Back to the West Indies

When you have low key series like this one, there’s a temptation to re-use an old post title, asking whether a tree does fall in a forest if no one is there to witness it, but there is an unquestionable appeal to cricket in the West Indies in its own right, not least to the thousands of British tourists who use the opportunity of a cricket tour to get some much needed sunshine at the end of winter.  For the journalists too, it’s still a plum posting to get following the England team about, irrespective of the cricket on offer.  That’s not to criticise them for that, we all have elements of our employment that are rather better than others, and it’s understandable enough to want to go.

Although England are talking a good game about this tour being an integral part of the warm up for the Champions Trophy (which is something of a stretch) there is some importance for the West Indies given the psychological – but not cricketing – shock of failing to qualify for the tournament.  Moreover, there’s no certainty whether they’ll make the next World Cup given the determination to restrict it to as few teams as possible.  As an aside, it would thoroughly serve the ICC right to lose the West Indies if they didn’t make it just to highlight the stupidity of making the premier one day tournament such a restricted affair.  That being said, it would diminish the tournament if they were not there.

Therefore there is something riding on the series, at least for the home team who have only a further five matches to cement their place in the competition before the September cutoff.  Cricket fans around the world have watched in distress as the administrators and players collided repeatedly and often idiotically over the years.  The former powerhouse of world cricket had enough structural problems to deal with without constantly making things even worse.  The blame game got to the point that for many outsiders, they know longer understood what each spat was about, and more damningly they no longer cared.  Across the Caribbean positions were naturally more entrenched, but at the end of it the despair over the collapse of the international team never seemed to concentrated minds sufficiently to the point where all involved actually felt they needed to do something about it.

Given the conduct of the ECB over the last couple of years it’s easy to be cynical about all attempts of governing bodies – who tend to be anything but – to profess a new dawn in how they will run the game, but at some point the civil war in West Indies cricket will have to end.  It might be too much to hope that they will go from their current mess to back challenging all and sundry in the foreseeable future, but any signs of progress have to be welcomed.  If the ICC’s Big Three takeover is properly reversed, there might even  be an opportunity to make the most of doing so, but it will require an alignment of the all the planets to happen.  In England, Andrew Strauss’s title of “Director, Cricket” has been much mocked, yet his role unquestionably has value if done properly.  For the West Indies, the slightly less marketing department inspired Director of Cricket position has been taken up by Jimmy Adams, who is at least a figure who ought to generate widespread respect for his achievements.

George Dobell interviewed him for Cricinfo, and while words in themselves mean little, his desire to have the best players available – no qualification, no hedging – as a straightforward statement of intent, and that all sides need to give ground is perhaps one of the more promising signs for some time.  Whether it ultimately means anything at all, or whether he becomes another in a long line of people to leave in frustration at the Kafkaesque machinations of all sides is still to be seen, but any and all cricket fans around the world will hoping against hope that perhaps he is the one to really push the vested interests into looking after the wider game in the region.

In terms of the on field action most attention has been directed at the reunion of Ben Stokes and Carlos Brathwaite, following the spectacular end to the last World T20 final.  Brathwaite has spoken about his struggles to live up to that day, and it’s perhaps unfair to have expected him to.  There’s every chance it will be the highlight of his career when he comes to look back on it.  If so, there are worse memories to have.

Stokes himself might be worth keeping an eye on, if for no other reason than it’s either in the Caribbean or with Caribbean players that seems to define so many of his actions, from punching a locker to the repeated clashes with Marlon Samuels – which Samuels, it must be said, won.

As far as conditions in Antigua for the first match are concerned, the pitch appears grassy in places and bare in others, but with a 57 metre boundary at one end, the bowlers are going to have their work cut out to stop it being carnage.  As is so often the case with one day or T20 cricket, much discussion is had about bats, fielding restrictions and so on, whereas actually giving the bowlers a chance in the first place tends to be ignored.

England were pretty well beaten in India – in all formats – and perhaps their desire to put right some of those frustrations will make for a watchable series.  But let’s not pretend it’s essential, because it isn’t.

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137 thoughts on “Back to the West Indies

  1. "IronBalls" McGinty March 2, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    Et tu brute…it aint the end of the world…lets see how things pan out Chillin!

    Like

  2. Andy March 3, 2017 / 9:20 am

    The WI are my 2nd team. They always will by while they still play cricket. I grew up in the tail end of their dominance with players like Lara and Ambrose, hearing the stories of their past greats. They played with flair, aggression and a love of the game.

    I always prefered them to the next dominant force that came along…

    It still annoys me that WI cricket has gone the way it has, but it all seems to come back to money. The players want more, the boards want more, the fans don’t want to (can’t?) pay more. The list goes on.

    Adams hits the nail on the head – both sides need to concede ground. The IPL etc are not going away so the boards need to work with the players and the competitions aswell to get it to work.

    If players stop being ‘internationals’, or never are, then they don’t get to show their wares on the international scene, will they still come to the attention of IPL franchises? Will they still command million dollar contracts?

    Perhaps some will, but i feel they will be fewer and farther inbetween.

    I think England do need to get some momentum in ODI cricket. The Caribean is the best place for that at the moment. Whether the WI give us an appropriate challenge is another question.

    One question is player workload. I don’t know what the schedule is for all the players, but has the last few weeks been enough of a rest following the long winter tour, especially for those all format players.

    Like

  3. SimonH March 3, 2017 / 9:33 am

    Another contribution from

    “George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. He will be covering England’s tour of the Caribbean in association with Smile Group Travel, specialists in hosted supporters’ packages”.

    GD couldn’t be flogging this tour and England’s white-ball revolution any harder than if he was selling dodgy package deals (“the sunset over the local water-recycling plant is exquisite…..”).

    So, for example, we have:

    “While nobody will be calling West Indies “mediocre” this time”.

    Trotting that tired narrative out is a crime – and I for one will call WI mediocre because they are.

    “West Indies have not won a bilateral ODI series since 2014. Since 2008, when they defeated Sri Lanka, they have only enjoyed one ODI bilateral series victory against what might have been, until recently, one of the big eight (in 2012, against New Zealand). The last time they played ODI cricket, they failed to qualify for the finals of a tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe”.

    Not mediocre…..

    “England are not used to the tag of favourites. They have improved fairly steadily since their 2015 World Cup performance – or lack of performance – but only now are people starting to talk about them as genuine contenders for the Champions Trophy. For the first time in a while – including, perhaps, the trip to Bangladesh – they are expected to win an away ODI series”.

    Yet again the 2015 WC is treated as the only baseline from which to assess the one-day team. England have been “genuine contenders” for the CT since the home venue was announced. They only have to win four ODIs in an English June – hardly mission impossible. They very nearly did it last time. And England were strong favourites to beat Pakistan away (or would have been for anyone who follows Pakistan) so it isn’t “a while” since they’ve been away favourites for an ODI series.

    “They are not at full strength, though…. this series presents an opportunity for fringe players to push for inclusion in that Champions Trophy squad”.

    Lack of full strength is partly self-inflicted. Dobell has been critical of England’s schedule elsewhere but isn’t here – I wonder why? England are not playing any “fringe” player except where injury has forced them to. Dobell is not willing to ask what Root, Stokes, Woakes and Ali are doing on this tour.

    “England did think about calling up a left-arm option”.

    But they didn’t.

    “Wood won’t be far away”.

    What’s the source for this claim?

    “”Exposing guys to tournaments like the IPL is absolute genius,” Morgan said”.

    Doing the patently obvious is absolute genius?

    “”We’re spoiled for choice in the batting,” Morgan said. “But the injuries have started testing our strength in our bowling”.”

    So let’s make Stokes and Woakes play some more games! Other teams have fast-bowler injuries (Australia have Pattinson and Coulter-Nile, NZ have Milne, SA have Steyn and Morkel) so let’s not start lining it up as an excuse.

    “”I’d like to think we have the attributes to win the Champions Trophy. If we have a fully fit squad we have the attributes” [Morgan said]”.

    Those injuries again….

    Liked by 2 people

    • thelegglance March 3, 2017 / 9:49 am

      The ‘in association with’ is just media sponsorship. No different to the advertising on Sky.

      Like

      • SimonH March 3, 2017 / 9:59 am

        Who’s happy with Sky’s advertising when there’s a conflict of interests with what the main programme is e.g. betting companies?

        Like

        • thelegglance March 3, 2017 / 10:03 am

          Not a question of being happy, I’m just saying it’s common. They can do it, you can point this out. What I am saying is that it won’t be a case where they tell Dobell to write a press release for the sponsor. The grey area is how much influence there might be.

          Like

      • SimonH March 3, 2017 / 11:12 am

        Of course I don’t think it would be a case of telling him to write a press release. It’s more likely to work by self-censorship.

        Part of Dobell’s USP is that he’s different. It’s looking like he isn’t. He also hasn’t been slow to tell us what a great employer ESPN are, that they are well-resourced. If that’s so, they don’t need to be doing this (whereas some of the poorer UK newspapers don’t really have much choice).

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance March 3, 2017 / 11:24 am

          It’s a difficult one. All businesses get advertising support and especially free media outlets, and I don’t see a huge difference between one that doesn’t have a tagline and one that does. Just because they have that I don’t see it automatically becomes MORE likely that they’ll self-censor. For example, if one takes banner advertising for more money that doesn’t make them less likely to be influenced, just the opposite.

          What I’m asking you is whether you think the presence of this makes a material difference? I don’t think it does, I think they’re just as prone to influence however it is done. Or not .

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    • thebogfather March 3, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Has the seemingly once outside and noble Mr Dobell
      Become as one with corporate collective?
      Sad as it seems, he’s now an ECB dough-ball
      Ensconced and has lost his true reflective?

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus March 3, 2017 / 4:44 pm

      There’s an ODI on and no-one gives a stuff, judging by our comments thread today.

      Anyway. Morgan should be dropped to make way for more exciting players. Discuss.

      Like

      • Mark March 3, 2017 / 5:07 pm

        Email me when Olie Holt flies in to tell us whether the game should go ahead or not.

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        • LordCanisLupus March 3, 2017 / 5:11 pm

          Rumour has it that someone has said Barbados is dangerous and he’s volunteering to fly out….

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      • thebogfather March 3, 2017 / 5:08 pm

        When the only way I can follow live here
        Includes ‘commentary’ from Ebony Drain-ford Brent
        And the anal-yst with all his self love adhered
        So the game passes by, passion spent…

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      • "IronBalls" McGinty March 3, 2017 / 5:13 pm

        Surely you don’t mean Morgan, that lily livered Oirish mercenary who couldn’t possibly provide “real” leadership whilst unable to look his team mates in the eye?…That one?

        Like

      • thelegglance March 3, 2017 / 5:16 pm

        Oddly enough I suspect more would give a stuff if it was a 400+ kind of innings. I have a horrible feeling that the authorities wanting bowlers to be cannon fodder might be right in terms of getting people interested.

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      • SimonH March 3, 2017 / 5:45 pm

        There might be more interest if it wasn’t WI B team playing.

        Gayle, both Bravos, Simmons, Narine, Sammy etc etc. The list of missing players is painful.

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      • Mark March 3, 2017 / 6:20 pm

        Nah!

        The’re all to busy piling into Sir Bradley Wiggins at the moment. He’s the new shinny toy that they are all chasing after.

        Either that or all patting each other on the back for their sports journalism awards.

        “And the winner is……..” ……….Does it matter?

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      • d'Arthez March 3, 2017 / 9:04 pm

        I might have been slightly interested if I had reason to expect:
        a) a competitive series – the West Indies are the only major team with a losing record at home since donkey’s years (it is 0.63 since January first for series consisting 4 teams or less (to exclude the World Cup). By comparison, on the same metric Bangladesh have a W/L ratio of 0.605 against the same opposition teams – but they can’t get any fixtures.
        b) We can come up with a few dozen teams of West Indies players that are all not playing, which would best this West Indies team over a 5 or 7 ODI series.
        c) some new English talent, rather than flogging several players (Stokes and Root in particular) into the ground.
        d) if I did not have the feeling that both the boards involved in this series are trying their best to destroy international cricket through greed and incompetence or a combination thereof.

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      • d'Arthez March 3, 2017 / 9:05 pm

        Since January 2007. WordPress decided to eat the calendar year. So that is 10 years of mediocre performances from the West Indies already.

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  4. dlpthomas March 3, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    I gave a stuff for a while but it is now 0400 on yet another rainy Sydney night and I am struggling to stay awake. Stokes now swinging hard at everything so it could be a good finish to the innings.

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    • dlpthomas March 3, 2017 / 5:13 pm

      Bugger, I put the mockers on him.

      Like

  5. scrim March 4, 2017 / 7:30 am

    Virat Kohli. What’s going on there? A couple of slow straight balls and all of a sudden he looks on par with Gary Ballance.

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  6. d'Arthez March 4, 2017 / 8:50 am

    Looks like the coin tossing competition has resumed in India.

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    • d'Arthez March 4, 2017 / 9:29 am

      India now 178/7 – with Saha just gone. Rahul is giving the Indian score a bit of respectability. He is still there, on 86*. The other 5 batsmen + wicketkeeper + allrounder (Ashwin) combined for 80 runs between them, with a HS of 26 by Nair.

      Lyon has taken 5 already. On day 1. The kind of performance of spinners in India you normally hope for on a Day 4 or Day 5 pitch, due to the first days being for batting. I suspect England’s spinners would have done a bit better on these pitches as well than they did on the fair pitches they got to work with.

      At this rate, the ICC should appoint neutral pitch curators for Tests, since fines and such will hardly be a deterrent for this kind of pitch doctoring. Alternatively, give the touring side the right to bat, without tossing a coin, similar to the county championship.

      Like

    • d'Arthez March 4, 2017 / 9:50 am

      Rahul has fallen for 90 to Lyon as well, leaving India at 189/9, with Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav at the crease.

      When is the last time a spinner took 7 or 8 wickets on Day 1 of a Test?

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    • d'Arthez March 4, 2017 / 9:52 am

      Ishant does not last at all, out for a golden duck.

      Lyon’s analysis: 22.2-4-50-8. On a day 1 pitch. Must be close to a record or two …

      Like

      • scrim March 4, 2017 / 10:01 am

        Pitch is turning, but isn’t turning as much as Pune day 1. Uneven bounce is the bigger issue.

        Lyon has bowled immaculately however, and Rahul aside the Indians have been a mess. Let’s judge the pitch after the Aussies have had a bat.

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      • d'Arthez March 4, 2017 / 10:09 am

        To answer my own question: SP Gupte took 9-102 against the West Indies in 1958 on a day 1 pitch. Abdul Qadir did it against England in Lahore (1987).

        Muralitharan took 9 in a day against Zimbabwe – Vaas took the last wicket on day 2, in 2002 in Kandy. Muralitharan also did it once against India, in 2001.

        But all these performances were at home. Among spinners, only Alf Valentine (1950, Manchester, but he bowled 50 overs on Day 1!), and Len Braund, him of Ashes fame in 1904, achieved such a feat on the road before. Braund was certainly helped by the state of the wicket (England’s innings totals were 61 and 101).

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      • scrim March 4, 2017 / 11:07 am

        Warner and Renshaw see the day out without much of a problem. 1 difficult dropped catch but nothing besides that. Perhaps a bit of credit for the Aussies rather than calling it a coin toss competition?

        Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez March 4, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      Australia applied themselves, India did not, with one notable exception. 11 Aussies turned up, and only 1 Indian did. At times it looked like the Indian batsmen trying to outdo each other for atrocious shot selection. Of course, Australia bowled well, but that does not justify some of the idiotic dismissals of the batsmen.

      It was easily the worst day of cricket India have had at home since England tour of 2012. India were that bad. Full credit to Australia for taking advantage, but that does not mean India were playing well.

      India squandered a massive advantage – but that does not mean that India made the wrong call to bat first, or that Smith would have preferred to bowl first. It simply means that India were so atrocious that they managed to surrender the massive advantage that they had before play started.

      On the evidence of the Indian bowling today, if Australia had won the toss, it is not unimaginable that Australia would have reached stumps on 300/3 (India hardly created a chance in the 16 overs they bowled before close). That would have been game over. At least now India are still in with a chance, provided they get their lengths right tomorrow. Again, it is only because India won the toss, that they still have a chance in this Test.

      Like

  7. SimonH March 4, 2017 / 9:06 am

    Anyone seen anything on the attendance and the ticketing for this WI series? The crowd looked dominated by tourists from what I could see with the few locals in the area known as the “grounds” (grass verges with a lousy side-on view). The crowd couldn’t have been more effectively segregated if Jim Crow was in charge.

    I found some info on ticket prices here –

    http://www.kyazoonga.com/Match/West-Indies-v-England—2nd-ODI/118611

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    • SimonH March 4, 2017 / 9:13 am

      Oh great – WordPress seems to have eaten my first post but not my second so the second makes no sense.

      I was asking about crowd figures and ticket prices. Has anyone seen the former? The crowd seemed dominated by tourists from what I could see. What were ticket prices for the locals? I found this:

      http://www.kyazoonga.com/Match/West-Indies-v-England—2nd-ODI/118611

      Which would explain why the few locals present were in the “grounds” area with no seats and a lousy view.

      Like

    • SimonH March 4, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Essex have come out against the new tournament I read somewhere.

      Kent’s position is going to be interesting – they are likely to be one of the big losers under the new tournament and their previously anti- chairman has just departed (I’m curious why – and if their position will change as a result).

      I’m also curious that Durham’s new chairman is pro- the new tournament. Is it at all likely Durham will be one of the eight new centers (two in London, Southampton, Cardiff, Edgbaston, Notts, Manchester, Leeds – isn’t that the probable eight? Unless there aren’t two in London?).

      Like

      • oreston March 4, 2017 / 2:12 pm

        I don’t think you really go to ITB for carefully reasoned arguments on the big topics. At least he also said that Test cricket should still be paramount. Again though, that’s a little ironic considering where Durham are currently at. I hope his boundless enthusiasm and up ‘n’ at ’em ethos helps see them through testing times though.

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      • SimonH March 5, 2017 / 11:15 am

        There’s a Twitter exchange between Dobell and Tregaskis on the T20 tournament that’s worth looking at.

        Also, Newman seems to be going off the idea rapidly (not unconnected to Essex’s position, I suspect). One other of the press gang promptly thinks it’s his job to herd him back on to the reservation (Steve James does the honours).

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  8. d'Arthez March 4, 2017 / 11:09 am

    Excellent day for Australia. They have really applied themselves, and outplayed India comprehensively again, despite losing the toss. Lots of muddled thinking by the hosts, and several atrocious shots did not help their cause either.

    India squandered a massive advantage, and may now struggle to remain in the game (and if they can get Australia out for 240 or less, they will be). Uneven bounce is a major feature already, a lot of balls did not behave, which is really not ideal for a Day 1 pitch, to say the least.

    India’s bowling is looking mostly unthreatening – they’re bowling the wrong lengths, and curiously more than half the overs were bowled by Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. They need to come up with better plans, or else they can forget about regaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

    Like

    • SimonH March 4, 2017 / 11:29 am

      TV coverage was pointing all Lyon’s wickets came from one small area of the pitch (good length outside off-stump to RHBs from one end). No Indian bowler bowled at that area because of Australia’s LHBs and Ashwin bowling too full.

      Kohli had long-off back for both batsmen to Ashwin from the start which was beserk.

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      • scrim March 5, 2017 / 11:19 am

        Lyon’s wickets all pitched in the same area because every single delivery he bowled (aside from a handful to left handed Jadeja) was pitched there. The pitch map is incredible -nothing short, nothing overpitched, nothing off line. It was a brilliant performance.

        Aakash Chopra’s piece on Cricinfo about him yesterday, in which he called it perhaps the best performance ever by a visiting spinner to India, is a good read, and has the pitch maps.

        Like

    • Mark March 4, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Aus have to bat last on this pitch so their first innings is huge in the context of the match. Tomorrow could decide this test match one way or another. If Aus bat the day they will be in a very strong position,

      This pitch’s uneven bounce on the first day is a disgrace. You can’t tell me a country with India’s resources can’t come up with something better than this? One has to assume it was created deliberately? Another example of what happens when you cheer on creating pitches that favour the home side.

      Perhaps it will backfire on India, as it has sometimes before. But that is not really the point. The authorities seem to want the home sides to win in between 3-4 days.

      Like

  9. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) March 5, 2017 / 8:44 am

    Well, Australia’s 1st innings has turned into trench warfare. Tuned in about 7am UK time and assumed time had been lost to rain given the low score. 162-4 right now and with the ball doing all sorts we can’t rule out a clatter of wickets. Fascinating Test cricket to my eye. The Aussies have a game plan and are applying a technique to deliver that plan. Take note England.

    Like

    • SimonH March 5, 2017 / 8:56 am

      The match is very much on a knife-edge – I wouldn’t fancy anyone chasing over a 100 here.

      The pitch is an abomination. Can action be taken against boards who provide two consecutive ‘poor’ pitches? I know it can against individual grounds – but does the same apply to boards?

      And yes, 600 versus 600 pitches are just as bad and should also be rated poor.

      Like

      • Mark March 5, 2017 / 10:25 am

        No action will be taken. It’s India. This is why Giles Clarkes capitulation along with the ACB to create the the Big 3 was such a crock. It was never the big 3. It was the big 1, and they propped it up for commercial reasons, and sold out the rest of the sport. Shameful.

        No doubt if this match ends in a thriller people will say all is fine. Better to have 200 play 200 play 150 play 130, than 575 play 620. But it doesn’t have to be either. This is why I am deeply suspicious about Test Match Championships, and day/night test matches. If you can’t even get the playing surface to a reasonable standard what’s the point of all the other bells and whistles?

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Miami Dad's Six March 5, 2017 / 8:55 am

    Are the Marshes the worst set of brothers to represent Australia?

    Like

    • scrim March 5, 2017 / 11:14 am

      Well they’re not as good as the Chappells or the Waughs. And they wouldn’t even come close to some of the more unevenly famous brothers like Benauds or Harveys.

      I’m no Marsh family fan, but that was a top innings from Shaun today.

      Mitch on the other hand is an absolute dog of a selection. I feel sorry for the guy. First of all, his bowling is completely unneeded in these conditions. If they must have a 5th bowler it should be a spinner. And his batting is hopeless at the moment. After he got dropped for making no runs, he went back to the shield and made no runs, and now surprise surprise he’s making no runs. I read a stat before his duck today – of the 414 test cricketers to have played 20+ tests batting in the top 6, he is 413th on the list of batting averages. He needs a season or two of good shield cricket before he is considered again.

      Number 6 has been a problem for Australia for so long. MMarsh, Ferguson, Maddinson… all have failed miserably. Hilton Cartwright did ok in one low pressure appearance but got dropped for no reason for this tour. Could do worse than putting Khawaja there (or bumping others down the order for him) as long as we’re playing on 3 day pitches.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. SimonH March 5, 2017 / 11:51 am

    This Australian team has 310 Test caps between them. The England team for the Second Test of the tour just gone had 520.

    Australia play nearly as many Tests as England so this is mostly not down to the schedule. Curiously, the average ages of the two teams is virtually identical. This is because Australia have picked players experienced in years but not in Tests (Shaun Marsh, SNJOK, Wade to some extent). These are the sorts of player England keep refusing to select (despite the success of Swann and Sidebottom under Moores pt.1). Are there really no such players in the CC – or is the ECB obsessed with youth?

    Like

    • Mark March 5, 2017 / 12:11 pm

      ECB is obsessed with blind obedience to authority. That’s why they are all checked over in The Lions to make sure they are the right types.

      One would hope this might change now we have a less insecure captain, but I doubt it.

      Like

    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) March 5, 2017 / 12:40 pm

      It’s a good question. We should have been able to find a solid county pro spinner for the India tour, someone who may not be a world beater but could at least bowl as well as the Aussie spinners here. A mature hand in the upper order wouldn’t go amiss either. Would have to be an avid follower of county cricket to know if these players are there, or whether it is selectoral policy not to pick them…

      It’s an intriguing Test. The balance between bat and all is wrong but at least it’s consistent over the two days. I dislike games of one day of good bowing conditions followed by a flat strip for 2-3 days.

      I really think the Aussies deserve a lot of credit for making the most of their team in these conditions. Indian supports must, however, be very concerned at the showing so far in this series. In the bigger picture Test cricket really needed an away team to step and perform.

      Like

      • SimonH March 5, 2017 / 12:50 pm

        Something else the Aussies deserve credit for is the way they were willing to grind today and not give it away with a wild heavy while using the “attacking intent” mentality or “I’d have got a good one eventually” alibi (both of which are increasingly covers for a lack of defensive technique).

        Starc seems to have the licence to come in and attack from the get-go but that’s okay as he has tired bowlers to have a go at.

        Some of Kohli’s tactics today were very odd – especially how much more he bowled Ashwin than Jadeja.

        Like

      • Mark March 5, 2017 / 1:11 pm

        The England team just seemed to write off the whole series. And this was backed up by the media who just said that anything other than a 5-0 defeat would be great.

        It helps if you have a captain who actually believes in spinners and knows how they tick, and what they are trying to achieve. Cook always gave the impression that the spinners where there to just block up an end,and maybe nick the odd wicket. There never appeared to be much warmth towards new spinners coming into the team.

        Liked by 1 person

    • scrim March 5, 2017 / 12:46 pm

      Gareth Batty?

      Like

  12. Mark March 5, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    Jeez, Skys coverage has only been going for 5 minutes and already Atherton brings up the Morgan/Bangladesh issue. Ffs does every discussion about Morgan now have to be prefaced with……” Well yes, but after Bangladesh it was important for him to play and score some runs.”

    Mike Atherton is obviously taking the role of Nasser today. Perhaps Nick Knight should start the show with this introduction…………..

    ” Welcome to todays ODI between Wi and ENG. Here in the studio we have Mike Atherton of the famous dirt in the pocket affair. So Mike, are your trouser pockets clean today?”

    Like

  13. Deep Purple Fred March 5, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    Hi Dmitri
    just wanted to check the protocol on this blog. I know it’s focussed on English cricket, and especially on media and administration, but something else is happening and I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to comment here.

    Just imagine if a team was playing another team who had just convincingly beaten England recently , and that team was doing really well, and was looking like they might beat the team that just beat England, would it be OK to comment on that?

    And if that team who was about to beat the team that convincingly beat England recently had been written off by the whole world, including Ricky “never give in” Ponting, who said an honourable defeat would be a good result, would that make it more OK to make a comment about it?

    And if that team had a daggy, unfancied, riduculed spinner, who looks like you’re old mate from down the pub but who is actually an elite athlete but who outperforms the local guy who is maybe the best spinner in the world, could that be mentioned?

    This hasn’t happened yet, I was just ruminating. Just asking for a friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • northernlight71 March 5, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Did I miss the joke, or have you missed all the comments about “that other series” on here?!

      Like

    • Mark March 5, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Could you stop talking in riddles please.

      Simple point, if you want to talk about the Aus/India match go ahead. I doubt Dmitri will have any problems with that at all. I don’t think there are any protocols on talking about an ongoing test match.

      Unless you are intermaiting something more sinister like match fixing. In which case be very careful.

      Like

    • Deep Purple Fred March 5, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      Oops, humour gone bad. Was trying to avoid being a knob, but obviously failed.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus March 5, 2017 / 10:43 pm

        I’m freezing on my last day in the States, caught a cold, am ducked off at having to come home and leave my wife behind, can’t wait to get back to work on Wednesday (not) and you try Aussie humour on me?

        Brave man.

        But one thing is true. 4-0 was what we should have expected for England and if you thought otherwise you are an idiot!

        Like

      • Deep Purple Fred March 5, 2017 / 11:31 pm

        Thank you Jomesy. At least I’m not totally insane.

        Dmitri, sorry for your travails but isn’t it the essence of Australian cricket to kick a man when he’s down? I’m still working on a good sledge, hopefully something personal and in poor taste.
        (For the removal of all doubt, that was a joke too).

        Sorry but my head has been done in by recent events and my judgment has gone walkabout. Australia having sustained success in India is surreal. And the whole Kohli bearing arms twice in a row thing is just….
        I can’t work out whether to take this cricket seriously, or to laugh maniacally at the random fates the gods throw at us.

        Of course I expected England to lose to zip. I also expected Australia to, and to be made to look silly in the process. But it seems we all live in Donald Trump’s world of alternative facts now.

        Like

      • BobW March 7, 2017 / 4:32 pm

        Made me laugh.

        Like

  14. Rooto March 5, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    England making heavy weather of a small run chase this evening – may be saved by the inability to just keep the spinners on for loads of overs. Meanwhile, and far more importantly, isn’t Simon Hughes teeth-gratingly, ear-damagingly bad on TMS? Talks over the action, poorly prepared (especially in terms of player recognition), basically ignorant (several factual errors that others have been pleasingly quick to point out*), and ALWAYS manages to get several “I”s and “me”s into EVERY one of his anecdotes.
    Aaargh!

    *I’d be wrong on lots of stuff if I had to talk about cricket for hours on end, but I’d minimise that by doing some basic fucking research before taking the BBC’s money. And I wouldn’t have to research the fact that Macko’s broken arm was in 1984 either, not 1988 Simon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • "IronBalls" McGinty March 5, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      Agreed…he’s shite!

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus March 5, 2017 / 10:50 pm

      It was said about a journalist over here that the worst thing you could do would be to remove the “I” key from his laptop.

      #39.

      Like

  15. SimonH March 5, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    Remember when people wanted to drop Root from the ODI team?…

    Like

    • northernlight71 March 5, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      Now now. A low scoring, slow run-rate win could make any batsman look good….
      Even Cook might have anchored that innings to a win, but would we clamour for his ODI return?!

      Like

    • Mark March 5, 2017 / 9:09 pm

      Calls for Root to become captain of the ODI team from the pundocrity in……5 4 3 2 1

      Seriously though, I thought Root played very responsibly, as did his partner Woakes. Some of the main WI team are at the same time playing in the Pakistan 20/20 final aren’t they?

      Like

      • SimonH March 5, 2017 / 9:26 pm

        NL – I think the team needs one batsman who can play a relatively conventional innings on a difficult wicket. To compare Root with Cook in ODIs is just being silly.

        Mark – I don’t think there’s much chance of that. What Root’s innings has more likely done is save him for a while from writing about how the announcement of the captaincy is wrecking his form. Those who want Morgan out for reasons we well know seem to want Buttler as white-ball captain (which might have something to be said for it in the long-term but at the moment he’s the one out of form)..

        Like

    • AB March 5, 2017 / 10:15 pm

      I don’t remember that. I remember people wanting to drop him from the T20 team.

      Like

  16. SimonH March 6, 2017 / 7:59 am

    India wiped the deficit out with 8 wickets left. Got to make them slight favourites now but it’s still very tight.

    Pitch is still doing all sorts. Smith has been like Kohli with an odd reluctance to bowl his spinners in tandem and his left-armer in particular. Two catches have gone down off Lyon (neither easy) and there have been numerous close shaves. However a batsman who gets in and is watchful can survive with a touch of fortune although a clatter of wickets from new batsmen can never be discounted.

    Like

    • SimonH March 6, 2017 / 8:22 am

      Hazlewood just got Kohli – obviously what I meant is Smith bowling his seamers is genius captaincy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH March 6, 2017 / 8:42 am

        And bowled Sir (weirdly promoted in the order as a sort of tea-watchman). It was 1mm away from being a no-ball.

        India effectively 33-4.

        Like

      • SimonH March 6, 2017 / 11:12 am

        Add nearly a hundred to that lead.

        VVS Pujara and Rahul Rahane have taken this away from Australia with lovely old-school batting (plus a few slices of good fortune).

        Like

      • man in a barrel March 6, 2017 / 12:36 pm

        It looks either as if a soft old ball is relatively ineffective on that pitch or that the pitch is dying. It could be that SJOK is bowling too slowly. It is noticeable that the quicker, flatter Lyon is getting more out of it in terms of both turn and bounce. I am surprised that Marsh has not tried to fire the ball at the cracked areas. Also Smith should have tried an over or 2 to see how leg-spin worked on that track.

        Like

      • amit garg March 6, 2017 / 2:00 pm

        The pitch has not been easy. But the bowling from both sides has also been fairly good. The bowlers have consistently pitched at good lengths, at the right lines and created problems for batsmen.
        The pitch maps for Lyon in this series are going to markedly differ (sheer consistency) from the England bowlers in the previous series. I think that’s been a major factor behind a slow run rate, in a fairly gripping game.

        A few grubbers and a few sharply bouncing balls have added doubt but the application from Pujara and Rahane has been phenomenal. If India manage another 120 odd runs on this pitch, chasing 250 on this pitch is not going to be easy.

        As an Indian fan, what has been (strangely) fascinating to watch has been a complete turnaround in the batting form of the Indian batsmen in a matter of weeks from being brilliant against England to being absolutely hopeless in the first game and to fighting it out in this inning. I hope they do go on to win this game and turn the series around.

        Like

  17. SimonH March 6, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    Andy Flower coaches the Lions to a 3-0 defeat in the ODI series in SL.

    Consequences? Promotion…. a knighthood?…..

    Like

  18. SimonH March 7, 2017 / 9:42 am

    India have won, quite comfortably in the end.

    Australia had some misfortune with individual dismissals (Warner’s LBW was ‘umpire’s call on two counts, Shaun Marsh’s LBW was missing but he didn’t review, Smith got a shooter) but very few teams would have chased that total down on that pitch. The match was decided in the third innings and the Pujara-Rahane partnership.

    Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel March 7, 2017 / 10:32 am

        It looks as if it is straightening enough to miss the off-stage! Certainly a very close call

        Like

      • nonoxcol March 7, 2017 / 10:49 am

        The issue is impact point not projected path, isn’t it? Impact *clearly* outside the line using their own technology, surely.

        Like

      • Andy March 7, 2017 / 12:19 pm

        for LBW the ball has to pitch either inline or on the offside, hit ‘inline’ with teh stumps and be going on to hit the stumps (assuming the player is playing a stroke).

        From the freeze frame it looks like about 1mm of teh ball is ‘inline’ at teh impact point. This makes it umpires call.

        I think that if 51% of the ball was hitting, then it becomes inline not umpires call.

        I assume that the hawkeye program has the equivalent of a line drawn down teh pitch from offstump which may or may not line up with the camera position exactly.

        Given enough balls, you will get the ones that absolutely stretch the credibility of the system and cross the line by a hairs bredth. This si where ‘umpires call’ fall down.

        Do you take a ‘its hitting’ approach or allow for leeway in the decision.

        If the umpire had given it not out, then Warner would be not out, as it was he was given out. where is the line to be drawn between a player being both out and not out to teh same ball.

        Like

    • man in a barrel March 7, 2017 / 3:27 pm

      Maybe Selfie has read this blog’s definition of “good journalism” and was sufficiently stung to write this

      Like

    • nonoxcol March 7, 2017 / 3:53 pm

      JFC.

      I mean…

      J
      F
      C
      Almighty.

      Like

    • Mark March 7, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      Just two letters……KP……is all it takes to send these clowns insane. Frigging hilarious! They can’t let it go.

      Selvey projecting again. He made an entire career out of re hashing inside PR. What we’re all those cosy dinners with the usual suspects about? (I know things, that you don’t know, so you must believe the things I tell you that I know.)

      They played Selvey like a Steinway piano through the Cook years. He just regurgitated what they wanted him to say.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tregaskis March 7, 2017 / 6:36 pm

      Simon, Is this Selvey having a pop at Dobell? Selvey has blocked me so I can’t verify.

      Like

      • Tregaskis March 7, 2017 / 6:41 pm

        Could you email me about this? Dmitri has my contact details. Dmitri, please can you let Simon have my email address.

        Like

      • LordCanisLupus March 7, 2017 / 6:47 pm

        He doesn’t have a go at Dobell. It’s at KP wanting to announce something on his own feed, but having it pre-empted by a leak from someone or other, and reported by Dobell.

        Selvey, with a complete lack of self-analysis, says this is journalism and not the repeating of PR puff pieces. No doubt tweets like this will be feted further down the line.

        Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH March 7, 2017 / 6:51 pm

        Tregaskis, Selvey having a go at Dobell? No. You may remember the two tweeted about going for a drink on the 2015 West Indies’ tour and I haven’t seen either write a word vaguely critical of the other since (indeed, some of their views have become interchangeable).

        Selvey is having a go at Pietersen. He tweeted about a forthcoming announcement and Dobell had a story up about the Surrey deal before Pietersen himself had announced it. Pietersen tweeted his unhappiness but it isn’t personally abusive (if you want to see some personal abuse, see some of the replies to Pietersen, as usual).

        The Currans have tweeted their happiness that Pietersen will be playing with Surrey, Weird how they’re not complaining about that disruptive bastard…..

        Liked by 2 people

      • Tregaskis March 7, 2017 / 6:53 pm

        Dmitri

        Thank you for the clarification, The Miller-Selvey exchange was ambiguous and I was unclear what Selvey’s line was. I am clearer now. Thank you, again.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus March 7, 2017 / 7:19 pm

          I was hoping we’d all be able to read his views and insight on the blog he trailed. I, for one, can’t wait. With the amount of prep, and the time taken, it’s going to blow us out of the water.

          Oh, and KP liked my tweet!

          Liked by 4 people

      • RufusSG March 8, 2017 / 11:30 am

        Although obviously the same old nonsense has been thrown at him as a result of his announcement (and I agree that Selvey’s response is daft: the entirely factual story Dobell wrote up on the news is hardly a “puff piece”, disregarding of the much-noted hypocrisy of Selvey’s comment), I did find KP’s reaction a bit excessive. Obviously I’ve got no idea how the story got into Cricinfo’s hands in the first place, but all it’s meant is that the story became public a few hours earlier than it would have done otherwise.

        It certainly isn’t the crime of the century to react as he did, and I shan’t hold it against KP at all, but it just seemed a bit strange.

        Like

    • jomesy March 7, 2017 / 9:08 pm

      Marvellous!

      KP is back to Surrey for “the” kind of tournament for which he lost his England birth!

      Fuck what Selvey got to say – he will be forever waiting for Godot.

      It’s almost Shakespearean.

      KP is only doing it to shame the ECB.

      Whether the ECB can ever reflect as the tyrant on their guilt, who knows…but well done KP for publicly shaming them.

      O’course that requires KP to deliver. The tyrants may have fucked him but I live in hope.

      Like

    • thebogfather March 8, 2017 / 2:24 pm

      So, The Selfey blog
      Having missed
      The chance to kiss
      Captain Cookie ‘goodbye’
      Now has a chance to open his innings up-front
      With a first post swing-slog
      A surefire in-deep, so knowing, with ‘good journalism’, via the, comma, ‘cnut ‘
      Big-Bashing KP’s return to these shores
      A perfect circle (Oval?), to incite click-bait and eternally bore…

      (has newman added his nuance yet? – I’m sure his y-fronts are already wet…)

      Like

    • Mark March 7, 2017 / 5:36 pm

      BT has even less viewers than Sky. God knows where they are getting all the money from for these sports rights deals. The only reason I get BT is I have my broadband through them so they give me a discount on the sports package.

      This is the golden age of sports rights. Huge payouts, and no viewers. Is it sustainable?

      Like

        • LordCanisLupus March 7, 2017 / 7:17 pm

          So basically Charlie Sale was talking nonsense in his columns about how bothered UEFA were about the lack of visibility. There is no contractual requirement to give highlights to another broadcaster! Access has been further restricted!

          What is this Faustian pact the Mail’s writers have with a competitor (Sky / Murdoch) that would stab them in the back if they thought it worth their while? Look now for plenty of articles mentioning BT’s dominance over the broadband network, and how that monopoly needs breaking up.

          Like

      • SimonH March 7, 2017 / 7:51 pm

        They seem to have got over their concerns when the price was tripled.

        I’m shocked….

        Like

      • Nicholas March 9, 2017 / 12:04 pm

        Sorry to come in late to this discussion – just thought it was worth mentioning a couple of things. First, the price that BT will be paying for Champions League hasn’t tripled – it’s gone up by 30%. I’m not denying it’s an eye watering amount amount of money for BT to spend, but BT clearly think that the rights are worthwhile to them.

        BT are playing a different game to most other broadcasters – they are bidding the amount that they think is required to win the rights, rather than the amount that the rights are worth to them in terms of profit/loss on their sports channels. That’s because they are using the rights to sell a broader telecoms package. Since the introduction of BT Sport in 2013, the consumer side of their business, which did have declining profits, has bucked the trend and began to increase once more in profitability. You have to admire the strategic decisions that BT have made since 2012 and their bid for the Premier League rights.

        And it was Sky who took them down that road, by aggressively moving into broadband and telecoms in the mid-00s, selling triple-play packages that took away from BT’s core business. BT (belatedly, some might say) realised that the only way to beat this was to buy in their own content, which is what they are now doing.

        They were also very intelligent in their bidding for the Premier League which led to Sky increasing their bid by 80% from the 2012 round, leading to Sky needing to make cost-cuts across the board. BT clearly think that the CL rights are worth it to them and the backbone of their BT Sport model (which is a benefit to the overall BT Consumer business), much like Sky know that Sky Sports is defined by having the bulk of the Premier League rights.

        Now, onto cricket! Obviously, had Sky got the CL back, then BT would have more of a war chest, but I don’t think it’s a huge surprise that BT retained CL. BT are clearly in the market for cricket, given their Australian rights, and cricket is a vital contract for Sky, too. So I would expect a bidding war this time around, and let’s see what occurs.

        I should say that there’s nothing I’d like to see more than cricket back on FTA and I’m not trying to sound like a pay TV apologist here. But I agree with Dmitri that many of the sports columnists seem to have it in for BT – they seem to think that it’s OK if Sky takes a sport away from FTA TV, but if BT takes a contract from Sky it’s like the sky has fallen in. The thing is, Sky went after BT’s business and BT retaliated – is this necessarily good for the consumer? No, but I hope that the market will settle and the cost to consumers will eventually come down.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark March 9, 2017 / 12:59 pm

        I dont disagree with much of that Nicholas. Certainly broadband and telephone contracts are driving this, and as you say Sky parked their tanks on BTs broadband business. Sports bodies are cashing in on this windfall. It remains to be seen how many people will pay aprox £700 per year for tv packages. Especially as the price of broadband comes down and increasing amounts of younger people just have a mobile phone and don’t want a land line.

        As to why the hostility from the sports journos towards BT I can only guess. Perhaps some were getting rather too chummy with Sky, even getting paid to go on and pontificate on some shows. I also think that one of the problems with increased competition in this model is the customer now has to take out two contracts one with Sky and one with BT. This just increases the cost. Perhaps some journos have to pay this out of their own pocket anf not from their newspaper.

        Or perhaps they all hope to work for Murdoch one day………

        One thing is for sure in this climate, and that is free to air sport is on the decline.

        Like

      • SimonH March 9, 2017 / 1:30 pm

        Nicholas, plenty in your post I wouldn’t disagree with and you’re right to pick me up on my inability to differentiate a tripling from a third!

        FTR I have no love of Sky and wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep if they lost every sport. The myth about their “magnificent coverage” is just that, a myth.

        The element I find missing from your post is… what does it mean for the viewer? There may be (to borrow a phrase!) some marginal gains but I can’t see that the cost is going to be worth it. A fan with a broad sporting interest is going to be staring down the barrel at two subscriptions.

        By the way, from what I’ve seen of BT’s cricket coverage (quite a bit in the A v SA series) it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. The same goes for the football coverage. I don’t see any innovation from them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AB March 10, 2017 / 12:18 pm

        I can’t conceive of a way in which BT could have made any more of a mess of trying to break into sports broadcasting. A crap platform that doesn’t work, combined with pouring money down the drain vastly overpaying for a totally illogical combination of tv rights that no-one wants to watch. Its no wonder their share price is in freefall.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus March 10, 2017 / 1:24 pm

          I watch BT Sport more than Sky. So not sure what that says.

          Like

    • AB March 10, 2017 / 12:20 pm

      “Sports bodies are cashing in on this windfall”

      Well, premiership footballers are cashing in on this windfall. Everyone else, from the fans to the governing bodies is being fucked over.

      Like

  19. d'Arthez March 8, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Meanwhile Duminy is proving to the world that he is still the worst #4 in any international Test side. How that guy keeps getting picked is an indictment on CSA.

    Like

  20. SimonH March 8, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    Seeing Brailsford in more trouble, does anyone know about the connections between him and Flower? I’m sure I read that they were both part of some group for elite sports’ managers but can’t now find anything much about it.

    In circumstantial evidence, I’d offer reports that describe the two as “very close friends”, Brailsford’s public support for Flower at the time of the KP saga (very widely reported) and England cricketers using language straight out of the Brailsford lexicon during the Flower era (“marginal gains”, “the one-per-cents” etc).

    Of course England cricket would never have sought a one per cent marginal gain in some of the ways Brailsford appears to have done. Perish the thought. Andy Flower would have stuck his fingers in his ears and gone “la, la la” if Brailsford had started talking about such things.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. nonoxcol March 8, 2017 / 10:44 pm

    Well, that didn’t stink of a fix at all, did it?

    #goodoldfootballitsthebeautifulgame

    Like

  22. man in a barrel March 8, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    Simonh the 1% here and there has been part of the elite coaching lexicon for a while. For example, back in 2003 the company I was with put a pitch to some consultancies for advice on customer service. One consultancy was headed up by Mike McIntyre from the Olympic sailing squad – he won gold in the Star class in 1988 – and his pitch was all about incremental gains.

    Furthermore, about 5 years later at another company another Olympic medallist (a runner) pitched up to talk about marginal gains, but the advice about concentrating on the part of the race where you do worst was hard to apply to my job.

    There is a large community of coaches spreading and disseminating stuff that amounts to bullshit. Basically trying to take individual experience and make it genetic without any proper analysis

    Like

    • Mark March 9, 2017 / 9:05 am

      It always makes me laugh when corporations complain about regulations and taxation. They always leave out the amount of money they are willing to piss away on snake oil salesman and management consultants/ gurus who will put their business straight.

      Of course they would argue that the key word is “willing.” They have a choice to hire these people. Unlike other expenses. It is amazing though, how they manage to hood wink their shareholders into thinking this steaming pile of clap trap is really necessary. Product launches in Tuscany, seminars in the South of France. And nobody ever enquires why they are paying the chief executive a bloody fortune when he has to hire in all these people to tell him what to do.

      There has also been an whole rain Forrest cut down to publish books that push this snake oil nonsense. The idea that there is no such thing as talent. That everyone with enough practice can become Roger Federer or Tiger Woods. The BBC regularly have on these folks. And people write articles about what geniusus they are in The New Statesman. Looking forward to Ed Smith deconstructing British cycling.

      Like

  23. man in a barrel March 9, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    117 comments, hey mods can we have a new thread, even if just an open thread?

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus March 9, 2017 / 10:30 pm

      Only if you can answer this question…

      Who said…

      “Perhaps the Guardian should have taken a punt on Aldred when they decided, for reasons that must have something to do with the Mental Health Act, to release Mike Selvey from the cricket correspondent’s post last Autumn.”

      Like

      • Benny March 9, 2017 / 11:48 pm

        Harry Hill?

        Like

      • northernlight71 March 10, 2017 / 12:11 am

        I didn’t realise they released Selvey because he was being detained under the MHA. Was it under section 2,3, 4 or 5?

        Liked by 2 people

      • BoredInAustria March 10, 2017 / 6:40 am

        He would sit in his padded cell staring blankly into space and kept saying “I am a journalist, I am a journalist…” only to stop when the letters K and P where mentioned. This though would lead to a complete loss of control resulting in shouting words like “Bilious Inadequates”, “Vile Ignoramuses””Social Media Zealots” and “Fruit Fly” always ending in “C…! C…! C…!”

        Like

      • nonoxcol March 10, 2017 / 10:14 pm

        Sounds like Hendo to me!

        Like

    • thelegglance March 10, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Yeah, aware of it but I’m in Berlin all this week so a bit stuffed to put anything up.

      Like

  24. SimonH March 10, 2017 / 9:27 am

    Just 121 days to the next England Test!

    There’s a good Test going on in NZ with all results possible after 3 days. Crikey, Dunedin is pretty when the sun shines and the sky is blue.

    Not such good news that Starc has a stress fracture of the foot.

    Like

    • man in a barrel March 10, 2017 / 9:41 am

      Is it my imagination or does Starc get a stress fracture in a foot every 10 Tests?

      Like

      • SimonH March 10, 2017 / 10:53 am

        I thought most of his previous injury trouble had been in his ankle (a bone spur?).

        Like

      • man in a barrel March 10, 2017 / 11:06 am

        He has had bone spur problems on his ankle but in November 2015, after the day-night Test he got a broken right foot.

        Like

      • man in a barrel March 10, 2017 / 11:15 am

        September 2013, it was stress fractures in his back. July 2015 the ankle spurs. So my memory was at fault. However, he does seem to pick up a serious injury every year or so, even if you discount the freak training accident in September 2016.

        Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) March 10, 2017 / 11:19 am

        I’m afraid that this is the lot of the modern day quick. Starc looks one of the more naturally athletic quicks but such is the volume of cricket that they play that even he seems to spend a fair bit of time out. There is much talk of the Aussies bringing in the likes of Cummins and Pattinson. I guess for a couple of tests that might be ok, but the problem is for them further down the line if they don’t suddenly find their bodies can’t take too much five day cricket. Both of them made their debuts well over 5 years ago but in Cummins case, he has only played white ball stuff in between his injuries and in Pattinson’s case he’s played a few games here and there in amongst long term injuries.

        Like

      • man in a barrel March 10, 2017 / 5:01 pm

        I guess it is down to the way that averaqe heights have increased over the last 50 years. Maybe human skeletons are not really equipped for people over 2 metres tall exerting themselves in the way that fast bowlers do. Perhaps we should be looking around for the short and burly guys such as Fred Trueman and Harold Larwood, both around the 1.7m mark. I recall now the injury history of Chris Tremlett – another bowler who was barely able to get through a season without injury

        Like

  25. oreston March 10, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Apparently there was a 50 over game in Barbados in which England thrashed some local 2nd XI.

    Like

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