Did You Think I’d Crumble? Did You Think I’d Lay Down And Die – Ashes, 2nd Test, Day 2 Review

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Memories, of the way we were

As usual, the problem with writing a match review when you’ve not had a chance to catch up with the highlights, and you’ve slept through most of the morning, is a difficult one. We’d expect you to have done some of that work yourself, and if not, you can always read the always accurate, always agenda-free newspapers for your daily update. Of how England could not take all of the remaining five wickets despite getting rid of Handscomb early; of Shaun Marsh, he of four test centuries previously, unexpectedly made a fifth; of England not being able to shift Cummins until he made another 40 odd; and of how England lost Stoneman as the sun went down and the pace went up; and for the one piece of fortune England have had all tour, a shower that came up from the south as a piece of drizzle, but dropped a lot more and ended the night session.

I hope you appreciated the Live Blog this morning which was set up to take us all through the stress and strain of the opening part of the England innings. We thought, well I did, that we’d be witnessing a wake. That England would be a lot down for not a lot. But there are a couple of things we need to discuss here. First up, this is Adelaide – the wicket is a little more spicy and the conditions a little different, but Adelaide doesn’t misbehave unless it is damp, or it has had repeated 40 degree heat on it. This looks like an OK wicket to bat on to me – a tailender staying in untroubled sort of confirms this. The game is about temperament and technique, and England have few excuses not to make it through tomorrow’s play without a collapse. Of course, pretty much all of the England cognoscenti on here and on social media believe a collapse is inevitable. Let’s have some faith (fool).

This is an especially key passage of play for Alastair Cook, who looked much more stable than previously. No-one is confusing him with David Gower, but it’s a start. Stoneman looked pretty good before getting done by a full one – noticeable that the Aussie pacemen concentrated on it being fuller than their England counterparts – and although there aren’t whispers yet, the Surrey/Durham man needs to cash in because he looks like he flows when he gets going (as he did for his county this year) and has more about him than some of his predecessors.

The rain, which we should never celebrate (!) came just after Stoneman’s dismissal, and wiped out a potentially awkward hour or so. England will definitely trade the half hour in mid-afternoon for one in the night. James Vince faced a rocket yorker first up which he played very well (as a really average club player, imagine facing that, at night, at 90+ mph first up – we can be over-critical) but not much else.

The word on the street was that England bowled too short, again. The word on the street was that they also had no luck, again. The word on the street is that Woakes is a popgun on these sort of surfaces. The word on the street was that Overton wasn’t bad, but that Moeen was. The word on the street is that England’s body language sagged as Shaun Marsh took control and no wickets looked like falling. The word on the street is that England are in dead trouble.

Let’s see if there are better words on the street when we all wake up tomorrow.

On an admin tip, I doubt very much we’ll have a live blog tomorrow as it is a working day (and I’m not going to get away with that at work). The Adelaide Day/Night test may be a spectacle and bring more people’s attention in Australia but it is a pain in the rear for us cricket bloggers. We’ll do what we can to update as and when. But as usual, feel free to comment below on the cricketing action as and when you can.

A little self-congratulation

Eagle-eyed visitors may notice that we passed another milestone. At the bottom of the right hand column on the front page we have a hit counter (it discounts our hits as admin) and we’ve passed 900,000 in our third full year as Being Outside Cricket (we started in February 2015). We’ve seen a number of our old faces return as an Ashes series takes place, and welcome back to you all. We also had an uplifting editorial last week, where we were positive about how the blog will progress. As usual, your energy feeds ours.

Next stop 1 million hits (combining BOC and HDWLIA since the last Ashes – 246k for that year – we are well over that already). Coming from nowhere, it’s something I,and the team, are proud of. One of the rules of blogging is never divulge your stats, but stuff it. We ain’t going to make any money out of it!


For all Day 3 comments, use the usual method below. If you are interested, in 2006 we had Australia 28 for 1 in response to our 551/6 declared, and we all know how that ended up. I know, different times, different teams, different games. It’s what keeps us interested.

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Picture from the old main stand…..

 

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124 thoughts on “Did You Think I’d Crumble? Did You Think I’d Lay Down And Die – Ashes, 2nd Test, Day 2 Review

  1. Silk December 3, 2017 / 8:07 pm

    England can lay down a marker tomorrow. Bat out the day with wickets to spare and there’s a message to Australia, right there. Your bowling isn’t all that. Our batting is just fine, thank you very much. See you in Perth.

    Like

  2. Tony Bennett December 3, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    I can’t really remember a time when England’s prospects of batting for 5 or 6 sessions has been so widely dismissed. Perhaps this is entirely justified. But the pitch isn’t a minefield, Mitchell Johnson isn’t playing, or Shane Warne. Root is one of the top batsmen in world cricket. Cook is capable (presumably) of playing a long innings. Three or four of the batsman have careers to make – or to mar. There’s got to be plenty of motivation there. It wouldn’t completely surprise me if England finish the day no more than four down.

    Like

    • Silk December 3, 2017 / 8:56 pm

      It would greatly surprise me, but pleasingly so!!

      I reckon we’ll make it to the close, but 8 or 9 down.

      Like

  3. levi December 3, 2017 / 9:03 pm

    As always, the post is spot on. I cant believe how many people – reputable hacks included have suggested England are “staring down the barrel” with 19 wickets left in the match. The emphasis on the huge “error” that Joe Root has made in putting Australia in but I think Steve Smith’s declaration could (here’s hoping) be another leap of faith that could backfire. Just need a couple of partnerships tomorrow, if England are batting going into day 4 they might be the only team that can win the match.
    Of course its an optimistic view but as you have said, there are no demons in the pitch and England need to bat time,

    Like

    • Scrim December 4, 2017 / 4:59 am

      I don’t think Smith’s declaration could be seen as a “leap of faith”, even if England weren’t currently 4 down. At 8 down and after more than 5 sessions, it would be a standard declaration time to keep the game moving and chances victory, pink ball D/N or not. Nowhere near Faf’s clever declaration that backfired last year.

      Like

    • Silk December 4, 2017 / 7:34 am

      It’s 7.30am GMT, and Smith’s declaration looks like it’s been backed up by his bowlers (particularly their fielding – the caught and bowled wickets, both of ’em, look incredible).

      Overton and Woakes fighting back, but England are still a /little/ way behind.

      I think, ultimately, neither captain is a genius or an idiot. But one has good bowlers, and the other doesn’t.

      Like

        • Silk December 4, 2017 / 9:05 am

          ๐Ÿ™‚

          Next hour critical, mind. If England get a wicket or 7, they are right back in this.

          Like

  4. jennyah46 December 3, 2017 / 9:33 pm

    Sorry to be negative but while Australia are full of self belief, fire and brimstone we seem to have soft underbelly, and be lacking in leadership and drive.

    I would love to see the new boys do well and for Cook and Root to produce the contributions that set them apart, but I’m finding it difficult to be positive. I sincerely hope to be eating humble pie in tbe morning.

    I much appreciate the blog and all of your updates. Good reading, not to be missed and trust you will be hitting tbe million mark before long.

    Like

  5. Mark December 3, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    I’m astounded that anyone has any confidence in England saving this game. What evidence have they shown on this tour so far that they are cable of batting long periods? One of the risks you take if you put the opposition in is you are likely to have to bat last.

    England could find themsleves….even if they bat well in their first innings facing a tough 70 odd overs on the last day trying to survive under huge pressure on a turning pitch against Lyon.

    Now they might score 600, and have the Aussies under pressure last day. Stranger things have happened I guess. England look shot to me. Best they can hope for is a draw, but this was their banker game, this was the pitch they thought they would win on.

    Root is taking the heat to keep Strauss safe. This media pack protect their favourates.

    Like

  6. Sri. Grins December 4, 2017 / 1:39 am

    Glad to see that some shoots of optimism seem to be sprouting and spreading. Must do the best we can to keep it grow. Rain dance maybe or England just five down end of the day?

    As I see it it is more in the mind than the pitch at this stage. Seems to be quite comfortable and like the Delhi pitch, good for batting

    Like

  7. quebecer December 4, 2017 / 2:24 am

    Well, I for one am flush with optimism. It’s a new day, and a good batting track.There might be a bit of rain, so i’m going with 285 for 3 at the close of play, and a grinding not out from Cook.

    Like

    • Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 2:36 am

      ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    • Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 2:40 am

      ๐Ÿ™‚ :-). Didn’t snow?

      Like

      • quebecer December 4, 2017 / 2:44 am

        …which makes today a good day ๐Ÿ™‚

        Is the smog a northern thing or is the fine city of Bangalore also afflicted?

        Like

        • Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 3:02 am

          Totally Northern thing. Bangalore gets muggy but that is because of weather not pollution. We Southerners are smarter ๐Ÿ™‚

          Actually, a lot of it is due to burning of crop stubble in Punjab and Haryana. Can’t blame the farmers too. It is the cheapest thing for them to do and they can’t afford to invest in equipment / other technology and burning also helps in destroying bugs and plants which are pesticide / fungicide resistant and makes the land more fertile for them.

          Like

          • quebecer December 4, 2017 / 3:11 am

            Huh. Bloody northerners…

            Makes me feel old, but i was in your city in ’89 as a young pup traveling around India with a pal for three months. Got a feeling it’s changed a bit… but :I totally fell for the charm of the south, once I got used to being sweaty.

            As always, I’m awed by what India is, yet equally awed by the challenges it faces.

            Like

        • Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 3:48 am

          Agree on India and the bloody northerners :-D.

          Awesome in many ways , terrible in others.

          Still with a lot of focus on startups trying to solve problems of the common man from saving energy to cooking robots , one hopes 25 years down the line, people not belonging to the rich or middle class will have a better time of it.

          They do feel happy even now with whatever little they have but of course dil maange more ๐Ÿ™‚ to paraphrase a famous ad slogan

          Like

    • Pontiac December 4, 2017 / 3:07 am

      Right then.

      Like

  8. Tom December 4, 2017 / 3:01 am

    I have a question about the playing regulations for this test. I hope I’m not repeating something that has already been explained, apologies if I am.

    If play can go on until 10:30 pm (local time), why does the decision have to be made by 9:10 pm? If conditions are OK at 9:30 pm you could get another hour’s play in, but the regulation doesn’t seem to allow that. Could someone explain why?

    Like

  9. quebecer December 4, 2017 / 3:13 am

    Vince gone, 31 for 2. 285 for 3 at the close of play still on.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. quebecer December 4, 2017 / 3:19 am

    Very, very strange to see Vince nick off like that with a shot he didn’t need to play. Andy Flower thinks he’s great, after all. Terribly odd.

    Anyhoo, best get that over and done with, I suppose. Moving on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 8:36 am

      What are the odds that his 83 is the highest individual score by an England player in the series?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pontiac December 4, 2017 / 3:33 am

    3-50. Making use of the new ball.

    Like

  12. Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 3:37 am

    Root driving again. I think he surely needs to think of cutting some shots out on these pitches till he settles in. He is not making the best use of his obvious talent.

    Like

  13. quebecer December 4, 2017 / 3:38 am

    With Root now gone too, I want to make it perfectly clear my prediction of 285 for 3 at the close of play with a grinding not out from Cook is absolutely still on and a without doubt a blinding bit of analysis. In fact, so confident am in this, I will now go to bed, as there really is no reason to watch it unfold, so desperately predictable the score at day’s end truly is.

    Merci, bonsoir.

    Like

    • Tom December 4, 2017 / 7:15 am

      Unfortunately, you didn’t mention if your prediction was for England’s 1st or 2nd innings, at least in terms of wickets…

      Like

  14. Pontiac December 4, 2017 / 4:34 am

    4-80, nice round numbers.

    Lyon didn’t start so great but (unlike under other captains I can remember) he got 3 overs to get lined up. Then a couple cheap ones. Then payoff.

    Presumably Hazlewood to rotate back in, then Cummins, then tea, then Starc after tea.

    Like

  15. Rooto December 4, 2017 / 5:09 am

    If anyone else in Europe has been listening to this sack of shit (apologies to Malan, who was slightly less culpable), then you have my sympathy. Go back to bed everyone, England are luging downhill.

    Like

  16. Rooto December 4, 2017 / 5:17 am

    The most frustrating thing has been the lack of movement off the seam, and the unnecessary shots that have been played. Has Vince been leading the batting practice?
    Impressive discipline from Australia, but we could at least make it difficult for them.

    Like

  17. dlpthomas December 4, 2017 / 6:04 am

    6/132. Nice catch by Lyon but a soft dismissal. There’s a good chance we won’t avoid the follow on.

    Like

  18. nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 6:14 am

    Taking the dispassionate eye of a scientific researcher, we have a front row seat in the latest experiment with the English cricket media: how much more blame can they attach directly to Root (and Bayliss) than they put on Cook (and Flower) four years ago?

    Like

    • dlpthomas December 4, 2017 / 6:23 am

      I wonder how much longer Bayliss will want the job. And Johnny’s gone

      Like

      • metatone December 4, 2017 / 6:42 am

        I presume Bayliss would like to hang on for a possible good performance in the World Cup next year – helps with the cv.

        And really at some level I find it hard to blame Bayliss. There are limits to a coach’s ability to stop batsmen playing stupid shots and he never advertised himself as someone to uncover some better bowlers from county cricket. Really, I come back again to the utter stupidity in not recruiting Gillespie, whose biggest forte at Yorkshire was precisely improving the bowling.

        Like

        • metatone December 4, 2017 / 6:43 am

          And yes, I am aghast to wake up (too early, grumpy because I couldn’t sleep) to this scoreline…

          Liked by 1 person

          • jennyah46 December 4, 2017 / 6:50 am

            Same here, although I can’t say it was unexpected.

            Like

          • metatone December 4, 2017 / 7:02 am

            Fair point, I can’t blame Hope this time.

            Interesting emotional comparison: I never once really expected England RL to beat Aus in the recent WC Final, but despite the disappointment of some bad mistakes, they played well enough for me to feel pretty positive (proud?) about the team. I’m really having trouble with the cricketers on that at the moment.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 7:12 am

            So. To answer the title of this post.

            Yes.

            Like

          • OscarDaBosca December 4, 2017 / 7:16 am

            Snap, woke up to find us 7 down for not many.
            Unsurprising until I saw the pitch map of the wicket taking deliveries.
            Whilst they were all of a good to full length (who knew eh?) more disappointing was how wide the majority of them were. I know context is everything, but it would appear that most of those deliveries could be left.
            Woakes and Overton batting well, which shows you the pitch is okay and the problem lies between the ears

            Like

  19. Silk December 4, 2017 / 7:38 am

    Geoffrey talking sense. Throwing a half-fit Wood into the side because the current bowlers are shit is completely unfair on him.

    Woakes gone.

    Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 8:37 am

        Overton top scoring and top of the wickets column… and probably favourite for the drop if Wood plays!

        Gotta love England.

        I have *never* understood the fuss about Wood. Still low key cheesed off at Lovejoy giving him 8/10 for 10 wickets at 39 in the 2015 Ashes.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 8:43 am

          I am sure his role at Sky has no bearing on this.

          Liked by 1 person

          • nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 8:48 am

            He was a cheerleader for Sky long before that! Very well treated by CWOTV as well, I seem to recall.

            (I agree though)

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 8:50 am

            I mean, he’s never got at all cheesed off with Botham? Ever?

            Like

          • Mark December 4, 2017 / 9:08 am

            One of the most dishonest things he does is to use his various platforms to defend the broadcaster who employs him, and criticise other broadcasters that don’t employ him from being handed cricket tv rights.

            Shocking conflict of interest. But then after seeing the ECBs petulant tweet about how they are not responsible for the Ashes rights going to BT one should not be surprised. English cricket is a giant clique of insiders and chums

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 10:14 am

            He’s on fire.

            I’ve wanted this for years on Sky. But never heard Sky writer Selvey mention it then. He’s doing my head in.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mark December 4, 2017 / 10:38 am

            I have always wanted a red button for whenever he is talking. How about a red button for Cricket writers on TV? With a black button that fires an injector seat, and sends idiot jouno flying into space!

            Like

        • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 8:47 am

          Also, in its own way, pipe down.

          Like

          • nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 8:55 am

            You can’t hypothesise, says the man who brought you six inches of carry, a long whine about Chris Jordan in the World Cup, another moan about the weather in a game lost by an intergalactic margin…

            He makes it so easy.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Rooto December 4, 2017 / 9:00 am

            Was about to type exactly that. Does he do it out of chutzpah? Nah, he’s just a little man full of hot air.

            Like

          • Mark December 4, 2017 / 9:12 am

            What amuses me is assumption that if you have played 3 test matches for Englamd you should be taken seriously as a pundit. . Can’t hypothesise..

            Like

          • Tom December 4, 2017 / 9:29 am

            I’m a scientist and I am here to help. Mike Selvey just hypothesized.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 9:42 am

            Obviously didn’t keep the sound down.

            Like

          • OscarDaBosca December 4, 2017 / 12:18 pm

            I am so glad he blocked me all those years ago for pointing out his hypocrisy.

            Like

  20. Silk December 4, 2017 / 7:42 am

    STATS BLAST – None of our batsmen (Overton currently 31*) average over 35.

    Only one of our bowlers (Broad) averages under 35 with the ball.

    Like

  21. Northern Light December 4, 2017 / 7:43 am

    Damn, I was really hoping Woakes would at least take the mantle of top scorer today, if nothing else. Maybe Broad will hit six sixes and do the job instead…..?

    Like

  22. metatone December 4, 2017 / 7:48 am

    I’m getting a feeling we’ll creep past the follow-on score… just to prolong the agony.

    Like

    • Silk December 4, 2017 / 7:56 am

      I don’t think he’ll enforce, anyway. The bowlers must be tired.

      Anyway, we’ll knock them over for 150 and win by 4 wickets.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 8:25 am

      I think they’ll stick us in again to make the most of the night conditions. I may be wrong. Won’t be the first time!

      Like

  23. Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 7:51 am

    Glad Q is not awake . Seriously, the pitch is not misbehaving and it looks more a mind issue than anything else.

    I am still backing England to battle it out for a draw.

    Like

    • dlpthomas December 4, 2017 / 8:59 am

      You wouldn’t say that if you had been watching England for as long as I have.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 9:00 am

      You don’t have to be nice to us. We’re used to this nonsense.

      Like

      • Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 9:09 am

        Not being nice at all. ๐Ÿ™‚ . I still think the pitch is decent. India almost pulled off a miracle win chasing in Adelaide. This is a D/N match but then England have better batting than what India had. Only Vijay and Virat performed but still India came close.

        They need to focus a lot more and not give their wickets away by playing deliveries they need not. Also in the second innings, it may be more a matter of survival and england do have batsmen who can stick around for a long time.

        Like

  24. Sherwick December 4, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Still, could be worse.
    One of them could be looking out of the window.
    Or whistling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 8:24 am

      We can play the recrimination game after Perth and in January. They aren’t going to give us a shortage of material at this stage.

      Like

      • SimonH December 4, 2017 / 9:05 am

        I hope Whitaker put brandy and a revovler on his Christmas list as I suspect that’s what he’s going to get from the ECB.

        Plan A will be to draw the line there (with one or two other small sacrifices – is there a fielding coach they can sack this time?) if there are any crumbs of comfort to cling to. Plan B will involve shoving all the blame on to Bayliss and/or Root if there aren’t.

        Liked by 2 people

  25. Sherwick December 4, 2017 / 8:58 am

    Maybe Q meant that Australia would be 285-3 at the close?

    Like

  26. nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 8:58 am

    At last… a four-wicket innings. The first of the series.

    Like

  27. dlpthomas December 4, 2017 / 9:00 am

    Stating the bloody obvious but Jimmy really needs to step up here.

    Like

    • dlpthomas December 4, 2017 / 9:12 am

      Ask and ye shall receive…………

      Like

  28. Mark December 4, 2017 / 9:01 am

    What a surprise…..not! They didn’t even manage to reach the new ball. Batting 80 overs is a stretch for this team.

    Like

  29. Silk December 4, 2017 / 9:11 am

    It seems to me that Anderson, out sweeping for a duck, when the guy at the other end is 41*, encapsulates England.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas December 4, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Great effort from Overton, especially considering his 3 previous innings on tour were all ducks.

      Like

    • Mark December 4, 2017 / 9:18 am

      Word.

      There is no discipline in this team. No discipline to bowl the ball in the right areas. No discipline to bat yourself in, and play straight without giving it away. No discipline when they go for a night out,

      Just a bunch of chancers.

      Like

  30. Silk December 4, 2017 / 9:23 am

    If England do turn to Wood (and let’s hope he’s fit) Woakes has to be the man to make way. I don’t care how long the tail is. We need 20 wickets to win a test.

    (or do we?, he says, as Khwaja plays the swinging ball with a similar level of confidence as he would have when trying to land Concorde)

    Like

  31. Scrim December 4, 2017 / 9:35 am

    I can only imagine that watching Broad and, in particular, Anderson pitch the ball up and be unplayable at this stage of the game is frustrating rather than pleasing for an England supporter.

    Like

    • nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 9:44 am

      They cocked up in much the same way four years ago as well, only some English writers pretended not to notice, preferring to credit the miraculous performance of Brad Haddin. The same Haddin who then averaged about 6 against South Africa a few months later.

      Like

  32. dlpthomas December 4, 2017 / 9:48 am

    This may be a bit harsh but is Anderson a better bowler when the ball is swinging or does he try harder when the ball is swinging?

    Like

  33. northernlight71 December 4, 2017 / 10:03 am

    Even when they’re having a relatively good session, England’s bowlers aren’t exactly all over the Aussies are they?
    Any journalists willing to show Anderson his pitch map at the end of play and say “How come so many of these are still short of a length, mate?”
    I’ll not hold my breath.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rooto December 4, 2017 / 10:12 am

      Total agreement from me. Amidst all the hand-wringing on TMS about how unlucky England are to go past the bat, there was a shaft of truth from Glenn McGrath. “If you’re missing the edge, you should ask yourself if you’re bowling the right lengths. They’re still too short.”

      Like

  34. Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 10:26 am

    anderson breaks through again. khwaja

    Like

  35. thelegglance December 4, 2017 / 10:30 am

    “England in with a real sniff of getting back in this game now” – Swann.

    Apart from the fact that on the basis of the series so far, Australia probably have enough runs already.

    Like

    • oreston December 4, 2017 / 10:43 am

      At this stage it looks like England would have to bat for a ridiculously long time to save the game and that’s probably not going to happen. In the meantime though, making Smith’s strategy of not enforcing the follow on backfire a little bit by denying the Aussies the freedom to score quickly and take the game totally away from us is the right thing to do. Picking up a few wickets (gasp!) in the process doesn’t hurt either. The longer Australia have to bat before Smith feels that he can declare the better. It makes the mountain just a little less high at least. I’m not getting my hopes up though. The damage is already done.

      Like

  36. dlpthomas December 4, 2017 / 10:33 am

    Shades of Mike Proctor with that LBW shout.

    Like

  37. Sri.Grins December 4, 2017 / 10:38 am

    warner gone too 47/3

    Like

    • oreston December 4, 2017 / 10:48 am

      I take personal credit for this ๐Ÿ˜‰ On the previous thread I dared to suggest that Jimmy might be past it as a strike bowler. Clearly he’s responded…

      Like

  38. oreston December 4, 2017 / 10:50 am

    Smith gone. 50/4. It ain’t over ’til it’s over…

    Like

  39. Deep Purple Fred December 4, 2017 / 10:50 am

    Very exciting for England that Anderson is doing his thing again under lights, even getting Smith early, but must be a bit deflating to think it will all be for naught. Smith should declare now at 4/50 and get on with it.

    Like

    • nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 10:54 am

      Would you have enforced the follow-on? I confess I was about 65-35 in favour of doing so.

      Like

      • Scrim December 4, 2017 / 11:09 am

        Probably not.

        In this scenario we have now, best case scenario for England means they will still be chasing 350+. A very tough ask.

        If Smith had enforced the follow on, even a modicum of resistance would have meant another 60-70 overs. A couple of decent innings and it could be 100+. Add that to 70 overs in the first innings, it is a lot of work, especially for a 4 man attack.

        Like

    • Deep Purple Fred December 4, 2017 / 10:57 am

      On the face of it you’d wonder why on earth not, but I didn’t see that last passage of play, if the bowlers had been getting tired and it seems Woakes was batting OK, you can see why he’d take the safe option. Why bother risking the bowlers health when you’re in the driving seat for the series?

      Like

      • nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 11:11 am

        Time of night, bigger gap to third Test for bowlers to rest, psychological impact. Not a gambler by nature but would have fancied that one.

        Like

      • Deep Purple Fred December 4, 2017 / 11:29 am

        Well, as Scrim said, this way England have basically no chance whatever Australia gets.

        But on reflection, I would have been sorely tempted. If for no other reason than Australia always plays positive and proactive cricket. Would have been a chance to break them. Clarke might have enforced it, Smith is more conservative I think.

        Like

  40. Silk December 4, 2017 / 10:50 am

    I think England could successfully chase anything up to 320 on this surface.

    Like

    • OscarDaBosca December 4, 2017 / 10:52 am

      I think 350. There is nothing wrong with the surface and we just need to bat sensibly during the day (and keep our fingers crossed in the evening)

      Like

  41. OscarDaBosca December 4, 2017 / 10:51 am

    Well that’s a turn up. A couple more wickets and we only need 350 to win.

    Obviously I take credit for shredding Woakes bowling last week. He is bowling excellently.

    Like

  42. man in a barrel December 4, 2017 / 10:52 am

    A lead of 267 against a team bowled out for 228, why are Vaughan and Swann so chirpy about England’s chances in the match?

    Liked by 1 person

    • oreston December 4, 2017 / 11:01 am

      In order to attract the requisite amount of attention and somehow justify one’s parasitic media existence, a view has to be taken and an opinion aired – no matter how ridiculous that view may appear to more dispassionate observers. I believe it’s called punditry.

      Liked by 1 person

  43. man in a barrel December 4, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Even Miller on cricinfo appears to have succombed to the nonsense

    Like

  44. Silk December 4, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Australia will want 100 more runs and won’t care how they get them. England need to bowl brilliantly in the morning.

    First hour crucial, as always.

    Like

  45. man in a barrel December 4, 2017 / 11:13 am

    And the BT guys are droning on about momentum, FFS!

    I wonder what Botham and Holding would have said about that Smith lbw.

    Like

  46. Scrim December 4, 2017 / 11:16 am

    It’s a shame we’ve been robbed of the new ball under lights on day 1 and day 2 due to bad weather. That was a great session to watch.

    Like

  47. nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 11:29 am

    Apparently Lovejoy called a Smith lbw referral “plumb” and it was pitching outside leg.

    Can we have an intolerable bellend of the year Dmitri award?

    Like

    • man in a barrel December 4, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      To be fair to the intolerable bell-end, the one deemed to have pitched outside leg did seem to have a lot more going for it than the one given out that might have just about pitched in line and might just have clipped the bails. Both judgments were about millimeters

      Like

    • Mark December 4, 2017 / 12:23 pm

      Before television came along there used to be Vaudeville, and Variety. Comedians used to travel the country playing every town and city with the same act and jokes. They had careers that would last decades with the same act.

      Then they went on TV, and did their 20 minute act and destroyed their entire careers in one performance. Everyone had seen it in one night and they were f****ed.It’s why Morecambe & Wise always said they would never do their theartre act on TV.

      But that has now been reversed. Lovejoy does the same act evey night on TV.

      Like

    • Pontiac December 4, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Apparently Lyon’s catch was ordinary, too. Hm.

      Like

  48. SimonH December 4, 2017 / 11:43 am

    “Englandโ€™s captain cannot be excused”. You know who.

    At least he doesn’t excuse the well-set, experienced ex-captain getting out with a tame poke to slip. He just ignores it.

    Like

  49. Silk December 4, 2017 / 11:57 am

    I’m confused now. Did Root call the toss right, or not?

    Like

    • OscarDaBosca December 4, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      Definitely right, unless its wrong.
      Hindsight will tell us, and then we will all be right, unless we are wrong, but if we aren’t wrong then someone will be, and they are the naysayers who thought they were right.

      I hope that’s clear.

      Like

      • Sri. Grins December 4, 2017 / 1:26 pm

        Awesome
        ๐Ÿ˜€
        Quite rightly, you can’t let wrongs go by without setting them right.

        Like

    • thelegglance December 4, 2017 / 12:16 pm

      I call it Schrodinger’s Bat. Where it’s the right call to bowl until England start bowling. Is the bat alive or not?

      Liked by 1 person

      • OscarDaBosca December 4, 2017 / 12:20 pm

        That’s brilliant. Next time I am at the cricket I will steal that line, use it as my own, and receive the plaudits for my erudite wit.

        Like

      • Deep Purple Fred December 4, 2017 / 12:21 pm

        ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  50. LordCanisLupus December 4, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    Martin Samuel in “If there’s a link, I’ll torture it” mode. Chris is writing the review of today, I’ll bet he can’t top this…

    โ€˜The Rocky Horror Showโ€™ read one. Another publicised โ€˜Ross Kempโ€™s Extreme Talesโ€™. To be fair, England boasted an extreme tail long before Kemp ever latched on to the idea and the top order batting under pressure in Australia has been both rocky and a horror show for as long as anyone can remember. It wasnโ€™t much different here, either.”

    Remember – the press is sacred and MUCH better at this than we are.

    Like

    • nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      *David Moyes horrorstruck face GIF*

      Like

    • man in a barrel December 4, 2017 / 12:12 pm

      That is extraordinarily bad and shirt-memoried even for Samuel. I bet he wasn’t moaning about England’s long tail last summer

      Like

    • nonoxcol December 4, 2017 / 12:34 pm

      “For as long as *anyone* can remember”, unless they have no memory of starting the second innings with a 250-run deficit in the first Test all of seven years ago, I suppose.

      Like

  51. Mark December 4, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    I am even more depressed after that. It just highlights that unless there is movement in the air or off the pitch we are hopeless. We are a one trick pony outfit.

    Like

  52. Scrim December 4, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    Shout out to Nathan Lyon once again. Fresh off tonking an Overton for 6 yesterday, he followed it up today with 4 wickets, a spectacular catch, bowled unchanged most of the day, did a bit of timewasting that would have made 2009 Panesar and Anderson blush, and batted out the day as nightwatchman.

    The goat can do no wrong, expect a dashing 50 and a 5-for from him tomorrow.

    Like

    • Silk December 4, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      He’ll overtake Swann’s best total in a year (65 in 2010, I think) before the end of the MCG Test, I would have thought).

      Peak Swann was a fine bowler. Peak Lyon (assuming this is his peak) is a fine bowler, too.

      Like

      • Pontiac December 4, 2017 / 4:21 pm

        He’s only 30. Nearly 300 wickets. It has been fascinating to watch his bowling develop; he had almost no first class cricket experience before starting to play Tests.

        Like

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