Feel The Pain, Feel The Joy, Aside Set The Little Bits Of History Repeating – Day 5 Preview

UPDATE AT END OF POST

australia-2006-sim-2-202-02.jpeg.jpegBack in the day, way back in the day, I had an idea to write a blog. I started one up on blogspot, had to close it down (I like threats of violence), opened up another on WordPress, but bored with that and I thought I should specialise. In 2010 I decided to write a new blog, based on cricket. I get these madcap ideas every now and again (still convinced I can do this and an America Sports blog).

What should I call it? I always found it difficult to come up with names for blogs that were catchy, but a bit different. What should I call the cricket blog I had some grand visions for, but ultimately I knew would be a failure? Nothing with crap like googlies in it. Nothing about Inside Edges or such stuff. Not for me. No. Think.

When considering a name, I wanted to make it personal to me. I’d been to six test matches overseas, of which we lost all five that I had tickets for all of the days, and won the other where I had just two days of tickets. Of all those matches, one stood out. The exemplar of what a cricket fan has to go through in a five day test. The periods of slow play, laying the foundation, which Day 1 was. The burst of hope as your team takes a hold of the game, which was definitely Day 2. The striving for success, to put yourselves in a winning position, which Day 3 seemed to be. The evaporation of hope, as the opposition grind down a tired team and reach virtual parity, and that, my friends, was Day 4.

Then there was Day 5. Day 5. It still makes me shiver with that awful feeling of despair. It still hurts as I think of those Aussies running over to their crowd in front of the scoreboard, knowing the Barmy Army were to their right, suffering. The time when I saw a cricket team freeze before my eyes, paralysed with the fear of defeat and not knowing what to do. Watching mental disintegration in its most visceral form. Stupid shots, silly runs, shotless innings, hopeless wafts, dodgy decisions, and fear. Pure unadulterated fear. There was no calculation for when the game was safe, and when we lost the 10th wicket we knew that we weren’t safe. This was 4 and a half an over. They had a good batting line up.

And the question was raised, again and again. How could the team that had been so good in the first three days, be so bad on the last? How could the team that had played without fear in England not 18 months before, be paralysed with it on that December afternoon? How could players like KP, who had taken the final day at the Oval in 2005 in his hands and make it his, succumb meekly to a pathetic sweep shot?

How Did We Lose In Adelaide?

I had the name. It encapsulated a seminal event in my life, coming after the death of both my parents in the space of 9 months, becoming a mental wreck, a shot to pieces individual pinning hopes on great holidays, great mates and enjoyment to forget the grief. It reminded me of the sheer beauty, and pain, of sport, of why it is played, why it should never be discounted, why test cricket should absolutely not be messed with. It reminded me that bad times in sport, the real lows, in many ways should be appreciated because if you feel that bad, you bloody well cared enough to hurt. It seemed a perfect name for the blog. So I used it.

How Did We Lose In Adelaide

australia-2006-sim-2-055-02.jpeg.jpeg

England resume tomorrow half way there, with more than half their wickets left. Tomorrow is Joe Root’s chance to emulate Brian Lara in Barbados, Sachin in Chennai, Smith at Edgbaston to name three. To have the innings of immortality at your fingertips, but yet, but yet, so far away. It is a chance for heroes to emerge, for legends to be made, for the Australians to ask the question I have asked so often myself. It is a chance for Woakes to play the nightwatchman role of his life, to surprise us and make us embrace him. If they should be denied it is for Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali to take the good fight forward. 178 runs – not a small amount, but not insurmountable. This isn’t Butcher at Headingley, with a series gone, but Lara in Barbados with a series to control. This is the chance we thought we didn’t have, the chance brought to us by a champion bowling performance 72 hours too late.

We could emerge triumphant, we could leave the Aussies shell-shocked, in recrimination, undermine the captaincy of Smith who would never live it down, we could build up the confidence of the men who played a small part in setting this up. We could hit the enemy where it hurts, with a victory when there seemed no chance we could avoid defeat. We could slay the invincibility aura that some have given this bowling attack. We could quiet the Aussie fans and media, in their tracks, make them pay. We could do all this and more with 178 runs. One hundred and seventy-eight runs with six wickets remaining. One century partnership and it is probably ours. We can see it. We can taste it. We want it. A chance to complete the circle dating back to December 2006, to the naming of my most important blog in 2010, to the pain of and pains caused by the whitewash in 2013/14. A chance to exorcise some demons. To laugh and to cry. To feel joy, remembering the pain. What a chance!

220 all out by lunch.

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My Old Header Photo…How Did We Lose In Adelaide

This post is dedicated to Sri Grins! Comments below.

“I’m Flying High, I’m Watching The World Pass Me By”

UPDATE – How Did We Lose In Adelaide? Without much of a fight it seems. I woke up at 4:20, looked at the score on my phone, swore, posted a comment, went back to sleep. Woke up with the alarm at 6:10 and saw the end result. What a shame.

I’m aware Chris and I have hogged the mic, so to speak, for the past few days, so we are handing over the keyboard to Danny and Sean for the next two days. Danny will be carrying out the review of the match / Day 5 and Sean will apply his forensic mind to any issues arising from the last test. Me? Christmas parties.

It’s Dmitri’s season, so got to start thinking of them. We’ve still got Perth. But most of all, we still have each other.

 

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216 thoughts on “Feel The Pain, Feel The Joy, Aside Set The Little Bits Of History Repeating – Day 5 Preview

  1. BoredInAustria December 5, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Lovely post. Even Max will enjoy. 5th day glory there for the taking.

    Like

    • thelegglance December 5, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      Honestly, I’ve not wanted England to win as much in ages. Years. I know it’s probably not going to happen, but dammit I actually really hope they do.

      What an odd feeling in recent years. I see NonOxCol feels the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OscarDaBosca December 5, 2017 / 9:22 pm

        This match has helped me rediscover the joy of test cricket.

        The Press murmurings about the man of steel have helped because he could be gone in 3 matches which would (unfortunately in some respects because I admire his runs, just hated about every aspect of him, from the deer hunting to the god awful captaincy and the cheerleading from the media) make me happy.

        To toughen metal it needs to be tempered, and this team is similar, lots of bits that are quite good, but like untempered metal it is brittle.
        Tomorrow could be the making of this team, and whilst I agree I am likely to wake up to 240 all out, I am hoping, just hoping to catch the denouement.

        Come on England, make this a series to remember, because at 1-1 this could become a classic

        Liked by 1 person

        • OscarDaBosca December 5, 2017 / 9:25 pm

          Also the Sun guy (who like the Brisbane courier a few years back, I am now refusing to name) said that England would definitely lose.

          He knows nothing about cricket because he writes for the Sun, so prove him wrong please Root and co

          Like

      • nonoxcol December 5, 2017 / 9:33 pm

        If I told you what sporting event of the 21st century this feeling on the eve of the final day evokes, you would probably accuse me of jinxing the whole thing.

        But if I just say it’s like a glimmer of hope from an impossible position, that even all that monumental effort still hasn’t quite buried the disaster of the first two days, and nor does anyone seriously think the home side won’t finish off the job tomorrow, you might be able to work it out.

        (It isn’t a cricket match, by the way, but it’s easily my favourite sporting moment since 12/9/05)

        Liked by 1 person

        • OscarDaBosca December 5, 2017 / 9:38 pm

          But…but

          If they manage to win the disaster of the first two days will add to the telling. If they had bowled as well as they can and had batted with just a modicum more of patience they may have already been in a winning position (add 70 to their score and take off 100 from Australia)

          However as long as we all know they will be all out in the first session we can’t jinx it 😂

          Like

          • thelegglance December 5, 2017 / 9:42 pm

            With England, I’ve always worked on the principle that there’s no situation, no matter how disastrous, that they can’t make worse.

            Served me well for 30 years!

            Like

        • nonoxcol December 6, 2017 / 7:40 am

          Hmmmmm. Not a funky cold morning after all. More like Valhalla!

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 7:43 am

            Frustration. I’m super mega angry and have no time to write today. Bollocks.

            Like

      • emasl December 6, 2017 / 1:16 pm

        I have to say I was not really bothered if they did win. I wish I could get over this lingering feeling but cannot get rid of it. I do not think it will go until Messrs Anderson, Broad and Cook have gone. I find Anderson’s attitude, his winging his unpleasantness and constant sledging a total turn off. Broad ditto and Cook, well what can I say about him that has not been said already. The only good bit about Root being captain is that the camera constantly swings onto him instead of the Boy Wonder so we are spared the sight of him picking his nose.

        Wide awake in the middle of the night so checked it out – oh dear. Went back to sleep and when I woke up again it was all over. The only upside is that I expected it so was not disappointed.

        Like

  2. man in a barrel December 5, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    Agree. The match is in the balance but the batting side need to perform well. At the start of play, reverse swing will come into play. A new ball too after a few hours. In a lot of golfing Majors, it comes down to who wants it most. I suspect that Australia in Adelaide might want it more than the all-conquering invincible English team, who are used to losing away from home

    Like

  3. SimonH December 5, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    And the award for not letting reality get in the way of his fads goes to –

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus December 5, 2017 / 9:16 pm

      His attitude to test cricketers, who are knackered at the end of 90 overs is the same as the one Doug Stanhope attributes to the organisers of the Grand National,

      Like

      • MMx December 5, 2017 / 11:38 pm

        One Doug Stanhope is worth a gazillion Simon bloody Hughes. I know, I just checked the exchange rates.

        C’mon Straya, let us win this one. You can and will win the next three.

        Like

    • thelegglance December 5, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Someone has lost patience with this argument.

      Like

    • Mark December 5, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      BULLSHIT Mr 39

      There is no evidence you can bowl 105 overs per day over a sustained period in the modern game. We already take six and half hours to sometimes fail to bowl all 90 overs. You will require another 1 hour, maybe 75 minuets to bowl those overs.

      Then, we have the issue of rain and lost overs. You will never make up ANY lost overs when it rains because it will take 7.5 hours to bowl the 105 overs. And you can’t add them on the next day. No time. Unless you want to start play at 9am.

      Finally, we have no idea what effect this will have on the standard and quality of cricket as players tire so can’t perform to their best. Who wants to watch middle of the road trundlers running in knackered at 7.30pm?

      In England, any sustained bad weather for more than 2 sessions will virtually guarantee a drawn test match.

      This is, as usual…. being pushed for no other reason than money reasons, A topic that Mr 39 you seem only interested in. Perhaps The Cricketer should be renamed …..”The 20/20.” It would be more honest.

      Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol December 5, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      “Let me tell you”.

      I swear nobody has deserved the wooden spoon as much as this since peak Selvey.

      Like

      • oreston December 5, 2017 / 10:08 pm

        He’s an absolute charlatan. Or a pompous idiot. Or maybe both…

        Like

        • Mark December 5, 2017 / 10:13 pm

          It’s funny how whenever the official line is looking a bit shaky up he pops to defend the establishment. Is un canny.

          Like

          • nonoxcol December 6, 2017 / 8:02 am

            Honestly, he is nothing more than a running dog for those in power. Consider: his first act as “editor at large” was to give then England coach Peter Moores the editorial; there was his blatant advertorial for the brave new world SimonH posted last week; and then look at this:

            Like

          • Mark December 6, 2017 / 10:13 am

            Wow I missed this.

            I don’t believe this man even likes cricket these days. So now it wants test matches played over different number of days?

            How does that fit with your test match championship? EngvsAus will be played over 5 days everyone else 4 days? This is where cricket is folks. He is the 39th most important person in the game. More like a blithering idiot!

            Like

  4. man in a barrel December 5, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    But Starc tried too hard and lost his line. At least Stoneman cashed in, much to Boyc’s delight. Although he is always down on Stoneman, he was good enough to relish proper batsmanship when he saw it. If he can stop airing opinions he is a great source of information on batting

    Like

  5. man in a barrel December 5, 2017 / 9:16 pm

    He makes a great pair with Ponting because each of them respect the other. Vaughan seems like the little boy who knows he never got to their level but is still trying to impress

    Like

    • OscarDaBosca December 5, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      That’s a perfect description.
      I do like Ponting as a commentator, he adds value and doesn’t talk.

      Lovejoy today was just talking asinine nonsense for at least 30 mins.

      Like

      • man in a barrel December 6, 2017 / 12:11 am

        And he never stops and he is not objective. Just get rid of him!!!!?

        Like

    • Zephirine December 5, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      Boycott says some really good things, the trouble is he says them all four times over. I think it’s just a mental tic, he thinks he hasn’t said something till he’s paraphrased it repeatedly. Trouble is, not only is it dull but it gives the impression he thinks everyone listening is stupid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • OscarDaBosca December 5, 2017 / 9:41 pm

        When your co-commentators are Shiny toy and Lovejoy, it’s not a surprise that he thinks everyone listening is a fool.

        Liked by 2 people

          • BobW December 6, 2017 / 8:36 am

            I like Boycott. I guess he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but he has a huge amount of knowledge about the game.

            Like

          • KidVicious December 6, 2017 / 12:41 pm

            I like Boycott too. I know he has some personal flaws and has done things in the past that make you look unfavorably on him, but his main pluses are he is honest (at least in how he sees it) and he cares about cricket, particularly test cricket.

            I watch the Channel 5 highlights package as I do not have access to pay-to-air TV. At the end of the Trent Bridge test vs SA, he was lamenting the poor batting performance and the lack of fight from the players, so much so that he nearly broke down in tears. Warmed me to him quite a bit

            Liked by 1 person

    • BobW December 6, 2017 / 8:40 am

      BT did a masterclass on defensive batting with Ponting and Boycott in one of the breaks yesterday. It was interesting. Boycott is in great shape for his age. Forward defensive as perfect as ever.
      As someone else said elsewhere, him and Ponting are a good pairing.

      Like

  6. Mark December 5, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    Who’s staying up tonight? I can’t Iam afraid, although I don’t think I would even if I could.

    For all the praise…..we are only half way to the total required, and 4 batsman are gone. Iam not saying it can’t be done, but I expect us to fall short. If Root goes quickly maybe very short.

    Whatever happens it just frustrates me that we could,and should have done so much better in this series. This is not a great Aussie team. Which is why it’s sad we are losing to them.

    The great news is this goes into day 5, once again making complete idiots of the 4 day test brigade.

    Like

    • thelegglance December 5, 2017 / 10:06 pm

      The realistic problem in any run chase is when it switches from batting well for the sake of it to real thoughts of winning; that’s when the pressure really starts to build up. England won’t be thinking about winning at the moment, they’ll be thinking about batting.

      Australia on the other hand will be just a bit twitchy, as sides always are at this stage. If England go to lunch without losing a wicket, that’s where it’ll start to get really tense.

      Like

      • thelegglance December 5, 2017 / 10:37 pm

        Sorry, that sounded like a lecture for something you didn’t already know. Was just idly musing aloud!

        Like

        • man in a barrel December 5, 2017 / 11:36 pm

          It’s better than repeating that the first half hour is important

          Like

  7. man in a barrel December 5, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    For people like me it’s hard to get hold of the drugs to keep you going till the start of play. Why did they ban Miaow?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mark December 5, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    The BBC can always be relied on in the modern era to go completely over the top. Right now They are asking Paul Fabrace……” Is Joe Root a good sleeper” ……” Does he sleep in the same room as his son?” Ffs

    Like

  9. Mark December 5, 2017 / 10:32 pm

    You gotta love Boycott

    Eleanor Oldroyd……”who’s going to win Geoffrey?”
    Boycott……..”How the hell do I know.”

    This was done in all good humour before we all get on our high horses. And his answer is true. Who the hell knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. nonoxcol December 5, 2017 / 11:30 pm

    I think some of us knew from about 7am that this golden oldie would get an airing today…

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus December 5, 2017 / 11:35 pm

      Still an all time great….

      Like

      • quebecer December 5, 2017 / 11:45 pm

        Wonder if he’ll go with the no moderating idea…

        Like

      • Mark December 6, 2017 / 12:15 am

        What to call it?

        I am the great pretender
        The invisible man
        Gone with the wind
        Vanished
        There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he Elvis
        Help
        Everything must pass

        Liked by 1 person

        • quebecer December 6, 2017 / 2:10 am

          I would suggest Beingoutsidereality

          Like

        • Rooto December 6, 2017 / 4:20 am

          How Did I Lose My Readership?

          Liked by 2 people

      • OscarDaBosca December 6, 2017 / 7:32 am

        😂😂😂
        Lot to like about that.

        Starting soon I hope – hmm, just open an account on word press – although you won’t get paid for it.

        A good title would be,
        One Test Wonder

        I expect comments will be off. If not I will try and get banned as I am still blocked from his twitter feed

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 7:35 am

          Note the date of the tweet. He found out shortly after that he’d make fuck all squared out of his musings and gently shelved the idea. No way was he sharing his opinions for gratis. Selfey needs paying.

          When he put out about earning money I laughed. There is no money in cricket blogging in England.

          Like

    • nonoxcol December 5, 2017 / 11:39 pm

      I’m glad he did, because on page 2 there is an excellent comment from mooney55 with an extended quote from none other than the inventor of Virtualeye.

      Like

  11. man in a barrel December 5, 2017 / 11:39 pm

    At least make it clear that the camera angles that they broadcast and use for replays are not the camera angles used and referenced for decisions. That would be a start

    Like

  12. Sri. Grins December 6, 2017 / 1:31 am

    Thank you for the mention.
    😀

    Like

  13. Deep Purple Fred December 6, 2017 / 2:07 am

    Great post, Lupis.

    Like

  14. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 3:44 am

    Well, it seems someone’s got to do this, so here’s muggins again. And no, I’ve decided to go with no optimism at all because that worked out pretty bloody well yesterday.

    Like

  15. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 3:46 am

    Shit, Woakes gone. I don’t know what to do now. No optimism isn’t working. it’s almost as if this whole our feelings will inversely affect the state of play isn’t real at all. How can that be?

    Like

  16. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 3:47 am

    Actually, it’s because I was secretly I was optimistic.

    Obviously, unless it’s really heart felt, it can’t work. This kind of power isn’t something you can fake.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Rooto December 6, 2017 / 3:48 am

    Morning. Shouldn’t have bothered, should I? 220 looking a long way off.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 3:49 am

    The problem England have is that deep down, I feel Root, Ali, and Bairstow can do this. I don’t know how they are going to get over that.

    Like

  19. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 3:50 am

    Oh. Root gone.

    I feel the best thing i can do is go outside. I might be some time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 3:53 am

      Ah, England. Never change.

      What we need now is a 100 run stand between Moeen and Bairstow to get everyone’s hopes up before the inevitable defeat.

      Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 4:46 am

          On the plus side, at least I won’t be fretting about the score on an aircraft, out of contact from anything.

          Like

        • emasl December 6, 2017 / 1:23 pm

          yep that is what I did

          Like

  20. Pontiac December 6, 2017 / 3:56 am

    Kinda annoyed Lyon isn’t bowling now.

    But he is fielding.

    Like

    • Pontiac December 6, 2017 / 4:17 am

      Marginally less annoyed now that he is bowling.

      Like

  21. Rooto December 6, 2017 / 4:18 am

    Can someone drag quebecer back in and stick the microwave on ‘defrost’?
    With Moeen gone, I suddenly feel less bad about getting up early, as at least I get to hear some cricket. Anyone expecting to hear the denouement at normal breakfast time will be sorely disappointed, I think.

    Like

  22. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 4:32 am

    Dogs found me in the snow and nuzzled me back to the homestead… They should have left me.
    Johnny? Just play like a fucking batsman, PLEASE. Just bat. Coverton? You’ve got some moxy and are supposed to be able to play a bit, so just do that, ok?

    Just some bloody decent play, thats all I ask.

    Like

  23. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 4:33 am

    Howdy, Roo. Family well?

    Like

    • Rooto December 6, 2017 / 4:51 am

      Salut, q. All well here (though totally unprepared for Christmas – you know you’re not on schedule when receiving the first Christmas card sends you into a panic). Twins fine, I hope?

      Like

  24. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 4:35 am

    Ouch for Overton. Hit hard by Cummins.

    You know, all this reactionary talk about how you don’t need pace? That’s only true if you haven’t got it.

    C’mon Craig. Time to be a man now.

    Like

  25. dlpthomas December 6, 2017 / 4:40 am

    He played it badly – did he loose the ball?

    Like

    • quebecer December 6, 2017 / 4:46 am

      i’m honestly not sure he’s ever seen anything that quick. Bowling machines are all very well, but it’s different when it’s real.

      Like

      • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 4:48 am

        I always felt the bowling machine was worse. If you cranked it up, it was quick, but unlike with a bowler you can’t see the arm coming over and knowing if it’s short or full from the release point.

        Mind you, a bowling machine isn’t out to scone you either.

        Like

        • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 4:54 am

          Oh and some git would put it up to 90mph and the first you knew of it was the searing pain.

          Like

      • dlpthomas December 6, 2017 / 4:52 am

        He certainly sems quicker than what the speed gun is saying. On th eother hand, one of Hazlewoods deliveries was measured at 148 km and I reckon that’s bullshit. Oh, goody, new ball.

        Like

        • dlpthomas December 6, 2017 / 4:54 am

          Wicket with the first delivery with the new ball. Fuck.

          Like

  26. Sri.Grins December 6, 2017 / 4:42 am

    There are 3 wickets to take and overton did not get out last innings Bairstow is capable and Broad can bat quite a bit.

    Like

    • dlpthomas December 6, 2017 / 4:44 am

      You could make a fortune as a motivational speaker / life coach.

      Like

    • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 4:45 am

      You know Sri, when the aliens invade and we’re facing certain defeat and extinction, it’s you I want by my side pointing out that there’s a million to one chance, and it just might work.

      Liked by 2 people

      • quebecer December 6, 2017 / 4:47 am

        Or we send him as our emissary.

        And let’s forget, it was me that brought him here. Me of the rubbish avatar.

        Like

          • quebecer December 6, 2017 / 4:55 am

            Sri????? No!!!!!

            Actually, he’d be too nice and they wouldn’t go through with it.

            Sri, can we not get InspectorVijay over here? There’s a few of the Indian guys who’d love it here, but he’d be great.

            P.S. Sri, I havent actually been following the India Sri Lanka series, but only because of time constraints. I’ll be up visiting Mrs Q’s family in the very, very far north over Xmas and will catch up with the highlights then. Apparently, you’ve got this lad Kohli who’s rather good.

            Like

          • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 4:57 am

            Good point. Ok, Sri can negotiate and we’ll sacrifice Selvey.

            Like

          • quebecer December 6, 2017 / 5:02 am

            That’ll work. We’ll just tell him they have an opening at a real a newspaper. His blog will be forgotten immediately.

            Like

          • Sri.Grins December 6, 2017 / 7:58 am

            :-D. It may be an interesting experiment 🙂

            Like

        • Sri.Grins December 6, 2017 / 5:06 am

          Q, will certainly try to bring the optimistic indian posters over . :-). you guys do need a lot of it around 🙂

          Like

        • Sri.Grins December 6, 2017 / 8:42 am

          Btw, you didn’t miss much but it would be interesting for you to watch the first innings India played at Eden Gardens Kolkata. :-). 172 all out on a grassy pitch. Che was the only guy who hung around to make runs from the batsmen. Do let me know what you think since this is what we would probably get in England.

          Kohli of course was relentless once they allowed to him settle in. He seems to get more focused once he crosses 40.

          Feedback on the Indian pace attack in the first test and Ishant in the second test also is welcomee. These are guys we are looking to for taking wickets away.

          The spinners (Jaddu and Ash) were terrific as always. In each innings one guy proving to be the wicket taker at crucial times. They should do well away. Have improved significantly.

          Ash’s batting skills have worsened though. No clue why. From an average of 40, he has plunged to 30.

          Like

    • dlpthomas December 6, 2017 / 4:45 am

      Broad does make runs but I doubt that it could be described as “batting”

      Like

  27. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 4:50 am

    Bairstow just played a very reassuring straight drive. Only went for two, but it went STRAIGHT, and he wasn’t hoiking through mid wicket. This pleases me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • man in a barrel December 6, 2017 / 11:13 am

      It was good to see him spend some time at the crease. Not too much hoicking across the line, a nice straight drive, deflecting the spinner for runs rather than sweeping : all very encouraging signs. The only jarring thing was that Vince-style cover drive but at least he middled it. I guess he was loosening the technique now that all hope was gone and then that loose shot to finish the innings. I was hoping for him to keep going for a bit

      Like

  28. veturisarma December 6, 2017 / 5:01 am

    If they wanted to send a Night Watchman, why wasn’t Anderson preferred last night?

    Like

    • quebecer December 6, 2017 / 5:04 am

      That’s a fair point. The only thing is, there’s was a bit of time to go, and the idea would have bee forsakes to bat perhaps just a tad bit longer today.

      I’m a bit done with Woakes.

      Like

      • quebecer December 6, 2017 / 5:09 am

        Can’t even type his name, it seems.

        Like

    • BobW December 6, 2017 / 8:34 am

      With his history of sledging I think Jimmy would have been targeted with the short ball. It would have been like a duck in a fairground at the rifle range.

      Like

  29. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 5:06 am

    Bollocks. Can’t blame Overton really. I suppose.

    Like

    • Rooto December 6, 2017 / 5:14 am

      Blame Broad instead! Feels better, doesn’t it?

      45-5 this morning. That qualifies as a spineless collapse, I reckon.

      Like

      • quebecer December 6, 2017 / 5:15 am

        That was rubbish.

        Like

      • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 5:16 am

        At least they’ve not undone all the goodwill accumulated over the last two days. Oh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rooto December 6, 2017 / 5:18 am

        54-6. Time to get up and face the day. Sleep well, q.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 7:26 am

          Waking up to see the last line of the piece was nearly accurate has not exactly got me in the mood for a crap day.

          Like

    • Pontiac December 6, 2017 / 5:20 am

      Anderson’s score is a lot of nice round numbers.

      Like

  30. quebecer December 6, 2017 / 5:20 am

    Apart from sending my best wishes out to Rooto, you know what really gets me? It’s that we could do BETTER. That’s what pisses me off.

    Like

    • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 5:29 am

      Yep. It’s not like they’re hopelessly outclassed here. England aren’t the best team, but underperforming badly when you’re not the best team is unforgivable.

      Australia are reasonable, but they’re not brilliant. Both Tests England have got into trouble through their own ineptitude. It’s piss poor.

      Liked by 2 people

      • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 5:40 am

        And they’ve created a tour party where everyone else is, for some reason or another, more or less unselectable.

        Liked by 3 people

        • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 7:22 am

          James Whitaker has been stealing a living for a while now. Strauss kept him there as a first sacrifice if/ when the time came for a victim.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Silk December 6, 2017 / 8:48 am

            Everything Whittaker has touched…

            Like

        • man in a barrel December 6, 2017 / 12:53 pm

          The schedule makes it impossible for anyone not in the XI to get an innings. When was the last time Ballance was in the middle? Mind you, a tailor’s dummy might provide sterner resistance than Vince

          Like

    • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 7:25 am

      I think pisses me off is an understatement. This team is mentally weak. No excuse for that. Absolutely none. Why should you be tough if it gets you nowhere but trouble?

      Like

      • Sherwick December 6, 2017 / 8:43 am

        I can’t think of who you are referring to..!

        Like

  31. Pontiac December 6, 2017 / 5:38 am

    I like to look at workload.

    Australia:
    Lyon – 50 overs, 6 wickets; 3 quicks 110 overs, 14 wickets

    – Strike rate about the same.

    – Maybe 36 overs per, about even, Starc 4 more than the others.

    England:
    – Ali/Root – 33 overs, 0 wickets; 4 quicks 174 overs, 19 wickets

    – 53 Anderson (6 wickets), 43 Broad, 35 Overton, 43 Woakes

    * Anderson bowled 53 overs and took 6@117, extremely effective in second innings

    * Lyon bowled 49.1 overs 6@105, effective in both innings.

    Starc: 8@137.

    Joe Root says ‘We’ve shown enough to prove we are still massively in this series.’

    Like

    • Pontiac December 6, 2017 / 5:41 am

      Bayliss said that this would leave ‘scars’ on the Australian team? My goodness.

      Like

      • Rooto December 6, 2017 / 6:52 am

        However, England are looking a bit like Monty Python’s Black Knight in comparison. So, rather cold comfort.

        Like

      • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 7:21 am

        Bayliss is going to find out what it is like to have no allies in the press. Shark bait. That’s drivel.

        Like

    • Sherwick December 6, 2017 / 8:45 am

      I wouldn’t call 2 nil down with 3 to go “still massively in this series.”, but that’s me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Silk December 6, 2017 / 8:49 am

        Tell that to Stan McCabe.

        Like

  32. metatone December 6, 2017 / 7:42 am

    So can anyone who stayed up and watched it explain to me whether it’s likely Anderson’s 2nd innings bowling can be repeated at Perth? Or was this just another “conditions assisted” performance that isn’t coming around again at the dry old WACA?

    Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas December 6, 2017 / 7:51 am

      It used to swing a bit in the afternoon sessions when the Fremantle Doctor started blowing. (Massie and Aldermann both played for WA and got a lot of swing there) That doesn’t seem to happen much since they dug up the pitch area. I suspect it won’t swing much and, like most touring teams, we’ll bowl too short. The wicket has also been quite flat in recent times so it could be a high scoring game.

      Like

    • Quebecer December 6, 2017 / 8:13 am

      Latter, I feel. 😦

      Like

    • Blind freddy December 6, 2017 / 10:39 am

      It was hooping round corners with the new ball at night. So much he went round the wicket to get lbws to right handlers. You’re unlikely to see much swing in Perth – maybe reverse.

      Like

  33. Miami Dad's 6 December 6, 2017 / 7:50 am

    I awoke when we were 7 down, and decided it wasnt worth my time staying up to watch any if it. Pleased with my choice, looking at the factors available.

    A couple of people blaming the toss. I am sure it was the wrong call, but also sure we just dont have enough chutzpah to have won either way.

    Like

    • northernlight71 December 6, 2017 / 8:19 am

      I like Root’s quote at the end.
      “I backed our bowlers to take those ten wickets. We probably could have bowled a bit fuller”

      Seems fair to me. He tried to do the right thing but forgot that Anderson and Broad aren’t always that great at pitching the ball up. Someone in the team ought to have reminded him.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. dlpthomas December 6, 2017 / 7:57 am

    When asked about Anderon’s 5 wicket haul, Steve Harmison replied that Anderson will finish his career as the greatest seam bowler to have played the game. From memory, that is not the first time Harmy has been a bit wide of the mark.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BobW December 6, 2017 / 8:30 am

      To be honest Harmison is his mate and would say that. I am surprised at how little knowledge the recent ex players like Flintoff and Harmison have of players from the past.

      Like

    • nonoxcol December 6, 2017 / 8:38 am

      JFC. I mean, the delusion of the English really is something else.

      Even if he is his mate, would his mate not be embarrassed by such a claim?

      Like

    • Silk December 6, 2017 / 8:40 am

      Yeah. Glenn McGrath. Who he?

      Like

      • Miami Dad's Six December 6, 2017 / 9:00 am

        It depends on old Harmy’s definition of greatest. Anderson probably should clear up a load of Indian wickets next summer, so he will probably be there or abouts in terms of number of wickets taken. He’ll have played about 20 Tests more than McGrath by that point to have gotten there, but then I’m not sure I’d swap either of them for big Curt Ambrose, on any deck. Longevity must count for something, though.

        I’d like to statistically measure ‘best bowler ever’. I guess you’d have to look at: average vs average averages of the era, volume of wickets/longevity, averages of your co-bowlers (if that is even a thing), records home vs away…and probably more, considering a minimum number of Test wickets cut off point of at least 200 (150?). Anderson definitely would struggle to get a look in on most counts, whereas I am guessing that Dale Steyn probably wouldn’t?

        Like

          • Miami Dad's Six December 6, 2017 / 9:58 am

            He’s only got 189 Test scalps though, which makes him less of a great than Ishant Sharma, according to big Steve.

            Like

        • dlpthomas December 6, 2017 / 10:42 am

          I think strike rate also needs to be considered. Harmison was basing his claim on the fact that he expects Jimmy to finish his career with the most number of wickets by a pace bowler. That’s a wonderful achievement but I don’t consider him England’s greatest pace bowler let alone the best in the history of the game.

          Like

          • Silk December 6, 2017 / 12:24 pm

            Courtney Walsh is not the West Indies greatest ever bowler. The prosecution rests.

            Like

          • Miami Dad's Six December 6, 2017 / 12:57 pm

            Strike rate – yes, agree completely.

            Liked by 1 person

  35. Sri.Grins December 6, 2017 / 8:08 am

    Sad for English posters especially Q . But, Q is right. The English team can do much better both in bowling and batting and they could have won this with a little bit of better focus. They had it all set up pretty reasonably today with Root well set. Root should really be asking himself if he is doing justice to his talent. Virat who has more weaknesses rarely lets an opportunity go to convert a 50 to a 100.

    England are coming up short in the spin department massively too. Moeen has been pretty poor this test.

    England should seriously look at getting a decent spin bowler and giving him a long rope. Not keep looking for how many runs the spinner can score. Maybe that is useful in England but definitely it doesn’t when touring.

    Like

    • Silk December 6, 2017 / 8:41 am

      They had a decent spin bowler. He could even bloody bat. So they ditched him.

      Like

  36. nonoxcol December 6, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Guardian Classic Comments time:

    “In 35 years of watching Tests, I’ve rarely come across attacks more potent than this lot. There is no weak link, and each is somewhere near his best. They hunt as a pack, they’re relentless and they have tremendous variety: Starc for left-arm pace, Hazlewood for McGrath-type nagging, Cummins for swing and pace, Lyon for turn and bounce. In other words, an attack for all conditions, from Brisbane to Bangalore.
    I’d already put them at the sixth best I’ve seen, after:
    1. West Indies in the ’80s (Roberts, Marshall, Garner, Holding et. al.)
    2. Australia either side of 2000 (McGrath, two of Lee/Gillespie/Clark, Warne)
    3. Pakistan in the ’90s (Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain, Mushtaq)
    4. England in ’05 (Hoggard for swing, Harminson and Flintoff for bone-jarring pace and bounce, Jones for skiddy reverse and… er, Giles for economy)
    5. South Africa in the late noughties (Steyn, Ntini, Kallis, Morkel, Harris).

    If Australia can find a couple of batsmen to go with Smith and Warner, this could be one of the all-time great Test teams.”

    Like

    • Silk December 6, 2017 / 8:44 am

      Where’s Ealham, Giddins, Such, Mullally, Irani?!?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherwick December 6, 2017 / 8:49 am

        Pringle. My favourite and well in the top 10 of the past 35 years.

        Like

        • Silk December 6, 2017 / 8:58 am

          Derek Pringle. The bowler David Capel could have been.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Miami Dad's Six December 6, 2017 / 8:46 am

      That’s a mental comment. They’re not even as good as they were last time around – Johnson was miles better than Starc, Harris was miles better than Hazlewood – ok Cummins is likely a better bet than Siddle, but at his peak Siddle was really consistent, very tricky to score off, and had the best batsman’s (KP’s) number throughout the tour.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol December 6, 2017 / 8:55 am

        More or less what I said in response!

        Like

      • Blind freddy December 6, 2017 / 10:46 am

        Then Again, they are a fair bit better than Hilfenhaus, early Siddle and barmy army favourite era Mitchell Johnson. And Hauritz is no Lyon. That’s the attack last time England won a Test in Australia.

        Like

        • Blind freddy December 6, 2017 / 10:52 am

          It was Nathan Beer not Hauritz. Which is even worse.

          Like

        • Silk December 6, 2017 / 12:25 pm

          Hauritz was pretty good. So the Aussies dropped him. And we won the 2009 ashes. (my recollection may be faulty)

          Like

  37. Silk December 6, 2017 / 9:02 am

    I do think that the English bowlers aren’t quite as good as the last innings (bowling) suggested, and the batsmen aren’t as bad.

    This is a /very/ good Australian bowling attack. Heads don’t go down. Very few feteebies. Or freebies. As dangerous with the old ball as the new ball.

    Like

  38. Scrim December 6, 2017 / 9:10 am

    Mitch Marsh in to the Australia squad. Some hope yet for England.

    These selectors are unbelievable. He only just got back to bowling last week. Let him have a season in the Shield to get everything in his game working.

    Also shedding a tear for Maxwell. He’ll never play a test in Australia, I fear.

    Like

    • Silk December 6, 2017 / 10:49 am

      I wonder if Maxwell might well feature at the SCG.

      I can understand the logic of Mitch. His batting form is pretty good (95 and a ton in this last 3 games) and, presumably, he replaces Handscombe who has been pretty scratchy. Sean Marsh deserves to come up the order.

      If Mitch can bowl 10 overs a day, it lessens the load of the other Aussie bowlers, even if he’s not a huge threat.

      Sure, you’d rather have Keith Miller, and sure, a player who averages 21 with the bat and 38 (or something) with the ball isn’t someone you want to recall. But you fight wars with the armies you have, not the armies you want.

      If Mitch can score a scratchy 40, and bowl 25 overs in the match, he’s probably done the job Australia need the number 6 to do.

      Like

  39. Tom December 6, 2017 / 9:43 am

    It’s my fault, I am so sorry.

    I finally managed to get live, online streaming and the very first ball I saw was Woakes’s wicket. Definitely out, I heard the snick on the stump mike while still congratulating myself on finding a live stream. I hoped I was watching a highlight of previous innings, but no, it was live. Just as I started watching. I felt so bad…

    Then Root was out (unlucky IMO, not a shooter but kept low, but played a bit late as you tend to do with that kind of delivery and got a bottom/toe edge). I think it would be unfair to say he didn’t go on after getting a 50. That ball would have got most out.

    Ali – no comment other than %$^*@#$!

    Overton – he did well, just got a superb ball from Starc that was beyond his ability. He was gutsy. I suspect he’s won some fans in Australia.

    Broad – scared rabbit. Nearly every ball bowled to him was pitched up and he even came very close to stepping on his stumps. What a shame, he used to be able to bat once.

    Bairstow – showed he should not be a lower order batsman. No. 5 is the lowest he should go. He looked classy while running out of partners.

    Like

    • Miami Dad's Six December 6, 2017 / 9:56 am

      I still don’t like a keeper being as high as number 5, and particularly not with this England top 4, meaning Bairstow will have to be on it in the field for 100+ overs, then probably in the middle again after another hour or so. 7 is too low though for someone of Bairstow’s ability, so I guess it’ll have to be 6. Three of Ali’s tons have come from 7, so it might suit him too. It doesn’t solve the main issues in England’s batting line up (namely, numbers 1, 2, 3 and 5) – but it seems to make sense as a “marginal gain”.

      Like

      • Tom December 6, 2017 / 10:55 am

        I understand the reluctance for doing this, but I think it’s worth trying in the next test. Bairstow is clearly a much better batsman than most of the upper order and to waste him defending the tail makes no sense anymore. I’m not suggesting it as a long-term solution, just something to make England a little less brittle.

        He may be a bit tired after keeping, but am wondering if he may not mind that so much if he’s batting with the top-order and not having to feel the stress of batting with the likes of Broad and Anderson.

        We now have a relatively weak tail and his batting talents are being wasted, at least in my opinion, by batting him so low in the order. At the very least he should be higher in the order than Ali but I also think he’s a much better batsman than Malan, so I’d rather have Bairstow batting before him.

        Anyway, interesting discussion, and this would be moot if the England bowlers had turned up on day one.

        Liked by 1 person

        • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 12:07 pm

          The two specific ideas that have been attributed to the management team are that Bairstow is best used shepgerding the tail and that Ball is particularly suited to Australian conditions.

          Newman is currently hunting for the deepest, darkest memory hole to flush those two down.

          Like

          • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 12:11 pm

            Shepherding!… fat fingers + getting up at 3am!…

            Third specific idea was that Vince’s technique was designed for Australia – that one was so ridiculous I’d briefly forgotten it!

            Still, let’s look at who can be called up…. it’s Gary Ballance!

            Like

          • BoredInAustria December 6, 2017 / 12:16 pm

            Cricinfo: It doesn’t appear the batting order will change much, either. According to Bayliss, Bairstow has told the team management “he felt more comfortable at No. 7” while Moeen “has been wanting to go up the order for a while. We had Jonny at No. 5 in the home summer,” Bayliss said. “But he felt comfortable at No. 7. Malan has shown he’s good enough but, like most of the others, he has to do it for longer.”

            Lovely dressing room. All bat where they like to. Comfortable..

            Like

        • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 12:24 pm

          The problem with Bairstow as high as five isn’t the physical exertion, it’s the mental tiredness. He wouldn’t get a break – first wicket down he’d be getting ready to bat and tuning back in. Keeping is very demanding, the wicketkeeper needs a break before getting his game head back on. That’s why higher than six is something most are reluctant to do.

          Like

          • Tom December 6, 2017 / 1:01 pm

            I agree with that argument, but then unless England gets a stable top-order, he’s going to bat earlier than he might want to anyway, and then have the extra headache of dealing with the lower order.

            Not sure what the solution is other than having him as a specialist batsman and having someone else keep, but he’s being wasted so low down the order. Maybe worth trying for the rest of this series rather than next summer?

            Then I end up being concerned that if it works, and have no idea it will, but if it does, then England will carry on with the tactic through next summer. I’m simply thinking of a quick fix, but know I’m being desperate. Isn’t that what most Ashes series in Australia end up being?

            Just following tradition! 😉

            Like

          • BobW December 6, 2017 / 2:21 pm

            I think Bairstow needs to be a specialist batsman. The batting is so weak it needs strengthening.

            Like

          • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 2:28 pm

            Sure, it’s an argument. But then the same debate would be had with (say) Buttler being down the order and whether that strengthens the batting on a net basis overall. If Bairstow was to move up, that’s realistically the only way it could happen though, you’re right.

            Like

          • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 2:30 pm

            Foakes would just have to score as many runs as Vince or Malan (or, heaven help us, Ballance) look likely to – it isn’t the biggest ask!

            Like

          • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 3:04 pm

            You’d hope. But then we’ve seen it all before that replacing X with Y would improve things, and then it doesn’t. England appear to be experts in turning wine into water.

            Like

  40. Mark December 6, 2017 / 10:31 am

    So that went well then? Good old England, they will always give you just enough rope to hang yourself with. That little speck of light, that little ray of hope, and then……….Didn’t even make it to the new ball before losing wickets. let alone the first break…..

    In other news….. I do wish Shinny toy would STFU about the Barmy Army …….”When the Barmy Army starts up……….” What. WHAT? What’s going to happen? Nothing!

    Are the Barmy army going to go out and bat for England? They can’t do any worse? (Perhaps we should draw lots and send out a Barmy Army top six?)

    Like

  41. Silk December 6, 2017 / 10:31 am

    Bloody hell. Well played Sri Lanka.

    Like

    • pktroll (@pktroll) December 6, 2017 / 11:23 am

      A 2-0 sweep v Pakistan and an improved performance v India when at home they lost 0-3 suggests that there is at least a fair amount of batting talent there still. Need to find some bowlers urgently though.

      Like

    • Sri. Grins December 6, 2017 / 12:47 pm

      Yes. Extremely well played. Just lost two wickets proving that 5th day batting in India against a decent Indian attack in India is possible with a bit of focus.

      Of course, Delhi is not Adelaide but I think the difference was on the mind rather than skill or class of bowling

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 12:48 pm

        Sri, I agree. I think this is the most mentally weak England I’ve seen since the mid 90s.

        Like

        • Sri.Grins December 6, 2017 / 1:56 pm

          I think the mentally strongest batsman in the English team Cook has not turned up so far. No clue if it is due to age or form or technique. He is the one batsman India will always be glad to see the back of if he is playing.

          The other guy who could have relished the battle of words in Oz and ‘Stoked’ himself to perform well shot himself and England in the foot even before they started on the tour.

          Sad really because England is not a bad team at all and can do well. If SL can draw a test in India and bat for over 100 overs, no reason why England couldn’t have.

          They have only increased the confidence levels of the Aussie players by this display.

          As an eternal optimist :-), I am going to hope that England do well in the remaining tests for the sake of genuine English cricket and cricket in general fans like you guys who deserve to feel good about your team.

          Like

  42. nonoxcol December 6, 2017 / 10:44 am

    Selvey has criticised the bowlers on Twitter.

    Bunch of flowers to the first person who can explain why he never did so in 2013/14, in spite of Australia averaging north of 450 whenever they batted first.

    Like

  43. pktroll (@pktroll) December 6, 2017 / 11:31 am

    So that’s 7 tests loss on the bounce down-under with Perth next on the list…………..Can’t say I’m shocked. Have only watched a few highlights here and there of this series. This time last year I was spewing over Strauss and his focus on white ball cricket over the last couple of years. Well I’m afraid that the chickens have come home to roost. Lions last played a non f/c game v some of Queensland’s finest a couple of weeks ago but nothing since.

    Like

      • pktroll (@pktroll) December 6, 2017 / 11:50 am

        Will be Bayliss and the selectors who get thrown under the bus though I expect. Sure neither have been great but they haven’t been best served with likely alternative choices.

        Like

        • Silk December 6, 2017 / 12:29 pm

          Bayliss will stay until the inevitable disappointment of the world cup.

          Like

      • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 12:29 pm

        “He’s teflon Strauss… he’s done nothing positive for the English game that I can see since he retired as a player”.

        Round of applause.

        Meanwhile, Lovejoy uses his Cricinfo platform to continue his personal campaign against Root’s captaincy.

        Liked by 3 people

      • dannycricket December 6, 2017 / 7:57 pm

        Honestly, if he hadn’t felt he had to react to the Jonny Bairstow “headbutt” fiasco would we even know he was out there with the team? I expect he’s going to try and keep a very low profile for the rest of the series.

        Like

  44. man in a barrel December 6, 2017 / 11:34 am

    I was getting really bored with the way some of the more prattish commentators kept banging on about Anderson and Woakes having bowled England back into the game.

    The difference on first innings was 215.

    England scored 233 in their second innings. At no stage in either of their innings was there the swing that England got in that one session of play and they could only score marginally more than in their first innings. That was a crushing defeat and there are not many positives to take. Cummins is too quick for them and his control of movement is exceptional. Overton and Bairstow were the only people who had a scooby about playing Lyon. Starc has taken 14 wickets while not really at his best. Ali and Bairstow were totally unable to move the score while they were at the crease. Stoneman looked composed but he always gives his wicket away. Malan gets stuck. Vince should be put in a punishment cell and forced to watch footage of all his test dismissals for about 48 hours to see whether he actually has a brain.

    Like

  45. BoredInAustria December 6, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    Root on England’s first-innings bowling

    “It can happen sometimes. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Maybe we should have had more of a punt, bowled fuller and risked going for a few runs when the ball was moving around. The ball beat the bat and they didn’t score many runs. But ultimately when you bowl first in those conditions you want to take wickets.”

    Maybe…

    Liked by 1 person

    • BoredInAustria December 6, 2017 / 12:18 pm

      Just saw Dobell claimed that ONE ball in the first 13 overs would have hit the stumps….

      Like

    • KidVicious December 6, 2017 / 1:00 pm

      Heard Root’s interview and my first thought was either he’s unwilling to criticise Broad and Anderson publicly, or just afraid to criticise them in general. In the interview he used quite passive language; we “probably” could have bowled better, “maybe ” a “little” fuller. When all the time you get the impression he wanted to say “I just wanted them to pitch the f’in ball up”

      Oh well, Perth next. Not expecting a win, but for Roots sake (and fans of course) I just want to see some fight. Fear for what a 5-0 could do to Root as captain.

      Like

      • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 1:08 pm

        Get him a blank cheque to carry on as long as he wants while becoming the subject of a bizarre media cult – if the last example is anything to go by!

        Liked by 2 people

        • KidVicious December 6, 2017 / 3:08 pm

          Haha, but the last example came from the right family, had an excellent jawline, worked on a farm, had very firm friends in the media and an excellent villain to pitch against. How could Root compete with that?

          Like

          • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 3:10 pm

            Stokes is your villain. All wrapped up like a Christmas present. Sorry I mean NZ born Ben Stokes of course.

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 3:11 pm

            Vaughan mentioning it again today. Without our best player….

            Like

          • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 3:31 pm

            Come Sydney he’ll be responsible for every dropped catch, crap shot or dire spell. Not the selectors. Not the ECB. And if he drives Cook into retirement, oh dear…

            Like

          • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 3:16 pm

            Is Nasser rehearsing “redemption for Root!” for 2019?….

            Like

          • man in a barrel December 6, 2017 / 3:30 pm

            Wasn’t this supposed to be Cook’s triumphal tour?

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 5:00 pm

            Remember after Hobart last year how we only had to turn up to beat this rabble? Shiny Toy at his finest.

            Like

          • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 3:55 pm

            The strength of the media lobby to pressurise Root into batting at No.3 is going to be something to watch over the next week or so.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 4:41 pm

            To replace the batsman with the highest individual score by an England player this series.

            I know.

            Like

      • Scrim December 6, 2017 / 5:50 pm

        On the TMS podcast (or maybe it was on the ABC Grandstand podcast), Agnew implied that Root was far more frustrated with his bowlers while speaking off mic than he let on in his interview.

        Liked by 1 person

  46. BoredInAustria December 6, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    “I can’t see any reason to change the team for the next Test,” Bayliss said.

    Like

    • Silk December 6, 2017 / 12:31 pm

      “you may think this lot are shit but you haven’t seen Garry Balllance in the nets. And Crane, jeez.”

      Liked by 1 person

  47. Sri. Grins December 6, 2017 / 1:21 pm

    Kohli’s India catch up with Ponting’s Australia. Cricinfo.

    Nice statistical record even if the most biased Indian fan knows that there is a difference in quality.

    😀. Still good to see we are in the record books for the most series won continously.

    Like

  48. LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    So here I was pottering through a reasonably sensible, not really an issue, piece by Martin Samuel when he gave away his true cricket chops…

    “And Cummins, far from cracking, is emerging as the player of the tournament ”

    Come back. West Ham need you.

    Like

    • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 1:50 pm

      Swann said at the end of the game that Cummins should be Man of the Match – and, for once, it wasn’t an attempted joke.

      (Seriously, I know his contribution was worth more than it says in the scorebook – but motm for a 40-odd and 3 wickets?).

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 1:55 pm

        If BT Sport don’t realise the damage this man is doing to their coverage, which in the main has been fine and has the main advantage of having Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist on it, then they can’t be helped.

        Yes, even Shiny Toy and Boycott. I can put up with them. Shiny would be so much better if he didn’t feel the need for the hyper bollocks of his hyperbole. Boycott is Boycott. He’s going nowhere, he has an audience. He also speaks a lot of sense in among the professional Yorkshireman gobshitery. But Swann. Dear God almighty. It’s like Mick Fleetwood and Sam Fox at the Brits.

        Liked by 1 person

        • nonoxcol December 6, 2017 / 2:15 pm

          I remember saying back in 2014 or 2015 that, when it comes to comparing Swann to your run of the mill irritants like Botham, Vaughan, Boycott etc, you have to use a logarithmic scale.

          Like

          • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 2:26 pm

            They absolutely do measure audience response. Us shouting loudly is not representative of much. TMS always say he’s very popular, and while they would say that wouldn’t they, I suspect Swann probably goes down well with an awful lot of people.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 2:32 pm

            All true, and with the caveat that Twitter is only a slightly larger, self selecting echo chamber, it did for Michael Owen on BT, and the response to Swann on there is as bad as I’ve seen for a cricket pundit.

            But you may be right. There may be people out there who like him. Hope I don’t meet them.

            Like

          • KidVicious December 6, 2017 / 3:11 pm

            I’m afraid I will have to admit to liking him at first, when he did a guest stint. Told a couple of decent anecdotes about a couple of the players, and an indication into the dressing room mindset at that time.

            That grew very old very quickly, but I apologise for any long term damage I may have caused

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 4:42 pm

            His book is nowhere near the worst I’ve read. I think that’s called damning with faint praise.

            Like

  49. SimonH December 6, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    It may seem tough to turn this into an opportunity to blow smoke up Flower’s and Strauss’s arses but for an old pro like Newman there’s nothing to it:

    “Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower’s outstanding success in Australia seven years ago when, remember, they won three Tests by an innings, increasingly feels like a glorious aberration that will never be repeated”.

    Is it relelntlessly churlish to ask that if the price of that is that they be given a free pass on everything they ever do thereafter, was it a price worth paying?

    Well, who should we be looking at? Astonishingly, Newman doesn’t mention anyone in management….

    “The England captain is indicative of England’s batting problems. It is not enough for any English batsman to just reach half centuries in Australia and Root is making such a habit of it that it is stopping him fulfilling ‘great’ status. It may seem harsh to blame Root but, as he acknowledged himself, he has to lead by example.”

    Followed by (just in case anyone didn’t get it the previous dozen times he’s mentioned over the last three days:

    “Root, whether he will admit it or not, was wrong to insert Australia in Adelaide”.

    Newman does bring himself to say that Cook needs runs “soon”. Good job the team didn’t need its senior batsman to make a score over 40 in the first two Tests then!

    Liked by 4 people

    • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 1:43 pm

      The chutzpah of this argument is truly staggering. While Cook went nearly two years without a ton, there was no questioning his greatness. None at all. It was a bad spell, he was leading from the front, he was creating a good environment, and he was almost back to his best. Root has an iffy spell of converting the very many 50s he gets, and he gets a lot, into 100s is the issue? Really?

      This is like sticking Lionel Messi into Millwall’s first team, scoring a goal or two every game, but we end up losing 3-1 or 3-2 and saying it’s his fault for not scoring the hat-tricks or more he scores for Barcelona because he should do more with the crap service. Batting is about partnerships and teamwork. At least it was when they were thinking of ejecting a certain player a few years ago.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Mark December 6, 2017 / 6:31 pm

        Don’t want to hear anything more about 2010/11. Any journo who keeps going back to that is not to be taken seriously.

        It was a mirage. I remember Sky showed some of the warm up games and the Aussies were in civil war over their test selections. They named about 30 possible players such was their confusion.

        It was fun to watch the Aussies self implode, after decades of hurt, but it was not a victory over a good team.

        Like

  50. metatone December 6, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    Reading Bull in The G: “England’s attack are out-matched in these conditions, especially so when their two senior pros, Anderson and Stuart Broad, make the mistake of bowling as short as they did in the first innings here”

    I just don’t know where we go from here. If they haven’t learned in all these years…

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus December 6, 2017 / 1:51 pm

      When we played in Australia in the pre-Mitchell Johnson laser beam days, Australia’s bowling attack was nippy, but not express. I’m thinking Gillespie (who could be sharp), Bichel, Kasper, Reiffel (more in England), Fleming, Hughes and, of course, Exhibit A, Glenn McGrath. I remember they took lots of wickets, and yes, Brett Lee was quick, it never seemed to be him that did the ultimate damage. They were, of course, backed by the greatest convicted doping leg spinner of all time. But the Aussies shwoed you how to bowl.

      You’d think the greatest English bowler of all time, on his fifth tour of Australia, might have a scooby by now, especially at Adelaide where he burst on the scene in an ODI back in 2002. But no. It’s as if this is a shock to them. “Really? These guys know how to play the pull shot. But we saw the clips of Wood and Hilditch…..”

      Like

      • Silk December 6, 2017 / 4:28 pm

        To be fair, we had 4 big chaps bowling back-of-a-length on the England last tour of Australia and they did alright… (That Boyd Rankin. Now /he/ could bowl)

        Like

  51. Silk December 6, 2017 / 4:23 pm

    “But most of all, we still have each other.”

    Amen.

    Like

  52. SimonH December 6, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    Stocks pins his hopes on England pulling off something the 1990s’ teams managed quite regularly (2002/03 counts as the 1990s):

    That’s the “remember how hilariously shit we were before the ECB’s wonderful reforms, couldn’t play for toffee, that Emma John’s book is so true” 1990s. I wonder if Stocks has put any money on it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark December 6, 2017 / 6:12 pm

      And what good is a consolation win at Sydney?

      Except to allow the ECB to lie that it’s not as bad as 4 years ago. A narrative Stocks will be happy to push as he is an ECB absolutist!

      Like

      • SimonH December 6, 2017 / 6:47 pm

        Limited use, of course – but there is, whatever Matt Prior says, a difference between 5-0 and 3-2 or 4-1. I assume that England fans who cough up a small fortune to travel to the MCG or SCG aren’t going to get any sort of a refund or discount.

        They’ll argue it’s not as bad as four years ago regardless.

        Like

  53. nonoxcol December 6, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    Ah the 90s. When at least three teams would be the current world no. 1 by a street, and a further two would have a decent shot depending on the particular vintage.

    Like

  54. SimonH December 6, 2017 / 6:09 pm

    Agnew plays the “developing team” card:

    “Is it [the true England team] the one competing with Australia for a half a Test, or the one being dominated for half a Test? To me, when England are matching the home side, they are playing at their true standard. They have shown the level at which they can play, but the failure is that they are unable to do it for long enough. That then leads us to what is perhaps the bigger issue: how does a player make the step from producing fleeting moments of the right quality, to prolonged periods of Test-quality cricket? You can have the talent, but you have to have the confidence to believe you are good enough. Having that belief is a huge step. For a developing player, of which there are plenty in this England side – Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton – there will be ups and downs along the way. It is unrealistic to expect consistency right away”.

    Meanwhile, the Lions have apparently been spanked in Perth (although Wood did well enough – a fifty and two wickets – that his potential call-up might crop up some more). If anyone can find a full scorecard I’d be grateful for a link.

    Like

    • Mark December 6, 2017 / 6:25 pm

      “You can have the talent, but you have to have the confidence to believe you are good enough. ”

      This in my view is one of the conventional wisdom follies of the England set up. They are ALL about confidence, and not at all worried about talent and techique. That’s why they ship them off to Sandhurst for yet another meaningless speech and pep talk. Or sitting them on Sailsbury plain playing with tanks is a complete waste of time.

      Also, Broad and Anderson are not “developing players” they have over 800 test wickets between them. If they can’t pitch the ball up now then they never will. Neither is Cook a development player. He has 10,000 test runs as they often delight in telling us. David Gower and Ian Botham were playing Test cricket at 21 years old. They didn’t need a speech from the Ping pong man.

      Like

      • thelegglance December 6, 2017 / 6:32 pm

        I’ll also point out the neither of the two leading Test run scorers for England have pure techniques. They’re not even close. They succeeded despite their techniques, not because of them.

        Like

  55. Benny December 6, 2017 / 6:44 pm

    I can add little to the perceptive and excellent posts above, except that I feel a lot of sympathy for Joe Root. Having taken over the captaincy only a few games ago from ECB’s love child and already having to carry the England innings on his bat/back, a lot is being asked of him.

    Then I thought, Root and Smith are not impressing as skippers but does any country have a talented one? Putting on my dinosaur hat/skin, there haven’t been too many in the past. Certainly Brearley, Illingworth, Brian Close, Waugh, Border, Clive Lloyd, McCullough ….

    In England, Cook never got the hang of it, Strauss was lucky to be there when the competition was weak, Vaughan was lucky that he was blessed with a team of special players but other than that, we’ve seen chaps plodding through.

    Like

  56. man in a barrel December 6, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Vaughan was helped that Harmison was on a magic streak from 2004-5. After that, his rhythm left him and he was only fitfully as dangerous. The fact that Simon Jones was at his brief pinnacle also helped. Tres, Butch, Nass and KP bailed out the batting quite a lot too, especially in SAfrica and WIndies

    Like

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