Ashes First Test Review – Day 4

The day began with England 26 runs ahead but two wickets down, and the start was promising as Hazlewood and Starc didn’t seem as threatening as they had the day before. The ball was a little older, the deliveries a bit slower, and although Stoneman and Root had some nervous moments they seemed relatively comfortable.

When Nathan Lyon came in to bowl, it was a different story. The left-handed opener Stoneman in particular had problems facing him, and on Lyon’s third over of the day Stoneman edged one to Steve Smith at slip. Dawid Malan, another left-hander, didn’t seem much more comfortable playing the offspinner, and whilst Malan blocked out a few overs he fell to a similar dismissal soon after.

This brought together Joe Root and England’s #6 Moeen Ali, and for a while things looked rosy for England. Both batsmen were positive, they rotated the strike well and caused Australia no end of problems. Both handled Lyon relatively comfortably too, with Moeen moving his feet and forcing the bowler to vary his lines and lengths. Root coasted to his first fifty of the series, but the very next ball he was given out LBW to a quick seamer from Hazlewood. The manner of his dismissal will worry England, as he was out in a similar fashion in the first innings.

When Bairstow came to the crease, the scoring continued at a high rate and England fans might have entertained the hope that their team could create a lead in excess of 250. Of course true England fans know well the dangers of such hope, and Moeen Ali demonstrated this when he played inside the line of a Lyon offspinner only to get stumped. It was an incredibly tight decision which went to the third umpire, and the TV pictures seemed to suggest that the line had been painted in a particularly haphazard way, but at the end of the day the fault lies with Moeen rather than the groundsman.

With Moeen Ali gone, the scoring stalled again as Bairstow played more defensively and Woakes struggled to pierce the field. They managed to put together a partnership of 30 before Woakes edged a Starc bouncer to second slip, which triggered the second collapse for England’s lower order in the game. Within 3 overs the last 3 wickets fell, and the tourists had set Australia a modest target of 170. Bairstow’s dismissal in particular was disappointing, as the shot seemed more like catching practice than a scoring opportunity.

Australian openers started slowly and patiently, seeing off Anderson and Broad with the new ball. Once they were facing the other three bowlers, they really started accelerating to the point that it seemed possible they might reach their target today. Moeen Ali in particular was expensive, with Australia scoring 23 off his 4 overs.

It was at this point that I decided to go to sleep, as an inevitable march to a low total really isn’t interesting enough to hold my attention at 6.30am. At least the previous 3 days had some balance and competition. A quick look at Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball suggests I didn’t miss any action. No wickets, no drops, no DRS appeals, nothing to suggest that England even made a pretense of competing.

At the close of play Australia ended on 114/0, needing another 56 runs to win. If you are a colossal optimist, which basically just means Sri. Grins at this point, England need to take 10 wickets. Or they’d certainly settle for a rainstorm to come out of nowhere. It seems likely that the game will be over by 1am, which will at least help get my sleeping back on a regular schedule.

After play ended, there were reports coming from Australia’s Fox Sports that Jonny Bairstow might have been involved in an incident with Cameron Bancroft at a Perth nightclub. Recalling both Dave Warner in 2013 as well as Ben Stokes, you’ve got to wonder why cricketers go to nightclubs at all.

Comments are welcome below, unless they’re potentially libellous about players fighting in nightclubs in which case they are very much not welcome.


98 thoughts on “Ashes First Test Review – Day 4

  1. dlpthomas Nov 26, 2017 / 11:19 am

    Bancroft and Bairstow had a bit off a chat when Bairstow arrived at the wicket. Perhaps they were discussing the live music seen in Brisbane. (On second thought, they probably weren’t – that would be a very short chat)


    • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 11:22 am

      KP is a man of extremes, vacillating between telling the complete truth and talking complete bollocks. I get the sense that when he called Brisbane a sh**hole, he was telling the complete truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 11:37 am

        I haven’t seen KP on the coverage yet. (I guess that is because I go to bed too early.) is he just on the highlights? Or does he commentate later in the day?

        BT billed him as part of their team, but he doesn’t seem to be a main part of it.


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 11:39 am

          He was on at the start of the Aussie innings. Think he does one session a day.


        • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 11:47 am

          He’s doing commentary for the Australian TV coverage as well, I think he spends most of his day there.


          • dlpthomas Nov 26, 2017 / 12:20 pm

            Sadly, that is true.


  2. LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 11:25 am

    I liked Brisbane and it wasn’t a complete shithole. Though I vaguely recall someone saying to me that Queensland had been run as a virtual police state for many years and they hadn’t quite got used to freedom.

    How true? How exaggerated? No idea. But I liked it.


    • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 12:32 pm

      I like Brisbane too, but I suspect it may have been me who said that to you about Queensland!


        • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 12:39 pm

          It’s certainly a phrase I’ve used about it.

          I’m very fond of the place. But there’s that something about it I find amazing they’ve let happen.


  3. Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 11:32 am

    You have started an new thread just as I wrote this in below as my overview of the match so I will copy it here……

    There is a purity about the Brisbane pitch. No sideways movement, no swing, no low bounce. If you want to get wickets you have to be good. You either have to be express quick, or fantastically accurate or you have to be able to spin the ball.

    Anderson and Broad bowled very accurately and economically. They got wickets in the first innings. But they are ageing, and there is no back up. We don’t have a proper spinner. We have a batsman who bowls off spin. This is acceptable in England because there is sideways movement for the seamers, and a bit of turn for the spinner. He can take a few wickets. We don’t have express pace. All our fast men are crocked. Or they don’t bat a bit.

    England’s flakey top order batting means the balance of the side is always having to be determined by all rounders. We missed Stokes, we can’t fit in another bowler. A specialist spinner like Rashid. (Not that they would pick him. Face fitting is more important than being able to take wickets.).

    This result will be written off just like India. We move on to perhaps more friendly
    conditions. A day night game where maybe there will be more movement and swing. Conditions that will level the playing field. Its the way we play.


    • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 11:45 am

      Yes, English fans and media always prioritise home performance over anything else. To be fair, the same is probably true of every other country.

      It’s felt like, certainly through the past 10 years, the two weaknesses of most English batsmen are bouncers and spin bowling. Going against an Australian team which basically has this as its attack, I’ve never felt great about our chances.

      As for our bowling attack, English bowlers tend to rely on seam and swing because the Dukes ball suits it. We tend not to generate truly fast bowlers, and when we do they always seem to break down. As for Rashid (or indeed Crane, who is in the squad), I would assume for them to play it would have to be in place of Ball or Woakes (who is nominally an allrounder, but needs a good performance in Adelaide to solidify his spot). That leaves you with just 3 pace bowlers, which seems an unlikely selection for England.


      • Silk Nov 26, 2017 / 11:59 am

        Can’t remember a time when English batsmen didn’t struggle against spin bowling. 1950s, perhaps?


        • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 12:15 pm

          And you can see the uproar regarding Somerset’s pitches in the last few years. If you look at the ECB’s Pitch Inspection Document (PDF), you can see that spinning pitches are discouraged. So are ‘dead’ pitches (like the Gabba) with little seam and slow carry, although that at least has the justification that it would basically cause most games to be draws due to county games only being 4 days long. The upshot of this policy is that English players don’t spend a lot of time facing spin, or having to bowl on lifeless pitches, and it shows in their performance.


  4. dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 11:56 am

    ECB’s statement on Jonny Bairstow, on the face of it seems like the Aussie press trying to stir up trouble.


    • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 12:11 pm

      Hmm……First they say there has been no report of an incident from venue or police……but

      They then say “after conversation with Jonny we understand context” Which would rather suggest there has been an incident.

      Hopefully it was minor, and as usual just Aussies stirring up trouble. Iam afraid this is what now awaits Ben Stokes when he returns to the fold.

      Aussies are such whingers. And they call us whinging poms. They obviously have no mirrors in Australia.


  5. BobW Nov 26, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    Can be a conspiracy theorist and suggest the Bairstow story is a plant to distract from the real news that England are crap and are getting hammered by Australia.
    Though I don’t really believe it. It’s just that England really are crap. What a disappointment that they showed no fight.


    • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 12:17 pm

      I don’t think it’s a plant, but rather the Aussie media setting the stage for when Stokes is nominally available again for England. With this story about Bairstow they can suggest that drinking and fighting is an endemic problem for the whole England team, rather than Stokes being a moron.


      • dlpthomas Nov 26, 2017 / 12:31 pm

        C’mon, where’s that famous English pessimism? (Jesus, I hope your right)


        • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 12:41 pm

          Butt (geddit) we live in times like this:

          We do take this all rather too seriously.


          • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 12:54 pm

            Well the issue for most fans isn’t what he did, but whether the ECB might suspend him. For an awful lot of Brits, when they were in their 20s they went out to pubs and clubs and occasionally were involved in minor fights like Stokes. That reality is clouded by the ideas that they’re role models or “representing their country”, which I just think is nonsense.

            I honestly don’t think that Stokes should be suspended at all for the fight, and from what has been “revealed” so far the Bairstow incident seems like less than nothing. But sports bodies like to pretend to be holier than thou, particularly under pressure from their sponsors, so they have to go through the pretense of an investigation and in Stokes’ case probably a token punishment.


          • AB Nov 26, 2017 / 7:12 pm

            I used to go to clubs and get drunk, but I never got involved in a fight, because I’m not a psycho.

            There is no place for psychos in my office, there is no place for psychos in any public office, or position of authority, there is no place for psychos in cricket full stop, let alone the England cricket team. Sorry.


          • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 7:26 pm

            That is far, far too simplistic.

            Someone who I am very close to, who is not, absolutely not a “psycho” was once sitting outside a snooker hall in Eltham in the late 80s, with a group of friends, when he and his mates, for no reason whatsoever, were set upon by a group of youths. They fought back. I saw that person the day after.

            The clue as to who instigated the fight is in the paragraph above. Eltham. Youths. Late 80s.

            I was once set upon by a couple of blokes after a darts match. As people know, I’m not one who gets into fights, but I’m not saying I’m totally innocent either.

            I once went to a nightclub in Newcastle. Some bloke threatened to stab me just for chatting to his female companion, and him, because she used to be neighbours with a Millwall player. If he had a knife, what would I have to do? Let him do it for fear of being labelled a psycho?

            Come on AB. There’s room for nuance. Stokes may well have attitude issues. But it is rarely black or white.


  6. RufusSG Nov 26, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    Dmitri, I have to admit I completely concur with your tweet about Michael Vaughan’s “wheels falling off” comment. Of course people will pile in and always have done after heavy defeats, and England completely deserve criticism, but given that Vaughan’s both been there and demonstrated that even against a much greater Australian team that you can turn around results like this, you’d think he of all people would be a bit more sympathetic. Perhaps he just feels the need to stir up the chaos now he’s in the media.


    • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 12:31 pm

      Vaughan being Vaughan. Used to it.

      Although not an avid follower as I was, Dave Tickner got it right on one of the Geek and Friends. You actually realise, from the nonsense he spouts both about the team, the tactics and the extraneous stuff that he was probably one of England’s luckiest captains. Because he’s making a compelling case that he is “whatever way the wind blows” idiot.


      • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 12:42 pm

        Without wanting to defend Vaughn, and there is a complete difference from 4 years ago when the team was completely shell shocked after Brisbane I do think there are some worrying signs.

        The batting is very brittle, and the injuries seem to be mounting up. Has Ali got a problem that stops him from spinning the ball? Is Anderson carrying an injury?

        England have put a lot on Adelaide and the day night game. Hoping it seams and swings. If England lose there I can see the wheels coming off on this tour. Not through shell shock like last time, but just a lack of belief.


        • RufusSG Nov 26, 2017 / 12:51 pm

          Moeen has a cut on his spinning finger which had to be glued up, which might have had some impact on his performance. Although he’s admitted in the press conference that he doesn’t think he bowled that well anyway, so it’s not really clear if it’s that responsible.

          Don’t get me wrong, the wheels absolutely could fall off if things keep going wrong. Clearly there are warning signs. It’s just curious that Vaughan should already seem resigned when if anyone might want to argue how England could bounce back, given what happened in the series his captaincy was directed towards winning and where a lot of its legacy comes from, you’d think it might be him.


  7. thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    Defeat in this one is neither unexpected, nor a complete disaster. England will certainly have hopes of winning a day nighter in Adelaide. But the trouble is that this match has gone the wrong way with a collection of problems that were entirely predictable – concerns about Cook, an inability to convert starts into scores, the bowlers looking toothless.

    The Bairstow story doesn’t sound like one that’s a big one – I find it impossible to believe the ECB wouldn’t have known about it if it was.


    • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      The ECB didn’t know about the Stokes incident at first. Hales was heavily criticised for not telling them what had happened and going home. I don’t blame them for not knowing what their grown men are doing out and about.


      • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 12:49 pm

        On tour is a bit different to at home. But you may be right, it just seems to me that surely they would if it was serious, a player must know it’s not going to stay secret.

        If it’s minor though…


        • dlpthomas Nov 26, 2017 / 1:05 pm

          Wasn’t Bairstow one of the players fined after the Stokes incident? Even if it is “minor”, the powers-that-be will be fuming.


          • dlpthomas Nov 26, 2017 / 1:35 pm

            Didn’t it happen on the same night? Also, did the Australian players say anything to Bairstow in the first innings? I didn’t notice anything which seems a bit odd (almost as if it the outrage was planned)


          • Sophie Nov 26, 2017 / 2:14 pm

            They wouldn’t have gotten a fine if it hadn’t been on the same night. As far as I can tell they didn’t do anything untowards or unusual and it was 3 days until the next game, I think.


    • Metatone Nov 26, 2017 / 2:52 pm

      Certainly it’s important not to let the psychology of the Gabba (where visiting teams often manage a draw at best) sour the whole tour.

      Yet, I’m so tired of our toothless bowling. It’s not just abroad. We lose an average of 1-2 games at home per year when the English summer turns up enough dry days to make our bowling look toothless. What’s the point of the ECB setup (Lions, Loughborough, etc.) if we can’t address this obvious issue.

      Starts into scores? Not sure where to begin with that. Lyon has become a rather good bowler, but he still shouldn’t be giving us so much trouble. Back to “what’s the point of the ECB setup”?

      Liked by 2 people

      • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 2:58 pm

        Agree M. This is a different kind of defeat to those in the recent past. We weren’t blown away. I ignore 170 run chases with no time pressure on good batting wickets as an indicator of a gulf. The indicator is that we had then 76/4 and 204(?)/7 and did not nail them. All the time the mood music was Aussie’s pace attack, Aussie’s pace attack, Aussie’s pace attack. England were in front, and did not nail them. That’s different to 2013, 2006, 2002 et al.

        Four right are, fast medium, seam bowlers was never going to work, was it? I don’t have the answers, but worryingly, nor do the ECB.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 3:12 pm

        Ah, but it’s the Kookaburra ball you know. One they’ve obviously not seen before or ever practised with, and when it happens in England there’s a clear reason why that is. I could tell you what that is, but I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it as an expert…

        Liked by 2 people

        • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 3:16 pm

          I’d have a couple of teams in county cricket use the Kookaburra ball for home games. And for grounds like Somerset which spin, have them use the Indian SG ball. It shouldn’t be the first time players use them when they’re touring with England.


          • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 3:17 pm

            It isn’t. The Lions teams use it routinely every time they tour. I may have been slightly sarcastic in my post. 😉


          • Scrim Nov 26, 2017 / 5:19 pm

            Australia is doing things along these lines now. Half of the Sheffield Shield season is now played with the Dukes ball.

            They have also played rounds in NZ to get greener, more “English” pitches.


          • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 6:03 pm

            Oh, in that case we’ll be doing it in the next 4-10 years. We always copy what Australia does eventually.


      • quebecer Nov 26, 2017 / 9:49 pm

        Ahhh, Loughborough…

        Two words: Kevin Shine. Two more: track record. Last one: none.

        Really, to date, this program has produced no (and this is literal – zero) fast bowlers of test quality. The closest is Chris Woakes, who despite being widely touted before this series is 28 years old and has to date had one good series where he took his only two 5 wicket hauls (in the same Lords test) at home against Pakistan. That’s it.

        Our fast bowling program has all the resources it needs and has had the time to prove itself. Which it has – as a failure. I don’t see how this is arguable.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. SimonH Nov 26, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    It all depends how you look at things…

    One of the ECB house-trained hacks chooses to accentuate the negative. Conclusion: Test cricket needs reforming (do the ECB just happen to have an idea on the table?…. ) and probably scrapping. With friends like these….


    • @pktroll Nov 26, 2017 / 1:51 pm

      Never heard of this journo but I would say that it did look as though there were a few gaps in the stands. However, the Gabba is one of those that has increased capacity in the last few years?


      • SimonH Nov 26, 2017 / 2:02 pm

        Brooks writes for the Express.

        There were some empty seats – but the stadium holds 40,000! 20,000 would sell-out every English ground except Lord’s and now the Oval and Edgbaston.

        Brisbane is a ground that for various reasons has never tended to sell out.


  9. Silk Nov 26, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    I’m sorry, but if Bairstow was at a nightclub last night, when the match is still live (barely) then someone needs firing, and it ain’t him.


  10. LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Add groundstaff to Selfey’s list of people not having a tough job, unlike journos….

    Even if this is tongue in cheek, you could see why it might be interpreted the wrong way.


    • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      He’s all class. In any case, I really don’t see the issue about the painting of the line. Every batsman sees the line and knows they have to have something behind it. They don’t analyse the bloody width, they judge it according to what’s there. It’s a preposterous thing to whinge about.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 2:43 pm

        Quintessentially him. It’s as if by bringing this up (like that hitting into the trade wind stuff he banged on about in the West Indies) and pointing it out, he’s ahead of the curve. Fundamentalism over an innocuous, maybe marginal, matter.

        Still, you could be Oliver Holt who writes this…

        Alastair Cook’s ill-judged, idiotic decision to hook Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over of England’s second innings on Saturday evening was one of them. A player of Cook’s experience and ability should, frankly, have known better.

        I feel like I’m in All The President’s Men when Hal Holbrook says you got people feeling sorry for him (one of the Watergate accused) and I didn’t think that was possible). Demanding apologies! Christ, get him on a plane back now….


      • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 4:00 pm

        Absolutely TLG,

        It doesn’t matter if the White line was laser line straight, and painted by Leonardo da Vinci…. you still have to get a part of your boot behind it.


        • BobW Nov 26, 2017 / 5:13 pm

          Agreed TLC. It could be a foot wide. You know you’ve got to keep that back foot behind it regardless. Anything else is making excuses.


      • Benny Nov 26, 2017 / 7:32 pm

        I feel the same with this as I do about iffy lbw decisions – the batsman has a lump of wood in his hands, correct use of which would avoid all these difficulties.


    • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 3:16 pm

      “Idiot ground staff”

      Wow, how political correct of a former Guardian writer with his so called liberal values of respect and decency for the workers.

      He really is a patronising, hypocritical, pompus C***.


    • nonoxcol Nov 26, 2017 / 3:49 pm

      Given he subsequently wrote two dozen more tweets about the issue, and swore once or twice in them, I doubt it was tongue in cheek.

      We’ve seen these distraction tactics from him before of course. The weather in the 637-2 defeat v SA in 2012; the six inches of carry v SL in 2014; Chris Jordan’s run out in the WC v Bangladesh; Adil Rashid passim in the UAE tour…


      • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 4:03 pm

        He’s not a journalist. He’s an ECB cheerleader.

        I wonder if he has Pom poms and and a baton?


      • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 4:08 pm

        You know me. I try to be charitable. To attack the lowest paid staff at most clubs is a little bit naughty.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 4:25 pm

          You have to remember that because he played Test cricket, he knows more about painting lines than any groundsman.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 4:41 pm

            I wonder if they teach white line paiting at that school he’s always going on about?

            “Today kids….. Mr Selvey is going to show us how to paint a white line in the style of a French impressionist.”

            Liked by 1 person

  11. SimonH Nov 26, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    Newman time!

    “Australia turned what had been a closely-fought, thrilling Test over the first three days into a thrashing. Ultimately, there was the gulf in class that we feared would be the case here in Australia”.

    Did we fear it? I thought we’ve been told again and again over the past two years how there was so much talent in this group of players? It’s confirmation they don’t even really believe their own bs.

    “Coach Trevor Bayliss made it perfectly clear before this series that half-centuries would not be good enough to win the Ashes and that England simply had to convert them into big hundreds to compete here.But, in total contrast to the mammoth display of concentration and skill from Australian captain Steve Smith in making an unbeaten 141, England’s batsmen got start after start yet could not go on to match-defining innings. Their problem was summed up on Sunday by an England captain in Joe Root”.

    Blame the top scorer klaxon! Root is the first and only England batsman Newman singles out in the article. And isn’t it Bayliss’s job to not only identify problems but, you know, do something about them?

    “Moeen fell in controversial and utterly unsatisfactory fashion…. But after countless replays TV umpire Chris Gaffaney decided there was no part of Moeen’s left foot over the line and gave him out even though there had to be doubt. And what happened to giving the batsman the benefit of it? England’s sense of grievance was not helped by pictures which showed that the crease had been painted much thicker on the the cut strip than off it. If it had remained the same width all the way across Moeen would have survived”.

    Bastard Aussie groundsmen! If only it was the same for both sides, eh?

    “Bairstow will be criticised for playing an upper cut straight to third man but it was a shot he would not have attempted had he felt any confidence in the batsmen around him”.

    Who’s idea was it that the best use of Bairstow was “shepherding the tail”? Who reported pre-match as if it was an idea of tactical genius?

    “England will be concerned at the lack of impact in this Test of Woakes and Jake Ball, who offered scant support to the big two”.

    Is that the same Jake Ball of “identified as suitable for Australian pitches months ago by England coach Trevor Bayliss” from Newman’s pre-match. Bayliss really is Macavity in Newman’s writing.

    “Nothing was more demoralising for England than the leading part played here by motor-mouth Lyon”.

    Nothing is more Newman than this kind of petulant whinging when things go wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Nov 26, 2017 / 2:45 pm

      Holt’s piece is garbage.

      No surprise.

      Instead of calling for Stokes, some England players should be looking at themselves and apologising to their skipper, Joe Root, for costing his team a shot at victory. England were very much in this game for three days but a couple of critical poor decisions let them down at crucial moments.
      Alastair Cook’s ill-judged, idiotic decision to hook Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over of England’s second innings on Saturday evening was one of them. A player of Cook’s experience and ability should, frankly, have known better.

      Say sorry to the captain, do you hear!

      The article is full of stating the bleedin’ obvious, cloaked in that judgemental sanctimony that Holt is the gold standard for.


      • SimonH Nov 26, 2017 / 3:08 pm

        I enjoyed the way, having criticised Cook, Holt then piles into Bairstow. At least Newman has enough understanding of the game to get why Bairstow felt he had to play shots at that time.


      • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 3:54 pm

        Holt is turning into a kind of Blimp like figure with total passes for the officer class.(just as long as they don’t take the offer granted to them by the Brigadier not to tour (as in Morgan)

        Now Cook has been busted back to the ranks he can be blamed.


  12. Sri.Grins Nov 26, 2017 / 2:52 pm


    Optimism work very wells. Imagine, I got a mention in the article which I wouldn’t have rated otherwise. 😀

    Seriously, after having the edge when the Aussies closed their innings just 26 runs ahead, England did not take their chances well in the 3rd innings. The tail also probably a bit psyched by the Root incident.

    Root is good and has to start thinking like Smith and Virat. He is so consistent and somehow gives up the ghost when set.

    I asked Q if it was time for the rain dance so I am not optimistic about the result in this test.

    However, I still think England can turn it around like they did in India in 2012 as they have a decent side and Oz are equally weak except for Smith and a little bit Warner.

    England needs to change the bowling attack though. Very disappointed with Woakes. Didn’t know much about Ball and hence didn’t take him into the equation but expected Woakes to do much better.

    Any chance that the injury has recurred and they still played woakes? I thought he was far far better than what turned up.

    No need to tinker with the batting except to ask Root to focus again once he reaches 40. If required, send a message from the dressing room.


    • SimonH Nov 26, 2017 / 3:12 pm

      There ought to be some concerns Root got out the same way in both innings. He seems to have developed a bit of a fault of falling over with his head to the off-side. I don’;t recall him ever having this trouble before – perhaps he’s aware of nicking off on the last tour and exaggerating his covering of the off-stump?


      • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 3:14 pm

        The ball swung in a touch late, and that often leads players to play across the line at it if they haven’t covered the swing. There may be an issue, or it may just be he was done by a decent enough nut that caught him by surprise, it’s a bit early to tell.


        • Sri.Grins Nov 26, 2017 / 5:02 pm

          According to stats rolled out in the Oz press, Root has been lbw a lot of times like this in the recent past (last 15 months). They are quoting 3 out of 4 vs Pak and BD and 4 out of the 5 tests played in India.


          • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 5:09 pm

            It’s possible, but equally you can just sometimes have a run like this. I haven’t seen an obvious flaw in him, that’s all, so I’ll reserve judgement. The one this innings did shape in late, and that’s always a problem for anyone, and does cause exactly that falling over and playing across it.


          • BobW Nov 26, 2017 / 5:31 pm

            I always think you need to be careful when tinkering with your batting technique. Changing something to counteract a flaw often leads to consequences elsewhere in your game. Root’s technique has worked well for him the last couple of years and I’d be reluctant for him to be making changes so soon in a series.
            Sometimes it’s more about recognising the bowling strategy and not getting suckered. In that sense it’s a mental/concentration issue.


          • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 5:40 pm

            Agree. It’s exceptionally difficult to mess around with technique during a series anyway, which is why I have more concerns around Cook than Root, who doesn’t seem to have major problems as far as I can see.


          • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 6:24 pm

            I do suspect there’s probably a lot of this in the England set up. Between Loughborough, the Lions and the England team, there’s a lot of coaches who have to justify their position and pay. I would imagine “I helped a batsman remodel his technique” sounds a lot better at your pay review than “I told a batsman to keep doing what was working for him and do more nets”.


          • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 6:28 pm

            True at every level I’d have thought. At clubs the qualified coaches often try to totally remodel a player’s technique rather than working with what’s there. It drove me mad – stop trying to turn a flawed hitter into Rahul Dravid, it’s not going to work. Just try and help him stay in a bit more.


          • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 6:03 pm

            Read Michael Atherton’s autobiography about how the management decided to re model Devon Malcolm’s (Malcom Devon) bowling action on the South Africa tour. Utter madness.


          • BobW Nov 26, 2017 / 6:33 pm

            Or Jimmy Anderson, Dominic Cork and so on. The game is littered with players who have had batting and bowling techniques altered.
            Although I wondered who Dennis Amiss and Peter Willey discussed their batting chest on technique with many moons ago. (For those old enough to remember)


          • thelegglance Nov 26, 2017 / 6:36 pm

            Or Steve Smith. The point being there are different ways to succeed and those who think it’s all about technique are talking drivel. The reason I’m concerned about Cook is not because he looks technically iffy, but because he looks technically iffy FOR HIM. If he’d scored hatfuls batting that way, who cares? But he’s at his best when he’s side on.


  13. Silk Nov 26, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    Stats fun. Average of English batsmen who reached 40 in this test. 54. Average of Australians (so far), 173.


  14. OscarDaBosca Nov 26, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    I bloody hate po-faced journalism. So an incident happened a few weeks ago that clearly caused no issues and no fuss or anything that untoward (because if it had rumours would have been flying around and journalists are like flies on shit when it comes to rumours). However ‘narrative’ is so important in story telling (which most journalism appears to be these days), so lets forget that only SA (I think and I have been working most of the weekend so I’m not looking it up) have in the past 10-15 years actually won in Brisbane. Lets forget that we had Australia in trouble twice in their first innings (and I do realise that we don’t have the best back up bowlers, but we have already forgotten the multiple injuries that always seem to happen prior to an Ashes tour).
    Fuck it, the first test isn’t even over yet, but we have a full blown press CRISIS on our hands. Oh Johnny how could you?
    The Australian press always make stuff up about our team, or magnify tiny incidents, but no, lets make this a full press crisis.
    I am dreading tomorrow morning listening to Jonathan Agnew with his best headmasterly tones tell the nation how awful it is, how awful we were, how there is clearly a troubling culture in this team, and how we are lurching towards doom.
    I heard that bollocks in 2005 after Lords and I didn’t believe it and I don’t believe it now. Yes we have lost a test because of a couple of bad sessions, but funnily enough when teams are evenly matched that’s how tests are won and lost. I thought there were positives, Anderson bowled as well as I have seen him bowl in Australia, Broad looked like he had the nip that he had lost in the summer, Vince exceeded all expectations and found a second method of dismissal in test cricket, and I like the ‘stones’ of Stoneman.
    Don’t get me wrong, I doubt we can win the series, but we aren’t as bad as we are being made out, and they certainly aren’t as good. I doubt Cummins will last beyond Perth (if he makes it that far it will be a medical miracle), Starc isn’t as good as he thinks he is and their batting is as brittle as ours (albeit with two match-winners).

    Sorry rant over, as you were

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Nov 26, 2017 / 10:42 pm

      Good rant.


  15. MMx Nov 26, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    Been wondering…

    Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett – our two fastest bowlers, yes? Certainly the two most likely to stick it up the opposition, I’m guessing?

    Are they actually injured right now? Or just ignored? I realise they haven’t been picked for the squad… sure, yes, understood. I’m just a bit perplexed by the perpetual picking of yet more fast-medium when what we really need is F.A.S.T.

    Hello all again. I’ve been reading occasionally, just haven’t contribbbed.


    • Silk Nov 26, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      Wood is injured. And his Test record suggests he’s more Devon Malcolm than Malcolm Marshall. Perhaps more Martin McCague, even.

      Plunkett, I have no idea. For he he’s absolutely top class, and has done the business well when selected. Jake Ball? Don’t make me laugh.


    • Silk Nov 26, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      I should have said “Wood was injured”. He’s fit now. For at least 15 overs.


    • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Always happy to have a new commenter.

      Mark Wood is coming back from injury. He’s in the Lions squad and might be fit for the 3rd or 4th Test.

      Plunkett has been a limited overs specialist for the last two years for both club and country, probably under the instruction of the ECB. The idea being that with a reduced workload he’s less likely to get injured and can focus on speed over the stamina he’d need to play the longer forms of the game. So he’s fit and available, but in no way prepared to play Test cricket.


      • MMx Nov 26, 2017 / 9:22 pm

        Cheers Danny. If Plunkett is not fit enough for Tests, then OK, fair enough. But is he actually less fit than Woakes looks? Less likely to be effective than Jake Ball? I realise that Mark Wood has had a mixed England career so far but he does have a bit of X factor IMHO.

        I’d be putting the biggest impact players in the country on superhuman doses of interferon and daily transfusions of ultra clean blood the minute the season is over, just so they could play the first couple of Tests. That’ll be where this series is won or lost again. With this team (and no disrespect to those picked) the tour could be over at the earliest possible opportunity… again.

        Are we expecting a few dropouts / retirements before the tour’s over? Finn’s departure is already noted.


        • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 9:42 pm

          Well Stokes will probably return to the squad if he’s not prosecuted, although he might be suspended and he’ll definitely be short of match practice. With Wood’s injury history, I’d think England are easing him up to full pace and workload in the Lions. Plunkett has just bowled 66 overs in 2 games with a red ball this year. He simply won’t be conditioned for fast bowling.

          The next game is a pink ball day/night Test which is most likely to swing, so arguably the one best suited for the current bowling attack. Wood might be ready for the third Test, in which case he’d probably come in for Ball.

          The other candidates are Tom Curran and Craig Overton in the squad. I don’t know how fast they are since I don’t really follow county cricket, but they obviously didn’t win a spot in the team from Ball.

          Outside the squad, there’s Garton, Mahmood and Tongue in the Lions squad. No idea about them, but I’d assume they might be too young to consider.


          • quebecer Nov 26, 2017 / 9:56 pm

            Danny, Curran and Overton are certainly no quicker than Ball. Garton has some pace but is very green and possibly only around to provide left arm quick net practice. Tongue is thought of as a good prospect but only just 20, and certainly not test level ‘quick’ yet (though he might end up being so). Mahmood I really haven’t seen at all.


          • quebecer Nov 26, 2017 / 10:01 pm

            Of any others in the domestic game who might be thought of as quick, I can only think of Olly Stone (who I rate). But it’s difficult for players like Stone. It seems you need to go to one of the ‘big’ counties (Stone left Northants for Warwickshire) but once there, those counties seem to prefer more bog standard medium pacers who will get wickets because of the pitches. Championship chances are therefore limited, the younger quicks only get a run in limited overs games, and it’s very hard to progress.


          • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 10:05 pm

            Younger quicks are also often limited in terms of overs per game and per season so they don’t develop chronic injuries before their bodies mature.


  16. MMx Nov 26, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    Cheers Silk. I always, always loved Devon Malcolm. Point taken though. But let’s not invoke McCag… McCa… no, can’t say that name.



    • Mark Nov 26, 2017 / 10:16 pm

      April fools day?

      The ECB mushroom jobs. The Yosser Hughes academy……”Give us a job….go on… Gives it.”


      • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 10:27 pm

        We’re all too young to get this reference, Mark.

        Oh, who am I kidding…


  17. quebecer Nov 26, 2017 / 9:38 pm

    Fred: I was a little ungracious on the other thread. Australia are winning because they have played better and deserve it. Apologies for not leading with that.


  18. Elaine Simpson-Long Nov 26, 2017 / 10:31 pm

    I have a friend staying with me. Came into the room where I was watching cricket. I had the sound down low. What is that droning noise she asked. It is coming from your telly. Is there somerhing wrong with it? No I said I have turned the sound right down. The droning sound she heard was Michael Vaughan who Never. Stops. Talking.


    • dannycricket Nov 26, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      It’s a pretty good description. Maybe a few of the BT commentators are paid by the word?


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