NZ v England: 2nd Test, Day One

A couple of indications of where England are:

New Zealand chose to put them in on a perfectly good batting surface.

290-8 represents a pleasant surprise.

Of course, it’s about more than that – England wouldn’t have got close to such a score without a breezy batting contribution from Mark Wood, and New Zealand thoroughly justified their decision to bowl by reducing England to 94-5 before the recovery.  It’s one thing to have a weak team – and this is a weak team – but it’s another to give no indication of there being any kind of plan or strategy around making it better.  

Countries that know where they’re going and what they’re trying to achieve bring young players in to blend with the experienced cricketers, the path to the future being laid out.  England don’t even have the excuse of being a team in transition to a newer, brighter future – it’s merely one repeating the same things and hoping for a different outcome.

Thus it is that Mark Stoneman does ok, without threatening to look like a fully fledged Test cricketer, Dawid Malan continues to perform like a competent enough player (he does, at least, show bottle, which is why he’s the best of the new batsmen) but no more, and James Vince looks pretty and then gets out when he’s scored about 20.  This is exactly what should be expected of them, and exactly what they deliver.  It’s not their fault, it’s what they are.

And then we have Alastair Cook, a player who remains immune to criticism on the back of two huge scores in favourable conditions in recent times, and nothing else.  His double century in Melbourne looked exceptionally good, on a slow, low surface, but more than that, his technique appeared in good order.  It suggested that he’d sorted his technical demons to a fair extent, yet here again he looked all over the place, feet stuck in concrete, head miles across to the offside and falling over – which is why the ungainly shot for the ball that bowled him made it look a better delivery than it was.  It’s not that he needs to be dumped, for there’s not the remotest indication that any replacement would be better, it’s that there’s every sense that this is a player coming to the end.

Root looked good, as he always does, before making a basic error, as he so often does.  Sometimes it’s just one of those things that happens in cricket, but it may be that the pressure put on him by a misfiring team is causing those errors.  Or it may be him.  But it’s often the case when a team struggles that the best batsman makes silly mistakes, because concentrating on his own game isn’t sufficient.

Ben Stokes’ return hasn’t been a success.  Who knows, maybe his mind is on other things.

And then we have Jonny Bairstow – one of very few bright spots in this side.  He’s been shunted up and down the order, and been left stranded time and again.  Here he was back at number seven, and again in danger of being left high and dry.  But here’s the point: number seven is an all rounder spot and always has been.  Moving him up because of those behind him reflected a total lack of confidence in anyone staying with him, and his positional change was a symptom, not a cause.  If the tail folds, that is the problem, and would be an issue for anyone left with them.  Broad at 8 these days looks terrifying for all the wrong reasons, a far cry from the days when he looked as good as many a batsman when he came in.

Presumably Mark Wood was selected for his bowling (it’s hard to tell with the England batting order these days) but he was the man to rescue the situation, specifically because instead of just holding up an end and leaving all the work to Bairstow, he went after the bowling, a display of aggression hugely welcome in a side that all too often appears to be trying to passively stave off defeat and stay in the game as long as possible.

If there was a welcome selection, it was that of Jack Leach, an actual, proper spin bowler.  Questions of how good a bloke he is don’t seem to have been the major factor in his inclusion.  Small victories.

New Zealand bowled well, with Boult and particularly Southee deserving their wickets.  It’s hard to believe that Southee is still only 29, he seems to have been around forever.  Yet the New Zealand attack looks to be in their prime, while England’s is long in the tooth. Anderson and Broad have been outstanding bowlers, but with an injury prone Mark Wood, a three man seam attack looks to be a big risk.  They will need a big day tomorrow, or England are going to be up against it yet again, but then the bowlers always seem to need a big day, and always seem to be castigated for failing to rescue the batsmen from their own disaster.  Speaking of which, it remains as notable as always that England’s response to batting calamity is to change the bowlers.

When 290-8 invites a sigh of relief, it says everything about where this team is.  When it’s that sigh rather than an explosion of rage at another struggle, it says more about where the fans are.  And when the ECB aren’t in crisis mode, it says it all about where the English game is.

Day two can make a fool out of any review of the first one, but who would want to bet on it?

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68 thoughts on “NZ v England: 2nd Test, Day One

  1. metatone Mar 30, 2018 / 11:31 am

    Thoughts:

    1) On top of distractions, Stokes is carrying an injury. This is just stupidly short-termist selection.

    2) Here’s a case against Cook. He’s had 2 big innings in a year, only 1 of which contributed to a win. (I think it’s important to factor wins into the situation, for years when I was younger Indian batsmen would hang in the side with a decent average gained on tour in SL on pitches which regularly produced draws – annoyed me no end). Basically, a Sam Robson or even an Adam Lyth would have probably scored a match-winning contribution in that many attempts, with the upside that they might develop into a batsman with a future. Time to be ruthless and retire Cook.

    (Note, I’m not advocating for Lyth to be in the mix now, I’m sure there are better bets given form this season, but you get my point.)

    3) Relief all round that as a team we pulled it out to a respectable score.

    4) Has it occurred to anyone else that Bairstow is so keen to hang on to the gloves b/c he knows as a specialist batsman he’ll get a kicking from the press any time he gets out playing an attacking shot?

    5) An extra worry with the 3 man attack is that Wood will get overbowled and aggravate an injury.

    6) We’ll know a lot more about England’s seam bowling after the next innings, as they have a semi-decent score to bowl with and there’s a bit in the pitch. If they can’t show some threat, we’ll know that it’s really time to start worrying.

    Like

    • metatone Mar 30, 2018 / 11:32 am

      7) Given how pitch and conditions look, I fear for Leach. Going to be hard for him to make an impact and England are terrible for pre-judging spinners on the back of performances on tough pitches.

      Like

  2. northernlight71 Mar 30, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    It seems like those who post opinions out on the web should fear the ECB more than they fear the CPS down in Bristol.

    Like

    • thelegglance Mar 30, 2018 / 12:56 pm

      Worth mentioning that our caution in this regard was exactly for this reason, and why we’ve never published one particular allegation that we were told: we couldn’t prove it and didn’t want to end up in court.

      So just the usual reminder to all to be careful about what they say on the one hand, but not to feel bullied on the other.

      Like

      • dlpthomas Mar 30, 2018 / 2:08 pm

        Photographs, ay, he asked him knowlingly? Snap snap, grin grin, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more?

        Like

        • oreston Mar 30, 2018 / 4:20 pm

          That one of Colin Graves and the penguin! Bloody hell, Sir, have you no shame?

          Like

      • jomesy Mar 30, 2018 / 10:37 pm

        There are ways of couching things such that you’d never end up in court. The buggers might threaten it, but it wouldn’t ever happen.

        Like

  3. Silk Mar 30, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    Better than I expected. As you point out, such low expectations are depressing in themselves.

    Like

    • Sophie Mar 30, 2018 / 2:39 pm

      Haha, I went to bed with Bairstow on 13, and when I had a look after getting up after stumps, I was like, what, Bairstow is batting again already?!

      Liked by 2 people

      • BoredInAustria Mar 30, 2018 / 3:43 pm

        You mean England out for 58 first innings and asked to follow on?

        Like

        • Sophie Mar 30, 2018 / 3:59 pm

          Well, my brain refused to offer me the possibility that England could still be batting at the end of the day, but it didn’t really go into more detail in that split second. 🙂

          Like

  4. oreston Mar 30, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    It’s not impossible that one or more of England’s bowlers could have a great day and bowl out New Zealand for under 300, however the pitch is reportedly fairly benign. It’s much more likely that the Kiwis will spend most of the next two days compiling 450 plus (with the tired old warhorses Jimmy and Broady having to bowl about 30 overs each again) and then goodnight Vienna ‘cos there’s no way this England team can be entrusted either with chasing any sort of a total or batting time to earn a draw. It’s getting boring now. Oh, and England’s GOAT opener will still be there for the Pakistan series in May. Not because he’s a protected species (he is, but even that’s wearing thin) but because there’s no one else who you could bring in with any great confidence that they’ll do much better. They’ll probably drop Stoneman and replace him with Hameed or Jennings and I wouldn’t even rule out them bringing back Ballance to replace Vince. Whitaker may be gone, but will much change? Rinse and repeat. Deckchairs. Titanic…

    Like

  5. Mark Mar 30, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    I thought I would have a go writing the speech Davy ‘Crockett’ Warner should give to the media……

    Good morning and thank you for coming today. First I must apologise for not giving a press conference at the Sidney airport the other day. It was rather chaotic scenes. Unfortunately I was not given the luxury by CA of a room to meet my family in private, and freshen up before speaking to the media like my two team mates. So I decided to go straight home. Thanks to my wife for driving me home as CA didn’t provide a car either.

    And that rather tells the story of who is the scapegoat in all of this. CA haven’t told me face to face that I will never play for Australia again, but it has been hinted at that I’m not wanted around the team anymore. I will be nearly 33 when the ban comes to an end, and I feel it will be difficult to make a come back if CA want to change the team culture.

    And speaking of team culture I have had a great time representing Australia. I’m proud to have represented the baggy green, and I have loved every minute of it. I have always played to win, and played hard. I have never taken a backward step. If I have offended anyone or any of my opponents I would remind you of the line from the Godfather……”It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

    Professional sport is a dog eat dog world. If I don’t get you , you will get me. It’s not personal. However, CA have decided that they want to move to a more goody two shoes type of environment. I would caution them, and you as to remember what happened to the previous coach who tried to take that approach. The results went down hill, and he got the sack. It’s easy to talk of new eras, but professional sport is all about winning. If you don’t win nobody cares how you behave. I have been inundated by fans who tell me that they like to see Australia play with some mongrel in them. I have always tried to give them what they want.

    I have heard that some former players from England have enjoyed my down fall. I would remind you that in 2013 we got beaten by the England team, and they celebrated by urinating on the pitch, and turning up in Australia a few months later with a very pompous and arrogant attitude. We buried them 5-0 and sent some of them into early retirement. I say to those players …..”it was nothing personal……..just business.” I remember no complaints from CA. Nor do I remember any complaints from CA for the last Ashes a mere few months ago. In fact the top brass of CA celebrated our 4-0 win win with a tacky four finger salute motif and a clenched hand of the England flag. Absolutely nothing was said to me about a new culture then.

    Finally as it’s unlikely I will be playing for Australia again I have decided to take legal action for restraint of trade. The ICC have clear guidelines for this offence. The penalty is a one match ban and loss of my match fee. That has happened, and I should now be free to play again. If CA don’t want me others do, and I should be free to pursue those opportunities. In the meantime I intend to write my autobiography. It will be a warts and all story of what has happened in my career, and who has helped me in my battles. I know where the bodies are buried, and it’s time to tell the public what’s what.

    I will look forward to seeing how the new look…. goody two shoes Aussie team turns out. But, I will warn you that if they don’t win, the public will turn against them, and long for the glory days of a win first culture. When that day comes the Davy the mongrel will stand ready and loyal to the cause.

    Thanks, and goodbye, It’s been a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Mar 30, 2018 / 4:23 pm

      Bugger spell Check ……Sydney airport.

      Like

    • dlpthomas Mar 30, 2018 / 11:37 pm

      That may turn out to be pretty accurate – just add lots of “err’s and umm’s”.

      If you get of the plane and immediately give a press conference you get criticized. If you get of the plan, say you will give a press conference in a few days, and go home you still get criticized. Angry people are hard to please.

      Like

  6. oreston Mar 30, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    Tim Paine: “We’re a different group of players than Australia have had for a long time, we haven’t got too many guys that like to verbalise and have that sort of really hard-nosed Australian approach.”

    So I take it attack dog Nathan Lyon’s been fitted with a muzzle, has he?

    Like

  7. Mark Mar 30, 2018 / 9:50 pm

    Nasser says that Cook is the most mentally tough player England have ever produced.

    I just don’t buy that. Look at the batsman who had to go out and bat against the WI in the 1970s and 1980s with little protection. Playing Warne, or Murali?

    English cricket is completely blinded by Cook. He is not the greatest player of all time. He has a very dodgy technique that in my mind would have been exposed by some of the better bowlers of time past. Cooks career has coincided with the demise of WI cricket, the demise of the great Australian team of 20 years. He missed those, he missed Murali. He missed the Pakistan swing bowlers.

    This idea that the modern game has the best ever is pissing me off. We are told this team has 4 of the greatest players in history and England are crap, and have been for a few years. The stats don’t add up with the performances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 30, 2018 / 10:22 pm

      How is mental toughness defined?

      Is he more mentally tough than Michael Atherton who had an inferior record, but was as bloody minded as they come?

      Is he more mentally tough than Geoff Boycott, who was described as the best man-made batsman of his time?

      What about Paul Collingwood who eked more out of his talent than any England player I have ever seen?

      What about Nasser himself? Thorpey had his moments, despite off the field issues? Simon Jones came back to bowl quick after a horrific knee injury.

      Here’s what Cook has done in his career. I’ve seen no England player make more double hundreds. He has five, the lowest of which is 235. That’s a testament to his stickability when he gets in. I’m not sure that’s greatest mental toughness ever, but it’s something to be proud of.

      Oh. And you want the most mentally tough England player ever? Well, I nominate DR Jardine.

      Like

      • Mark Mar 30, 2018 / 11:02 pm

        I have no idea what his definition of mental toughness is either. It’s an Essex thing. But as you say some of those players of Yester year were tough old characters.

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  8. LordCanisLupus Mar 30, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    Sex wuckuts for Tim Southee. Leach did a grand job.

    Eyes killing me, so not going to be on long. No Live tonight. (well from me).

    Like

  9. quebecer Mar 30, 2018 / 10:44 pm

    Been away for a week. Anything happen while I was gone?

    Like

    • northernlight71 Mar 30, 2018 / 10:58 pm

      You say you’ve been “away” but I’m guessing you’ve been hiding sandpaper in certain cricket teams’ dressing room and whispering subliminal messages to the players.
      “Away” indeed. You’re never “away” . . . 😀

      Like

      • quebecer Mar 31, 2018 / 1:28 am

        Well, I might have hidden some tape, but that’s it. And Mrs Q didn’t know.

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  10. oreston Mar 30, 2018 / 10:50 pm

    New Zealand 0-1. Too good to last.

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  11. Mark Mar 30, 2018 / 11:14 pm

    Early days, but it looks like England might get a first innings lead. Amazing!

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  12. Pontiac Mar 30, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    Now it’s New Zealand having the issues.

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    • oreston Mar 30, 2018 / 11:32 pm

      Make that 17-4.

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  13. jomesy Mar 30, 2018 / 11:35 pm

    So the masking tape is out. That’s wholly accepted by the ECB.

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  14. Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 1:02 am

    I think I prefer Davy Warner as crickets version of Ned Kelly. That was pathetic!

    Like

    • oreston Mar 31, 2018 / 1:15 am

      I don’t know what the point was of taking questions after his statement if he wasn’t going to answer any of them.

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      • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 1:25 am

        The last thing Ned Kelly was supposed to have said before they hung him was………..“such is life” ……..the modern Australian baddy just cry’s.

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    • oreston Mar 31, 2018 / 1:36 am

      I’d have preferred him to have come out swinging and maybe taken a few other names down with him. With all the stuff that’s going on around him – including how all this might be playing out in his personal life, and possibly some extremely frank briefings from Cricket Australia’s legal advisors about the consequences for him of straying off message – I can appreciate just how difficult that would’ve been.

      Like

      • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 1:43 am

        Maybe they’ve told him there is a way back. In which case that makes a mockery of the “new culture” clap trap.

        Anyway, the path is now clear to pardon Smith & Bancroft in a few months.

        Like

        • Silk Mar 31, 2018 / 6:47 am

          Of course he’s been /told/ there’s a way back.

          Just ask KP.

          If he’s stupid enough to believe them…

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus Mar 31, 2018 / 6:37 pm

            It might have been that if he didn’t stick to the party line, there would be no chance at all.

            When he realises there is no chance, it will not be as raw, or seared on Aussie’s conscience as it is now. You can get away with the “it was the book” defence which so many in England bought.

            Like

          • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 6:51 pm

            Bob Willis was still banging on about KP texting the SAs in 2012 the other night on The Debate when Nasser tried to bring some sense about England losing KP.

            They will never let it go. By the way..l. I’ve never understood the difference between texting the opposition, and players sitting in a bar with the opposition as they did in the Wills era talking about each other’s technique.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus Mar 31, 2018 / 6:57 pm

            There was a great moment on tonight’s “Debate”

            Willis says to Colvile “you’d be sending Alastair Cook to the guillotine”

            Colvile held his fire as first Willis and Mitchell made the point that Cook would go at the time when he thinks he’s holding back a better alternative and he’s lost his hunger. An interesting take, but one not offered to Thorpe or KP, eh? KP’s last days were all about sticking it to him, and knowing he was still better than anything that could replace him (ah, the, there are no vacancies rib-tickler, what a corker). Anyway, they went on about the two double hundreds, no-one in the pipeline (Hameed, the new Sanga might as well be the new Sam Robson).

            Colvile then said “hang about, Bob. You were saying he was finished the other night….”

            Bob made the same point. “Nasser knows him better than me, he’ll know when it is time to go…”

            Colvile “So he’ll be playing on to 65 then….”

            Like

  15. Rpoultz Mar 31, 2018 / 3:40 am

    Agnew on twitter complaining questions weren’t asked or answered in the Warner press conference….oh the irony of that

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rohan Mar 31, 2018 / 6:19 am

      Oh that is a gem, sweet sweet irony. Where were you Agnew when questions needed asking if the ECB? WHere were you AGNEW when the public wanted answers from the ECB? WHere were you Agnew when your beloved Cook told us he would give us his side of the story and never Did?

      Oh the irony…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Silk Mar 31, 2018 / 6:46 am

        I was reading “dirt in the pocket” history t’other day. It seems that at the time Agnew got a lot of flack for going too hard at Atherton. (the idea of Agnew going hard at anyone!)

        I do wonder if his anemic journalism stems from that experience.

        Like

        • oreston Mar 31, 2018 / 7:48 am

          The Atherton incident was certainly news but we lived in a very different World in 1994. The media circus wasn’t anything like as intense as we have now (actually, there was far less media than we have today) and there wasn’t the same kind of sanctimony and habitual faux outrage in the news cycle and public discourse. Unlike the Newlands Three when they got back to Oz, the British public didn’t expect Atherton to act on TV as though he’d just been convicted of murdering a child or something equally heinous, or to beg tearfully for forgiveness. I seem to remember him referencing the fining of his match fee almost as an annoyance because he had “a mortgage to pay” and he wasn’t lambasted for it, or at least not much. Though Dirtgate slightly damaged his reputation it didn’t destroy his career or cause the public to disown him. I think it’s in the context of the (relatively) mild general reaction to the incident that any criticism of Aggers performance at the time should be viewed as I’m sure it wasn’t THAT strong (I actually don’t remember it). Mind you, almost anything we’ve ever seen before pales into insignificance in the wake of this week’s Aussie soap opera.

          Like

    • Benny Mar 31, 2018 / 7:53 am

      You’ll all be delighted to know that TMS on IPlayer Radio has:

      “Legendary Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew offers his thoughts on the former Australia vice captain’s statement.”

      Like

  16. d'Arthez Mar 31, 2018 / 5:10 am

    Looks like the Test in New Zealand is developing into the battle of the wicketkeepers. As poor as 17/4 was, by the time the 6th wicket fell, New Zealand was already on 178 (England were on 151).

    However, with the runrate being quite subdued, and the new ball not that far away, chances are that England will get a healthy first innings lead.

    Like

  17. Sri.Grins Mar 31, 2018 / 5:31 am

    It is good in one way that jimmy and broad are so effective but it must worry England that they have not yet got replacements for both these players.

    But, of course, it happened with the fab 4 for India and we did get some players who are not too bad so in a couple of years the scenario may change

    Like

  18. BoredInAustria Mar 31, 2018 / 6:42 am

    I am shocked by the latest news:

    “The effect of pushing the ball full was almost instant and for Broad made for his most impressive spell since the start of the Ashes”

    Only if someone had thought of that before…

    Like

    • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 10:04 am

      Broad is a very frustrating cricketer. You get the feeling he just does what ever he feels like with no consequences. He seems to be part of an old boys clique in the team that was allowed to fester by Flower. It was interesting before the first test match there were rumours before he would loose the new ball to Woakes.

      When your batsman are all out for 58 the bowlers can’t do much from there. So maybe it was the kick up the backside he needed? Why he can’t pitch the ball up more in Australia I don’t know.

      I felt sorry for Woakes by the way for getting dropped, but as he has now blocked our Sean he fan do one.

      Like

    • Sri.Grins Mar 31, 2018 / 9:46 am

      Welcome to the club along with rohit, ashwin and gambhir.

      Like

    • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 9:54 am

      “We must try to learn from this, and ensure that future captains are given more support and not put in situations where their judgment can be so clouded. “

      With all due respect to the good doctor, Test captains have never had so much support. What’s the point of the coach, and cast of thousands of back room staff? I bet Ian Chappell and Clive Lloyd had none of that.

      I’m still not sure they are more sorry because they got caught as opposed to what they did. I think their biggest realty hit has been to find out that they are universally disliked around the world, and particularly among many of their own people. It’s a modern version of Icarus. They flew too close to the Sun and the wax on their wings melted. They have fallen to earth with bang.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dlpthomas Mar 31, 2018 / 1:32 pm

        “With all due respect to the good doctor, Test captains have never had so much support.”
        And the England players have never had so much medical support – how’s that working out?

        I doubt that there is much psychological support in the macho environment of the Australian dressing room? The sports psychologists are there to improve performance on the field not to talk about what is going through a players head off the field. “Mummy didn’t love you? Harden the fuck up and get your feet to the pitch of the ball.” And that doesn’t just apply to Australia – why did no one recognize that Trott or Trescothick were in trouble? I don’t think more support staff necessarily results in more support for the players.

        Have a listen to the latest “The Final Word” podcast where they talk about how Steve Smith had been saying how tired he was but no one paid any attention because he also said he felt that he was in good nick with bat and that’s all that really matters. (it’s really worth a listen)

        “I’m still not sure they are more sorry because they got caught as opposed to what they did.”
        I agree but isn’t that true for any apology? I don’t like Warner so it is easy for me to believe his apology was not sincere and his tears are only for his lost earnings. However, I’m going to try and give him the benefit of the doubt and see what sort of man he is in the future.

        “I think their biggest realty hit has been to find out that they are universally disliked around the world”
        Not just around the world. Malcom Knox in the Age wrote this (and few would argue) “The fed-up Australian public haven’t just been reacting to Smith and Warner. They are reacting to the win-at-all-costs brand of cricket played by every Australian team they can remember, the hypocrisy of high-minded protestations of innocence and ‘Spirit of Cricket’ documents, and the ersatz cult of the ‘baggy green’. That disillusionment is deep, and that’s why Smith, Warner and Bancroft have been given suspensions that seem out of proportion to the Cape Town crime. They are wearing the can that has been kicked down to them by their forebears and their administrators. Spectators weren’t born yesterday, and nor was the Australian team’s ‘culture’.”

        Australia collapsing – what a surprise.

        Like

        • Zephirine Mar 31, 2018 / 2:07 pm

          Smith saying how tired he was…. something that stuck in my mind from Strauss during his commentating phase, he was being asked about captaining in Tests and he said he never really slept during a Test match. Considering that Strauss seems a relatively placid person, I thought it was revealing.

          Like

          • LordCanisLupus Mar 31, 2018 / 6:25 pm

            I’m having that sleep issue too at the moment, Zeph.

            It might be my sleep deprivation, and this might be heresy, but I think Nick Knight is really pretty good at the anchor role. I feel dirty saying it.

            Like

          • Zephirine Mar 31, 2018 / 6:57 pm

            The first thing I find when I’m short of sleep is my memory goes. I get “I just walked into this room to fetch something, now what the hell was it?” syndrome. It would make effective captaining very difficult.

            Like

          • Zephirine Mar 31, 2018 / 6:59 pm

            Have to say I’ve never found Nick Knight as annoying as all that. Just a bit estate-agentish.

            May also help that James Franklin is a really good guest.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus Mar 31, 2018 / 7:36 pm

            I think he works really well as the studio man. And it is a pleasant surprise. Just hopeless as a commentator.

            Like

        • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 2:45 pm

          DLPTHOMAS…..I have some sympathy for the too much cricket argument. If you play all three types of the game the top players are not at home much. However, they also want to earn the big bucks. They have just had a pay dispute, and it wasn’t all about the lower players in the game. Also, both Smith and Warner have (or had ) IPL contracts. They would have finished in SA and voluntary gone straight off to India. So I have less sympathy. They are all going to enjoy a very prosperous retirement.

          I take your point about the England medical team, and also the fact there is little time for mental health issues in a macho culture. I get that, but some people do know the difference between right and wrong. But I’m not sure what the doctor can come up with. He makes no suggestions.

          I also said……. “that they are universally disliked around the world, and particularly among many of their own people.”……….That’s what must hurt the most. What poms think is probably not their biggest concern, but fellow Aussies turning against them I think has been a shock. The difference between Smiths two press conferences was marked. By the time he got back to Australia the reality had sunk in.

          Like

      • Sri.grins Mar 31, 2018 / 2:38 pm

        Universally disliked? Smith and Warner are reasonably popular in India. Indian fans make up the most of the cricket fan universe.😁.

        Actually, if the Oz fans disliked Smith and Warner, the reactions would have been different. The trouble is that a lot of the offer the Oz fans were living in am alternate reality where they were the good guys and set the benchmark for cricket.

        That caused the sanctimonious and hypocrisy. Of you know your faults, your family members’ faults, your countrymen’s faults, you are far more likely to not put your team on a pedestal.

        Like

        • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 2:58 pm

          Well that’s alright then, we will just do whatever Indian fans want. Oh, we do already do through the ICC.

          I do find India’s new power quite funny. For decades they have moaned about us terrible colonialists who want to boss them around, yet as soon as they become the new power, they……oh right…..boss everybody about.

          Meet the new boss…… just like the old boss. Money makes the world go round. Perhaps the Chinese will take up cricket one day. Then they will run ICC.

          Like

          • Sri.grins Mar 31, 2018 / 3:46 pm

            The ICC may do what the bcci wants (I am not too sure the occasion do but I can grant you that) but certainly not what the Indian fans want. We are a diverse lot with hundred different views. I do understand your knowledge of Indian cricket fans is limited like mine about English or Oz fans.

            As to moaning about colonialism, you have to debate that with shashi tharoor 😁.

            I agree with you on money driving control but isn’t that the usual state in all human experience of the last few decades.

            At least under the new control agency, every player and support staff makes more money than they did when the colonialists controlled the ICC.

            My point on the popularity of Smith and Warner is simply to point out that universal dislike is a tremendous exaggeration about how cricket fans thought of Warner and Smith prior to the incident.

            In my view, you are projecting the average English fan’s opinion when you talk about universal dislike as a lot of the Oz fans did not dislike Warner before the incident.

            Like

      • LordCanisLupus Mar 31, 2018 / 6:29 pm

        Dmitri Old is blocked by three people I know. Paul Newman, Simon Wilde and JADE DERNBACH!

        The first I can sort of understand, the second I can only assume is because I had copious attacks at Giles Clarke, and the third disproves the theory that we aren’t read ever by any players. It was over a piece on HDWLIA attacking him for playing shots when if he’d batted out the last few overs, the following day was always going to be rained off.

        There really is no point blocking (I did not insult any directly on Twitter by @ them) as I have a number of feeds, and they are easy enough to see when I want.

        Like

  19. Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 10:45 am

    I see Malcolm Conn has finally found his true vocation in life. As a doorman (with full Aussie uniform) for an Australian cheat.

    Doormat more like! No wonder he has had nothing to say. He holds the door open for these blokes.

    Like

    • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 10:49 am

      Before people get upset this was a joke by the way!

      Like

  20. Clivejw Mar 31, 2018 / 7:02 pm

    There’s a lot of things that could be said about Warner’s stage-managed, carefully choreographed presser. But I’ll simply ask one question: What kind of man hides behind his baby daughter?

    Like

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