England v Pakistan – 2nd Test – Respectable

As Mel & Kim once sang so presciently back in the late 1980s, explanations are complications, and they didn’t really need to know the wheres or whys. God rest young Mel’s soul, but she would never have been our target audience, and so we, or I will ignore her advice for this short session to comment on the conclusion of the 2nd Test, won convincingly by an innings by the England team.

Over the 50 plus months I thought I’d seen it all from the critics of this blog, its modus  operandi, it’s “brand” so to speak. But we were gobsmacked last night by a reaction in particular. I decided that the blog is established enough, is given the air time enough by those we feel are important not to react last night. This is not someone of the capability of our previous foes to really bother with. But as with all criticism, I do give it thought. Was I being overly negative last night? Or does the convincing nature of this victory indicate a real green shoot sign of recovery and was the somewhat churlish attitude wrong? Or do I take Mel and Kim’s view that conversation is interrogation, and I just don’t have the time.

I’m even more convinced from the way Jos Buttler made 80 not out on that wicket that I was right. This wicket had something, but Jos Buttler stayed there well enough. I shrug my shoulders at people who genuinely think this is a blueprint for success. Sustained success. It may be we only give a stuff about home test cricket, and winning at home is really all that matters, but we’ve drawn this series again. Pakistan showed their limitations in this match – when key players like Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq didn’t perform here, it was difficult to see the others really coming through – but England also played pretty well, certainly with the ball. England frequently lose their minds at Headingley, but not this time.

The early assault with 60 odd runs at nearly a run a ball was just the ticket. The early wickets from Anderson and Broad undermined the foundations of the Pakistan innings, and then a mixture of persistence and some tremendous shots for a Sunday 3rd XI meant the game was over before the rescheduled tea interval. England losing at Lord’s, and getting hammered at Lord’s to be truthful puts this into perspective. As we’ve seen many times before, a good result begets a bad one. A bad result can, certainly at home, kick then up the arse for the next one. England can’t seem to string form together.

I maintain, and will until I go blue in the face, that without big hundreds, the opportunity to make massive scores to insure them against flat wickets and insufficient power bowling, England need people to be regularly scoring big centuries. Jos showed it wasn’t impossible – and he’s going to have to get used to being stranded if he keeps this form up – and yet our top batsmen have now got one ton between them in the last five test matches. I’m worried. Sorry, that’s just a bloody fact. While we might get a wicket we can bowl teams out on in this green and pleasant land, it’s not going to get us much further if we can’t string big innings together.

There are no easy answers and we (I) am not pretending there are. There is no solution easily to hand, so that’s why maybe I’m a little more down on this team than others who seem to suspend critical thinking on the basis of an upward tick in a single test. The fundamental issues apply still.

M&K had a lot to say, and like them I think we owe it, well I owe it, to the readership that like us, hate us, but you’ll never change us. If I think the team is something we should worry about then I am going to say it. Chris is going to say it. Danny is going to say it. Sean is going to say it. You, the readership, are going to say it.

Over the 50 or so months I’ve been running, or co-running, or flouncing off, a cricket blog I’ve learned to ignore a lot of the criticism. But by my very nature there’s that insecurity of knowing, as I do, that I’m not the font of all knowledge, and am frequently wrong. I approach much of the blog as logically as I can, but personal favourites and opinions will always come into it. That’s the essence of sport. If you aren’t passionate about it, or you don’t care, you could tell it a mile off. People wouldn’t read you. People wouldn’t react to you. You can dislike this blog – great, well done. We don’t cater to all. But the one thing that grinds my gears is that people think I prefer complaining to cheering the team on. That somehow I am not a cricket fan. Such accusations shouldn’t bother me, but they do. I never question my critics for their love of the game. Ever. Don’t ever fucking question mine.

Well done for a very good performance, England. You did what you had to do and did it well. There is plenty of room for improvement, this isn’t a long-term sustainable method for consistent winning, but everything has to start somewhere. I want to see big hundreds. I want to see them from Root. I want to see Cook do it too if it didn’t come with the baggage it does. Believe it or not. But I will be pleased if a newbie, or a current player strings together scores and establishes the position even more. The future looms. The old guard is getting older.

Finally, Pakistan got four tests last time, and it was an entertaining series. A two test series is always difficult. The series is over in 11 days. The party is over. A wider issue I know but I feel a little empty at the series ending here. I enjoyed watching their bowling in particular. It’s a pleasure to see their skills on display and how they stick a competitive team out there with all the obstacles they face. Mohammed Abbas walked away with the man of the series. Well deserved. We’ll see you around sometime Pakistan. It’s a fact that it is a series that doesn’t bring in the enormous revenues that India will do, but the later summer series will do well to match some of what we have seen, especially in terms of seam bowling, that Pakistan has brought here.

I’m sure one of my colleagues will go into the series in more detail in the week. For me I’m off overseas again…. got to do the day job!


145 thoughts on “England v Pakistan – 2nd Test – Respectable

  1. Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 4:28 pm

    Didn’t mean to cause any offence mate; genuinely assumed you were writing like that deliberately, because that’s what your “brand” is. Advice from someone not important enough to concern yourself with: If you love cricket as much as you say, try writing positively about it every once in a while. It’s harder, but it can be a lot more rewarding.
    All the best,


    • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 4:39 pm

      If you think that’s what the “‘brand” is, then you’ve not bothered reading much of what’s on here.

      Advice from someone not important enough for you to have bothered with:

      Who the actual fuck do you think you are to try this patronising bollocks?


      • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 4:45 pm

        Just a suggestion mate.


        • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 4:46 pm

          No, not a suggestion “mate” , a condescending “I am better than you” snide remark. You are in no position to lecture anyone, who do you think you are, EW Swanton?


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 4:48 pm



        • Mark Jun 3, 2018 / 4:58 pm

          Hey mate, that end of the market is saturated. There is a selection of toadies, hangers on, freeloaders, liars and loons who will serve up a sickly, sweet cocktail of pro ECB vomit.

          If that is your thing, your needs are well catered for. You can’t throw a stick at most of the media and not hit one. Enjoy!


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 5:01 pm

            He’s the cricket writer and columnist at the Liverpool Echo.


    • Sri.Grins Jun 3, 2018 / 4:50 pm

      Sorry. “Brand”, writing positively? AFAIK, people who write or post on this blog love cricket. There are no ifs and buts about it. 🙂 .

      Whether someone blogs or posts here, it is not for perpetuating a brand but what they genuinely feel. It may be wrong or right in fact but it is not a pose or meant to push a ‘brand’ or said to impress. 🙂

      If someone feels English cricket has serious issues, they say it and if one can disagree giving your own rebuttal, opinion and logic but not sound patronising.

      I am not an English cricket fan but in general the tendency I have seen is that unlike Indian fans who are always too optimistic and overconfident mostly about our team, English fans tend to be more critical.

      The English team dos have issues and it makes no sense to brush their record under the carpet. Yes, they are superior at home but nothing wrong in English fans wanting their team to excel everywhere.

      I always want India to win all tests . It is a different matter that they don’t when playing away but nothing wrong in having slightly higher standards and expectations from your team.



      • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 4:54 pm

        Didn’t mean to be patronising but can see how it might appear so. Apologies.

        Being patronising is better than being abusive and personal, in my book, but then I’m no EW Swanton.


        • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 4:59 pm

          Apologising is a good start, but you started the personal stuff, so don’t try and behave like the wounded party here.
          People can disagree with anything written on these pages, that’s part of the deal, and never a problem. But saying that those who have spent tens of thousands of their own money following England don’t like cricket is pretty poor, especially from the press box.
          No one here has the slightest desire to be a journalist. It’s a blog. If the press had been asking the questions in the first place, it wouldn’t be necessary for places like this to exist, would it?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 5:06 pm

            I’m not “from the press box”. To date, the sum total of professional cricket I’ve covered amounts to two Lancashire games at Aigburth. And we were in a tent. I also spend lots of my own money on following cricket.

            I believe you do love cricket; I also believe that love for cricket does not come across in anything I’ve read on here. That’s up to you, it’s your blog; but if you’re negative so much of the time (Jonny Bairstow “got away with” an LBW shout because the ball was missing the stumps, for example; “I’m not going to mention Cook” when Cook a) hadn’t batted that day, and b) had done fine the previous day, for another example from the same piece) then people will criticise you for it, and make fun of you for it, and will assume it’s your “brand”.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 5:08 pm

            Your Twitter bio says you cover cricket…
            Good, then you can appreciate how people follow the game, play the game and love the game can’t you? And even be critical sometimes.
            But I have to say thus far you seem to be basing it one post only. Which would be an odd thing to judge the whole place on would it not?


          • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 5:17 pm

            You know. I’ve been doing this a while. People seem to like it. Not sure many other start-up blogs, with people no more interested in earning from it as they would be visiting their dentist, have gained such traction to have been mentioned in the Bible of Cricket for three of the last four years (the predecessor to this being one of them) without any commercial activity, no advertising, not bombarding Twitter and journalists with personalised tweets and with such a hatred for the game that we spend our very limited free time writing it. I’ve made cricket mad friends from around the world, people I can talk to, who can help you through some of the tough times. I’m sure I’ll get over you poking fun of it. It’ll take some time.

            BTW, that Bairstow leave was given out by the umpire. Ergo, it wasn’t a good one even though he was not out. Same as Buttler didn’t mean to be dropped but gave a chance early. They were errors that they got away with – and I know you’ll get all technical on me and say he was 100% confident that was going over so it was no risk.

            As for Cook comment. You seek what you find. You make out of my intention what you want to do. It’s on you. Not me.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 5:14 pm

            (Reply option not showing below, perhaps I should take the hint…)

            I cover the Liverpool Competition for the Echo as a sideline to my main job. When Lancs come to town, which isn’t often, I’ll cover them too.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 5:15 pm

            It only allows a certain number of replies in a thread.

            And we cover cricket in addition to our own jobs. And always at our own expense. Because, you know, we love cricket, and weirdly enough positivity is in short supply when the game is in such trouble. If only we didn’t care…


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 5:33 pm

            My opinion is the relentless negativity here – even in the match reports following two and a half days of complete dominance by England – somewhat detracts from the message about the important stuff, the stuff we should be getting wound up about.

            “Oh, they’re moaning about Jonny Bairstow doing an iffy leave which didn’t get him out in a game England won easily” tends to blend in with “oh, they’re rightly furious about the custodians of the global game being unfit for purpose in many important ways”.

            The reason I was snide about you on Twitter was the trivial stuff; please don’t try to take it as criticism of the important stuff.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 5:36 pm

            That would be a fair and considered argument – had it been the one you made to begin with. But you didn’t.

            And you’ve still picked on one particular post rather than the whole. Thus far, your complaint seems limited to that.


          • dannycricket Jun 3, 2018 / 5:39 pm

            It seems odd when you suggest that someone should be particularly positive about a team’s first win in almost a year. If Liverpool FC had gone 260 days without a win and then crushed Burnley 8-0, it would seem almost insulting for a sports writer to be overwhelmingly positive about it. “They’ve turned the corner now!” I’d assume they were taking the piss.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 5:39 pm

            Well that’s how these things go, isn’t it. The points made by you guys lower down in the thread have been more considered than “who the f*** do you think you are, EW Swanton”.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 5:40 pm

            After you tried to lecture someone on how to write? Yes, funny that isn’t it?
            You see, you can offer up reasonable criticism here and you’ll be listened to.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 5:42 pm

            Wasn’t a lecture, and was more to do with what to write rather than how to write it. But my point still stands. Don’t try to take the moral high ground, none of us belongs there.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 5:44 pm

            Telling someone what they should write is better? Come on Tom, try that with anyone and see how far you get.

            No moral high ground here. If you want a proper conversation – as you now seem to – you’ll get one.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 5:48 pm

            Don’t expect this to be taken in good faith, but it was meant as a genuine suggestion for how you could change the general perception (it’s not just me, even though you’ve been in Wisden) as you seemed so wounded by my sniping last night.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 5:50 pm

            Perception amongst whom?

            And actually, the only thing that annoyed was your claim we didn’t like cricket. Everything else, meh, opinion.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 5:54 pm

            Yes, that was a snide thing to say but my word it’s gone further than I ever meant it to.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 6:00 pm

            You can start again if you like!!

            Seriously, every one of us says things that go too far sometimes, but I am actually puzzled that you do seem to have based it on one post.


          • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 6:09 pm

            Last night on Twitter you had a multi-tweet pop at the blog, at me, at things I’m supposed to have said, and questioned whether I loved complaining more than I loved the game, and you are surprised, after reflecting on it, that I reacted?

            No. I’ll take your comments, and I will react on my home ground. That’s the way it works. I’m always happy to talk cricket on here, as you will see. I’m incredibly nostalgic about the team, about world cricket. You read my stuff, you read all the great stuff on here, and you saw that. But you chose, frankly, to play to the gallery. Can’t stop you.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 6:10 pm

            The comparison between Premier League football and cricket doesn’t work, at least not with the “number of days since” factor. If a football team came off a run of eight games without a win by thrashing opponents who’d thrashed them the previous week, the match report of the game they won would quite likely say something about them turning a corner, yes.


          • dannycricket Jun 3, 2018 / 6:16 pm

            Well yes, but I figured I’d go for the easiest Liverpool-centric analogy so you’d understand. England’s national football team then, they play roughly the same number of games. Had Gareth Southgate failed to win in 8 consecutive games, would his job be as safe as Bayliss’s is as test coach? Would the English media be as “positive” about the football team winning 1 in 9 as they appear to be about the cricket team?


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 6:13 pm

            That’s fine. React how you like. But if you’re stung by criticism, and react angrily and personally to suggestions as to improve in the eyes of the critics, I don’t see where else we can go here.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 6:16 pm

            Again, who are you speaking for? It would be nice to know these critics are. And who gets to decide improvement?


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 6:52 pm

            I thought this was a fair couple of questions to someone who was only here to help. But guess not.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 6:18 pm

            “So you’d understand.” Dreadfully sorry for being patronising earlier.


          • dannycricket Jun 3, 2018 / 6:20 pm

            I figured what’s good for the goose…


          • Mark Jun 3, 2018 / 6:32 pm

            Why are people in the media so desperate for group think, and obedience these days? Why is a contrarian view so challenging to them? Why does every one have to take a purity test? The media always bang on about how bland and boring things are, and then they freak out when confronted with an alternative view.

            If you want to be a water carrier for the ECB then be my guest. I don’t want to stop you. But others feel differently. Once upon a time a real journalist valued that. Pardon my cynicism, but it’s almost as if the ECB are desperate to hide behind the team. If they win, everyone will shut up, (that’s their hope) and they can bathe in the glory. And there is no shortage of media types hectoring those critics to pipe down and get with the programme. Voila…. the man for the Liverpool echo.

            This Pakistan team is not a patch on the one here a few years ago. Certainly in the batting. They stumbled past Ireland (no offence) That is how bad England were at Lords. They were dreadful. So I will hold judgement on yet another golden dawn.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 6:40 pm

            Just trying to imagine the meeting at the ECB where they decide which one of their “water-carriers” is going to be sent into bat on this one. “How about that Twitter idiot whose main job is drawing the Liverpool Echo’s pages but who also writes about club cricket entirely in his own time, and has covered two professional cricket matches in his entire life, again in his own time? If anyone can go on a blog that’s been in Wisden you know and put a positive spin on England winning a Test in two and a half days, it’s him.” Amazing.


          • Sean Jun 3, 2018 / 6:47 pm

            Get over it Tom. You came on looking for a fight and then play the wounded soldier, when it was pointed out that you were spouting complete bollocks and that it is in poor taste to tell someone else how to write.

            You and your other Twitter buddies may post about bantz whereas the readers on here actually know a thing or two about cricket.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 6:50 pm

            Yeah it’s weird that the ECB even use me as a puppet, but wygd.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 7:07 pm

            Sorry, I’m too busy being accused of being an ECB lackey who insists on groupthink and also at the same time someone who knows nothing about cricket and shouldn’t come on here because this isn’t the kind of place for people who don’t agree with the writers. Yes, they’re fair questions – improvement “in the eyes of the critics”, as I said, is to be judged by the critics. Obviously. And you must realise not everyone likes your stuff. I don’t have a list of names.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 7:18 pm

            Of course we know that. Why should we care?

            You’re looking at this from a journalistic perspective, where the currency is what you write and how you want to get on.

            We don’t make a penny from this place – it actually costs us money to run it. We have no desire to be journalists whatever, because, to be blunt, none of us wants to take a pay cut. This is not an aspiring career choice, where we need to butter people up, it’s a hobby. Those that like the output can read it, those that don’t can ignore it – or sneer at it if that’s their preference.

            Now, like anyone, we’d like to improve, but improve in whose eyes? The press? The paid people in the industry? Whose? I’m not asking for names, I’m asking in whose eyes this supposed improvement ought to take place and in what way do they get to decide the parameters of what improvement is?

            For what purpose should this improvement take place? So that people who hold us in contempt now think we’ve joined the club?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Quebecer Jun 3, 2018 / 7:13 pm

            Tom, you haven’t demonstrated any knowledge of the game at all. Make your point if you want. How is the assessment of the current state of the team in this piece inaccurate? Put your analysis out there and let’s see how it holds up.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 7:20 pm

            Don’t feel I need to prove anything to anyone on here. I love the game and know the game backwards, but if you want to tell me otherwise then knock yourself out. The reason I’m here isn’t down to anything written above – it’s that my mini-rant last night caused much more upset than I intended it to, and I came on to offer an explanation.


          • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 7:24 pm

            (I) know the game backwards.

            I’d never say that even if I did. And I don’t.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sean Jun 3, 2018 / 7:24 pm

            ‘I know the game backwards’.

            Well perhaps you could enlighten us with your obviously superior knowledge…


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 7:24 pm

            I can only really speak for myself. You all clearly love what you’re doing so please, carry on. I don’t really have strong feelings about it; just the report last night, which dropped pretty much before the players had even left the field, tickled me somewhat with its negativity, given it was headlined as a report on that one day’s play, and that one day’s play had been about as good for England as it could have been. That is literally all there is to it. I’m not here as a journalist, I’m here as a cricket fan.


          • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 7:31 pm

            Hence my question to you earlier though. Take issue with a particular post as much as you like, I know I’ve written some stuff I don’t think was great, and people told me so.

            But you actually talked about the whole blog, not one post. You don’t have to read anything you don’t want to, but I’m not getting the impression of someone who knows us well here. You don’t have to, of course, but it’s a rather sweeping statement to say the least.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 7:26 pm

            You seek what you find. You make out of my intention what you want to do. It’s on you. Not me.


          • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 7:28 pm

            Nice try. I said I wasn’t talking about Cook yesterday. You said you know cricket backwards.

            I’m content if you are.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 7:27 pm

            Stop the disingenuous bad-faith bollocks please, that was a direct response to someone saying I didn’t know anything about cricket. I do. So do you. So does everyone here. No-one said they were superior to anyone, so stop pretending they did and taking offence at it.


          • Quebecer Jun 3, 2018 / 7:29 pm

            Bit afraid to talk cricket? Fair enough. You don’t have to. Admitting it’s not your purpose is honest, so that’s good.


          • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 7:31 pm

            If I could stop any more comments on a post I would now. We have to fork out a few quid for that plug in. Wondering if it’s worth it.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 7:31 pm

            It was a direct response to someone saying I don’t know anything about cricket. As well you know. Take it out of context all you like.


          • Quebecer Jun 3, 2018 / 7:39 pm

            Tom, I’m confused. You’re saying yo do agree with the analysis of the current state of the team presented above? If yes, that’s odd because it’s a bit negative, which is what you started with. If you disagree, then your evidence and reasoning of why would be interesting. And knowing the game backwards as you claim, it would surely be enlightening.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 7:47 pm

            Happy to start a whip-round. I’ll pass an envelope around next time I’m at ECB headquarters for drinks and light bribery.


          • Deep Purple Fred Jun 3, 2018 / 10:44 pm

            Just doing a mental exercise.
            ‘I know the game backwards’. Ricky Ponting. No, he’d never say that, too humble,
            “I know the game backwards’. A B de Villiers. No, too much self awareness.
            ‘I know the game backwards’. Shane Warne. Probably not. Despite being a bit of a tosser he’s also a servant of the game.
            “I know the game backwards’. Sangakarra. Not in a million years. Way too knowledgable to be so crass.
            “I know the game backwards’. Geoff Boycott? Getting closer but even he, despite his record and his ego would probably never say that because he has a keen sense for its ironies.


        • Deep Purple Fred Jun 3, 2018 / 9:28 pm

          Wait, this blog has a brand? Damn, I missed that, I’m so naive.
          Lupis, you should hire this guy as a blog consultant, he’s got his finger on the pulse of popular opinion, understands your USP, and I’m sure could leverage your subscriber base to get better returns.
          If it was my blog and he suggested I didn’t love cricket, then I’d suggest he go shove his head up his arse. And I’d shove a computer up there too so maybe he could read and inform himself a bit more.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 7:35 pm

        You could be right; perhaps I’ve mostly read posts to which my attention has been drawn for that reason. Generalising is unfair and I’m sorry.

        You, at least, appear willing to have a good-faith conversation about this. Too many of the others would rather leap on one out-of-context retort I made, or tell me I know nothing about the game I love, or accuse me without the slightest scrap of evidence of being a stooge for the ECB. So thank you.


        • Mark Jun 3, 2018 / 8:04 pm

          This board is open to people to write their views on English cricket…..

          Therefore…..Why don’t you write a 200-300 word report on this test match on here now (seeing as you know cricket backwards it will be a doddle) laying out your views on what players you like, and telling us how they will do against India. Can Bess bowl out India in England?

          Then come back tomorrow and tell us how 16.4 is going to help cricket in England, and how we can win more test matches overseas. How will we cope when Borad and Anderson retire?

          Or alternatively if you can’t do that then STFU.


          • Tom Evans Jun 3, 2018 / 11:04 pm

            For a blog so opposed to media groupthink, the response on here to one hyperbolic figure of speech has been quite, well, homogeneous. For the record, I meant I know a lot about cricket. As do all of you, I’m sure. I don’t go around saying it for no reason; I said it then because my cricket knowledge had been questioned. Had Ponting, or Sangakkara, or Boycott, or any of you been so directly questioned, then I’m sure the response would have been similarly emphatic, if maybe better phrased.

            As for “WRITE ME A MATCH REPORT OR STFU” – I had no idea that was one of the conditions of offering criticism on here. I shall withdraw forthwith as I have better things to do with my time.

            All the best for the future. You’d probably quite like me in real life, and I’m sorry for all the shit I’ve caused.



          • dannycricket Jun 4, 2018 / 7:51 am

            I don’t think you’ve ’caused shit’, but neither have you made any points of your own. The “brand” you described exists mostly as a way for people (particularly journalists) to attack us and dismiss our opinions without in any way engaging with them. Like you have just now.

            The simple truth is that, unless any of us are particularly interested in Liverpool club cricket, none of us will have read any of your match reports or treatises on cricket. Therefore your self-asserted knowledge and understanding of cricket, particularly the England team, are not settled points here. If you read and understood quebecer’s post correctly, you’d see he wanted your conclusions from this match. Is this XI better than the one from 12 months ago? Would they beat Australia next year? Is this the best possible side they could put out? Make an argument and back it up with facts and examples. It’s what our commenters do every day, let alone our writers.

            There is also something to be said for accuracy and context. Posting “positive” articles is certainly easier when you ignore both. This blog began in 2015, and no England debutant from 2014 onwards has secured a place in the Test side. I’m sure each and every one had several articles by respected journalists saying that they were in the team for the long haul. And most of those articles would ignore inconvenient facts such as a poor first class record or technical weaknesses. That is what we provide for our readers, not negativity but realism.

            Since 2014, we have seen dozens of “new eras” declared in English cricket. Bright new dawns with renewed success just over the horizon. An opening partnership which will last for years, the successors to Swann, Trott, KP, Strauss, Anderson and Broad. All of them fairly quickly amounting to nothing. If we offer match reports which accurately predict this, even on days like yesterday when England have a good day, then I dare say they stand the test of time fairly well. And this consistency helps earn us some very loyal readers.


        • Quebecer Jun 4, 2018 / 12:09 am

          You’re a writer who decided to put quotation marks around WRITE ME A MATCH REPORT OR ETFU when it’s not a quote? And I didn’t ask for a match report, I asked for where you disagreed with the conclusion of this one and why. As in, give an opinion about the cricket. Not hard, especially for someone who has knowledge of the game. We all do it, after all, even when we have better things to do.

          Why on earth would I believe you know the game just because you say so? and you clearly don’t have anything better to do given the amount you’ve spent tposting here, or indeed whatever you were doing on a Twitter yesterday. Seems like you’ve got plenty of time and absolutely nothing better to do.


          • "IronBalls" McGinty Jun 4, 2018 / 5:32 pm

            That bloke is a trolling twat. Knows next to bugger all about cricket! Cut through the bullshit and the guy’s certifiable!


          • quebecer Jun 4, 2018 / 10:13 pm

            Ironballs: I’d come to that conclusion too.

            I wonder how people have the time. How do they manage? They must be ultra organized. Strictly scheduled, and the like. Fair play on that front. I look at my life and have absolutely no idea how I’d manage to fit such things in.


    • Quebecer Jun 3, 2018 / 5:30 pm

      Tom, when you say you didn’t mean any offence, that’s not really true, is it? You’re presumption of ‘brand’ as opposed to an evidentially supported position is really about you, not what’s written here. I’m happy to have my opinion shaped by reality, rather than impose my feelings on to reality and pretending I’m not.

      How about reading the second to last full paragraph where the position of the writer regarding this test and the team’s current situation is well expressed and suggest why it’s inaccurate. I happen to think the evidence makes it very reasonable.

      Meh, don’t bother. If you aren’t concerned about the team in the same way, I question your knowledge about the game.


    • dannycricket Jun 3, 2018 / 6:06 pm

      Personally, I would say that I’m a very positive person and that is why I write about cricket here. Were I cynical, pessimistic or negative, I would shrug my shoulders and do nothing whenever I saw something which frustrated me in cricket. And let’s be honest, there’s a lot to get frustrated about in English cricket. The on-field performances, the development of players, the marketing of cricket, the nature of the domestic game, the treatment of the grassroots.

      The simple truth is that there are any number of outlets available for people who solely want to read “positive” stories about English cricket, regardless of how accurate or subjective they are. Most newspapers and of course Sky and the BBC already offer this in abundance. What would any amateur writers like ourselves achieve in such a saturated market? What there isn’t an abundance of is journalists asking questions, challenging, or fact-checking what the ECB and others say and do. That is the gap in the market where we reside.

      And this shouldn’t be construed as an attack on journalists. I understand many of the pressures that lead us to this situation. An overly critical journalist might lose access to players or even, in the most extreme instance, get sued by the ECB’s chairman. Newspapers typically have fewer journalists producing the same output, which means that they often more-or-less copy and paste press releases to save time. Many topics, such as ECB politics or youth development, are hardly clickbait and therefore hold little attraction for advertising-supported publications. And, of course, a lot of cricket journalists have the same background as the administrators and players and so see things in the same way and are naturally more sympathetic than us “outsiders”.

      Due to the unique way we’re funded (ie not at all), we are free to offend, to insult, to disagree as much as we like. To write about what we like, when we like. Or what we dislike, as the case might be. I would love to be writing posts about how “The ECB has done a great job with youth participation” or “Several England players have improved significantly whilst in the Test team” or even that “The England team has a completely rational and consistent disciplinary policy”. But I can’t, because my parents taught me not to lie.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jennyah46 Jun 3, 2018 / 7:44 pm

      Where do you come from?

      You have a lot to learn. Make it a rule to know what you are talking about before you level criticism. This blog has never been a brand. It is a group of independent thinkers who tell it how they see it. They have insight and perspective, presenting a balanced and thoughtful picture of cricket as they find it today. Like all of us you can agree or disagree, but know your facts before you are rude and condescending.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Benny Jun 4, 2018 / 8:46 pm

        Absolutely and more than that – this blog reflects what cricketers are talking about in the dressing rooms, in the pub, at work the next day. No agenda, no brand (what a weak comment), no obedience to what an editor might demand.

        I come here because it fits with my view of the cricket world. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t come here – Big Hint there. We don’t always agree but nobody gets aggressive about it.


  2. alecpaton Jun 3, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    I’m putting this out there- In getting himself to 80*, Jos Buttler ruined the opportunity for England to achieve the world’s most inept thrashing of an opposing team.

    Truly was immortality in their grasp, only to see it slip away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 5:29 pm

      The thing is, and it was a really decent performance, England are not really nearer solving their issues and Ian Botham’s “analysis” post-match shows, if that is the way the establishment are thinking, are nowhere near solving it either. In one breath he’s saying there are no alternatives out there, and in another he’s praising the re-introduction of Jennings and Buttler, and the early promise of Bess and Curran. Then in another breath he says the core of the team is very good, but then there isn’t enough preparation for series like the Ashes and no-one wins away anyway (ignoring New Zealand totally). The management aren’t the problem, who else is there, so on and so forth.

      It drives me spare. Why aren’t there alternatives? No offering. Why are players not making the step up? No clue. What about players in form? Can’t be sure (you can never be sure). And anyway, the ODI team is doing really well (knocked out in the semi-final, moaned about the wicket, in a home ICC competition – we’ve won nothing and were number 1 in the world in 2012 or so at that format, weren’t we).

      Is anyone not worried that our century machines, Cook and Root, have dried up? Root’s has, after initial success, dried up as he has become captain. Cook’s become further apart – and that’s a fact, sadly. No-one else is making regular runs. It’s genuinely concerning. I am looking forward to seeing a Kohli-led India team come over here. I think his passion will prevent something like 2014, and that will test England.

      I think the press are more in tune with this line of thinking. Sky is getting worryingly parochial. A shame because I was getting more impressed with Botham’s in game commentary which has been really insightful in the past week or so, before he went on the ra-ra bullshit at the end.


        • pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 3, 2018 / 5:37 pm

          Oh blast! What I meant to say was that as usual you made the points far better than I could.


    • pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 3, 2018 / 5:34 pm

      This game saves face for England but to argue that it is a great deal more than that is disingenuous. The same issues with regards to the batting line up haven’t even begun to be answered and neither has the bowling.

      The lack of hundreds has been discussed so often and for far longer than the press have done. This blog has also, more than any other described the frailties of English seam bowling and the lack of pace and penetration more than any I know. So they finally put in a good performance after 8 tests of being largely poor. I struggle to be sharing out the high fives.

      Bully for Bess scoring runs, I hope he can kick on as a batsman who is a handy off spinner. Good to see him take wickets this innings too but he doesn’t look to have that high a ceiling as a bowler. Bully for Buttler too but I hope that he can adapt to batting at 5. Picking a batsman at 7 merely reinforces that there is no confidence that the specialist batsman to do their job.


  3. Mark Jun 3, 2018 / 5:48 pm

    As I’m a bit older than you I will skip the Mel and Kim references & put forward The Who’s….. “We won’t get fooled again.”

    Except judging by the geniuses in the peanut gallery, and the Liverpool echo they most certainly will get fooled again, and again, and again. We have seen this movie franchise play out pretty much every year since “the difficult winter.” Star Wars has nothing on this England team sequels. The plot is always the same. You can rearrange the films in any order. Get thumped on a flat pitch away from home in the winter or in London, and then head “oop north” for a nice green seamer with a side helping of The Sultans of of swing. (One for the teenagers.)

    Rejoice, Rejoice….. all’s well, and England are back to their best. Let the fawning orgy of self congratulation begin. Spot the first ECB lackey to say we can be back to being number one in no time. Who will be the Luke Skywalker in this episode? Butler? Bess? Shinny Toy? Ed (Pepe)Smith? We all know this site will be the Death Star.

    Total overs bowled in this match including the 2 overs for change of each innings are 206 overs over a three day period. (Allowing for the rain delay yesterday.) So in effect a 2 day one session test match

    That’s the ideal ECB test match right there. A 20/20 type test match. (No wonder they want to pick Butler again.) And there is no decider because it’s a two match series of nonsense. (Allows them to boast they haven’t lost a home series for ages. The ECB do like taking test matches up north for the early season series. I wonder why? (Cough cough)

    I like test cricket but this is a farce. A stuffing at Lords, followed by a stuffing at Leeds. If this is the future then even traditional test fans will be pushed away. (Isn’t that what the authorities want?) To be honest I haven’t watched much of it after the early afternoon on the first day. With Pakistan at 78/7 it was all over. Even England couldn’t cock it up from there.


  4. Adam H Jun 3, 2018 / 6:21 pm

    I frequent this blog and comments section, and enjoy the discourse. But I’ve also noted that there’s definitely more glee and interest here when England are losing than when England are winning. I think some stats on how many page hits/comments are generated after an England defeat vs an England win would show that to be the case.


    • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 6:23 pm

      Yep, that’s why we talk about it being the bad news blog a fair bit. People flock here when it goes tits up.


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 6:29 pm

      Why the hell am I defending this blog!!!!! (sorry it’s tagged on to your post Adam).

      People come here because there’s something interesting to read, and you can let rip! If people don’t want to read it, they won’t.

      But I always stick up for myself when I’m misrepresented. I’m done with Liverpool Echo man, I made my point. He made his. I have a blog and posts that I am responsible for, and he can tweet what he wants. If it crosses my path again, I’ll decide what to say about it. End of.

      I think glee is the wrong word, Adam. As an example, read what we did after the Grenada test in 2015.


      • Julie Gould Jun 3, 2018 / 10:34 pm

        Always got your back, Dmitri and the blogs.


        • Benny Jun 4, 2018 / 8:52 pm

          I’ve been here forever. Main reason – because it’s honest


    • Mark Jun 3, 2018 / 6:47 pm

      I told you…. we are the Death Star.

      It’s the deep longing for us to submit that is priceless. They run here every time England flatter to deceive hoping we will finally beg forgiveness for our uppity attitude. Better that one sinner repents…….into the Kingdom of the ECB.

      Who have England beaten in the last few years. (Say 4) where the pitches weren’t green seamers or swinging sultans? India? They rearely travel well. The Ashes? England got murdered on two flat pitches in London? well done Trent Bridge and Birmingham.

      SA turned up last time with their best player ABV sitting on Twitter.


  5. oreston Jun 3, 2018 / 6:44 pm

    I imagine we “doom and gloom merchants” are now supposed to have crawled back under our stone, having been comprehensively proven wrong, nay embarrassed and silenced, by a single England victory against worthy if hardly World beating opponents in helpful home conditions. Fuck that. The Lords debacle was only last week, the New Zealand tour happened, the Ashes can’t be unlost. As has been pointed out, we have a top order that’s prone to collapsing like a house of cards and doesn’t score centuries (at least one member of which will be dropped or recycled every series with no one ever really convincing) while neither the captain nor the coach’s writ appears to run where the aging opening bowlers are concerned. They’ll bowl whatever length they damn well please, unless a pundit challenges them once in a blue moon. The captain shows neither any particular aptitude for the role nor any sign of growing into it. However entertaining, a limited overs specialist batsman at no. 7 is not a sign of robust health in a Test team (though at least he managed to play somewhat responsibly at Lords). It certainly won’t always work out like it did today and, with no disrespect to Pakistan, it won’t against top quality attacks. Meanwhile we have an all rounder nursing injuries and facing a criminal trial during the India series, plus a couple of 20 yr. old rooky bowlers who have been picked more as desperate next cabs off the rank rather than any actual succession planning. (Good luck to both of them – this is about management, not the players in question). I could go on, but it’s all been said before hasn’t it?
    I couldn’t be bothered to watch any of this game live – I simply checked updates and watched highlight clips on the BBC site. You know, if I didn’t like reading and commenting here (because at least that reassures me that I’m not the only one who realises the emperor has no clothes) I think my now quite low (and diminishing) level of engagement would be even less.

    Liked by 3 people

    • pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 4, 2018 / 1:21 pm

      There is a simple reason why BOC is a “bad news blog”. That is because the mainstream media never dare write anything overly critical about the side no matter the performance. As we know the last India tour was pretty much, “oh well it as India away” and it was the same last winter “oh well it was Australia away, we’re not supposed to win there”. No challenging the make-up of the squad, the performances of key men, tactics etc.

      If you want criticism of the team, the ‘heavyweight’ news media is not the place to go, but then you all know that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • oreston Jun 4, 2018 / 2:14 pm

        We all know that but it needed saying – especially given the way some of the comments on this post went yesterday. Still, everyone’s entitled to their POV and there’s nothing worse than an online echo chamber, so the odd interjection from someone who’s yet to take the proverbial red pill should I suppose be seen as a useful reality check (however bad for the blood pressure!)


        • pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 4, 2018 / 5:46 pm

          I noted and made my case above as to what I thought. It was obvious that one off hand comment from Dmitri was something of a lightning rod but it never was close to nearly representing the way this board roles. Even away from here on more general cricket chat forums there are hardly mass celebrations breaking out. The views about where the England team are don’t much vary from here but the bigger picture is rather different and there’s nothing wrong with that.


  6. Riverman21 Jun 3, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    Mel and Kim LCL.

    God I Remember hearing Showing out for the for the first time thinking music had gone to hell in a hand cart. The Stone Roses were just round the corner.

    1 win in 9

    I am the Resurrection.


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 7:14 pm

      As I said on Twitter, it’s only because I couldn’t fit lyrics to Boys Boys Boys by Sabrina to the post.

      Everybody summertime love applies more to the comments section tonight though.


      • Riverman21 Jun 3, 2018 / 7:17 pm

        You could have just posted the video 🙂


        • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 7:20 pm

          Used in eye tests for the look up look down assessment, so I’m told. Also, ladies present!


        • Riverman21 Jun 3, 2018 / 8:26 pm

          If he starts quoting The Reynolds Girls lyrics when Leach plays I’m out of here
          Just saying!


          • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 10:29 pm

            A night of 80s music to formulate the next post. Whenever that is. It won’t be Africa, by Toto. Too much Kilimanjaro, and not enough Dominic Bess.


          • northernlight71 Jun 4, 2018 / 9:03 am

            I envisage a whole article about Alistair, studded with references like Never Gonna Give You Up, Lessons in Love and of course Running in the Family.


  7. metatone Jun 3, 2018 / 7:45 pm


    1) Am I a Doom and Gloom merchant? Not really… but things actually haven’t been good for a while. I managed some positivity around the white ball team, but Tests… for me certain persistent issues (esp. w/ the bowling) showed in the SA Tests in 2012 and really have not even looked like being addressed since. That’s made it hard enjoy the home wins we’ve had since then b/c it’s a castle built on sand. There’s nothing I’d like more than this kind of thing to get fixed. I loved the feeling of the years up to and inc. 2005. And I enjoyed 2010-11 Ashes a lot too. I’m not looking for us to be invincible, just for us not to be so obviously broken.

    2) I only caught a little of Bess bowling, but I fear we’ve just swapped Moeen out for a similar player who is in better form. Now better form is welcome, but somewhere we need a bowler (and it could be someone other than the spinner, but I don’t know who) who can regularly take wickets when conditions don’t suit Jimmy & Stu… So I fear Bess is not a step forward overall.

    3) We won a low scoring game. Better than losing one (which is what we did in the last match) but again, not really a huge revelation, esp. at home. Hard to get excited.


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 3, 2018 / 8:03 pm

      Thank you M for the comments and I agree with pretty much all of them.

      There is a tendency to want the new thing off the block, and to play up successful short term selections. I love the temperament of both Bess and Curran – neither looked overawed in this series. Whether they are up to it, let’s see. I have a horrible, horrible feeling Sam Curran is going to be the Ben Hollioake of this generation – outside the tragic end of course. By that I fear he’s not going to be quite test standard at either discipline and will frustrate us no end. And I’ve never wanted to be more wrong. I was at Surrey v Lancashire a couple of years ago and young Sam was at the boundary talking to a couple of fans during the breaks in play. At 17/18 he was genuine, friendly, nice and grounded to that guy. I think many others might have been arrogant tossers. But from then on I really want him to succeed. More than any player for many a year.

      I have the same fears with Bess, but let us see him develop. He needs time, he’s young, and he will learn. He’s going to sink or swim very quickly against India if the wickets are dry and slow paced. But I like his attitude.


      • metatone Jun 4, 2018 / 8:23 am

        Yes, they both done enough to stay in the side. Let’s hope they can seize the chance with both hands.


  8. Zephirine Jun 3, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Say what you like about Trevor Bayliss (and you will), he was being very measured and reasonable after the win, I thought. Kind of “yeah it was nice, but don’t expect me to jump up and down”, which was pretty much how I felt too.

    There’s a lot of ‘Bayliss Out’ stuff BTL on certain newspaper websites, but I don’t think he’s the problem. He can only work with the players he’s given and if they ignore his advice, all he can do is sit impassively on the balcony. Like he does.

    People complain that he doesn’t follow county cricket and look for new talent, but he doesn’t select the team, so what’s the point? It’s really a very peculiar job with a very restricted remit.


    • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 7:48 pm

      Bayliss was brought in to improve the white ball teams. He’s done exactly what was asked of him, and the structure that was put in place accordingly. If I thought for a moment that things would magically improve if he went, then great, but I have my doubts.


    • dannycricket Jun 3, 2018 / 8:01 pm

      Bayliss isn’t the cause of most of England’s problems, but I’m unconvinced he’s the solution to any of them. Even his success in ODIs can perhaps be mostly ascribed to a change in selection policy which he has virtually nothing to do with and began before he took over.

      Which isn’t to say he’s completely ineffective. His ability to provide a ‘positive environment’ in the ODI dressing room prevents players from batting conservatively because they fear for their place or are dwelling on past mistakes. I’m just not sure that this translates as well to the Test team. They are divided fairly evenly between dealing with the big egos of the undroppable veterans and the need to develop and nurture another five or six players virtually from scratch. I’ve not seen any evidence of Bayliss managing either.


      • thelegglance Jun 3, 2018 / 8:13 pm

        Its a counter-factual conundrum isn’t it? I have to say I thought Bayliss was a great choice at the time, and would shake up England a bit. Maybe someone else would have done better, maybe not, but I’ve always been a tad sceptical that the coach makes a huge difference either way.


      • oreston Jun 4, 2018 / 6:11 am

        I think Morgan’s captaincy has been at least as big a factor in the ODI improvement as Trevor Bayliss, as has the absence (for sound cricketing reasons, but nonetheless…) of what you call the undroppable veterans.


        • oreston Jun 4, 2018 / 6:12 am

          Sorry, I was trying to reply to Danny.


  9. Sri.Grins Jun 4, 2018 / 1:08 am

    TEKCIRC. I do know cricket backwards. 🙂


    • quebecer Jun 4, 2018 / 1:35 am

      Steady. Could be though of as negative.


  10. jomesy Jun 4, 2018 / 7:30 am

    Looks like I missed all the “fun” and should have waited for this post to open before posting this on the previous post:

    From OBO

    The victory means England remain unbeaten at home since 2014, and sets them up nicely for the five-Test series against India later this summer. The big plusses in this series were the form of Jos Buttler, and confirmation of Stuart Broad’s return to form. He looks a very good bet to be leading wicket-taker in that India series. Dom Bess charmed just about everyone and should start the first Test against India, though his bowling is still a work in progress.

    If that’s not a case in point given the earlier exchanges, I’m not sure what is.

    Finally, without this blog I think I’d be going mad. A bit like a haunted holiday house I was once unfortunate enough to spend a fortnight in. Took me about 6 months to even start to get over that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sri.Grins Jun 4, 2018 / 10:58 am

      That surely sounds interesting


      • jomesy Jun 4, 2018 / 7:53 pm

        T’was nuts Sri. Wasn’t just me (thank god). Worst of it was I’d paid for the two weeks as a family holiday. We should have left after the 3rd night but I’d pulled out all the stops on this place and couldn’t afford to take the family elsewhere. So we stuck it out. We really shouldn’t have. Fortunately the kids were too young to recall but my word that place was nuts. I have never experienced anything like it since but even now, some seven years later, it’s still crazy to recollect and it took a long time to shake it off.


        • Sri.grins Jun 5, 2018 / 1:29 am

          Thanks for the reply, Jomesy. I shall look forward to reading on this blog about your experiences when you get the time to share it.

          Now that LCL has given the green signal, I am very curious to hear about the haunted holiday house.


    • Zephirine Jun 4, 2018 / 7:51 pm

      Very intriguing, Jomesy….are you able to tell us what it was haunted by, or is it still too disturbing to discuss?


      • jomesy Jun 4, 2018 / 7:53 pm

        We crossed. Happy to but not sure if blog owners would like.


        • LordCanisLupus Jun 4, 2018 / 9:45 pm

          What the hell do you think. Beats debating printed words being taken out of context!


          • jomesy Jun 4, 2018 / 10:02 pm

            Fair enough. Story to follow. Will take a few days as it’s long and I don’t have much time to spare. To answer your q zeph, I don’t know “what” haunted us…


  11. dlpthomas Jun 4, 2018 / 9:06 am

    Of all the fast bowlers who are both eligible to play for England and currently fit, is Curran the Younger really the 4th best?


    • dannycricket Jun 4, 2018 / 9:20 am

      Hard to say. Toby Roland-Jones is out for the season whilst Steven Finn only played one Championship game after recovering from injury, although I think Finn has played in all of the One Day Cup games since. Craig Overton might consider himself unlucky based on his games in Australia, although his domestic match figures this season haven’t been great aside from a one day game against Surrey. I don’t really know enough about county cricket to gauge the other bowling prospects.


      • dlpthomas Jun 4, 2018 / 9:26 am

        Didn’t Ball start the season well?


        • dannycricket Jun 4, 2018 / 9:28 am

          I think, with a bowling average of 114.33 from 4 Tests, that Ball is out of contention for the immediate future.


          • dlpthomas Jun 4, 2018 / 9:57 am

            To be fair, he was carrying an ankle injury in Australia. Besides, isn’t the idea that you go back to first class cricket, perform well and fight your way back into the test team……….oh, sorry that’s “old school”.


          • dannycricket Jun 4, 2018 / 10:03 am

            Yeah, it’s not like he did well in the IPL or anything.


      • oreston Jun 4, 2018 / 10:19 am

        “I don’t really know enough about county cricket to gauge the other bowling prospects.”

        You are Trevor Bayliss and I claim my £5.


        • thelegglance Jun 4, 2018 / 10:43 am

          That’s a very dismissive response to his application for the England job…


  12. Miami Dad's Six Jun 4, 2018 / 10:51 am

    I hate it when I’m ‘told’ to like a player, over and above what my own eyes tell me. Bess’s catch was apparently amazing – but I thought it was a bit of a dolly, the ball wasn’t moving at that much pace and any First Class cricketer who passes that up is a bad fielder. He and Curran were gifted wickets in Pakistan’s awful second dig. I’m unconvinced Curran will ever be sharp enough to take wickets internationally, he doesn’t look like he bends his back enough. Why do other countries get 17 years olds bowling 88mph and we get 20 year olds bowling 78mph – overcoaching from too young an age?
    TBH I like ‘good’ cricket matches more than anything, and when it’s a thrashing (most cricket matches are) I prefer not to see England win, unless they’re playing Australia or India. I like an underdog, and countries who don’t stitch up an entire sport on the back of greed get my backing over those who do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sri.Grins Jun 4, 2018 / 11:07 am

      We used to ask the same question as I remember for almost 40 years from the time I started reading about tests (probably even before i started watching) India played till 6-8 years prior to today (Why are we having bowlers bowling 78-80 mph as opposed to genuine fast bowlers in other countries whn even Pak can produce thm in droves? ) 🙂

      Today we have a bunch of under-9 players (mavi, nagarkoti, porel etc bowling 90 mph +). I guess it is just a cycle countries go through or possibly lack of interest in cricket in England compared to sub continent or overcoaching or simply the pitches ensuring that pace is not needed to gt a lot of wickets in domestic cricket. Difficult to say.


        • thelegglance Jun 4, 2018 / 11:31 am

          Glad for that correction Sri. I was going to suggest we all gave up and went home. 😂😉


        • BoredInAustria Jun 4, 2018 / 1:18 pm

          Pity. For a moment I was very impressed by the U-9s bowling at 90mph…


          • BoredInAustria Jun 4, 2018 / 1:20 pm

            Plus I thought this is even better than Loughborough: Starting off with U-9s bowling at 90 mph, then hitting senior cricket bowling at 75mph…


          • Sri.Grins Jun 4, 2018 / 1:42 pm

            That would have been great wouldn’t it. starting off with 90 mph and ending up at 75.

            I am sure some day we will get there. 🙂


    • LordCanisLupus Jun 4, 2018 / 9:41 pm

      If a player stands up and doesn’t look rubbish in his first two tests, then they get praised. We should be patient. I quote Haseeb a lot for rushing to judgement, but he’s not the only one we’ve seen. I am pulling for Sam as he appears a great kid, but I get exactly where you are coming from. Vaughan mentions tonight that he should be looking to become our Charminda Vaas. No pressure there then.


      • quebecer Jun 4, 2018 / 10:18 pm

        I think a problem with SCurran is how early the ball goes though. I’m not sure you can get away with that at the highest level.


        • Miami Dad's 6 Jun 4, 2018 / 10:32 pm

          Would it not go later naturally if he put on 3mph?


      • Miami Dad's 6 Jun 4, 2018 / 10:31 pm

        Vaughan’s hyperbole and lack of anything resembling context is beyond parody; Vaas was genuinely exceptional imho, and ended up with 350 odd wickets on some of the trickiest pitches in the world to be a swing bowler..! Had he been English he’d have taken 500+. So yeah, over to you, Sam…

        I think Curran could maybe aim to do the Hoggard type role, strive for swing with the new ball bowling very full, then keep it miserly with the old. There’s no shame in that. Perhaps he will get a couple of bumper international seasons in like Ryan Sidebum did.

        Apart from Bess’s gumption, pluck and chippiness – how about some technical analysis – how do his “revs” compare with other spinners? I saw Nasser discussing the seam angle (his seam spins towards a left hander’s point, as opposed to towards gully as Graeme Swann’s did). I was watching youtube clips of Shane Warne earlier, and almost all the balls with ‘monster’ turn had the seam square, so that doesn’t put me off Bess so long as there’s some variation in his locker. Does anyone know if there’s any historical figures for “revs”? Be interesting to know how he compares to others. He strikes me as more Tufnell (notwithstanding right handedness, ability to field and bat) than Swann.


  13. Elaine Simpson-Long Jun 4, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    Read you all the time, do not always comment (usually because somebody has already said what I wanted to say but better) and have read all the comments above with great interest. Tom has always been combative and has challenged some of my comments along the way which is he entitled to do of course. But I turn to this blog as an oasis of sanity in the usual crap that is peddled in the Newspapers. Danny, Chris, Pete I love you all and I hope I have not left anybody out


    • Benny Jun 4, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      You only left Sean out but I reckon he’s pretty resilient. Always thought you were a gentle soul so no need to get combative. Condemning this blog for being negative, as Tom did, is rather like saying people should not be so unkind to Trump or Putin and, really, the train companies are trying hard and shouldn’t be criticized.


      • Sean Jun 4, 2018 / 9:43 pm

        Like Steve Smith, I’ve spent the last 4 day’s crying at my omission 😂


  14. LordCanisLupus Jun 4, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    As usual, thank you for your defence of the blog ethos in this thread, but it really wasn’t necessary. We’re a prickly bunch, well I am, when the blog is challenged, and I would have liked to have let it lie reasonably soon into this. We’re well versed in this; winning positions and wins bring out some strange reactions. It has been quite noticeable this time around how reserved many have been in the media.

    If I wanted universal adoration, I wouldn’t be writing about a sport diminishing rapidly in the British public’s eye, and with such a useless authority running it. But I’m a glutton for punishment.


    Liked by 1 person

  15. Riverman21 Jun 5, 2018 / 7:22 am

    Is there anything less satisfying than a 2 test series?
    For both teams a 3rd match would have answered a lot more questions over individual players…

    I still have a great admiration for Vaughan as England captain but he really has gone to the lowest denominator as a pundit. The great thing about opinions you can always change and get another one. He berated the “keyboard warriors” on Sunday but when some guy called in and made some valid points he breezily dismissed them as a gloommonger. Much better to say Curran is a nailed on 6 of the future and Bess is a great cricketer. #callitearly
    I don’t see how we have improved this team over the last 2 weeks. Root to 3 possibly. The India series will tell us a lot more about the “direction of travel”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Silk Jun 5, 2018 / 11:40 am

      Ed is cleverer than you. And you and you

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Jun 5, 2018 / 11:46 am

        But he downplays it, you know.

        A sort of FICJASE, if you will.

        (just ask someone else)

        or FICJAT

        (just ask Tim)

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Jun 5, 2018 / 1:53 pm

        On a more serious note, it really doesn’t take long for our collective cynicism to be justified by someone in the media, though, does it?

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Stevet Jun 5, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    Have a guess who’s been making noises about 4-day tests again?………None other thatn Good Ol’ Shiny Toy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Riverman21 Jun 5, 2018 / 6:46 pm

      “He may look like an idiot, and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Scrim Jun 6, 2018 / 7:35 am

    Cricket Australia going the way of the ECB. Levelling the playing field!

    Background behind the James Sutherland resignation:

    I don’t know much about corporate governance… but does the CFO ever report to the COO instead of the CEO? Sounds very strange. So Sutherland (who I was no big fan of, but who definitely had the best interests of Australian cricket at heart), the man standing between Peever and unchecked power at CA, has been forced out and is to be replaced with another Peever stooge of similar competance as Kevin Roberts. Next players’ union negotations and TV rights negotiations will be chaos.


    • d'Arthez Jun 6, 2018 / 3:39 pm

      It is just to be expected. If the constituent Full Member boards have actively opposed good governance at the international level (the ICC), it is only logical that on a national level, they will oppose it with increasing ferocity – and thus that the money men take over. No matter how bad at the job they are.

      Other boards will soon succumb to similar idiocy as well. The only question now, is whether we’ll enjoy death by franchise cricket from 2025 onwards or 2030 onwards. Before then, Test cricket has stopped to be meaningful altogether, and in some instances it already has.


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