After what must be considered their worst day of the whole winter (and they have plenty to choose from), the England team probably weren’t hopeful about getting any kind of result from the game. The one thing which might help undeservedly rescue them is the weather, and that was what happened today.
The first session started on time after rain showers earlier in the day, but lasted only 10 overs before the downpour began. New Zealand made steady progress and Williamson completed his 18th Test century, but little else of note happened.
The heavy shower passed fairly quickly, and play restarted just over an hour later. This session coincided with the second new ball for England, and both Anderson and Woakes (with Broad only getting two overs before being pulled) got quite a lot of movement with it. An Anderson inswinger did for Williamson, hitting him plumb in front, and the traditional captain’s DRS review failed to save him. Whilst the swing challenged the other New Zealand batsmen, neither gave up a clear chance and after just 13 overs the rain came down again.
And thus ends what is by far the shortest and easiest match report I’ve ever had to write. The forecast for tomorrow looks even worse than today, which might leave England the faint hope that they can rescue a draw. Meanwhile, with a lead of 171 runs New Zealand must be considering a declaration sooner rather than later.
As always, comments welcome below.
I’d certainly try and hit it up to 300+ before declaring, although looking at the forecast you’d want as much time as possible to bowl a side out. Scoreboard pressure and the fact that England are shit are the best weapons NZ have, as the pitch has not got any (and has never had) any demons in it. I have it in my head that de Grandholme, Southee and Boult getting a bat will move the game on a bit either way. It would be an absolute travesty if England get away with this without being on the end of a resounding thumping.
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The forecast for tomorrow is rain through the whole day, and showers the day after. In other words, ideal conditions for Boult and Southee to bowl uninterrupted with lots of breaks to recover and disrupt England’s batting flow. There might only be 150 or so overs left in the game, which England could potentially (although improbably) survive.
Slightly off topic (Sorry Danny) but,
Has there been a bit of a sea change in the attitude of pundits to Test cricket.
I’m sure over the last couple of days I’ve seen #39 tweeting that it is at risk and I heard Aggers on the radio saying he feared for it’s future after Englands prep was poor (Cook lambing was mentioned – but he went to lengths to say it was not his fault).
I’m sure I heard someone else recently (Vaughn?). It just feels like some of the people who actually get paid to watch and have an opinion are catching up with what other people have said for the last couple of years.
Agnew, I believe has always supported test cricket. His blind spot in the last few years has always been Cook. Since Cook is no longer captain he has been much more vocal about the ECB, the selection policies , the preparation, and the financing of the game. Before the KP business he was always weary of taking cricket behind a pay wall.
He doesn’t seem to do any of the 20/20 commentaries. I don’t think he has much time for it. He played in the era pre 20/20 when test cricket was the pinnacle. I think his heart is in the right place, but Cook and KP sent him off the reservation for about four years.
Shinny toy seems to bend with the wind, and 39 is in no place to complain. It wasn’t that long ago that he was arguing for 5 day test matches in the Ashes, and four day matches for other countries. He spends most of his time pushing 20/20 City cricket and attacking the counties. Where does he think test players are going to come from if all we have is 20/20?
20/20 was supposed to be the financial saviour of the game. The flaw in that argument that none of the geniuses foresaw was that 20/20 BECAME the entire frigging game!
I wish they’d shut up about Cook and his effing lambs.
He also enjoys shooting deer with high powered rifles. What a lovely man!
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I am taking a contrarian view. IPL or Big Bash do not seem to have affected terribly the interest or abilities of top players in India, Australia or SA.or even Pak because of PSL
Why is it that there is a thought process which seems to assume that English players will give up tests and deteriorate while the other countries where there is some interest in test cricket have not seen that happening?
Is this because psychology of the english players is different?
I find this perspective hard to understand or empathize with.
It may partly be just about the timing of the season during the year?
I still can’t bring myself to like BBL. I think it is too long, and like the English plan, it is right in the middle of the summer to coincide with school holidays. KFC buckets on heads, dancers, pyrotechnics (when it is 40 degrees and extreme fire danger), flat brim baseball caps, interviews players while they’re fielding. Yuck.
But while back in Australia on holidays in 15/16, I went to a couple of games, and I got it. 55000 every night at Adelaide Oval, and everyone watching on TV. I’m with Sri.
A common complaint here about English cricket is that it is only accessible through pay TV – kids whose parents who don’t have Sky/BT have never seen cricket on TV. But what about actually attending a match? I’m sure you all have memories of attending matches as a child. Surely that’s the moment where a kid’s love of cricket can be crystallised. How much are you spending on a day at an international cricket? 50 pounds each or more per ticket? It’s an expensive day out for the family. Plus food and drink. That’s if you can get to one of the 5-6 days it is on in your city, remembering also that England has a bigger population and very low capacity venues compared to Australia. It’s a paywall preventing access to cricket every bit as big as a sky subscription. Tickets to a BBL game are cheap. A family of four gets in for less than $50 (30 pounds), plus you’re not on the hook for a whole days’ worth of food and drink. If they can actually get new, younger bums on seats that can’t be a bad thing
Two significant differences between England and Australia:
– Unlike how it will be in England, T20 is tied in with test cricket, so that it is actually possible to watch cricket, free to air, from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening, before you switch channels and watch until 10 at night. It compliments tests, rather than cannibalising them. Dave Warner in whites is still a 10x bigger star than D’Arcy Short. The only top players to focus on T20 have been old, semi retired players, and injury prone guys like Shaun Tait and Chris Lynn. There was a poorly informed switch hit podcast recently where they talked about Jhye Richardson and Billy Stanlake and their performances in the T20I triseries as examples of how bowlers might prefer just 4 overs of work rather than 20 a day in first class. Well, Richardson is on the tour to South Africa, and like Cummins before him, Stanlake is using limited overs as his path back to first class after serious injury. The pinnacle is still the red ball.
-Pitches aren’t an issue, except in Hobart. You can play in October or March, and the weather is still warm enough that the pitches will be good. (The only only obstacle is ground availability – the always redundant Shield final just had day 1 washed out after 90 mins of morning rain. They are playing on a ground with substandard drainage, since AFL has started and is using the Gabba.)
If the forecast on my phone is to be believed, we should get most of a day’s play on day 4, and an entire day’s play on Day 5.
That suggests to me England are extremely unlikely to escape, given that NZ are only 50 runs shy of a winning total, and that assumes England actually /bat/ the second time around.
Any play tomorrow would be a bonus.
(Of course, my forecast could be wrong. Or England could dig in and bat all day … Oh, my sides again!)
I think a lot depends on NZ recognising that the best way to get England to crumble is to make them stare down the barrel of batting for the best part of 2 days. If NZ spend too much time building a lead it may be counterproductive. After all, England are not good, but teams often manage a bit of a rearguard after the shame of that kind of 1st innings collapse.
Full disclosure, the collapse was my fault, posting after Cook got out that one nore wicket and they were through us. Full disclosure, the rain was not me – that was purely She’s rain dance. I still can’t risk one on the tundra as the slightest mistake means 20cms of snow dumped on me.
I am still raging about how poor our batting was. With the support and training we have, there is just no excuse. Sometimes, there should be only three shots considered: the leave, the block (get behind the ball!), and the nurdle to leg. And you don’t go looking for the middle either. You let it come to you on middle and leg at most.
I’m stunned at our inability to do these most basic and fundamental of things. I know we’re not a great side but our best players are making the same errors.
How is this not seen and addressed? It’s beyond me.
Oh, and shouldn’t Trevor Bayliss do somethi g about it rather than complaining about It?
It now seems to be official, Trevor Bayliss has been cast as this year’s scapegoat.
So he’ll be kept busy dodging slings and arrows.
It’s rather unfair. When Bayliss was hired, he had two big advantages:
1. He was a 50 over specialist and could help England avoid further embarrassment in that area. Oh, and he could look after the Test team as well.
2. He was not Andy Flower, but instead appeared to be sane, calm and unflappable.
So now the advantages have become disadvantages. Funny old world.
I hate to disagree with you Q, but I think Bayliss should carry on as before and the players should do something about it. They’re not children.
We so rarely disagree, zeph! Erm, have we ever before????
I think my point is this: on the previous thread i pointed out how every dismissal was a failure in basic technique and/or approach. I think this indicates poor preparation of the batsmen – and by that I mean poor coaching. While this failure is squarely at the feet of the batting coach, I think it’s in Bayliss’ remit to oversee this and if he is unhappy with such a performance, look to that which has either led to it or failed to stop it. Complaining about it as he did misses these points, and while leaving it up to the players works in limited overs cricket, unless you’re a self-driven genius like Pietersen, English players need considerable help to get up to true test caliber.
That first innings was the worst batting I can remember seeing in terms of technique and temperament, and I don’t think the players are capable of sorting it out themselves. It is the job of the batting coach to identify the areas where help is needed, and if that isn’t happening, Bayliss’ to sort things out so it is.
Zeph, to me it’s that old thing about what a coach’s job actually is: to prepare the team to take the field. In looking at the nature of the dismissals, I think there is evidence enough that this hadn’t happened.
But, you know, you could be right too.
P.S. I think this series is our ten year anniversary!!
P.PS. That’s not a bad run before having our first fight. 🙂
Happy 10th anniversary, Q!
My point is that the national team coaches can only work with what they get, if a player is selected for the Test team who has technical faults and no mental resilience there’s a limit to what a batting coach can achieve in the time they have and in the present schedule.
We’ve seen successive England coaches struggle with this. At one time the answer was the counties weren’t preparing players for the international level, so we got central contracts and Loughborough and all that. Then they needed more fitness training and pinch tests. Then they needed special diets and lots of intensity and visiting war cemeteries. Bayliss does at least seem to operate on the principle that there’s no quick fix and an elite athlete should take responsibility for their own career. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t work too well when the athletes aren’t really elite… and we’re back to where we started.
☺. On with the dance today too.
Meanwhile, I agree with zeph. The Bayliss blaming reminds me of how the coach fletcher kept taking the blame for msd and his team’s poor away performances.
The reality was that our experienced players were on the way down (like Cook?), our younger players had not developed the mental strength to combat strange conditions and as always in the past our pace bowlers were poor.
Yet, Duncan got blamed regularly as it was difficult for fans and experts to say Sachin or kohli (at that time) can’t bat or that the pace bowlers have not learnt how to bowl.
While it’s difficult to condone what is going on in SA with Australian players and coaches being abused by the crowd I have to say there is part of me that says……you have had it coming mate!
Who elected the Aussies to decide how on field behaviour can be judged? For decades the Aussies have decided that verbally abusing their opponents on the Park is acceptable. Indeed a former Aussie captain boasted about imposing “mental disintegration.”
Now many England players have gone along with this, and said yea, what goes on on the field is fine, and we all have a beer afterwards. However, this has always seemed to me to be a bit one sided. The team on top demands the loser suck it up, and then goes and drinks with their abusers. When the Aussies had lost the Ashes for a number of years Alan Boarder showed up with a team that refused to socialise with their opponents. So much for the protcaol when the Aussies were losing.
I have always felt I would not want to drink with an opponent who was abusive during a match. Banter is one thing, but full blown abuse is another. The Aussies have been dishing it out for years, and now a team and their fans have decided to take it up a level. This is the danger of starting a war. The opposition might not play by the same rules. And why should they? The Aussies are not Lord and master..
During the Ashes a lot was made by the Aussie media about how a certain Aussie opening batsman had learned his lesson after punching Joe Root, and had mellowed. This was all Aussie propaganda to go after Stokes and Bairstow. Trouble is, when you get a name as a gunslinger every one wants to take you on. And they may not care if it’s on the field or not. I’m not saying this is right, but the Aussies invented a rule that the white line was out of bounds. The world is more complicated than that. As they are now finding.
Mark – spot on – that is a top post!
Cheers, I expect many people will disagree with me, but I really have little sympathy with them at all.
Was just about to say what Rohan did. Nicely done, Mark.
Agree that Oz is copping some deserved flak and also agreed that the ‘line’ is imagination that can change from player to player and culture to culture.
The ACB have written a strongly worded letter to Cricket South Africa about the crowd’s behaviour so that will sort everything out (and not make them look even the slightest bit piss weak)
Just to add to this, Lehman moaning about the crowd being unacceptable. Sure I remember reading somewhere that when Simon Jones was stretchered off at Brisbane the crowd abuse was horrendous, but England players accepted that as part of playing in Australia…..double standards, shoe on the other foot and all that?
The Aussies like to romance their “amusing” crowds with tales from the body line series…..
“Hey Jardine, leave our bloody flys alone.”
Now that is funny, and good banter. Laughing at a player being stretchered off with a career ending injury is small minded thuggery. You would expect it at football grounds.
I’m not saying other countries are angels. They are not. If you have ever sat in a drunken 20/20 crowd it’s no picnic. But the Aussie attitude both on and off the field has been to be very aggressive. They can’t then suddenly decide that they get to make the rules where the boundaries are.
For those Australians with short memories, Dave Tickner posted Leahmann’s pre-Ashes comments about Stuart Broad: “From my point of view I just hope the Australian public give it to him right from the word go for the whole summer and I hope he cries and he goes home.”
Oh that is delightfully ironic, had forgotten about that. Maybe SA should write back to him quoting that.
I am completely with Mark on this. They have made abuse etc. an integral part of their game, they can’t now suddenly change the ‘rules’ on this….
And Lehmann racially abused a Sri Lankan player back in 2003… got a five match ban for it.
That is a great spot DLPTHOMAS….
Leahmann hasn’t got a leg to stand on. But the Aussies do have an amazing ability to be one eyed. Look at channel nine.
Not saying everything is right here, but there is more going on than just the cricket. That is always the case, but usually it does not really come to the fore, because usually political and social tension is lacking. Unless we’re talking about India-Pakistan series, but sadly those have not happened.
Any Aussie complaining about crowd abuse, should ask some of the West Indies players how much they enjoyed the Australian crowds in say the 1970s. Where apparently the whole crowd thought their behaviour was normal and justified. In those days apparently players just had to suck it up as well. Never mind more recent times, Australian crowds have been no saints either towards touring sides (ask India (2008) or South Africa, but that is funnily enough not much of a problem for the Australians.
And to be fair I don’t think any of the grounds has any INTEREST in stopping that, because that would curtail / ban alcohol sales. And we all know how marginal money is in the game, judging by every Full Member’s board actions at the ICC.
What also does not help is that one of their government officials (Dutton) has highly offended South African sensibilities, with regards to immigration (the “white farmer genocide”), and that is an extremely sensitive topic in South Africa – especially when groups clamour for privileged treatment on essentially racial grounds. That is probably one of the most divisive issues in South Africa now (alongside expropriation without compensation).Even if it is completely unrelated, it cannot have done relations between the two countries any favours.
And slightly cricket related: if it is okay for the Australian media to play judge and juror (Faf got his demerit points for chewing gum, after the Australian media badgered the ICC – the ICC itself had not noticed anything untowards; in fact the line of the ICC was at the trial that other instances cannot be prosecuted because the ICC could not be bothered at the time to notice the SAME THING happening), when SA toured their last time, then that will also not go down too well.
And since we now know, that the ICC cannot be bothered to live up to the code of conduct, broadcasters have an increasingly important role in punishing the “offenders” (as with mintgate). But since we don’t have “neutral” broadcasters, that is per definition flawed and biased against the touring side.
Just wait until the home broadcaster DELIBERATELY makes lbw reviews available / unavailable on DRS (it is really not that hard to program DRS that way, if you choose to do so, and the lack of openness around the software certainly allows for it). Because integrity means nothing to the ICC, other than a hindrance to milking ignorant cricket fans.
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It’s not just South Africans that Dutton has offended.
Next controversy: Bancroft caught by the cameras with a substance / external object, presumably to shine the ball.
You mean that yellow object he rubbed the ball with and then hid in his underwear and, when quizzed by the umpires, showed them a black piece of cloth? Move on – nothing to see here.
Fuck me, what a stupid bunt.
Apparently they are showing the footage on the big screen at the ground.
Dan Liebke is a genius for this tweet;
Warne (2018): When you get caught, you’ve gotta be honest about it.
Warne (2003): My mother gave me some diet pills.
Pah! So where’s the day 3 review, where our heroes managed to stop NZ in their tracks with a mighty display of restricting them to less than 1.5 and over
‘Splinters comes off the fence…almost’
If they really wanted an intense competition (and were previous iterations not) how about it being held in a non test nation (originally going to be in Bangladesh)? Carrying water for Giles never ends.
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