They Made These Feelings Go Away, A Model Citizen In Every Way

It was 10:55 am. In a sleet storm that would freeze the warmest of souls, I sat in the car park at Costco, Croydon, and felt a little different. I’m not sure why it happened, whether there was some epiphany as I saw the line of people poised for the Sunday opening of the bulk buying behemoth, but this was something that had not happened for a long, long time. I actually cared whether England would win the ODI I was listening to. I actually, actively, really wanted them to finish this one on the winning team. Listening as the Australians took a single, when boundaries were required, was met with an imperceptible “come on”. As Rashid got through those two overs without carnage, when only carnage would really do, I even shrugged off the Anderson bon mots about him being less expensive than usual (as pointed out by one of our commenters in the previous post).

While I struggle listening to Norcross and Dagnall commentating, but immediately pointing out that they are much more preferable than Lovejoy Swann, there was a feeling of something being achieved. Not only were we defending a target, we were strangling the Aussies to death in it. The bowlers, a very key man down, executed their plans, to quote that horrible management phrase, and were exceptionally captained by Eoin Morgan. There were specially set fields, well thought through plans, balls “put in the right areas” and England held down destructive players like Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis. While Smith and Marsh were going, the game was a gimme. Keep at that pace, accelerate in the last ten overs. They couldn’t.

This isn’t about the game though, it is about an England team that wins, that does it with flair and a little bit of luck, and the inevitability that this won’t last, that this is still a team with a howler in it, and a howler at the wrong time in a world tournament gets you knocked out (see the Champions Trophy), but it is a likeable team, Root seems so more at ease within it, Morgan appears a terrific captain, you can fail three times as long as you deliver once, and when you do, make it count, and it has guts. Joe Root had to bowl nearly 9 overs against a team delivered to you out of the Big Bash. That sporting phenomenon that we all aspire to imitate. Joe Root did not let the side down, he stepped up. Rashid nicked key wickets, Mark Wood bowled with energy and vigour, Woakes with calmness and calculation to add to his amazing partnership with Buttler.

ODI cricket is now bemoaned every bit as much as county cricket. It is international cricket’s dull uncle, without the gravitas of test match cricket, and lacking the testosterone of the T20 twaddle. It is neither here nor there. England have got good at it just as other nations treat it as the bit in the middle of most tours, or the subject of a completely displaced visit to play three or five match series, and the overseas tourists come and go in a fortnight. England pick exciting players like Roy and Hales, Buttler and Wood, and keep some of the more uptempo or classy test players. It took us 9 years to figure out it wasn’t the game for Alastair Cook, and when we did, things got better. That’s just a fact of life. How much Bayliss and Farbrace are responsible, who knows?

I’ve been out of the loop for three or so weeks now. Not writing has been a release. It may be that this is all you get from me going forward. The odd thing here or there. I might get the writing bug back, but at this time, it isn’t cricket. The nonsense of the 244 was the last straw, the cynical, contemptuous response to a 4 nil defeat, pinning it on county cricket in particular, was a disgrace. I have no words for the test team, its acolytes in the media, and the people governing the sport allowing it to be marginalised that haven’t been said, or can add to the weight already placed upon the pile of prose. The 2014 Ashes loss and the repercussions invoked fury, anger and passion. This loss provoked apathy, antagonism and atrophy.

But then, there came a spark. Maybe there is life yet.

PS – A terrible signal on EE in Costco. Terrible delay in getting the scores in the last two overs.

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21 thoughts on “They Made These Feelings Go Away, A Model Citizen In Every Way

  1. Zephirine January 22, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    You mentioned that hits and comments on the site decline during ODI series. I know a lot of people just don’t like one-day cricket, but I think there is also a feeling that one can just leave Eoin and the boys to get on with it. They may screw up but it won’t be for want of trying. Whereas the Test team will usually find some new way of provoking rage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. clivejw January 22, 2018 / 4:52 pm

    I made similar comments about this ODI series on the end of the last series. The interest in bilateral one-day series is certainly declining, but 50-over cricket still attracts a lot of attention (especially from Asia) during the world cup. Amid the success of Eoin Morgan’s marvelous team, we shouldn’t forget that England have won successive bilateral series before, but have gone on to be hopelessly uncompetitive in the World Cup. England were no.1 in the world in 2014, for example. But that was mainly on the strength of having played a lot of series on home soil (where many of the wins were in rain-affected games to boot). This time, it feels a lot different (and anyway, the next world cup is on home soil).

    One reason I am enjoying this series more than most one-day cricket, apart from those I gave on the other thread, is that I’m definitely a bowler in spirit. I hate it when the batsman has it all his own way. So when Mark Wood had Warner hopping about at the MCG and Moeen was finally able to exercise some control, I got seriously intrigued. The end of the SCG match was heaven for me — such seriously good death bowling. Aussies needed 30 and got less than half that!

    Starc (not someone I warm to on a personal level) is seriously good to watch too.

    Not that this series has been dominated by bowlers — the ever-changing rules of 50-over and 20-over cricket deliberately handicap the bowlers in order to create artificial thrills. But at least in the 50-over game you don’t have the meretricious boundary ropes that turn a catch at long-on into a six.

    I’d also say that Jos Buttler’s innings at the SCG was the best I’ve ever seen in one-day cricket from an Englishman: brilliantly paced, superbly controlled. He strikes the ball so cleanly and places it so well, and improvises so effectively. I may be doing a disservice to the likes of Gooch and Lamb, or Neil Fairbrother, but the ODI game from that era was so different, it’s difficult to compare.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. oreston January 22, 2018 / 6:45 pm

    I’m pleased for Morgan & co., although I can’t pretend I’ve been following these games very actively. One of the more remarkable aspects has been that the team performances have been so strong that a certain all rounder has not been missed to anything like the extent one might’ve expected. (As you say though, LCL, there’s always the fear that an oops moment is potentially just around the corner). It’s a bittersweet success though, with the Test team such a basket case, and one which simply further underlines the ECB’s skewed priorities. Funny how the selectors are able to field a balanced and effective squad in one format but not the other.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Miami Dad's 6 January 23, 2018 / 8:06 am

    I have followed the ODI team, amd watched at least parts of each game. It’s main appeal is that it looks to be England’s best ODI side, with everyone included on merit and no weird, James Vince or Mason Crane type selections. Morgan is obviously the target for the MSM who cannot stand any success he or his team has. They are confident and talented, and not treated like a bunch of people who dont fit in.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus January 23, 2018 / 8:43 am

      Lad scores 58 out of 71 while at the crease, gets out to an attacking shot and is publicly called out. Note how he absolves his Middlesex colleague in the same thread for his reverse sweep of infamy. That “just changed momentum”.

      You’ll learn Tom Banton. Top score and lose and it is your fault you lost. Not the other batsman who disintegrated. But you.

      We have learned stuff all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol January 23, 2018 / 8:57 am

        If I were making a list of single shots that lost big matches I’ve seen, Gatting’s would be top. How you can excuse or mitigate it is beyond me. No argument.

        And certainly a long, long way ahead of Rashid’s in the second Test v Pakistan of 2015, about which this not at all biased hack wrote three paragraphs before a meaningless token “not solely to blame”.

        This guy’s capacity to induce rage is genuinely fathomless. I don’t know how he does it.

        Like

        • LordCanisLupus January 23, 2018 / 9:00 am

          I’m sure Banton is gutted. So what he needs is the words of a venal ex scribe rubbing it in and then letting us know Gatting wasn’t the same. I forgot about Rashid.

          I agree. That tweet has me raging.

          Liked by 2 people

          • nonoxcol January 23, 2018 / 9:02 am

            But don’t forget, according to sycophants, it was a “disgrace” how people BTL turned against him…

            Like

          • nonoxcol January 23, 2018 / 9:11 am

            Just checked the Rashid article. Knew about the opening paragraphs. But the last four words are:

            “Anderson did his part.”

            If you can’t hear the emphasis on “his”, you haven’t been reading Selvey as long as I have.

            Like

          • Scrim January 23, 2018 / 9:17 am

            If it is any consolation to you, I’ll bet that Banton and the rest of his generation has absolutely no idea who Mike Selvey is

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus January 23, 2018 / 9:20 am

            You are probably right, but slagging off the one who made the runs that others didn’t grinds my gears. Dates back to the KP switch hit innings against Murali. He made 141 and when he got out the rest collapsed in a heap. The radio comms put the blame on KP. It has been the same since. Don’t get out to shots that get you runs. Far better to prod and poke and have your technique dismantled.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Scrim January 23, 2018 / 9:35 am

            Oh, I understand and agree entirely. And it isn’t unique to England. Glenn Maxwell, probably the best reverse sweeper in the world, often gets the same treatment (though mainstream opinion seems to have shifted in favour of him lately). They ignore the runs that he gets as a direct result of the shot, and more importantly as an indirect result of forcing the bowler to change his line and his field.

            And what Australia would have given for a typical 35 off 20, getting out to an attacking stroke, late in the innings the other day, instead of Paine pushing singles.

            Like

          • nonoxcol January 23, 2018 / 9:39 am

            How other people’s shit shots are reported, Part 1:

            “The start of England’s second innings had been worrying, though, because it posed further questions concerning the mind-set of Cook. There is no more mentally strong player, so for him to appear in such turmoil things must be weighing heavily. In the first innings he had been all at sea after almost two extremely trying days in the field. Clearly here he determined it was important to impose himself on Johnson. The third ball was short, at his head, and a touch faster than he anticipated. He hooked from his eyebrows but the stroke was already out of control and the top edge flew to Harris at fine-leg.”

            Like

          • nonoxcol January 24, 2018 / 10:46 am

            “The bland statement” from the ECB.

            Finger on the pulse straight away. Too busy pumping his mate and the illustrious alumnus of his boys’ school to grasp what the plebs might think about it all.

            Like

      • BoredInAustria January 23, 2018 / 9:40 am

        From ECB:
        Liam Banks was the first go – stumped –

        Harry Brook (done first ball by a nicely disguised wrong’un) and
        Will Jacks brilliantly caught at slip by Sangha for 1
        That meant three wickets had fallen for 4 runs and 47/0 become 51/3

        From Cricinfo:
        Banton’s attempt at a cheeky reverse sweep resulted in him gloving the ball to Sangha, who initially flinched to his left, only to quickly change tack and dive right to complete an outstanding one-handed catch. This left England wobbly, but still in control at 71 for 4.

        Pope once again beautifully induced Finlay Trenouth into the drive …nicking to Sangha again.

        … England came out after the interval committing harakiri when a tight defence and calm heads were the need of the hour, they panicked.

        Euan Woods shaped to cut a full delivery, only to chop on.
        Tom Scriven was stranded halfway down the pitch searching for a non-existent single
        Luke Hollman was caught behind looking to play an expansive drive. Ethan Bamber was out lbw playing back to a skiddy delivery
        and when Dillon Pennington chopped on..

        From all of this the clear culprit is.. – What a miserable old sod!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. LordCanisLupus January 23, 2018 / 8:54 am

    No. Not Gatting’s fault. But feel free to call a young kid out. Vile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark January 23, 2018 / 1:13 pm

      “Gat’s had Notoriety?”

      Yes, because it was a fucking World Cup final that England were cruising to victory in you pillock! At a run rate that did not need ludicrous fireworks to get us home.

      You can’t defend a former England captain at the height of his carreer giving it away, and then attack young players in the under 19s for the same thing. . Smacks of cowardly bulling. It amazes me the Guardian employed this sack of shit for so long. His writing is worthless.

      One of the few things the ECB has got right in the last 4 years was dumping the philistine ODI model of Alastair Cook and Peter Moores, and embracing a new fresher approach lead by Morgan. The same Morgan who has had to endure a constant carping from large sections of the media who have wanted to replace him on a variety of trumped up charges.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Scrim January 23, 2018 / 9:14 am

    I think England have played well, but they have certainly been assisted by Australia. Don’t get too confident – India is probably the team you will need to measure up against. Some Australian selections and tactics have been really puzzling.

    e.g
    – The insistence on bowling short in the last 10 overs of the last game cost them the match
    – Relying on Travis Head to bowl any overs at all, let alone as the only spinner in the XI in the second match. Lyon has returned to BBL and is taking 2-3 wickets a match, while England have been getting 20-25 overs of spin
    – Only picking 3 bowlers in the second match
    – Cameron White?? And then the indecision as to whether he is a late order hitter or a top order anchor guy.
    – Tim Paine has never been a big hitter. His inability to even score at a run a ball is in contrast to Alex Carey who has been excellent in the BBL.
    – Maxwell hasn’t been in great form in 50 over cricket, but not persisting with him in the absence of any other middle/late innings matchwinners with the bat apart from Stoinis is crazy. The “doesn’t train smart” reason given by Smith stinks of some sort of personality clash.

    This is all in contrast to England, who have a flexible and varied bowling lineup captained by a guy who seems to know exactly what he wants from them, a batting lineup of guys who mostly have well defined roles – including a lower order stacked with very capable big hitters.

    Australia have really struggled to replace the likes of Clarke, Watson, Johnson, Faulkner (whose form has really nosedived), and Haddin. There’s 25 to 30 overs of good bowling and excellent batting/late order hitting lost. Lots of players have been tried. Stoinis has done well with the bat, and Zampa is an upgrade on Doherty, but apart from that, the team is far worse than 2015. Head is the only other player to have established himself. Starc has returned to being merely very good, rather than his godlike 2015 form, and teams know they can see him off if necessary and wait for the 20+ overs of Head, Stoinis, MMarsh or whatever other batting allrounder they pick.

    Since 50 over domestic cricket is pretty much non existent in Australia (just a 3 week carnival in the spring), the skill to make the most of the middle overs and more importantly how to accelerate at the end (and prevent it happening when bowling) has been lost for now. Then again, if I had to rank red ball cricket, T20 (and, as much as I hate it, the cash and young crowds it brings), and 50 over cricket, I would probably put them in that exact order too, so I can’t fault CA for having this format for the summer.

    Like

  7. nonoxcol January 23, 2018 / 12:26 pm

    RIP The Spin, replaced by a press release.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/23/chris-jordan-the-spin-ipl-auction

    After the word “Starc” in the third paragraph, the rest of that paragraph, excluding “he says of his auction experience”, is a quote.
    The next FIVE paragraphs are entirely made up of quotes.
    The next paragraph is information.
    The last two paragraphs are entirely made up of quotes, except for “Jordan says”.
    The whole article is only eleven paragraphs. Seven are entirely made up of quotes, apart from the eight words above. Another paragraph is two-thirds quotes. The rest is scene-setting and information. There is literally NO analysis whatsoever.

    Like

    • thelegglance January 23, 2018 / 10:49 pm

      *idly wondering if I can get away with that without you noticing…*

      Like

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