India vs England: 3rd Test, Day Three

If yesterday was a good one for England, hauling themselves back into contention having wasted first use of a flat pitch on the opening day, then today was the antithesis.  It’s all very well to lament the advantage India had in the last match in winning the toss, and there’s no question at all that it very definitely was an advantage.  But you have to make use of it.  India did and England didn’t.

Day two was certainly a recovery, and at the start of play there would have been hopes that the damage done could be contained; bowling India out fairly cheaply would have evened up the game and allowed England a chance to win the match.  As it turned out, it wasn’t quite a horror day, but it wasn’t too far off.

Ashwin, Jadeja and Yadav all cashed in on a surface that remained placid, with the England bowlers unable to get much purchase.  Eventually, they reverted to attempting to bowl dry, with a degree of success sure, but by then the damage was done.  Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid were once again the pick of the bowlers, the former ultimately picking up a five wicket haul with the two of them taking all nine to fall to bowlers.  The temptation will be to blame the bowlers, which would once again be an example of making them responsible for the failures of the batsmen.  417 is far more than they would have felt India would score in their bleakest moments, but it’s still nothing more than around par for the conditions.  Bowling dry can work sometimes, but with so much time remaining, India were perfectly content to accumulate, while England looked a team out of ideas.

If a deficit of 134 was about 100 more than England would have hoped for, a difficult position was not beyond redemption.  The pitch remains flat, with little spin and little movement.  The occasional ball is keeping low, but nothing more than could be expected on day three.  There is the pressure of the situation to take into account, certainly, and India’s spin attack is overall better than England’s.  This is no surprise, and is as it should be given the native conditions in the respective countries.  Rashid has been excellent, Moeen and Batty a bit limited, though it’s worth noting that kicking stool Moeen has over twice as many wickets this series as specialists Batty and Zahari combined.  Moaning and complaining about them is as pointless as moaning and complaining about the conditions themselves.  What do those whining expect?  A sudden superstar off spinner to appear over the horizon?  There aren’t any, and while a case can be made that others represent a marginal improvement (Adil Rashid is rather more than that – not that it would have been apparent from the slating he received from those who should have known better), it doesn’t mean that these matches would be radically different, and nor does it alter the truth of the matter that England’s problems in this series are down to the batting not the bowling.

Being so far behind didn’t mean England were completely out of the game, they just needed to bat well to give themselves some kind of chance.  And once again they fell short.  Cook is a terrific player of spin bowling and has been throughout his career, and it is only two Tests ago he scored a fine hundred.  Yet he’s also a player who can look thoroughly out of sorts in no time, and here he was all at sea more or less throughout his innings, twice surviving reviews before being bowled through the gate by Ravi Ashwin.  Cook is getting stuck on the crease, neither properly forward nor back, and feeling for the ball.  In this case he was beaten by the flight and simply played down the wrong line.  For England to be truly competitive in this series they needed Cook to bat exceptionally well.  It’s not worked out that way.

With Hameed injured, Cook’s opening partner was Joe Root, and despite some issues with his back, he proved to be the only light amid the gloom of an entirely expected clatter of wickets.  After Cook’s dismissal it was Moeen Ali’s turn.  There’s a curiosity that should come as a surprise to no one, in that Moeen tried to use his feet, was thoroughly beaten in the flight by Ashwin, and chipped it to mid on.  Not a great shot by any means, but the usual queue of suspects lined up to attack someone for apparently being irresponsible when they get out using their feet.  Given how thoroughly stuck England became against Jadeja and Ashwin in particular, almost strokeless at times, the intent was correct, if the execution was flawed.  Immediately, Moeen was heavily criticised.  The problem is this – it’s that a player who hasn’t exactly had a great tour with the bat but has scored not far off a thousand runs this year with an average in the mid forties is once again being singled out for criticism based more than anything on the fact that he was out to an attacking shot rather than a defensive one.   Cook’s shot was at the very least just as poor, and probably worse, but it was a defensive one, and therefore given a free pass.  Any batsman will say that they hate being out to a defensive shot most of all, for it is a concession of defeat to the bowler.

With Moeen’s dismissal in came Jonny Bairstow, a mere 20 overs after he’d stripped off the wicketkeeping pads.  It certainly doesn’t follow that his failure to score an unbeaten triple century is due to that, but there’s a reason keepers tend not to bat high up the order – it’s difficult.  He looked decent enough though, and was undone by one that kept low from Jayant Yadav.  Bairstow did pretty well to get an edge off it, and no blame can be attached to him.  Where he was unlucky was in Parthiv Patel taking an outstanding catch behind the stumps.  It’s been a regular on here to whinge about the cluelessness of most commentators bar the obvious exceptions when it comes to the life of the man with the gloves.  “Good catch” was about as far as the praise went, although James Taylor in the studio afterwards certainly got it, making up for the lack of effusiveness in the comm box.

The reason why the catch was so good is because it was low.  It might not seem to be a big thing, as coming up with the ball is an article of faith amongst all wicketkeepers.  The trouble is that all human beings anticipate based on what they expect to happen rather than what actually does.  It’s why batsmen edge or miss the ball when it seams, spins or doesn’t spin – anything different to what he might expect.  When coming up, it’s far easier to cope with additional bounce, as that’s the direction of travel for the hands anyway.  If the ball keeps low, then changing direction is nigh on impossible given the miniscule time between noticing the bounce and having to catch it.  As a keeper it always amused to be praised highly for taking a catch stood up where it bounced more than expected – it looks magnificent, but it isn’t that special a catch.  Taking one low down like that is a truly fabulous piece of technique.  Patel will be fully aware of how good his catch was, and his celebration made it clear that he rated it.  It’s a shame not too many others do, for it was better than any number of spectacular diving one handers.

Stokes was the final man out today, again beaten by Ashwin who has bowled beautifully.  He’s simply been too good today.

It’s hard to see how England will get out of this. It’s not easy to see how they will even make India chase more than a nominal total.  It’s possible, for while Root is in all possibilities are there.  But it will require him to get a very large score indeed, and at least one of Hameed and Buttler to do very nearly the same.  Possible doesn’t remotely equal plausible, and the expectation has to be that India will go dormie two some time in the middle of day four.

Day Four Comments Below


103 thoughts on “India vs England: 3rd Test, Day Three

  1. man in a barrel Nov 28, 2016 / 12:40 pm

    I suggest that a significant factor in building pressure on the English batters has been the rate at which Jadeja and Co get through their overs. The batsmen never get any respite. It also means that the team doesn’t have to do the kind of overtime that the English team does.


  2. Rooto Nov 28, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    Very good analysis. I wonder how much Moeen’s dismissal came from his left-handedness. It seems Ashwin tied our left-handers up in knots, and Moeen decided to be more proactive.


  3. SimonH Nov 28, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    I think there is more than enough blame to go around the batsmen and the bowlers.

    Let me take two of the bowlers:
    1) Chris Woakes – this is just the kind of performance that those of us who always doubted Woakes as a Test bowler had in mind. In home conditions, and against weaker batting sides, he can look good. Away from home, and against better batting line-ups, and there is a distinct lack of threat. I’d be extremely concerned about him in Australia next winter. I’d also be concerned that his bulking-up and gaining pace will be accompanied by a loss of swing (as happened at a lower level to another Warwickshire player, Neil Carter). England’s dream was that he’d be the new Anderson but with better batting and without the stroppiness – and it is a dream. Talking of whom….
    2) James Anderson – took 21-4-48-0. These are bogus respectable figures IMO – and I bet nobody in the MSM will call him out on it. Anderson has perfected a method in Asia that he started in the UAE. He hides the ball outside off-stump and patient batsmen wait it out and cash in elsewhere. That was enough for some journos to declare it the greatest English seam-bowling ever seen in Asia (better than Botham’s 13wm in 1980 apparently). Anderson ends up with a good ER but doesn’t the No.1 strike bowler (who gets the new ball and choice of ends) need to be thinking more about the SR? The Indian seamers (neither exactly Wasim and Waqar) have attacked the stumps and found uneven bounce and reverse-swing and took 5/121 in the first innings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Nov 28, 2016 / 1:58 pm

      I did think about that, but it was long enough as it is. My premise is usually on the basis of “why are we in this position?”, and it’s not because the bowlers didn’t have an exceptional day – which is the danger of going after them. They weren’t fantastic no, but they weren’t awful. The batting has been awful, and that’s why England are in the brown and smelly.


      • metatone Nov 28, 2016 / 2:46 pm

        I feel like there’s a short term view & a long term view to be taken on this. In the short-term, you have to look first at the batting. This was at least a par-350 pitch (and arguably a par-400 pitch) and not getting that is the heart of not being competitive. India’s 417 had some good batting and good character in it, but there’s no “great innings” in there that we’ll be talking about in years to come, they didn’t over-perform with the bat.

        Longer term, I think SimonH is dead right to point out a structural weakness in the bowling attack. (Of course, I would say this, I’ve been banging on about it for years.) And it’s not even a weakness in the spin department, it’s the lack of a front-line seamer you can rely on in these conditions. Stokes has done great as the all-rounder, but the lack of wicket threat from the top of the bowling card is the problem.

        I have a crackpot theory that the reason Broad so often gets injured on tours like this is he tries his guts out to make up for Jimmy being toothless and invariably hurts himself. Unlike SimonH I feel Woakes has developed into possibly being a good replacement for Jimmy at home, but abroad we’re back to the same old problem.

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Nov 28, 2016 / 3:05 pm

        Jimmy on the road is not THAT hot either. In fact, of those who have taken as many or more wickets on the road as Anderson (149, at 35), only Harbhahan Singh has a worse average, slightly more effective in terms of average than Ntini and Ishant Sharma (both around the 37 mark (who have taken just slightly fewer wickets than Anderson on the road). Let that sink in, as a lot of people have derided Ishant Sharma for not being that good.

        If you look at players who have played up to 2010 or later, Anderson is only the 16th best pace bowler in terms of averages on the road (with a minimum of 50 career wickets on the road). Even the likes of Kallis, Zaheer Khan, Southee and Stuart Broad (who is underrated, in comparison to Anderson) have done better than him.

        If we simply look at English bowlers, the only English quick bowlers with worse averages than Anderson (minimum of 50 wickets taken) are Devon Malcom de Freitas and Harmison.

        But I suppose fact-based assessment is increasingly rare in the English MSM. Not saying that Jimmy is bad, but he is not the be-all and end-all of English quick bowling.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 28, 2016 / 3:10 pm

        I think a problem with Woakes is not the pace but his lack of reverse swing. With such an upright action and high arm, I’m not convinced that his natural wrist position is ideal to generate reverse. There was also the non-use of Batty until the 47th over and lack of use of Mo being something else I couldn’t understand.


      • thelegglance Nov 28, 2016 / 3:10 pm

        Small caveat to that, in that Anderson’s record over the last five years away from home is markedly better – 73 wickets at 31.42. Not outstanding of course, but not bad. One of the points with him is that he was absolutely woeful away from home for much of his career, and learned and improved.


      • amit garg Nov 28, 2016 / 3:25 pm

        Try pointing out Jimmy’s away record to anyone in MSM and you will be trolled forever for criticizing an England great. That status unfortunately, does mean an objective assessment of his performance isn’t always possible. He remains great in English conditions but Broad has better credentials (and more skill) in these conditions.


      • d'Arthez Nov 28, 2016 / 3:33 pm

        Slight caveat noted, but then if you look at all 12 pace bowlers (since 1 Feb 2011) who have taken 50+ wickets on the road, Jimmy comes in at #10, only ahead of Siddle and Ishant Sharma in terms of average.

        Ryan Harris, Steyn, Starc, Philander, Morkel all average under 26 in the same period. Broad, Southee, Johnson and Boult, have also done slightly better.

        In terms of SR, Jimmy is #11 out of 12, only ahead of Siddle, and more than 8 balls (57.5 vs 65.8) below Broad.

        Of course we can put in more caveats (eg. Anderson does not get to face Zimbabwe for instance, and all kinds of scheduling concerns), but even on the basis of the stats it is hard to argue that Anderson is the outstanding English bowler on the road, even in the past 5 years.

        Good? Yes, certainly, but definitely not as good as he is made out to be by many in the MSM. That is not his fault. But I would also argue that it is not that far-fetched that whoever replaces Anderson eventually will do just as well as him on the road.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Nov 28, 2016 / 6:18 pm

        Must be a plan for that amount of balls to be missing the stumps. Question is who’s is it? Cook? Coach? Flower? Anderson?


  4. SimonH Nov 28, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    “They” are India:

    Really? Because the track-record of visiting finger spinners in Australia is so good?

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Nov 28, 2016 / 4:31 pm

      It is not like any other side barring South Africa has had a good record in Australia in the last decade, despite all the problems the Australians have had. Sure South Africa exposed them in their own backyard this month. But to be fair, South Africa have been the only visiting team in the last decade to have a good record in Australia.

      Even the second best touring side has just a W/L ratio of 0.272, and that includes two whitewashes …


  5. Mark Nov 28, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    I still think England have an outside chance in this game. We saw in the last test on the final day and in the first India innings here that they can get themselves into trouble. However, for England to have any chance they are going to have to get at least 150 lead. This means the remaining six wickets are going to have bat most of the day tomorrow, unlikely, but not impossible.

    I think Simon is a little harsh on Woakes, but I understand his logic. I think he will be ok in Australia. Who knows in day/night matches (which are the only ones Australia seem to be able to win these days.) By the way, are Australia not being given a massively unfair advantage by being the side that is playing more pink ball cricket?

    Once again the captain of England has only one tactic if wickets are not going down like ninepins. Namely, bowl dry. Can you imagine this tactic against players like Boycott of yester year? They would just block for 3 days. Test cricket would be watched by one man and his dog. The idea of temptation, or giving a carrot to get a reward is a foreign notion to Cook. Everything is done by numbers.

    Finally, my quote of the day has to be (according to Simon) Nasser’s description of Cook as having “mental perfection.” How can any one be perfect? It really is the getting to the time for the men in white coats to come for him. And I am not talking about the umpires.


    • SimonH Nov 28, 2016 / 3:51 pm

      It was about 6am – but he did say it, honest!

      I really don’t enjoy relaying some of the stuff he comes out with, but I know many people are following on TMS and don’t hear the TV commentary.


      • Mark Nov 28, 2016 / 5:06 pm

        Did you see him doing the penalty shoot out with Mike Atherton on the Verdict on Saturday night?


  6. SimonH Nov 28, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    Good batting stat from Ali Martin – India’s Nos. 7,8 and 9 have never made fifties in the same Test innings before.


  7. SimonH Nov 28, 2016 / 4:48 pm

    Newman goes rogue!

    “This was a truly awful day for Cook who saw his tactics badly backfire in the field and then, worryingly for England, batted like a complete novice against spin rather than an expert in Asia before being put out of his misery by Ashwin”.

    Waiting for the “but….. “? There isn’t one, just more of the same (unless one counts a half-hearted whinge about Kohli’s behaviour). Expecting others to be scapegoated? Not yet – although that may come.

    It’s like opening ‘The Communist Manifesto’ and reading “communism isn’t the answer” or finding “the free market is pants” in ‘The Road to Serfdom’. The planets have shifted from the orbits and all that was solid has melted into air.

    Liked by 1 person

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Nov 28, 2016 / 4:54 pm

      I was just about to post the link Simon, I thought to myself “has the worm turned?”…somehow I doubt it, but it’s a start!
      I was wondering if we could have a game of:- things we wished we never said bingo??


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 28, 2016 / 6:55 pm

        The blood letting when he stands down will be on a scale you’ll never see again. Scores settled with those who weren’t in his fan club.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Nov 28, 2016 / 5:03 pm

      Watch out Newman, Ollie Holt is always on standby. Ready to fly in and do the job if you’re not prepared to to do what you are paid for.

      Newman might find himself sitting with Selvey in a London coffee house bemoaning their fate.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rooto Nov 28, 2016 / 6:21 pm

      TINA no more. Martin and Newman both questioning the holy relic’s position on the same day. I’m going to have a couple of beers tonight in the hope that the tide has turned.
      I mean, Jesus Christ!, there really is no need for the ECB to be still fighting the KP war. And therefore no need for the media to still be under rationing, when it comes to real analysis of the team.
      Something good may still come from this sorry batting spectacle. (Though with plenty of time for Cook to ‘recharge his batteries’ after the tour, perhaps I should temper my enthusiasm).


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 28, 2016 / 6:52 pm

        The end is nigh or one shot at redemption next winter? Think it’s up to Cook. The runes are for the former at the moment. Many theories why but being away from his new born must be horrible. More will be said but the ground is being prepared.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 28, 2016 / 7:04 pm

        i reckoned that ever so slightly that the worm was turning when Newman had been critical of Cook in the last test, especially over some of his choices in the first innings when he mysteriously bowled Ansari first of all the spinners and then equally incredulously had an incredibly bare slip cordon in the evening session with the new ball under lights.

        Maybe even more so now but it’s just a shame that they had to wait so long to call him out. They didn’t have to castigate everything that he did, but the lack of a clinical analysis grated so much, but then again I guess we’d have probably been a lot quieter on here………………..


      • SimonH Nov 28, 2016 / 7:24 pm

        I’ve had the feeling Newman’s ticking about the non-selection of Buttler and the refusal to go 4-2 with seamers. What I am surprised about is that he hasn’t directed most of his ire at Bayliss – but that may still come.

        On 4-2, Rob Key was going big on that in ‘The Verdict’. Jake Ball instead of Gareth Batty and England would be winning this (or doing better)? Really? Key is one of those figures whose apparent wide high-regard I’ve never quite been able to grasp (as a pundit I mean). He went on and on about how brilliant Root’s disruption of Ashwin by where he stood as non-striker was. Cork chipped in that Ashwin took three wickets so it didn’t work that well. When Dominic Cork can shoot your argument down in flames without trying, you’re not having a good day of punditry.

        Liked by 2 people

      • man in a barrel Nov 28, 2016 / 9:10 pm

        The thing that puzzled me about Moeen was that I was coached so that if I used my feet and was not in position, to block or pad up. He was in no risk of DRS review that far down the track. Yes, I have seen many people either go through with the shot, as advised by Sir Beef, or make a checked shot… But I saw Gower do that on many occasions, as well as changing his shot and playing all round a delivery when he was 80 odd against Australia and looking set for a big score. It might have been the Willis tour. Moeen fell between about 5 stools


      • SimonH Nov 28, 2016 / 7:38 pm

        Hussain gives England “clumsy” and “sloppy” for what looks like a heavy four-day defeat after winning the toss.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 28, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Didn’t think he went that far at all. There’s the rallying speech that was let down by Woakes. There’s the schedule to blame. There’s the need to see his baby.

      Thought there were plenty of excuses made, to be honest.

      Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel Nov 28, 2016 / 9:04 pm

        The sudden wheeling out of the baby for someone who has a spine of steel is a giveaway. They expect or want Cook to stand down and are offering a chance of a decent withdrawal. I fully expect the obstinate, pig headed, egotistical Chef to decline.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jomesy Nov 28, 2016 / 10:16 pm

        Think my reply got lost somewhere…I’m no Cook fan but the baby issue is no joke. I’d hate being away with a new born baby at home.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 28, 2016 / 10:22 pm

          I don’t underestimate it in the slightest, jomesy. I really don’t.


  8. thelegglance Nov 28, 2016 / 7:13 pm

    The BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominations have just been announced. Flim flam it might be, but once again, no cricketer on the list.

    The game is invisible to the wider public these days.


  9. MM Nov 28, 2016 / 10:00 pm

    I’m looking grumpily at Bayliss.
    Are they listening to him yet unable to do what he says? Or…
    Are they ignoring him? Or…
    Are the crappy tactics his? Or…
    Are there any lights on at all?
    I still think he’s a fake.


  10. man in a barrel Nov 28, 2016 / 11:42 pm

    TBH, I think Bayliss is still banking on his “stranger round here, ignorant foreigner” shtick. It starts to wear thin after a while


    • amit garg Nov 29, 2016 / 1:44 am

      Bayliss is probably smart enough to know that ECB is not an organization he can trust. When things go wrong, as they will, sooner or later, someone is going to look for a scapegoat. He’s just going to let things take their natural course. That way, some people will get found out and be cast aside. Why rock the boat when you are going to be thrown off the boat anyways?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. man in a barrel Nov 28, 2016 / 11:57 pm

    Mind you, I cannot pick Bayliss up on that. Many pundits, such as Pxxxxx Mxxxxx, regard Moeen as a great batsman. After, is it 45 Tests, he strikes me as a tail ender with a high back lift.


  12. dlpthomas Nov 29, 2016 / 5:19 am

    I’m a bit puzzled as to why Hameed hasn’t had an x-ray of his finger. Fortunately for me, Nasser Hussain was able to answer this (and demonstrate why he’s paid the big bucks) – it’s all Hameed’s fault for not taking responsibility for his own performance. Put like that, it makes perfect sense. I mean what teenager in only his third test wouldn’t insist that the team management arrange an x-ray?

    Liked by 1 person

    • oreston Nov 29, 2016 / 5:39 am

      Yes, Nasser has had plenty to say about this – actually saying that since Hameed was (apparently) pain free in the nets yesterday he should’ve manned-up and opened the batting. He was actually critical of the lad for inconveniencing the rest of the team and forcing others to bat higher up the order. Another commentator ventured to inquire whether the captain might not in fact have had a role in deciding when the lad was going to come out to bat. “Not the captain”, was the unhesitating reply. Apparently he’s got too many other things to worry about…

      Liked by 1 person

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 29, 2016 / 6:00 am

        The very same Nasser Hussain who was well remembered for injuring his fingers and missing a fair number of games? Poppadum fingers?


  13. d'Arthez Nov 29, 2016 / 5:31 am

    Looks like India will have to chase something. 132/6, with Hameed (7*)and Root (61*) still there. Woakes, Rashid and Anderson still left to come.

    Buttler played an ODI innings. Great if you’re 200-runs in front and are trying to set up a speedy declaration, not so much in this situation.


  14. SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 6:10 am

    NZ beat Pakistan becoming the first team to take 9 wickets in the last possible session in Test history. It’s their first series win over Pakistan since the mid-1980s (12 series ago).

    The result means England will be 3rd in the rankings even with a loss in Mohali (Australia are second after winning in Adelaide). If England lose 3-0 they fall below Pakistan, lose 4-0 and they fall to 5th behind SA.


  15. SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 6:49 am

    “Absolutely the right way for Buttler to play…… Both Moeen Ali and Buttler were done by brilliant bowling”.

    The usual suspect, the usual point.

    (FTR I’ve nothing against Buttler trying to be positive but he didn’t try to play himself in and there’s no feeling he could have played another way if the situation demanded because his defensive technique just isn’t there – which isn’t good enough for someone playing as a specialist batsman).

    Hussain getting very hissy about criticism of Buttler from one of the Indian comms (think it was Manjrekar – not helped by his comparing Buttler to a certain innings in 2012).


  16. Rooto Nov 29, 2016 / 7:14 am

    Hameed’s first boundary: a slog-sweep, according to cricinfo. A “pull-drive” according to TMS – who can’t imagine Hameed being capable of a slog-sweep… 🙂


  17. SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 7:46 am

    As nobody but nobody would say during the Flower years….

    Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas Nov 29, 2016 / 7:57 am

      This is bullshit – it takes 5 minutes to look at a hand a x-ray. They clearly know what the injury is, they just aren’t saying.


    • amit garg Nov 29, 2016 / 9:21 am

      Just seems to me that some of these folks are now put on notice by their respective employers for lack of credibility…


    • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 9:52 am

      Oh what a tangled web he weaves…

      So why didn’t you hold them accountable then Mr Newman? Instead, for years you have been running defence for the whole system. Mocking those that pointed out all is not quite as great as the ECB would claim.

      But then I didn’t want all the players to come to my birthday party. Access journalism is such a bitch. I guess that’s why they flew Ollie Holt out to do a hatchet job on Morgan. You might have lost your access.


  18. SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 9:35 am


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 29, 2016 / 9:44 am

      BBC hijacks sport? I must have missed that. Did GC tell him to say that. And where is this damn blog? It takes ten minutes to set one up.


    • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 9:46 am

      He just can’t let that bitterness against the BBC go can he? How many years was he given a job on TMS?

      Selvey supported to the hilt the plan of making cricket invisible to the general public. He told people to just buy a dish if they wanted to watch cricket. Seemingly oblivious that many cant aford £600 a year to watch a couple of test matchs. . He was dismissive of the idea that many youngsters just wouldn’t even discover cricket now it’s pay walled off.


    • nonoxcol Nov 29, 2016 / 9:52 am

      On the subject of SPOTY, I’m in total agreement with Selvey. Cannot, cannot, cannot STAND it – watched and enjoyed until 2009. I think there’s something that winds me up about the shortlist every year: this year it’s obvious, even though I’m no cycling fan. The shortlist per se is what made me start to lose interest; Giggs winning ruined its credibility for good in my eyes.

      But my number one bugbear is the composition of the panel that draws up the shortlist. Do a little research on this and you realise just what a farce the bloody award is. This year we have Tanni Grey-Thompson (on the panel EVERY SINGLE YEAR by the way) of course; the usual “two previous nominees” include Giggs, and the “representative of Radio Five Live” is Amy Lawrence, who is without doubt a fine journalist but last time I looked had one specialism. And, lo and behold, two of the three non-Olympian individual nominees are from football. As, almost certainly and with considerably more justification, will be two of the Team of the Year nominees and at least one Coach of the Year nominee.

      I feel sorry for anyone who sits through a show that will be 85% Olympics, 10% football and will spend about 1 minute (combined) on the first 2-2 Test series draw in this country for 13 years and the fourth British TdF win in five years.

      God I hate it.


      • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 10:39 am

        I don’t disagree with you on many of your points about SPOTY. As the BBC has lost more and more sports to broadcast, the show has become more focused on the sports it does broadcast. So as you say, Olympics dominate. I will be interested to see how far down the order golf now goes as they have now lost the Open Championship.

        But that is also true of the average Brit who does not watch sport on a regular basis, Cricket is invisvale to them, so they wouldn’t know Joe Root if they saw him walking down the street.

        I guess the BBC are reluctant to drop the show. I can’t blame them for that. It would be an admission of complete defeat. What I resent about Selvey is his claim that they are conning the public they don’t care about sport. The truth is they can’t afford to pay the rights for all these sports any more. The licence fee would have to go up to £500- £600 a year (a typical sky package) and there is no way either the govt or the public would wear it. Nor should they.

        Selvey has been a great cheer leader for cricket taking the money and eliminating its shop window. It comes down to the old chestnut of money in the hand vs broad covergae. Sport is now a luxury for many people. And judging by some of the viewing figures both here and the U.S. we maybe reaching a limit to what the vast majority will pay for tv sport.

        When I was growing up the BBC had a confidence about the way the covered sport because they had the rights to most sports. Now they don’t, and so they have lost their confidence. Its all about tv rights not conning people. But I would not expect Selvey to understand that as he is wrong about most things.

        Liked by 2 people

        • thelegglance Nov 29, 2016 / 10:44 am

          I always make the point that all the comparable sports – football, rugby union, rugby league – all ensure there is some free to air coverage of their game. It doesn’t matter if it’s BBC or ITV, it’s there and it’s on. More people watched the 4 nations rugby league matches than any Test match in this country. The argument that kids consume online doesn’t mean squat, the introduction to a new sport is often via a parent, and is on television. Nothing that radical has changed. If you were a five year old with an innate interest in sport but didn’t have Sky, which would you look to go and play? It isn’t cricket.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Ian Nov 29, 2016 / 5:37 pm

        The BBC definitely do care about sport. They cover every county match on radio, live comms of non league games, coverage of speedway and other minority sports on radio. No commercial station could or would do this.


    • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 10:00 am

      Whatever you think of SPOTY, and Yes it has huge flaws, I think it’s ludicrous that Selvey should lecture anybody about conning people they care about sport.

      He’s been conning his readers for years about his knowledge about cricket. Arrogantly lecturing anyone who pointed out he was wrong.


  19. amit garg Nov 29, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Game Over! Patel playing a blinder!


  20. Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 10:02 am

    Just as well we won the toss!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 10:03 am

    India win by 8 wickets. Ideal short run-chase innings from Parthiv Patel. The pitch has done next to nothing today and it would’ve been interesting to know what India could have chased (quite a few, I’d guess).

    England seamers bowled a lot of short stuff (94% at one stage according to a TV graphic). That’s either some welcome aggression if you’re Bob Willis and Dominic Cork or a slightly petulant-looking response to Woakes being hit by Shami and losing if you’re not.

    Some talk of Ashwin having a rib muscle injury although he’s claiming it’s improved since Day Two in the post-match chat.


    • SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 10:13 am

      Hameed has to go home, Cook confirms. “He has to have a plate put in his hand”.


      • SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 10:47 am

        Both Atherton and Hussain calling for Billings.


      • Tom Nov 29, 2016 / 10:48 am

        Oh, crap. I was so impressed by his performance in England’s second innings, especially given his age. His late cut off Shami for four was just wonderful.


      • amit garg Nov 29, 2016 / 11:22 am

        Billings? another keeper? Do they really want him to debut in India? And, is he even an opener? I suppose Moeen is still the most likely candidate to walk out with Cook in Mumbai. They are likely to select another batsman who can bowl. I expect Batty to be replaced by Broad but Hameed’s replacement isn’t as clear. Another bowler will make it one too many, when they couldn’t use Batty properly but the existing batsmen in squad are all struggling to put bat on ball.


      • northernlight71 Nov 29, 2016 / 1:02 pm

        A plate? Must be serious then. For a small injury, a teacup would do. Or a little saucer.

        Still, unusual for an injured player to
        1) Actually be treated as if he had an injury and
        2) Be sent for proper treatment and not forced to play the next two games to prove what a “team man” he is. So let’s be thankful for the small victories.


  22. man in a barrel Nov 29, 2016 / 10:48 am

    Just had another look at the pitch maps. In the first innings, the English steamers managed to pitch 6 deliveries in line with the stumps, Six! None at all in the second. They picked up 6 wickets between them. They generally bowled much wider than their Indian counterparts. I don’t think replacing a spinner with another seamer is the answer if they continue with those tactics.


  23. Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 10:51 am

    Why am I paying £50 per month for this Sky anyalasis drivel? Does everybody have to be an ex England player? I have nothing against James Taylor of Paul Collingwood but they are unlikely to say anything interesting or critical. Taylor has just finished playing and knows all the team and Collingwood is still playing county cricket.

    So all we get is “Blah blah blah India is a tough place to play…blah blah other sides struggle in India Blah blah”

    In fairness to Taylor he did point out that England have failed to make 300 in the last 4 innings which is not good enough. It all smacks of conflicts of interest. As usual getting more sense from Mike Atherton.


    • SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 10:59 am

      Although even Atherton’s gone over to “play to your traditional strengths” and wants four seamers.

      There’s not been one word about Anderson and Woakes’ figures in the first innings. Not a word about Moeen Ali either – he really is made of Teflon.

      I’ve actually heard more criticism of Root for not making s second innings’ hundred.

      Liked by 2 people

      • thelegglance Nov 29, 2016 / 11:00 am

        Did you go and make a cup of tea mid discussion Simon? They definitely did talk about Moeen a fair bit. Said he was doing as well as you could expect and made the point that the spinners are a lot more effective if the team scores more than 250.

        As for the seamers, not so much but they agreed that India’s have outbowled England’s.


      • SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 11:08 am

        I did miss a bit!

        Ali averages 28 with the bat (including 24 runs in his last 4 innings) and 41 with the ball in the series so far. That’s not good.

        I know he has some good batting stats for the year – but I’m not sure how relevant beating up SL’s second-choice seamers in an English June is to the current situation.


        • thelegglance Nov 29, 2016 / 11:11 am

          Ha! Well same question I’d always ask – who is going to do any better? The two specialist off spinners in the party have been notably worse than him, so what’s the point in complaining? As for his batting, he’s feast or famine and always has been.


      • SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 12:45 pm

        My point (as it usually is) is more about the media than the team itself.

        Some players just seem immune from criticism. We can (and do, often!) speculate why that is. It is particularly annoying that players deemed mentally-tough don’t have to read all the time that they should be dropped so, hey presto, they can play without fear and confirm their perceived mental-toughness. The reverse of course applies to faces-who-don’t-fit brigade.


    • thelegglance Nov 29, 2016 / 10:59 am

      Unfair on Collingwood. He’s always been outspoken and honest. Of all the recent England players, him and Harmison are the two that speak their minds.


      • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 12:13 pm


        Harmison did, then he suddenly went all on message about how cook should captain the team for the next 5 years. He sounded just like all the rest.

        But why just have only ex players? Or ex internationals? They are hardly going to rock the boat. It’s like football, all ex players. Linekar was arguing on Twitter a month ago with a journalist that only footballers know more about football, and only golfers know about golf and only 100 meter sprinters know about sprinting. It’s bulshit. They may be able to offer expert knowledge, but they don’t always see the bigger picture. And they always see it from the players point of view. Hence why they always clutch their pearls and complain when a manager criticising a player in public. Having said that our current bunch of cricket writers are not much kop. But they chose to act like ex players, and become cheerleaders.

        Players and ex players are often clueless about issues surrounding their sports. Swann didn’t even know how much a test match ticket was. They don’t understand fans, or even respect the fact it’s the fans who pay to go to watch. The better ex players have usually been out of the game for a few years, and have got some distance with the current crop of players. They also have experienced a bit more about life, and are now not protected sportsman where it is all about them and no one else.

        Players are good at playing. It’s not a given they are good at writing or commentating on the game they played. Broadcasters are lazy and just sign up the next ex player looking for a job. It’s all become a bit of a job for the boys junket.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance Nov 29, 2016 / 12:16 pm

          They are allowed to disagree with you, you know. All you can ask is that they give their views. Those two do.


      • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 12:23 pm

        Of course they can disagree. But they all sound the same to me. Endless cliches and platitudes. I bet they don’t talk like that when they are off air. (What did Strauss call KP when he thought he was off air?) it’s all bulshit.

        In fact it’s common knowledge that most football pundits, ex players are all shouting at the screen while the game is on, and then at half time they put their expensive jackets on, and start sounding like the Woman’s institute. They are not worth the money.


  24. Cricketjon Nov 29, 2016 / 11:30 am

    Selvs approach reminds me of one of those blokes in their mid 60s remortgaging the house and going on endless cruises and then leaving fuck all to the children and when questioned on it would say what’s that got to do with me…it’s the transparency that gets me


  25. Rooto Nov 29, 2016 / 11:34 am

    Was it this summer that there was all that fuss over Anderson having a wicketless match for the first time since I don’t know when? He’s just had another, hasn’t he?


  26. man in a barrel Nov 29, 2016 / 12:07 pm

    Anderson bowled just 24 overs in the match, fewer than Stokes. Normally Cook tends to use him more than anyone else. Are they consciously trying to manage his workload ? He might not be fully match fit, after all, Jadeja and Ashwin seemed to play him with comfort. If he bowls like this in Mumbai, I am afraid I will start to suspect that he is carrying a “niggle”.


    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 29, 2016 / 12:45 pm

      If we had a top keeper I’d love to see him (post new ball) bowling mid to late 70s with the keeper standing up. Of course this would need to see him bowling fuller and straighter but would offer an interesting option mid-innings when we are short of ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

    • rpoultz Nov 29, 2016 / 12:54 pm

      I think it has to do with Anderson, and perhaps Cook to an extent, protecting Anderson’s figures and stats. The way he bowled in this test and consistently bowled outside off stump instead of looking to attack and take wickets was really poor from the supposed strike bowler in the side.


      • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 29, 2016 / 1:01 pm

        This was mentioned earlier in the game so I looked out for it. I think the idea has some merit. For all he can do with the ball there wasn’t much pro-activity or creativity in his bowling. He can’t be in the team as a stock bowler bowing dry…


      • rpoultz Nov 29, 2016 / 1:26 pm

        I think it does. I personally think it goes back to Perth 2013 when Bailey gave him the long handle in that one big over. Since then his mode of bowl appears to have changed. Now it seems he wont bowl when the runs are flowing for the opposition or operate without a defensively minded field, even when early in the innings.


      • SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 3:56 pm

        According to ‘The Verdict’ (or Willis and Cork specifically) it was all the fault of the spinners. They were so rubbish that the seamers had to do all the stock bowling and were too tired to bowl any bouncers!

        Liked by 1 person

      • whiterose76 Nov 29, 2016 / 6:42 pm

        The Verdict is just tosh today. Indians seamers fresher? Overs so far this series – Shami 103, Yadav – 95. Stokes 76, Anderson 59, Broad 62, Woakes 61 – the last three have all had a game off.

        Liked by 3 people

  27. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Nov 29, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    I think the pitch is worthy of comment here. The better spinners and faster bowlers got plenty from it (the latter through bounce and reverse swing) but good batsmen could score if they applied themselves. It changed through the game but remained a fair balance at any one time. All the talk of Indian wickets isn’t this worthy of comment?

    The one type of bowler who hasn’t really prospered (outside of mediocre off-spin) is your classic English medium-fast seamer and it is indeed notable that the Indian quicks are outperforming ours this series. We seem to have strength in depth for 84mph seamers of a certain type but still struggle to produce real pace or the unerring accuracy of a McGrath or Pollock.

    Very impressed by Hameed, startled to hear he has been criticised. With Cook in such poor form we now effectively have one specialist batsman to make runs, which is quite something. The balance of the team by the next Test could be 2 batsmen, 3 keepers and 6 all-rounders…

    Nothing against Sam Billings (in fact I think he is an under-utilised resource for England) but where did his rep for being good at playing spin come from? Presumably not dry turners at Canterbury?


    • northernlight71 Nov 29, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      That oak tree on the outfield really dries out the pitch you know. The locals call the St Lawrence ground “little Mumbai.”


    • Benny Nov 29, 2016 / 1:59 pm

      I managed to watch some of the cricket live (strange night). Umesh was bowling around 90 mph and Shami mid 80s. At the start of India’s second innings, Anderson roared in at 80.

      Also noticed that our batsmen’s method for dealing with the bouncer is the top edged hook to a fielder, Hameed being the exception. Didn’t England (especially Prior) play the same way against Aus not long ago? What is our batting coach up to?


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Nov 29, 2016 / 3:11 pm

        The Indian seamers have bowled pretty well all series and have had a better impact comparatively, and Umesh has suffered at the hands of his own fielders. England’s bowling dry tactics have been pitiful. I know Woakes doesn’t have reverse swing in his armoury but he’d have been better off bowling more short stuff as well as bowling straighter for one.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. thebogfather Nov 29, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    So many thoughts spinning around in the dustbowl of my mind… I can’t even begin to comment.
    With a bit of a breather and so many selection questions needing answers before the next Test – can we have a Pataudi Panel 2?


  29. man in a barrel Nov 29, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    Blimey, on the Verdict, Nasser has criticised Chef’s captaincy


    • thebogfather Nov 29, 2016 / 3:39 pm

      The ‘media’s’ self protectionism for having any credibility has obviously received an ECB leak… oops sorry, I meant some in-depth ‘good journalism’ is taking place as is the norm…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 3:42 pm

      I just fell over. Got up, and fell over again.

      Some are suggesting that Cook is coming to the end, maybe the redemption tour down under next winter being his last. So perhaps some of the pundits feel they can speak out now. I find it a bit hard to believe to be honest. As Dmitri said, Newman still found plenty of excuses.


      • thebogfather Nov 29, 2016 / 4:08 pm

        I posted here a few months ago that the ‘Daily Heil’ were looking at cost cutting their in-house journo’s, and that newman may be due to follow Delboy, Bunkers and Selfry into the abyss. Perhaps those ECB leakers have been afforded some ‘good journalism’ in return, so now newman is now the next irrelevant and isn’t being spoon-fed the happy-clappy news anymore…either that,or Steely-Jaw is using someone else to er, um, ghostwrite his next book?


    • SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 3:58 pm

      He also said there isn’t much between these teams and it’s just an accumulation of “tiny, tiny” mistakes.

      Defeats by nearly 250 runs and 8 wickets that is….


  30. SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    Bob on ‘The Verdict’ wanted Bell. However journalist equipped with ESP knows this would be a mistake:


    • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 4:44 pm

      There he goes again. How does he know that? How was it clear last summer?

      I’m not sure going back to Bell is the answer, but that is a different issue from whether Bell is rejecting the ECB.


      • oreston Nov 29, 2016 / 6:37 pm

        In fact Bell professes to be more than eager to answer the call, if it ever comes. Surely he can be forgiven for needing some time out after a full decade of England service? Not to consider a player with over 7,000 test runs under his belt would be criminal, particularly with things as they are right now. It’s hardly as though the middle order has been either stable or successful since he was dropped. But no, Selvey (or is it Andrew Strauss?) has spoken.

        “Ian Bell: Warwickshire captain refreshed and still eyeing England future”

        Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Nov 29, 2016 / 6:31 pm

      I love the way that you can play over 100 Tests, top the averages during your country’s most successful period in recent years, tour at least one country for eight winters in a row, and yet because you might understandably be a tiny bit demotivated by a first summer in thirteen back wholly in the county game, you “just don’t want it”. Empathy is limited to a select few players, as usual.

      I’m not saying bring him back, but since when was a long Test career less important than county runs in assessing someone’s fitness for tough Test opposition? See also [REDACTED] in 2015…

      Liked by 1 person

  31. SimonH Nov 29, 2016 / 4:54 pm

    The Newman that went rogue yesterday has not yet been herded back on to the reservation:

    “It may be premature to consider the captain’s position with this series still alive and with his side facing a team who have not lost at home in four years but Cook is aware the clock is ticking towards the right time to hand over to Joe Root. And a 4-0 defeat here, while not totally unexpected, would certainly make what was due to be a routine de-briefing with Andrew Strauss at the end of this series a far more significant and important meeting for Cook”.

    It’s not quite “In the name of God, go” but by Newman standards…..

    And buried in there is this little bombshell –

    “The England captain, who is given the final word on selection”


    • Mark Nov 29, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      How many past England captains have suffered both a 5-0 & a 4-0 defeat? And survived as captain?

      It may be premature for Newman, but not for me. Although I agree Simon, we have reached a danger level if even fleet streets most loyal are turning. Maybe we won’t lose 4-0, but I still believe if Cook wants his redemption and testimonial tour he will get it. That is not the way it should be.

      As to the final word on selection we kind of knew this when the coach said Alastair’ gets what he wants. Although I’m not sure he wanted Compton or even Rashid at the beginning.


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