India vs England again. Preview

So England are back, for the money element of the tour.  Players have cut short their Big Bash contracts and flown over, and the cricketing world sighs and tries to muster up the slightest interest in affairs.  It is always the case that if the ODIs are placed after the Tests they feel like an afterthought in terms of the itinerary, yet for England it’s all there is for the next six months in the run up to the Champions Trophy. Much of the domestic comment has centred around the return of Eoin Morgan as  captain having elected not to go to Bangladesh, with the usual barbs aimed at him for that decision by those can often pick and choose their tours as journalists without anyone noticing or offering comment.  More than one senior cricket correspondent has sent someone else to cover a series they didn’t fancy in the past.

Hales too returns to the side, with none of the criticism that Morgan received, but with the same degree of media pressure to perform having taken the same decision.

The ECB created and agreed an itinerary over the next 18 months that only a sadist could take satisfaction in, so it’s rather startling to see two warm up matches before the relatively short three ODI series (plus 3 T20s).  Given the lack of anything approaching a warm up before the Test series – unless the Bangladesh Tests were considered so – it goes from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Of course, at the same time there is the matter of Alastair Cook’s captaincy to be resolved.  Nick Hoult at the Telegraph has a good record of calling things correctly in recent times and seems of the opinion that Cook will go.  Equally, all the indications are that it is Cook’s decision, which remains a peculiar state of affairs for someone for whom captaincy has been anything but a natural skill.  When the decision finally comes, it seems almost certain that the press coverage will be vaguely equivalent to that for a deceased monarch, and nothing else quite sums up the total disconnect between the ECB media corps and reality, to that created by talking about a captain in awed tones who has done nothing to warrant it.  Some may love him, some may hate him, but by no objective measure can his tenure be called any kind of unqualified success.  The adoration remains what it always has been – deeply strange.  The difference in media approach to Cook and Morgan is all the more striking given that of the two captains, the latter has had much the better record over the last two years.

For the ODI series itself there are few surprises, the squad currently more or less picks itself, and the interest will be in seeing whether they cope with Indian conditions any better than their Test playing colleagues.  In their own conditions India must be favourites, but England remain a threat to anyone in one day cricket.  The question is whether anyone here will even notice.  The Big Bash coverage has been mostly on BT Sports but with some matches on Channel 5.  To date no viewing figures have been announced, but it has to be likely those numbers will be higher than anything the England team get locked away on subscription TV.  In one sense, it is to be hoped they are, for it would at least demonstrate there’s an interest in the sport.  If not, cricket really is doomed in Britain.

English cricket is in something of a holding pattern this week.  Whatever happens, there’ll be a lot more to write about soon enough.

 

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170 thoughts on “India vs England again. Preview

  1. Sri Grins January 10, 2017 / 2:52 pm

    England’s ODI Team looks good.I watched quite a bit of the match vs Ind A. Bowling, Batting & Fielding were good & with Root not playing today, the team with him added on is bound to be a good bet in future tournaments

    Like

    • quebecer January 11, 2017 / 3:09 am

      Sri, what did England’s bowling look like?

      Like

      • quebecer January 11, 2017 / 3:09 am

        Ooops, that cut me off. Any detail you can give?

        Like

      • Sri Grins January 11, 2017 / 2:22 pm

        Willey was good. troubled the openers. Woakes was better than in tests. Ball didn’t impress. Moeen was very good. Rashid & Dawson not good enough.

        So 2 good bowlers (Willey/Ali), 1 average (Woakes despite MSD last over 23) & 3 poor.I assume that the bowling attack would change in the regular ODIs. If they do, it is a big risk

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sri Grins January 11, 2017 / 2:24 pm

        if they do play these six bowlers, it is a big risk

        Like

      • quebecer January 11, 2017 / 9:50 pm

        Thank you Sri. Yep, I’m worried about our bowling. I think we have the batting to be able to chase down a score or two during the series, but I had a feeling we are a couple of bowlers short,

        Like

      • Sri Grins January 12, 2017 / 11:10 am

        Second match, English bowling doing badly. Of course, it is only a trial match but our hoped for version of QDK made 59 of 36 balls.

        Like

  2. SimonH January 10, 2017 / 3:49 pm

    England win, Morgan fails and Billings top scores….

    It’s like all Newman’s Christmases have come at once.

    Like

    • Sri Grins January 10, 2017 / 3:53 pm

      :-). Next year’s advance Christmas gift?

      Like

    • Sri Grins January 10, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      or rather this year’s?

      Like

    • hatmallet January 10, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Billings will still make way. England did the same last winter when Taylor scored a century in SA – he didn’t play any of the 5 actual ODIs.

      Long-term, England may want Buttler to take over as captain after the Champions Trophy – at which point Morgan may have to settle for being a squad player.

      Like

      • jennyah46 January 10, 2017 / 8:13 pm

        It will be either Buttler or Root if Morgan fails to deliver with the bat. Buttler has done the job in Morgan’s absence and he did it well. Root will have enough to do should Cook step down. I can’t see any reason to land Root with the captaincy of all 3 formats. Leave it to Buttler, the white ball specialist.

        Like

      • Mark January 10, 2017 / 9:18 pm

        With all due respect Jenny, Butler captained the team on one tour so far against Bangladesh. Hardly a resounding test of his ability as on field captain. I’m sure in time he will replace Morgan, but you are sounding like Newman who wants to push Morgan out the door as soon as possible.

        Morgan accepted the kind offer the ECB made him to decide if he wanted to tour Bangladesh. He chose not to go. The ECB media then changed the rules and pretented he had to go. In doing so, making complete morons of themselves. Ollie Holt made himself a laughing stock with his Tom Brokaw imitation.

        However, if your card has been marked in team ECB as his has you are in borrowed time. He has to score runs,,otherwise he gets binned. If you’re Cook, you can fail and fail and fail. It’s all about face fitting.

        Like

    • "IronBalls" McGinty January 11, 2017 / 10:57 am

      This Morgan debacle, cum witch hunt really grinds my gears! Arguably the finest short form skipper England have been lucky to have! A dynamic, motivated leader, with a sharp cricketing brain, honed in Franchise leagues. Turned the team around swiftly from utterly hapless, under an utterly hapless skipper, into potential world beaters, playing exciting, attacking cricket, and he has all the shots!
      He’s Irish…so what! A chimp could skipper for me if it won us a global title!
      He doesn’t sing the National anthem…neither do I…it’s about as inspiring as Cook’s captaincy on a fourth day at Headingley
      He’s intelligent, very articulate, and very much owns himself..great qualities as a leader….the biggest sin of all to those steeped in the Establishment philosophy and ideals
      Never gets the “form is temporary” hospital pass because of all the above!

      Cook, good opening bat, when on form…absolutely none of the above…in many cases the very opposite…”stay as long as you want”

      Liked by 4 people

      • Mark January 11, 2017 / 12:17 pm

        Brilliant, and also reveals what a bunch of c**** the English cricket media are. Because they would never write what you have just said. Not one of them would have the integrity or knowledge & intelligence to write a piece that is based purely on a players strengths, and ignore the superficial bullshit they are indoctrinated to talk about.

        Instead, they have to dress up all their bullshit in fake patriotism, and lies. And yes they are fake patriots. ( never forget it was the Mail who brought Zola Budd over at the time of apartheid to run for the UK) so enough about using a place of birth as a a slur when it suits.

        What the pigmy media can’t stand is it was in fact Morgan, not Cook who turned round English cricket. He brought in a much more aggressive style, and a much more dynamic attitude. And before the lying whores of the media claim it was Strauss………Always remember Morgan had already turned things around before Strauss was appointed. Go back to 2014 and the ODIs against India with captain doofus. Shit performances lacking in any passion. Then for the 20/20 Morgan was brought in. (The media tried to ignore it) but the difference was clear.

        The ECB media can never admit that a guy from the ranks could actully have more effect than the hand picked morons from the officer class. Even the ECB realised the game was up and sacked captain doofus on the eve of the World Cup. (Pity they didn’t do it 2 years earlier.) ( Atherton questioned why he was ever appointed ODI captain in the first place.) but was proved right.

        By the time Strauss came in, and Doofus had been shown the door, English ODI cricket was already on the up. Captain Doofuss even tried to jump on the band wagon for the test team, and claimed he wanted to play a more no fear cricket. The media got out their usual short dresses and did their Cook cheerleader routine. (Sometimes I just want to vomit at the lies)

        I don’t know how some of them can even look at themselves in the mirror at all the lies they tell? How do they even look at their children? ……. ” daddy what did you do today?” …..”Oh I destroyed a few more people’s careers with my lies.” Horrible people.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. SimonH January 11, 2017 / 10:45 am

    Wheeling out young players to shore up Cook has been one of the most deeply unlovable traits of ‘new era’ England:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/38576016

    “everything he has done has been for the betterment of English cricket.”

    Just the sort of thing 19 year olds say without any prompting…..

    Meanwhile, I can’t find a single source that knows even when this meeting is taking place. As Mark has already pointed out, it’s amazing how they can be tighter than a duck’s arse when they want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Silk January 11, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Criticism of his sacking as odi captain was in the interests of English cricket, I am sure.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus January 11, 2017 / 1:25 pm

      Anyone read the Spin and see Andy Bull describe the India team to win the World T20 as Dhoni and a 2nd Xi. Yep. Sehwag, Harby, Yuvraj, Irfan Pathan (when he was good) and others. 2nd XI.

      Like

      • Silk January 11, 2017 / 1:34 pm

        Sehwag could never do it on a greentop in Durham in April.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus January 11, 2017 / 6:40 pm

          Poor record in England. Can’t deny it. Ergo flat track bully.

          Like

      • LordCanisLupus January 11, 2017 / 1:49 pm

        Still. The gallery BTL loved it so who am I to complain.

        Meanwhile in last night’s Standard, Dan Jones has such a tortuous analogy to Captain James Cook that I had to check Muppet Pringle hadn’t written it.

        Like

      • nonoxcol January 11, 2017 / 2:30 pm

        I thought Bull was “never on your radar”….?

        😉

        Like

      • Sri Grins January 11, 2017 / 2:37 pm

        I was surprised by the hyperbole on the article especially from Indian fans. I thought Andy had written better prose in other articles published earlier.

        I guess the fact that someone in the Guardian actually wrote a positive article on a famous Indian cricketer (one who had given up the captaincy & deserves the extravagant praise he got) without referring to ‘in these conditions’ must have amazed us Indian fans so much, most of us felt kind towards Andy. :-):-)

        Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) January 11, 2017 / 2:43 pm

        ‘Better prose’ probably describes Andy Bull’s writing although the content contained within is usually rather vacuous.

        Like

      • nonoxcol January 11, 2017 / 3:10 pm

        Don’t forget page 2, where this random pops up with a little suggestion:

        athers
        14 Jun 2008 13:45

        given your journalistic credentials, you might want to investigate why mikey holding, the proudest of the ex-west indian cricketers, stepped down as a stanford legend earlier this year.

        Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) January 11, 2017 / 3:27 pm

        @nonoxcol I kind of rather like the last line of the article to illustrate the point for me. He thought Stanford was a good thing for cricket.

        “If you don’t, maybe you can at least look forward to a stench-free urinal next time you’re at a cricket ground”.

        Given that my last attendance at a cricket ground was the Wankhede about 6 weeks ago.

        Like

      • Sri Grins January 11, 2017 / 3:36 pm

        NOC,

        That was one of the most amusing articles that I have read. 🙂 :-). Especially in the light of events that happened thereafter. 🙂


        With money and power come natural charisma. Stanford commands through more than just his cash. He has presence, the kind that stops the pianist on a heavy chord when he comes into the room. He is, for one thing, big. Bigger than Viv. His handshake crushes rocks and his voice makes your guts tremble. Interviewing him, I didn’t so much ask him questions as simply listen to him speak. He was intimidating and evangelical, a mix I’ve since seen in Nigel Benn after he took up preaching. Stanford isn’t just buying people, he’s selling to them. The man has serious plans and, after an hour in his company, I was sold. ”

        Too good. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol January 11, 2017 / 3:43 pm

        Just to make it absolutely clear, commenter “athers” IS the same man casually insulted in the article alongside Angus Fraser.

        (he also appears to be the only commenter even remotely sceptical about Stanford, which is quite puke-inducing!)

        Like

      • Mark January 11, 2017 / 4:23 pm

        Too funny!

        Like

      • SimonH January 11, 2017 / 4:55 pm

        Sri Grins, don’t mention it to Bull unless you want a major “toys out of the pram” incident…… 🙂

        Like

      • SimonH January 11, 2017 / 6:21 pm

        The account of Stanford in ’28 Days Data’ (which I’ve just been reading) is utterly pusillanimous. (For example, Stanford is described as a “mainstream” figure when the ECB hitched up to his wagon).

        As is the account of the KP debacle – which was all Paul Downton’s doing! Really!

        Hands up who’s surprised?….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rooto January 11, 2017 / 8:24 pm

        I think the ever-perceptive SriGrins has nailed it as to why the Spin was so well received – it’s the first pro-Indian comment piece at the Guardian since the death of WCF. A lot of commenters (and I should perhaps include myself, though not this time), will happily chew on a rubber bone and thank their handlers, when they’re used to just being kicked around.

        Like

  4. Silk January 11, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    If it really is Cook’s decision, he’ll stay.

    Like

    • Mark January 11, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      Simon, I know you are a Hampshire guy, but I really, really hate Hampshire at the moment. They are shitting all over the place.

      I wonder if the owner of Hampshire is one of these people who think the National anthem must be sung with sufficient gusto while bringing in all these SA players?

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH January 11, 2017 / 1:30 pm

        Mark, no problem – the club under Bransgrove feels like it’s under foreign occupation. I haven’t felt much connection to it since the move from Northlands Rd.

        I doubt, however, that the treatment of Durham had much to do with Bransgrove having much behind-the-scenes power in the ECB. He certainly was an isolated figure when Giles Clarke was in charge of the ECB (Clarke and Bransgrove hate each other – although very much for reasons of their similarity). He couldn’t prevent (for example) the ridiculous punishment Hampshire received for preparing a pitch with too much help for spinners when the game (against Notts in 2011) ended in a high-scoring draw. If he was powerful behind-the-scenes, he wouldn’t have had to go all over the media pleading Hampshire’s case (which has been disastrously counter-productive for the club’s image).

        The ECB wanted to punish Durham to set an example to other counties in financial trouble and to apply pressure over the T20 reform. Helping Hampshire has been very much incidental. The main, fundamental unfairness in Durham’s treatment (even above the way they were encouraged to behave like they did) was that they (and nobody else) knew what their punishment would be. That seems fundamentally against the rule of law and natural justice to me – I’m not sure how it could stand up if it came to a legal challenge (which it won’t).

        Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez January 11, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      Well, if you consider South Africa an academy, only a few more to sign for Bransgrove …

      Like

  5. SimonH January 11, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    Like

    • Mark January 11, 2017 / 6:07 pm

      I’m wondering if they have decided to hold it back until after the India ODI series is over. A couple of reasons…..1 they don’t want to distract Joe Root. 2 They don’t want to be accused of putting Cook ahead of the ODI teams coverage.

      Of course it could be Cook has been told to go away and rethink his decsion. That assumes of course that he has resigned. Who knows?

      But it does show they can keep a secret when they want. Trust is a big issue when the right sort of player is involved. I would love to know if some of the loyal journos have been tipped off on the outcome on the understanding they don’t report it until the ECB say so. This gives them the chance to go away and write top notch eulogies to Cooks career. They can go and polish their tribute to Englands greatest living Englishman.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LordCanisLupus January 11, 2017 / 6:38 pm

        There’s a Newman exclusive to come out and he is in India.

        Like

      • Mark January 11, 2017 / 9:10 pm

        Hmm interesting.

        You just know he would be more than happy to hold it back until the right time. Short selling his readers as ever.

        Like

      • jomesy January 11, 2017 / 10:30 pm

        I’ve placed a bet that he’s done. Whether that’s wishful thinking on my part we’ll see but I only “normally” bet on the grand national as it’s a family thing. I bet on Brexit and trump (much earlier for Brexit tbh) as the odds on a two horse race were, frankly, exceptional and not “normal” given the conetext.

        For me, the giveaway/what made me bet was the end of India series Sky montage…Root was everywhere, the king in the background.

        I think the king is dead, (but) long live the king….will happen.

        Like

      • "IronBalls" McGinty January 12, 2017 / 8:49 am

        Newman’s “exclusive”..the official mouthpiece of the ECB. I’m sure he’ll feel the ECB will do the honourable thing and “look after” him should things go tits up at the Mail?

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus January 12, 2017 / 9:04 am

          There are people who genuinely think Cook is being treated badly here. That he is being hounded from the job. Then you read this. And more like it. It’s as if he’s royalty. The vast majority of calls are couched in deference.

          I’m not following matters as closely as I’d like but if you compare to past dismissals or resignations this is cosy. Very cosy.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Mark January 12, 2017 / 9:39 am

        Yes, very very cosy. No England captain has been treated so lavishly. The people who think he has been hard done by are morons and should be ignored. They are either ignorant of the facts or they are liars with a pro Cook agenda.

        It’s looking more and more like he’s staying to me. After all, we have been told it’s his choice, and if he wants to stay Strauss is not going (doesn’t have the power) to sack him. So in effect all it takes is two words……..”I resign.” Why have a hyped up meeting to say “I resign?”

        When you look at that picture of the two of them you wonder which one is in fact the real boss. Everyone thinks it is the man with the red tie, but is it? The media seemed very incurious last weekend as to what the outcome of the meeting was. Yet now we know it didn’t take place. That explains why the usual suspects in the media were so quiet. They obviously knew, but didn’t inform there readers. No change there then.

        Whatever the outcome, they are going to announce it right at the time of the ODI series in India. Talk about showing no respect to those players and that series. ” Trust is very important…….” Perhaps they hope the ODI team will act as as a diversion, and people will be distracted. They always treat the fans like shit. It’s baked in to the English cake.

        Like

      • SimonH January 12, 2017 / 10:04 am

        Newman’s now added a piece with the “expect no decision” line. He adds that Strauss wants Cook to talk to Bayliss, Anderson and Broad when they are all back in England. Given the stated views of those three, that can only mean Strauss wants them to talk Cook into staying. This fits into that odd “some close to him” remark that Sean spotted a few days ago.

        As for a “witch-hunt”, virtually all the media have brought into this narrative that it’s Cook decision and that whether he still has the “passion” should be the overriding issue. Very few have argued that Strauss should decide. Even fewer have argued what seems to me to be the obvious issue it should be decided on – is there anyone better? Is there anyone:

        1) Who wouldn’t misread conditions in every Test of a series.
        2) Who wouldn’t select the wrong team in every Test of a series.
        3) Who wouldn’t constantly miss the right moment to attack.
        4) Who wouldn’t bowl his shock bowler for 28 consecutive overs.
        5) Who wouldn’t show increasing signs of partiality in his use of DRS.
        6) Who wouldn’t be bottom of the averages for the specialist batsmen.

        None of the TV comms would depart from this “it’s his decision…. does he still have the passion?” narrative. The press guys who have can counted on the fingers of one hand. Berry, Boycott and…. amazingly enough, Pringle. The fact that Pringle’s views were in the Basildon, Canvey and Southend Echo had me thinking, for some reason, of:

        Liked by 3 people

      • SimonH January 12, 2017 / 10:30 am

        Although Stocks is more –

        Like

      • Mark January 12, 2017 / 11:38 am

        “Strauss has already canvassed the opinion of senior players and management via Skype since returning from a family holiday to Australia late last week. Central to his discussions with Cook will be whether the opener feels he can lead the team until the end of the next Ashes series in Australia next January.

        How about central to his discussions being……..is Cook any good as captain?

        “If Cook cannot commit to the job for the next 12 months then he will step aside to allow Root the summer to bed into the captaincy before England depart for Australia in late October.”

        Hello, again is he any fucking good as captain? Why is this elephant in the room ignored. And speaking of Root……

        “He has little captaincy experience with Yorkshire, nor his county, but was declared “ready” for the England job by Cook following England’s innings defeat by India in Mumbai in December.”

        Oh great, so the man who just got a hammering in India, and failed to beat Pakistan or Bangladesh says a man who has no captaincy experience is “ready.” England are a joke out fit. FIFA couldn’t run English cricket more incompetently. They are not interested in the best captain or creating a winning team. What is much more important is the old boys network stays in place. I take it by being “ready” that means taking orders from the shadowy figures who really run, and captain the England cricket team?

        England deserves to fail.

        Like

      • SimonH January 12, 2017 / 11:46 am

        Strauss may soon welcome a “distraction” the way the ODI team has gone today.

        Of course not much should be read into one performance in a warm-up game – but then I wasn’t one of those reading too much into one win in a warm-up game either.

        Like

      • MM January 13, 2017 / 10:26 am

        Mark, when you say this of the loyal journos… ‘polish their tribute’… can I ask, is that some kind of profanisaurus-ism?

        Like

  6. Mark January 12, 2017 / 10:25 am

    Is it just me, or has there been a consistent pattern with Cook of threatening to walk away, and then being persuaded to stay on? (Cough cough) We had all that stuf about his wife having to tell him to stay.

    I’m no psychologist but isn’t this the behaviour of the narcissist? Always craving attention? An obsession in the self? A deep selfishness?

    If he wants to go, then get on with it. If he knows his own mind (which we are told he does, man of steel and all that old cobblers) then there is no need to meet all these other clowns. A man of real steel will have made up is mind. However, if he is a narcissist then he wants people to beg him to stay. …..” please oh great one, we are not worthy of you.”

    And of course it makes his job easy because no one can criticise him, because he got them all to beg him to stay on. Enough all ready with this giant ego trip. Either resign or stay, but don’t force people to beg you to stay. By doing so you come off as a giant egotistical dick! And Staruss increasingly is looking like a man of straw.

    Liked by 3 people

    • MM January 13, 2017 / 10:39 am

      Top drawer, Mark.

      Is Cook secretly in line to the throne or summat? What does he have to do to get the sack ever? What sort of photos has he got tucked away that prevents Strauss from pressing the flush? Is Strauss actually waiting for the nod from Flower to pull the lever?

      Like

      • Mark January 13, 2017 / 12:48 pm

        Yes MM, there is something very odd about all this. I have never seen such complete fawning from the media over a captain. A great talent like a Pele, Messi or Ali or Federer or Tiger Woods. True all time greats. The media do go over the top, but you can understand it.

        But for being a average captain? Something is not right. One day maybe the media will have the integrity to tell us.

        Like

  7. d'Arthez January 12, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Meanwhile, the second warmup did not go great. Morgan got a first ball duck (and I suspect he may be soon out of the job), England stumbled to 211/9 (!) before Plunkett and Wiley gave the score some respectability with a 71-run stand for the tenth-wicket.

    Meanwhile India A have raced to 163/1 after 25 overs in their reply. With Rahane (76* from 70), and Pant (28* from 25) seemingly well set, judging by the scorecard (there is no broadcast of the game).

    Like

    • SimonH January 12, 2017 / 10:52 am

      Rashid and Willey!

      There’s enough who would deny Rashid without us joining in!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez January 12, 2017 / 11:04 am

      England got rid of Pant (Rashid the bowler), but India A just need 50 from 18 overs, with 8 wickets left.

      Oh, and the only non-internationally capped batsman (Sheldon Jackson) had the worst SR of the innings (106; only Roy and Willey had better SRs in England’s innings).

      Only Stokes has gone for less than a run a ball (3-0-17-0) at the moment. So it seems England’s effort in the field is dismal all around.

      Like

      • SimonH January 12, 2017 / 11:13 am

        Current combined bowling figures of seamers not called Stokes: 14-1-109-0.

        What’s the betting all the reporting will focus on Morgan and Rashid?

        Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez January 12, 2017 / 11:34 am

        No betting office would take such a bet – and if they did, they would be paying out already, even before the first report has appeared.

        Like

      • Mark January 12, 2017 / 11:50 am

        England lose with 62 balls remaining. Let the shitstorm begin. The one that never happens when Doffus is the losing captain.

        Like

    • Sri Grins January 12, 2017 / 11:17 am

      Yes. It hasn’t gone well. I think the bowling needs Broad / another wicket taking bowler. However, only a trial match. Still, the english bowling reminds me of the time we had Mohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar & other such bowlers

      Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) January 12, 2017 / 11:35 am

        Yep the seam bowling is pretty horrendous in ODIs and has been a problem for quite a while. I’m afraid the notion that England is a superstar ODI unit is somewhat flawed. In the last 18 months England have lost series v Australia and South Africa and have essentially bashed up Pakistani teams (twice) and Sri Lanka who are long way from being world leaders. Of the bowlers in the mix, I’m not so sure that Woakes should still be an ODI regular.

        Like

      • hatmallet January 12, 2017 / 8:24 pm

        Problem is, it’s been years since Broad put in regular good performances in ODIs.

        Up until 2011, he was averaging mid-20s. From 2011 onwards, a shade over 40.

        The Broad from pre-2011, or the Finn from 2012-13, would be a massive asset. Unfortunately we’ll have to make do with what we’ve got.

        Like

  8. SimonH January 12, 2017 / 1:10 pm

    Delighted to see Amla getting a fifty in his 100th Test – hopefully he can go on. He was able to play himself in carefully because of a splendid counter-attacking knock by Duminy.

    James at TFT has an interesting idea – could they delay the decision until after the CT and (assuming England don’t win it) make Root captain in all formats so Cook’s removal could be portrayed as part of some master-strategy rather than as the sack because he’s a bit rubbish?

    There’s a lot in that idea that fits in with how the ECB likes to operate! But the CT is a long way off…..

    Like

    • SteveT January 12, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      Better still, he’s just got his ton!

      Like

      • SimonH January 12, 2017 / 2:27 pm

        Dropped on 5 as well – a difficult but quite catchable chance to Mendis in the gully.

        On such small margins…..

        Like

      • SteveT January 12, 2017 / 2:36 pm

        At least SL will have a ready made scapegoat!

        Like

    • oreston January 12, 2017 / 10:57 pm

      Like him as I do, James has got a thing about Root taking over as captain in all formats (…and of Morgan exiting stage left asap) which I can’t agree with. His argument seems to be based on some notion of pecking order – how Root’s nose would be put out if joint if he was test captain but asked to play under someone else’s captaincy in the limited overs teams. I made my thoughts on that known a couple of weeks ago over at TFT but regardless of any daft dressing room politics (which at this stage are purely hypothetical anyway) I just don’t think one skipper shouldering responsibility across all formats is necessarily going to be deliverable given the insane schedules and ludicrous number of games he’ll be expected to appear in for at least the next couple of years. Bad enough as a player, but with the added responsibility of captaincy? Sounds like a recipe for potential burn out to me, and Root also does now have a young family who he’d presumably like to spend some time with. It’s supposed to be a sport, not a wartime tour of duty. Unless things go very badly wrong in India, I think Morgan has at the least earned the right to lead the team in the Champions Trophy. To be honest I can’t see Cook standing down to provide an opening for Root anyway. James’ other wheeze was that Morgan should be sacked so that Root could become limited overs captain for the CT, with a view to inheriting the test side ahead of the Ashes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MM January 13, 2017 / 10:42 am

        I’m with you fella. I don’t get ‘Root for captaincy’ either. Not feeling that at all.

        Like

    • d'Arthez January 13, 2017 / 9:26 am

      Bavuma failed yet again, and averages just 23 since the England visit of South Africa. And that is a generous stat – in his last 7 innings he has just averaged 7.14.

      Like

    • Sri Grins January 13, 2017 / 10:15 am

      Sl hitting back today 398/8

      Like

  9. Silk January 12, 2017 / 1:10 pm

    Woakes is not a very good odi bowler..

    Like

  10. SimonH January 12, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    “While there is an undeniable media interest in resolving the situation, and doubtless a matching one among fans, Cook’s bosses at Lord’s are said to be relaxed about his stately approach. They have set no firm deadline and are happy to plan for summer series against South Africa and the West Indies with no change at the top”.

    http://www.sportinglife.com/cricket/news/article/615/10725762/alastair-cooks-decision-on-his-future-as-test-captain-not-expected-on-friday

    I wish these savage, vicious press attacks would just stop….

    (This one’s from our old friend Rory Dullard).

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sri Grins January 13, 2017 / 3:28 am

        :-). I suppose India did not beat Alistair Cook’s XI. Journos have a way of ensuring that people who view the article take away the ‘right’ inputs 🙂

        Like

      • SimonH January 13, 2017 / 9:18 am

        I suppose we should at least congratulate the Mail on managing to print a match report at all – even if it is a PA report and not by their own correspondent. It’s more than the Guardian (or DT) have managed. Judging by Twitter, John Etheridge was at the game but not many of the rest of the press corps.

        It’s weird. Every paper covered the first match.

        Like

      • Mark January 13, 2017 / 9:30 am

        Simon, they are all too busy writing their PR puff pieces for their favourate cricketer.

        Like

    • LordCanisLupus January 12, 2017 / 6:01 pm

      Again. They should steer away from US sports. Utterly clueless. What top quality basketball is on free to air?

      Like

  11. SimonH January 12, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    “”They really are a team,” said Agnew of Cook and his wife. “The time he is taking means that Cook is making the right decision for him. He will be incredibly comfortable with what lies ahead.”

    The opener, England’s record Test runscorer, is approaching this decision very much in the way he constructs an innings. Patiently, meticulously, playing a shot only when absolutely certain”.

    Look, media, will you just stop with the viciousness? I mean, this is just brutal –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/38597814

    Liked by 2 people

    • d'Arthez January 12, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Also interesting to note that the stat provided in the BBC article is extremely kind to Cook.

      Vaughan (2.36 and Strauss (2.18), had double Cook’s (1.09) W/L ratio. May (2.00) and Hussain (1.13) are also ahead of Cook. Only Atherton (0.62) out of 6 captains to have captained England 40 or more Tests had a worse W/L ratio – and that obviously had something to do with the quality of the teams Atherton faced off against.

      Relaxing the criterion to just 30 captained Tests, would see Brearley (4.50), Illingworth (2.40) and Dexter (1.29) jump ahead of Cook as well.

      But I suppose posting the basic stats would be excruciatingly painful for Cook. After all, none of his predecessors had to endure any criticism whatsoever for their (perceived) shortcomings.

      I must have made up a reality in which English cricket writers in the past actually did something other than lionising whoever happened to be the Test captain. Pity, because in that made up reality some of them were really insightful, and great reads (even if you disagreed with them)

      Liked by 3 people

    • Mark January 12, 2017 / 8:31 pm

      “Making the right decision for him”

      Oh yes, it’s all about him.

      Agnew has zero credibility in regards to everything involving Cooks captaincy. His ridiculous postition on the fake Twitter account. His refusal to understand the point about who had the password. His ludicrous claim that it was not run from the England dressing room. How did he know? His connection with the Broad family. His pathetic broadcasting over the last 3 years. His demanding that everybody should get behind Cooks England after the win against India. His refusal to say who leaked the information surrounding the Strauss KP interview. His rather odd contract with Waitrose at the same time they were Englands sponsor.

      I don’t listen to TMS anymore, and his role over the last three years has a lot to to with that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rpoultz January 12, 2017 / 8:56 pm

        Don’t forget his cosy dinners

        Like

      • SimonH January 12, 2017 / 9:03 pm

        Nor his slightly different approach to a different player’s wife on Twitter during the 2014 shitstorm.

        Like

      • Rpoultz January 12, 2017 / 9:27 pm

        Like a few of the MSM he likes to play both sides of the fence does Agnew. Ultimately he knows which side his bread is buttered

        Like

  12. Rpoultz January 12, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    It’s quite nauseating isn’t it?? How others, not just KP, have been treated by these bunch of tits is appalling. I thank Christ that I have this site for a bit of sanity towards all subject cricket. I really can’t wait for the eulogies about his captaincy when the day finally comes . Although is it childish of me to wish another 5-0 down under under his leadership??? That would be too much to ask wouldn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Silk January 12, 2017 / 7:56 pm

    Can we just cut the crap and make Alice captain?

    Liked by 3 people

    • d'Arthez January 12, 2017 / 8:16 pm

      Well at least it won’t sound that far fetched to hear from the coach that the captain was magnificent on Day 5 then like it happened at Headingley 2014.

      Like

    • RufusSG January 14, 2017 / 4:06 pm

      For what it’s worth, some of the comments that get made about Alice Cook here don’t sit entirely well with me. I appreciate, of course, that the frequent mentions by various writers of her involvement in her husband’s decision to remain captain are done rather gratuitously and probably to elicit extra sympathy towards him, but come on, this isn’t anything unusual in sporting families. Virtually every international cricketer will consult with close family members before making important career decisions, and it’s not like she’s blackmailing him to stay on or anything or has anything like the level of influence being implied.

      I also didn’t like some of the contemptuous responses given towards her reportedly being upset about the volume of criticism Alastair was receiving during the summer of 2014. Again, the reason that we know of this in the first place is a bit suspect, but if my partner was getting a huge amount of flack for the heinous crime of not being a particularly good cricket captain, I’d be pretty cheesed off myself. I know the media focused more on the vitriol than the justifiable criticism of his leadership, but let’s not pretend there wasn’t still a lot of excessive contempt and vitriol aimed at him (and I’m not saying for a minute all of it came from here or places like it), which again seemed disproportionate for what Mr Cook was doing wrong. Being annoyed seems fair enough for a husband or wife.

      I don’t know Alice Cook, and will in all likelihood never meet her, but sometimes I get the impression the (often perfectly reasonable) criticism of Cook spills over onto her, which seems misdirected and unfair.

      Like

      • d'Arthez January 14, 2017 / 9:22 pm

        It is a fair point.

        Part of the job of being a captain, is to deal with those pressures, and again, Cook is not having a harder time than his predecessors. In fact, I struggle to think of any England captain who has had an easier ride from the press and the ECB. In fact, it is easier to think of a few captains who were hounded out of the job …

        One has to ask, did any of those courtesies get offered to the wives and girlfriends of previous captains? Did Gower, Gooch, Atherton, Botham, Hussain, Vaughan, not cop any criticism, just simply because they might have been married (I really don’t care one way or the other, and I can’t be bothered to check their marital status by the time they got relieved of the captaincy) at the time?
        These wives and girlfriends might have played a role in the background, but, you know as the cricketing press was more interested in covering the cricket, and the trials and tribulations of the England national team, rather than lionise the captain; these women were never used to elicit sympathy.

        And certainly, they were not trotted out to happily ignore the shortcomings of these captains. To take another ex-England captain’s wife, Mrs. Pietersen. Compare the coverage Mrs. Pietersen got in the cricketing press, to Alice Cook.

        As for the volumes of criticism in 2014, having had a “difficult winter”, managed to lose a series at home to Sri Lanka, and then at Lord’s on a green top against India, being bounced out by Ishant Sharma of all people, that would have been fully justified – but it was hardly there, in comparison to what England captains in the past had to deal with.
        And a scratchy 95, in which Cook was given four or five lives by the fielders and the umpires alike, was enough to apparently silence all MSM criticism. Again, not sure how that worked for previous captains, but, somehow I doubt that such an innings would have sufficed for any previous England captain who had a recent record of P9, W0, D2, L7, against mediocre opposition (Australia were not that great as evidenced by the result 6 months earlier, and as for Sri Lanka and India as tourists in England …) Let alone world class opposition …

        The reason that there is such a backlash against Alice, is not directly her fault. It is simply that people (here) are fed up with the double standards, and the deliberately myopic and disinformation spreading press, and lash out in frustration with what were once sources of information and coverage of the game one could have faith in (even if one did not always agree with them).

        Alice gets used as a cop-out by the MSM press, to avoid actually addressing the glaring issues. I mean, you would hardly remember from the MSM press that Cook was perfectly okay for Prior to play with a 4-inch achilles tendon tear, but no, let’s talk about Alice, so that we can ignore the injury stuff ups of the England cricket team. Let’s talk about Alice, so that we don’t have to discuss how utterly idiotic the England ODI team was preparing for the 2015 World Cup.

        In fact the coverage from the MSM press is so bad, that people below the line have to remind the readers time and again, of the obvious blunders of Cook and the ECB in the past few years. Not to mention the outright lies that emanate from the ECB (eg. with regards to the Ashes scheduling). Time and again, point out how the narratives have changed (eg. with regards to the Pietersen reintegration – we have 3 different and mutually exclusive stories out there from the ECB, last time I checked).

        Liked by 1 person

  14. LordCanisLupus January 12, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    Some comments on today’s completed hundred at Jo’burg.

    Duminy’s second highest test innings. 20th score of 155 in test cricket. Second in South Africa – other was by Sachin in Bloemfontein. Sachin is the only player to make 155 on two occasions – one was not out. In a statistical quirk four of the 20 scores of 155 have been made in Chennai. Last 155 was by Moeen Ali at Chester-le-Street. 3rd fastest test hundred this year – behind Warner and de Kock.

    Statistical quirk, and one to watch tomorrow perhaps. No South African has made 145. Other blanks at 165, 167, 170, 171, 172, 181, 184, 185, 187, 188, 190 et al.

    Like

  15. Rooto January 13, 2017 / 5:58 am

    Really chuffed to see Bangladesh’s overnight score (overnight in Europe at least). I haven’t seen anything official, but there must be records galore in that 542-7. Highest stand? Individual score? Overseas team score? Most consecutive ducks for Mehedi? Has he even scored a test run yet?
    Just shows how much they were missed when they didn’t play for a year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sri Grins January 13, 2017 / 6:42 am

      Yes. Gr8 show from BD. Done much better than Ind / SL / Pak. Good signs.

      Like

    • d'Arthez January 13, 2017 / 8:14 am

      Highest partnership for Bangladesh (359). – This is their 6th 200+ partnership since the start of 2010. England have 11, but from 90 Tests, as opposed to BD’s 35. Their three highest partnerships have come all on the road. Also the highest fifth wicket stand on this ground.

      Highest individual score (217, by Shakib), beating Tamim’s 206 against Zimbabwe. 4 NZers, 2 Aussies, 1 Saffer and 1 Lankan have made higher individual scores. So also the second highest score of an Asian batsman on the ground (Aravinda de Silva’s 267 is the only higher score; Sanga’s 203 the only other double ton by an Asian batsman on this ground)

      This is already the third highest ever first innings score on this ground, if they can get past 570, they’ll be second highest (661 for the highest is probably a stretch right now).

      Incidentally, they have already scored more than England, SA or India ever have on this ground in an innings.

      So yes, pretty good day for Bangladesh.

      Like

      • d'Arthez January 13, 2017 / 8:16 am

        I meant to write that the highest score (217) was a BDi record on all grounds.

        The rest of the post is about scores at the Basin Reserve.

        Like

    • Mark January 13, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      How much did they pay you to write that bullshit Goughie?

      On a positive note, I guess they value your opinion ahead of their own cricket correspondent. Can’t say I blame them.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ian January 13, 2017 / 10:17 am

    Analist trolling with an “Inside Cricket” Podcast

    Like

  17. pktroll (@pktroll) January 13, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Kind of makes me wonder if some of these journos can’t see the possibility of Cook failing rather badly as a batsman v South Africa and Australia and a) having a rather more ordinary looking batting average and b) an even worse win/loss ratio in the final reckoning, because that is exactly what I envisage happening. Things could get worse for the England team this year before they get better. I don’t know of course whether or not a change in captaincy alone will change team fortunes, but I wonder if now it hasn’t got to the stage where the captaincy does impinge on Cook’s performance as a captain and contains the team from being as expressive in terms of their attacking intent with the ball as they might be. I certainly think the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH January 13, 2017 / 11:36 am

      I don’t think they care about averages and ratios anymore because they can always find some new measurement in bulk to quote that makes him sound greater than Bradman and Tendulkar.

      “He’s become the first batsman to score a 1000 runs in Asia on a Thursday” etc etc.

      Liked by 1 person

    • oreston January 13, 2017 / 11:49 am

      Absolutely agree. Of course in the scenario you describe we wouldn’t hear any mention of his average from our favourite journalists – just as you already hear little mention of how light in the century scoring department he’s been in recent years. Instead we’ll just be reminded that he’s England’s highest ever run scorer blah blah. That’s an achievement of course, but it needs to be viewed in context. As for the win/loss ratio, again there will be no mention. They would simply remind us of the home series he won and of the 2012-13 tour of India and pretend the bad stuff either didn’t happen or was entirely someone else’s fault. This is a quasi religious cult we’re talking about.

      Like

  18. Ian January 13, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    Cook’s value as a batsman has been not great for a while. I wonder if he or press fear that if no longer stays as captain then how much longer he would be useful and be able to stay in the team. Because it’s Cook and also because of the lack of batters doing well in the test team for England he would probably survive quite a while but I wonder if this has anything to do with it?

    Like

    • Mark January 13, 2017 / 1:04 pm

      I think they hate us more than anything else. They backed Cook after 2014, because they hated KP, and they threw away their credibility in doing so. They will never admitt it though.

      Doofus staying as captain is a giant fuck you to those of us outside cricket. It does not matter to them how good he is. That is a minor issue against sticking it to those who have been proved right. They pissed away their reputations just to prop up a very poor captain.

      They have bet the farm on Cook, and he turned out to have feet of clay. The media is now a laughing stock.

      Liked by 2 people

    • pktroll (@pktroll) January 13, 2017 / 1:59 pm

      I wrote above that I think it has come to a point that I feel the captaincy might impinge on him ever doing that much more. I just can’t help thinking that if he gave it up he could have a clear mind and really work on his game in a way that perhaps he might not have had to for a long while. Less press conferences, less interviews that he might have to do, not worry about managing his bowlers just pure simple worrying/working on his batting. I really can see a year where he flops against both likely impressive pace attacks (so long as Saffers don’t lose any more quicks) and could be done come January next year. I really can see it. Many have suggested that he could go for quite some time but the length of time in job and the grind may well have got to him and even more so if the team has a poor year.

      Like

    • Silk January 13, 2017 / 2:55 pm

      I disagree. If we had a stable opening pair (Maybe HH and Jennings will become that) Cook would be less important.

      But with other openers failing (Carberry, Robson, Lyth, Compton, Hales, Ali, Duckett, Trott) keeping Cook at the top of the order has been essential.

      Of course one could argue that any/all of those was dropped too soon/treated too harshly. Probably true for some. Though whatever Einstein thought Trott should open should be sacked … but has presumably been promoted.

      England have used 11 openers (other than Cook) in the last 3 years. Which is a stupid number. Those openers average 25(!) which makes Cook’s 46 look all the more impressive.

      I’d be tempted to suggest that the selectors haven’t got a clue.

      Like

  19. BoredInAustria January 13, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    Thank you P. And a prayer….

    Like

  20. Mark January 13, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    Peter, I just wanted to say something on the piece you have written above with no comments section.

    You have a lot going on in your life at the moment and most of it is not good. Cricket is an irrelevance compared to what you are dealing with. Do not apologise for taking time away while you navigate these terrible events in your life. It’s a shame the game of cricket could not have given you some relief from your troubles, but it has lost its moral compass. It’s not even a bit of light hearted fun anymore.

    What is more unfortunate is not only is cricket irrelevant compared to the issues of life and death, it is becoming irrelevant even in happier times. I think back 25 years ago and think of how the game has lost the plot. But we must be careful not to be too nostalgic. The game was always a minority sport. Even then many people who loved football hated cricket. “Too boring, too long, often no result.” The criticisms were always very American centric. And today we have all succumbed to American culture. A 5 day game that is complicated, and played and watched by a small number of people is just not commercial. And increasingly everything in life today has to be commercial.

    There were huge controversys in the game before today. Bodyline, SA boycotts, Packer, etc etc. But the game seemed to be trying, it wanted to improve. Now it is completely rudderless. There is no direction. Just a bunch of get rich quick merchants out for what they can get and an England team that is more about the establishment rather than the game.

    So walk away for whatever time you need. I doubt you will miss much. This bunch of charlatens can’t even organise the issue of the captaincy without making it as long as War and Peace. Best wishes to you, but don’t have any qualms about leaving this place or us loyalists. You neeed to look after yourself right now.

    Like

  21. Rpoultz January 13, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    Peter,my thoughts are with you and your family at this time and concur thank you for all the hard work you put in here, same goes for Chris and Sean. Enjoy your weekend everyone

    Like

    • Sri Grins January 14, 2017 / 1:10 pm

      Seconded

      Like

      • "IronBalls" McGinty January 14, 2017 / 3:45 pm

        Thirded!

        Like

  22. SimonH January 14, 2017 / 10:49 am

    The stench of incipient panic here from Newman is palpable:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4118618/Andrew-Strauss-needs-Eoin-Morgan-form-Alastair-Cook-ponders-England-captaincy.html

    He throws all the usual memes at it (Morgan’s to blame, India are the greatest team ever, the importance of the toss etc etc) but even Newman can’t deny that crises with both his captains would have to start reflecting on Strauss. And he doesn’t even try to cover that that’s what’s really worrying him…..

    Is that Root as captain-in-all-formats’ masterstroke starting to look a little more possible? (“England’s Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss acted decisively….. Cook to concentrate on breaking every batting record…. Morgan only himself to blame…. exciting new era…. Kohli, Williamson and Smith….” you can write the script now). Pity they did all that trashing of Root’s captaincy credentials before – but that’s yesterday’s fish-and-chip paper now.

    Like

    • SimonH January 14, 2017 / 11:01 am

      Oh, and that’s not even mentioning what Ali Martin and the DT have revealed – that the ECB have made a mess of their own stated desire of more players going to the IPL by scheduling matches that overlap with the end of the tournament, thus making their players less attractive in the IPL auction.

      Like

    • SimonH January 14, 2017 / 12:04 pm

      “a Champions Trophy in June Strauss wants England to win just as much as the Ashes”.

      I’ve got to write something about this or I’ll combust!

      Nothing shows the degeneration of the press corps into stenographers than their meek acceptance of this idea. I’ve never seen Strauss asked to justify it.

      Who gives a flying one about the CT? A competition on the verge of abolition with a rigged draw and a rigged venue? How many moments from past CTs can anyone remember? I don’t think I can remember any that don’t involve a West Indian starting with B. Do they think it’ll win new fans to the game? The CT? Really? And do they think it’s the priority of most existing English cricket fans? Have they polled them – you know, in a genuine poll, not one of those loaded exercises like they did for the new T20 competition?

      I’d expect England to take it seriously and try to win it. But this bending of everything to this goal?…. I’d say that it’s because it’s at home – but where’s the priority for the SA Test series if that’s the case? What should have been a couple of weeks of frivolous fun has become loaded with all this weight it can’t sustain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark January 14, 2017 / 1:49 pm

        What a mess Simon.

        I can’t seen Morgan being the ODI captain after the CT. They probably want him gone now for disobeying orders, but if Strauss has said this tounament is very important it would be rather ludicrous to sack the captain on the eve of the kick off. Not that Newman would have a problem with it. But if they drop Morgan now, and England perform badly Strauss will be right in the firing line.

        As much as I want a new test captain I’m not overly excited about Root. He seems to have been chosen as the new shiny toy based on the right type of family rather than any notion he is a good leader. (The English establishment at their finest)

        The Idea one man can captain in all formats with the idiotic schedule seems far fetched to me. And Root has a young family. Seems like an excellent way to destroy his test career. Is there anyone who is genuine captain material who can warrant a place in the test side?

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus January 14, 2017 / 2:27 pm

          Meanwhile, in South Africa, another pitiful performance by the visitors means a three day test, a 3-0 defeat, and another piece of ammunition for test cricket critics.

          Like

      • SimonH January 14, 2017 / 2:54 pm

        On Root as captain – I’m not expecting genius and I’m sure there will be plenty to criticise.

        All he has to be though is better than Cook. I think he will be more attacking and would, for example, have pushed harder to win in Rajkot. As an ODI captain, I don’t think he’d change from the new approach under Morgan.

        He doesn’t have a heavier schedule than Kohli or Smith. He could and should still be rested occasionally (Australia did so with Smith in the SL ODIs – it got some flak at the time but who remembers now?). The international schedule will get lighter in 2019 (if not earlier) so if he can get through to then the problem will partly solve itself.

        Like

  23. Escort January 14, 2017 / 11:17 am

    I’ve no idea who she is but the presenter of Channel 5 Big Bash coverage is bloody awful. Painful stuff to watch. 😬😬😬

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus January 14, 2017 / 11:29 am

      I don’t know about that, but a team has just enforced a follow-on. I’m stunned.

      Like

    • thebogfather January 14, 2017 / 3:33 pm

      Arrrghh…. It was Ebony RB (Lady HurghHurgh) utterly hopeless! At least she’s not in India to ruin my TMS listening tomorrow 🙂

      Like

  24. SimonH January 14, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    Bressie bowling to KP. Wonder who Jimmy back in the studio is rooting for?

    Just hit for a straight six….

    Like

    • Mark January 14, 2017 / 1:37 pm

      I had to laugh when I saw Jimmy has gone into punditry. Has channel 5 got a swear box?

      Like

      • SimonH January 14, 2017 / 2:03 pm

        I didn’t watch every second of it – but during the quite sizable section that I did watch Jimmy managed to utter one sentence on KP. It was totally anodyne. This about someone he played a hundred Test matches with. The whole question of KP playing for England was just ignored (whether that’s because it was pre-agreed or because the studio anchor hadn’t got a clue is hard to say).

        KP’s innings wasn’t his best but it was compelling viewing. He played a match-winning knock away to the strongest team in the tournament. Klinger said something to the effect that there was something going on between the English players and KP was trying to smash everything of Bresnan’s. KP’s mic conveniently broke down. The Australian comms talked and talked about KP whereas the English side seemed to be saying as little as possible. Shiny Toy went on more about his shiny toy Handscomb who promptly got out.

        Watching his innings, it brought home again what a special level of fuckwittery it takes to see that and come to the conclusion, “yeah, we don’t want that available”.

        Liked by 2 people

        • LordCanisLupus January 14, 2017 / 2:25 pm

          Saw some of KP’s knock, and he looked all at sea. He nearly gave it away with that skyer that Klinger couldn’t take. Lost his marbles at the start with Bresnan, but he stuck at it, and then Stoinis, having looked equally nonsense at the start of his knock clicked, and it was all over.

          As for Jimmy. Charisma. In abundance.

          Like

      • Mark January 14, 2017 / 3:30 pm

        Another lazy choice from BT. Not blaming them alone. It’s the standard operational procedure of all broadcasters in choosing a new pundit…….Get yet another current or ex player. It shows no original thinking at all. And it’s not as if there is a shortage of Wooden, cardboard cut out ex players stacking up in studios across the world mumbling platitudes..

        One of the great things to look forward to is eventually our very own man of steel will end up with a microphone in hand. I can’t wait!

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH January 14, 2017 / 3:54 pm

        Jimmy’s commentary was the verbal equivalent of bowling two-feet outside off-stump all day.

        He seemed to be coping heroically though with his body soreness.

        Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) January 15, 2017 / 10:15 am

        Lol, Simon it is rather appropriate that you mention Jimmy’s commentary being akin to bowling 2 feet wide of off stump with the other high priest of ‘bowling dry’, Bresnan playing.

        Like

  25. Tom January 14, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    Peter,

    I read your blog post after this one. Hang in there, mate. I’m assuming you have my email address via my comments, but you can find it (eventually) if you click on my name and go to my old blog. I’ve gone through some very similar rough times in the last few years, including the bang bang bang thing, so am happy to help if there’s anything I can do. Even being in contact with someone who understands and has gone through similar things helps, even if you don’t want their day-to-day support. My partner is also a spokesperson for a Lupus charity in the US and understands the US health system very well, so even if I can’t help, I might be able to offer something else.

    No problem if you choose not to and understand why you might not, but the offer is always available.

    Take care, and it won’t always be this dark.

    Tom

    Like

  26. RufusSG January 14, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    Peter, I’m terribly sorry to hear about your mother-in-law, I can’t begin to imagine how tough this week must have been for you. My thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

    Like

  27. Zephirine January 14, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    Dmitri (you will always be Dmitri to me!): When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions. Thinking of you.

    Like

    • Rooto January 14, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      Precisely this. I, like many of us here, can only send you, and your wife, our love and best wishes. You both more than deserve it, and I’ll shut up now.

      Like

    • Mark January 14, 2017 / 7:52 pm

      They had to extract some sort of punishment. How pathetic! But as usual it’s done in a dishonest, weasly way. Exactly what you would expect from an organisation that treats people like children.

      They can’t of course be honest about it because they gave him, and the other players the option of not going to Bangladesh. So if they then fined him, it would be obvious the invitation not to tour was completely bogus in the first place.

      Reduced to Petty shenanigans again over the IPL. It’s got the finger prints of you know who all over it. Who really is running English cricket? And another thing….. fans should demand some of their ticket money back for the ECB putting out a team with so many stars missing. Are they going to reduce ticket prices in relation to how many players are missing?

      Liked by 1 person

  28. oreston January 15, 2017 / 2:24 am

    It doesn’t exactly say, “welcome Ireland, we know you’re a decent limited overs team and respect your ambition to play in the top flight” does it?

    Then again, there would doubtless be a backlash if the ECB didn’t even insist on fielding their captain against the visitors, or if (conversely) they ruled that star players had to be available and couldn’t go to the IPL

    Just think of all the opportunities there will be to mention “Irish born Eoin Morgan” or to make smug little comments to the effect that, no matter what happens, an Irish captain will leading the winning team. Or maybe Morgan will be accused of exchanging text messages with William Porterfield in which he allegedly calls Director Comma a very, very rude word in Gaelic…

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez January 15, 2017 / 6:12 am

      Actually Ireland have been declining in the last couple of years. Players get older, lose form, get injured. And the new ones are unknown quantities, because the sheer amount of fixtures does not help. They might come good or not – but hard to be judged as a batsman when an ODI gets rained out after 15.4 overs have been bowled by your side. And such things have often happened to and in Ireland.

      I expect England to win the series against Ireland, for the same reason that I expect England to win the series against South Africa – financial prowess. And I would not be surprised anymore if AB de Villiers decides to cash in on his T20 skills and retire from Tests soon. The same thing could happen to Steyn (and a few others soon) enough.

      Just north of the border, Preston Mommsen retired from cricket aged 29, last November. Not because of injury. But simply a lack of fixtures (he played an average of 7 ODIs and 4 T20Is per calendar year, stats that are greatly boosted by Scotland’s involvement in several World Cups and their qualifiers). If you can’t make a career out of cricket, you’ll have to make a career elsewhere.

      Like

    • Sean B January 15, 2017 / 9:35 am

      I’d literally pay decent money to see that. What’s the Irish for c**t?

      Like

      • oreston January 15, 2017 / 10:04 am

        I actually put that into Google Translate after composing my comment above. Disappointingly, it came out as c**t.
        So a c**t is still a c**t in whatever language you say it!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sean B January 15, 2017 / 10:07 am

          Not doos then, Lord Brocket will be disappointed again..

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus January 15, 2017 / 10:13 am

            On the cricket, am I the only one wondering why Root is scoring at this pretty dilatory pace at the moment? 48 off 70.

            Nass is telling us this is “smart”.

            Like

          • Sean B January 15, 2017 / 10:16 am

            Right type of family? Just a stab in the dark to be fair….

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus January 15, 2017 / 11:15 am

            78 off 95 is a neither here nor there innings. Hard to have a go at, but it’s not in the spirit of our derring do attitude. While I watched him for the last 40 of those runs the rate never really increased.

            Stokes is playing an absolute blinder here.

            Liked by 1 person

      • BoredInAustria January 15, 2017 / 10:07 am

        I Doos Be – An alternative to ‘I am always’

        Waterford Slang Terms & Phrases – Irish Slang

        Like

  29. SimonH January 15, 2017 / 10:21 am

    Crowd today given as 37.5k.

    That would make someone who was Tweeting a poll the other day obviously designed to whip up support for the abolition of ODIs look a bit of a fool. Maybe look like the sort who was obsessed with novelty and the new. Perhaps the sort who couldn’t see a bandwagon without jumping on it.

    Perhaps he needs a nickname that would reflect that….

    Like

    • oreston January 15, 2017 / 4:47 pm

      Maybe something like “glittery plaything” ?

      Like

  30. Miami Dad's Six January 15, 2017 / 11:15 am

    I hate it when Stokes, so adept at whacking it straight over long off, long on and midwicket, tries bizarre and rubbish paddle sweeps, reverse or orthodox. I mean, he’s on 52 from 33, but really…I wish he’d play to his strengths.

    Impossible to say how good a score this is, but I’m looking forward to the chase.

    Like

  31. Miami Dad's Six January 15, 2017 / 11:19 am

    And well done to Pakistan. Their spin options have limited Australia in both these first two ODIs. I wonder if they’d had a extra spin option or two in the Tests whether they might have been able to tie up the Australia batting order more easily.

    Like

  32. AB January 15, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    Rob Key rattling on about the “different angle” between David Willey bowling round the wicket and over the wicket. How can someone who makes such an awful elementary error possibly have made it as a successful batsman?

    The only change in angle is that of the tv camera relative to the line of the ball. Positioning of tv cameras don’t tend to have much of an effect on batsmen’s shot selection.

    Like

  33. "IronBalls" McGinty January 15, 2017 / 12:47 pm

    A quiet conversation, slow the game down, Kholi off strike, and a wicket! Brilliant captaincy from Morgan 🙂

    Like

    • Escort January 15, 2017 / 12:57 pm

      He’s going to need good captaincy today because as he didn’t score an unbeaten 300 with the bat some of the media are going to slaughter him😬😬

      Like

  34. AB January 15, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    Some of these shots from Kohli could have gone anywhere. Bat twisting in hand, no control.

    Like

  35. BoredInAustria January 15, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Some inteligent analysis on the web:

    Cricinfo:
    “15.5 – Rashid to Jadhav, FOUR, flipper but too straight. The quicker ball from the front of the hand, and Jadhav helps this along to deep square leg”

    Simon Hughes – BBC Test Match Special commentator:
    “That was a pie from Adil Rashid, asking to be eaten up, and Jadhav took the full mouthful”

    Like

    • thebogfather January 15, 2017 / 2:07 pm

      TheAnal-yst… blogging as ‘InsideCricket’, still talking #2’s from the self imposed position of #39… We await his list of the most important people ‘OutsideCricket’.
      Isa Guha = so much better than LadyHurghHurgh on TMS, and even Hughes is preferable to Lovejoy or Ficjam

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus January 15, 2017 / 2:48 pm

        I wasn’t convinced at the time that Root’s innings was one we could afford, and I’m even more convinced as this goes on. Kohli has gone at over a run a ball, and he’s supposed to be nearly in this guy’s league (he really isn’t in ODIs, not even close).

        The tedious “is he better than Tendulkar” stuff is polluting my twitter feed, while Shiny Toy ran a poll about the “big four”. Why do people feel the need to tweetbait like this? Appreciate this man as a bloody genius.

        And Jadhav has played a brilliant innings too.

        Like

    • LordCanisLupus January 15, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      I had 10 minutes of #39 on the way back from the supermarket. He’s insufferable. Said Rashid could come on and bowl “without real pressure” as it was 90-odd for 4.

      Like

  36. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) January 15, 2017 / 2:56 pm

    This is quite phenomenal batting. The six Kohli hit off Woakes just now almost defies the physics of batting. It feels like it doesn’t really matter what score England could have got. Agree that the talk of Kohli/Williamson/Smith/Root as a stand alone tier across all formats simply doesn’t hold water anymore (if it ever did).

    Like

      • LordCanisLupus January 15, 2017 / 3:01 pm

        That worked!!!

        Joint third fastest score of 122 in ODIs. Trails Gilchrist (91 balls v Sri Lanka) and Inzy (102 balls v India). His 105 balls is the same as a Jayasuriya 122 v Australia at Sydney.

        England had the first 122 – David Gower – and Nick Knight made the other 122 in 130 balls. At the time that was craziness (1998 in Bridgetown). Now it’s pedestrian.

        Like

      • Sri Grins January 15, 2017 / 4:47 pm

        🙂 Good Jinx. Kohli doesn’t like to get out when he is in a chase & doing well

        Like

  37. d'Arthez January 15, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    England are probably going to win from here (Jadhav just got out), but I am really puzzled as to why Yuvraj was picked to be honest. Still living on past glories, and it is certainly not the case that there are no other batsmen in India.

    Like

    • SimonH January 15, 2017 / 3:40 pm

      “England are probably going to win from here”:

      Because Jadeja and Ashwin will never score any runs? 🙂

      Like

    • d'Arthez January 15, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      No, because I feared that this innings would feature only one partnership of note (the Jadhav – Kohli stand), and that the other batsmen would come and go. Was just a gut intuition, and I was wrong.

      Sadly, I am sure it will be Rashid copping all the blame. And no criticism of Root’s slow innings will be entertained.

      Like

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