England vs South Africa: 1st Test, Day two

On the face of it, day two was similar to day one, the batting side getting themselves into a hole, and proceeding to dig themselves out of it, but there can be little doubt that England will be the happier with their work today and with the overall match position, the late dismissal of De Bruyn merely reinforced that. 

Losing Root early on wasn’t in England’s script and losing Dawson straight after added to the furrowed brows, with the possibility that 400 might even be out of reach. Given the alarming start and 76-4, it would have been churlish to consider 400 to be less than hoped, but cricket is all about expectations, and overnight there would have been aspirations towards 500. But England are a funny side, they have a raft of all rounders and players who if they don’t quite fall into that category, can at least be counted on for contributions periodically. If it’s not the same one from game to game then so much the better, and while in recent times (India away notably) the lower order runs rescued disaster rather than created a position of strength, here it both provided entertainment and took the game away from the tourists rapidly. 

It demonstrates both England’s weakness and their strength. The middle and lower order is undoubtedly potent, but the top is somewhat unreliable. We don’t need to say that the top order can’t be bailed out all the time, it’s very recent history that clearly demonstrates that. India more than anything was a failure of the batsmen, even if the bowlers were the ones who got it in the neck for failing to defend inadequate totals. It was ever thus and this one Test innings here doesn’t show anything other than a continuation of the same. 

Still, if Root is the MVP of the England top order, Moeen Ali is the king of the lower middle. Batting at seven isn’t his preferred role, but he’s so damn good at it that it’s hard to advance a case that he improves the side by being anywhere else. He gets more than his fair share of criticism, mostly focused on what he can’t do rather than what he can. Equally, his flaws are sometimes forgiven because he’s just so wonderful to watch in full flow. What we can say is that he’s clearly worked on his game against the short ball. It’s unlikely we’ll see him become truly adept at it, but he certainly looks better than he did, albeit on the evidence of one knock. 

He passed 2,000 Test runs in his innings of 87 (ended by a typically bad-Moeen shot where for all the attempts by the commentators to call it a good ball, still looked more like he missed a half volley to me), and later in the day reached 100 Test wickets. Now, there are lies, damned lies and statistics, but he did that double markedly quicker than Botham and Flintoff, and only one Test behind Tony Greig. Given his bowling limitations that’s quite startling. Flintoff had a poor start to his Test career, but Greig and Botham had anything but. It’s an achievement for which he should be proud. If the innings was ended by Bad-Moeen, the rest of his day was unquestionably Good-Moeen.

If Moeen is Mr Reliable with the bat at seven, Broad is anything but whether at eight or nine these days. Yet he seems to be slowly overcoming the facial blow that did more than anything to destroy his batting confidence. It wasn’t a fluent innings, but it was a highly valuable one, and despite getting away with an lbw South Africa failed to review (Broad escaping a review that should have been taken is deliciously ironic), he generally looked more comfortable than he has for a while. It’s deeply unlikely he will ever be the genuine all rounder he once threatened to be, but he’s a fine bowler and that was always a slightly greedy hope – for it would have propelled him into the great category. But he did well today and periodic destructive innings would be extremely welcome. 

As for James Anderson, his batting always varies from the inept to the glorious, but his truly astounding hook over deep midwicket, having charged Kagiso Rabada and been met with a fast bouncer, is one that he will dream about for the rest of his life. It was an extraordinary shot, one he couldn’t have nailed better in his wildest fantasies. Cricket is sometimes such fun. If you haven’t seen it, check out the highlights, then rewind them 20 seconds and watch it again. 

Towards the end of the innings, South Africa were looking frustrated and irritable, yet Morne Morkel could be proud of his day two efforts as much as Vernon Philander on day one. But where England have a real strength is that they can turn the tables quickly, with attacking venom. It’s what makes them often good to watch. 

Broad made an early breakthrough, as he so often does, but the visitors were looking comfortable enough at 82-1 before it all started to go wrong. Moeen was the catalyst; he might be expensive and not quite up to the job as a defensive spinner when it’s flat, but he does have a happy knack of taking wickets. The ball bowled to dismiss a set Amla was a gem. 

From there South Africa appeared a trifle laboured, even as they fought to stage a recovery. They aren’t out of this game by any means, and any side with Quinton de Kock still to come (Rabada is not the least capable nightwatchman in the world) will believe they can get somewhere close. But they remain a long way adrift, and England are beginning to turn the screw somewhat. The visitors are now in a position where they need to play almost perfectly to stay in the game. They can certainly do so, but it’s not the place they want to be. 

The pitch is going to be, as so often, key. And here South Africa will be hoping it is in keeping with recent Chairman’s pitches which get ever slower and ever more frustrating for the bowlers. The possible difference is that the last month has been dry and hot. Some deliveries from the spinners are dusting the surface, and there is certainly a little bite. Liam Dawson didn’t have a perfect day by any means, but he may yet come into his own. 

On a personal note, it’s good to be back. A month away is a long time, and my thanks to those who popped over to read my travel musings thoughtsonatrip.com . 

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80 thoughts on “England vs South Africa: 1st Test, Day two

  1. thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 6:20 pm

    Not two minutes after hitting ‘post’, news breaks that Rabada has been suspended from the second Test for a conduct violation. Don’t know why or had it verified yet. But still, FFS etc.

    Like

    • Mark July 7, 2017 / 6:31 pm

      Yup, Nasser who appears to be so valuable to Sky that he has to now commentate on two matches at the same time just confirmed it. So one of the few SA batsman in form is now out for the next match.

      I have great difficulty understanding all of these rules. Apparantly calling a batsman a C… is just fine if you are the right sort. The English media savour it. Have no idea what he said that warrants a ban.

      How about banning some of these umpires who are unable to judge LBWs? Did you se Jason Roy’s LBW in the 20/20 game tonight? Shocking decsion. The umpire looks as if he is conducting a chemistry experiment with giant goggles on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 6:31 pm

      So apparently he is suspended for points accrual after telling Ben Stokes to ‘fuck off’. Poor Ben. He’s never heard language like that before.

      Liked by 2 people

      • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 6:44 pm

        I don’t condone the behaviour (although it doesn’t particularly bother me unless the microphones pick it up) but a suspension? That’s just stupid for saying eff off? (And, yes, I get it’s a cumulative suspension but still).

        Liked by 1 person

        • d'Arthez July 7, 2017 / 6:50 pm

          Funny how it is perfectly legitimate for Jimmy Anderson to do the same, but covering his mouth as he utters those words. So, who exactly turned the stump mics up?

          A few seasons ago Michael Clarke got fined courtesy of an error of the broadcaster as well with the mics. But at least that was a home series.

          Liked by 3 people

          • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 7:27 pm

            I didn’t actually hear it…my point about the microphones is that it gives
            me (daddy) awkward questions when they pick it up. Eff off to stokes is not so serious to warrant suspending a player and, if I were Joe Root, I’d have said as much. It’s utterly pathetic and gives the impression, rightly or wrongly, that we just want to win this series at all costs. NB not saying root/England had any involvement in this. If they did though, then they have my contempt.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 7:29 pm

            It won’t be anything to do with England. If nothing else, it wouldn’t be very clever to make a rod for their own backs in future.

            Like

          • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 7:29 pm

            And you’re right about jimmy but he’s always been a bit of a twat. (Btw how many of these can I say here before I get suspended? And does it take into account whether anyone read it as it seems that’s important to Rabada’s circumstances).

            Liked by 1 person

        • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) July 8, 2017 / 7:19 am

          I can only imagine he said something that really upset the suits. Humming “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” maybe?

          Very unhappy with the competitive equation of this series being upset by events that occurred in other series’.

          Like

      • dannycricket July 7, 2017 / 6:58 pm

        The official ICC report: HERE.

        So apparently Rabada used “inappropriate language” which was “audible over the stump microphones” and made Stokes “turn before walking off the field”. The Code Of Conduct says players aren’t allowed to use “language, actions or gestures which disparage or which could provoke an aggressive reaction from a batsman upon his/her dismissal during an International Match.” I’d be worried that batsmen might start reacting to sendoffs just to get bowlers in trouble, like footballers diving all over the place to draw fouls.

        Like

    • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 6:48 pm

      So the worst bit is that I carefully craft* a post on the day’s play, and the bit I missed out is all anyone will talk about!

      *this bit is clearly a lie.

      Like

      • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 7:33 pm

        But we would have had that news not been so ridiculous. Good post. Welcome back. Watched most of today. Hope Bavuma goes big tomorrow with de Kock to make a game of this.

        Like

  2. d'Arthez July 7, 2017 / 6:38 pm

    Yeah, and how many demerit points did Cook get for his pleasantries to Mathews? Or any other England players for the numerous send offs they have been involved in? And how can a whole team have escaped any sort of sanction whatsoever for merely pissing on a cricket pitch?

    I don’t disagree with the sanction, but you have to wonder, are we really measuring with the same yardstick for everyone involved? And my distinct impression is no.

    Liked by 2 people

    • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 6:40 pm

      Innocent Bystander on Twitter nailed it by pointing out how failing to bowl enough overs doesn’t get punished but this does.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mark July 7, 2017 / 6:48 pm

        Not bowling the overs only short changes the paying fan. And they are not important. Telling someone to F off may be a reason to ban someone only if, and it is a big if it’s applied to all which I very much doubt.

        Like

        • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 7:35 pm

          Agree but also banning someone (esp key bowler) for eff off short changes the fans … could ruin the series

          Like

          • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 7:36 pm

            Also ironically ensures far more people now know what he said than they otherwise would have!

            Like

          • Mark July 7, 2017 / 7:40 pm

            Exactly!

            I mean it’s not as if enough top players are choosing not to play test cricket anymore. The ICC are now going to ban those who do want to play.

            Like

      • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) July 8, 2017 / 7:21 am

        It’s a problem through the game. Our Sunday team opponents took well over 3 hours to bowl 40 overs last weekend. And then probably wonder why Sunday cricket is dying.

        Like

        • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 8:06 am

          Most leagues insist overs are completed in time, and unlike at Test level, if you don’t do it the penalties are real. It’s the same with football where at local level a yellow or red card is properly expensive.

          Like

  3. d'Arthez July 7, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    That is a fair point as well. It is not like 90 overs in a day requires a herculean effort.

    South Africa will miss Abbott here. If he would not have played here (due to the other three quicks being available) he would definitely have played in the next Test, courtesy of this ban. Yet he can’t play.

    Obviously the county championship is what brings in the Sky moneys, and not international cricket. That is why they broadcast 2 games a season (out of 146 fixtures).

    Like

  4. Mark July 7, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    I wondered why Bumble was going on about fruity language yesterday. At least twice he appologised if you heard bad language on the mics. So cricket has decided to go all Twee? Got to keep the sponsors happy. They are the only people that matter.

    F… The ICC.

    Like

    • d'Arthez July 7, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      And who turns up the volume of the mics? Hint: it is not the team associated with the visiting team.

      Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 6:57 pm

      Just a note here, it’s my understanding that the broadcasters are legally obliged to apologise on air for bad language that can be heard by viewers. Ridiculous at a sporting event I know, but the irritating apologies aren’t their fault.

      Like

      • Mark July 7, 2017 / 7:06 pm

        They should have heard the languae I heard at Cardiff the other week. 5 blokes sat behind me for seven hours. One bloke used the f word every 4 words. I’m not kidding. F this, f that. Just as well I didn’t turn round. They might have got banned.

        I have never understood the point of the on field mics if you are going to have to keep apologising for the bad language.

        Like

        • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 7:08 pm

          It’ll take some going to beat our Chief Engineer when we pranged an aircraft at Bournemouth airport 20 years ago: “the fucking fucker’s fucking fucked, innit?” .

          Like

          • Mark July 7, 2017 / 7:18 pm

            But that’s in the heat of the momemt. Just like a send off in cricket.

            It’s when you sit there for 7 hours and every topic from what to drink, what to eat, his medical history, his entire sex life, his numerous jobs are all described in great detail with the f word inserted at least 5 times into each sentence.

            Lovely!

            Like

          • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 7:20 pm

            I know, but it did make us laugh at the time. You’re right, hearing it as punctuation for every single sentence eventually feels like being hit over the head every other word.

            Like

          • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 7:39 pm

            Did he get banned? 😉

            Like

          • Mark July 7, 2017 / 7:46 pm

            Did he get banned?

            No, because I didn’t want the Agro. Nobody else seemed to mind either. You just get on with it.

            Like

      • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 7:37 pm

        Most of the time I don’t hear it, hear the apology and then rewind several times to illicit a vague hint of a well known few words. It’s ridiculous. It’s rarely clearly heard…unless you’re Strauss of course.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mark July 7, 2017 / 7:55 pm

          It’s funny because it was the same with me, I didn’t hear the bad language live on the stump mic. It was only when Bumble apologised that I knew anything about it.

          Reminds me of that old episode of Steptoe and son, when the son complains about when the old man set the crossword for the woman’s institute. “Filth! I have never read such filth.”

          And old man Steptoe replies……”well how come they all knew the answers then?”

          Like

          • thelegglance July 7, 2017 / 8:01 pm

            Or more classically, when Dr Johnson created the first English dictionary two ladies congratulated him on not including rude words. “How would you know madames? Have you been trying to find them?”

            Like

        • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 7:55 pm

          * elicit

          Like

  5. LordCanisLupus July 7, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    I read Newman, so you don’t have to. Only you will to get the gist of this piece.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-4675836/Moeen-stars-England-reduce-South-Africa-214-five.html

    I get it. You don’t want Liam Dawson in the team. Understood. So on a day of quite decent test cricket, lots of action, and England doing well, Negative Newman focuses on a selection issue. Chortle away at his call for Adil Rashid. Make a mental note of his rush to judgment on Mason Crane. And yes, backhanded praise:

    “It can only be assumed Joe Root wanted Dawson, as he insisted on Gary Ballance in his line up, but so far, apart from under-bowling Moeen, they have been the only decisions the new captain appears to have got wrong.”

    James Whitaker has never been a Gary Ballance fan has he? I mean, no-one has ever made that joke. Andy Flower likes Liam Dawson. You want him as a selector. That’s two things I could assume, but you strike it from your mind. Remember. We are the ones with an agenda.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jomesy July 7, 2017 / 11:06 pm

      Very strange article.

      Supporting Rashid. WTF?

      You’ve called it out. It’s why I come here.

      Sooner Cook out of the team so that Root can own it the better. Sooner then we might get an honest press.

      FWIW I would enjoy seeing Cook in the Sky commentary team…just to prove what I think…i.e. he’s a (for some) handsome, non-sweating, useful idiot WHO COULD BAT but has been protected beyond belief.

      I look forward to his decline. Mean of me isn’t it? But then, perhaps, might return to at least some sense of normalcy.

      Like

  6. Benny July 7, 2017 / 11:03 pm

    Only just returned from treating the missus to a holiday trip to Rome and unable to watch the action. Seems to have been enjoyable.

    Very pleased Moeen’s done so well. Comparing him with Greig, Both, Flintoff etc is pretty silly, since he’s never come up against the great WI or Aussie sides like they did. Statistics? Pffft

    Like

    • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 7:41 am

      Actually the reason for mentioning that stat certainly wasn’t to compare him, it was that irrespective of opposition it’s genuinely startling he’s done it quicker. Even if every game was against Bangladesh it would still be startling he’d done it quicker. It’s one of those true headscratchers. Flintoff had a poor start to his Test career, so fair enough. But Botham didn’t. Greig didn’t. How the hell has that happened?

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 9:06 am

        Botham got to 100 wickets rapidly, but he played in an era of slow and low scoring – reading a lot of the books from the era accentuate that. He took an age to get 2000 runs. 42nd test match, 4 years + into his career. To put his all round ability into context, though, he had taken 211 wickets when he got to 2000 runs.

        Not downplaying Moeen at all. As you say, Chris, people concentrate on what he can’t do. I like what he can. Piling it on at number 7. A more than handy spinner. He won’t be David Gower, he won’t be Graeme Swann.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 9:08 am

          He’s not as good of course, but his style definitely reminds me of Gower. More than anyone since.

          Like

          • Mark July 8, 2017 / 10:02 am

            Yes, when he is in full flow he has that Gower elegance about him. His cover driving is right up there with the best to watch. But he often flaters to deceive which is why I think people get frustrated with him.

            Same with his bowling. There are times when he gets the ball to turn, and takes useful wickets, and he doesn’t bowl very much dross. But then you rarely see him bowl a side out on the final day. He does a lot right without setting the world on fire. But he is a very useful all rounder.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 10:07 am

            That comes back to the point we often make on here, people forgive a crap defensive shot but not a crap attacking one.

            Like

          • Mark July 8, 2017 / 10:17 am

            Yes, he quite often gets out like Gower too. And people used to get very angry about how Gower sometimes got out. Including Gooch.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 10:20 am

            Whereas lbw Alderman repeatedly was fine. Showed discipline. And pissing off to South Africa is absolutely dandy.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mark July 8, 2017 / 10:34 am

            I think the funniest Gower dismissal I ever saw was in an ODI international (can’t remember who) and he was out, run out without facing a ball. Backing up at the non strikers end. A full house at Edgbaston I think, or maybe Trent Bridge had paid their money, and watched him trudge off without facing a ball.

            Or his last ball before lunch waft hook in Australia in the Ashes that top edged to square leg. He was batting with Gooch at the time. It took about 20 mins for Gooch to walk off the ground.

            Like

          • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 10:39 am

            I remember him hideously misjudging a pull shot from a length ball and getting bowled half way up middle stump. That was so Gower!

            Like

  7. man in a barrel July 8, 2017 / 8:52 am

    2000 runs and 100 wickets is an odd stat because, if it is a milestone, it obviously favours a batting all-rounder such as Greig. If you take the case of Botham, I imagine he had probably taken about 200 wickets by the time he scored his 2000th run. Greig was always more valuable for his batting. At Test level he was really no more than a handy 4th seamer apart from that series in the West Indies where he reinvented himself as a match-winning off spinner. So the parallel with Moeen is closer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 8:54 am

      Indeed, it’s always slightly artificial. When I looked at the list the player who grabbed my attention as a decent comparison was Carl Hooper. Similar batting, but Moeen is a better bowler.

      Like

    • d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Botham got his 200th wicket in the Test he got 2000 runs in.

      Like

        • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) July 8, 2017 / 10:33 am

          The cut-off of 37 Tests is an interesting one. If I’m not mistaken Botham’s 37th Test was his personal low at Lord’s before he rose so gloriously at Leeds. 9 of his 37 had been against the Windies and 14 against Aussie teams of varying strengths. At this stage he had 6 tons but an average below 30 while his bowling average was 21 – magnificent yes and he was not conning batsmen out at this stage. Both averages grew significantly before he retired. My main frustration with him was that he carried on batting like an all-rounder when his bowling was in steep decline.

          Ali is a completely different player of course and he’s had a good career. My main criticism is that when his bowing is good it is so good that it shouldn’t be as bad as it is when he’s bowling badly. If that makes sense!

          Like

          • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 10:49 am

            Like that cracking ball he just bowled to dismiss Bavuma!

            Like

  8. d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 9:30 am

    I stand corrected. There is still one supporter of Doet’t Nie (which can be loosely translated as “does not work”), as evidenced by a puff piece by Firdose Moonda

    Like

    • BoredInAustria July 8, 2017 / 9:32 am

      I imagened beeing you reading that piece…:)

      Like

  9. Mark July 8, 2017 / 11:00 am

    I thought they only produced batting belters at Lords these days?

    This pitch is turning big time on the morning of the third day. To be fair it was turning on the first day. The ball is keeping low as well. England first innings total was well above par.

    Did Root make that decsion to take the new ball or Jimmy Anderson?

    Like

    • Mark July 8, 2017 / 11:43 am

      So the ball was turning quite big, and they take off the spinners …..who had just got a couple of wickets, and take the new ball, and these two then bat for 45 minutes.

      Early days in Roots captaincy career, but so far it’s painting by numbers. Just as well his innings is the difference between the two sides at the moment.

      Like

    • d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 11:48 am

      To be fair, Root delayed taking the new ball. So that was at least somewhat innovative – it is not like Broad and Anderson were overworked this morning.

      The pitch is not that easy to bat on, to be sure. Gamble did not pay off, but I would not be too worried about Root being as stale as Cook just yet.

      Like

  10. d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    109/3 in that session, with one of those wickets being a bowler (Rabada, the nightwatchman) .Both sides will be reasonably happy with that.

    de Kock just gone before lunch, courtesy of a good catch.

    Like

    • Mark July 8, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      Yes, I think the de Kock wicket just before lunch was probably key. If he stays in for another hour or so SA may have got the lead down to Say…… 60/70 …….then it’s pressure back on Englands top order again.

      It looks like the lead will be above 100 now. And batting on day 5 probably ain’t going to be easy.

      Like

    • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      Not sure South Africa will be happy, though it could have been far worse. They’re in a spot of trouble in this game, it needed to go perfectly this morning.

      Like

    • d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 1:01 pm

      It is about par. South Africa could also have been bowled out for 300, if England bowled well (England lost their last 5 wickets on Day 2, for 101 runs). They’re still behind in the game, of course, but they’re still in it (despite Duminy’s best efforts).

      Like

  11. d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 1:36 pm

    So Philander had to bail out South Africa for the persistent idiocy of picking Doet’t nie, and managed to injure his bowling hand while batting. In other words, it is a guarantee Doet’t nie will be picked for the second Test on the basis of his brilliant career. Sigh.

    Congratulations England, on another series win.

    Like

  12. LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    Cook. 32 years old. He can go on for 5 years.

    Let us just remember.

    Last 92 innings – yeah statmining – he has 5 hundreds.

    You know that “conversion rate” thing they have a go at Root about?

    Cook 29 times past 50. 5 hundreds.

    It’s ignoring this sort of thing that pisses me off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria July 8, 2017 / 2:07 pm

      Andrew Samson – BBC Test Match Special statistician: “Cook now has 1,000 against seven Test playing countries. Only Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar have managed that before.”

      How many tests did he play against all 7 compared to the others?

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 2:14 pm

        Elephants trumpeting in the room, as Sky showed his averages against each. South Africa by far the worst. Australia not great, even with that series. Really good against spin-dominated attacks.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 2:17 pm

          Which is why his performance in India was so disappointing. He’s a genuinely fine player of spin. Quality pace, not so much. What’s curious is the refusal of so many to accept that, it’s hardly a criticism to say a player has strengths and weaknesses.

          Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 2:21 pm

            Indeed. Ballance is in great county form – but he’s now seen as a busted flush in test terms. Cook is in great county form, but has a poor record against South Africa. Nothing to see here.

            His media is just superb. But we’ve done it to death, I know.

            Like

      • d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 2:16 pm

        Also, not mentioned in that stat is that Cook averages 34 against South Africa.

        Kallis is on 6 – for lack of Tests against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, and doing rather poorly against Sri Lanka (just 25 innings, and an average of 39).

        Like

  13. man in a barrel July 8, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    Without Philander to bowl, surely the situation is made for Duminy 😉

    Like

    • d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 2:59 pm

      Just give him a bowl. He is already MOM for his excellent contributions. And the injury to Philander and the suspension of Rabada mean he already has a real shot at MOS.

      News of Duminy’s retirement would be cause for celebration in South Africa.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance July 8, 2017 / 3:01 pm

        I don’t get the sarcasm. Duminy is bound to be picked ahead of Morris next match anyway… 😉

        Like

        • d'Arthez July 8, 2017 / 3:19 pm

          Nah, it will be Morris for Rabada, Olivier for Philander (if he is not fit), and Faf in for de Bruyn. For all his promise, (this is only his second Test), it is better to pick a tried and failed batsman than someone who is showing some promise.

          Can’t drop someone who has contributed -159/1 after all (probably will end up as -200/2, unless he is actually taking a wicket with his filth).

          Like

  14. dannycricket July 8, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    Apparently Gooch and Emburey were on Sky at Lunch talking a little bit about their rebel tours. Always something I wish was brought up more often, particularly for these two, Boycott, and Gatting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus July 8, 2017 / 5:29 pm

      It was a Sky feature on the South African cricket over the past 30 years. Gooch saying he didn’t see anything wrong and that other trade was going on. Emburey saying they weren’t aware about the symbolism etc. It was a recorded piece, not live.

      Oh yes. I agree about that being brought up. Turn your back on your country (the 1990 tour especially) doesn’t see you marked down. Hell, you even become Chairman of selectors within a few years.

      Liked by 1 person

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