Welcome to tonight’s live blog for as long as it goes for me. Having had a long afternoon sleep with this cold, I am not getting to proper sleep for a good while yet, and it’s always better to blog the England batting than the Australian. We start the day with England 135 in arrears with 8 second innings wickets standing, a twitterati who couldn’t wait to give it all that, a social media cadre too busy fighting four year old battles all too keen to give it back, and so on and so forth. Meanwhile there’s a perfectly good game going on, and a match to win.
England won a so-called dead rubber in 1998/9 (although that bought us back to 2-1 with 1 to play as the Ashes had gone) and it didn’t feel like it when Dean Headley had the spell of his life. England won a so-called dead rubber in 2003 in Sydney, when the Aussies were without Warne and McGrath and it didn’t feel like it. So it’s a bit cheeky to pick and choose that this is a dead rubber. That isn’t particularly fair. It’s a bit cheeky to pick the lack of Starc and a fit Cummins, and use it against Cook. But we have been a bit cheeky throughout the last few years, so why stop now? Or maybe that team we beat in those two “dead rubbers” had all time greats coming out of their ears. Cricket is never a perfect match, a like for like. And attitudes change too.
So join me, Dmitri, if you want for the first hour or two and see where we go. Suffer with me, the blogging antichrist! The only bleep test I’ll be doing is putting 10p in a jar each time I swear in the earshot of the beloved in the New Year! The only cult I’ll be joining is the Paddington Bear appreciation society. The only time I’ll be back to my best is when I’m fighting four year old battles. Love it.
23:00 I don’t know about you, but we’re all a little bit too cocky at the moment. Best exemplified by this Broad wibble…
“I deserved criticism after the Perth defeat,” added the 31-year-old, who has 397 Test wickets and sits second on England’s all-time list.
“Since then, I’ve had one of those weeks where you get your tin hat on, duck down and don’t really see much. I’ve been very unaware of things been written or said.
“I’ve gone to that place where you have to go as a sportsman, where you find something within yourself, get support from people around you and build yourself back up again.”
Broad has been poor this tour and now he’s played well for a day or so. Now he’s got a bit of a spring in his step. Three games too late.
23:07 Interesting Cook interview. But I’ll keep my thoughts to myself.
23:23 Shiny Toy, who said 327 was a good score yesterday, is now saying we should bat the day out today. He’s winging it. Big time winging it.
23:25 In my opinion, with this start, and an Australia dealing with gastro issues, we should be looking at 400 minimum, 500 par. Bat out the day, at a half reasonable rate and it is game on. Let’s see.
23:30 Jackson Bird opens the bowling and Cook gets a single off the second ball of the day. Root is on 49 and has just one slip with some short fielders straight (ish). A dab to point off the last ball of the over gets Root to 50. 194 for 2.
23:34 Hazlewood on from the other end. Root clips him off the hip to midwicket for one off the first ball. 22 overs to the new ball. Hazlewood comes around the wicket for Cook. Probing line first up. Mitchell saying he (Cook) takes pride in coming out of the well, with no recognition that his place in the team is totally solid and has been for ages. Edges the last ball of the over into the ground and over finishes at 195 for 2.
23:39 Bird getting some shape. Conversion rate Klaxon from Mitchell. Bird’s 5th delivery is whipped off his legs by Root who hustles for 2. Over finishes at 197 for 2. Back in 2 minutes!
23:45 I suppose we have to put up with the eulogies for Cook. I’ve genuinely never heard the like of it for many a year. A bit of a streaky drive through backward point gets Cook 3 and it is 200 for 2. First betting advert is Ladbrokes tonight. The fishing celebration that if it happened in my day, someone would be getting lamped afterwards.
23:47 Bird carries on. Last ball was under 80 mph. The commentary is full Cook tribute at the moment, as the talismanic, well respected opener bats out a maiden.
23:50 Hazlewood gets Root to edge into the ground first ball of the 63rd over. The speedo says he’s at around 86mph at the moment. Appeal for a legside strangle after the third ball, but not reviewed, but it smashed the thigh pad. 4th ball getting a bit of shape into the batsman (Root), as Hazlewood might be getting a little reverse? Another maiden keeps it at 200 for 2.
23:55 Shiny Toy on now. Cook starts with a lovely drive for no runs and a nice whip off his legs straight to the fielder. Another lovely shot into the V off the third, but again no runs. Warner was rotating the strike with shots like that. And again off the fourth ball. A leg whip to fine leg gets the first run for three overs. Cook 109, England 201 for 2.
00:00 Happy 28th December in the UK. Hazlewood continues, around the wicket to Cook. A drive slightly uppish through the covers gets Cook two runs. Actually wasn’t that uppish. Hazlewood getting a little bit of reverse again, bowling very tightly. Reminds me of my nephew, facially, if a bit older (my nephew is 7). 2 off the over, 203 for 2, Cook 111.
00:05 Root strokes Bird through the covers for 3 off his second ball of the over. Lovely shot. Cook gets a wide one and cuts it behind point for 4. 210 up. Off Nelson. Geoffrey isn’t going to recommend Bird signing for Yorkshire! Cook prods the last ball for 2 and it’s 212 for 2. Cook on 117. Up to his 23rd highest test score (early in his career he had a lot of low hundreds).
00:09 Here is Pat Cummins, a day after the illness. First ball was 80.5 mph. Another really good hit day yesterday, we’ve been blessed in the last month. Thanks to you all. Cummins’ third ball (85 mph) whipped through the legside for a single by Root. Fourth ball, left alone, was a click under 84 mph. Cook knocks one behind point for a single, and moves on to 118. Root on 57. Last ball played back, and was nearly 87 mph. 214 for 2.
00:14 Here comes Nathan Lyon. England imploded to him on Day 3 last time out, if I recall. Cook whips one to midwicket, hitting it cleanly but no run off the second ball. Not leaving a lot, is Alastair. Bit “splicey” on the 5th ball, but no harm done. Maiden completed. 214 for 2. 22 runs in 46 minutes so far. But no wickets.
00:18 Cummins for his second over. Anyone at work tomorrow? Is it Thursday tomorrow? Root plays a gorgeous late dab through backward point for four off the second ball of the over. Root into the 60s. Third ball of the over slightly hurries Root with an 87 mph delivery. The next one is 87+ too. Is Shiny Toy following this blog – when I mention the speed, he does too?
WICKET – ROOT Caught Lyon Bowled Cummins 61. 218 for 3
A pretty ordinary shot. Skies a pull shot and doesn’t convert again. Not really sure what you can say about that. Lyon takes a comfortable catch well in from the boundary. 218 for 3. In comes Malan.
00:24 Lyon back to bowl to Cook. Cook cuts for a single to go to 119, which I always remember as a Hilditch (he made it at Headingley in 1985). This wicket is as different as you get from Perth for Malan. Plays the rest of the over out. 219 for 3.
00:27 Root has made two hundreds in his first 11 test matches as captain. Cummins continues. Cook really wants to feel bat on ball, he’s leaving very little. Malan nicks through the slip into the ground for a lovely boundary to start his knock. Cummins now up to 88 mph. Bouncer off the fifth ball. End of the over, and it is drinks. So I can have a couple of minutes off. Enjoyed it so far. Cook looking really good, but Root has to be livid with that shot. Be back soon. 224 for 3. 32 for 1 in the first hour.
00:34 Lyon back to bowl to Cook who nurdles the second ball for a single. The irony of Swann saying Broad pulled up with an injury before Abu Dhabi. Malan dabs a single to leg to move on to 5. 2 off the over, 226 for 3. This is now Cook’s 18th highest score.
00:37 Optimistic appeal by Cummins against Malan which is ignored off his second ball. God Lovejoy is a prick. I can’t abide this clown. Volume down. Fed up with the dull bantz. Fifth ball and Malan hits one to a wide third man straight through gully / fifth slip in the air. Four for Malan, and then gets another boundary with a slightly more convincing prod to a finer third man. 8 off the over, and it is 234 for 3.
00:42 A sharp single for Cook off the first ball and he is on to 122. Malan uses his feet but pushes the ball back off the second ball. He’s keen to try that, but stays on his crease for the third. I make it 00:50 when Lovejoy leaves the box. End of the 74th and it is 235 for 3. And here comes Ray, missing nuffink.
00:45 Cummins carries on, as does Cook who nudges a single to backward square leg. Just passed the 122 he made in Mumbai in 2012 for his 17th best. Next target is 127 made at Old Trafford in 2006. Just realised it’s Mitchell Marsh bowling. Ooops. The future Surrey legend being used up until the new ball. Still managing 82 mph. Volume back up as Lovejoy is gone. One off the MM over and it is 236 for 3.
00:50 Cook pushes another slightly wide Lyon delivery through point for two. Some interest off the 4th ball, off an inside edge which did not go to hand. Cook puts that behind him with another single. Up to 126. 3 off the over. 239 for 3.
00:53 Come on Smith. I’m sick and I’m doing this. Get on with it. Terrific straight drive from Cook for 4. Up to 130. He’s been out on that number twice in tests. Goes past this after a load of twaddle from Marsh is helped down to long leg for a single. 133 against Sri Lanka at Cardiff is next. End of the over 244 for 3. And here comes the Paddy Power ad.
00:59 Maiden from Lyon. I missed it.
01:00 Marsh throws one wide in what is probably his last over for a while, and Malan goes at it. No harm done. Nondescript filth thus far including a short wide one. 244 for 3.
01:04 Lyon bowls the 80th over. Cook takes a single off the first ball. Malan dabs one onto the legside for his 14th run. End of the 80th and it is 246 for 3. New ball being taken.
01:06 Back comes Josh Hazlewood. Second ball with the new ball, and Malan is LBW without a review.
WICKET MALAN LBW Hazlewood 14 246 for 4
And it looks like he has bloody well inside edged it. What the hell is going on? Bairstow off the mark with a lovely push for three. Cook no doubt ran each run more efficiently. End of the over 249 for 4. I’ll bet my house if there’s an LBW against Cook he’s reviewing it. See also, Stuart Broad.
01:14 Jackson Bird to YJB with the new ball. An innocuous over ends with a glorious extra cover drive by YJB and the score moves to 253 for 4. I really think I knew when I nicked balls, but I’m not going to go mad about it. My good friend Johnny Mitch still has the hump about one I thought I didn’t hit..
01:19 Cook takes a single off the third ball of the over to move to 133. Crisp on drive by YJB for none off the fourth ball. Tucks the fifth ball for three to get Bairstow into double figures and it 257 for 4. Cook leaves the last ball well alone.
01:22 Bairstow tucks a couple off Bird’s first ball. Hello Q. Nonsense shot off the third ball and lucky not to drag it on. Then he nicks the fourth ball through the gap and gets a boundary. 263 for 4. That is the end of over score.
01:27 Possibly the last over before lunch when I’ll be calling it a day. Keep the comments coming throughout the night if you want. It’s been fun. Hazlewood is the man with the ball for this over, the 85th of the innings. Cook leaves a ball on height and possibly width off the second. A lot resting on Cook now. Pulls the third ball to long leg for a single, and moves to 134. Bairstow leaves a couple quite close to him, but that is lunch.
Two wickets lost in the session, with England making 72 for 2. Cook added 30 to his total, and looked pretty solid. Hazlewood is the main threat, though Cummins is looking back to himself. Well poised. Good night everyone.
I’ll join you but will be as far away from you as I can get. The last thing I want is your cold. Just look after yourself.Today will be interesting. Will the wicket be any different? They are suggesting grey skies so maybe that will make a difference.We shall see how the other Eng batsmen play.As I’m an Aussie I’m hoping for some quick wickets.Cook had luck on his side yesterday but I’m giving him none today. Don’t stay up too late.your cold needs lots of sleep.
Apparently Cook’s double hundred was four matches ago now.
Not six, as in, you know, reality. Four. So we can now claim his poor run was just this series, and not five Tests/ten innings with an average of 14.4.
Watch your goalposts kids. And always remember, the long established statistical concept of the outlier has been around for a lot longer than the #tedioushashtag.
“Cheap noise”. If Cook gets out now, he is still averaging under 30 for this tour. To get to 30 he needs 123. To get to a 40 average for the tour he needs 193 I think. Assuming he’s dismissed.
Who is this?
(Aside: his only Herculean Ashes performances came when literally no-one with a brain was criticising him or questioning his place, given that the ton v Pakistan famously shut them all up)
One of the crew on the Cricketer.
I’m almost certain FICJAM did the vinyl v MP3 thing re Cook a couple of years ago.
No guarantee he did it first, of course.
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Comedy gold from the bullshiters.
‘After the series I’ve had’
‘Frustration. I haven’t delivered when I’ve needed to. … I haven’t been good enough to stand up when it really mattered.’
‘You sometimes go through periods of good times and bad times. My game has a fair few moving parts, and if I’m not in rhythm it can look pretty ugly.’
‘I got 80-àdd here *last time* in 2010’
That was Cook on TMS. “Last time” was my emphasis, but his faulty memory.
Evening everyone. Not used to being up this late, but we were out socialising. Might miss my usual 5:30 alarm call tomorrow…
E R-B and FICJAM both using the ‘going to the well’ metaphor to question how long Cook will continue for. I’ve convinced myself that he hasn’t actually regressed too much, just hasn’t found as many friendly conditions as earlier in his career in which to blossom. If his form decline is dependant on others, and he isn’t really declining within himself, he could carry on for ages yet.
Not surprised he wishes to shut out Melbourne 2013.
Reminds me: I believe tomorrow morning (GMT) marks my 4th anniversary of no longer calling myself an England fan.
I sat through day 3 of Melbourne 2013/14 on Sky. Needless to say I was pretty cranky after the last ball was bowled, not entirely through tiredness: that day would’ve have tested the resolve of even the most diehard England supporter.
The last day was one of only two all-nighters I pulled that series. The other was Johnson at Adelaide, which was frankly stunning to watch live regardless of affiliation.
I went apeshit BTL at about 5am and disowned the whole set-up from top to bottom. At least I can honestly say it wasn’t the sacking of KP that did it, although that did of course make things so insufferable I stopped trusting the cricket media and sought out alternative voices (the rest is history).
Wasn’t that the day when Cook bowled Root before Panesar on the last morning? Yeah I’m not going to bother trying to defend that, that was insanity.
That was Day 4, I think.
That (the last day) is the one I am referring to.
Meanwhile this Test is becoming my nightmare scenario: unbridled Cook love juxtaposed with Root’s terrible conversion rate.
Cloudy and humid. Conditions for Jackson Bird?
Meanwhile, FICJAM: ‘It’s a shame because I feel England had a chance of winning this Ashes series in a way they didn’t have a real chance in 2006-7 *or 2013-14*’.
What? No chance of him plagiarising history books. Re-writing only for FICJAM.
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This is why I hate the English cricket media. Liars and fraudsters. We went into 2013/14 as firm favourites. Before the home series certain ex players were predicting 10-0 score line.
They are either forgetful or they are lying. FICJAM is supposed to be a historian so Iam guessing he is not forgetting.
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Lovejoy’s on. Ner-night.
Legglance called it right. Cook is moving a whole lot less in his trigger movements.
Meanwhile why is Alison Mitchell giving us the full Newman about Cook and love for the captain and all that bull?
Because the wicket is a lot slower, perhaps?
Now that Australia have brought the field straight, Cooky might struggle
Can someone tell me: was Cook’s career seriously “on the line” before yesterday? Even Selvey is using this to say that Cook’s ton *is* a high-pressure innings?
I didn’t even pick up the vaguest sense that this was an Oval 2010 or summer 2014 scenario. I mentioned the damning stats here, but barely saw anyone whose media voice actually counts doing the same. And in any event, the consensus here was that we wouldn’t drop him in any case. And if we were saying that, who on earth *was* calling for his head?
All looks like a bit of convenient revisionism I’m afraid, to disguise the simple fact that he flopped while the series was live.
A series with five tests like the first three would have the calls for retirement, I’m sure. But we’ll see the same old, same old…
They always pretend he is under pressure. It’s a lie. He has had the easiest job in English sport. He can fail forever, and they would bring up 2010.
He gets to choose when he gives up the captaincy, and he will choose when he retires. The media lie because they have zero integrity. I suspect they have to tow the line, and so integrity is exchanged for sucking up to the governing body.
Vaughan picks up on Cook playing in the V!
We are leading the pack on this blog
Picked up the reverse swing two overs ago!
Boycott never got out to Solkar.
Solkar.. About 50kph at best!
Then Geoffrey retired from test cricket. But no one calls him out
So anyway, pop quiz:
Ian Bell (2)
Joe Root (3)
Yes of course, it’s England hundreds in live Ashes Tests (ownership of urn undecided – Bell can have an extra one if you extend it to series undecided) since Cook’s last Ashes century.
Just putting it out there.
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Boycott’s hubris!!!!!!!! Root out just like Boycott at the Oval in 1973 against Keith Boyce
If only I were on commentary to ask the Yorky twat about Boyce in 73
I think the skipper told Geoffrey that he was careless
Skipper was Raymond Illingworth esq
Loved it when Fleming says he always called for the ball when Devon Malcolm was on stroke
If Cook was captain, and played the shot Root did the media would say nothing. Cook rules. Root does not have the same protection as The man God.
88 mph with a ball like a sponge according to Geoffrey
By the way, did anyone see anything of that shit show in SA? A test match over four days that lasted barely two days with a pink ball, and when played late at night the ball was hooping around all over the place.
Test cricket averages will have to be re written. This is the future. I hope you will enjoy it. Mr Harrison is very keen on this sort of gimmick cricket. I was half expecting midgets and a trampoline to come out and entertain us. It’s worse than 20/20. At least you know what format you are playing. This just looked like a dogs breakfast. Is it test cricket? Is it 2020? Who knows?
Sky never had highlights. Either not available or wouldn’t pay for them. Hope they change it for the India series.
Cook waiting for the new ball
Boycott has been bought by the ECB. Cheer leading for the ECB!
Boycott still rabbiting about Bird. Why don’t they ask about Solkar to see what the ultimate hypocrite has to say?
And Boycott only once toured India
Remembering Boycott caught and bowled in the 90s off Headley Howarth in 1972
Sorry 1973, when Amiss got the headlines
Ali lasted 7 balls vs Lyon. Got 12 runs off of them tho.
Lyon has been very good throughout. I hope ashwin learns how to bowl in Oz on different pitches from lyon
This game reminds me a bit of the Melbourne test in 1974/5. England were (from memory) 4 – 0 down. Thommo injured his shoulder playing tennis and wasn’t picked and then Lillee injured his foot and bowled very few overs. Mike Denness cashed in with 188 and England won by an innings. (Denness made 318 runs from 9 innings for the series)
Snuck off early from work hoping to watch Cook get 200. A great knock in isolation but when you consider we’re 3 – 0 down and it’s his first real contribution in the series, I’m not sure what to make of it.
Fuck it, let’s just go with “great knock”. Nice cameo from Stewart Broad, too. He struggled early but is now 34 not out and it’s always nice to see Lyon hit back over his head for 6.
“If this doesn’t make you feel better about the world, you should seek urgent medical advice.”
Smyth again, re the 200.
Doesn’t work like that, sorry.
“Schism” might well be the defining post of this blog’s three year history.
As if to prove the point, I see Maxie has been locking horns with OC#24.
Cook 200*, Bird trundling in… 2010/11 nightmare flashbacks for me here. Just need Xavier Doherty at the other end to complete the picture.
Surprised at how terrible Bird has been. He’s been quite reliable when called upon before and in good form in the Shield (though that was a while ago now that we’re in BBL mode).
50 to Broad (helped by Lyon mis-judging a possible catch in the outfield). Bill Lawry (and how nice it is to have him back in the commentary box) sums it up by saying Australia deserves the pain for bowling too short for too long at Broad at the start of his innings. What ever happened to a couple of short ones and then aim at the stumps?
Controversy here – surely you can’t give that out.
Christ, even Slater thinks he dropped it.
I see de Villiers is “impressed” with 4 day test matches. Well, he fucking would be. I reckon he’d be an even bigger fan of 20 overs a side test matches.
Cook is now England’s leading run scorer in the series.
You could write a whole blog post on that.
It is absolutely a defining Cook knock. In so many ways. I genuinely think I might give up blogging. It’s my final come-uppance. The coup de grace. I had it coming.
I lost. The end.
I can’t wait for Lovejoy’s marks out of ten. Smith got 6/10 in 2015. Who thinks the same criteria will be applied to Cookie?
On a more serious note, the entire accepted narrative of this series and of 2017 (and quite possibly his entire Ashes career, ludicrously) has just been exploded, and I contend this would not be the case if any other English batsman had made that score in the same circumstances.
Test the hypothesis: imagine , for example, Newman writing about a Root double when 3-0 down.
Stuart Broad rubbed it in. If I’m Joe Root I’m thinking “seriously. Where the fuck was this three weeks ago?”
Not how we’re wired. Never has been.
It’s the kind of “fuck you” innings that KP would have been proud of.
Yep, he’s now the 2nd highest run scorer from either side after Smith. Cook has 327 runs at an average of 54.50.
Also, for the calendar year 2017, Cook now has 899 runs @ 47.31
Mitch Marsh has only bowled 12 overs – I thought he was picked as an all-rounder?
The 180 he scored masks what a terrible selection it was. He was selected ahead of Handscomb (the incumbent), and Maxwell (the next in line batsman) because of his bowling, 6 or so months after major shoulder surgery and just a few weeks after resuming bowling in matches. He’s clearly not ready for this role.
And 180 at the WACA notwithstanding, he isn’t a better batsman than Maxwell or even Handscomb in his current form.
He went past Lara’s aggregate in the final over.
Black armband donned #notsorry.