Day 4 Review – They Don’t Want Your Name

“Plain and simp the system’s a pimp
But I refuse to be a ho
Who stole the soul?”

Public Enemy – Who Stole The Soul?

This may not be the best example of the genre, but the ECB, BCCI, ICC, England cricket and Indian cricket, have long since been in the position to be given the benefit of the doubt. This test match has grave alarm bells tolling, and why much of this may be down to India getting the raw end of the deal when it came to pitch and conditions we’ve seen another game where an away team are all at sea, and England’s crew of home cooking seam bowling has taken apart a team that is ranked number 1 in the world. This England team would be massacred in India, we know that, we all know that, because this is the sort of bowling attack we’d take there. There’s no real new names that could put their hand up and shock us all. There’s no star batsman just waiting to make hay in the Indian sunshine on tracks that take turn. We can try to fool ourselves that Edgbaston is as close as India will get to a neutral venue on this tour, and that the best side won, but it won because it covered up those awful batting fissures that require us to pick bowlers because they can bat.

So while Woakes ended England’s four test long century drought to bring some much needed light to the batting woes, again we are relying on the bowling all rounders to bail us out of tight spots to win games. This is not “we’re doing it all wrong”. England bowled well, really well, in helpful conditions and that hasn’t always been the way of things. Anderson was exceptional in the first innings, and Broad hit the heights in the second. They shouldn’t bowl like clowns because the batsmen are batting like them.

Woakes and Curran added a few more runs to the total before Young Sam’s slog to third man meant that Chris Woakes got the red ink on his 137. Lots of Ian Botham impersonators on line were crying out for the early declaration, but anyone studying the rain radar like the nerd I am would have been able to tell the rain was weakening the further east it got, turning to drizzle. More play than was predicted was predicted! Yes, we could have bowled in favourable conditions, and yes we need to take ten wickets. But there’s a comfort in sitting there saying “declare, declare”. This isn’t a case of them being nine down and clinging on. If they were still there at tea tomorrow, they were going to be ahead. (I’m writing this first part at 5 pm, so before the close of play).

England finally declared after about 37 minutes (well I’m assuming that was how long given that was the interlude for Virat to bat) with a lead of 289. Anderson made short work of Murali Vijay, who will now probably find himself swapped out for Dhawan after this pair. He didn’t take long to remove KL Rahul either, and India found themselves at 13 for 2. Resistance came in some shape or form from Pujara, but Rahane’s disappointing tour continued as he prodded to slip. Pujara hung around but then got bowled, Kohli had a bad back, and he fended to forward short leg after a short innings, and Dinesh Karthik – the same one I see score 91 in 2008 at the Oval – got a booming inswinger first up and was sent on his way. The rain came at 66 for 6. The end looked nigh.

50 runs after the interval and Chris Woakes nailed Hardik Pandya LBW after a review. He’d looked quite comfortable at the crease and had batted well with the first innings performer, Ashwin. This is a difficult batting wicket, and tough conditions, but it is not impossible, and Pandya and Ashwin showed that, although Michael Holding has really got it in for Hardik Pandya for some reason!

Kuldeep Yadav was knocked over having nicked on to the stumps, and looked at least one place too high in the order. After a bad light review and a reprieve from a mistaken umpire decision, Mohammed Shami, who bowled beautifully with little reward, decided to swing for the fences, and was nailed plumb in front. Ishant fell to Woakes, who selfishly, callously denied both Anderson and Broad a five for. England won by an innings an 158 runs.

England have won the test. They lead the series 2-0. The summer game may as well roll  up for the rest of the year now. A test series we prayed might be competitive is repeating 2011 and 2014 before our eyes. This isn’t England’s fault. We didn’t let up. I never really felt any doubt that we would win this series, I rather hoped India would come to play with some form of grit and determination to see this out. They haven’t. What happened in the past two series was the first two tests might have had some competition at the start, as soon as the tide turned, India counted the days towards going home. More and more players got injured. Heads went down. This is not unique for India, but hell, it’s worrying that a number 1 team in the world goes down this meekly. If you’re not worried, then, frankly, you’ve not been paying attention.

There’s a much larger, longer post on the problems with sport at the moment. There is an illusion of sporting wellbeing that is utterly misplaced. Cricket is but one sport that needs to smell the coffee. The veneration of Lord’s, with all its snobbery and class system in full effect, is one symptom of a much larger malaise. When the Premier League starts with all its obnoxious wealth, sub-standard fayre, and slick salesmen selling us snake oil, and garners all the attention, sport as a way out of real life, and to be loved and nurtured is being diminished. Diminished by one-sided contests, pay TV taking major events away from the public (the 4th golf major, anyone), and the rich getting richer. Who stole the soul indeed?

“If you’re not honest, there won’t be progress” said Kumar Sangakkara. How true. How damn true. But while it’s money and short-termism in control, progress is ephemeral. Such progress there is.

On to Trent Bridge.

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97 thoughts on “Day 4 Review – They Don’t Want Your Name

  1. oreston Aug 12, 2018 / 5:00 pm

    I see you didn’t wait in case of an Indian rearguard batting miracle before penning this (!) As for the result, I’m sure we’ll be told to “rejoice at that news” but I agree it’s all rather troubling.
    Apropos of nothing, I’ve just realised that Adil Rashid neither batted nor bowled during the entirety (which was less than three days’ play) of this Test match.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2018 / 5:02 pm

      First time since Gareth Batty against Bangladesh in 2005, according to a tweet I saw.

      A stab in the heart for every county pro who could have done what Adil did.

      Like

      • oreston Aug 12, 2018 / 5:03 pm

        Indeed…

        Like

  2. nonoxcol Aug 12, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    I cannot celebrate a match like that (reminded me of the Sri Lanka games in May 2016, only worse because of the diabolical scheduling of this summer, compounded by absurd luck with the weather). Such is the difference between me and the modern England fan, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Aug 12, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      I feel the same way, all the more so not so much b/c of the win, but the way the luck with the weather made England’s batting look good.

      Like

      • Sophie Aug 13, 2018 / 12:16 pm

        My gut says, if you think England’s batting looked good, you have low standards. (Allrounders excepted.) I’m sorry, I’ve been exposed to too much advertising on Sky.

        Like

        • thelegglance Aug 13, 2018 / 12:18 pm

          I realised that when it dawned on me that despite never having placed a bet in a bookies in my entire life, I am extremely aware of who the betting companies are, and what they offer.

          Like

          • Benny Aug 13, 2018 / 3:05 pm

            I’ve never placed a bet either. I never win anything – raffles, draws whatever, so no point. However, I’m tempted to find out what odds they offer on Cook scoring under 30 in any innings. Must be as surefire as anything.

            Like

  3. Mark Aug 12, 2018 / 5:25 pm

    Taking money on false pretences. I’m so glad I didn’t buy a ticket for this dog and pony show. When teams must play against each other because of their off field financial strength (5 tests for India and not more competitive teams) rather than their on field strength sport is entering a dangerous place.

    This seems to be the model the Big three want. Doctured surfaces for home advantage, and one sided contests. More fool us if we financially support this nonsense. How long before promotion and relegation out of the Premiership will be on wealth not points?

    Sport is all about a contest. No contest, no sport worth watching. Doesn’t matter how rich one side is. As for the golf, they have become so greedy, and so arrogant they now have contrived to give themselves no viewers for this event.

    We live in a strange universe where as the audience gets smaller, the money gets bigger. I’m not sure that is an economic model that won’t one day blow up.

    Like

  4. Growltiger Aug 12, 2018 / 5:35 pm

    These were diabolical conditions for modern Indian batsmen facing high quality swing and seam bowling (actually not that much seam) while their bowlers were not favoured so much by the weather on the middle day. It is hard to see them doing much better with the bat, because their only solution to the moving ball seems to be to stand further up the pitch and play the same short. There is nobody taking their cue from Dravid. But, so far, this has not been the sort of capitulation we saw on the previous tour. They look keen in the field, and some of the bowling is impressive; Shami is an underrated class act. The big character test will come at Trent Bridge. Until then, I would not write off either the Indian side or lament the soul of the departed.

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      You are more hopeful than me, Growltiger, which admittedly isn’t saying a lot.

      All I want is a competitive series, with great contests. Edgbaston was latched on as a really great game because (a) it was and (b) it was so bloody rare in these parts.

      India’s capitulation in 2014 came after they won at Lord’s.

      Dinesh Karthik, for instance, played well here in 2007. But he’s regressed over the years. Kohli may have improved but Rahane has regressed. It’s odd, but it isn’t. It’s OK for the pundits to bang on about lack of preparation, but what is anyone going to do about it?

      Like

      • metatone Aug 12, 2018 / 5:52 pm

        I largely agree with Growltiger, if we get a dry pitch without exaggerated swing.
        However, the weather forecast isn’t hopeful on that score for the next game.

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        • LordCanisLupus Aug 12, 2018 / 5:54 pm

          There’s form, and then there’s form….

          Like

  5. Growltiger Aug 12, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    Same shot, not short.

    Like

  6. metatone Aug 12, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    India miss Bumrah and B. Kumar a lot in these conditions. Made them a lot more competitive in South Africa.

    Like

    • dlpthomas Aug 13, 2018 / 5:54 am

      The Indian pace bowlers were very impressive in South Africa. Based on that tour, I thought they had a good chance of winning this series. My bad. I now realize that supporting India may be even more frustrating than supporting England.

      Like

      • metatone Aug 13, 2018 / 6:58 am

        Injuries are just a big part of modern sport. But it’s unfortunate both for Indian fans and for the excitement of the series when they lost the two bowlers best suited to these conditions.

        Like

    • nonoxcol Aug 12, 2018 / 7:42 pm

      Oh look indeed:

      Like

      • oreston Aug 12, 2018 / 8:12 pm

        It was all very calculating of that notoriously work shy Adil Rashid. Clearly he used his prodigious powers of mind over matter to ensure that the conditions favoured swing bowling and India collapsed quickly twice that so he didn’t have to turn his arm over. He also employed his well known skills as a hypnotist to compel Joe Root to declare England’s only innings needlessly early so that he didn’t have to go out and bat. And they say he’s mentally fragile…

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        • Zephirine Aug 13, 2018 / 11:32 am

          Fed up with this. Really, really fed up. If that happened to anyone else it would be an amusing quirk of the result from a frequently interrupted and not very impressive match. Because it’s Rashid it becomes some kind of statement about his ability. Leave him alone for God’s sake.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sophie Aug 13, 2018 / 12:18 pm

            I absolutely agree and feel exactly the same. Cricket media is like kindergarten at times. They really should have developed some empathy at their age.

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus Aug 13, 2018 / 1:17 pm

            It’s curious you can be nice to an Asian spin bowler, as long as he comes from your manor I suppose.

            I just don’t think someone who has been so hyper-critical of the bowler, his persona and his selection gets to make that observation.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Riverman21 Aug 13, 2018 / 1:05 pm

        Blokes got no class. But he’s lowering the bar now way beyond rational thought.

        If we had declared at 350/2 could we expect to see him ripping the piss out of the batsmen who never batted.

        Except that’s not the vindictive narrative he’s peddling for whoever his audience is.

        PS: Congratulations to you all on getting to 3,000 followers.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. CowCorner Aug 12, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    I think the thing that has surprised me the most about this series is how, Kohli aside, the Indian batsmen have all looked varying degrees of clueless. Normally one or two others at least put their hand up and contribute but none of them have really looked anything more than fleetingly comfortable in either game so far.

    I genuinely think a tiny bit of Root saw England having to chase any total in 3 figures in a potential 4th innings as a frightening concept. Therefore, he kept Woakes and Curran longer than planned.

    On to Trent Bridge indeed when I can only really see a similar pattern. Still, I like Trent Bridge, a far more friendly place to watch cricket at least. The seeming randomness of the stands, a bit more atmosphere and the fact that it seems to draw crowds from such a wide area. I’ve met all sorts of people there coming from Lincs, S Yorks, Northants, London and the rest of the Midlands. The atmosphere is a bit more boisterous and there is a distinct lack of ponciness about the place.

    Like

    • Rohan Aug 12, 2018 / 9:28 pm

      Here here, regarding Trent Bridge. I have only been once but immediately warmed to the place; great venue!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mark Aug 12, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    This is a very goood Sky Verdict. More entertaining than the match.

    Well done Rob Keyes on pointing out how over rated county cricket is on green seamers. As Pope said I haven’t played against any decent spin bowlers. So much for the messing about with the toss. Medium paced trundelrs bowling sides out.

    As Keyes said……” no wonder they are bringing in players from outside county cricket like Butler and Rashid. “…..?Some push back against Shinny toys endless eulogy to the sanctity of modern county cricket.

    Also Kohli is a great player, but he is a lousy selecter, and tactician. He doesn’t seem to think bowlers win matches. Two spinners was ridiculous.

    Like

  9. d'Arthez Aug 12, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    What a great series. All of 5 (out of 13) Indian batsmen average more than 10, with Rahane scraping to a magnificent 12. Only worse than Kohli (60), Ashwin (28.33, with a HS of 33*, the best by anyone but Kohli), Pandya (22.50) and Dhawan (19.50). You would probably have to go back to the era of uncovered pitches to get an average distribution like that.

    Maybe India should just pick all the bowlers they can muster and Kohli (if he is fit). Because the batsmen can’t be bothered to contribute in the slightest (okay, Pujara ate balls with his resistance this Test, but it was only going to delay the inevitable)). Hell, it was only thanks to the tail that India managed to get a fighting total in the first innings of the first Test. The bowlers then did their job, but then it was again beyond the batsmen to do much.

    But this is the future for Test Cricket, and this kind of nonsense just helps to kill the game off. As intended, undoubtedly.

    Like

  10. Rohan Aug 12, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    This result, in the past, when I was much younger, would have pleased me no end, because thumping England victories like this were rare, not many touring teams were beaten this emphatically. Now…….it just makes me sad for the game I grew up loving, when I was a kid and I delighted in the joys of summer cricket on the BBC. How times change.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. nonoxcol Aug 13, 2018 / 9:23 am

    Oh here we go…

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/aug/12/jimmy-anderson-england-100th-wicket-at-lords-india

    “But he will always remember it, because it earned him his 100th Test wicket at Lord’s. He is only the second man to take so many at one venue. The other was Muttiah Muralitharan, who took a hundred and some in Kandy, Galle, and Colombo. Which means Anderson is the first fast bowler to do it – Dennis Lillee could not do it at the MCG, Richard Hadlee did not achieve it at Lancaster Park and Dale Steyn failed to do it at Newlands.”

    Thankfully the article does go on to point out that Anderson has played twice a year at Lord’s every year for 11 years now. It would have been nice to make it clear that playing two Tests a year at one venue was rarely if ever even possible for the other three fast bowlers named, instead of clearly implying that they somehow fall short of Wonderful St Jimmy. The use of “failed” next to Steyn’s name I find especially galling personally.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nonoxcol Aug 13, 2018 / 9:32 am

      Anderson Tests 23 Wickets 103 Average 23.89

      Lillee Tests 14 Wickets 82 Average 21.92
      Hadlee Tests 14 Wickets 76 Average 21.51
      Steyn Tests 14 Wickets 67 Average 22.04

      Yep, that’s a level playing field if ever I’ve seen one.

      Like

      • thelegglance Aug 13, 2018 / 9:50 am

        I’ve said it before, but the absolute determination to go down the hyperbole route is what drives me nuts more than anything else. It’s a big part of the Cook problem too – the bestestest ever kind of line that keeps coming up, and causes resentment towards a player who is completely blameless.

        Anderson is and has been a terrific bowler. He has flaws, sure, but so do all but a very, very few. His performances over the last couple of years have suggested that if anything he’s getting better. And yes, he’s outstanding at home, and a bit more limited overseas on flat surfaces.

        I mean, why the hell can’t we just appreciate him for that? Why can’t we just say he’s an excellent bowler, and his fitness and longevity is highly impressive? Why can’t we acknowledge where he’s not so good without it being an “attack” on him? Bloody hellfire, Anderson is a fine bowler, and one of the best England have produced in many years.

        Why isn’t that enough?

        Liked by 3 people

        • nonoxcol Aug 13, 2018 / 10:45 am

          QUITE.

          But being as actual journalists can’t be bothered, here’s a further illustration of that slant:

          Only Cook (26) has EVER played more Tests at Lord’s than Anderson. No surprise there.

          Allan Border has played most Tests at the MCG (20). NO bowler has played more than Lillee’s 14, unless you count Steve Waugh. The men in between Border and Lillee on the list are Greg Chappell, Marsh, Steve Waugh and Ponting. McGrath and Warne both played 11; they had only 12 and 14 respectively at Sydney, 13 and 11 at Brisbane, 10 and 13 at Adelaide, 12 each at Perth.

          Richard Hadlee, not at all surprisingly, played more Tests than anyone else ever did at the AMI/Lancaster Park. And now it’s closed.

          Jacques Kallis has played most Tests at Newlands (22). Once again, everyone else who’s played more tests there than Steyn is NOT a bowler, namely de Villiers, Amla, Boucher and Smith.

          Hilariously and obviously, Muralitharan is a statistical freak with whom no-one should be bracketed:

          Galle – only 15 Tests (111 wickets at 18.5). Four men have played more Tests at Galle, including one out and out bowler (Herath), plus Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Mathews.
          Kandy – 16 Tests, a record (117 wickets at 16.02)
          Colombo (SSC) – 24 Tests, three fewer than Jayawardene but no-one else (166 wickets at 20.69)

          And to underline the point, Courtney Walsh played only 11 Tests at Kingston, 14 at Port of Spain and 12 at Bridgetown (where Ambrose played 13). Again, all the players with more Tests on these grounds are out and out batsmen, except Sobers. And no-one has played even 20 Tests on a West Indian ground (Chanderpaul played 19 at Bridgetown).

          Vettori seems to be the only man to play more than 20 at one ground in NZ (21, Wellington). Durban and Johannesburg are both Kallis (16 and 18).

          It appears that the only men to have played more Tests on one ground than Anderson are Jayawardene (27, SSC), Cook (26, Lord’s) and Murali (24, SSC). Jaywardene and Sangakkara played the same number at Galle as Anderson has played at Lord’s. The records for the big three Indian grounds are surprisingly low at 11, 12 and 13; I haven’t checked the others. Similarly, the records for the main Pakistan grounds are all held by batsmen, with Imran the leading pace bowler but never higher than 11.

          In short (TL; DR), the only other fast bowlers to have played 20 Tests at one ground are Chaminda Vaas at the SSC and, er, Broad at Lord’s (unless you count Kallis), and *none of the other obvious names have even managed 15* (ditto).

          Picture looks a little different now, doesn’t it?

          Liked by 1 person

          • d'Arthez Aug 13, 2018 / 12:11 pm

            India long had the practice of venue rotation. So it is not surprising that the numbers for Indian players are generally quite low, despite some of them having long careers (such as Tendulkar and Dravid).

            Also something that won’t be mentioned (until Cook breaks it) is that Gooch still has the English records for most runs at a single venue (Lord’s). 2015 runs from 39 innings (with 1 not out). Cook has to score 78 more runs and has already batted 47 innings (with two not outs). Even if Gooch loses that record, he will still have the record for most runs by an opener at any venue (1907, 32 innings with 1 not out; Cook is on 1690 from 43 innings with 1 not out).

            I don’t know the history of early Test cricket, with regards to tours to England, but I doubt that the Oval featured in every series by a touring side. Len Hutton managed 1521 runs at the Oval, from just 19 innings (2 not outs) That is certainly worthy of a mention, and average wise the best of any England batsman at any venue, with a minimum of 10 matches played. And needless to say, he was opening in all those innings as well. And that career was interrupted by WW2, so if it were not for that Hutton might have the English record at any particular venue. Oh, and Hutton has the best average for any opener (all teams) at any particular venue (89.47, at the Oval) more than 20 runs ahead of Hobbs at the MCG!)

            Something that will definitely not be mentioned is that Jayawardene has 2921 runs at a single venue (Sinhalese Sports Club) from just 42 innings. The chances that Cook will get even close to that tally are slim to say the least.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus Aug 13, 2018 / 1:06 pm

            So I had to look up Brian Lara at Antigua Recreation Ground. I mean, a 375 and a 400 not out has to count for something?

            14 matches, 22 innings, average 78.57. Not as good as I thought.

            Like

          • thelegglance Aug 13, 2018 / 1:08 pm

            Wait till someone starts thinking about most runs in a city, given the three Tests a year in London…

            Like

        • Mark Aug 13, 2018 / 11:35 am

          The problem is that it turns people who are paying attention, and have some neutrality (hardly any of the media) away from the said players.

          I could make a case that the ECB are manufacturing records for certain players by the pitches they now routinely serve up in England, and the time Test matches are being played. It also doesn’t help when Cook was reported to have said that Test cricket is as good as it as ever been. That is one of the most arrogant statements I have heard, and dispels for me the endless …..”what a good bloke he is” guff we get from the usual suspects.

          It seems sometimes that the governing body is colluding with certain players to inflate their personal milestones. Funny how little we played against South Africa when they were number one in the world. Or how few Test matches against a very good New Zealand team. They serve up the flakey Indians with five test matches on nice green seamers regularly.

          I don’t really pay much attention to stats since 2014, because the whole thing seemed rigged from then on.

          Like

          • thelegglance Aug 13, 2018 / 11:42 am

            “The problem is that it turns people who are paying attention, and have some neutrality (hardly any of the media) away from the said players.”

            Exactly that. Hence why when he scored his double at Melbourne, the immediate reaction wasn’t “well batted that man”, it was “Oh God, they’re going to wank themselves stupid aren’t they?”.

            Liked by 1 person

          • LordCanisLupus Aug 13, 2018 / 12:58 pm

            One justification I heard, seriously, and the one that probably sent me into my meltdown more than others was “at least Cook’s innings means we won’t be whitewashed”.

            Now it might just be me, but I’ve never heard that said of KP’s all-round performance at Headingley in 2012, even before the Textgate nonsense really hit the fan. But with a Cook 244 on a moribund wicket, a 4-0 defeat was somehow acceptable. All it meant was one less digit on Cricket Australia’s “Fuck You”.

            No. Not over it. Never will be.

            Like

          • Mark Aug 13, 2018 / 12:06 pm

            The problem with Melbourne was England were already 3-0 down, the Ashes had gone, and the media made out this one knock made up for everything that had gone before. A bit strange when they always tell us Cook is selfless for the team ethic. It seemed it was ALL about Cook.

            It just pissed people off. Instead of saying well batted Cook, and moving on there was the usual agenda that everything he touches turns to gold, and we the little people are not worthy. Hardly surprising when some of us say …….”shove it up your arse.”

            Liked by 1 person

  12. quebecer Aug 13, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    It really is sad just how unenthused we all are about this win. I suppose there’s a bit of a perfect storm of reasons from conditions, general malaise and an honest understanding of our own frailties, to India’s batsmen seemingly having regressed since they last visited (and the fact that their home conditions inflate their stats, perceived abilities, and therefore expectations). However, I think mainly it’s the fact that we’re just sooooooo English it’s not funny.

    Like

    • quebecer Aug 13, 2018 / 2:19 pm

      Right, so imagine you’re an Indian batsman. You play many of your tests at home or in similar conditions and you work out exactly how to bat in them. The ball won’t move for the opposition quicks, and it also won’t bounce. Deliveries that in England are taking the edge near the splice are thudding predictably into the lower sweet spot of the bat at home. You can take plenty of time to play yourself in, and when you have, it is very easy to bat. You can happily take balls on off stump to leg, you can drive through the off side, and be happy in the fact that the opposition spinners aren’t that great and the lack of pace and bounce often means being able to play them off the wicket anyway.

      The thing is, once these batsmen work out how to play at home, it becomes very easy to rack up scores. Look how these same batsmen destroyed England on our last tour. It could be argued that English batsmen also learn how to play in their own conditions, but the difference is that even when they have, it’s still bloody hard and many of them still can’t bat. It’s never as easy as it is for an Indian batsman once they’ve mastered their technique for home conditions.

      I think another point people forget is just how long that golden generation was around for and how good their top 6 was. Virat’s emergence (I think like Smith’s did) distracted from the fact that the batting line up itself was nowhere near as strong as it was, and thinking the present incumbents are going to be able to do what the galacticos did is wishful thinking at best.

      Like

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 13, 2018 / 2:22 pm

      Do you think so Q?

      I was always one of those who wanted us to be ruthless. If we were the better team, stuff the opposition. It’s why I had no problem with 2013. Plenty of time they’ve been ruthless to us, and I’m not apologising for winning the close ones.

      But this just feels wrong. Not that England won by an innings, but this performance from India with the bat was limp. And it’s the 7th and 8th times in 9 innings that India have failed to get 200 in an innings in England – the last 5 at the back end of the 2014 series and 3 out of the 4 innings here. It’s a horrible trend. They are either frauds who don’t deserve to be #1 (although Johannesburg, when the series was lost, showed they can play in difficult circumstances) or there’s some serious issues with them that only show in England. I know we get buried in India, but that appears different.

      I just want a really good, exciting test series with great cricket and if England or India win 5-0, so be it. Instead we get a Lord’s test concluded in less than 2 days worth of overs. If it’s me being soooo English thinking that way, so be it Q!

      Like

      • Mark Aug 13, 2018 / 3:46 pm

        Yes I agree. What I think is so depressing Q is that it’s only going to get worse. If you are starting out today as a top order batsman are you going to bother blocking away for hours in the nets when the riches and rewards of IPL and 20/20 globally are on offer?

        There is very little point in a Boycott/Gavaska/Cook like technique. It is no longer the route to stardom. And just as this tend towards flamboyant hit and miss style is growing the governing body ales matters worse by deciding to prepare green seamers as far as the eyes can seen. I can foresee 2/3 day Test slaughters from here on.

        There is a bigger issue about all sports particularly football as well as cricket. In the rush to financialize every aspect of modern sport the people at the top have forgotten the most important thing……namely you want a contest. Perhaps I’m old fashioned, and the modern tablet watching kid just wants instant Justification and judging by some media a win is all that matters. But if one team looks like a Test team, and the looks other like the under 14s village green outfit it’s not worth the entrance fee. (And that will be reversed when we go touring over there. Then it’s us who look clueless.)

        Like

        • quebecer Aug 13, 2018 / 3:52 pm

          Sorry Mark, that reply was fro Dmitri, and crossed with yours.

          Nothing you’re saying is unreasonable, unfortunately, but I am still going to hold out a little hope for this series. We’re not nearly good enough for this one to be pronounced done yet.

          Like

      • quebecer Aug 13, 2018 / 3:50 pm

        Terribly, terribly English, yes.

        Like you, I’m happy to stuff opponents, given the shellacking we so regularly take. I know the Aussies got a tiny bit bored of not having closer series in the Ashes all those years – but not that bored. It never overtook the delight in beating the living daylights out of us, regardless of conditions, the state of the teams, phase of the moon etc. I don’t remember the West indies being in any way ambivalent about whitewashes and crushing victories either. ‘Flat’ would not be a word to describe the crowds’ reactions.

        OK, yes, being a bit over top about the Englishness thing here, but it is an aspect that’s quite interesting, but the perfect storm of why we’re less than enthused is the point, and the reasons you’ve given I’m pretty sure we all feel to a greater or lesser degree.

        But this was only one game, so I’m not allowing myself to get too depressed about it yet. Remember what everyone was saying after the first test against the Windies the other summer and how that went after?

        P.S. Another shout out to Metatone, who called this one from the get go.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mark Aug 13, 2018 / 4:39 pm

          The thing is the Aussies had a genuine world class team then. One of the all time greats. So thumping us never lost its enjoyment.

          England are not world class. Neither are India, their overseas efforts show how poor they are away from lush green seamers.

          Like

      • d'Arthez Aug 13, 2018 / 4:34 pm

        In Joburg they won the toss. So got to bat in the less difficult circumstances, and bowl in the better circumstances for bowling. Helped a fair bit. If they had lost the toss, quite likely they would have been whitewashed in South Africa as well.

        Like

  13. Mark Aug 13, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    By the way, what has happened to dear old Sri?

    I notice he has disappeared from here just as India’s stock price has tanked. Being the ever optimist surely he hasn’t given up on them? Or does he not care as it’s only Test match cricket, and not his preferred 20/20?

    Be good to get his take on their batting efforts and team selections.

    Like

    • thelegglance Aug 13, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      I always think it’s rather hard for people on a “rival” site to come on and converse if you’ve had a hiding. It’s not a refusal, it’s just difficult to know what to say.

      I’m sure he’ll be back at some point.

      Like

      • Quebecer Aug 13, 2018 / 4:55 pm

        Well, I for one am optimistic.

        Like

      • Mark Aug 13, 2018 / 5:32 pm

        This is hardly Selvey towers with endless Jimmy/Cooky/Broady hero worship is it really?

        You will find more criticism of England from England fans than from Indian ones on here. Something that Sri would often lambast us for.

        Just wondered what he makes of it all. But I don’t think he is that bothered by test cricket, so maybe he’s not much interested in it.

        Like

        • thelegglance Aug 13, 2018 / 5:34 pm

          No, no – I didn’t mean because of what anyone might say at all!! Absolutely not that.

          Just that it takes an inclination to want to talk about things. I know if my football team get stuffed, I don’t really want to go and read the reports/comments about it, and it’s nothing to do with people taking the piss.

          Like

          • Mark Aug 13, 2018 / 6:39 pm

            Right, I understand.

            Not that we have a problem when England get thrashed on having our say! 😉

            Like

  14. veturisarma Aug 13, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    I’m not reading too much into this England victory and I’m not going to put it on the conditions either. I always expected one test to be this way where we get out for 200 in total, so it’s not completely unexpected. I’d just say this one thing as to why I wouldn’t worry too much about this match. Bairstow’s 93 was streaky and he was very lucky not to have nicked one of the 3437 deliveries he played and missed. It would have been an entirely different game altogether if Bairstow got out with the score at 100 or 101 or 113 or 135 or 146.

    That said, an abject batting performance by India. Completely inept and they deserve to lose but I’m counting on us to not give it up yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Riverman21 Aug 13, 2018 / 7:56 pm

    I’m interested in the discussion about the relative greatness of certain players and performances.

    I feel it is important to consider the great players who have toured England in the past. In my era of watching from 1976 onwards and probably up to 2000 all the great overseas players and many very good test players played championship cricket learning how to adapt their game to English conditions. Not just a few matches either. They played season upon season. I think England’s home Test performances over the last 10 years do need to put into context.

    Is it surely easier now for England to defeat visiting teams than in the period 76/00

    This is not to denigrate the achievements of current England players but I do think this context is missing in most of the press coverage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Aug 13, 2018 / 8:01 pm

      I’d say there’s a good point in there Riverman, but the dominant team of the second half of that era, Australia, didn’t really see the bulk of their current test team play county cricket year in year out. Possible exception of Mark Waugh at Essex, you didn’t get most of the top players to do so pre-1995.

      Now lot’s of squad players did – Hayden and Hussey for two, so depth might be the argument then.

      Like

      • Riverman21 Aug 13, 2018 / 8:53 pm

        Yes you’re right Australians never played as much county cricket as some of the other Test nations. Perhaps that Australian team was a class above like West Indies in their prime they could adapt and where they played wouldn’t matter. Going back a bit I think AB played a season of county cricket.

        Sort of shows up India no1 for what it is. It concerns me that there really is no great Test match side now and maybe there never will be again is it downhill from here quality wise for Test cricket?

        Just watched a documentary on Sobers on You Tube. I didn’t realise his first test 100 was the one where he went past Hutton’s record Test score. That’s quite something.

        Like

      • Mark Aug 13, 2018 / 9:04 pm

        Interesting you mention Mark Waugh because I believe he said that he thought English test wickets at the time were the most fair in the world. Groundsman were able to just produce the best cricket wicket they could.

        This was often not something that pleased England players who felt we were too fair, and that when we went abroad the same rules did not apply.

        Anyway that has changed in the last 5 years in my view. Whatever the ECB may clam.

        Like

  16. dlpthomas Aug 14, 2018 / 1:49 am

    Are we allowed to discuss the Stokes trial after the verdict is given – I have a few questions.

    Like

      • oreston Aug 14, 2018 / 9:32 am

        The jury has retired so this may be sooner rather than later.

        Like

  17. Sir Peter Aug 14, 2018 / 11:59 am

    of affray

    Like

    • jomesy Aug 14, 2018 / 1:41 pm

      And I’m not sure why they charged them with that. Maybe it was to try to secure a convinctiob against all three but strikes me as odd. Why not assault occasioning actual bodily harm? All quite odd to me. Anyway, I did my thesis on juries and comparing outcomes vs what the police, defence counsel, prosecuting counsel and judge thought should be the outcome. I concluded that if ever I got in bother I’d want a jury! Doesn’t change the fact I think he was incorrectly charged though.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Sir Peter Aug 14, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    someone let cricinfo know!

    Like

  19. Sherwick Aug 14, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    What a joke.

    Like

  20. OscarDaBosca Aug 14, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Can I just point out that unless you were a member of the jury you won’t have heard all the evidence so either agreeing or disagreeing with the verdict is pointless if you’re relying on some grainy CCTV videos and whatever was chosen to be reported from the trial.

    He has been tried by a jury of his peers and based on the evidence they heard, and the judge’s summary and they have rightly or wrongly acquitted him

    This isn’t a pop at any individual, but it is always difficult to determine how and why juries make their decisions without hearing all of the evidence they were exposed to.

    Like

    • northernlight71 Aug 14, 2018 / 1:03 pm

      True. A jury can not in good conscience convict unless they are sure beyond reasonable doubt that guilt has been proved. On the other hand, the Police don’t bother the CPS with files of evidence unless they think something bad has happened.
      Still, what I have learnt from the events and the subsequent court case tell me that Ben seems to be having a little trouble growing up, and a little trouble controlling his anger. It makes me perversely glad that cricket has such a low profile these days, as he’s no kind of role model or good advert for the game at all right now.
      He should certainly be given the rest of the “summer” off, at least.

      Like

      • sidesplittin Aug 14, 2018 / 1:39 pm

        Why should be receive a further sanction (“given the rest of the summer off”) having being suspended by his employers and subsequently missing the Ashes, then being found not guilty at a jury trial ?

        Like

        • northernlight71 Aug 14, 2018 / 2:00 pm

          Well, if you want me to be blunt, because he’s shown himself to be a bit of a brainless drunken thug. He can get some help with that and come back to international sport when he’s sorted out his issues.
          Just my opinion, mind you. I’m not ordering anyone to do anything.

          Like

    • Mark Aug 14, 2018 / 1:17 pm

      You are entitled to your opinion, and others are entitled to theirs. In law, he is not guilty, and can carry on with his life. However…..

      Bar the judge instructing the jury to find him not guilty I’m not sure what more he could have done to help in his summing up.

      Shades of the Jeremy Thorpe trial. (One for the teenagers.)

      If this had been Benny Sticks a labourer from Bristol I doubt very much this whole process would have been dealt with like this. I’m sure the jury were in no way influenced by the ECB putting out a press release in the middle of the trail saying that he might be available for the next test match on Saturday.

      Classy!

      Like

      • sidesplittin Aug 14, 2018 / 1:36 pm

        At the commencement of the trial, all 12 jurors were required to state if they had an interest in cricket. All replied in the negative, so the suggestion they were influenced by a subsequent ECB media release is disingenuous.

        That the CPS attempted to have the charge against Stokes amended to the less serious count of assault occasioning ABH, but were denied by Judge Blair, is indicative of what they thought of the gravity of the accusations.

        Like

        • dlpthomas Aug 14, 2018 / 2:01 pm

          The jury may not be interested in cricket but I can’t help thinking the judge is.

          Like

        • Mark Aug 14, 2018 / 2:33 pm

          Who are you, Stokes dad?

          Like

          • sidesplittin Aug 14, 2018 / 2:40 pm

            Who are you, a miserable old sod ranting from his sofa ?

            Like

          • dlpthomas Aug 14, 2018 / 2:42 pm

            “Who are you, a miserable old sod ranting from his sofa ?”

            I think that would describe most of us who comment on this blog.

            Liked by 2 people

        • Zephirine Aug 14, 2018 / 3:08 pm

          I think in British law affray is a much less serious charge than ABH. So if the CPS tried to amend the charge as you say, they were trying to upgrade it.

          Like

          • dannycricket Aug 14, 2018 / 3:11 pm

            Yeah, I think I saw someone say that ABH had a maximum sentence of 13 years compare to 3 years for affray.

            Like

          • jomesy Aug 14, 2018 / 3:27 pm

            ABH is more serious. Irrespective of that, I can’t think of any judges who would be happy to accept such a late request for a more serious charge to be alleged as the defence have not prepared for that. As such, it was always going to be rejected and, to me at least, shows how muddled the prosecution’s thinking was.

            Like

          • sidesplittin Aug 14, 2018 / 3:43 pm

            The Beeb reported ABH as being the lesser charge but, on reflection, I think you’re probably quite right.

            Like

      • OscarDaBosca Aug 14, 2018 / 2:17 pm

        I haven’t read about the Judge’s direction yet. Did he really direct them to acquit, or was it more ‘if the prosecution hasn’t convinced you, then you should acquit’?

        Like

  21. metatone Aug 14, 2018 / 1:32 pm

    I think the fairest thought I can muster re: Stokes is: How are England going to help avoid this happening again?

    Obvs. Stokes is not with England 365 days a year, but he is with them a lot and (eg) I’d very much expect some Aussies in a bar to try and wind him up on the next tour Down Under.

    *This being Stokes getting involved in a fight in public after a big drinking bout. It’s just not a good situation for him to be getting into.

    Like

    • jomesy Aug 14, 2018 / 1:45 pm

      Make sure bouncer accept his bribes (preferably first time round) and remove the gold padlocks from his trainers. See it, say it, sorted.

      Like

  22. northernlight71 Aug 14, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    The ECB have tripped over their six toed feet to rush out a statement welcoming Ben back into the squad for the next test match.
    It’s rather sad and pathetic. But no more than one would expect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sidesplittin Aug 14, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      Why’s it pathetic – how would you now expect to be treated by your employer if you were Stokes ?

      Like

      • northernlight71 Aug 14, 2018 / 2:02 pm

        Sadly, I’m currently unemployed. But I’m guessing that if I missed a Job centre appointment because I was in court or on remand, my benefits would be stopped for 6 months. That seems to be the way of things these days.

        Like

        • sidesplittin Aug 14, 2018 / 2:27 pm

          He was suspended for the Ashes and unavailable for other matches. He lost the vice-captaincy. He has a discplinary panel awaiting him. His employer has hardly covered him in cuddles and will have (rightly) been guided by employment lawyers in their treatment of an employee accused of a criminal offence.

          Like

          • dlpthomas Aug 14, 2018 / 2:50 pm

            Given that he was found not guilty, surely the ECB have punished him enough?

            Like

          • sidesplittin Aug 14, 2018 / 3:04 pm

            That’s my opinion too, others hereabouts demur.

            I’m guessing that his risk now is that he’s possibly breached conduct obligations placed upon him by his contract of employment, hence the announced disciplinary tribunal.

            Like

          • Mark Aug 14, 2018 / 3:06 pm

            Are you on drugs? You’re talking bollocks.

            Oh, and I would rather be a miserable old sod on a sofa than have my big brown nose up the ECBs backside.

            Like

          • thelegglance Aug 14, 2018 / 3:09 pm

            Guys, it’s possible to disagree without shouting at each other. Keep it civil please.

            Like

          • sidesplittin Aug 14, 2018 / 3:24 pm

            You really don’t like posters disagreeing with you, do you ? I’d forgotten how well oiled your rantometer is.

            FWIW, I reckon Ged Stokes is fast asleep in Christchurch, NZ.

            Like

  23. Samir Aug 17, 2018 / 7:53 am

    Rishabh Pant can replace DK for 3rd Test.

    Like

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