England vs India, 3rd Test, Day 4 – The Painful Reality

Firstly, it would be churlish not to praise India who have well and truly demolished England in this Test. They need one more wicket, but the game is over, the only small delight comes from watching Rashid and Anderson surviving and thus forcing everyone, especially England’s top order, to come back tomorrow.

Some, myself included, thought that India could be on verge of a damning series defeat after Lords as it felt that this tour was starting to descend into free fall. Not one bit of it, as much as England have been poor (and boy have they been poor), India have been very good with bat and ball. Kohli set the tone with the bat once again and showed why he is the quite simply the best batsman in the world and this time he was ably assisted by Rahane and Dhawan amongst others. With the ball, Hardik Pandya secured his first 5 wicket haul in Tests in the first innings with Sharma and Bumrah both bowling superbly in each innings, the latter securing his five-for in the second. Any thoughts of a whitewash have been completely wiped away, it is now India in the ascendency and with a very real chance of securing or at least sharing the series.

Then we come to England (clicks wrists) and it is extremely hard to compose anything that can actually cover how completely and utterly abject they have been in this Test. Sure Stokes and Buttler in particular, who thoroughly deserved his maiden century after showing the top order how to bat properly, managed to salvage a little bit of pride in the 2nd innings when the game was already truly lost, but as much as the media would like to paint the positives here, the damage had already been done. It is almost typical England (John Crawley made a living from this as the archetypal second innings Charlie) that they finally make some runs when they are so far behind the eight ball that it doesn’t matter aside from personal milestones. This hasn’t just been a sanity check or a bad day at the office, these things happen way to often just to be a bad day at the office, this has still been a thrashing –  something that anyone who is associated with this side should be embarrassed about given it was lost on day two. I’m going to give the bowlers a bit of pass here, as although they could have bowled better, certainly on day one by pitching the ball up more consistently, it is not they who have lost this Test for England, though the ironic thing is that one of them is most likely going to pay with his place in the team due to the sheer inadequacy of the England batting and fielding units. I think if you compared these two elements relatively to a village side’s expectations, then you would be doing village cricket a disservice, this was far worse. As I mentioned before, it’s not as if it has been coming, England have lost 10 wickets in a session 3 times more in the past 22 months than they did in the last 80 years, yet still we keep being told to take the positives and that the players are working hard to correct things. One question then, how long do these overpaid and mollycoddled individuals need? We’ve had gaping holes in our batting line up for more time than I remember, we have shown time and time again that we are more than capable of collapsing on the flattest of pitches against the most average of bowling attacks and quite simply things are getting worse not better.

You only have to show highlights of England’s batting in this Test to show quite how bad this unit is. The lack of technique against the new ball, the edging of deliveries to the slips which didn’t need to be played at, the lack of will and application to grind out a session in tough conditions and the general apathy about representing their country. This is not just the players’ fault, though they have to accept that they also have a big responsibility for this mess, but there just also seems to be no accountability in the coaching unit. Bayliss is babysitting the team until the next World Cup, Chuckles Farbrace normally only comes out in the media after a good session and we have a batting coach (whose contract has just been extended whilst England’s batting performances get worse) that averaged a jot over 27 with the bat and admitted that he was unable to deal with the intensity of Test cricket. Andy Flower is doing a great impression of not being remotely seen in public when England are performing badly and one dreads to think where Graves and Harrison are and what they are currently dreaming up. Joe Root, who in my opinion should not be captain being our best batsman by a mile, is the man who keeps getting hung out to dry in the media as the rest of the coaches and players hide behind their handsome salaries and hope no-one notices them.

Let’s not make any bones about it; this batting unit is a wreck. Cook’s eyes have gone and so has his hunger, the best thing Jennings could do is purchase a one way ticket back to Jo’burg, Root shouldn’t be batting at 3 with the added burden of the captaincy, Bairstow and Stokes (who played with some proper acumen today) often seem to play the same innings no matter what the match situation, Buttler (this innings apart as he played extremely well) has yet to show that he has the consistency to be a staple of the English batting line up and Pope is a young kid trying to find his way in the game. The batting line up of the 90’s was much maligned but they would absolutely stomp all over this line up. Can you imagine Jennings, Cook and Buttler et al facing Walsh & Ambrose or Wasim & Waqar, there would be absolute carnage. I bet this team wouldn’t make 100 between them most times. Time after time, collapse after collapse, this unit continues to fail apart from the odd ‘solo innings of excellence’ but here we are, still trying to fix the massive hole in the hull whilst the flood water continues to gush in, with a sticking plaster. Don’t even get me started about the fielding unit, if I have to see another ‘slack-jawed, derp-I-dropped-another-catch-face’ from either Cook or Jennings, then I’m going full ‘Michael Douglas – Falling Down’ on my way to the Oval. The fact that our brains trust can’t even successfully master how to catch a ball at slip, then what hope does the rest of the team have? We have dropped 15 slip catches in 3 games, do you know how hard that is to actually achieve? Now it’s well known that I’m not a fan of St. Jimmy of Burnley’s antics on the cricket pitch, but I would fully condone acts of extreme violence from Jimmy to either of these two butter fingered miscreants.

Do you know what though, this performance is exactly what England and the ECB deserve. The general incompetence and apathy that is the ECB, has manifested itself both on and off the pitch and to be fair the England cricket team now reflects its administrators; a team of greedy, shallow individuals who refuse to take responsibility for their actions. We have a former captain in the throes of batting decline, one who is so paranoid that he believes that the media is out to get him despite being the beneficiary of endless hagiographies during his career. We have just dropped a talented 20 year who was Man of the Match two games ago, because England’s thug of an all-rounder needs an arm round him after getting into trouble on a night out. We have marginalised county cricket so much that it is now irrelevant and unable to supply players to the national team anywhere near international standard, we have upset and marginalised the fans whose money is somehow not good enough, we have the Hundred too all in the name of a focus on white ball cricket by the ECB so that those at the top can still make a mint from the game, whilst the rest watch it burn to the sinews.

Yet back to this series and so poor has the display been that some of our friends in the media might write about their surprise at such a poor performance, even though this has been happening with alarming regularity. There may even be the odd murmur about Cook’s form, which has been consistently on the wane for the past few years. However, don’t expect it to last, before the week is out we’ll be talking about how ‘Cook can decide his own time to retire’ and ‘how important it is for England to hit back after Trent Bridge’ narratives and soon enough this game will be but a distant memory.  Just like every single horrific collapse and every single away tour has been over the past few years. Besides, what would motivate the ‘old boys’ at the top of the chain and their compliant media friends to make waves by doing what’s best for the team when malignant mediocrity pays exactly the same amount?

It’s just one Test.  But it’s not just one Test is it?  And short of a surprise monsoon tomorrow, being 2-1 up doesn’t alter that.

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125 thoughts on “England vs India, 3rd Test, Day 4 – The Painful Reality

  1. Zephirine August 21, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    Excellent rant. All true.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mark August 21, 2018 / 6:37 pm

    First off, one of Gowers better jokes just now when he said he was very much looking forward to tomorrow’s addition of The Verdict. They should have a lot to cover.

    I know no one cares about over rates anymore, but I find it farcical that they are out there playing gone 7pm with shadows on the ground yet most days they troop off at 6.30pm usually with a number of overs not bowled. The authorities are always banging on about simplifying the rules and the modern fan not being able to count to six, but can they explain the playing conditions to a modern mother and her kids?

    By the way, if a side claims the extra half hour or more likely the extra 8 overs, and fails to win the match shouldn’t those overs be detucted from the final days play? I know it’s a moot point but it could piss down with rain for five hours.

    As to the cricket today, a couple of collapses with a decent partnership in the middle. At least they batted the day. Truth is this match was lost in the first innings.

    Like

  3. Mark August 21, 2018 / 7:05 pm

    Great piece Sean…..

    None of this is going to improve in the long run in my view. When your governing body despises the very long form of the game this is the result. County cricket squeezed into a couple of windows at the start, and end of the season. Can we stop all this Shinny toy self flagellation about the sanctity of county cricket please.

    If county cricket was turning out Test match batsman Cook would be under pressure. He isn’t because the cupboard is bare. The ECB since the “Difficult winter” of 2014 have been undertaking a con job to fool the sheeple. Running down four day cricket, and preparing green seamers to hide from the peanut gallery the sharp decline in England’s Test match batsman. The curtain has been pulled back on overseas trips for some years, but the peanut gallery has dutifully played along.

    The ECB dare not produce straw like pitches because we would never bowl out the opposition under 500. So we are stuck with this model, and hope we can contain the opposition to less than 300, and that our middle order can match them with some 20/20 style batting in he middle overs.

    This has been the ECB MO for four years. It looks like they might finally being found out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean August 21, 2018 / 8:33 pm

      Too true Mark and it’s the fans that are suffering…

      Like

          • Sean August 21, 2018 / 8:57 pm

            Why oh why am I not surprised. It’s always the fans that get it in the shorts!

            Like

          • Mark August 21, 2018 / 9:05 pm

            I’m almost speechless. Is their another sport in the UK that hates its customers more than Cricket? Come to that, is their a business in the UK that hates its customers more than cricket?

            I hope it pisses down all day.

            Like

          • Sean August 21, 2018 / 9:06 pm

            I don’t because that would save England’s bacon. I hope it lasts until lunch and no one bothers buying a ticket…

            Like

          • thelegglance August 21, 2018 / 9:46 pm

            If taking aim at one foot, it’s always best to then shoot at the other too.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus August 22, 2018 / 7:02 am

            Didn’t think Selvey could defend this?

            You thought wrong…..

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus August 22, 2018 / 7:06 am

            You’ll be pleased to know they didn’t do this on an uncaring whim did Notts….

            Like

          • d'Arthez August 22, 2018 / 7:12 am

            Well, everyone could get in for free today if they stopped giving freebies to Selvey and their ilk, and it would not cost the counties a cent.

            Like

          • nonoxcol August 22, 2018 / 7:12 am

            Dear Dmitri

            Of course I thought Selvey would defend this. I was looking for it last night. As Elaine often says, if I said what I honestly thought of him I’d be moderated or sued. Whatever contempt comes through in what I have written over six years barely scratches the surface, believe it or not. He’s an absolutely infallible litmus test for what not to think on any matter pertaining to the people who run the sport in England and Wales.

            Like

          • nonoxcol August 22, 2018 / 7:18 am

            “Unnecessary admin”, says the man who was paid to watch Test cricket for most of the last thirty years.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus August 22, 2018 / 7:28 am

            It is as if they waited for Selvey to make a tit of himself!

            Liked by 2 people

          • nonoxcol August 22, 2018 / 7:38 am

            I was just about to post the below link, until I saw Notts’ change of heart.

            But I’ll still post it, just because the prices for adults and children at Old Trafford in 2005 were EXACTLY THE SAME as Notts were trying to gouge.

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/england/4152930.stm

            But of course, everything’s better now we’re swimming in money.

            Like

          • LordCanisLupus August 22, 2018 / 8:06 am

            I really don’t get people falling over themselves to now say Bravo and Well Done. Look at the endemic mindset behind the original decision. Fans taken the piss out of. Now you say well done for not taking the piss? Sure acknowledge the change as we have done but don’t fete them for it. Without social media pressure they’d have gone ahead.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Mark August 22, 2018 / 9:04 am

            Selvey is a nauseating hypocrite. How man decades of watching test cricket matches for free on the basis of his bizarre claim that he is part of the media? He whines about not getting a free trip to the Ashes, he is obsessed with killing free to air coverage. He moaned because his free gig at the golf was cancelled.

            “ let’s make it all free shall we?” Well, you don’t seem to mind when you are the one walking in with your press pass. Perhaps if freeloaders paid their share this PR debacle wouldn’t happen.

            Like

  4. Miami Dad's 6 August 21, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    Solid rant Sean; more passion for cricket in that piece alone, than anywhere within the corridors of the ECB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean August 21, 2018 / 8:32 pm

      Honestly it just pains me to see the sport I grew up with and love go down the swanny because those in charge value their bank balance more than the good of the game!

      Like

  5. oreston August 21, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    Great stuff, Sean. Agree with every word. At least Sam Curran will have the satisfaction one day of looking back at his career and saying, “Don’t look at me – I wasn’t picked for that one.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rohan August 21, 2018 / 9:22 pm

      I just hope they don’t ruin Sam Curran and continue to mistreat him, like they did Finn, Compton and countless others; he’s a real talent and COULD be a long term fixture, please ECB don’t ruin him.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. quebecer August 21, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    Yeah, but how do you feel about it, Sean?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean August 21, 2018 / 9:08 pm

      Sorry, I’ll try not to be such a wall flower in the next piece…

      Like

      • quebecer August 21, 2018 / 9:25 pm

        Yeah. Take a position, ffs.

        Liked by 1 person

          • quebecer August 21, 2018 / 10:03 pm

            Got it all out of his system.

            P.S. Got any more 20 year olds down there we can call up?

            Like

    • jomesy August 21, 2018 / 11:21 pm

      100% agree Sean. This is bullshit and it should be called what it is.

      I’ll throw this out there though too…expecting some opprobrium…Strauss must know (or at least think) about the reasons you list, and doesn’t get fingered.

      He’s the only recent connection to the test team.

      Clearly he’s having a truly terrible time, so it’s understandable he’s not around, but his wife’s illness does not predate the crazy plans put together under his watch.

      Which leaves Flower in control….the rest are suits (under Flower’s magic).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. quebecer August 21, 2018 / 9:05 pm

    Absolutely appropriate to give props to India. They’ve tried very hard to work out their lack of runs and even though it’s hardly world class as it is, they’ve clearly worked hard on improving with the obvious result of without batting brilliantly, they certainly batted better, and that’s been enough.

    England? We’ve been the same in every innings, really. Sometimes someone in the lower order gives respectability to the score, and that has been good enough in the first two tests, but only because India have been so poor. Now they’ve improved and we haven’t, and hey presto, this is what you get.

    Well done to them for getting better, shame on us for not.

    Like

  8. Mark August 21, 2018 / 9:11 pm

    I’m told they will soon be hiring Steve McClaren to coach England. Why not, everybody else seems to hire him?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean August 21, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      Too progressive I’m afraid, wait until they rehire Bumble. He knows the company line…

      Like

      • Rohan August 21, 2018 / 9:18 pm

        Today, would bumble have said ‘we murdered them, we absolutely murdered them’, surely even he’s not that delusional!

        Like

        • Sean August 21, 2018 / 9:22 pm

          Yes he probably would have and then built up Day 5 as a must attend…

          Like

    • Rohan August 21, 2018 / 9:17 pm

      Ooh, lovely, but do they have an ECB branded brolly for him?

      Like

      • Sean August 21, 2018 / 9:17 pm

        Only one branded with ‘the hundred’…

        Like

  9. Rohan August 21, 2018 / 9:16 pm

    Don’t hold back Sean, say what you really feel! Sadly all to true and real, it is sad to see this decline in the form of the game I love most.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mark August 21, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    Mark Chapman on five live last night pointed out that in a Manchester United conference call with share holders Ed Woodward said the on the field performance of the team has had no impact on the financial side of the business.

    This is the perfect model. You pay us, and we deliver nothing in return. It’s brilliant, and it seems all sports are trying to follow this new exciting new concept. I wonder when fans (customers)are going to awake from their zombie state and say go f*** yourselves!

    Like

    • LordCanisLupus August 21, 2018 / 10:28 pm

      It’s all about the customer experience. The ability to pay £4.20 for a small portion of chips. £12.80 for ropey fish and chips. Upwards of £5 a pint for piss lager. Cram them in, make them hungry, make them pay…..

      Like

      • Mark August 21, 2018 / 11:47 pm

        It seems the customer experience is more important than the sport. So why do we need governing bodies and more?

        Major sport is just a spin off of fries and burger joints.

        The ECB have said this new 16.4 is not for cricket fans. It would appear they don’t want Test fans either. “This is not for you” soon many will agree with them.

        Like

      • Pontiac August 24, 2018 / 2:10 am

        I was at the Red Sox game this afternoon. A *12 oz* beer was $10.50 = £8.20 that one had to queue for a whole inning to get (although half of that was up to the people right in front of me). The food prices about equivalent.

        (Very nice day for a baseball game tho and I wasn’t paying, so…)

        Like

    • thelegglance August 22, 2018 / 8:09 am

      I think Chapman is slightly misquoting him there. United predicate their forecasts on finishing something like 3rd in the league, and winning it instead makes very little difference to their financial results – or anyone else’s for that matter. It’s not quite saying that it doesn’t matter where they finish, because it absolutely does – huge chunks of their sponsorship depend on them not being out of the Champions League for more than one season

      Their biggest problem is that they’re up against at least one rival who are absolutely determined to win everything they can.

      Oh dear, what a shame, how sad.

      Like

      • Mark August 22, 2018 / 8:52 am

        I take your point, and of course clubs of that size can’t just keep sliding down the league without an effect on the bottom line. The big clubs response to Leicester winning the league was to spend fortunes to make sure that never happened again.

        Having said that I do think many clubs have watched as their “captive” fans turn up whatever, and have deduced they can ignore them. If a club finishes top four on a regular basis, and plays entertaining attacking football the board is happy. Look at Wenger at Arsenal. That was the model for ten years. It was only when they slipped out of the top four that he came under real pressure. Same with Man U. Moyes failed to get in the top four and was gone, Same with, Van Gual.

        But a club like Man U has a revenue steam that is global, and does seem to be outside of what happens on the pitch. But their current manager is testing this theory to destruction!

        Like

        • thelegglance August 22, 2018 / 8:59 am

          Exactly right about Arsenal, and I suspect United too. Though I would say with football in particular that they’ve never remotely given a stuff about the fans. The hideous conditions 30+ years ago, before the dash for cash of the Premier League, being a case in point.

          I suppose with football and not caring about glory when the cash rolls in, it gets undermined if you have a rival or two that absolutely does care about glory. That’s the most infuriating part for United and Arsenal – they had the league sewn up between them year after year, the lovely CL cash flowing in year after year, and trophies too as a consequence of their financial domination.

          And then others start spotting the wonderful money to be made, and the glamour of the whole thing and decide to join in. With bigger pockets and a desire to muscle in to the fun of it.

          Poor United. Poor Arsenal. It really isn’t fair that other billionaires are outperforming their billionaires…

          Like

          • OscarDaBosca August 22, 2018 / 11:54 am

            Have to point out (with my Arsenal fan head on), what Wenger did was broke the Man Utd. model who managed to become a PLC and funded their ground and became financial behemoths in the premier league which funded their trophies.
            Wenger managed to win titles without breaking the bank or outspending their rivals, he used his knowledge of European (particularly French football) to get cheap effective players. At the time (late 90s early 2000s Arsenal were about 5th or 6th financially).
            Then came Chelsea and Man City who worked out that they could financially outspend their rivals and particularly with Chelsea raised the prices so that Wenger had to work on the margins.
            Meanwhile Wenger’s stadium project was created so that they could financially compete with Man Utd. and their European rivals (such as Real Madrid who received dodgy money from the Spanish govt.), all the contracts were signed, the building works began and then came Roman Abramovich and he changed the landscape for ever.

            Like

          • thelegglance August 22, 2018 / 12:13 pm

            Ahem. Arsenal spent very heavily in the 90s, relative to their turnover, largely thanks to injections of cash from their shareholders.

            The numbers get bigger, but the principles remain just the same. What happens is that when a bigger wallet comes along, you get the protests.

            So I have zero sympathy for Arsenal. They played the game and spun the wheel, benefitted hugely, and that brought others into play as a direct result.

            Like

          • Mark August 22, 2018 / 2:02 pm

            I have nothing against Arsenal above any of the other teams. But I remember before the Premiership got started, and it was being rumoured about a breakaway David Dien went on either Grandstand or St & Greavsy (one for the teenagers) and was scathing about the 92 football league model. He compared it to socialism, and said why should we have to subsidise clubs down the league like Yeovil?

            Arsenal wanted to be a big shak in the sea, and they built a model thaey thought fitted that aim. But what they didn’t bank on was a bigger shark turning up at Chelsea, and then later at Man City. That’s when all Wengers stuff about financial doping rang hollow.

            Like

  11. jomesy August 21, 2018 / 10:54 pm

    Hang on, Sean.

    I was told, very clearly, by an idiot, that the result at Edgbaston “should close a few mouths” and now you dare open yours?

    FWIW, I hope India now go on to thrash us (I’ve far more, much more in fact, for Kohli than Root) and then, one might hope, Flower will finally be asked to leave.

    Like

  12. jomesy August 21, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    Rats *far more respect*

    Like

  13. man in a barrel August 22, 2018 / 7:32 am

    Is it now open season on Cookie? First there was Dobell. Then Nasser on commentary saying disobliging things about Cookie’s dismissal. Today Paul Hayward in the Bellylaugh suggests that the Oval would be a good time for Cookie to go.

    I am slightly nauseated by this whiff of an orchestrated media campaign. I didn’t like it when they started hinting about KP. Nor did I like it when they ganged up on Bell. I don’t like it now when they seem to be gunning for Cook, despite my feelings of contempt for the way he has conducted himself in the last 4 years. They worshipped at his feet and told us he was a god and sneered at us for suggesting he was obviously in technical disarray. They don’t get my approval now.

    On a positive note, kudos for Ashwin bowling those overs when his body was not able to go through with his action. He did a fantastic job for his team.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Deep Purple Fred August 22, 2018 / 7:37 am

    “the best thing Jennings could do is purchase a one way ticket back to Jo’burg,”

    Come on Sean, you’re not exactly toeing the party line here. I’ve spent years being re-educated that if you’re English enough to play for England, you’re English, full stop. No qualifications allowed, regardless of accent, where you learnt your cricket etc. I’m entirely reconstructed in this regard, I don’t believe England has in any way been propped up by a slow infusion of South African cricket over the years, and here you go suggesting an English opener may be better off back in Johannesburg.

    Funnily enough, I did read something about Jennings not having served out his (2 year?) qualifying period when he debuted for England in India. He was a month or so short, but that seemingly got swept under the carpet.

    Sorry to mention this at what is no doubt a very vexing time for you, but you need to get back onto the songsheet, or Q will be having a word with you.

    Like

    • quebecer August 22, 2018 / 11:37 pm

      Fred is, of course, mostly correct – although only because I trained him so well. However, I have to admit, I’m with Sean on this one.

      Fred, what I think you’re referring to regarding Jennings’ qualification is that the rules changed, making the residency qualification period 7 years rather than 4 (as it had been, and was in line with all other resident qualification periods. The rule was change post KP (and in no small way because of the distaste curtis people had for him), but Jennings played the system well and made sure he just snuck in under the old rule, something Jofra Archer (though arriving permanently in the UK at much the same time) did not manage.

      The idea we could have had Archer and not Jennings certainly grates a bit, with the difference in their status being really quite arbitrary.

      Yes, I’m one of those who believes a person’s citizenship rights should not be affected by their ethnicity, and that the UK has always been a country of immigrants with this being one of its main strengths. Jennings was admittedly quite smart in his choices, but as a UK citizen form birth, it is his right – just as it would be for my kids, and many tens of thousands all over the world.

      Still, it’s nice to see that when the buzzer rings, Fred still subconsciously remembers the electric shocks he received during his conditioning.

      Like

      • Deep Purple Fred August 23, 2018 / 11:58 am

        Mostly correct? High praise indeed.

        Certainly a country of immigrants: the Romans, the Vikings, the Normans, its long been a magnet.

        Regarding Jennings, I don’t believe what I saw was related to changes in qualifying periods, it was more like a slight gap, of just a few weeks, that only a pedant would worry about, (or someone bemused by England’s talent import policy). Maybe I’m wrong, and I missed Jennings’ deliberate navigation of the rules, but I thought it was more cock-up than conspiracy. In any event, no one ever mentioned it again. Until Sean decided he should be deported.

        You should get that Robson guy back in, he didn’t seem to get much of a run last time, and every team should have at least one opener with an Australian accent.

        Like

        • thelegglance August 23, 2018 / 12:00 pm

          Impressively enough, when they select Renshaw, even Australia only have one…

          Like

          • Deep Purple Fred August 23, 2018 / 1:37 pm

            He seems to pass the accent test. No information on whether he prefers his beer luke-warm or piss-weak.

            He went to the MCC to play and realised he really was Australian. Robson has apparently always felt English. Personal stories.

            “In 2003, the family emigrated to New Zealand and, five years later, crossed the Tasman Sea to settle in Queensland.

            The left-hander retains his British passport and is eligible to play for the land of his birth, but, according to his dad, he’s more Aussie than English these days.

            “Matt came over last summer and had a great year with the MCC Young Cricketers working under Mark Alleyne,” Ian said.

            “He was lucky to be able to do that because he has a British passport. But he says he feels Australian, and he has an Aussie accent.”

            Root and Renshaw could find themselves on the same pitch in a year’s time when the 2017/18 Ashes series gets underway.”

            Like

  15. growltiger August 22, 2018 / 7:43 am

    I got this out of my system by watching a couple of hours of a very decent match between Surrey and Lancashire (available free on YouTube). Accurate and testing bowling despite the ridiculous pink Kookaburra. Much better batting from Lancashire than England’s, Buttler notwithstanding. I started thinking that the problems of the England side are 10% selection and 90% leadership. You could pick the best XI out of these two County sides and do better than the England team, provided nobody from the ECB or coaching staff is allowed anywhere near. There is proper cricket being played, including the ability of quite junior batsmen to leave the ball, even when propelled by the fearsome Morkel.

    Like

    • growltiger August 22, 2018 / 7:46 am

      Addendum : The catching was better too. Neither Cook nor Jennings should play again.

      Like

      • growltiger August 22, 2018 / 3:53 pm

        Just for the record, in Surrey’s win today, Burns moved himself to a silly second-slip position with helmet (like the hapless Jennings) and almost immediately caught one off the bowling of Morkel (uike the hapless Jennings).

        Like

        • growltiger August 22, 2018 / 3:54 pm

          Uike=unlike

          Like

        • LordCanisLupus August 22, 2018 / 3:59 pm

          I’ve just started breathing again. When I shouted Yes at the last wicket, people looked at me odd.

          That was some game.

          Like

    • Zephirine August 22, 2018 / 9:44 am

      the problems of the England side are 10% selection and 90% leadership. You could pick the best XI out of these two County sides and do better than the England team, provided nobody from the ECB or coaching staff is allowed anywhere near.

      Very good point. Perhaps the difference is that county sides are sports teams, while the England teams are products.

      Like

      • d'Arthez August 22, 2018 / 9:51 am

        What do the coaches actually coach? How to speak bollockese?

        Like

  16. Deep Purple Fred August 22, 2018 / 7:53 am

    In some ways it was shame for India they couldn’t wrap it up yesterday, and finish their brilliant day with a celebration. But on the other had, it does draw out the victory moment. It’s that delicious moment of being right on the edge, knowing what you’re about to expêrience, before you explode into joy and let it wash over you.
    Or as Meatloaf sang: antici………pation.

    England, on the otherhand, can’t move on, put it behind them, draw the postives or whatever, they need to dwell on their failure a bit longer. They have to pretend to want to come back today, and pretend they care about the match still. It really is drawing out the agony for them. They have to grind away for a bit longer to give India their moment.

    Like

  17. Mark August 22, 2018 / 9:13 am

    How funny would it be if Rashid and Anderson knocked off these runs, in what would be one of the greatest days of Test cricket ever, and everyone had got in for free?

    Selvey would self combust.

    Like

    • d'Arthez August 22, 2018 / 9:43 am

      “Rashid’s double ton was all set up by Cook’s magnificent 17, so all credit should go to Alastair Cook of course. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not know a thing about Test batting. Afterall, I have played 3 Tests.”

      Like

      • nonoxcol August 22, 2018 / 10:09 am

        Rashid’s two means that he will finish this Test with a higher batting average than Cook after three matches, whatever happens.

        His series bowling average is lower than that of Broad and Stokes.

        Liked by 3 people

        • OscarDaBosca August 22, 2018 / 12:00 pm

          Don’t bring facts into this 😉

          Like

  18. Deep Purple Fred August 22, 2018 / 11:47 am

    Nonoxcol,
    I was looking at that analysis of Cook you posted yesterday, or the day before. It made me wonder about the consistency of career performance for others. You’d already pointed out that KP had quite some variation. I also remember Mark Waugh went through a very lean patch, including getting the nickname Audi for his four consecutive 0’s.

    Ian Bell seemed to vary from laughable to sublime, and although I’m not a close student of Shikhar Darwan, he seems to vary from solid to dropped. KP had his sla glitch, Ponting had his Harbajan glitch, etc. I’m wondering if it’s fairly common for batsmen to have quite distinct phases of their career, falling into holes and climbing out of them.

    I don’t know if it applies to other countries but in Australia, even for the golden generation, pretty much everyone was dropped. The likes of Clark, Ponting, Martin, Hayden etc were all dropped at some point.

    With the intensity and frequency of test cricket at an all time peak, and with greater bowling analytics to disect batsmen, it must be even harder now to maintain a consistent focus and level of performance.

    Cook has a very conservative and defensive batting approach, he should be better placed than most to achieve consistency, but he hasn’t. Don’t take this in any way as a defense of anything Cook has ever done, you won’t find that coming from me, but your comment was quite thought provoking in revealing that his career has been far more variable than I thought. Maybe I’ve been reading too many ECB press releases (not really) but I always thought of him as the rock of England, seems he was more of a rollercoaster.

    I’m sure he would be out of the team by now if there were the likes of Strauss, Trescothick, or Vaughan making claims for selection.

    Like

    • Rohan August 22, 2018 / 12:12 pm

      I have to admit, my view of Cook, rightly or wrongly, is that he had one incredible series in Australia 2010/11, where he was truly world class. Other than that, however, he has had modest returns in series, but nothing truly consistently great. Obviously happy to be proved wrong by stats and facts…..

      Like

    • nonoxcol August 22, 2018 / 12:22 pm

      Appreciated as ever.

      Thing is I’ve been ploughing this particular furrow for five years now. I can pinpoint when it started: *that man* wrote an article in 2013 putting Cook in his post-1970 Ashes XI ahead of Boycott.

      https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2013/jul/03/england-greatest-ashes-xi

      A quick bit of research and you note that it was purely on the strength of *one* series, because his average was sub-30 in the other two. As it then proved to be in both of the back to back series that followed. So now it was one in five. The next two were better (36ish, and 47 on the basis of one monumental innings), but he still has no home Ashes ton in 15 Tests.

      But now you could see other things, e.g. he was in the bottom three for English openers in home Ashes series since WW1 (with 5 Tests or more) until Lyth undercut him. E.g. Trescothick has an overall home average about ten runs better than Cook’s. E.g. his averages against countries with strong pace attacks are consistently well short of those whose strong suit is spin, but we’re told by some he would have excelled in any era. Er, hang on.

      And none of it was picked up on. None of it. Even from the same people who tell us that Pietersen going from an average of 50 in January 2009 to one of 44.5 thereafter is a major decline. Just look at England’s all time best averages to see how high 44.5 gets you, and thus how ludicrous that is. And the bias – above and beyond impressive stats – became more obvious over time as well, arguably reaching its peak in summer 2014 after the Southampton Test, when you couldn’t move for references to making women swoon, lambing, Alice, being a nice guy, great in the dressing room, letting people cross the boundary first, etc.

      I don’t think anyone can argue against his record under Flower, apart from those Ashes blips, and particularly the India series of 2012, which is fit to rank with the best series performances I’ve ever seen. It’s also churlish to look at 2006-13 in the round and find too many faults. But since then the indulgence has been mind-numbing, and plenty of it (especially in 2014) clearly and blatantly agenda-driven.

      Liked by 2 people

      • LordCanisLupus August 22, 2018 / 12:38 pm

        47.28 plays 45.11

        But there’s no Gary Ballance waiting in the wings this time around.

        Like

      • Deep Purple Fred August 22, 2018 / 4:05 pm

        From that Selvey piece:
        Alastair Cook
        A total of 766 runs in the last series in Australia was just astonishing, and his status already as England’s most accomplished century maker needs no embellishment.
        P15, 1,264 runs @ 50.56 with four hundreds

        On what basis was he “England’s most accomplished century maker”? He’d only made 4 at that point and he was already more accomplished than Gower, Gooch, Vaughan, KP etc?

        His longevity is due partly to his runs, and also a lack of better options, but he’s also lucky he fit the propoganda needs of the ECB at the time so very well.

        The others in the team with talent all had some perceived flaw that wouldn’t allow them to be promoted as the poster boy: not quintessentially English enough (KP, Prior), too retiring (Bell), too bad tempered, (Anderson, Broad).

        Anderson is a significantly higher achiever in his discipline than Cook is in his, he would have been the better face of English cricket that the ECB seemed to need, if they wanted to hang it on an individual.

        Cook is kind of the Hugh Grant stereotype of the team that the ECB liked to promote: upper class, handsome, retiring, doesn’t sweat, a bit tongue-tied. Truly from the Officer class, and a perfect contrast and foil to that unpleasant KP chap. Just with an unfortunate habit of lashing out in an unseemly way when things didn’t work out.

        A decent opener but a really quite spectacular media creation.

        Like

        • man in a barrel August 22, 2018 / 5:36 pm

          He’s the son of a BT engineer. I don’t think that makes him upper-class nor even officer class.

          Like

    • Pontiac August 24, 2018 / 2:52 am

      The problem is not that lately Cook doesn’t score centuries. It’s that he almost never gets a Cowan.

      Those 25s or 35s ground out over 70 or 100 balls make a difference. Lately he fails a lot and when he does fail, he fails hard.

      Like

      • LordCanisLupus August 24, 2018 / 9:46 am

        Meanwhile….

        No surprise there.

        Like

        • nonoxcol August 24, 2018 / 10:28 am

          Do you think he knows Rashid averages more with the bat than Cook and less with the ball than Broad and Stokes in this series?

          Ah. He doesn’t care. Nor does he care that four of his seven wickets are top five players, and he’s got the series’ dominant batsman out twice.

          Nor does he care – and savour this one – that his strike rate is better than all English bowlers in this series except Curran and Anderson (and that’s marginal).

          Love that “in case it’s forgotten”. In case it’s forgotten, that was four years ago and last time he played India he was outbowled by Rashid.

          How do his sycophants not pick up on this shit? How?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Stevet August 24, 2018 / 10:44 am

            Priceless! What would we do without him!

            Like

          • Mark August 24, 2018 / 10:56 am

            Oh look, Selvey is so biased he thinks Kohli is a tailender!

            Mo was about the only spin bowler who Cook trusted. So no surprise that Selvey supports his selection.

            Bowling dry is the Flower way, and taking wickets is seen as not as important as runs. How did Mo go in Australia? As a former bowler Selvey doesn’t seem to think taking test wickets is important. No wonder he only got three of the them then?

            Like

          • nonoxcol August 24, 2018 / 11:40 am

            Is it me or is it warm in here?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mark August 24, 2018 / 11:56 am

            Facts don’t matter. And wickets don’t matter. These people are drenched in an ideology of cliqueness and are utilitarian in their out look. Rashid is seen as a luxury. Despite taking more wickets than anyone else in the India tour last time.

            Mo was next to useless in the Ashes. Now to be fair to him that was because he had a bad hand. But who picks a single spinner who has a bad hand as your only spinner? Don’t remember any complaints from Selvey.

            May have to do with why this country does not produce many leg spinners. They are seen as show ponies, and can be expensive. The typical English pundit was much more impressed by Shane’s Warner economy rate than his wickets. They had never seen a leg spin bowler who gave away so few runs. All leg spinners are now compared to Warne. It’s an idiotic comparison. But then we have idiotic pundits.

            Until Selvey is honest enough to tell us why, and who told him that Rashids card had been marked his output on Rashid is meaningless.

            Like

          • thelegglance August 24, 2018 / 11:59 am

            I honestly think if Dale Steyn had been English he would have been berated for his economy rate (3.23) and dropped.

            Like

          • Sean August 24, 2018 / 12:04 pm

            Tickner giving Selvey a close run thing for ‘the tit of the day’ award.

            Liked by 2 people

          • LordCanisLupus August 24, 2018 / 5:28 pm

            I guess statistical outliers, e.g. occasional events outside the overwhelming trend, never matter. Gonna ride the rootmaths wave until the very end. There is a point, but it can rarely be made without it being shouted down. I don’t think you should ignore that he can make double hundreds. That’s silly.

            And our friend is onboard in that thread too.

            You remember when people got mad because I said 5 in 98 or whatever….because 6 in 99 was fucking amazing!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mark August 24, 2018 / 3:01 pm

            Leg glance ……..

            Look what they did to Stephen Finn. Run rate over wicket taking was their priority. He had the height, and ability to knock over the top orders of sides with the new ball. But our brains trust turned him into a line and length bowler.

            I believe Shane Warnes first test against India went for loads of runs. Had he been English with the Selvey/Pringle/39/Agnew media that would have been him done and dusted. “He’s a luxury.”

            And no I’m not saying Rashid is as good as Warne. But there is a bone headed obsession about run rates vs wicket takers by are pundit class. It might be because so many of them were medium
            pace trundlers.

            Like

        • Pontiac August 25, 2018 / 1:00 am

          Of course impossible that M. Ali and A. Rashid could both be in the side at the same time.

          Like

  19. Mark August 22, 2018 / 12:20 pm

    Selvey seems to be confused….

    “In 1976, I went out to bat on last day in a Test, with Mike Hendrick, with England needing 429 to win and just us to get them. I don’t recall if they charged entry but there were people there. We lost by 425.”

    Notts announce change of policy……

    “Common sense prevails .”

    Like

    • Sherwick August 22, 2018 / 1:04 pm

      Lol Mark

      Like

  20. oreston August 22, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    The Telegraph is claiming an exclusive on James Vince being recalled for the fourth Test if Bairstow can’t play. Apparently he’d bat at four, allowing Pope to drop down to five. Well that’ll shore up the top order.
    Dios mío, Amigos! Crazy times…

    Like

      • metatone August 22, 2018 / 6:02 pm

        I haven’t seen him this season, has he fixed his mode of getting out that the Aussies found so useful?

        Like

        • quebecer August 23, 2018 / 12:00 am

          I haven’t seen him either and will categorically attest to no.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sophie August 23, 2018 / 11:30 am

            By numbers, he’s never done so well before in division 1. Of course, all the good bowlers are in division 2 now.

            Liked by 1 person

      • oreston August 22, 2018 / 9:08 pm

        I know it’s tempting to think of Flower as some sort of Moriarty figure with a hand in everything – and maybe he has had an unattributable word in Ed Smith’s shell-like. To be fair though it seems Vince has been in very good form for Hampshire this season, with 847 runs at 56.47 including an undefeated double century. (Wasn’t that the one he scored just as the squad for the Pakistan Tests was announced, amid speculation about him being dropped?)
        However if county form means anything in assessing suitability for Test cricket (and really, is it the barometer it once was?) Rory Burns has done even better. Then again I suppose there is the argument that Vince is an in form batsman who already has Test experience, even if not very happy experience, so on that basis it would be difficult to fault the selectors’ logic if he is given another opportunity. I think it’s one of those situations though where logic and domestic form suggest one thing but your gut instinct screams the opposite.
        I still think Bell would be the better choice, even if he has “only” been scoring meaningless second division runs.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. metatone August 22, 2018 / 6:01 pm

    Coming to all this very late, but I think Quebecer pinpoints my frustration with the England setup.
    This weakness has been apparent for a while – there were even signs of it at Edgbaston, despite the win. And what has been done, by the selectors? by the players? to address it? Not very much…

    India made plenty of their own mistakes (hence 0-2 down) but the contrast is there, they had failures and they made changes, both in selection and in batting approach to try and address it.

    Of course, a lot of it is structural, thanks to the ECB. Scouring county averages for someone to come into the side is a disheartening experience. If Jennings can be effectively 5th (13th and effectively 5th once you subtract foreign players and those with only a couple of innings) then it’s hard to see what good performance in CC means for Test readiness.

    Like

    • Silk August 23, 2018 / 2:02 pm

      “India made plenty of their own mistakes (hence 0-2 down)”

      Bizarrely, if they’d kept Ashwin on when Curran came out to bat in the first Test, it would probably be 2-1 India right now

      Liked by 1 person

  22. northernlight71 August 22, 2018 / 10:58 pm

    Can I just say, I can’t believe there isn’t a new post reviewing today’s play. A disgraceful abdication of responsibility on your part, lads. I expected every one of those 17 deliveries to be expertly dissected, each shot or leave judged and that you’d offer an overall sense of where exactly the day had gone so very wrong for England.
    Anyone would think this was all free or something. Didn’t we pay a tenner to log on?
    😀

    Like

    • Sophie August 22, 2018 / 11:04 pm

      I swear I saw Anderson waft at a wide one.

      Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance August 22, 2018 / 11:36 pm

      Funny you should say that. We debated the giggle of a live blog, and then I was going to do a report. A conference call got in the way, and I ran out of time. I worked on the principle no one would care.

      You swine. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • quebecer August 22, 2018 / 11:56 pm

        Yes, very disappointed by the lack of effort.

        Think I’ll head off to the guardian BTL and chat there.

        Right, back. Nope. Total rubbish.

        You lot are lucky you’re good, that’s all I can say.

        Like

      • Mark August 23, 2018 / 9:06 am

        “The cricketing obituary of Alastair Cook has been written so often………”

        Not by the MSM it hasn’t.

        Last night on five live there was a very good chat about the cricket with Mark Butcher, and Jimmy Anderson text him half way through to tell him he was enjoying it up until Mark suggested that Joe Root doesn’t have the complete control of the team that Kohli does. Anderson text in to say that was complete crap.

        Amongst the suggesgetions made were picking two new openers as a pair, and letting them start a new partnership. and dropping Cook down to three. As Butcher said…. if you are the other opener, and you are batting at the other end to Cook and here is this man who has made over ten thousand Test runs and he is making it look very difficult how does that make you feel?

        Putting Joe Root back to to four where he wants to bat. Giving him a little break to gather his thoughts after coming off the field. Bairstow being told he must give up the gloves now, and bat at five, Stokes at six, and Butler at seven.

        Some may say this is just re arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, but as the cupboard Is bare I’m not sure what else you can do. Of course this means finding two new batsman, but then again as these teo aren’t scoring any runs, and we are always 60/3 or 100/4 what’s to lose. Might even find some new slip catchers.

        And on slip catching, it was pointed out by Compton that the best advice he was given by Stephen Fleming was to make slip catching practice less in time duration, but more intensive. Concentrate much more on fewer catches rather than just endless catching where non of them matter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol August 23, 2018 / 9:22 am

        Apparently he’s likely to miss the Southampton Test.

        Dozens of mawkish 2014 retrospectives about to be spiked if so.

        Shame.

        Like

      • jomesy August 23, 2018 / 1:07 pm

        The selectors should have left him as captain, and taken the pressure off by telling him not to worry about scoring runs. At the very least he’d be a better captain than Root. Now he can’t bat, and he doesn’t captain the team anymore. So what does he do exactly?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Silk August 23, 2018 / 2:41 pm

        “But Cook’s facility for scoring runs when he most needs them has always been a sign of the mental strength England value so highly.”

        This is just bollocks, isn’t it? And self-fulfilling bollocks. Obviously if he’s picked in perpetuity he’ll eventually score some runs and we’ll be told “See! When his back is to the wall he scores runs”

        And does both really mean when /he/ most needs them? What about the team?

        I’m not in favour of dropping Cook because in any given series I’d still back him to score more runs than Stoneman, Jennings or Hales, but by golly, that’s the only thing keeping him in the side right now.

        Liked by 2 people

  23. Miami Dad's Six August 23, 2018 / 9:04 am

    I’m struggling to read too much into the Buttler and Stokes knocks in the second dig, as they were so pressure-free, not affecting the course of the match in the slightest, that I can’t think of them as particularly worthy – other than hopefully to affect the pair’s mindset next time they come out to bat. I still don’t think they are a top 5 batsman and a specialist number 7 batsman, respectively.

    The big concern is that on what is probably England’s favourite bowling deck, India were able to amass 700 runs without even being all out twice. I have no idea the last time England reached that amount in a Test. If India can do the same at the Rose Bowl, you’d think it likely that we’ll have a decider on our hands.

    Liked by 1 person

    • d'Arthez August 23, 2018 / 9:56 am

      The last time England made more than 700 runs was last year against West Indies. In the Test they lost. Before that 797 on a featherbed in Rajkot (drawn). The two Tests England won against Pakistan in 2016, had England scoring more than 700 runs as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. jomesy August 23, 2018 / 1:08 pm

    Priceless comment under that article:

    “The selectors should have left him as captain, and taken the pressure off by telling him not to worry about scoring runs. At the very least he’d be a better captain than Root. Now he can’t bat, and he doesn’t captain the team anymore. So what does he do exactly?”

    Where to start….!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark August 23, 2018 / 1:34 pm

      According to the ECB, and their eager stenographers at the time he chose to give up the captaincy. They didn’t take it off him.

      So that line about him being left as captain is bull crap.

      Like

    • Prime.Eveil August 23, 2018 / 2:12 pm

      It’s déjà vu for me of course. I don’t see A Cook any more but JP Duminy.

      Everywhere I look I see similar comments about Cook.

      He was a good opening batsman but his race is run now. It is amazing how some people only see what they want to see. Reminds me of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore doing their “Dirty Uncle Bertie” sketch.

      Like

      • REDRUM106 August 24, 2018 / 1:41 pm

        Mark Butcher made a very valid point when he said that watching from the other end, as a guy with 150+ tests and 15,000 runs behind him struggles to put bat on ball will hardly fill the “rookie” opener with confidence. A batsman of Cook’s standing and experience should be giving confidence to his less experienced partner not giving him a dose of the heebie jeebies. Another point is that whenever an opening partnership is deemed to have failed the junior partner is invariably the one to be jettisoned. As an example the Cook/Stoneman axis was by common consent one of the worst performing opening partnerships we have ever had, averaging less than 20 per innings. In the 20 innings they batted together Cook was the first batsman dismissed on 12 occasions but Stoneman was the one dropped. I’m not suggesting that Stoneman didn’t deserve to be dropped as he had lost form by the time the first test of the summer arrived but there was absolutely no discussion about it, the decision was taken as read.

        Liked by 4 people

  25. Sophie August 23, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    I don’t get the Bairstow thing. If he’s actually broken a bone, even if it’s only slightly cracked, there’s no way it won’t hurt in a week’s time, so the only way he can play is if he takes pain killers from the start, and surely that shouldn’t be official policy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • northernlight71 August 23, 2018 / 2:03 pm

      You forget that the England medical support team’s brief is “If you have to wheel them out there on a bed, hooked up to a drip and trying to shock their heart into a normal systolic rhythm, it doesn’t matter as long as they can dangle a bat in front of the stumps.”

      Or something like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sophie August 23, 2018 / 2:15 pm

        Yeah, originally I wrote ‘surely that can’t be official policy’ but then I couldn’t hit send because I laughed so hard.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Quebecer August 23, 2018 / 3:06 pm

        I’ve thought for a while that Stuart Broad is actually now mostly cortisone.

        Liked by 1 person

        • metatone August 23, 2018 / 3:51 pm

          This would explain the knee-jerk appealing/reviews.

          Like

      • d'Arthez August 23, 2018 / 3:11 pm

        Not even that. Standing behind the stumps was good enough to clear Prior.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. man in a barrel August 23, 2018 / 4:02 pm

    What with Stokes’s leg, Bairstow’s finger, Anderson’s shoulder (which was obviously hurting him on Monday), Broad’s whole body, this team is beginning to look like a chain made out of weak links. Add in Jennings and Cook and you would find it hard to pick the weakest link. And that’s before you throw the possibility of Vince playing into the mix.

    Would anyone be interested in a TV show called “I’m a Selector, Get Me Out of Here?”

    Like

    • northernlight71 August 23, 2018 / 5:18 pm

      I’d watch a fly on the wall documentary of Andy Flower. They could call it “I’m not a selector, honestly, get that camera out of here.”

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Benny August 24, 2018 / 11:27 am

    You’re right, it’s not just one test. Not so much that we lost or even by how much but the way England played. Poor batting, poor fielding and outbowled on a seamer friendly wicket.

    India have long been thought of as unable to produce fast bowlers, bad in the field, unable to cope with the swinging ball. It looks like their management has fixed all that. Maybe we should drop our Australian coach and sign up an Indian one.

    Like

    • dlpthomas August 24, 2018 / 11:29 am

      Maybe we signed the wrong Australian……….

      Liked by 1 person

      • oreston August 24, 2018 / 3:11 pm

        Just ’cause I ain’t never said, no,
        Nothing worth saying
        Never ever, never ever, never ever
        Things ‘ave got read into what I never said,
        Till me mouth becomes me ‘ead
        Which ain’t not all that clever
        And it’s not not saying
        One thing nor another
        Neither, either is it anything
        I haven’t said, whatever
        And it ain’t not proving
        That me mind ain’t moving
        And I answer to the name
        Of Trevor…

        – Ian Dury

        Like

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