India vs England: 3rd T20

Let’s do the live blog on it we’ve threatened! If you want over by over, go to the Guardian. If you want ball by ball go to Cricinfo.

But if you want general rambles and a chat below, we might just be the place.

12:47 – 45 minutes to go. There’s team news before too long. Go and check the other places if you want to know what they are.

13:09 – so England win the toss again and will field.  Oh and umpire Shamshuddin has stood down from the field and will be third umpire.  OK, some of the decisions he made were pretty poor, but the moment you start using umpiring decisions as an excuse, then you just sound Australian.  Like Denis (one n) basically.  Mistakes happen, and sometimes teams get the rough end of it.  I can’t abide the whining.

13:27 – is there anyone, anyone at all, that thinks national anthems before a cricket match is a good idea?

13:36 – Running because you’ve got a big lbw appeal against you.  I’ve done that.  Difference being at this level they actually hit the stumps.

13:56 – One of the joys of T20 is how the commentators have gone on about how well England have bowled.  So they have.  But it’s still 8 an over India are going at after 5.

14:05 – not being any kind of bowler whatsoever, I’ve always wondered what they’re thinking when they see the ball go out of the ground like that.  “Try it again then mate”, or “Ohgodohgodohgod”.

14:13 – Just three off that Stokes over.  He’s got his career economy rate down to 9 with that.

14:16 – Just three of that Moeen over too.  That’s the trouble with T20, these quiet middle overs…

14:26 – Ooh Adil Rashid’s getting a bowl!

14:35 – 120-3 off 13.3, it’s going to be a big score.  Stokes’ wicket of Rahul turned out to be an unseen no-ball.  It’ll be interesting to see if England mention that afterwards.  Somehow you’d think not.

14:48 – It could be me, or it could be that it’s midweek, or it could be that it’s T20, or it could be a combination of all three.  But it’s very quiet out there.

15:03 – Every chance of getting over 200, and every chance England can get them.  Well that’s what people like to see, six after six after six.  Bowlers are reduced to being there merely to serve the ball.

15:13 – 202-6.  It’s a big score, but it’s also one that with the pitch is gettable.  Whether they will or not…but I think they might do it.

15:36 – So I go for a quick shower between innings (I’ve been to the gym, I’ve not just got out of bed) and I find that I miss Sam Billings’ innings.  He’s useless on Cricket Captain 2016 too by the way.

15:46 – I should clarify that on the rare occasions any captain was stupid/mad/drunk/mischievous enough to let me bowl, most balls did disappear out of the ground.  In fact there’s one player I know of who hit the only sixes in his life off me.  Three of them.  He mentions it often.  Tosser.

15:51 – I appear to be more optimistic than some.  England are on track here, 55-1 from the first six overs.  Jason Roy is going well, and so is Joe Root.  Strike rate of 142 at the moment

15:51.2 – Roy out.  Shut up TLG.

15:56 – Mind you it was a really hideous shot.  He makes a habit of getting in and getting out.

15:57 – Most important question of the day is whether this will be finished in time for Pointless.

16:01 – Required run rate now over 11.50 an over.  Which is of course preposterous to anyone who grew up watching games where the moment the rate went over 6, it was trouble.

16:04 – I’m not sure I want to field at slip when someone reverse sweeps it.  Or keeper when they ramp/scoop it.

16:11 – The half way point and England are 86-2.  Decent start, but they are probably at the “need a big over” stage.

16:16 – This whole idea works best if you read it in a Big Brother Geordie accent.

16:22 – Huge over, Morgan smacking three sixes off Raina.  Joe Root scored two singles.

16:25 – Root is all over the place.  Dropped, playing and missing, and seemingly unable to keep up with the required rate.  It’s a good over all right, but it’s so rare to see him out of his comfort zone – usually he’s too comfortable and gets himself out.  Here, Root – Joe Root! – appears to be an impediment to England winning the game, rather than an asset.

16:32 – Morgan and Root out in successive balls, and needing 14 an over, that’s a bit much most likely.

16:42 – This is an impressive collapse even by England standards.

15:45 – Seven wickets in 17 balls.  That’s actually really hard to do.  Oh it’s eight in 19 balls.  Honestly, even if you’re trying to get out, that’s tough.  Genuinely impressed.


As abject a collapse as you could wish to see just about summed up an Indian tour that amounted to England winning just two games out of eleven, and being beaten in the T20 series, the ODI series and battered in the Test series.  While England were certainly under pressure with the run rate climbing, it was still a quite astounding slump from a position where they had a chance to all out.

They’ll be looking forward to getting on the plane home, and quite frankly a lot of people will be relieved it’s all over.  Let’s look forward to the completely pointless West Indies ODI tour.


100 thoughts on “India vs England: 3rd T20

  1. SimonH Feb 1, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    A few facts and figures from the TV coverage:

    1) Average score in the IPL at the ground is 172.
    2) Teams batting second in the IPL here are slightly more likely to win (53% to 41%).
    3) The ground has got the highest average of sixes in T20 matches in the world since 2014 (8 per innings).
    4) The shortest boundary today is 55m, the longest 72m.


    • SimonH Feb 1, 2017 / 2:07 pm

      That six Rahul’s just hit on to the roof didn’t need the short boundary!


  2. d'Arthez Feb 1, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    Oh, and Rahul got dismissed of a no-ball. Not that England care about shoddy umpiring …


  3. pktroll (@pktroll) Feb 1, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    Not watching and am struggling to stay interested to be honest. I know they went home for Christmas and all but the tour started in early November. Feels like ages away.


  4. thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    England predictions

    Lose by 22 runs
    Root scores at a run a ball
    Buttler 46* off 19
    Morgan 2 off 9 (for newman)
    Adil 1* off 5 (for newman)
    3rd ump fails to spot 3 no ball dismissals
    Strauss still in cupboard under stairs hiding from Cookie with shotgun
    Sir Giles sells Pakistan cricket to China for £3billion, some of which the ECB will reinvest in some sort of vaguely cricket related things, as well as upgrading his ‘Pakistan Nomads’ to 2-star hotels in Dubai…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    Does anyone know what the current StraussieSuperSeries score in the ‘CommaCnuntinentalCup’ is?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mark Feb 1, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    So is Root going to be appointed as the great White hope of all forms of English cricket tomorrow? Seems ludicrous to me. How one man is going to be available for all formats and captain all sounds crazy. Oh I know, let’s give him the 20/20 and ODI captaincy and keep sheep in situ. TINA lives,


    • thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 3:21 pm

      Mark! Have you not read the runes?
      The Coronation of King Cookie ad continuum
      Will be fed to us plebs on 9th Feb to consume
      Our leader will still lead us, the ECB mood hoover/vacuum, ‘er um’
      Chisel jaw, doe-eyed, doe a deer in sight of shotgun, er, um, still learning, assured
      Where all that matters is Alice, who silently directs, Comma, with malice 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Silk Feb 1, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    Can’t see us chasing this.

    a/o for 140 in 18 overs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Feb 1, 2017 / 4:45 pm

      Very prescient. Really did not look like a wicket on which a team should collapse from 119/2 to 129/9.


      • d'Arthez Feb 1, 2017 / 4:47 pm

        Make that 1297/9, and the last pair did not add a run either. So that is a collapse of 8 for 8.

        Yeah, this batting unit broke another record.


    • Silk Feb 1, 2017 / 5:00 pm

      Bloody optimist!


  8. AB Feb 1, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    not being any kind of bowler whatsoever, I’ve always wondered what they’re thinking when they see the ball go out of the ground like that. “Try it again then mate”, or “Ohgodohgodohgod”.

    Generally either:

    a) annoyance at yourself, because you bowled a bad ball that got what it deserved. you look at your captain and apologise.

    b) annoyance with your luck, because you bowled the exact ball you wanted to bowl, but the batsman shut his eyes and somehow top-edged it over square leg for six (this happens even in the amateur game).

    c) exasperation/incredulity/fatalism because you bowled a perfectly good ball and it got mullered – at this point you normally look at your captain and shrug and think about feigning a calf strain.

    Personally I don’t think England are going to get anywhere near this – but I’d like very much to be proven wrong.


  9. thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 4:13 pm

    16:10…The Dewbie Brothers sing The Clash…. Give Em Enough Rope?


    • thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      16:22, Oh, Joe, so rooted to the spot, as Eoin is so hot…


  10. thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    16:25…Eng could do with Root being sold off by an ump soon…


  11. thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 4:31 pm

    16:28…Joe goes, go Ben and Jos! (Still a predicted 22 run loss)


  12. Miami Dad's Six Feb 1, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    Is there a single limited overs match on this tour where Roots scoring rate has been anything other than a hindrance?

    Liked by 1 person

    • AB Feb 1, 2017 / 4:39 pm

      Even the golden boy struggles to switch between test cricket and T20s.

      Discuss: playing T20 cricket has compromised Root’s ability as a test batsman, and playing test cricket has compromised Root’s ability as a T20 batsman.

      Liked by 2 people

      • thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 4:44 pm

        Agreed, as ECB’s greed, injures or dilutes, absolute


      • quebecer Feb 3, 2017 / 3:56 am

        No discussion required, AB.

        He also looks bloody tired.


    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Feb 1, 2017 / 4:45 pm

      By my calculations when he was out today England had faced 51.5 overs in the series. Of these Root faced 20.1 overs for 126 runs. At the moment his T20 batting belongs to another era. What’s worse is how he reacted when wickets have fallen at the other end and he suddenly find himself as the player needing to score quick. Excellent batsman but this is a real issue this series.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    16:41… it’ll be all Adil’s fault (along with the Irishman)


  14. thebogfather Feb 1, 2017 / 4:46 pm

    16:44 .. looking forward to Comma’s commanding MSM conference…


  15. SimonH Feb 1, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    8/8 in 19 balls.

    And we’re blaming Root? Really?


    • Miami Dad's Six Feb 1, 2017 / 4:57 pm

      I wouldn’t put the blame on Root if this was one match in isolation, however in both the ODI matches he played in, he scored serene Jonathan Trott esque 50s whilst everyone else went along at a SRs of 120, so added to today’s innings and the previous two T20s, maybe* we’d be better off giving the extra deliveries to Buttler or someone.

      * (or maybe the rest of the line up would be rubbish as well).


      • SimonH Feb 2, 2017 / 9:36 am

        I wouldn’t be averse to giving Buttler a go up the order in T20I at some stage and seeing how he goes. He’s come in in difficult situations here I agree – but he also hasn’t looked like making runs (plus his keeping hasn’t been great either). Perhaps Tests have ruined his white-ball batting! 🙂

        I’d also add, as no-one has mentioned it, what a peach of a flipper it was from Chahal that got Root.


  16. SimonH Feb 1, 2017 / 4:49 pm

    26-6 in the Super Series.


    Liked by 2 people

  17. d'Arthez Feb 1, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    That batting collapsed really demonstrated how England were entitled to win the series,and that the umpires gifted the series to India …

    The journalists can’t blame the tosses, since England won 3 tosses in the T20Is, 4 tosses in the Test series, and 1 toss in the ODI series. That is 8 out of 11 tosses they won – for a paltry return of a dead rubber ODI and one T20I (and a drawn Test).

    So it will be Rashid, for not being Liam Dawson. It it the only logical choice.


    • Silk Feb 1, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      It’s absolutely Rashid’s fault. And Morgan’s, of course.


      • SimonH Feb 1, 2017 / 7:02 pm

        Keep with the programme!

        “I don’t want to blame one person, but Joe Root….” (Nasser Hussain on commentary).

        That’ll teach him for being ready to take over from the Chef-God!

        I’m not saying that Root is blameless – he lost momentum (6 runs of 12 balls before his dismissal I believe) but there is plenty of blame to go round.

        The Indian score was above any par (Gavaskar suggested 160, IPL average suggested 170, IPL first innings this season suggested 190, nothing suggested 200+). England’s bowling was inadequate again – especially Jordan, Plunkett and Rashid. It is reasonable to blame Rashid here given what the Indian leggies did (and don’t overlook Mishra’s contribution). He didn’t bowl any rubbish – but Dhoni looked like he was picking him.

        And what about the batting? If you pack the side full of batting, and adopt a “we’ll chase whatever you get” strategy, then it is reasonable to point out the batting did diddley-squat when the chips were down. Since Bumrah’s first over in the first T20 the much-vaunted Billings and Buttler duo with all their supposed talent and IPL experience have done nothing.

        It’s also worth pointing that the pitch turned more as the match went on which the Indian comms had predicted. England won the toss and put India in because of their pre-conceived strategy rather than responding to the specific conditions in front of them…. again.

        I’ve been arguing all along that England’s white-ball approach is a very one-dimensional one. It thinks it’s fantastically clever and cutting-edge – but it isn’t. It’s a better one-dimensional approach than that of the Flower white-ball team but it still doesn’t cover multiple bases. I actually don’t want it work because I want specialist bowlers – and batsmen who are more than just power-hitters – to have a place in the game, even T20, especially T20. Three bowlers won the MoMs in this series – and Perth Scorchers won the BBL on their bowling/fielding.

        It’s probably too late to change for the CT now. The thing is, I don’t think there will be any fundamental re-thinking because the culture around England is so fawning and uncritical it doesn’t encourage any reflection. It’s said there are two approaches when things go wrong – we’re doing the right thing but not enough and we’re doing the wrong thing. The blame being leveled at Root for not hitting enough sixes is straight out of the first mindset. More power-hitting, that’s all England need! No, it really isn’t.

        Liked by 3 people

  18. Mark Feb 1, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    Good job Strauss wants to stop Stokes getting practice in the IPL. This is leadership we can all believe in.

    I believe it’s crap leadership, but hey, it’s leadershipl……. out of a carry on film.


  19. amit garg Feb 1, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    Good wicket, shorter boundaries square of wicket, and an Indian batsman stitched up by the umpire. A different one from the one we had in the last game. I bet, England (certainly the team) won’t be commenting upon that one tonight.

    The old boys certainly rolled back the years with their hitting. Both Raina and Dhoni were excellent on the night, though I think having come in early today certainly helped Dhoni.
    And Yuvraj, well, when he hits those sixes, he always looks good – doesn’t he? That Jordan over was the key moment giving the innings the impetus it needed to get to some sort of a defensible total.

    But, I didn’t think India had scored more than par, to be honest. In that context, the collapse was simply awesome (or terrible) to watch as a fan. Lost track of who was getting dismissed, such was the frequency for those 3 overs.

    A job well done for Kohli and team! I wonder though what it means for Morgan, given the Cook / Root situation.

    I tend to agree with a few folks here that Root probably hasn’t had that higher gear in him to make the impact that someone like JB can provide. But, he gets the runs – consistently and there are not many players who score as often as he does. Does he deserve the place in squad? I think yes.

    England do need to think about a few other players though, as the team composition doesn’t seem ideal. The so called depth in batting wasn’t really on show tonight, when it was actually needed. Neither was it seen in the previous game, where despite a wrong decision, england should’ve scored 6 runs in the last 5 balls at their disposal with some lusty hitters down the order.

    Root and Morgan were the only two to consistently get some runs
    Plunkett has seemed off on this tour – didn’t contribute with bat today and went for plenty. Is there anyone better around?
    Jordan had excellent first two games, but tonight, reverted to the poor form I witnessed early in his career. He seems to have improved though. probably should get a spot in the next ODIs.
    Rash – absolute horror of a series. didn’t bowl his quota in any game.
    Moeen – had a great first 2 games with the ball but hasn’t done much with the bat through lack of opportunity. Should’ve done more today in my view.

    After a long tour, England don’t have much to show despite being competitive for a reasonable portion of the series. That must surely hurt.


    • d'Arthez Feb 1, 2017 / 6:33 pm

      I was looking at the stats, but Moeen barely averages 14 with the bat in international T20Is, at a SR of about 113. And that is ignoring the fact that half his runs came from 2 not out innings (72* against Austalia, batting at #3, 41* against Afghanistan, batting at #7). He has made more ducks than scores of 10 or more. So he barely scores a run a ball, when he is batting at #7 (SR of 103)

      Is that really good enough for a #7 in T20Is? No, not even when the bowling would be reliably good (and it is not, he bowls on average about 2 and a half overs / innings in which he is called to bowl). If you’re going to play someone like Stokes, who is a useful bowler, there is really no point in having such an obvious bits and pieces player at #7 – because that is what Moeen is, when his batting is so poor.

      Besides, what is with the batting obsession in T20Is? Honestly, if you have to rely on the batting prowess of #10 and #11 to get you over the line … you might as well pick better bowlers so that the batting of ten and jack is not needed.


      • thelegglance Feb 1, 2017 / 6:57 pm

        The middle and lower order are always going to have a dreadful average in T20. They only come in for the late slog. Average is not terribly relevant down there.


      • Silk Feb 1, 2017 / 9:58 pm

        Average isn’t that relevant, but if you average 13 you’d better have an s/r north of 150.


        • thelegglance Feb 1, 2017 / 10:03 pm

          Maybe. But stats are difficult in T20 batting if you’re down the order. They only time you actually get in for more than a few balls the chances are the team is in trouble and you can’t go berserk. Or the team is in trouble chasing and you have to the off from ball one and you get out. I’m not saying for a second that he’s doing brilliantly, I’m more saying that down the order I’m not sure there’s any real statistical method for analysing performance.


      • d'Arthez Feb 2, 2017 / 4:37 am

        Yeah, sure the middle order will have dented stats. That is why Moeen Ali is 59th out of 78 batsmen who have batted anywhere from 6 to 8 (minimum of 10 batting innings). His average? Just 12.66.

        That is Nathan McCullum territory, Robin Peterson, and slightly surprising Ben Stokes (average of just 11) as well. Even a guy like Johan Botha, who is a frontline bowler, has done better (14.62). Even Mashrafe Mortaza, who does not exactly have much of a batsman’s technique averages 14.

        And it pales to say Ravi Bopara (38.87, SR of 150; boosted by his not outs, but even if they were all outs, he’d still be averaging 22; Moeen would be averaging 7.6 on that metric).

        Averages are not the be-all and end all, but if other teams can get frontline bowlers to bat at such positions, have healthier averages and strike rates, then the impression that Moeen is not really contributing much much with the bat is fully justified.


      • d'Arthez Feb 2, 2017 / 5:11 am

        And just to reiterate the point. Against Full Members Moeen averages 5.83 at a SR of 81, when batting in the positions 6-8. That is actually the worst record for anyone who has played a minimum of 9 innings there (and Moeen has played 9). And in terms of SR, only Graeme Cremer has a worse SR.

        Is anyone really going to argue that such stats might be deceptive, and that Moeen is really good enough to bat at 7 in T20Is?


    • amit garg Feb 2, 2017 / 4:50 am

      I suppose TLG has a point on the averages of lower order batsmen. It is not quite as straight forward as in longer formats, though “tough” runs should be recognized in some form or the other.
      But then even Dhoni, had not scored a half century in the format till last night despite having a formidable record in IPL.

      I think the problem with England is that their top order batsmen are not part time bowlers and the team management just prefers to pick bowlers who can bat, ahead of pure bowlers who might actually pick more wickets or keep it tight. This approach seems to have just led to dilution of both skills.


  20. emasl Feb 1, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    Best part of the entire afternoon was the delirious crowd singing We Will Rock you or was that We Will f**k you?

    crap total and utter crap


  21. man in a barrel Feb 1, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    Isn’t the big problem that the English batsmen – especially Roy and Root – only seem to have one big shot against the spinners – the slog sweep. As every commentator said, and as Raina said during the innings break on interview, that was a risky option on a pitch with inconsistent bounce.How many of the team both here and in the last match were out slogging? Probably about half the team.


    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Feb 1, 2017 / 8:59 pm

      Thought the Indians did well to cut off the reverse sweeps and dabs. They committed men there and this may have helped build pressure.

      Liked by 1 person

    • man in a barrel Feb 1, 2017 / 11:54 pm

      Most disappointing is that Moeen is a cultured stroke player…. So why does he keep slogging the ball straight up in the air? Shades of Brian Close at Headingley 1961


    • amit garg Feb 2, 2017 / 10:44 am

      They were probably indoctrinated in the Flower school as part of the lions setup. Flower was amongst very fine players of sweep – both conventional and reverse. But I don’t remember him doing much else either. Sweep was his go to shot against the spinners and he was successful.

      However, this is not a problem unique to this lot.
      Rarely have I seen players brought up outside Asia, use their feet, use the crease, and play it with straight bats rather than sweep.
      I wonder why most English players can’t use their hands / wrists to manoeuvre the ball around. I don’t know if it’s the footwork, or an inability to read the lengths but it certainly affects their game.

      Liked by 2 people

      • AB Feb 2, 2017 / 10:58 am

        Because we don’t know how to coach players to play spin here. We practice in plastic indoor nets where the ball doesn’t turn, so batsman just stand there are slog spinners from the crease.

        I work with a lot of pretty good coaches, but when it comes to playing spin, the only thing they teach batsman is to sweep.

        Personally I teach a hierarchy: first you use the depth of the crease and look to create an angle. second you move your feet and get to the pitch, third, you think about sweeping.

        Liked by 1 person

      • amit garg Feb 2, 2017 / 3:55 pm

        I would’ve offered that ECB certainly has had the resources to engage the right coaches and arrange for the tours to the sub continent. However, I am aware of the long running argument on this forum that the ECB has rarely shown such foresight and planning w.r.t. building a team for the future. SO, i can understand the frustrations of any fan.

        I suppose, there’s no easy way to fix this problem at the international level. Any work on this has to be put in at the junior levels so as to ensure that the techniques are better suited to spin, by the time players get to the senior levels.

        On the same note, I haven’t understood why we don’t see enough A tours these days or why is it that the domestic winners in different countries don’t play each other as a way to build a talent pool. It would certainly help the longer formats to have players on fringe of national selections, acclimatized with different conditions and pitches, as part of their grooming.


  22. Benny Feb 1, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    Guess I’m repeating (supporting) what others have wisely said but this wonderful, long batting line up has been exposed for pretty much a lot of hit and hope sloggers. So sad that we have lost Taylor. More than anyone, he was always able to adjust his game according to the situation. Shutting your eyes and swinging was never in his repertoire.

    I too prefer skilful batsmen and proper bowlers. I also prefer real keepers but that’s another debate.

    Oh yes, I’ve been impressed with Morgan in the past few weeks


  23. SimonH Feb 1, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    “England will attempt to get back on the bike with three 50-over games in the Caribbean next month but until then they will reflect on a woeful winter that so far has left them with only a one-day series win in Bangladesh to shout about. And that, with a huge year ahead that features the Champions Trophy in limited-overs cricket and the Ashes in the Test game, is simply not good enough”.

    Newman doesn’t sound like he’s in a forgiving mood –


    • Mark Feb 1, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      I’m waiting for the first Cuckoo of the year. Namely the first jouno to celebrate, and write off the whole winter tours as……….” Alien conditions that we only encounter now and again.. Nothing to see here….. move along.”

      Things not looking good for Root if Nasser has turned on him already. He hasn’t even been made test captain yet. Nasser has been propping up Cook for 4 years. Perhaps Root should put in a transfer to Essex. The ODI failure will give all the TINA people all the evidence they want to keep Cook. Or maybe no one actually gives a shit. After all, there’s more American football on than Cricket. Super bowl here we come.


      • SimonH Feb 1, 2017 / 9:25 pm

        Hussain has become absolutely obsessed with power-hitting. He discusses it in this rapt tone that makes it sound like it’s some sort of miracle. It’s like a golfer from two decades ago going into raptures about 400-yard drives without noticing the changes in the game in the meantime and treating chipping and putting as if they have been rendered obsolete.

        It’s amazing the number of people who want Root and Hales dropped from the T20 team. England’s only two top ten ranked batsmen (Morgan at 15th is next highest) and people want to give them the heave-ho for, say, Billings? I’d rest Root sometimes from T20s and wouldn’t mind if Buttler was made T20 captain when/if Morgan gets the chop – but dropping him is madness.

        I’m giving Hussain the benefit of the doubt here that this isn’t yet about Cook. If Root does get the Test job, I expect his every little slip to be pounced on by the cultists (like Hussain did on Kohli’s captaincy during the Test series). Things that have been ignored for the last four years will dominate the narrative. Then I expect it stop when the word goes out that the brand is being damaged and “rally round boys”….


    • Silk Feb 1, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Anyone who things Ali is our “number one spinner in all formats” can be ignored. Unless it’s Andy Flower, of course. In which case … be afraid.


      • Silk Feb 1, 2017 / 10:02 pm

        Ali bowled really well in T20 it has to be said. (Though becoming Mike Yardy isn’t necessarily the way to go…)


    • man in a barrel Feb 2, 2017 / 12:05 am

      Was I watching the same matches? Jason Roy…. Every team in the world will now bowl a spinner to him with a deep midwicket and a square leg. He really has no shots against a slow bowler. Yes he hit a reverse sweep for 6, so put a cover sweeper out as well and Roy will not score a run. At least Stokes sometimes hits straight down the ground.


  24. SimonH Feb 1, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    Bayliss on Cook’s future:

    “I’m heading home to Australia for a little while in the next day or so, I’ll put the feet up for a little bit and I’m sure I’ll speak to him at some stage. I’ll give it a couple of days – I’m sure we’ll exchange a text message or something. As I said to him when he left, and there was a lot of speculation, it is totally up to him. He will know if it’s time to step down. I’m happy either way, whether he stays or goes. There is plenty of time.”


    • man in a barrel Feb 1, 2017 / 11:58 pm

      I wish I had Bayliss’s job. Lots of money. No decisions to make. Accountable to no one. No targets. Not even required to watch cricket if he doesn’t want to.


      • Mark Feb 2, 2017 / 12:14 am

        I know, it’s shocking the complete half arsed nature of the whole thing. I think back over just my lifetime and the number of England captains who have been sacked after really not that bad efforts, and we are now reduced to the complacency of……..

        (Who cares, it’s up to him, and quite frankly I couldn’t give a shit which way he decides to go.)

        Amazing. And all we get from the cricket media is ****Crickets Silence Crickets****

        The coach and captain of the English cricket team really do have the easiest jobs in English sport.

        Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Feb 2, 2017 / 9:27 am

        Gary Kirsten described his role as India coach as “organising knock-downs for Sachin Tendulkar”. Bayliss’s role really does seem to be a version of that.

        Broad strategy isn’t part of his remit. I know I’ve called in the past for the coach to have less control – but, heck, there are limits. Power has flowed upwards to Strauss and Flower, and downwards to Cook. Bayliss gets the jobs left over that they can’t be bothered with. The problem is that the top two are semi-detached and unaccountable, and Cook is a dunce. It’s a wretched combination.

        Liked by 1 person

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Feb 2, 2017 / 11:44 am

        I have been furious for some time about Strauss’s role in all of this and I am no less so now. As the ODI series came to an end and Joe Root missed the last game I thought it was pathetic that he wasn’t allowed to go home and sit out the t20 series given his workload. Now he, Stokes and Woakes, who have been on the go all the time since the start of the Bangladesh tour have now got to go to the Windies for 3 pointless games there. Do the management even care about the long-term wellbeing of two of our biggest gems? it is no surprise that we’ve seen some flat performances from some of these guys more often than we’d like to in the last part of the test series and now in this series too.


    • amit garg Feb 2, 2017 / 4:53 am

      For all we know, this (stay clear of captaincy issue) might actually be part of his hiring brief given the player – coach – captain problems England had at the time. Or may be he knows he was going to be judged on the shorter formats while AF ran the test team by proxy.


  25. SimonH Feb 2, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Cricket treating the public like shit episode #2846549 at least provoked this from Jeremy Coney:


  26. AB Feb 2, 2017 / 11:00 am

    A lot of ludicrous over-reaction. When you need 12 an over and lose a couple of wickets, then the batsman HAVE to hit out from the first ball, and 8 for 8 is always likely to happen. 204 was a tough ask that required a lot of things to go right.


    • d'Arthez Feb 2, 2017 / 11:46 am

      I suppose that is why the previous worst collapse by a Full Member in a T20I was 39/8. Also note that this was more than twice as swift as the previous most spectacular collapse by any Full Member (the previous record was 7 overs). England’s previous most massive collapse took about 57 balls (against India, in the 2012 World Cup).

      And I suppose, that when Sri Lanka had to chase 264 against Australia they collapsed in a heap. They made 178/9 though. And I suppose India collapsed to 10 all out as well when they were ask to chase 246 in Fort Lauderdale last year against West Indies. They got to 244/6, and lost by just one run.

      Never mind that when England had to chase 249 against Australia in Southampton, 2013, and were 42/4, after 4.3 overs (and thus the required rate was above 13 – and had lost 3 wickets in 9 balls to get there), they still managed to get to a respectable 209/6.

      The issue here is that there is a lot of muddled thinking from the setup. Moeen Ali either has to bat up the order, or bat at 11, simply because his batting is atrocious for a #7 in T20Is (and the stats back me up on this).

      Liked by 1 person

      • AB Feb 2, 2017 / 1:36 pm

        I genuinely don’t understand your point. What would you have preferred to see, England patiently playing their way to 160-5 without making any attempt to win the game?

        There are no draws in T20 cricket. When you need 12 an over, either swing for the fences or don’t bother turning up.

        It really is horribly predictable. People moan about the English limited overs team being staid and unadventurous and being left behind by modern batting, and then when they do finally grow the balls and start taking risks and their batting improves beyond all recognition, people moan when they collapse. You can’t have it both ways. If you want to see rapid scoring and huge 200+ (in T20s) or 350+ (in ODIs) totals, you’re going to get the occasional 8 for 8 collapse when things go wrong. Its the nature of cricket.

        Are you one of those people who would drool over a fantastic Pietersen ton featuring all sorts of calculated risks, and then call for his hanging a week later when one of his shots didn’t come off and it led to an England collapse?


      • thebogfather Feb 2, 2017 / 2:56 pm

        AB…it’s an AB with C unseeing
        Where devoting and promoting the white ball ethic
        And so emoting a seemingly one call for all, so pathetic
        Leads back to a Flower so alack
        With one ball dry mentality,we fell and bats cracked
        Of a game play two to turn, with third turn so unappealing
        It’s almost still Moores looking at data, our fate, with Comma’s silence so revealing
        So, expect the leaked good journalism truth to appear
        Cookie, to leadenly lead without fear


      • Mark Feb 2, 2017 / 3:09 pm

        Outside of a teams top 4 batsmam, I think averages are pretty meaningless in 20/20 cricket. Coming in at 5 you will be lucky to get 10 overs to bat. That’s 60 balls, and you will be lucky to get half of them.

        “Moeen Ali either has to bat up the order, or bat at 11, simply because his batting is atrocious for a #7 in T20Is (and the stats back me up on this).”

        Really? You really mean you would bat him behind the bowlers at 11? So you think he is a worse batsman than The bowlers? He may well have under performed batting at 7, but the idea he should bat at 11 ahead of the bowlers is just mad.

        Now there might be a case for not playing him at all, and getting a better bowler in. But that has nothing to do with his batting stats, but because you need a better bowler.


      • d'Arthez Feb 2, 2017 / 6:05 pm

        Well, if Moeen bats below 5, he averages less than 6 against Full Members, at a SR in the low 80s. In other words, he does not even score a run a ball.,

        Moeen takes on average 7 balls to get out for 6 runs. In fact in those positions against Full Members his highest score is 8* (from 10 balls). His only innings that went at more than a run-a-ball was an innings of 7 from 2 balls (he faced the last two balls of the innings and was run out on the last ball of the innings) – all the other 8 innings were at less than a run-a-ball. Yeah, why would you not want such a batsman coming in at #7?

        And in case you’re wondering. Out of the 43 balls he faced against Full Members, in those batting positions, 1 went for 6 and 1 went for four. And that six was dropped by the fielder as well. That is not the kind of contribution you need from a #7.

        Of all the batsmen who have played 9 or more innings in the positions 6-8 (there simply have not been that many T20Is), against Full Members, he has the worst batting average, and the second worst SR (behind only Graeme Cremer, who is a frontline bowler).

        Jordan for instance averages more (9.80 – but just 6 innings), has a better SR (114), lasts longer (9 balls as opposed to the 7 Moeen lasts), needs fewer balls to hit a boundary (one boundary or six every six balls, as opposed to 20+ Moeen currently needs).

        I know the comparison is not entirely fair, but even Tredwell has done better with the willow than Moeen in T20s down the order – yes. But at least there is no pretense that Tredwell is a batsman who can bowl a bit.

        It is a similar conundrum South Africa had with Kallis (and Dravid had in the IPL as well). Either he bats as an opener, or he bats at 10 or 11. He simply did not have the game to be a T20 #6 or #7. Either pick a proper spinner, play Moeen up the order (in place of Root?), or bat him at #10 or #11. His game is simply not suited to be a T20 finisher.


        • thelegglance Feb 2, 2017 / 6:09 pm

          43 balls – or fewer in some cases – is totally insufficient for any kind of statistical analysis. The sample size is too small to be in any way meaningful, especially given the variety of circumstances down the order. It’s not that you’re wrong to want someone else other than Moeen, it’s that trying to claim so on the basis of such figures is pointless. You’re talking about an entire batting career of less than nine overs.


      • d'Arthez Feb 2, 2017 / 9:05 pm

        I don’t care too much about statistical significance – there are simply too few T20Is played to make many statistically meaningful observations – that holds true for death bowling, opening the bowling, or any particular type of bowling, since surfaces may significantly influence those stats, as well as the opposition you play against. And something similar applies to batting. It makes a lot of difference if you play on 140 = par wickets or 180 = par wickets, as that will heavily impact on batting average and strike rates.

        But the stats do back up the distinct impression that Moeen is not suited to bat in the role of a finisher. Just as the stats back up the distinct impression that Joe Denly really did not do too well in international T20s,and that England were fully justified to look elsewhere.

        Many batsmen / bowlers have been dropped having received fewer than 43 balls in their entire international career. 14 England Test players since 1990 for instance have had careers of less than 43 balls faced (and in a few cases they were bowlers with good bowling returns as well).

        Selectors make decisions, and they don’t have to be statistically sound: they just have to have some cricketing merit. At the moment I do not see to the cricketing merit to have a guy come in at #7 who is ill-suited for the role of a finisher, when the guy behind him (Jordan – at least he had one match and series winning cameo with 27* of 9 against the West Indies), is simply a better bet.

        Or should we wait until the sample sizes would be sufficiently large to rule on that? We could argue then the same with Denly? After all he averages just 4 from 5 innings, having faced 29 balls. Too much statistical noise. Never mind that he never looked settled, got one game at home (on debut), two in South Africa, and two in the UAE, which generally don’t have the easiest conditions to bat in, let alone the easiest bowlers to face.

        Apparently I have missed all the magnificent innings of Moeen down the order when he looked so good in the role of a finisher. Maybe because there has not been one. The one time he actually passed a score of 8 against Afghanistan (41 not out), where he could actually bat like a top order batsman, because he came in in the 9th over with England 50/5 in the first innings of the game – so hardly a situation in which he was supposed to go hell for leather. As noted in a previous comment, the only innings against a Full Member where his SR was above 100, was 7 from 2 balls (he was dropped by the fielder first ball, and it went for six).

        So Moeen looks like crap as a finisher. The stats back up that impression, as there is not a single innings out of those 9 that he actually looked the goods, as evidenced by his mediocre returns. Either he bats up the order or he bats at 10 or 11 (depending on the bowlers England pick – he is probably a better bat than Rashid in T20Is as well). He is simply not suited for the role as a number 7. Kallis and Dravid were magnificent batsmen, but they were hopelessly ill-suited batting down the order in T20s.


    • amit garg Feb 2, 2017 / 4:03 pm

      I wish anyone would also shed light on reasons as to why Cook was anointed the king 4 years ago – esp when they praise Cook for improving so much. While saying he has improved, Jimmy has clearly pointed out that communication wasn’t Cook’s greatest strength – such an irony.
      I read it somewhere that there’s no such thing as a good leader without communication skills. No wonder, Cook’s struggled.
      What a surprise 😉


  27. Mark Feb 2, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    What improvement? There has been no Improvement.


  28. thebogfather Feb 2, 2017 / 5:19 pm

    …And now we await
    For LCL to share and us elate
    With the long awaited ‘MountOutsideCricketAmore’
    From a rock to a hard place of four shy face
    Chiselled in stone, captured forever
    From Downtown to Chef
    And the MSM who leave us bereft
    To the ICC3, with Clarke so without love
    Leaving us, you and me, Skyless from above
    Unless we accept and caress, them all that we appal
    One by one to succumb, our game we love above all


  29. man in a barrel Feb 2, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    AB, I am glad that England in T20s are being more aggressive with the bat. But there are points that need looking at. Composure, for one. In the last 2 games, Root has got bogged down and tried to relieve the pressure with big shots that either got him out or completely missed. Some people claim the umpire sawed him off in game 2 and that he would have reverted to knocking 1s and 2s,thereby winning the game, but this is hard to believe given the shot he played to get out. Also even when the rate is over 12,you don’t have to go for the big 6 off the first ball. Stokes and Buttler have the capability to close down that run rate with some big hits but everyone needs a couple of balls to settle. They were not far behind India when they lost all those wickets. Youvraj played himself in and then went mental.


    • AB Feb 3, 2017 / 10:18 am

      The ball that got him out kept a bit low and went underneath his attempted pull shot. There was nothing wrong with the shot other than he was clearly caught out by the low bounce.

      Root isn’t a natural T20 batsman – this time last year he was in blistering form and looked the part, now that form has dropped away he looks exposed and liable to either get bogged down or to lose his shape.

      Most of them TOOK a couple of balls to settle, and then got out to the first attacking shot they attempted.

      When you need 2 off every ball and every single or dot takes you one step closer to defeat, the boundaries are covered cutting off the 4’s, you pretty much have to swing for the fences.

      Its T20. Sometimes these things happen.


  30. man in a barrel Feb 2, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    Or rather he was 4 off 4 balls and then 27 off 9!

    Especially if you are going to play slog sweeps, you have to have some idea of the bounce


  31. SimonH Feb 3, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Mark Butcher’s descent into Nasser Hussain pod-person territory continues on the latest Switch Hit. Once he’s got his obligatory demolition of Rashid’s confidence out of the way (I haven’t heard him use the phrase “mental fragility” yet but that day is certainly coming), he then claimed:

    “England lost there better than anyone else recently” (or words to that effect)

    This is plain inaccurate – and it was awful to hear such parochial, self-serving, self-deluding nonsense from someone who’d always seemed one of the more cosmopolitan figures in the English cricket media.

    To repeat:
    1) SA – won both their ODI and T20 series on their tour. They lost two of their three Tests by just over a hundred runs (England’s narrowest margins were 246 runs or 8 wickets; the other two were by an innings) and held out for 140+ overs in their last defeat. They lost every toss in the Test series and played on much more spin-friendly pitches.
    2) NZ – more comparable to England but again two of their Test defeats were by under 200 runs. They lost every Test toss. Their 3-2 in their ODI series was similar to England’s and they didn’t play any T20. NZ are of course the smallest and one of the poorest FMs and have none of England’s resources.
    3) Australia in 2013 – is this what he really means? Australia didn’t play any white-ball cricket on that tour. Their Test defeats were similar to England’s but I don’t see how they can be considered worse. They didn’t, for example, concede India’s highest ever Test score, a triple century or the first Test century by an Indian No.9. The defeat had major ramifications within the squad and the coach went very soon afterwards.

    So, England were appreciably worse than SA, slightly worse than NZ and perhaps about the same as Australia (with no white-ball comparison possible). They weren’t “better” than anyone – unless he means the WI. In 2013, WI lost 2-0 (both by an innings) and lost their ODI series 2-1. Is this were mega-bucks England are, boasting that we’re better than the WI?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Feb 3, 2017 / 10:13 am

      The pitches England played on we’re much better. Despite the so called geniuses of the pundocracy who informed us that all the pitches would break up after 2 days they just didn’t.

      Also, England won a number of tosses. Still, I love the idea that a 4-0 defeat is regarded as a great success. They can claim this because the fix was in by declaring it would end 5-0 so 4-0 becomes a great result.

      The bar is constantly lowered as to what is regarded as an achievement with modern England. The advantage that whenever they manage to stumble over it is held up as the “greatest ever.”

      Speaking of the greatest ever I was driving home last night and 5 live were going on and on about Frank Lampard. People were all paying tribute to him. I thought Jeez, surely he hasn’t died? Turned out he had retired from football, and this warranted a eulogy of epic proportions. Another entry into the modern greatest ever that passes for journalism.


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 3, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      Learning curves and taking the positives. My dear Lord.


      • Mark Feb 3, 2017 / 1:37 pm

        Now now Dmitri, just be thankful he didn’t say he was “building.” Because they are always building…….. “Building, building building.”

        And as he says…..

        Taking the positives. The whole India tour was a positive because they only lost 4-0 and not 5-0, and they lost 2-1 and not 3-0 in the 20/20. That’s what passes for blue Sky thinking down at Sandhurst with their private public relations outfit.


      • pktroll (@pktroll) Feb 3, 2017 / 2:37 pm

        Mark, I see that ‘Our Dear Leader’ has got his CBE today! Rejoice, rejoice!


      • Mark Feb 3, 2017 / 3:46 pm

        Jeez, a CBE. What a joke.

        The one great thing about the honnors system is they do have a sense of humour.


      • SimonH Feb 3, 2017 / 5:05 pm

        The lists ‘People who refused Honours’ and ‘My favourite Britons’ are very similar in my case.

        Except Nigella Lawson.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Feb 3, 2017 / 9:19 pm

        ********************!!!!LAMBING KLAXON!!!!*******************


    • SimonH Feb 4, 2017 / 10:42 am

      Now Tickner’s doing something similar to Butcher – he claims on his latest podcast that Australia won’t score 400 twice and lose in India because “they won’t score 400”.

      Let’s look at their first innings the last time they were there – Australia scored 400 once, 380 and when they scored only 262 India made a similar score when they batted so it was a bowler-friendly pitch. There was only one Test (the 2nd in Hyderabad) when Australia were bowled out cheaply and India weren’t.

      How about pointing out Australia are unlikely to concede 700 or a triple-century to India’s third choice No.5? Maybe England’s decent batting returns were connected to some extremely flat pitches?

      Jeez, I find myself hoping that Australia do quite well in India…..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Feb 3, 2017 / 1:30 pm

      “This coveted award is decided on a vote by senior figures in the world of sports media, including sports editors from national and regional newspapers. A panel of experts also chooses the Sports Newspaper of the Year, won in 2015 by the Daily Mail.”

      So it’s a nothing more than a giant circle jerk of insiders patting each other on the back. If you ever have the misfortune to read some of these peoples Twitter feeds it’s a daily occurrence of self satisfied back slapping. “You’re great…….No no, you’re great”

      There are so many categories it’s almost meaningless. But that does insure almost every major sports journalist gets some sort of nomination in some field. ( what was it Groucho Marx said about not wanting to belong to any club that wants to have him?)

      I suspect Selvey gets in on the sympathy vote……. “Mike Selvey…Freelance” Translation……..”of no fixed abode.”

      I am surprised they didn’t create a special new category called ‘Most pointless trip abroad award” so they could give Ollie Holt some horrible bowling trophy for his Tom Cruise impersonation of a terrorism expert. The very fact these people gave The Daily Mail the award last year shows how absurd the whole jamboree is.

      The best line was this…”“My one regret is the almost total absence of entries from The Sun and Mirror. ” ha ha ha ……paging John Etheridge. Perhaps you need to revise that view that the ECB doesn’t leak. Then you might win awards like the wonderful Mail. On the other hand, you might be better off well out of it. A badge of honour not being nominated, hey? The compare is Jim Rosenthal who is the very definition of smug, self satisfied insincerity. They obviously know their audience!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Feb 3, 2017 / 2:01 pm

        Agreed – plus of course this year the giant world of English cricket journalism was reduced by one by the downfall of the Indy.

        The thing is, despite all that…. Selvey’s still never won it!

        I’m sure the centerpiece of his portfolio must be that “extended bromance with Saker” (clivejw) article. His best hope is the panel look at its length and conclude that something that long must be brilliant but they aren’t going to bother to read it. Or read any of Selvey’s copious back catalogue where he argued the complete opposite for years and was now changing his tune without any apology just when the ECB had a new T20 tournament to sell…..


      • Mark Feb 3, 2017 / 3:41 pm

        The thing is Simon they can’t possible give him the award because he doesn’t have a newspaper. If he wins, what does that say about all the rest who have major newspaper columns?

        Perhaps he could get an award for his tweets? The one from the coffee shop with him looking out the window at rain drenched London….. pining for his chums on the Indian tour. That was belter! Worthy of the Jane Austin award for broken hearted cricket writers.


  32. SimonH Feb 3, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Massively important governance stuff here:

    The Test proposals are pretty wretched:

    1) “The proposals call for a 9-3 league”. So Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland are going to be shoved together and forgotten about.
    2) “The duration of the series will be up to the members – even a one-off Test can be considered a series”. And you thought two-match series were bad…..
    3) “If one team refuses to play another – as has been the case with India playing Pakistan – they will forfeit points”. Good – if it doesn’t derail the whole thing.
    4) “The details of how the bottom three teams operate within this league are still to be fully worked out. They will play against each other in what will be Test matches, but essentially outside of the league structure and with no points at stake”. This is utter bullshit.
    5) “At the end of a four-year period – of two cycles – the performances of these three teams will be assessed”. Assessed? WTF? No promotion and relegation? Hull and Sunderland must be wishing their EPL performances would be “assessed” at the end of the season!

    There’s quite a lot to digest in the other two formats as well (regional qualification for the T20 WC – how will that work given the uneven regional distribution of cricket teams across the world? how would Nepal, for example, ever get in despite their growth and potential?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Feb 3, 2017 / 6:06 pm

      Managing the decline of test cricket is the agenda. As long as the big 3 (sorry the big 1 with the two hangers on) can turn a profit then alls well.


      • SimonH Feb 3, 2017 / 6:49 pm

        As Hoult points out, there is the small detail that the BCCI’s position on all this is unknown.

        And that the BCCI is in such a mess, it’s pretty doubtful they even have a position….


      • Mark Feb 3, 2017 / 9:27 pm

        BCCI can’t make any decsions regards playing Pakistan without consulting with Modi and his govt. Goes way behond cricket.


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