s best player out and they aren’t as good – who’d’ve thunk it?


  21. SimonH Nov 23, 2016 / 9:31 am

    Fitness news on Broad doesn’t sound good (foot has flared up and he’s got sickness as well). India’s heavy schedule has finally taken a toll and Saha’s out.


  22. Mark Nov 23, 2016 / 11:04 am

    A good article by Tim Wigmore on the fate of Durham, and why The ECB have a lot to answer for. Sure Durham have made some mistakes, but much of their predicament is down to them being encouraged/bullied into making their ground fit for test matches. Then being granted test matches that were non commercial and held in the sping.

    The whole story stinks to high heaven, and there is a nagging feeling that Durham are being punished ,and made an example of for reasons the ECB won’t admit to. (The wrong type of opinions on a certain 20/20 competition that the ECB pravda have been pushing) The punishment is completely over the top, and has to be seen as both vindictive and suspicious.

    No counties should bid for test matches in future, Instead they should charge the ECB for the bennefit of holding test matches. The ECB and team England have no grounds, so they should pay for the privilege not the other way round. Especially as many of these test matches are not attractive commercially.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Nov 23, 2016 / 6:26 pm

      Who gave him this understanding? Any guesses?


      • Mark Nov 23, 2016 / 7:31 pm

        The same voices in his head that said Rashid is fragile.

        And if it’s not the crazy voices in his head, but a certain coach who used to be in the England set up, then watch out Aussies. We have gone throught this leaking sewer for a long time. It poisons everything!


  23. Mark Nov 23, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    I had to laugh at this claptrap…….

    “Andrew takes over from Zac Toumazi at Hove in January and was picked from 50 applicants for his “transferable skills,” according to Jim May, the Sussex chairman.”

    I wonder how many of the other 50 applicants knew the criteria for the job was “transferable skills?” Whatever that means? Or how many of them qualified by working for the RFU so could “transfer” across. I doubt any of them.

    This smacks of jobs for the boys. Sporting bidies always appoint the same sort of people, from the same narrow backgrounds.


  24. man in a barrel Nov 24, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Mark, Rob Andrew does have experience of first class cricket, at least, unlike some of the other people who have crossed sport frontiers, eg when Sir Clive Woodward tried a spell managing a football club.


  25. man in a barrel Nov 25, 2016 / 12:37 am

    just saying that I think Rob Andrew makes Giles Clark look like a paragon of virtue


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