5th Ashes Test: Day One

OK, hands up:  who’s really surprised?  Perhaps that England had a pretty decent day up until the last five minutes, yes, but the close of play score?  Unlikely.  A middling total, encompassing a promising position thrown away, with the prospect of that lengthy tail to come, and a new ball in Australian hands.  It’s possible that England will go on to make a fine first innings score, for Dawid Malan is still there, and of all the England batting order is the one who exudes a degree of permanence when at the crease.  Equally, Moeen Ali could be said to be due for some runs – forever the last kind of unreasoning hope to be extinguished.  But after that, there’s not much at all, and while 350+ is always possible, so is 250 all out, and the probabilities lean closer to the latter than the former.

Of course, much of the comment will be around Root passing fifty and failing to go on to a century yet again.  That it’s a problem he’s more than aware of was shown by his despairing reaction to his dismissal, but as ever, it’s something that gets commented on in isolation about him, and never should it be mentioned that Cook has more than a slight issue over the last few years with the same thing; occasional huge scores don’t alter that.  England throwing away promising positions is hardly new, but nor is it down to just the captain.  Oh, and nor is this conversion problem something that’s afflicted him since he became the skipper, it’s been a problem for a while.  Still, it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be mentioned, for Root’s dismissal didn’t look great, and was compounded by Bairstow being quickly dismissed afterwards.  In the peculiar way cricket is sometimes looked at, Bairstow’s dismissal is apparently Root’s fault.  228-3 is a decent position, 233-5 is Australia’s day.

The lack of a nightwatchman on Root’s removal also became a topic of debate.  As ever, it’s being wise after the event.  Given how many times Bairstow has been left marooned as the tail fell apart around him this series, it’s not too surprising he didn’t want to bat any lower than he had to.  This time, it just didn’t work out, but Australia went some years having abolished the role entirely.  As ever, decisions like that are often only good or bad in retrospect – Bairstow backed himself to get through the last two overs.

The last five minutes apart, England had done fairly well but with all the same flaws they’ve shown all series.  Stoneman started well but failed to go on, Vince looked pretty but got out for the same kind of score that he tends to get out for, and Cook was dismissed for 39.  Two things about that, firstly the Daily Mail’s description of it as “a convincing 39” is preposterous, and does Cook himself no favours, and nor was his lbw, given on review, in any way controversial, no matter what his number one fan Paul Newman might claim.  It was too much to hope that Cook would repeat his Melbourne innings, but it can be said that he looked technically very good here too, which is promising from his perspective as long as he can maintain it.  That’s not meant to be dismissive of him at all, Cook when he has his game sorted is a fabulous opener, but he also drops off alarmingly at times in terms of his technique.  As he gets older, this will become ever more important, but he remains quite extraordinary in the divergence between when he is fully sorted, and when he isn’t.

Dawid Malan is England’s batsman of the tour, which may seem to damning him with faint praise, but three fifties (including his current one) and a big century represents a better return than anyone else, and if this innings was a careful one, he still very much looked the part.  And bringing in batsmen who do look the part has been in fairly short supply recently.

And so we move into day two.  Any feelings of impending disaster are entirely to be expected, which is probably just the time they’ll confound us all and bat out of their skins.


83 thoughts on “5th Ashes Test: Day One

  1. BobW Jan 4, 2018 / 6:34 pm

    I’ve not read the papers/news today but I wonder if Root is getting the same stick that KP got when he holed out at Perth.


    • LordCanisLupus Jan 4, 2018 / 6:54 pm

      It’s up there. Newman was hysterical. Just read the Standard which was a bit more reserved.

      If you ever want to see KP double standards go back to that Edgbaston test against South Africa in 2008. He got slaughtered. Cook’s shot? Barely a peep.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Deep Purple Fred Jan 4, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      He deserves alot more stick than KP got. Nothing to do with conversion rate, nor Cook, nor captaincy. It was just a stupid irresponsible shot, in the context.
      Still, he’ll learn, I guess. At least he scored 83 runs before he did it.


      • quebecer Jan 4, 2018 / 10:40 pm

        Actually, I think the “he’ll learn” part is valid. This is an inexperienced test captain, and he’s been given a pretty poor hand to work with in terms of selection of the squad and the ridiculous handling of the petty events that should have been dismissed out of hand. Instead, the powers that be, I think because of how they have decided to approach the Stokes situation, have felt the need to be seen to deal with what are in fact non-events. All of this has heaped pressure on to Root, on top of what is, after all, an incredibly demanding tour to begin with.

        I’ve no doubt Root has been affected by this, and has looked anxious at the crease from the first ball in Brisbane. Even the lack of help he’s received, he’s held it together reasonably well. His demeanour on the field has been streets ahead of Cook last time out, and yesterday’s dismissal was nothing like Cook hooking down fine leg’s throat last time.

        As even you have said, the wheels have not fallen off, and this is to Root’s credit. His dismissal yesterday wasn’t about conversion rates, but pressure and anxiety and no help from those whose job it is to provide precisely that.

        I think when Root returns to Australia as England captain (and i do believe he will) I think there are many lessons he will have learned from this tour.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sri.Grins Jan 5, 2018 / 1:53 am

          Agree Q. I think he will do better as a batsman next time around. As it is he has done better than last time when he was dropped.

          The issue is whether he is a good captain. The trouble is very few captains are good unlike the times earlier. This is probably because they do not have time to play domestic cricket once they become part of the international squad or other reasons is a matter for a blog post maybe from the BOC team ? 🙂

          But, if Root plays better as a batsman, the spill over effect into his captaincy will happen. It happened with Virat. I don’t rate Virat highly as a captain but he has focused on fitness and performs better as a batsman when he is captain.

          I am sure it will happen with Root too. Once he focuses on not selecting players who are unfit, the lessons are learnt by the team.


        • Deep Purple Fred Jan 5, 2018 / 9:18 am

          Yeah OK, he gets a pass because of off-field pressures. Nobody’s game can be immune to such external factors. And it was during the second last innings of the tour, he’s probably knackered. You can consider these excuses or reasons, depending on your disposition.

          However I’m a bit concerned about these “petty events that should have been dismissed out of hand.” I hope you’re not condoning irresponsible alchohol use or unprovoked violence. We do expect England to maintain a standard of behaviour when they are guests in Australia.


          • Quebecer Jan 5, 2018 / 7:36 pm

            Now that was a far more skilled and subtle attempt than anything England had to deal with, yet observe my response….


  2. Quebecer Jan 4, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    Can I just say how excited I am about the South Africa/India series? AB is back, Philander and Steyn fit, and India have lost, what, one test in three years? It’s going to be a cracker.


    • Deep Purple Fred Jan 4, 2018 / 7:10 pm

      Moved on already Quebecer? Such disrespect for the ashes.


      • Silk Jan 4, 2018 / 7:46 pm

        Are the Ashes still going on? I thought they’d ended ‘on a high’.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Quebecer Jan 4, 2018 / 8:50 pm

          Yes, even after victory in Melbourne to capture the latter part of the 2017 Ashes (which will forever be remembered as Cook’s Ashes), I feel living in the past is pointless and am resolved to live for the hear and now. No, wait, I mean next week and beyond.


          • Quebecer Jan 4, 2018 / 8:58 pm

            Ha! Hear and now. I prefer that, actually.

            Another point: I’ve watched Liam Livingston bat. Given the exposed technical frailties of a slew of selected batsmen,I don’t see how anyone can honestly suggest Livingston for a test place. His head is two feet outside off stump and sideways when he plays a ball on middle.


    • Sri.Grins Jan 5, 2018 / 1:40 am

      Am I allowed to be a pessimist Q when India play away? :-D.


      • quebecer Jan 5, 2018 / 4:02 am

        Ha! Oh my dear fellow…. HA! BAAAAHHHHaHahahahahahahahaha!!!!

        Good heavens no. After what I’ve been through?????

        I do promise to keep you company though.


        • Sri. Grins Jan 5, 2018 / 4:38 am

          India will win 2-0



          • Quebecer Jan 5, 2018 / 7:41 am

            That’s my boy!


  3. MM Jan 4, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    If no-one else has said this, I will… Bayliss out! Out! OUT!

    Farbsy McFarbsface can do the necessary cones / dog ball thrower / baseball mitt whatevers. He’s got a whole bunch of back-up staff too. The IT guy, the Reiki guy, the head massage guy, the opening the pickle jar guy, and a Paul Collingwood guy! Couldn’t he get on the pitch and earn a little bit more of his MBE? He’s only 41-ish. Bet he could do a half-decent nightwatchman job.

    Bayliss sadly doesn’t seem to be bringing much extra to the party than craptacular ol’ Moores(y). Not even the infamous laptop. We’re losing very frequently and he has no interest in the county game. I’m sure his lack of interest is compensated for by the massive investigative skills of the selectors. F.F.S.

    Bring on the one dayers! Bayliss back in!!


    • oreston Jan 4, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      It’s telling that he’s so ignorant of the county scene and yet was all over Crane’s Michelle for NSW last year like John the Baptist foretelling the Messiah.


      • thelegglance Jan 4, 2018 / 9:05 pm

        Come now, you can’t use John the Baptist for anyone except Kevin Pietersen. Everything he predicted came true, but he lost his head in the process. I’ve patented that one years back you know. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • jennyah46 Jan 4, 2018 / 9:16 pm

          History has proved KP right in many ways. He lost his head for his attitude, more than anything. He clashed with Flower. Never a good idea.


          • thelegglance Jan 4, 2018 / 9:20 pm

            Siding with an administrator over a player is everything that is wrong with English cricket, irrespective of the entrenched views on that player.

            Liked by 1 person

          • jennyah46 Jan 4, 2018 / 11:19 pm

            History has proved KP right in many ways. He lost his head for his attitude, more than anything. He clashed with Flower. Never a good idea.


        • oreston Jan 4, 2018 / 9:39 pm

          Fair enough…

          I must try to ensure that my biblical analogies are more original in future. I bet there are plently of deep cuts in the Old Testament I could refer to. I’ve already used Gomorrah once this week (in a comment, I mean 🙂 )

          Just to check: Are Koranic references OK? Or… maybe best avoided?

          Liked by 2 people

          • oreston Jan 4, 2018 / 9:53 pm

            Bugger… Fat fingers has liked his own comment again. I’m getting too old for all this…


  4. Mark Jan 4, 2018 / 8:29 pm

    How can you attack players for not going on to score hundreds when at the same time you lavish praise on one player for scoring a convincing 39? The double standards are stunning. And let us not forget that wasn’t Cook dropped on 68 in his world conquering 240 odd?

    Would that have been a convincing 68, or a steady 68? Or a beautiful dignified 68? Or is it more likely that Newman is a fraud, and should be pointed and laughed at? Special Cook rules DO exist, and we all know it. That is why those of us who watch and pay attention vomit into our buckets when he scores a big one. Because we know he will be protected when he fails. Been the same all through his career. Which is why some of us will never support him. He is the daddy’s boy of Englsih cricket.

    It doesn’t seem to matter most test matches what the conditions are, Englands par score seems to be in the same range most times. Which is about 220-325. Sometimes they get a good start and fall away. Other times the tail bale them out. But the score is mostly in that ball park. If they can get up to 350 then who knows. Perhaps there is something in the pitch for our bowlers. And are new super spinner will get to bowl last on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Jan 4, 2018 / 8:31 pm

      Might not get to bowl last on it if England done bowled out for 250 and Australia get 450. Still, that’ll probably be the spinner’s fault if they get that many…


      • oreston Jan 4, 2018 / 8:48 pm

        Smith has to fail sometime… but I sense it might not be against this England attack. In which case a big Aussie first innings lead may well await, probably followed by the inevitable collapse and defeat by at least eight wickets.
        It’s going to be some kind of an achievement for England to have played a five match Ashes series and (barring a Sydney miracle) failed to take 20 wickets in any if them (definitely needs to be a stat mining mission to find comparisons if that comes to pass).
        But what do I know? Tom Harrison assures us that the team has competed and been in every game and that a series defeat within the first three Tests equates to having finished 2017 on a high.

        Liked by 1 person

          • oreston Jan 4, 2018 / 9:51 pm

            That recent? At least the ECB acted like they gave a shit and held some sort of a review after that whitewash.


          • LordCanisLupus Jan 4, 2018 / 9:52 pm

            not sure we took 20 last time out down under.

            Checked. 20 at Sydney.


          • oreston Jan 4, 2018 / 11:18 pm

            The Stokes effect (with the ball for once) at Sydney.


  5. Silk Jan 4, 2018 / 8:43 pm

    I’d be very surprised if the Australians don’t significantly exceed our first innings total. Bancroft and Khawaja are playing for their places, Warner I imagine is still smarting from the number of times he’s thrown his wicket away this series, both Marshes are in form (and Mitch sure as hell will want another ton, otherwise he’s going to be a quiz question in 20 years time) and Smith is … Smith.

    475 (if I’m reading the stats right) seems to be the average 2nd match innings score at the SCG over the last 10 years. If Australia score that England will likely be a long way behind.


    • dannycricket Jan 4, 2018 / 8:54 pm

      “The Australians”? I wouldn’t rule out Steve Smith exceeding our first innings total.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Silk Jan 4, 2018 / 9:23 pm

        There’s an argument for Smith moving up to 3 there, on the grounds that I reckon the biggest impediment to him scoring 260 (ha! how optimistic am I?) is running out of partners, not the English bowlers.


        • quebecer Jan 4, 2018 / 10:56 pm

          There’s an argument for moving Cummins to #3 as well to try to make sure he has enough partners for a maiden test century.

          There’s also an argument for moving Smith to Madagascar to make things fairer in general.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. quebecer Jan 4, 2018 / 11:03 pm

    I thought Malan spoke well after yesterday’s play. It’s hard not to be impressed – although many seem to have him on ‘ignore’. I’m sure we all hope he manages to get to three figures today, and if he does, I think he’ll be our only player to genuinely deserve anything like an A grade for the tour. But either way, at least one success story for us.


    • Deep Purple Fred Jan 4, 2018 / 11:13 pm

      I thought he spo’e platitudinous bollocks. “If Root converts 50s to 100s then who knows how many runs he will score?” Cant
      fault the logic but not very enlightening.
      He does seem to bat OK though.


      • Deep Purple Fred Jan 4, 2018 / 11:33 pm

        Well, sort of OK.


      • quebecer Jan 4, 2018 / 11:39 pm

        Yes, but it was calm, sensible, platitudinous bollocks of exactly the sort required. I’m not sure David Malan is the man to go for if you want enlightenment, Fred. I thought that was why you spoke to me.


      • oreston Jan 4, 2018 / 11:51 pm

        In the circumstances I can forgive an unenlightening interview or two. I really didn’t think Malan was going to cut it (to my chagrin I believe I suggested somewhere or other that he should be carrying the drinks tray) but he’s had an OK tour. The most consistent of a bad bunch.


  7. jennyah46 Jan 4, 2018 / 11:29 pm

    Sorry Chris but I can’t seem to find the option to reply to your comment on my KP so I’ll give it a go here. You are right. ‘siding’ with an administration is generally a poor thing to do but if you have an alternative point to make there ways of doing it. KP is KP and he makes what he thinks plain, but not always in the best way. Some people wil take it, others will not. Those who piss off the bosses enough, generally get sacked.


    • thelegglance Jan 4, 2018 / 11:32 pm

      I’m not going to re-hash all the issue around that Jen, but I will say that it’s the case with the ECB that when it comes to a question of players or administrators, they always go with the administrators. It’s a fundamental flaw, and one that highlights who they think is the most important.

      Liked by 3 people

      • jennyah46 Jan 4, 2018 / 11:45 pm

        I misunderstood you. I didn’t realise that your point was that it’s the ECB who side with the administrators. It’s a very interesting point. I can see tne flaw, but at the same time, without condoning it, I can see why they do it.


        • LordCanisLupus Jan 5, 2018 / 9:14 am

          If you want Exhibit A on that look at the captaincy issue in 2009. In which the guilty party, the ECB leaker, seemed to get off while the two protagonists left.


    • jennyah46 Jan 4, 2018 / 11:35 pm

      Re your comment about siding against a player I guess you are referring to Cook. Nobody knows what happened within the 4 walls. We know Cook looked at his shoes but he’s inarticulate and speaks poorly. Maybe he had nothing to say or maybe he bottled it.


      • thelegglance Jan 4, 2018 / 11:36 pm

        No, I wasn’t referring to Cook. It was a general statement. Not everything is about Cook!

        Liked by 1 person

        • jennyah46 Jan 4, 2018 / 11:47 pm

          My apologies Chris.


  8. quebecer Jan 4, 2018 / 11:59 pm

    Well I for one am optimistic regarding a bit of a redemption innings for Moeen.

    This is getting very, very hard work.


    • oreston Jan 5, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      Reality. It’s the hardest game in the World, that…

      I’d love to think there was a chance of redemption for Mo but, but he seems totally shot and I honestly think the best thing they could do for him at the moment would be to send him home after this game and tell him to forget about cricket for a month or two. Of course that inevitably means that they’ll retain him for the ODI’s and New Zealand.


  9. Mark Jan 5, 2018 / 1:27 am

    Curran mad a “convincing 39.”

    I challenge you Newman to write the same as you did for boy wonder. Same score, same write up…..ok!

    346 all out at lunch. Could have been worse.


  10. quebecer Jan 5, 2018 / 1:43 am

    A N Cook lbw b Hazlewood 39
    M D Stoneman c Paine b Cummins 24
    J M Vince c Paine b Cummins 25
    J E Root c Marsh b Starc 83
    D J Malan c Smith b Starc 62
    J M Bairstow c Paine b Hazlewood 5
    M M Ali c Paine b Cummins 30
    T K Curran c Bancroft b Cummins 39
    S C J Broad c Smith b Lyon 31
    M S Crane Run Out Marsh 4
    J M Anderson 0

    All Out 346

    What stands out in that scorecard? Johnny Bairstow. Any kind of score from Johnny means we’re at 400 and I can’t help thinking we made a massive error in not sending out Curran as nightwatchman last night. That’s a huge howler, given the need for Bairstow simply batting his average and and the difference it would have made had he simple got the mediocre score everyone else did.

    Grrrrrr. Nothing grinds my gears more than when things are difficult anyway to make errors that make it harder.


    • Zephirine Jan 5, 2018 / 2:13 am

      Apparently the players have the choice whether to ask for a nightwatchman or not. So it was up to YJB, having elected to bat, to bat sensibly, or boringly, or badly as long as he stayed in. But he didn’t.

      Absent Stokes’s extreme loopiness, it becomes apparent that Jonny is a bit loopy too. Or maybe he was just trying too hard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zephirine Jan 5, 2018 / 2:23 am

        Adam Collins doing the G OBO has just totally jinxed Bancroft.
        Enough, I must sleep.


        • quebecer Jan 5, 2018 / 2:36 am

          Nite zeph. Don’t worry about me. Here. On my own. I’ll be ok.


    • Deep Purple Fred Jan 5, 2018 / 9:30 am

      But haven’t England become specialists at scoring 400 and losing? Looks like they dodged that bullet, thanks to Bairstow.
      But they’ll still lose.


  11. Silk Jan 5, 2018 / 7:36 am

    Well, that went a lot better than expected (England made some runs, Warner is out) yet England are still up against it.


    • oreston Jan 5, 2018 / 7:57 am

      That’s about as optimistic an interpretation as is possible, I think. Khawaja is in the runs (for once) so that kind of negates any advantage gleaned from seeing the back of Davey Warner for a mere half century. Meanwhile, Australia’s immovable (Smith shaped) object has yet to encounter England’s irresistible force. Because we haven’t got one.

      Liked by 1 person

        • BoredInAustria Jan 5, 2018 / 9:13 am

          “…has shown that this England team led by Joe Root is made of far sterner stuff than the rabble who surrendered 5-0 in Australia four years ago….”

          “…a squad who were already itching for the departure gate at Kingsford Smith airport …”

          “…one of the worst touring English Ashes teams of all…”

          At least someone is managing to say this. But again no analysis as to why.


          • LordCanisLupus Jan 5, 2018 / 9:16 am

            In this age of global travel making it easier to cover vast distances and shorter tours these teams can’t wait to get home. Poor little loves. Maybe they should take a pay cut if they don’t want to do it.


          • Mark Jan 5, 2018 / 10:13 am

            He is only saying it now because it’s a way of getting this team off the hook. The previous tour is being re written….yet again….. to fit in for covering up for this years vintage cock up.

            It’s unbelievably disnonest, but no surprise coming from this man. He is a walking, talking ECB bullshitter. The ECB have tickets to sell for the home series in 2019. (And home series are the only ones that count.)

            They obviously panicked when Warne said Aus might win in 2019 based on these two squads as they stand today. Oh my God, we might not sell the tickets if the meme gets started that we are crap.So send for a reliable bullshitter to put out the fire. Up steps Stocks.

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus Jan 5, 2018 / 11:15 am

            Dobell’s latest is very critical of the ECB again and Harrison’s comments in particular. Not sure why people think he’s turned to the dark side. Yes, his Twitter confrontation the other week was unedifying, but no one else in the media is writing this. There is still this belief that without the freak that is Steve Smith we might have won. Watch that going forward.


        • BoredInAustria Jan 5, 2018 / 9:19 am

          No why does this come as no surprise:

          “James Anderson may have admitted this week he rarely bowls pain free these days – indeed his chronic shoulder complaint means he can be in agony simply brushing his teeth.”


        • Mark Jan 5, 2018 / 9:34 am

          Stocks has become Englands answer to Bagdad Bob.

          So the last England Ashes side down under was the worst to ever tour there ? WOW WOW. Stalin or the finest propagandists in Berlin in the 1930s would wince at such re -writing of history.

          England were firm favourates for that tour. Has Stocks forgotton or was he still in his pram when top pundits predicted a 10-0 scoreline on the eve of the back to back series double header? Did he not listen to the radio broadcasts of Andy Flower before the tour with his 89 page diet sheets?

          Did Stocks not get the memo that one upity SA was to blame for the whole tour.? Or is he not aware that one fast bowler who had been quick but wayward suddenly hit a purple patch and blew England away?

          Stocks is a fraud as a cricket journalist. A propagandist of the worst kind. This tour has been far, far, worse for England because this Aussie side is not as good as four years ago.

          Priceless seeing the tern “only 33” that now accompanies any comment about Cook. At 34 the same snake oil journos were telling us that KP was well past his sell by date. These people are some of the most dishonest journalists going. Why employ these non entities? They are not worth sixpence.

          Liked by 1 person

        • oreston Jan 5, 2018 / 9:56 am

          Positivity is one thing, bullshit is another.


        • Silk Jan 5, 2018 / 10:21 am

          In summary “The ball will swing so Australia will not make as many runs” which rather glosses over “The ball will swing so Cook and Vince will score chuff all”.

          But he’s right. If winning home Tests is all England aspire to, then they are in a good place. They beat the Saffers, none of the Asian sides are, currently, much cop away (India might challenge that but I wouldn’t bet on it) and a fit Woakes will take stacks of wickets over the next 5 years.

          Forget about winning away. But who pays to watch Test cricket away?

          I’m /praying/ we get humped in the ODIs. Then someone might actually hold these numpties to account.


        • Deep Purple Fred Jan 5, 2018 / 10:24 am

          Actually having read it I have more confidence in the Warne analysis that he quotes than in his critique of it. I certainly wouldn’t be making any bets on Anderson, Broad or Cook still being standing for the next series. Englands fortune is more likely to depend on Root, Bairstow, Stokes (if his charges have been cleared by then), Ali and maybe Malan, along with whoever else develops in the interim. Is Wood ever going to have an English career? Overton maybe?

          Australia has a younger team, and a few bowlers knocking at the door, so are better placed for medium to long term projections. But it’s marginal.

          Of course predicting what will happen tomorrow is a fools game so predictions for a series two years away is just fanciful. It’s just Warne shooting his mouth off as usual. The big question will be can Smith, Warner, Khawaja and Handscomb cope with a swinging ball? That will decide the issue.

          (Actually in this case I can predict what will happen tomorrow with some confidence, Smith will make a century and Australia will take a 100-150 run lead).

          Liked by 1 person

  12. oreston Jan 5, 2018 / 7:50 am

    Looking at his figures (and not for the first time this series) Anderson seems to be doing a sterling job as a containing stock bowler. Problem is, nobody else is being quite as economical and no one (Jimmy included) seems to be presenting an especially potent threat. Again, nothing new there. Time yet, I suppose, for the Crane experiment to bear fruit but no sign of that yet.


  13. BoredInAustria Jan 5, 2018 / 8:51 am

    SA 7/2 vs IND


    • BoredInAustria Jan 5, 2018 / 9:01 am



      • Sherwick Jan 5, 2018 / 9:12 am

        AB 4 4 4 4


  14. Silk Jan 5, 2018 / 10:16 am

    ABV is some player, isn’t he?

    I suspect that this summer just gone would have been….ah, let it go.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Scrim Jan 5, 2018 / 12:04 pm

    I’ve watched the last 5-6 overs of the SA vs India test.

    2 things immediately stand out:

    1) This is a belter of a pitch, so much better than anything served up in the Ashes. Fast, plenty of carry, just a bit of grass. Saha is taking a lot of these at chest hight or higher and rising, and Bumrah and Pandya aren’t as fast as Cummins or Starc. Can’t wait to see what those two do later in the summer on a surface that isn’t catering to AFL.

    2) Probably as a result of the pitch, it’s far more exciting to watch from a neutral perspective. Kohli getting fired up there with the failed review and then the wicket straight after got me going as well.


    • Scrim Jan 5, 2018 / 12:07 pm

      Also, a bit of a long tail for South Africa as they have gone for all 4 pacers (plus Maharaj). When was the last time there was a 4 man pace attack as formidable as Steyn, Rabada, Philander and Morkel?


      • Silk Jan 5, 2018 / 12:23 pm

        What the hell are you saying? Don’t you remember Broad, Anderson, Woakes, Curran? It was only one Test ago!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Scrim Jan 5, 2018 / 12:32 pm

          My apologies!

          Also, Vernon looks at least 5kg lighter than when he was hobbling around carrying spare tire under his shirt during the England series.


      • Deep Purple Fred Jan 5, 2018 / 12:50 pm

        Oi! Starc, Cummins, Hazel…no, never mind.
        It’s a hell of an attack if they’re all firing. They’ve had fitness issues too.

        Don’t know what world cricket is coming to, Indian seamers bossing an antipodean batting side around on a lively pitch.


        • nonoxcol Jan 5, 2018 / 1:06 pm

          Already slightly wound up by BTLers casually saying “well England beat this lot comfortably last summer”.

          As if having those four all fit and ABdV not sat on his arse alternating between tweeting and counting his IPL money didn’t make the slightest difference.


          • Deep Purple Fred Jan 5, 2018 / 1:48 pm

            Yes, I don’t remember exactly but their attack was quite depleted wasn’t it? When SA beat Aus, Styen was out injured on the first day of the series, for the series. This is an attack of unprecedented strength.

            I too get bored very quickly with people like AB who don’t really commit, and heretical as it may be I don’t enjoy his aesthetics very much (too much tennis in his style) but to come out in a crisis on the first morning and just start pinging 4s…


          • Scrim Jan 5, 2018 / 2:06 pm

            It wasn’t too bad, but Rabada wasn’t hitting top pace, Morkel was there and did pretty well, Philander was there and was excellent in the test they won but was so badly overweight and unfit that he couldn’t see out the series.


  16. Silk Jan 5, 2018 / 12:21 pm

    SA appear to be playing ODI cricket. Crazy Test.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s