4th Ashes Test, Day 3 Review

I’ve missed virtually all of the cricket up until now in this game, having been staying with family over Christmas, so it’s been with great surprise that I’ve been following England’s progress every morning. Keeping Australia contained to 327 runs on a batting track and then posting 192/2 on the second day with Root and Cook still in, this game seemed to be fulfilling the Christmas wishes of quite a few England fans.

The day began how the last one ended, with Cook and Root making slow but steady progress against the Australian bowlers. That partnership ended just before the drinks break, with Pat Cummins making the breakthrough. To quote Dmitri from the live blog (I hadn’t woken up yet), “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.”

This brought in Dawid Malan, who should have been in confident form after his 194 runs in Perth. As it was, both Malan and Cook played somewhat nervously against Lyon and Mitchell Marsh. Why was Marsh bowling, I hear you ask. Because the new ball was due in a few over, and in only his second ball with the shiny Kookaburra Hazlewood dismissed Malan LBW.

Except, and this is almost unbelievable, he edged the ball onto his pad and yet failed to review it. If the replays and Hotspot are to believed, it was a huge edge. Colossal. Basically off the middle of the bat. For the second time in a single innings, England had failed to review a clearly false LBW call. If we were the kind of Cook-hating blog we are sometimes characterized as, I might take this moment to also point out that Cook was at the bowler’s end for both dismissals and could have told both batsmen to review it. Malan might even have been hit outside the line of off-stump. I’m not saying that both wickets were Cook’s fault, but…

Bairstow looked to play aggressively, with both boundaries and missed shots in equal measure. Eventually he top-edged a delivery from Nathan Lyon to the Australian wicketkeeper, and he had to go. Remarkably, this was only the third time Lyon has dismissed a right-hander in the whole series, having taken 17 wickets in total.

The loss of the fifth wicket has typically heralded the beginning of an EnglandTestCollapse, and Moeen Ali didn’t disappoint in that regard. Perhaps taking the view that his T20 batting form was better than his Test batting form, Moeen took the attack to the Australian bowlers. He scored 20 runs off his first three overs, but drove on the up from Nathan Lyon and Shaun Marsh caught it at short cover.

And from there, the promised collapse failed to appear. Chris Woakes mainly blocked the ball whenever possible whilst Cook progressed at his usual pace. Cook had a lifeline just before the midway point of the day, as he pulled a short ball from Cummins to the right of Steve Smith at square leg. The Aussie skipper got his hand to it but couldn’t keep it in his grasp, and for the second time in the innings he had dropped England’s opener. A few overs later England passed Australia’s score of 327, and the partnership progressed fairly smoothly though to Tea. Woakes was probably a little lucky to still be in though, after edging a ball between keeper and slip.

Cummins managed to get Woakes out shortly after the break, with the England allrounder gloving a bouncer from Pat Cummins to Tim Paine. This brought debutant Tom Curran to the pitch, but not for long as he got a fine edge. It was given not out by the umpire, but the Aussies reviewed and Hotspot showed a clear mark and he had to go. On a sidenote, Hotspot in this game has been much better than in the past few games. I seem to remember several instances where the thermal images showed nothing and the umpires had to rely on Snicko instead. Maybe they messed up the calibrations or something up until now?

This brought Broad to the crease, where he received his traditional welcome of bouncers. Lots of them. He looked nervous, wearing one on his shoulder and edging a few over the slips. He somehow survived though, and Cook’s steady accumulation carried on as he passed the double century with a drive down the ground for four. Broad was clearly waiting for his partner to pass the milestone, as he suddenly started swing at everything with at least some success including hitting Lyon for a six.

A few overs before the end of play, Broad got a top edge on a wild slash outside stump which just about reached Usman Khawaja running in from third man. The umpires gave it out, despite the Australian fielder indicating that he had bobbled it and that it should be reviewed. The soft signal appeared crucial, as the replays suggested that the ball had probably hit the ground at some point but there was no conclusive shot of it doing so. As with most reviews, the decision favoured the umpires’ original decision and Broad had to go.

Cook and Anderson both held on until close of play, with England’s opener hitting another milestone in the last over for a second day in a row. This time he overtook Brian Lara on the all-time Test runs leaderboard, taking him to 6th overall. England finished on 491/9, a first innings lead of 164 over the Aussies.

This is, remarkably, Cook’s second double century this year. It’s dragged his series average up to 54.50 (although that may fall if he loses his wicket tomorrow) and he’s now England’s top scorer. Looking at England’s batting statistics over the past year, you can see a marked difference between Root and Cook. In his 19 innings, Root has reached 50 ten times including 2 centuries, making a contribution in virtually every game he plays in. Conversely, Cook has only managed to pass 50 four times but on two of those occasions he went on to pass 200. The debate is like the one comparing Anderson and Broad. Anderson is reliably good in most games, whilst Broad is great in a few games but often innocuous.

On a personal note, whilst great for the England team and of course as fans we’re happy, Cook’s innings has meant that both Sean and I have lost our bets with cricket trader James Fenn. I bet that no England player would pass 160 in an innings, whilst Sean bet that Cook would average less than 25 in the series. Let this be a lesson to you all, never bet with a cricket trader!

As always, feel free to comment on the game or almost anything else below.

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58 thoughts on “4th Ashes Test, Day 3 Review

  1. Riverman21 December 28, 2017 / 7:46 am

    Woke to Graeme Swann chuntering on about people in the media who questioned Cook’s desire.

    This very good innings has clearly woken up the Cook cult. Nice to see they haven’t moved on from seeing everything through the prism of 2013 with Cook as the hard working beep test winning naysayers beating hero. In fact is anyone else playing for England in this match???

    Liked by 1 person

  2. metatone December 28, 2017 / 7:51 am

    Be interesting how many they can add tomorrow. Lead is 164 w/ 1 wicket left.
    Of course Aus can throw it all away, but I wouldn’t be surprised (looking at the pitch) if this is just a draw in the making.

    As for Cook, I’m sure his place is secure for another year now. I’ll hope he can actually deserve it by playing some big innings when series are still on the line.

    And while it doesn’t matter to Harrison, losing the Ashes 3-0 matters to me as a fan. It never even crossed my mind to stay up, even tho for once England looked set fair, because it’s just another sample of the English cricket crap mentality of “taking the positives” and never really learning from defeat. And I’ve been saying this since 1989, for reference.

    To take on something LCL mentioned. In 1995 we could dream that Malcolm had finally found his radar, in 98 we might have hoped Headley would stay fit and lead the attack for some years to come. All those hopes were dashed, but they were genuine hopes. There’s none of that here, one suspects.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Miami Dad's 6 December 28, 2017 / 7:53 am

    How did we lose in Melbs?

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket December 28, 2017 / 8:00 am

      It would be remarkable for England to lose from here, but if anyone can do it…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaine Simpson-Long December 28, 2017 / 8:14 am

    Ok so Cook gets a double century. TOO F******G LATE. Of course the press are now going on as if it were the second coming. So, as per, when all is lost then we start playing like we should have done EARLIER.

    Sorry cor shouting. I am sooooo cross

    Liked by 3 people

  5. nonoxcol December 28, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Just read Newman.

    Sticky jazz mag territory.

    Most interesting and least surprising bit is his shameless dumping on Root, followed by his take on Malan’s inside edge non-review.

    Like

  6. Mark December 28, 2017 / 8:52 am

    England is Cook, and Cook is England. And that folks is all the peanut gallery care about. So with one innings the whole tour can be re written. ( and England have many fraudulent historians who specialise in rewriting history) Cook tops the batting averages, and is the leading scorer. Case closed.

    England is Cook and Cook is England. So with their hero now top scorer they can turn the screw on the usurper captain Root. Put your crash helmet on Joe. You are going to need it. Every question he will be asked will be along the lines of …..” What would your do without Alastair to help you?”

    This test match has shown the difference in sport between the truly great, and the very good. Cook is very good, but he is not great. As with all top level sport the difference between the two is usually speed. Fractions of seconds are the difference. Cook has played in a era with very few genuinely world class fast bowlers. He is a very good flat track bully. He has stamina, and freakish concentration levels, and an ok technique. However, against really fast bowlers (as we saw 4 years ago and for the first 3 test matches) he is not great. In fact he is quite ordinary.

    But serve up a flat track, and drop the speed of the bowlers and you have the ultimate flat track bully. Cook is England, and England is Cook. And that folks, is all the peanut gallery care about!

    Like

    • Sean B December 28, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      Can you let me know when this crap passes. I’ll be hiding under a rock for the next few days 🙈🙉

      Like

  7. nonoxcol December 28, 2017 / 9:13 am

    Two actual Twittter takes, ladies and gents:

    Re Cook overtaking Lara, Cook is superior because the Windies is an easy place to bat.
    This innings is England’s most valuable overseas since Atherton in Johannesburg. (It wouldn’t even make COOK’s own top three THIS DECADE in my opinion, but this is where we are now)

    Like

    • Mark December 28, 2017 / 9:28 am

      One of the ECBs, and their in house media’s grestest triumphs is to reduce the IQ levels of so many England supporters. I guess when you are selling snake oil, you need morons as customers.

      Like

      • jennyah46 December 28, 2017 / 2:19 pm

        Don’t be so rude!

        Like

        • Mark December 28, 2017 / 3:01 pm

          I’d rather be rude than be a moron. And if people believe Cook is better than Lara then they are morons. End of.

          Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol December 28, 2017 / 9:29 am

      The second of those takes might be the single most maddening thing I’ve read all series, and a perfect symbol of what is so infuriating about the coverage he gets.

      Top of my head this century: Thorpe SL, Thorpe Bridgetown, Strauss and Tres Durban, Tres Joburg, Cook Brisbane/Kolkata/case for Ahmedabad and Mumbai, Pietersen Mumbai and Colombo, Atherton Karachi, even maybe the sub-100s from Bell and Collingwood in SA.

      Like

      • OscarDaBosca December 28, 2017 / 4:38 pm

        Strauss and Tres in Durban is a personal favourite of mine

        Like

  8. Deep Purple Fred December 28, 2017 / 9:40 am

    As they say in politics: 4 more years. Cook will be even more undroppable now (this is an Ashes! double century! at the MCG!). 4 more years of mediocre returns, hero worship, and Root being compared to him.

    Like

  9. Tom December 28, 2017 / 10:26 am

    I’m going to put all the other stuff aside for the moment, I’m no fan of Cook, but I have to say that was an exceptional innings. Yes, it’s too late, but on pure cricketing terms, I don’t think I’ve seen him play as well as that. Hazelwood, Cummins and Lyon all bowled well to him yet he hardly ever look threatened, and some of the straight drives he played were superb.

    Broad’s innings was one of the most entertaining I’ve watched! I was really puzzled that Cook was giving him so much strike, especially early on, but it seems to have worked. On the other hand, Australia should have varied their tactics a little for Broad rather than just bouncing him every ball. It was a real mix of watching Courtney Walsh bat and then the old Broad and he seemed to enjoy himself after a few overs. The six he hit off Lyon was a beautiful shot.

    I’m a bit confused watching the game and looking at the scorecard. The pitch looks great although a bit slow, yet only the best (or more experienced) batsmen are making decent scores (I don’t include Broad in that). I think the slower pace is helping England’s lower order a bit. That, and no Starc.

    Really interested to see how Anderson and Broad bowl tomorrow.

    Like

  10. Sophie December 28, 2017 / 10:27 am

    “Broad was clearly waiting for his partner to pass the milestone, as he suddenly started swing at everything with at least some success including hitting Lyon for a six.”
    That’s awfully nice of Broad. I didn’t think he had it in him, after how he frantically tried to get himself out with Bairstow in the 90s at Headingley last year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket December 28, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      Yeah, but Bairstow is a drunken lout while Cook is someone with the right kind of upbringing.

      Like

  11. Sri. Grins December 28, 2017 / 10:44 am

    Finally, England have justified the optimism shown by us of the raised and half raised hands. As cricket has its own way of springing surprises, it has come at the hands of some of the unpopular characters. Life is like that Charlie Brown.
    ☺☺

    Like

  12. Zephirine December 28, 2017 / 11:30 am

    How immensely helpful of Mitchell Starc to get injured. And pretty nice of Pat Cummins to be ill for a day as well. Their gallantry in stepping back and reducing the threat of the Aus attack has rolled the clouds away and allowed Cook to shine.

    Who knows? If they’d still been bowling well, he might have got 13 again.

    Do you think when Rupert Murdoch finally dies, it will ever be possible to reverse the tabloidisation of the British press? Because that’s what this is, so much of what we complain about here is just cheap throwaway headline-based writing because that’s what’s expected now. Cook is the Kim Kardashian of cricket. Analysis? Forget about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dannycricket December 28, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      I don’t think Cook has broken the internet yet…

      Like

    • jennyah46 December 28, 2017 / 2:24 pm

      We have been without Mark Wood, Steven Finn and Toby Roland-Jone. Mo has been playing as a shadow of his former self, post side strain and then the cut finger. Australia are not the only team who have been compromised by injury.

      Like

  13. nonoxcol December 28, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    Siri, I’m struggling to understand the word “chutzpah”, can you provide an example?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark December 28, 2017 / 12:49 pm

      Good grief, he will be singing lines from Don McLean’s Vincent next.

      ” But I could of told you Vincent, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you……”

      Liked by 1 person

    • OscarDaBosca December 28, 2017 / 1:58 pm

      He doesn’t even make 12th man of a greatest England XI.
      I am so glad Selvey blocked me on twitter years ago, I just wish I could remember why he blocked me.

      Like

  14. LordCanisLupus December 28, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    All,

    I’m not going to make this a long comment. In fact it will be short, and whether you think it is sweet or not is entirely up to you.

    I am convinced this morning is the last straw. I don’t think I can do this any more. I have spoken to a couple of people already about how I feel, and a clean break is very attractive right now. What I want to write would be met with such a reaction, I don’t want to face it. If it’s like that, then it’s time to pull up the drawbridge.

    I said no grand farewell, no attention seeking shit. I mean it. I’ll talk it through, make sure it isn’t a kneejerk decision, make sure the blog is in really safe hands, not cutting the link, but thinking whether I want to do this any more. I’ll let you all know in time.

    If you want to speak to me, you know my address. dmitriold@hotmail.co.uk . Keep in touch.

    Cheers.

    Peter

    Like

    • jacobsweetman1978 December 28, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      Peter,

      All I can say is that you’ll be missed. For the last few years you have provided a service more valuable than any of those who are supposed to be the custodians of the game. You have made me laugh and you have made me want to smash the screen of my crappy, cheap laptop in utter frustrated rage. You have demonstrated a love of the game that does both you and it great credit.

      Because you can’t get really pissed off about something you don’t really love and I can tell by your rage how much you really love cricket.

      Just try to remember that you don’t miss your water til your well runs dry, as William bell said a long time ago. And you’ll miss this as we’ll miss you. Don’t feel like you won’t be welcomed back.

      So thank you for the tears and the rage and the sheer love of a game that the people in charge of it don’t give two fucks about.

      Good luck.

      Jacob.

      Liked by 6 people

      • jennyah46 December 28, 2017 / 2:37 pm

        Very well said.

        I’ll miss Dmitri for his writing skills as well as his thoughts, if he decides to leave. I hope he comes along and tells us how he sees it, for better or for worse.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Grenville December 28, 2017 / 8:19 pm

        I can’t work out how to like a comment, so I will just add my total agreement. Thank you so much Peter.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus December 28, 2017 / 8:43 pm

          Thank you Grenville. Sometimes I get the like button, sometimes I don’t!

          Chris has summed up some of the pressure really well on his post. I know this is a little self-indulgent, and talking about blogging is something I do a bit of, but we are people as well as cricket fans. I share some of my life on here. It’s more than cricket.

          Cheers,

          Peter

          Like

    • oreston December 28, 2017 / 3:08 pm

      Fundamentally, today changes nothing – although it probably pushes even the possibility of anything changing for the better further into the future. A very good (but not all time great) player emerged from a spell of appallingly bad form. On a helpfully ultra-slow wicket, against a compromised attack, he made a big score in a dead rubber game. His application and concentration were first rate, but this was not an innings for the ages. We all knew what the reaction from the Cookie Cult would be – but soon enough they’ll be the ones making excuses again. Possibly as soon as Sydney.
      Now I don’t know whether something specific has happened away from the blog to bring you to this point – I certainly hope not – but walk away now and you’re handing the bastards a victory that they don’t deserve. None of us have the right to expect you to keep doing this if it really has become insufferable, but all I ask is please do take some time to think it through. Whatever you decide you’ll have my gratitude and best wishes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LordCanisLupus December 28, 2017 / 5:00 pm

        Thank’s O. I do owe it to you all to take a long deep breath and think about things. But at this time the mind is pretty well made up. I have a massive, high pressure transaction coming up in the New Year and I don’t need to be hearing total fuckwittery from people who should know better in my spare time. I think those in the cricket press and their useful adjuncts should actually realise the sheer mental toll doing this after work has on someone who has his own high-ish pressure role during the day. Seeing how these idiots act, and I have one or two specifically in mind, make it even more soul destroying. It’s amazing how being paid to do a job twists the mind.

        Cheers O and keep on keeping on. These guys will take good care of this place. Danny is a great pick up. Sean is passionate. Chris is immense. And I don’t imagine I’ll keep quiet forever.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark December 28, 2017 / 3:28 pm

      Peter I don’t blame you. And I salute you sir! It’s four years sine the last Ashes debacle which gave this site legs, and you have fought hard for that time. Unfortunately we see that after 4 years the morons who rule us have learned nothing.

      I was really looking forward to this Ashes as I kind of knew that with the changes that are coming to cricket (endless 20/20) this will probably be one of the last to take seriously. And then the selectors produced a team so lacking in any vision, and with no imagination particularly in the bowling. No thought process other than the usual England under Flower approach.

      So after a couple of weeks, 3-0 down, and the Ashes are gone. The so called greatest England batsman has delivered nothing but failire. Yet out pops Harrison to tell us that alls well. Well fuck you Tom Harrison and the horse you rode in on. That statement alone was the final straw, and the cowardly, complicit media reaction meant that I had already decided to walk away from the sport at the end of the tour.

      The nonsense of the last two days have just confirmed my thoughts. I’m done with English cricket. It’s run by truly horrible, dishonest scum bags and who are in turn protected by some of the most dishonest, cowadly and yellow jounalists you could ever meet. And the bar is very low when you are talking about cowardly, scum bag journalists in this country.

      Let me pay tribute to you Peter,and your fellow writers. You have shown more passion, and honesty in your little finger than the people who are paid vast fortunes to govern and report on the sport I have loved for most of my life. You gave a voice to the sane, and the people who had the intelligence to see through the bullshit pundits and the governing bodies lies.. Your site delved into the real stories that the media were too cowadly to cover for fear of losing access. You truly loved the sport, and didn’t see it as just another product to make money off. Which is why you will hurt because the thing you love is being destroyed by charlatens and snake oil salesman.

      Well played sir, your four years in charge was worth far more than a meanginless innings in a meaningless dead test match. You scored your runs when they really mattered!

      Liked by 5 people

      • LordCanisLupus December 28, 2017 / 4:55 pm

        Mark,

        You may have given me the most in house ulcers of anyone on here, but for the Godwin’s Law post alone, it was worth it!

        Cheers. I’ll be in touch.

        Peter

        Like

        • "IronBalls" McGinty December 28, 2017 / 10:05 pm

          Sir, you are a giant amongst pygmies! Fair winds and following seas!

          Like

    • Zephirine December 28, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      Dmitri,

      I think it is a kneejerk decision. You’ve had a cold and been up late blogging. But still.

      Thing is, the passion and involvement that wears you out is also what makes the blog special. No disrespect to the others, whose contributions are thoughtful and expert and much valued. But no other cricket blog can send down a Dmitri grenade off a long run in quite the same way. Maxie is the only competitor I can think of – and he had to take a break from it.

      So you need to think about how not to burn out, while ideally still being able to express yourself and entertain your readers here.

      Maybe you should structure a break every few months, now you have co-contributors.

      Maybe the blog as a whole should post less frequently. You put up new posts ridiculously often compared with most unpaid online sites. Of course we love it, us idle bunch sat at home or pretending to work and presented with another free article every time we get bored. But you’re filing new copy as often as paid journos on a national daily newspaper.

      You could spend less blog time on the English cricket press. You do a great job of demonstrating just how much dross they write, but close study of their output of old rope is not good for the soul.

      Just my thoughts.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Nicholas December 28, 2017 / 5:24 pm

      Dmitri,

      Thank you for all you have done. I truly hope this isn’t the end of your writing, but if it is, let me say that – perhaps ironically – it is your writing (along with others’ on this blog) that has reengaged me with the game in the last few years.

      To be able to come on here to read a sensible review of England’s matches, along with the supplementary nonsense that the ECB keeps giving us, has kept me abreast with developments over the last few years, and the community that has built up here is quite something.

      If this is the end, sincerely, thank you.

      N

      Liked by 1 person

    • metatone December 28, 2017 / 5:45 pm

      I’ve been involved in politics since the referendum came on my horizon in about Feb 2016, on top of the daily life activities.
      It burned me out.
      Doing anything on top of the day job is a burden and you owe it to yourself and those you love to look after yourself.

      It goes without saying that you’ve created a space that enabled people like me to keep caring about cricket, having had to flee the G’s BTL as it all got too bizarre – and I’m very grateful for it.

      Like

    • RufusSG December 28, 2017 / 6:00 pm

      Dropped you an email, won’t add anything more publicly other than to wish you well and hope you’re back writing soon.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus December 28, 2017 / 6:15 pm

        Thanks RSG.

        If you want a clue as to why… look at Brian Moore’s (not the dead one from the Big Match) conversation with Maxie. Sycophants. That’s what we are. The absolute fucking irony of it. When those “anti-establishment” are the fucking sycophants and those siding with it are not.

        These pricks are closer to Trump than they think. You’re only sycophants when you aren’t on their side.

        That’s why. Absolutely fucking sick of it. Sorry about the language, but the rage is just too much.

        You’re a good man Rufus and will reply to the e-mail shortly…

        Peter

        Liked by 1 person

        • nonoxcol December 28, 2017 / 7:16 pm

          I second this recommendation, especially as Moore is someone who thought, in 2015, that we should all acknowledge the role of Paul fucking Downton in that summer’s Ashes triumph.

          The reason? He got rid of Pietersen. Sod Root’s runs and Broad’s wickets. The officer class were behind it all.

          And apparently we are the ones who see everything through a simplistic prism.

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus December 28, 2017 / 7:55 pm

            There’s a quick thread on the BOC Twitter feed.

            And as if by magic…

            We haven’t even won the fucking game yet. I have to get out of this. I really do. The sport is reported on by idiots.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Mark December 28, 2017 / 7:30 pm

          These people accused us of being the KP obsessives and said we were one trick ponies. Today has shown us that the real obsesives are the Cook cultists.

          They think this one poxy innings (dropped twice) makes up for the whole dam Ashes shit show. If this doesn’t show you that they are the real sycophants, the real one trick, one issue ponies I don’t know what will.

          Cultists the lot of them. And boy it’s a really weird cult to be a part of. We should be glad in a way of this innings because it has shown them up for what they are. Horrible people.

          Like

    • Rohan December 29, 2017 / 8:31 am

      Sad times Dimitri. When I was angry over the treatment of KP back in 2013/14, I couldn’t find any balanced or honest press on it anywhere. Then I stumbled upon a link to HDWLIA, think it might have been on the telegraph comments section! Anyway, what you gave me was great, a voice for my frustrations, a place of refuge where the whole ‘difficult winter’ was honestly assessed. You and the guys write better than most of the press and it must be tough, so although sad, enjoy your time away, but I hope it is more of a sabbatical!

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus December 29, 2017 / 12:08 pm

        I’ve never been forgiven by some for prolonging it. The fact I hardly every mention it now is not enough. I and Maxie and James knocked the cosy little affable cricket blogging consensus out of the park. The sort that want good writing rather than attacking stories. We (I) were (was) uncouth.

        I don’t think we get enough credit for seeing through Downton in 10 seconds flat. They never say “remember how they saw through him”. It’s still KP thrown at me. I know I don’t have a thick enough skin.

        Thanks Rohan. And to all who wrote on here or who sent me lovely emails. You are a very persuasive lot.

        Like

  15. General Zod December 28, 2017 / 2:01 pm

    Fuckety-bye sad sack! 🙂

    Like

    • Mark December 28, 2017 / 2:57 pm

      Wow, that was brave of you! Been hiding under a rock for the past few months have we?

      So now your great hero scores meaningless runs in a meanginless test match, and you decide show up. Enjoy you moment. Fools Gold!

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus December 28, 2017 / 5:02 pm

      I think the response says more about you than anything I could say.

      Please, other Admin, don’t moderate this post. Leave it as a little reminder.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. thebogfather December 28, 2017 / 4:12 pm

    This 4th rate Estate
    Clamouring for a job
    Not a clue of reality to relate
    Awaiting the next ECB fed-swab
    They are the lizards…
    Hiding under their self imposed rock
    Expecting a new Flowering, with Cook, empowering
    Yet they espout such flaccid cock
    They be no wizards…
    With words nor sense
    Easily shattered defence
    Of their all seeing being, now blindly led
    By the empty words of an Empty Suit fed 
    Scrambling in hope, increasingly shown as dopes
    Yet they ignore the disarray
    Once more, as money is more
    This pathetique of powerless play
    Writing above the clouds they seek
    Lambs, unaware of the slaughter to ensue
    But, why would they be ought to review?
    For, in their simplistic way, they, never knew…

    Peter, whatever you decide, nothing can surpass what you have given us over the past years. Your passion is magnificent, your honesty too painful at times, and your love of our once great game and ire at those who deign to destroy it is shared by many. Take care, good Sir.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LordCanisLupus December 28, 2017 / 5:05 pm

      Thank you sir. I’ll still be reading, don’t you worry about that, and commenting too. But I need to take a break, probably for a long time, from generating content.

      You’ve been a great colleague through the years, hence the keys to the old kingdom. Back when I actually loved England cricket and the joy of the game.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. oreston December 28, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    The best of luck to Australia in their second dig. If they bat sensibly, a draw will be an entirely feasible result. Why my sudden interest in the welfare of the former penal colonies? Because it would only be fitting for the Great Redemption Innings to come not merely in a dead rubber game with the Ashes already lost, but in a drawn dead rubber game with the Ashes already lost. The Cookie Cult will proudly boast, “he stopped us from losing 5-0 !” Yet in the fullness of time, history will pass sober judgement on just how ludicrously irrelevant it all is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rooto December 28, 2017 / 5:34 pm

      Anderson falls early. 2 sessions to make up the deficit. 2 sessions of swift scoring to set a 5th day target. 2 sessions for England to collapse. It could happen.
      Hope this helps! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • oreston December 28, 2017 / 6:04 pm

        I like the way you’re thinking!

        Warner to blast a double-quick daddy hundred to set up the declaration and eventual victory, pinching MOTM from you-know-who in the process. Lyon rampant on a deteriorating fifth day wicket. Don’t dream it, believe it 🙂

        Like

  18. Rooto December 28, 2017 / 5:37 pm

    Dmitri. You owe us nothing. We owe you our sanity. Eternal thanks, and hope to see you around a lot. James

    Liked by 1 person

  19. pktroll (@pktroll) December 28, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    Hi D, don’t let these ******* get to you. Do feel free to walk away for the time being because I can perfectly understand that the pressures of the outside world can mean that you can struggle to commit the right sort of time to be at your best on here. I have nothing like the ability to put my feelings into words on this blog in a way that you and Chris,Sean and Danny can do but I know the some of the real world pressures you might have as they stopped me from posting here as much as I would like over the last year. In fact, just a short time before I met you at the t20 earlier this year I was really close to snapping because of the pressures of work – I really was having a terrible time. I feel like sharing that with you and others on here because I do feel empathy with what you might be going through. However I will admit that I can’t let the cricket get to me as much as you do. For starters I’ve watched only a little of this series live and have been resigned about the team not putting up a fight as I expected it to happen, though not quite as abjectly as has occurred. I’m a little surprised that they (and Cook in particular) have managed to rouse themselves in this way as I was believing it was an inevitable 5-0 but for me it changes little. It is still a series defeat that confirms mediocrity further.

    What I hope that you don’t do is stay away from here for good just because a load of folk want to lord it over this face saving knock forgetting the batting nadir it preceded. Heck you’ve come back from worse in terms of 2015 and the ‘redemption’ series. It wasn’t our imagination that for the last 4 and a half years that a player classified by our 4th estate’s big beasts as great wasn’t remotely living up to that categorisation by weight of runs. Heck it is almost that people want to celebrate Cook’s failures because it makes his ever more infrequent successes a way of rubbing our noses in it. That’s just pathetic, and don’t rise to it because what has happened today doesn’t suddenly erase what has preceded this for much of the time before much as the acolytes might wish or hope that everyone else isn’t following properly

    Anyway, that’s my tuppence worth and I see some wonderful comments above from fellow posters. As you know yourself, you get plenty of hits and it can’t all be from those who wish to ignore the entire output of the blog, can it?

    Like

  20. Narelle December 28, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    I told my son yesterday while watching, they will hire a bus for one and take him to the palace for the knighthood. Personally I hope the sword slips.

    What a load of crud!!! Where’s Giles??? Genuflecting at the temple of cook I suppose.

    Dimitri, I will miss you in my mornings. Take a break and follow South African or New Zealand cricket. They don’t carry on like pork chops, nor have Pollyanna Harrison at their helm.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

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