Ashes 2nd Test: Day 5 Review

“Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”

Not my words, but those of Morgan Freeman’s character in The Shawshank Redemption. Day 4 ended in perhaps the cruelest manner possible for English fans, with some ‘expert’ analysts estimating that England had a 20% chance of winning the game. Not anywhere near high enough to expect a win, but more than enough to raise the hopes of any but the most hard-bitten cynic.

It may not surprise you to learn that the writers at Being Outside Cricket are all very much in the cynical camp. We’ve seen England through the past four years, and indeed through the 90s, and it takes a lot more than someone saying England have a 1-in-5 chance for us to start believing. If anything, we were too harsh on the tourists. Dmitri said 220. Sean said 225. England proved them both wrong and amassed a grand total of 233 runs, just 120 short of their target.

The collapse began on just the second ball of the day. Chris Woakes played inside the line to a ball from Hazlewood and was given out caught behind. Woakes reviewed the decision and there was a tiny noise shown on the snickometer, which was all the evidence the TV umpire needed to show the English allrounder the door.

And there begun the familiar procession. Root followed 2 overs later with another edge from Hazlewood’s bowling to the Aussie keeper. That was surely the end of any optimism the England fans had when they woke up at 3.30am hoping to watch or listen to a potential sporting miracle.

Moeen Ali was next to go, 6 overs later to an LBW decision when facing Nathan Lyon. He reviewed it and it was shown to be umpire’s call for both pitching in line and hitting the wickets. Moeen could consider himself unlucky, and England fans left to wonder whether the fact Australia had no reviews remaining might have led the umpire into giving a marginal decision in the host’s favour.

Bairstow and Overton both soldiered on another 10 overs, but when Australia took the new ball it was all over for England. Starc struck on the very first ball with the new Kookaburra, pinning Overton in front of the wickets with a fast, swinging delivery. Starc also dismissed Broad and then Bairstow in his next two overs, and the game was over.

This loss leaves England 2-0 down with three to play. It would be a monumental feat for them to turn the series around and actually win or even just retain the Ashes with a draw. The more realistic members of England’s fanbase are now talking about avoiding a second consecutive whitewash in Australia. The most pessimistic supporters are looking beyond what they consider the inevitable humiliation of not winning a single game and trying to consider how the team and management will respond. As I said before, we at Being Outside Cricket are very much in the latter group. Already the writers are planning their post-whitewash posts.

Adelaide was considered by many to be England’s best opportunity to win a game down under. A pink ball which might be more inclined to swing, more grass left on the pitch and twilight being an equalising factor which could come to favour England. This loss will hurt the team and their fans, perhaps even more than the 10-wicket drubbing in Brisbane. It’s hard to see how England can change their fortunes for the next Test in Perth, with no real alternatives sitting on the bench. Ballance, being left-handed, is likely too vulnerable to Nathan Lyon’s off spin for England to risk. Tom Curran and Mason Crane seem like they have been taken to assess in the dressing room rather than as realistic picks. Wood and Stokes (if made available) are short of match fitness and practice, which makes either having an immediate impact at best a huge gamble.

And speaking of gambling, Sean and I have each placed a bet on this series with a cricket trader via Twitter. Sean’s bet is that Cook will average below 25 in the Ashes and, with the former golden boy of English cricket residing on an average of 15.50 after two games, it’s looking good for us at BOC receiving a round of drinks from the lucky chap with his winnings.  Whilst Sean wagered with the rather more impressive stake of money you can fold, I took the more cautious approach and bet 10p that no England player would manage a score of 160 in the whole series. This was in reference to Bayliss saying after an England warmup game that they needed to score 160s and not just 60s. My money is also looking pretty safe right now, with 40% of the series gone and James Vince is the closest so far with his high score of 83 in Brisbane. It’s fair to say I’m not worried that I might lose this one.

As always, feel free to comment below!


82 thoughts on “Ashes 2nd Test: Day 5 Review

  1. oreston Dec 6, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    I really think we’re now heading into 5-0 “Difficult Winter” territory. The Ashes will be surrendered meekly at Perth and the final two games will be an Aussie victory lap with England too shell shocked even to rally for a dead rubber consolation victory. The worst of it is that I was fully expecting this scenario even before the tour began (although yes, they have teased us cruelly with short-lived hope). Great piece by James over at TFT on the wider context that underlies all this sorry failure. Nothing new to anyone who reads here but good to see such commentary coming from different quarters.


    • emasl Dec 6, 2017 / 8:46 pm

      I have just been over on The Full Toss and venting like made after reading James’ post. (hope the apostrophe is in the right place there) so will not vent again here though I feel like it. I am just so totally and utterly pissed off with the fact Nothing Changed, nothing


      • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 5:19 am

        Well apparently the captain is now accountable for his choices, regardless of his level of experience. That’s a nice change, although the timing seems odd…


    • quebecer Dec 7, 2017 / 2:53 am

      I was going to write something similar and post it here. Wouldn’t have been as good. And also didn’t do it.

      Of course, people who get paid to write about cricket should have.


  2. Mark Dec 6, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    Giles Clarke, Colin Graves, Tom Harrison, Andrew Strauss, Andy Flower, 39, Mike Selvey, John Etheridge, Paul Newman, County chairman, James Whitaker, Angus Fraser, Alasdair Cook, Joe Root, Assorted bowling coaches, batting coaches ……Your guys took a HELLAVA beating!

    This is your mess. Lock stock and barrel. This is the culmination of 4 years since you sneaked out of Australia through the back door with you tails between your legs, but arrogantly with your heads held high after putting all the blame on one player. Well, he can’t help you now. That bogeyman is saving the Rhino.

    You have ripped the guts out of English cricket in the name of wonga. Last summer at the height of mid season, and as it turned out the best warm sunny weather there was NO county cricket being played. No fast bowlers, no hundreds being scored. Instead we were served up a diet of Mickey Mouse 20/20. And then you wonder why no one can bowl fast, spin the ball or score centuries? Fuck you!

    You have all played a part in propping up the Neanderthal crack pot theories that are pushed by public relations men, and snake oil salesman dressed up as the people running English cricket. You own this dog’s breakfast.

    Now it may be that the sport is in terminal decline. No one wants to watch or pay for county cricket, and the only future is in the hit and giggle format. If that is what you believe stop lying to the public. End test cricket now. Have the guts to be honest. Instead, you are happy to steal the money from hard working cricket lovers knowing full well you are serving up bottled shite. Stop selling expensive travel packages to far flung destinations knowing you will pick players little equipped to play on flat pitches. This is fraud on a grand scale.

    If 20/20 is the only game in town then there simply will not be the players with the techniques required to play test cricket anymore. If it’s over, tell the truth. Instead we have lies and dammed lies about players being able to play both formats. And 39 and his weird beliefs that tests series can now be played over both 4 days and sometimes 5 days but only for the Ashes. This is akin to taking money under false pretensions.

    It would be nice to see some of you actually resign out of shame. Instead, England must, if they are generally intent at trying to take test matches seriously on any surface other than green seamers rethink their idiot plans to have no county cricket in June & July. Time for Flower and his dead hand to be removed from any input of young players coming into the first team. His obsession about face fitting and a clipboard culture of box ticking must end. Time for the selectors to be purged and new blood brought in. They should not be employed by any counties at the same time. Strauss, must be removed from the selection panel and have his veto of selection removed. We also need to rid of our selves of the Ceil B. DeMille cast of thousands of backroom staff and hangers on. We need players not laptop operators.

    Finally, we need the English cricket media to apologise for their covert role in this mess. Time for them to stop propping up this failure, and turn their guns on the ECB to make sure we get proper change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OscarDaBosca Dec 6, 2017 / 7:20 pm

      Oh and as well as below what he said. In it’s entirety


    • man in a barrel Dec 6, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Whenever Mark gets onto one of these rants, it is worth remembering that Colin Graves has put over £20 million into supporting Yorkshire. Without him, there would be no Yorkshire Cricket Club.

      How much money have you ever contributed to County cricket.

      The premier league is supported by Russians and oil wealth.

      Who supports English cricket and why should they?

      The test match money supports the test team. It is nowhere near enough to support more than five counties. Blame the ECB all you like. That is easy. Something radical has to happen


      • thelegglance Dec 6, 2017 / 10:32 pm

        Has he? This is a genuine question. When people talk about others ‘putting money in’ it needs qualifying. Is it a loan? Is it a gift? Exactly what does it mean?

        I own a business. I can ‘put in’ money to lots of things that I get a return on. Now, I’m coming from a position of ignorance here, but I will say I’d like to know the details, and on the accounts, before assuming he’s a white Knight on this.


        • man in a barrel Dec 6, 2017 / 11:23 pm

          As per my published posts on this site, Graves has put in lots of money. As loans at reasonable rates of interest. . But if the club is unable to pay? Graves is still £20 m on hook and your stake is how much?


        • man in a barrel Dec 6, 2017 / 11:33 pm

          I thought you might have read the detailed posts you published on this site. Too bad.


          • thelegglance Dec 7, 2017 / 3:20 pm

            The rhetorical nature is because loaning money is not the same as putting it in. Never has been, never will be.


        • LordCanisLupus Dec 7, 2017 / 4:19 am

          Pretty sure it is a shareholder loan placed in trust. It’s 4am and I’m not looking up Yorkshire accounts. But if memory serves if it goes tits up he is first in the security queue (understandably).


      • BobW Dec 6, 2017 / 10:54 pm

        Actually the ECB get a huge amount of money from the Sky TV deals and additional sponsorship of the various competitions held each year. It is not cash poor. Yet for all that money. All its resources, somehow it cannot produce a talented cricket team.
        On TFT I draw the parallel with the English rugby union team. How can they do it? Talented players coming out of their ears.
        But the English cricket team away from home and it’s creature comforts, it is an embarrassment.


        • Sri. Grins Dec 7, 2017 / 1:31 am

          I think conditions away vary dramatically and a player who is a match winner (Anderson, ashwin, kohli) can turn out to be irrelevant in another country or ground. I don’t think that is the case in rugby. Makes a big difference especially because in England cricket is a game limited to a few months under certain conditions which means that the type of skill sets developed are built definition not going to work everywhere unless the player is exceptionally gifted.

          Liked by 1 person

        • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 5:08 am

          For a start, English club rugby is self-financing, unlike domestic cricket here. They have a stronger fan base, their own TV deal, and any investment from the national team is in addition to what the clubs already provide.

          Rugby clubs can be demoted from the top tier if they don’t perform, unlike the major counties. This means that rugby union doesn’t have teams like Glamorgan cashing the cheques from the TV money but not developing any quality players for well over a decade.

          Because of this promotion/demotion, rugby union also has more professional and semi-professional teams and players, which provides more opportunities for developing talent.

          There is also the physical nature of rugby to consider. For any team to be successful, international or domestic, they have to provide strength in depth. Any player in any position can be taken out of the game by injury. This is unlike cricket, where teams can thrive with just 11 quality cricketers, and sometimes fewer.

          Liked by 1 person

      • AB Dec 6, 2017 / 11:56 pm

        Without him, there would be no Yorkshire Cricket Club.

        Pretty sure that’s not true


        • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 4:52 am

          They might have been in Durham’s position though, requiring an ECB bailout with the penalties that entails. Losing Test status at Headingley, demotion, etc…


          • nonoxcol Dec 7, 2017 / 8:15 am

            I could be really facetious here and point out that Headingley’s Test status has already been demoted in the 21st century, regardless of Colin Graves.

            One Ashes Test since 2001 (until 2005 it had not missed a single Ashes tour since WWII, even the shorter series in 1975)
            Not hosted India since 2002.
            Hosted NZ in May twice in three years, and Sri Lanka in May/June twice in three years: these four years were consecutive and included two Ashes tours and an Indian tour.
            Last summer’s WI Test was its first in the latter part of summer since 2012. Apart from the three-day Ashes Test in August 2009 (and the one-off Aus v Pak match in 2010), only Pakistan, SA and WI have been seen at Headingley for Tests in high summer since 2002.
            Cardiff (2), Southampton (1) and even Durham (1) have seen more “Big Three” Tests between them in the last decade than Headingley (3) has seen in the entire 21st century to date.


          • LordCanisLupus Dec 7, 2017 / 8:50 am

            Did Vic Marks play Sheffield shield cricket? Well I never. He will be telling us about visiting Pakistan soon. Kept that quiet.


  3. OscarDaBosca Dec 6, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    I am disappointed. Not from making a record run chase at Adelaide, that was always a long shot, but more that for the second consecutive away series in Australia against an ordinary Australian team (compared to the Gold standard of the Waugh and Ponting teams) we could be whitewashed.

    Losing 5-0 in 2006 was partly down to that result in Adelaide (yes that one), but also because of one the great teams in World cricket felt that they were on the wrong end of the result of the series in 2005. They felt burned and they went for it.

    The last series down under we had them down for 5/6 for not very much and then Haddin came along (and he was no Adam Gilchrist but we made him look like one), and Johnson bowled for 5 consecutive games very very well (and being 5mph quicker than anyone in world cricket at the time was a factor). However they were not a 5-0 better team than us, but we had a dreadful and bullet proof captain, we lost our most solid no 3 I have ever seen due to the martinet coach, our best batsman was isolated by a clique of arseholes who have never been called out. Oh and one of those arseholes fucked off when the going got a bit tough. None of this excuses the supine nature of the defeat, but we got marmalised by an ordinary team with two players who performed out of their skin. They had Shane Watson as an opener ffs!!

    So now to this team, who when we play them
    next in England will lose the series (but not 5-0). They have Warner and Smith, and then a load of middling batsmen, a wicket keeper who’s hardly played first class cricket, a spinner who’s more John Emburery than Lovejoy, and a couple of quick but daisy bowlers (I really like Hazelwood tho!).

    However we could lose to this lot 5-0 and none of us on here would be surprised?

    This points to more than just the team, but the culture, the environment, the hand of Flower, and the stooges at the ECB.

    Unfortunately Root will ultimately be blamed for everything, because captains always get blamed (apart from the Deer Hunter (or our Dear Leader as he should have been known)), whereas bringing a squad full of samey bowlers and untested batsmen (Vince – really, mr looks great until he wafts outside offstump and gets caught by keeper/slips) is a repeated problem with selection.

    To be fair I like the look of Stoneman and Malan but they need to kick on when they get in.

    I hope this lot prove me wrong, but I have the fear that once again England will make an ordinary Australian team look like world beaters and the selectors and ECB are to blame, but the MSM will instead pick on Root.


    • Pontiac Dec 7, 2017 / 12:38 am

      64 Tests. 147 wickets at 38.4, 513 first class matches (2.3 wickets/match)

      71* Tests. 280* wickets at 31.5, 124* first class matches. (3.9 wickets/match)

      Those ain’t the same.

      Now, neither are exactly
      60 Tests, 255 wickets at 29.96, 252 first class matches (4.3 wickets/match)

      and eras are different and so on.

      But: the * counts for a lot, here…. considering it is a * ‘n’ all, and how 124* < 252 < 513.

      *(this calendar year, 50-odd wickets at 22-something)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OscarDaBosca Dec 6, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    Ffs, Agnew saying pressure on Trevor Bailey. No mention of his mate James Whittaker or any other selectors


    • Mark Dec 6, 2017 / 8:36 pm

      He was also banging on about some decsion Root made in the first test at Brisbane. He took off Anderson just as I think it was Cummings coming in to bat. I can’t remember the incident, but Iam sure it was probably a bad call.

      However, we went 4 years without Agnew ever questioning the Cook captaincy. Time and again we would get lines like ……” I think we sometimes forget how inexpierienced Cook is as a captain.”……….or……”he’s only been captain for 3 years.”

      The Double standards are shocking. I welcome a return to proper accountability, but my goodness the broadcasters standards fell in the Cook era. There really were special Cook rules.


      • Silk Dec 6, 2017 / 9:01 pm

        He gave Anderson the new ball under sullen skies in Adelaide, and Anderson fucked it up.


      • OscarDaBosca Dec 6, 2017 / 9:09 pm

        Apparently Bayliss is really quiet and they don’t hear from him.

        I am getting the Fletcher vibe again from this.

        What about Flower, and Loughborough and Strauss (who did mention in passing)

        It wasn’t odd that Root didn’t bring Anderson back in Brisbane, it was clear that Anderson had a niggle and so didn’t want to risk bowling.

        What about asking questions of why Broad and Anderson throughout their careers have had multiple matches where they have bowled too short, Root gives them the ball, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t say bowl a nice back of a length that will carry through to the keeper but make sure the batsmen don’t have to play at anything.


        • Pontiac Dec 7, 2017 / 12:53 am

          The handling of the headbutt thing certainly revealed that there is not clear and open communication within the coaching and ECB hierarchy.


          • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 4:47 am

            Yeah, that was a real mess. Particularly Strauss’s interview, although without it I wouldn’t have known that he was even in Australia. He’s been keeping a low profile over there, which you doubt he’d be doing if England were 2-0 up.


        • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 5:15 am

          The odd thing in Brisbane wasn’t not bowling Anderson after the break, but not bowling Broad. Perhaps he would have been less effective without Jimmy keeping up the pressure at the other end, but I don’t recall him having any injury.


    • thelegglance Dec 6, 2017 / 9:14 pm

      Pretty harsh to blame Bailey. He’s been dead for six years.


      • OscarDaBosca Dec 6, 2017 / 9:23 pm

        Oh god, how Freudian is that!


        Fuck it, blame him, may as well for the all the good it will do. Until Flower and Strauss are removed from the ECB nothing will change for the better.


      • man in a barrel Dec 6, 2017 / 9:12 pm

        Thanks, but Starc cleaned up the tail rather too fast for my liking


        • OscarDaBosca Dec 6, 2017 / 10:13 pm

          I don’t doubt Starcs talent but he is inconsistent.
          Cummins as you say below could be something else, but could as easily break down during the next test. If he has an injury free couple of seasons he will be special.


    • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 5:22 am

      18 of the proposed fixtures will clash with the new Test championship, but they will get to play against Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland.


      • SimonH Dec 7, 2017 / 8:55 am

        How do they “clash” Danny? Are you saying they won’t get these 18 matches?

        I can well see teams fielding weaker XIs against the Dutch to cope with fixture overload – but this happens already. England are not likely to play Root and Ali in the NZ ODIs and Australia may well rest much of their bowling attack against England (they did on the last tour and still won 4-1). Matches could even be scheduled at the same time – we’ve already seen Australia schedule a Test on a different continent just one day after an ODI.

        It isn’t satisfactory but any fixtures for teams like the Netherlands is some progress. WE’ve already seen the effect with RTD starting to play international cricket again.


        • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 4:36 pm

          I was just imagining the dumbest response the ECB or anyone else could possibly say for why they would cancel or not even schedule a game against the Netherlands.


  5. Silk Dec 6, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    I think it’s very harsh to suggest none of the English batsmen will score 160 in the series. I’d expect at least one of them to make 250 runs, perhaps 350.


    • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 5:17 am

      This is in an innings. I fully expect most of England’s batsmen to reach 160 overall, although Cook would need to increase his average to achieve this.


  6. man in a barrel Dec 6, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    In all fairness, there would be no Yorkshire Cricket Club today without Colin Graves. He has put millions of pounds on the line. So just bear that in mind. He has a prize man-eating elephant in the fight.

    If he called in the loans, that’s the end of professional cricket in Yorkshire. I don’t think there are too many Russian oligarchs or Saudis looking to buy into cricket.

    If you want county cricketers to earn a decent living then there has to be a commercial model or tax-payer subsidised model to give them that income. It is unlikely to come from the county championship. But I might be wrong. Colin Graves, with over £20 million at stake in YCC might be wrong.

    But, turning to the cricket, it strikes me that England haven’t planned this well.

    Lyon has more wickets this year than Ashwin in fewer matches. How did they practise to negate him.

    Cummins is something else. He moves the ball both ways without a discernible change of action, but 10 mph faster than Anderson. Once he learns just how special he is, there will be carnage.

    Starc, despite the pffff reactions from the team here, already has as many Michelles as the Goat Jimmy. 14 wickets… I think I predicted 30 for the series

    Hazelwood has a case to prove after a disappointing series in England in 2015. He is not doing badly.

    Despite the hoopla didn’t England only take 4 wickets in 26 overs under the lights?

    Obviously Root bowled first so that the two greatest seamers of all time could wreak havoc with the new ball and with the next new ball under lights.

    As usual, JAndS let us all down


    • Mark Dec 6, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      Your point about Graves at Yorkshire and the money he has put in is a fair one. I have to say Iam a bit disappointed with his role at the ECB. Perhaps expecting a bit too much after Giles Clarke, but It seems that Strauss and Harrison are running the joint.

      As I say in my piece it may be that cricket is in terminal decline. Which can only be saved by endless 20/20. That may save cricket financially, but players will increasingly not have the techniques to play Test cricket to any standard. (Perhaps also why they are also pushing the 4 day version)

      Increasingly overseas test series against the bigger sides are lost, and everything is bet on the home series. I don’t think I would want to pay huge money to follow England abroad unless I was working in a holiday around them.


    • northernlight71 Dec 6, 2017 / 11:06 pm

      In all fairness to Colin Graves, he can’t avoid the huge conflict of interest which must occur every time the ECB makes any decisions which affect the county championship or the allocation of international fixtures at places like, oooh, let’s say, Headingley?
      Perhaps he has done some good for YCCC. Pales into insignificance compared with the damage he’s done to cricket in the rest of the country (ask Durham) and to the prospects of cricket still being a major sport in the next 10 years.
      The man’s part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel Dec 6, 2017 / 11:28 pm

        OK so ask Graves to call in his loans. That will solve the problem, surely.


  7. Sean B Dec 6, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Ha Danny, you remembered my little wager with Mr Fenn on Twitter (though I imagine he’ll conviently forget no doubt!)

    I was unfortunately that confident of an England collapse that I put a tenner on England being bowled out for under 250 last night at 6/4.

    Well someone has to profit from England’s incompetence from time to time…


  8. SimonH Dec 6, 2017 / 10:40 pm

    Liew in an article that’s mostly a bit overwritten has a good section on Bairstow:

    “Bairstow began the Test summer batting at No 5. He opens in one-day internationals. Now here he was at No8, batting with James Anderson, a guy who had claimed the previous evening that if he was walking in with England needing more than 10 to win, they were in trouble. Here, they needed 130.

    England have three batsmen in their top five without a single Test century to their name. Bairstow, meanwhile, has a 140, a 150 and a 167, and was now almost out of partners before had reached 40… Bairstow has been at the crease for 73.4 overs in this series. He has spent 42 of them – more than half – batting with a bowler”.

    Talking of overwriting, Holt seems to have gone quiet. Are Ollie’s hollies over? Perhaps he’ll return for the one-dayers with a hatchet for his favourite captain?

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus Dec 7, 2017 / 4:22 am

      There is a lot of overwriting. Always has been. Don’t want regimented prose but the balance has to be struck. When the piece is more about looking clever than delivering a message you are in the danger zone. It’s why I like Dobell. You may not agree with him but I like his delivery. It’s about the message. Haigh is the master. Liew doesn’t get there for me.


    • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 5:11 am

      It is a massive waste. There has to be an argument for (in the current squad) Foakes replacing Malan, so that Bairstow can bat at 5 and Lyon has one less left-hander to bowl at.


    • quebecer Dec 7, 2017 / 1:56 am

      That’s…What the… There must be way more going on regarding Hales behind the scenes than we know about. I can’t see any other explanation why he’s not at #5 in the test team, let alone not being allowed to carry on being the best limited overs opener England has ever had.

      P.S. That last bit makes him sound better than he is, I know, but 5 limited overs hundreds in the last 2 and a bit years is world class, and I honestly can’t think of an England limited overs opener who was better.


      • LordCanisLupus Dec 7, 2017 / 3:27 am

        Tres wasn’t bad. Often forgotten how good an ODI player he could be.


      • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 4:43 am

        Has Hales been cleared by an ECB panel yet, or are they waiting for Stokes to be charged/cleared so they can do both players together?


        • OscarDaBosca Dec 7, 2017 / 6:21 am

          Hales has been cleared by the police and is being treated only as a witness, but as his name isn’t Alistair his future is still in doubt


          • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 6:51 am

            It’s a little like how hard it is to be selected for Australia if your name isn’t Mitch or Marsh.


      • Grenville Dec 7, 2017 / 11:49 am

        Hales didn’t go to Bangladesh.


        • quebecer Dec 7, 2017 / 9:15 pm

          You make a good point.


          • Grenville Dec 7, 2017 / 10:52 pm



  9. Zephirine Dec 7, 2017 / 12:12 am

    If I were a betting person, my bet would be on a 2006/7 result rather than a 2013/14. 5-0 in the Tests either way, but in 6/7 the defeat was less abject – not that it felt like that at the time – and England did win the ODI series.

    Meanwhile the great British cricket press are rounding up the usual scapegoats.


    • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 4:50 am

      Bayliss as head coach is a usual suspect, but blaming Root both as a player and the captain is a new one for the English media. The selectors are being generously treated too, with county cricket being blamed for not providing the players for them to pick. This seems particularly odd because Andy Flower is supposed to be in charge of developing “elite” players, along with Loughborough, and yet very few people are pointing this out in the media.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SimonH Dec 7, 2017 / 9:16 am

        There were a load of bullish articles about young English batting talent during the summer. Here’s one example (and I’m not getting at Jon Hotten in particular – he’s written lots of good stuff):

        All the examples are one-day ball-strikers and nobody cited is anywhere near the Test team. One-day cricket is our “priority” and here’s the result as stark as stark can be. Flower’s only fulfilling his brief (which he no doubt helped write so I’m not letting him off the hook totally). Why develop a skill for a format you intend to kill off? It would be like investing in archery after the invention of the musket or putting money into sailing after the launch of the steamboat. Archery and sailing are what Test cricket is about to become for the ECB – a niche occupation for rich eccentrics.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sri.Grins Dec 7, 2017 / 4:13 pm


          I don’t think focus on t-20 cricket is going to damage test batsmen. those whom it does will learn to stick to test cricket like murali vijay or che who are no longer popular picks on t-20. Those who are skilled will use t-20 to hone their test skills. Kohli has become what he is only because of the confidence from t-20 and odis. do you think he would have been as good a bat in tests now with a great SR without t-20s. Warner came to tests from t-20s.

          Attributing prioritizing t-20 to all problems English cricket faces is easy but the reality is that every country goes through periods when it appears that there is mediocrity in test cricket skills and then suddenly a set of young brilliant guys turn up and make a difference.

          If at all English long form cricket is not doing well, it is probably due to too scientific coaching where one strategy / plan fits all. Sub continent coaches rarely tinker with batsmen or bowlers and don’t have the authority english coaches seem to have in modifying techniques.

          An instinctive player usually learns faster than someone who is constantly told how he/she should think


          • BobW Dec 7, 2017 / 4:34 pm

            The trouble is the ECB have huge resources that they pump into Loughborough (the cricket academy) They have cut back on the MCC sponsorship of the University cricket. They have Flower in charge of player development and finding new talent. And four years ago we were told that it was a brave new dawn.
            Now the team is weaker than it used to be.
            That is the frustration.
            My point is with all the monies and the so called coaching in the English game we really shouldn’t be reliant on cycles as to whether we have a decent team or not.


  10. Rooto Dec 7, 2017 / 7:37 am

    After at least 5 minutes careful thought, it occurs to me that the ECB have all the wrong people in the wrong positions. Strauss is a pseudo-politician in a managerial job. Harrison is a marketing man in an administrative job. Graves is a managerial businessman in a political job.
    In a role of real power, Strauss only gives soundbites. He is a FIDSFO manager. This is an acronym I’ve just made up, and isn’t quite catchy enough to take off, but I’ll run with it. It means: Fly In, Do Something, Fu.. well, Fly Out works as well.


    • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 8:03 am

      It’s also a bit strange that only former England captains seemed to be considered for Strauss’s job. On the face of it, it would seem that someone with experience as a coach or director of cricket would be more useful in the role.


      • Zephirine Dec 7, 2017 / 11:17 am

        I think only Strauss was considered for Strauss’s job. He’d been saying since he quit as captain that he wanted to be in management, no doubt he’d discussed it with all the right people.


        • LordCanisLupus Dec 7, 2017 / 11:20 am

          I think Alec Stewart might have been the token other interviewed individual. Running a club obviously less important than calling someone a nice name off air.


          • Zephirine Dec 7, 2017 / 1:02 pm

            Yes, but I don’t think they really considered Stewart, too independent-minded. Token other, as you say.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Dec 7, 2017 / 11:11 am

      At one time when the police were into fast-tracking potential managers, such people were known as ‘seagulls’ – fly in, dump on everyone, fly off again.


  11. metatone Dec 7, 2017 / 9:23 am

    I think in some of the ranting, T20/ODI is too convenient a target. The Aussies manage to do ok in the shorter format, and while their batsmen (we hope) remain underexperienced against the swinging ball on an English greentop, if this crop of Aussie bowlers stays fit, I think they’ll do fine in the return fixture.

    Not to mention that it only takes a couple of dry pitches in an England home series to leave us looking just as toothless as we do right now.

    I’ve banged on about the failings, so here are some totally impractical suggestions:

    1) CC to be moved to 5-day games.

    2) Loughborough* to be burned to the ground and the fields sown with salt.

    *The cricket centre, not the town.


    • metatone Dec 7, 2017 / 9:24 am

      Note, not only do OK in the shorter format, but do OK at having shorter format domestic competitions.


  12. SimonH Dec 7, 2017 / 9:25 am

    So only Moeen Ali of the Test team is playing in the forthcoming match?

    Can anyone make any sense of that? Why is Ali, supposely carrying two injuries, playing – and the likes of Vince, Malan, Cook, Stoneman and Bairstow (as a batsman) aren’t? Don’t these players need to find some form?

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket Dec 7, 2017 / 4:47 pm

      I suppose they might argue that if Stoneman, Cook, Vince and Malan failed against Perth U13s or whatever opposition they’re playing then that would massively damage their confidence. Or show them to be not particularly good at batting, which would embarass the management.


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