“Taking Full Responsibility” – Day 2 at Hagley, Day 7 of Haggling

It was a good day.

Ice Cube probably had slightly better than a recovery from 30 odd for 5 in mind when talking about a decent 24 hours in Los Angeles, but given what England have been through this winter, having the opposition in strife has to qualify as the best of times. The early inroads after Bairstow had completed his hundred put England really in charge, and with the two men, it seemed, really capable of taking the game away from England by going long (Taylor and Williamson) back in the pavilion, England had visions of a substantial lead, of well over 150 runs. Stuart Broad had made the main inroads, pitching the ball up, getting the edges, and as he said, beating both sides of the bat.

I have to say I’ve not seen a lot, despite suffering from a bit of insomnia. I’m too busy trying to shut my brain off than watch England. The bits I did see were wicketless. I saw Mark Wood bang it in short, and when he didn’t get any wickets with it, carried on banging it in short, at one time hitting BJ Watling. I’d seen de Grandhomme latch on to early short stuff and get his innings going. I feared the worst. I tweeted that I was going to sleep (and I was successful) and wondered how we would let the hosts off the hook. When I woke up I was just grateful to see we had got one of them out.

At this point you have to tip your hat to BJ Watling. He’s a bloody good cricketer. In amongst all the hoopla of 2015, the Ashes, the Cook hundred, the Stokes performance at Lord’s, the wicket-keeper batsman’s feisty, energetic second innings century at Headingley set the visitors up for a famous victory. He has participated in two mammoth sixth wicket stands in his time as well. He is under-rated, overlooked and bleedin’ pesky. When the bigwigs of world cricket talk about great keeper-batsmen, he’s never mentioned. He’s a little diamond, and well worth a place at number 6. He’s 77 not out. He averages more with the bat than Ben Stokes, He’s pulled New Zealand away from out of sight to in with a sniff. These are big runs.

Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers with his four wickets, and that’s to be celebrated. It’s clear the bowler himself is pleased with the results of going back to basics and putting in a ton of effort to right what he saw were his technical issues. As the point is raised often, there is no-one kicking the door down to take his or Jimmy’s place. Broad is a positive thinker, given his interview answers, and if this builds his confidence, then great. I saw none of the wickets. I’ve not seen the highlights yet. I suppose I need to take his, and the pundits’, words for it.

Now, and you can turn off if the Australian business is too much, what I was awake for was the David Warner interview. You may, or may not, know that in the past week the Being Outside Cricket feed on Twitter has, as the saying goes, been “going off”. We get a ton of looks, responses, and a boost in new followers. It started with a crap joke, but now we get lots of interesting comments. Chris was all over it last night, at the same time as I was making less of an impression on my own – that’s showbiz! What we were both on the same page with was how this is getting silly. That there seems little way that any of this is confined just to the three bad apples who have sniffled their way through press conferences.


Do you know who that is, with Cricket Australia merchandise on, holding the door open? Unless I’m very much mistaken that is our friend, and everyone else’s, Malcolm Conn. A supposed hardened journalist, who praised all those scribes in attendance at Smiffy’s Sniffles, acting as doorman and enforcer when the press got a little out of line, trying to commit the heinous crime of following up a question that David Warner thought could be answered by “I take full responsibility”. Conn, as you may know, is a personal favourite of mine. He accuses everyone outside of Australia of all sorts, while never seeing a single sin in his own nation. The one where he accused us of pitch doctoring in a test where three of the four innings were over 300, and his team saw a very dry pitch and decided not to pick Nathan Hauritz (and from a home team in 1999 that produced THAT Sydney wicket, picked three spinners, one of who opened the bowling, and told us that we should produce better spinners). The one who went mad over urinating on the wicket in the dark. The whole problem those outside Australia see with their cricket, and their attitude to it is their sanctimony. They are holier than thou. They talk down to the rest while not mending the roof at home. They put this man, Malcolm Conn, the poster child for the sort of attitude we despise in charge of the press arrangements? Are they ever going to learn?

Warner said nothing of note. He omitted something of note, as Alison Mitchell just pointed out on the Debate. He never once said it was just those three. It was just culpability for his own mistakes. At one point I wondered if Cricket Australia was holding his kids hostage until afterwards. Managing Warner is going to be Australia’s biggest test, but from the perspective of containment, last night worked. Any ranting and raging from now on and it’ll be “well he had the chance to say it earlier so why believe him now”. LBJ’s famous urination linked to camping quote comes to mind!

In other news, Australia are getting buried in Johannesburg. South Africa making just short of 500, with Bavuma stranded on 95, and Australia on 110 for 6. Those wags pointing out there was not much reverse swing going on today will be forced to speak with Malcolm Conn and the Integrity Unit.

Alex Hales is replacing David Warner at Sunrisers Hyderabad. That’s good news for his bank account and the white ball practice he will get. I’m not entirely sure why he wasn’t picked up in the initial bidding, but he will be relieved to get a chance. As with many teams, though, there’s no certainty he’ll be regular. Here’s their squad.

The Australian women won the T20 triangular series in India, beating England handily. Malcolm was really mad on that. He’s tweeted more about women’s cricket this week than addressing the incident on Saturday. Not that I’m beating him with a stick.

Zimbabwe have sacked their captain after the World Cup Qualifying campaign came up short. It’s been hard to feel sympathy for Zimbabwe in the past, given their hiding under test status, but now it’s the opposite. Would the World Cup really suffer from the presence of any of the Super Six contenders? Would Sikander Raza not shine on the top stage? I don’t know.

Then there is the ECB and their potential legal action against George Dobell and ESPN Cricinfo, as reported by Charlie Sale in the Mail. Obviously we have to be careful, but if this is Colin Graves taking a comment at him and taking umbrage, I have to say that the optics are “mediocre” to say the least.

No promises, but I might try to live blog some of this evening. Given I’ve slept most of the afternoon, I think I might be awake tonight! A key day, with New Zealand aiming to get up to England’s total. The thought is that the third day will be the best for batting, and the new ball is 31 deliveries away. BJ Watling is the key, and yet we know, from Mark Wood, that once in, there are runs in the hills. Then it will be the turn of the faltering England batting line-up to set up a total. It is time for the big men to stand up. Jonny Bairstow’s century has pulled us out of the mire. We know that we can put ourselves in it very easily.

Comments below, of course. My thanks to all of you participating on Twitter and below the line in the past few weeks. You may have noticed the counter is now over 990k. We’re closing in folks!


11:30 – The final ball of last night’s unfinished over is seen off, and it’s Stokes opening from the other end. Southee takes two off the second ball. Eyes on the BBC feed from Joshua v Parker. As I say that Stokes serves up a long hop, Southee clatters it for 6. Nice of England to play him in. 200 for 6.

11:35 – 11th seed Loyola Chicago have closed the gap on Michigan in the Final Four. Meanwhile Mark Wood, he of the 42 bowling average is on, and BJ scampers a single off the second ball of the over. They say Wood offers something different and becomes a much better bowler when he doesn’t play. Joshua v Parker is into the last round. Southee crunches a four straight back at Wood to move on to 25. He pulls the next ball for 4, and it’s 209 for 6.

11:38 – Stokes back on to play the batsmen in some more. Red Sox up 1-0 in the top of the third innings. Joshua v Parker has gone to points, and Ben Stokes is bowling up around 75-80 mph, and bowls a maiden. Remains 209 for 6.

11:42 – Jack Leach is on, and bowling to Tim Southee. Say your prayers. Joshua won, by the way. Sounded dull. Southee smashes the second ball for 4, straight back, and not a million miles from Leach (who might have touched it). Leach floats the next one up, which is brave, it gets clattered but straight to mid on. Floats the next one which Southee belts straight to mid on and takes a single. Shouldn’t have been one there. Last ball to Watling is also a single. 215 for 6.

11:46 – Stokes ambles in, and doing a tight job at the moment, that clatter from Southee aside. Soon as I say that Watling gets a four through third man. That’s the only runs from the over, and it is 219 for 6. The new ball is due.

11:50 – The working assumption is that the new ball is going to end the innings. The first ball from Anderson swings away from Southee’s bat. The problem with the assumption is England haven’t been adept at blowing away tails. Southee wafts at another outswinger second up. Southee pokes a single into the offside off the fourth ball. Alan Butcher tells us to “move on” on Twitter, which is a red rag to this particular bull! Watling gets a single off the 5th, through the gully. Southee straight drives the last ball, gets four, and England heads start to drop. 225 for 6.

11:54 – Broad on. Hello Santiago! Broad bowling at 134 kph, which is Stokes’ speed. 226 for 6. Did I miss a run when I checked in on the Red Sox (still 1-0 but Porcello has put two on in the third). Yes, looks like Watling got a single.

11:58 – CASTLED. Beautiful outswinger does for Anderson, pitching it on middle and leg and hitting off with a beautiful shape. Off pole out of the ground. 226 for 7.

BJ Watling  Bowled Anderson 85


00:01 – Ish Sodhi gets off the mark first ball. Southee then squirts one down to third man for four and moves on to 43. Cut in half with the fifth ball, Southee blocks the last and it is 231 for 7.

00:04 – Porcello got out of the third innings with no runs, so Red Sox still 1-0 up. Some of you may know that I’m a bit of a Red Sox fan. Well, a lot of one. But the cricket is on so I am at your service. No runs off the first three balls. Sodhi gets in a tangle with the fourth ball, but no harm done. Alan Butcher utters the magic words..

Move on. Talking of move on, Stuart Broad bowls a beauty, and Sodhi nicks it to Bairstow and we have our 8th wicket. Broad gets his 5th in this wicket maiden. 231 for 8

Sodhi  Caught Bairstow Bowled Broad  1

00:09 – Anderson back to bowl, to Tim Southee. Second ball he smashes a ball in the air, aimed at square leg, ended up at long stop. 4 more. Leg bye off ball number 3 puts Wagner on strike. Actually given as a run, so Southee goes to 48. Nice inswinger first up to Wagner, but he plays it well. Last ball he somehow plays and misses. 236 for 8. And here comes the vaguely dodgy Paddy Power advert.

00:12 – Southee moves on to 49 with a single from the first ball of Broad’s over. Wagner gets sconed on the fourth ball of Broad’s over just as the commentators were saying he was about to cop some short stuff. While Wagner takes a break, I see number 11 fairytale NCAA team Loyola are 7 points up at the interval having started really slowly. I love the NCAA March Madness. Wagner is back up and we should be rolling soon. Next one is short into the ribs, and Wagner fends it just part boot hill for a single. Southee clips the last ball to deep square for a single and his fourth test fifty in 45 balls.

00:21 – LBW appeal second ball, but England don’t review. Red Sox 2-0 up now. Conceded runs in just one innings so far. Anderson bowls a straight one, Southee goes for the fences and loses his middle stump.

Southee   Bowled Anderson 50


Trent Boult gets off the mark with a couple of runs, which I missed for a reason. Boult plays a ludicrous straight shot for another couple, clearing his left leg to clump it down the ground. End of the over and it is 243 for 9.

00:28 – Wagner gets a single off the first ball of Broad’s over. Lead down to 63. Not insignificant, but still not as good as England might have hoped. Another WTFWT shot from Boult… but no run. Can’t describe it on a live blog. Nor that one. Dancefloor moves. Needs a yorker. Nope, short, and Boult misses his attempted swat. Boult drives the last ball for two, its 246 for 9 and I’ll be back….

00:37 – Just got back from a natural break to see Wagner clatter a six over fine leg off Anderson. Lead being downgraded from good to useful. Not long before slight, and then negligible. Broad fumbles the ball when a run out looked on. 13 from 5 balls off this over. Now it’s 259 for 9.

00:40 – Broad carries on. So does Wagner, who cuts the ball for 4. Went a bit finer than I thought. Another two as Wagner smashes one into the air over point. You have to laugh. Or not. 265 for 9. No more runs from the over. Another betting advert.

00:46 – Wood on for Anderson who doesn’t look like he’ll get a five for now. Wood bowls a full one first up and Boult carves it over extra cover for 3. Not a million miles from the fielders. New Zealand not far away from England. Mood music not good. Talking of not good, Mark Wood has an appeal turned down against Wagner.

Pour encourager les autres. Wagner clips one through leg side for one, then Boult pulls his left leg away and wipes one through the covers for another 4. This is royally cocking things up. All those calling for the raw pace of Wood, please stand up. I referenced Ice Cube above and now I’m doing Eminem. 273 for 9.

00:52 – Let the carnival continue. Broad around the wicket to Wagner. A single off the third ball of the over to Wagner down to fine leg brings Boult on. Someone stick a sock in that effing trumpet.  Boult lofts Broad down the ground, for another couple. This is silly. Last ball he bowls straight and it is off the middle of Boult’s bat for no run. 276 for 9.

00:58 – Wood back, and Wagner cuffs his second ball down to long leg for another single. We are having a review for caught behind. Bairstow is the one driving this. It doesn’t look to be anything, to be honest, and nothing is registering on snicko. He was so far down legside he might have been outside the sound zone! Not out. I’m now pre-occupied with something else. It’s 278 for 9. All over, and so am I. Night all. Will Cook last to lunch?

278 all out.



54 thoughts on ““Taking Full Responsibility” – Day 2 at Hagley, Day 7 of Haggling

  1. Silk Mar 31, 2018 / 6:48 pm

    Mark Wood. Any good?


      • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 1:11 am

        His top speed was about the same as Trent Boult. And without the swing


      • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 1:12 am

        To be fair I wonder if has been told that his role is to be the enforcer. You know, like Broad was for all those years.


  2. LordCanisLupus Mar 31, 2018 / 6:49 pm

    Andrew Wu of the SMH is not going to be saying “Cricket Australia doesn’t leak”

    Fairfax Media can reveal investigators were told Smith did not know how the plan would be carried out until after Bancroft had been exposed on the big screen. It’s believed they found Smith had expressed his dislike of the plan but did not attempt to stop it.

    It’s understood CA’s investigation found that the sandpaper was used twice on the ball, which umpires believed had not been sufficiently altered to warrant replacement, and had come from a kit bag though it’s unclear who supplied it for use. Sandpaper is commonly used by players to smooth their bats.

    The revelation about Smith is consistent with CA’s charge sheet, which alleged he had “knowledge of a potential plan” to tamper with the ball and did not “take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation of that plan”.

    The rehabilitation of Steve Smith continues. If this is the evidence, then why is he even banned. Warner did the plan, and Smith was powerless to stop it, and didn’t really know it was going to happen. You buying this?


    • Pontiac Mar 31, 2018 / 9:20 pm

      The only thing that is tragic about how the whole thing is developing is that the Australian team is creating for itself a permission structure to carry on being sanctimonious tiresome abusive assholes — which is the real underlying problem here.

      As in, I’d much rather see Nathan Lyon playing cricket than Nathan Lyon being a dickhead on the field or in press conferences/


    • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 1:29 am

      That’s essentially the same story Jim Maxwell gave – Smith supposedly saw Warner and Bancroft deep in conversation and said “what are you guys up to? Never mind – I don’t want to know”.

      Here’s another conspiracy theory doing the rounds. Warner has been Australia’s ball handler for a number of years but recently the amount of tape (and the length of his fingernails) has been drawing attention. It was decided to hand the ball handling duties over to another player and as luck would have it, WA’s designated ball handler is also in the Australian side. Bancroft. (It’s an interesting yarn but I’m not sure that Bancroft really is the ball handler at WA.)


    • LordCanisLupus Mar 31, 2018 / 7:35 pm

      Hope that unlike our supine stenographers, the Aussie press might be made of sterner stuff. Newman, Selfey, Muppet, Bunkers, Etheridge, Wilson, et al, this is how you question authority.

      Malcolm Knox…

      Cricket Australia is doing what it does best: standing outside the problem, travelling to the scene of the crime while placing itself as far from it as possible. It has its stooge (Cameron Bancroft), its helpless compromised hero (Smith), and its criminal mastermind (David Warner). It has the location: Cape Town, and only Cape Town. It has levied heavy punishments. It has ‘taken decisive action’.

      What it only half-understands is the fundamental reason this created such disappointment and outrage in Australia, why these guys are out of cricket for a year for an act that put South Africa’s Faf du Plessis out of cricket for a week. It is not the world’s condemnation for the Australian cricket team. It is the eruption of pent-up distaste, even hatred, for the Australian team within this country.
      Many Australians, it seems, have been waiting in a dark alley with cricket bats. Social media has given them voice. In times past, players thought their only critics were a maverick nuisance in press boxes, to whom they gave the finger or otherwise ignored. Nay-sayers did not represent the adoring masses. Now, haters of the Australian team haunt every club, every house, every keyboard. The team is deeply alienated from its own public. There is mutual grievance. When they lost meekly to South Africa two years ago, the Australian cricketers were lambasted. Then, their muscular, aggressive rebound was applauded. Winning was the purifier. They thought the public was giving them a licence to win by any means. And so here we are.
      Does Cricket Australia really get it now? CA chairman David Peever said, ‘The CA board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events.’
      ‘These events’ are not the cause of the anger, they are its outlet. Peever identified the ‘integrity and reputation of Australian cricket’ being at stake. That’s right, but its integrity and reputation were not suddenly questioned because of what happened one afternoon in Cape Town.

      If they tried that “Outside Cricket” bollocks on with them, I’d hope to see the impact. If they told us to move on, I believe they’d stay put. CA had contained the issue last night, but maybe letting Warner out with his pre-scripted piffle has backfired.

      And Malcolm Conn sits on the wrong side of the fence. I’ve seen him attacked by overseas (from Aussie) journos. Will they turn on one of their own. Their own legend. Because in taking on CA over this, that’s what they will be doing. Someone likened Conn to Sara Huckabee Sanders. Now that’s a bloody good insult!


    • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 2:00 am

      “Warner was told to stick to a script, perhaps so he can launch legal action against Cricket Australia to appeal against his 12-month ban.”
      That nails it.

      People are angry because the press conference seemed staged. Of course it was fucking staged – he’s had legal and PR advice. Would anyone trust Warner to give an off the cuff statement and then answer questions whilst there is still a chance that his punishment could be reduced?

      Chris Barrett a journalist for the Age wrote “Warner is expected to argue that the punishment was excessive because knowledge of Australia’s tactics was more well known than CA has found and because in producing their judgment and sentence the intense strain brought out by the abuse of his family was not taken into account.

      The Warner camp also claim he did not receive adequate support during a month in which his wife Candice was insulted repeatedly, firstly to his face by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock in Durban, and then by spectators in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town who shouted abuse and wore T-shirts and Sonny Bill Williams masks to taunt the couple.

      Two Cricket South Africa officials even posed for a photo with men in the masks in Port Elizabeth after allowing them into the ground, reversing a decision by security staff to confiscate them, which had been made at the Australian team’s request.”

      Apparently, in addition to abusing the players about their families, the South African crowd have also been subjecting the players families and friends (who sit together in a box) to non-stop abuse. I’ve always assumed that the WAGS in the crowd cop a bit but it has been claimed that the South African crowd were particularly foul and unrelenting in their abuse.

      This is not an excuse for what the players did but there have been signs through-out the series that Warner’s decision making was even worse than usual. I am well aware of the irony of arguing that Warner may have “mentally disintegrated” but it still needs to be considered. The players fucked up but Cricket Australia have a lot to answer for as well.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 1, 2018 / 2:06 am

        That’s my issue…

        People are angry because the press conference seemed staged. Of course it was fucking staged – he’s had legal and PR advice. Would anyone trust Warner to give an off the cuff statement and then answer questions whilst there is still a chance that his punishment could be reduced?

        People are angry, well I am, because these charades insult our intelligence, and I don’t like our intelligence insulted. Malcolm Conn, a tosser of the highest order, presides over a dog and pony show and we are supposed to pack up, go away, move on and so forth. ECB did that, without the conferences but the same attitude in 2014 and now look what they are up to. Don’t move on, don’t take your eyes off the ball. I’m genuinely not that angry at Warner for the ball tampering.


        • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 3:00 am

          “these charades insult our intelligence”
          Damien Fleming reckons that some-one should add “Benny Hill music” to the clip of Bancroft shoving the sand-paper into his pants.


  3. Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    Do we know if Graves is funding his libel action himself or using ECB money? If the later it doesnt seem the best use of crickets resources to go after one of England s best cricket journalists.

    And speaking of England’s media…… the attack on the Aussie media by Mr J Agnew for not holding the Australian team to account is right in theory, but about as credible as Adolf Hitler giving a speech on peace.

    The English media are in no position to lecture about holding governing bodies to account. I well remember Agnew almost pleading that we all get behind Cook and the team after the series against India. And who will ever forget at Southampton when Cook was given a standing ovation for not getting out for 0.

    The charge against the Aussie media is they have been cheerleaders. (which they have) Yet what have Fleet Streets finest been doing for the last four years with their ghosted players columns, and leaked attacks on certain players that don’t fit the management talking points. Would Mr Agnew like to reveal who tipped him off about the content of the famous meeting between KP and Strauss when KP was told he wouldn’t play for England again? The meeting had barley finished when Agnew took to 5 live to tell us what happened.

    Who’s got the biggest Pom Poms in the cheerleader stakes. Who can twirl a batton the highest for your own national team?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 7:41 pm

      By the way, we have had a little bit more journalism since Cook vacated the captaincy than we had for the previous four years. Some journos even now have begun to question selection, and team tactics. Agnew was more critical of this tour than many others in recent years.

      And let’s us never forget the same English media would have been quite happy for Cook to carry on indefinitely as captain, and now say he should choose when to retire from opening the batting for England.

      If the Aussies have been cheerleaders, the English media collectively lost their minds.


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Mar 31, 2018 / 8:09 pm

      Spot on Mark. Just have to look at the guest list for Giles’s 60th birthday jamboree and everything is clear

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mark Mar 31, 2018 / 9:20 pm

    More and more this whole Australian circus is taking on an almost biblical flavour. Whether it’s is a coincidence that this is all occurring on Easter weekend we will never know.

    Go back a week, and by all accounts Smith (who is rapidly becoming crickets version of Jesus) was betrayed by Judas aka Warner. It wasn’t pieces of silver but some pieces of yellow sandpaper. A plan was hatched for which Warner never told Smith what it was. Or so the story goes. Smith did not know how the plan would be carried out until after Bancroft had been exposed on the big screen.

    Smith was taken to a press conference where he was questioned by media. Nobody quite knew who Peter was, but Jesus told him he would betray him three times before the rooster crows. Maybe Peter was the Aussie media?

    Then Jesus Aka Smith was taken not on a donkey, but a bloody great aeroplane to fly to the court where Pontius Pilate aka CA would try him. But Pilate could see he had done nothing wrong and wanted to let him go. However Pilate did not want trouble with the religious leaders. Aka the sponsors. The sponsors knew this and had persuaded the crowd of people gathered around Pilate’s house to call for the release of a criminal named Barabbas and to demand that Jesus be crucified.

    And so it was that Jesus…. Aka Smith… was crucified by media not on Good Friday, but on a Thursday at Sydney Airport. And then by Sunday after Judas gave his press conference Smith would rise again…….to be continued….


  5. Mark Apr 1, 2018 / 12:18 am

    Just to let you know I was reading your live blogging. Great stuff! I was watching something else on tv, but was able to follow the cricket on here. Interesting match now.

    And we have only two of them. Thanks ECB……nobody even remembers the 20/20 stuff now. Could have had a third test match.


  6. Zephirine Apr 1, 2018 / 1:36 am

    Cook out for 14. But he’ll go when he decides the time is right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pontiac Apr 1, 2018 / 1:52 am

      Contrast Morne Morkel, whose retirement decision has been based on plenty of knowledge of where he is and where his team is, who looks set to leave with one of his best performances, a key contributor to a historic series win and as high as ever in the genuine esteem of team and public.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 1, 2018 / 1:57 am

      It’s the strength of the non-hundred scores. In his last 17 innings, since the double against the WIndies, he’s failed to get to 20 on 13 occasions, with one score of 23. 6 scores in single figures.


      • LordCanisLupus Apr 1, 2018 / 2:13 am

        In the same period Stoneman has been dismissed three times in single figures, four if you count his first innings, and has got to 20 in all but 4 other times. 4 scores over 20 for Cook, 10 for Stoneman. Just stats, of course.


  7. Pontiac Apr 1, 2018 / 1:39 am

    14. That’s it for Cook 5, 2, 2, 14.

    Is it really /completely/ clear there’s nobody better at all?

    At this point he’s a carbon monoxide molecule.


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 1, 2018 / 2:00 am

      Previous string of three single figure score – 1,2,5 then 294 – versus India in 2011.

      His bad trot in 2010, where he was on the brink of being dropped? 8,12,17,4,6 then 110. That 244 is his lifesaver at this point.


      • Pontiac Apr 1, 2018 / 2:38 am

        If he’s still around for the next Ashes….


  8. Adam H Apr 1, 2018 / 1:46 am

    Imagine if Cook hadn’t scored that double hundred in the Ashes. People would now be calling for him to dropped!


  9. Sri.grins Apr 1, 2018 / 1:54 am

    You know it does puzzle me what is expected and how many people we need to find guilty. All of us know that all 15 members of the Oz team probably knew the plan. Would we want all the different them to be banned for six months? Would the ecb, bcci, sa also suspend their respective teams as we all know they probably do ball tampering and they all know they do?

    The action required is
    a) make ball tampering and its knowledge a few months ban for the person involved and fine x points from the ranking points and stiff fines for the team.
    b) tell teams to control behavior on the field and off the field in the stadium (example Anderson, Warner, bd team)
    c) tell teams to try and follow the spirit of the game as much as humanly possible
    d) inform crowds that personal abuse of player families will involve their stadium being banned from hosting international cricket for a year. I suppose it would be too much to expect a small portion of the test fans (the boors – example the section of the barmy army poking fun at Oz in nz) to desist from insulting players


    • Adam H Apr 1, 2018 / 2:01 am

      e) Any player that insults another player’s deceased family members will be banned from cricket for life, and all his records will be erased. That would take care of the cancer of cricket — David Warner.


    • quebecer Apr 1, 2018 / 2:21 am

      Hello Sri 🙂

      Not ignoring you – or anyone – but I’ve decided to play my mulligan on this issue. Hope you’re well, old thing.


      • Sri.grins Apr 1, 2018 / 3:35 am

        Hi q,

        Good to see you was missing the optimism. 😊


        • quebecer Apr 1, 2018 / 3:41 am

          Oh very much see below, my friend, see below.


  10. quebecer Apr 1, 2018 / 2:02 am

    Vince looking brilliant. 19 not out. Fantastic dreamy stroke play.

    184 nailed on. Genuine prediction.


    • quebecer Apr 1, 2018 / 2:15 am

      Another gorgeous four from Vince. 26 not out. Inevitable big ton coming up. Not kidding.


      • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 2:34 am

        That cover drive is cricket-porn but I fear there will not be a happy ending.


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 1, 2018 / 2:36 am

          Meanwhile Stoneman gets to 30 for the 8th time in 18 innings. Frustrating. He’s shown no real obvious flaws, a touch iffy against top short stuff, yet Vaughan was all over him. I like Stoneman, not convinced he’s going to be long term, but he’s not shown himself up.


          • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 2:40 am

            How many chances do you give a guy who keeps getting out in the 30’s – glad I’m not a selector


          • LordCanisLupus Apr 1, 2018 / 2:42 am

            Of those 8, four were half centuries, one was 40 not out and this one isn’t finished at time of writing.

            I don’t think he can complain if he’s dropped, just as Carberry couldn’t four years ago.


          • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 2:52 am

            Wow. I thought Stoneman nicked that for sure.


  11. dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 2:15 am

    “All of us know that all 15 members of the Oz team probably knew the plan.”
    I’m not convinced that is true. The whole team new there was ball tampering (because every team tampers with the ball). However, I’m not sure how many people new that on this occasion the plan was to use sand-paper. (Interestingly, a former Australian player has been accused by another former player of using sand-paper. Two Kiwi ex-player’s have also claimed that wicket-keepers having been gluing sand-paper into their gloves for over 20 years so maybe I am just naïve.)


    • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 2:19 am

      sorry – that was meant to be under Sri. (is it me or does that sound a bit weird?)


      • quebecer Apr 1, 2018 / 2:33 am

        Depends where Mrs Sri is,

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sri.grins Apr 1, 2018 / 3:32 am

          @dlpthomas, as q aptly put it, it is getting a bit crowded here. 😉


    • LordCanisLupus Apr 1, 2018 / 2:21 am

      All I know is you can’t instigate a culture change in the Australian team, when one of the poster children for maintaining it and proliferating to the masses is running the damn media operation. Conn is about as likely to criticise these players as I am of scoring a test hundred. He should not be employed by any operation seriously seeking changes of attitude.

      For the last time Malcolm, it wasn’t our fault you played four seam bowlers at The Oval in 2009. Also, who had the key bowling performance in the match? So stop this fucking myth about that pitch. It was hardly Sydney 1999.


      • dlpthomas Apr 1, 2018 / 2:33 am

        I stopped paying attention to Malcom conn years ago but I admire your passion.


        • LordCanisLupus Apr 1, 2018 / 2:38 am

          If his manner of reporting hadn’t permeated throughout a lot of what I see I could ignore him. But that sort of shit does damage. I was genuinely staggered by his wretched garbage when I was out there both times, and I don’t ignore his attitude to players not born in England who play for us.


  12. Sri.grins Apr 1, 2018 / 3:33 am

    Good show from England so far


    • oreston Apr 1, 2018 / 4:24 am

      I just woke up, checked my phone and discovered the rather astonishing news that, according to the BBC, Vince is 70 not out. Given that it’s 1st April I thought I’d better cross-check with cricinfo and a few other sites for good measure. We all know they faked the Moon landings, right?


  13. metatone Apr 1, 2018 / 7:46 am

    Some thoughts on openers:

    Batting is an odd thing, esp. in Tests, in that “physical effort” isn’t really the name of the game. It’s really not easy to make up for a lack of form by being “committed.”

    As such, the closest analogies appear to be with a sport I loathe (as a spectator) – golf. So we see at the top level, success is a combination of biomechanics, some judgement about conditions and dealing with the pressure.

    Cook’s pattern of scores look like a top golfer who is ageing. (Think of a solid top player from the past who faded out, rather than imploded – Woosnam? Faldo?) The judgement is (at least as far as we can tell) largely ok still, the mental skills are proven, although age nibbles at them too.

    What we see is that complex biomechanics become unreliable with age. There are days when it all clicks (or indeed a few days strung together) and the old dog jousts to win a major tournament. Or… you get a big daddy (double?) hundred. The rest of the time? It’s all just not quite together, cuts are missed, you get out for less than 20, a lot.

    So then what? The analogy shows us that either you persist, happy to have the odd day of glory, or you take on retooling the biomechanics. The retooling holds dangers, the new setup may not provide the peaks of the old, the process may lead to implosion. But without it, the peaks get rarer and the run of troughs longer.

    For a top golfer, it’s a personal choice. There are qualifying tournaments and rankings, you get to play at the top level by performing on the circuit. So long as your peaks and troughs average out to “tournament entry” you can go on as long as you like. For a cricket player, or more pertinently, for the selectors, it’s a different calculus.

    TL;DR – If Cook doesn’t have a plan to retool his biomechanics, he needs to be forced to, or dropped. It isn’t going to get better by itself.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Silk Apr 1, 2018 / 8:45 am

    Presumably that means Vince starts at 3 in the summer (if fit)?

    If Habeeb continues his fine start to the season I can’t see how the new ur-selector /can/ get away without dropping him. To ditch Stoneman before Cook would be grossly unfair, but it’s not as if either of them are pulling up trees.


  15. Mark Apr 1, 2018 / 8:59 am

    Just watching the Sunday supplement.

    And as usual it’s all about Man U. Because nothing else has happened this week. They have the fat Custis on. What a state he is in. He looks like he’s just got out of bed and forgot to take his pyjamas off. It’s Easter Sunday man, and you look like shit! Even Olie Holt has had a shave!

    As usual it’s a ulogy to his beloved Man U. Apparently it’s all about next season now. Because of course all his predictions for this season have not come true. Remember at Anfield when he said that point would turn out to win them the league? That was a crap prediction. Funny how all his predictions are about how well Man U will do.

    He doesn’t look anything like his brother. Pershaps Jose is his real dad? They are talking about West Ham now so the fat custis should shut up. He doesn’t know anything about any other clubs in England.


    • Sri.Grins Apr 1, 2018 / 9:19 am

      🙂 . That must be the best rave of this Sunday Mark 😀


    • Mark Apr 1, 2018 / 9:20 am

      If Sky are going to have this fraud on he should be made to wear a full Man U kit every time he comes on. Including staffs, hat, and banners. It’s shocking the bias.

      They are picking their best eleven of the season now. This will be tricky for Custis as even Jose doesn’t know his best team. Which Man U team will he pick?


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