England vs. South Africa, 2nd Test, Day 1

After such a long wait for the Test Summer to begin and despite all the so-called pomp and glory of Lords, the first Test felt a bit of a let down to me. England were pretty good but South Africa were pretty poor and that led to a fairly one-sided Test. The indications, after the first day’s play at Trent Bridge is that this Test will be anything but one-sided. Today was the sort of day that trumps any form of hit and giggle cricket out there, the game flowed one way and then another and by the close of play both teams would have taken their respective positions at the start of play. In my opinion, it is very hard to judge who has the upper hand, a joy for us slightly long in the tooth cricket followers that Tom Harrison clearly doesn’t value.

South Africa got their selection and tactics spot on today and whilst De Bruyn can feel slightly hard done by, the decision to pick Morris was spot on, especially with fears over Philander’s fitness and durability. One person who can’t feel aggrieved is of course JP Duminy, someone who has been making the team on past glories and so-called potential with bat and ball. As D’Arthez and Prime.Evil have mentioned constantly below the line, he is someone that infuriates all Proteas’ followers, a bit like in the way that the selection of Bopara infuriated all England supporters. Yes they both could bat and bowl a bit, but they both looked out of their depth in the international arena and on closer inspection their figures both suggest that they should both have been dropped long before they were. We might still see Duminy in a Test shirt in future, but to be a bit controversial, I would very much doubt that it would be down to his ability.

So back to the Test and South Africa won the toss on a fairly placid pitch, but one that was aiding the seam bowlers due to the overhead conditions. Both openers did alright without scoring the runs they felt they might have deserved and then Amla and De Kock put together a tremendous partnership once the sun came out and the ball stopped swinging. It was quite amusing to listen to Botham et al panning the South African management for not promoting De Kock earlier in his career; of course forgetting that batting at four after 110 overs in the field is less than practical. Whilst Amla’s innings was slightly skittish, De Kock looked in wonderful touch and it is easy to see why he averages over 50 in Test cricket, the only slight knock being that he got out to a lazy waft straight after tea when a century was looking on the cards. Amla then soon departed even after another reprieve from Cook at slip and once Du Plessis and then Bavuma departed relatively cheaply, England looked like they had an opening to bowl out the Proteas cheaply. The fact that they weren’t able to is of great credit to Morris and Philander, who both looked like bona fide all-rounders, especially when dealing with the new ball and due to some slightly strange bowling tactics from England.

For England, it was a bit of a ‘what could have been’ day. They bowled far too short with the new ball, a criticism that has been leveled at them on numerous occasions and when they finally did get their lengths right after lunch, the sun came out and made batting, which had looked fairly treacherous before lunch, look far more serene in the afternoon. England’s bowlers also had a pretty mixed day, with Stokes and Broad (once he had sorted his length out) being the pick of England’s attack. Jimmy bowled ok though he didn’t look particularly threatening and Mark Wood had a day to forget with the ball mainly down to the fact that he bowled far too short and was unable to bowl one side of the wicket. Wood is a talent and despite a bad day at the office, he should be retained due to the fact that he does have the pace to challenge opposing batsmen when he gets it right. And then we come to Liam Dawson. I don’t particularly take great pleasure in signally out one player for criticism, but Dawson is simply not good enough for Test cricket. He sort of reminds me of the quiet and slightly strange guy from accounts who ventures out for the work Christmas party and then hangs around at the side of the group; Sure it’s possible to make small talk for a while, however you don’t particularly want him to be there and more importantly, he doesn’t really want to be there either. He might well be a good character, but neither Dawson’s bowling nor batting merit a place in the side. It’s almost like England have no idea as to what to do with the number 8 position without Woakes and have hedged their bets on the very definition of a ‘bits and pieces’ player. Surely after this Test, the selectors will see that Dawson isn’t up to Test cricket, then again he’s an Andy Flower favourite, so will probably end up with 50 caps!

So after an intriguing first day, we move on to an equally intriguing second day with both teams having the ability to move themselves into the box seat. If South Africa bat well and get up to 450, then they will surely be favourites to win as Trent Bridge can turn into a minefield batting last; however if England can wrap this innings up for around 350-370, then providing they bat well, they could well be in a position to ramp the pressure up on the Proteas in the second innings. So cancel any plans to go out shopping or to go for a long walk in the countryside and sit back and watch Day 2, it could be a cracker tomorrow.

Thoughts and comments on Day 2 below:



106 thoughts on “England vs. South Africa, 2nd Test, Day 1

  1. whiterose76 Jul 14, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    Excellent write-up Sean. Why are England unable to pitch the ball up? They were at least a yard short pretty much all day. Are they so averse to getting driven?
    And as an aside, what has happened to David Willey – watching the Roses T20 and he is bowling some utter tosh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean B Jul 14, 2017 / 7:15 pm

      It’s almost like the spectre of David Saker still haunts England’s bowling attack!

      In all seriousness though, Jimmy and Broad have over 200 Test’s experience between them and should have adjusted their lengths far earlier than they did. Surely it shouldn’t need the coaches to tell them to pitch the damn ball up at lunch!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • BoredInAustria Jul 14, 2017 / 8:04 pm

      or an even more outlandish idea… the CAPTAIN tells them before lunch…??

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mark Jul 14, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    Didn’t see any cricket today. Saw Selveys tweet about it being a slow pitch. Is that the normal type of pitch there this year?

    I would have thought England are slightly ahead if the pitch is still good to bat on. Why Englands bowlers suddenly start banging it in short sometimes I don’t know. Broads home pitch so he should know how to bowl on it.

    SA will do well to get past 400 from here. I hope they get a good score because I want to see a contest. I want to see England bat under pressure.


    • Sean B Jul 14, 2017 / 7:53 pm

      Trent Bridge has been a bit of a featherbed for a few years now, with the 2015 Ashes being the exception rather than the rule.

      The pitch looks a bit soft and spongy and I think it become very up and down on days 4 & 5…


      • thelegglance Jul 14, 2017 / 8:01 pm

        2013 was appalling. One of the worst pitches I’ve seen in this country. It didn’t deserve such a thrilling finish.


  3. thelegglance Jul 14, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    Thought that was a really good day of Test cricket. Philander batted beautifully at the end and got them to a half decent score.

    You’re right Sean, it’s set the game up. Tomorrow should be great.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. man in a barrel Jul 14, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    Philander bowling to Cook ought to be fascinating. There is one bowler who tends to get his length right and stick at it for the 5 overs of his spell


    • Sean B Jul 14, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Agreed. He is the type of bowler Cook continually struggles against especially if big Vernon can get the ball to swing…


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 14, 2017 / 9:17 pm

        Sky effed about with the highlights programme again. Getting on my tits with then changing times.


  5. Miami Dad's Six Jul 14, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    No one is out of it either way yet, so that’s a good first day. 100 more for South Africa and they are in the box seat; 330 all out and it is the other way.

    Is Wood rubbish? Or just awaiting rhythym?

    Is Dawson rubbish? Or a decent enough bat who may or may not be able to hold up an end?


    • Sean B Jul 14, 2017 / 9:43 pm

      Wood has played very little red ball cricket over the past couple of years and it has showed. I still very much rate him as he has real pace, which is something England’s attack lacks without him. The pitch being a bit spongy hasn’t helped either.

      It would be fair to say I don’t rate Dawson though. Looks completely out of his depth, though that is just my opinion mind….


  6. Grenville Jul 14, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    I totally disagree about Bopara. He was treated terribly by the ECB. His face doesn’t fit. I think that that is a matter of his skin colour. He has 19 test innings from 13 games, http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/zones/insights?insights=player&player_id=44691&format=test&stats=batting . They comprise a poor tour of sri lanka in 2007. A recall in 2009 and a purple patch against the windies and shocking ashes at 3. He was, justifiably dropped both times. He was recalled for 2 games against India in 2011, played 2 innings, the first poor the second good, was dropped and recalled for 1 game against the saffers at the oval, where he wasn’t much cop. He never got a proper run in the side and always got sidelined when possible. He might never have made it, but after Collingwood retired, Bopara should have been the first pick. Instead there was an anyone but Ravi scramble, first Morgan, then, I think, Taylor, then YGB.

    My memory was that in the lead up to and during the champions trophy before this summer’s he was England’s only reasonable ODI player, but when they wanted to bring in new blood, Bopara was the first out. That might be wishful thinking.

    She also Rashid A., Panesar M., Owais S., Jordan C. Malcolm D.


    • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 12:32 am

      With all due respect I don’t think it had anything to do with the colour of his skin.

      As you rightly & honestly say……

      “They comprise a poor tour of sri lanka in 2007. A recall in 2009 and a purple patch against the windies and shocking ashes at 3. He was, justifiably dropped both times. He was recalled for 2 games against India in 2011, played 2 innings, the first poor the second good, was dropped and recalled for 1 game against the saffers at the oval, where he wasn’t much cop.”

      I don’t think he had the technique to be a test match number 3. He was found out big time in the ashes where he kept being out LBW playing across the line. I thought he had a very loose techique. Often playing lazily across the line. (All right at county cricket) but not top level. He was possibly unlucky that he couldn’t bat at 5 or 6 for England but there were not spots for him there.

      He was better suited to ODI cricket and he played some decent knocks for England without ever really setting the world on fire.

      I don’t think Monty was dropped for the colour of his skin, he had well publicised personal problems. Shah was another who just didn’t peform at the highest level. Rashid seems to have done something wrong, I don’t know what it is but I suspect that it’s more he is independent minded and not a group thinker rather than because he is brown skinned.

      Greame Hick was constantly dropped and recalled, so too Garry Balance. Compton certainly did not fit in, nor KP. Swann was dropped for antics on a tour and was kept out of the side for many years. Bairstow has been very unlucky to be dropped, and out of the side. None of those players have skin colours other than white.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Benny Jul 15, 2017 / 1:19 am

        Never forget the twit in the Mail, who described Devon Malcolm as Illingworth’s bete noir, presumably without having the faintest grasp of French.


        • Miami Dad's Six Jul 15, 2017 / 6:49 am

          I think part of the issue is that we find a clearly useful player like Bopara, and thwump him in at 3 in an Ashes series. If you gave him a run at 5 or 6, and moved him up the order if his technique was good enough, you might get better results. I think the same of the numerous opening batsmen we’ve tested over the last 10 years. It’s asking so much of a Jennings or a Compton that if they’re scratchy opening for 10 games and only averaging 30, it might not be that they won’t adapt ever to being good enough, just that it’s a bloody tough gig and might require us to persevere with someone for 20-25 games, rather than 8.


      • Grenville Jul 15, 2017 / 7:39 am

        I agree that there are plenty of white players who can feel equally hard done by, key, gay le, Hildreth, Grizzly Adams, to name a few, but The only non white players I can recall getting a decent go are Nasser and Ali. Everybody else is dropped at the first excuse. Monty after not bowling out south africa, shah after 2, maybe 1, poor game. Bopara might never have made it but in any sane world he goes straight into the team as Collingwood replacement and is given a chance to prove himself. That didn’t happen and we will never know.

        Don’t forget that the England cricket establishment is populated by men who not only went to apartheid south africa,saw no real problem with the system.

        I might be wrong, but I am pretty convinced that the issue the authorities have with Rashid is ultimately a matter of him being a working class, Asian kid from the city and not a nice suburban private school boy.


    • BoredInAustria Jul 15, 2017 / 7:54 am

      A the return of normality – 2 matches of captaincy and he is already under scrutiny!!

      If you would consider this as a new management, there seems to be some prevailing cultures at the workplace, that you might want to lay at the door of the previous lot:
      ” …they allowed the game to drift…”,
      ” … almost as if they were waiting for …and … Broad to take the wickets”,
      “…headstrong bowlers in Stokes and Broad wanted reviews..” and
      “…England may have missed a trick by taking the foot off the gas..”

      But Root is guilty because it is different
      “..with a more streetwise skipper..” so
      “… the new captain has to feel his way in ..with experienced bowlers, of whom he wants to gain their trust…”

      One wonders if he will be granted 59 matches to achieve this.


  7. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Jul 15, 2017 / 10:29 am

    After 3 and a bit sessions this is increasingly looking like Headingley of yore, with conditions changing dramatically based on overhead conditions. If it is like this when England bat I don’t think Philander will be unhappy.

    Re Mark Wood, not the best day day for him. For me he needs to be bowling regularly at 87-89mph and he was often shy of this yesterday.

    Morris gone now too. All that excellence and cricketing nouse from him and Philander after tea yesterday and now gone just like that. Cricket eh?


  8. d'Arthez Jul 15, 2017 / 11:02 am

    Cook gone for 3, lbw to Philander. If South Africa can nip out two more in the next hour, they won’t be too unhappy they folded so soon in the day …

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez Jul 15, 2017 / 11:03 am

      Jennings gone next ball to Morkel, for a duck. 3/2 and game on!


      • jomesy Jul 15, 2017 / 11:12 am

        That 3 was worth more than….


        Liked by 1 person

  9. LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 11:02 am

    5 in 93.


    (“fading” KP had 8 centuries in his last 93 innings in tests)

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria Jul 15, 2017 / 11:07 am

      You are like a fruit fly, a pest that will not go away…

      Liked by 2 people

        • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 11:21 am

          And the public do so want it. They do, they do, they do.

          Interesting to see how Agnew spins this one. A dropped catch yesterday, and then out for 3. I’m sure it’s all Roots fault. Probably tired. Doesn’t have the Greek god physical strength of our hero.

          Once agin none of this would be an issue if the media stopped elevating Cook to the status of Hercules.


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 11:30 am

            You are an opener, and are going to cop some good ones on horrible English summer’s days like this. Plus Philander is one of those you’d hate facing on this sort of day. Also the contrast between Philander and Morkel as opening bowlers must be one of the more stark in world cricket. Failure can be explained away with good reasons.

            It applies to everyone else, though.


          • d'Arthez Jul 15, 2017 / 11:34 am

            Yeah, and it won’t be used as good excuses for Jennings and the like. Just as they did not apply to the dozen openers that have been tried since Strauss retired.

            Also, similar excuses did not apply to Stephen Cook, but applied for years on end for Doet’t Nie … (just to highlight this is not a particularly English issue).


          • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 11:53 am

            Exactly, all we have asked for is some honesty in their reporting.

            A new captain has brought about a revival of open criticism of the skills of the captain. The contrast to the last few years is revealing of an agenda they claim only we have. It is they that have an agenda.


  10. Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    If D Olivier was playing at Wimbledon he would be asked to change his shoes. Not white enough. Perhaps an England batsman should ask him to change them, because it is putting them off. aka Dean Jones against Ambrose?

    Could be amusing.


  11. LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    And I read Newman so you didn’t have to:

    “This was the sort of challenge Root said he wanted after everything went his and England’s way at Lord’s to give him a perfect start as captain. It is expecting an awful lot for Root to get everything right in only his seventh first-class game in charge of any team and there were lessons to be learned here, with South Africa proving such a hard nut to crack.
    Root will have to be more discerning in allowing reviews after England’s were wasted at an early stage by Stokes and Broad, when both were far too eager to question the not-out decisions of umpire Paul Reiffel.
    And Root’s handling of his spinners was curious, the new captain again using Dawson first and only turning to Moeen Ali as his sixth bowler for the 45th over when he had demolished South Africa with 10 wickets at Lord’s.”

    Our handling of spinners has been “curious” for many, many years, and that included when we had Swann, but been accentuated since his departure. Also, how charitable of Newman to give Root the benefit of the captaincy doubt. He has about another 20 more tests when he should get past the “learning as captain” stage.

    One thing I do agree with is how Root handles Stokes. I get the feeling he’d be a really tough character to handle in the field. A dominant personality. Root doesn’t seem that kind.


    • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 12:27 pm

      Newmans points are all perfectly reasonable…….

      Trouble is they are meangingless because of his terrible record of covering Cooks captaincy for the last 4 years. He has set a low standard that he is now backing away from. The Cook era coverage was the fools gold of cricket jounalism. We are now returning it seems to more of a real gold standard.

      Anyone ever see him use the word “curious” to describe Cooks handling of his spinners?

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 12:36 pm

        The next part about South Africa’s cricket history on Sky has a large part about Textgate. I cannot wait.


  12. LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    NIck Sharland on Twitter reports…

    Buffoon? Too polite, Nick. Too polite by far.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 1:10 pm

    Fun fact. Alastair Cook has scored as many test hundreds in his last 50 test matches as Graeme Hick made in his last 50!

    Liked by 2 people

    • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2017 / 1:24 pm

      Fun fact #2:

      Alastair Cook’s batting average at Trent Bridge is just 1.78 higher than James Anderson’s bowling average on the same ground!

      Fun fact #2b

      Also, Anderson has the same number of fifties at Trent Bridge as Cook…

      Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 1:24 pm

      Joe “Conversion problem” Root has 12 in his last 50 tests.

      Graham Thorpe – a man kicked out because he was past it – had 10 in his last 50.

      Ian “the eyes have gone, his heart’s not in it” Bell – 7 in his last 50.

      Jonathan “finished” Trott – 8 in his last 50.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mdpayne87 Jul 15, 2017 / 1:38 pm

      Do you think Cook should be dropped LCL? Genuine question.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 1:41 pm


        I’m not sure how much clearer I need to be. Cook is our best opener. That’s abundantly clear.

        What I’m not having is nonsense. Like all players he needs to earn and keep his place. I thought he should / would have been dropped if he wasn’t skipper in 2014. Given “a break”. He needed one. He averages over 40 in the past couple of years.

        His press advocates, his media fans, treat him as if he should be immune. If you are using KP and Bell as yardsticks for declining players in their 30s, let’s have some consistency.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mdpayne87 Jul 15, 2017 / 1:52 pm

          So if he’s averaging over 40 in the last couple of years as you say, then his performances are not in decline, are they?
          Agree with you on 2014, mind.


          • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 1:57 pm

            It’s dipped under 40 over the last 12 months. Not disastrous, and may well be the normal fluctuation for any player. But equally nor is it something to crow about, as the media seem wont to do.


          • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 2:00 pm

            Question for you Martin. Do you think Cook is the player he was pre-2013?

            Pre-then he had 24 tons in 90 tests. Since Summer 2013 it has been 6 in 52. Given hundreds are the keys to winning matches (you can’t dig out Root for conversion rates (by you I mean the pundits) but then say three figures aren’t important) I’d say the decline is stark.

            Of course, I could be wrong and unlike those outside here, I’ll admit it. His 162 at Lord’s against New Zealand in 2015 was one of the best knocks I’ve seen from him and was my innings of the year by an England player.

            Liked by 1 person

          • mdpayne87 Jul 15, 2017 / 3:16 pm

            I don’t, no. Guess we disagree on the decline – I always think of it (in cricketing terms at least) as something terminal. I don’t think Cook is there yet.


          • @pktroll Jul 15, 2017 / 7:07 pm

            I have been one to mention Cook’s record since summer 2013. To be honest I have seen it less of a decline and more a case that intelligent bowlers and opposition coaches figured out that so long as you bowl a tight area around the off stump corridor you can both limit his scoring opportunities and prey on his awkwardness on the front foot .

            It should have been noted that even before then that high class pace attacks had usually mitigated his success thinking of his first two series v Australia and even the 2012 home series v South Africa in particular. Of course he has had a very successful career v spin dominated sides but since 2013 his record v pace dominated sides is markedly less stellar.

            However I have often felt it is here and few other places that the inconvenient analysis is pointed out.


          • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 7:08 pm

            That’s why India away was so disappointing. Whatever his flaws against pace, Cook is world class against spin. And he had a poor series when England really needed him.


  14. BoredInAustria Jul 15, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    Guardian OBO:

    “Root played a gem of an innings, 78 from 76 balls in bowler-friendly conditions”
    “Ballance made 27 from 37 balls, his third nothing score of the series”.
    Nothing scores, unlike 3, 69 and 3.


    • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2017 / 1:49 pm

      69 isn’t a nothing score though, to be fair. Certainly not in the context of what happened last Sunday morning.


      • BoredInAustria Jul 15, 2017 / 2:22 pm

        Of course, but is no fun to be fair…;)

        Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2017 / 1:57 pm

      But on the flip side:

      Since his last first innings century, last July against Pakistan, 11 Tests ago…

      …Cook has scored 210 runs in 11 first innings, with a top score of 46 and an average of 19.09. This includes seven first innings in Asia, where of course he excels. It is a worse run of form – in terms of first innings – than even 2014. Osummer 2010.

      Where are the cricket press on this? It is a classic stat of the kind they loved when it came to, say, Ian “never scores a hundred unless someone else does” Bell


      • nonoxcol Jul 15, 2017 / 2:00 pm

        Laptop screwed up there – should have said “Only summer 2010”,as in only summer 2010 was worse, and that wasn’t as prolonged (six matches at an average of 12.83, followed by 67 and 148 at the start of the Ashes and preceded by 173 and 21 in Bangladesh).


      • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 2:30 pm

        Ah yes, I wondered when someone would start talking about first innings vs second innings test runs. The media used to be all over this stat. Can’t imagine what’s changed?

        Again all this could be avoided if the media stopped making Cook out to be superman. Instead the media have not shut up about Cook since Root became captain.


  15. d'Arthez Jul 15, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    I am sure that Root will get more criticism for yet again not converting a 50 to a hundred. And more criticism for getting out for 78, rather than scoring a match defining 3 …


  16. BoredInAustria Jul 15, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    On another topic – anything spicy being picked up by the stump microphone of late?


    • jomesy Jul 15, 2017 / 2:43 pm

      Pretty good guttural scream on bairstow’s dismissal….that’s all I’ve heard. Morkel proved I can lip read some phrases when beating everything but just missing too of off earlier today.


  17. LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    Meanwhile, in a land far, far, away….


    • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 2:42 pm

      Im getting a sense of real bitterness now. Seems to be a lot of allegations about selections based on who is a friend of Root. Even Swann in on it now. We haven’t seen anything like this for years..

      People are really pissed off about Root being captain and Cook not it appears. I’m beginning to suspect that TheLegGlance may have been right about Cook being offered the revolver and the bottle of whisky. Perhaps it was an offer he couldn’t refuse?

      The redemption tour has been denied to Mosses, and some are mad as hell about it. So all kinds of sneers, and smears about nepotism are surfacing. Grab the popcorn, Strauss may have to reach for the tin hat.


      • d'Arthez Jul 15, 2017 / 3:02 pm

        Well, they heard it from the horse’s mouth (with regards to Prior picking himself as long as he wanted, despite having a four inch tear in his achilles tendon), so it is not like extraordinary journalism was required there …


  18. jomesy Jul 15, 2017 / 2:39 pm

    What were they reviewing for Stokes’ dismissal. There wasn’t much on commentary but they seemed to be checking whether the ball hit de Kock’s helmet (no pun intended 😉). Would that have mattered? Not sthing I’m aware of if it would.


    • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 2:43 pm

      If the ball hits either a fielder or the keeper’s helmet at any point then it’s not out.


      • jomesy Jul 15, 2017 / 2:44 pm

        Thanks LGL. I wasn’t aware of that if you’re wearing it. Seems odd, to me at least, if you’re wearing it but if it’s in the rules….


        • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 2:46 pm

          It’s because the ball could ricochet a fair distance off a helmet, so it introduces a change to the conditions if one wasn’t worn. There was a catch at short leg disallowed in the last Ashes I think when it hit the grille.


          • jomesy Jul 15, 2017 / 2:47 pm

            I’ve seen balls bounce quite a long way off a bonce but that makes sense.


          • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 2:52 pm

            My most terrifying moment on a cricket field was when I seriously drilled a straight drive and hit my batting partner on the head. The ball went for four through extra cover.


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 2:47 pm

          I didn’t know it applied to keepers (and I don’t think it should because the keeper is not really a discretionary position). Knew it did to other fielders.


          • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 2:50 pm

            A helmet isn’t essential equipment for a keeper, so the same laws apply as to any other fielder, basically.


          • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 2:54 pm

            Nope. Not as far as the laws go, though playing conditions and national governing bodies may make that stipulation. A helmet is actually rubbish for a keeper, it doesn’t protect you from flying bails, it inhibits your vision and it’s too heavy. You don’t need head protection, you need facial protection. I’m surprised Steve Rixon’s faceguards haven’t become more popular – basically the same as used in baseball.


          • BoredInAustria Jul 15, 2017 / 3:18 pm

            Somebody on Cricinfo thought the law is under review (the comment was made after Boucher it should be “essential”).


          • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 3:20 pm

            Been under review a long time then! I don’t happen to think this is about the laws though.


  19. LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    WTF is Shiny Toy on about?

    Just Root out to an attacking shot?


    • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Isn’t this what empty suit demanded? An attacking style of play?


    • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 3:37 pm

      He’s expanded on that on the radio just now. Saying that it’s the approach he has a problem with, that they lost 8 Tests last year with a helter skelter approach the moment the ball was doing anything.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 3:43 pm

        Just seems a bit nuanced from “play attacking cricket but don’t get out”.

        Five of the top six were out playing defensive shots. Also if he’s claiming we lost 8 tests playing helter-skelter cricket, I’m not sure where he’s been. It’s scoreboard pressure that does us in.

        For example, at Vizag last winter we batted 200 overs for just over 400 runs and 20 wickets, lost by plenty, and the pundits preached optimism!


        • thelegglance Jul 15, 2017 / 3:56 pm

          I’m being a bit unfair in my paraphrasing, because he wasn’t being that simplistic. He was talking about England not having faith in their techniques to bat a long time and thus responding by playing shots. He wasn’t having a dig at individual strokes, he was saying the strategy isn’t working.

          I do think he has a point that when the ball does a bit, this is the default response of the team. It’s either rabbit in the headlights blocking or full on attack mode. You can be positive in defence, and England do lack that facility at present, but equally you’re right it’s a fine line between that and the hit sixes but don’t get out advice.


  20. BOZ Jul 15, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    LCL – lost your mail ages ago in tumultuous computer crash, allied to being laid up for yonks and complete lack of jammy dodgers- are ya able to post me a reply and I can say hellooooo


  21. Benny Jul 15, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    On the subject of pundits’ generosity towards Cook, the dropped catch quickly became a half chance according to Nasser and Pollock and for the one he then took, Nasser cried “credit to Cook for being awake and aware”!!!!!!!

    Don’t think I’d be too hard on Cook for 3 innings this series but we are entitled to a biggie soon from a chap with 11000 runs under his belt.


    • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 3:24 pm

      Just f*** off will you.

      No seriously, I mean f*** right off.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 3:25 pm

        Thought you might appreciate that!

        Someone has said the article highlighted has some striking similarities to one he wrote a couple of weeks ago.


        • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 3:37 pm

          What do you mean the one a couple of weeks ago?

          They are all exactly the same.

          Ross Tucker is absolutely right mind. Bounce argued that talant was not as important as 10,000 hours of practice. How tyranical do you need to be to get your kid to put the hours in?


        • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 3:57 pm

          I’m sure there will be another one of his……..

          How wonderful that Premiership ticket prices have gone up yet again, and how we must not interfere with the free market. He stood as a labour candidate, I kid you not. One of Blairs babes perhaps?


  22. LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    We are all for not criticising players for getting out to attacking shots, but that was a bit yucky by Mooen.


    • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 3:27 pm

      David Gowers out!

      Looks like Broads out too now. LBW.

      Root is going to get a roasting. Who will be the first to demand the return of Cook? Place your bets.


      • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 3:31 pm

        Karun “triple centurion” Nair?

        Jayant Yadav?

        They adored his captaincy.

        But seriously, no-one will be demanding Cook’s return. What worries me is that Stokes is next.


  23. LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    Looking seriously like another test when the team batting first against England puts runs, any sort of half decent runs, on the board, and we struggle.


  24. Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    The verdicts going to be a cracker. Bobs limbering up as we speak. 205 all out.

    Can’t expect the lower order to bail ot the top order for ever.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      There is no “Verdict” according to my Sky Sports planner. It’s anyone’s guess when they stick the bloody highlights on.


      • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 3:59 pm

        The verdicts just Bob at the ground with Gower at the end of play. Or at least it was at Lords.


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 15, 2017 / 4:01 pm

          They are going to a T20 Blast match straight after the day’s play.


          • Mark Jul 15, 2017 / 4:04 pm

            That’s what the public wants!

            I wonder if Peter Kay will be doing his stand up routine?


    • BoredInAustria Jul 15, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      Let’s blame the top scorer…


  25. "IronBalls" McGinty Jul 15, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    England’s openers must be the most “rested” players in the match because they’ve done bugger all! Regular top order collapses change the mind set of the middle order to attack more, or play more expansively. Where’s the likes of Nick Compton when you need ’em? Someone who can grind out the hard yards and a price on his wicket!


    • Benny Jul 15, 2017 / 8:45 pm

      Compton is where Flower, Strauss and Mastermind Whittaker want him


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