England vs India: 5th Test, Day 5 – Fin

In a remarkable Test match where Cook and Root both played innings which were reminiscent of days past when England had a functional batting unit (if you can remember back that far), it seemed that India had decided to do their own tribute to a previous era of cricket. At the start of today’s play the tourists were 58/3 and, with Kohli already dismissed, almost everyone expected a fairly quick end to the day. What almost no one expected was for India to take the game down to the wire and almost grind out a draw.

The day began with the press talking about Jimmy Anderson standing on the precipice of greatness, having taken the same number of career wickets as Australian great Glenn McGrath. The notion of an Indian rearguard effort seemingly occurred to no one. It was up to Rahul and Rahane to teach them otherwise.

In fairness to England’s bowlers, the conditions were not anywhere near as bowling-friendly as previous games in this series had been. Stuart Broad was also bowling with a cracked rib, although that shouldn’t have been an issue considering England had five other bowlers in their eleven. Nevertheless, it was impressive and surprising when Indian managed to make it through the first hour of play unscathed. Teams nowadays rarely seem to show any application or resolve when faced with a whole day to bat, and this was a welcome change.

In the end, it was a mishit sweep by Rahane from Moeen’s bowling which created the breakthrough England desperately craved. Debutant batsman Vihari fell soon after a faint edge from a Ben Stokes bouncer (not the one from his trial), and India were shaken going into Lunch five wickets down and facing yet another defeat.

Rishabh Pant has been getting some stick this series, in large part deserved, for his performance as a wicketkeeper. There have been so many byes that it is almost unbelievable. This was somewhat expected, but what he is supposed to be very good at is batting. Having a first-class average over 50, India would have been disappointed with his average of 9.6 going into this final innings. Perhaps batting for his position, Pant stood up and played a tremendous and entertaining 204-run partnership with Rahul.

With the Indians making it past Tea and in sight of rescuing a draw, it will be little surprise to most readers here that it was Adil Rashid who broke the partnership. In fact, he took both centurion’s wickets in successive overs. His delivery to take the wicket of Rahul was possibly The Ball Of The Century, or would have been had he not already earned that accolade two months ago against Kohli. It will also not surprise readers to note that, despite Rashid’s penchant for breaking partnerships, Joe Root bowled him very little indeed. In fact, Root bowled himself for six overs compare to Rashid’s seven by Tea.

With both established batsmen gone (and Rashid taken out of the attack after a mere three wicketless overs), it was finally the endgame. India only had an hour more to survive, but England had taken the new ball and the tailenders were no match for Sam Curran’s swing and seam.

But, as the scriptwriter who has been writing this Test’s storyline no doubt planned, the final wicket went to Jimmy Anderson. Whilst bowling a number 10 is usually fairly anticlimactic, this one took Anderson beyond Glenn McGrath as the highest Test non-spinning wicket-taker. It’s been a long time coming and, although he has a higher average and strike rate than McGrath, there is absolutely no doubt that he is a genuinely great bowler.

Of course, the Player Of The Match (not Man Of The Match, as some pundits would claim) was Alastair Cook. He wasn’t particularly involved today, taking no catches and not having the opportunity to add to his one wicket tally as a bowler, but it’s a deserved honour. 218 runs typically gets you the award in any Test, and allowed it him to have one more goodbye from the podium.

As they celebrated Cook and England’s past, there was also a look to the future in England’s Player Of The Series, Sam Curran. In just his fifth Test, he already seems vital to England’s chances at home. It is saying something that, of England’s four allrounders, it is the ‘world-class’ Stokes who had the worst figures. Woakes, Moeen and the young Curran all had better batting and bowling averages than the New Zealand-born allrounder in this series. With a unit like that, and the continued problems England’s new batsmen have had, it is far from inconceivable that selecting six or more bowlers might become the norm at home.

And so ends another English summer. Going into it, I would never have predicted the vital part Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid would play. Nor, quite frankly, would I have predicted England beating the number one-rated team 4-1. It is an achievement tempered somewhat by the fact that the only new specialist batsman to excel did so batting at seven. Between now and next year’s Ashes, England need to find at least one opener (and please God, let’s get rid of Jennings too) and a number three. At a minimum.

So thanks from everyone here for reading our posts this season, even those of you who only do it to mock the vitriolic ‘Cook-hating blog’. I’m kidding of course, virtually all of the people criticising the writers and commenters here have read little or nothing from the site and so have (ironically) jumped to their conclusions with no evidence to base them on.

If you have any thoughts on the game, Cook, England’s future, or anything else, please comment below.


237 thoughts on “England vs India: 5th Test, Day 5 – Fin

  1. marees Sep 11, 2018 / 6:36 pm

    *highest Test non-spinning wicket-taker*

    isn’t that Anil Kumble ?

    Liked by 2 people

    • dannycricket Sep 11, 2018 / 6:41 pm


      To be honest, I just couldn’t bring myself to describe Anderson as a ‘pace’ or ‘fast’ bowler, nor was McGrath a ‘swing’ bowler. I couldn’t think of the right word, so stuck with non-spinning.


      • Rohan Sep 11, 2018 / 7:32 pm

        To be fair, when Anderson first arrived on the scene, pre ECB/Loughborough/whoever it was that tried to meddle with his action, he did have genuine pace and speed. Yes, he wasn’t Mitch Johnson at his peak, but he regularly bowled in the 85mph to 90mph bracket. Who knows if they hadn’t of meddled, but that’s all it’s and buts 😉


        • dannycricket Sep 11, 2018 / 7:35 pm

          Well most truly fast bowlers aren’t still going strong at 36, so I guess it all worked out in the end…


          • Rohan Sep 11, 2018 / 7:38 pm

            Yes very true, good point.


  2. quebecer Sep 11, 2018 / 6:46 pm

    Fred, Australia’s squad for their upcoming series:

    Aaron Finch, Matt Renshaw, Brendan Doggett, Michael Neser, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (captain), Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Jon Holland, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle

    Any thoughts for me to make fun of?

    P.S. I like the sound of this Marnus Labuschagne fellow. Never heard of him before, yet what’s not to like about the words Marnus Labuschagne?


    • dannycricket Sep 11, 2018 / 6:56 pm

      Well to continue with mocking Marnus Labuschagne, he was the first guy in the world to fall foul of the new ‘fake fielding’ law last year. So, basically just another Aussie cheat.


      • oreston Sep 11, 2018 / 7:33 pm

        I think you’ll find that’s “South African born Marnus Labuschagne” but obviously he’s learned his cricket, and indeed his cheating, in Australia 🙂


        • oreston Sep 11, 2018 / 7:35 pm

          Does South Africa export more cricketers than Pinot Noir these days?


    • mdpayne87 Sep 11, 2018 / 7:36 pm

      Good to see the Aussies making head-scratching selection decisions by not picking Maxwell. Caused quite a stir down under.


    • Deep Purple Fred Sep 11, 2018 / 9:02 pm

      I’ve made a cutting reply to you but it won’t appear, and wordpress tells me I’m repeating myself (yes darling, but you never listen to me). You’ll have to wait until Dmitri takes it out of quarantine. Maybe Labuschagne is a saffer swear word.


      • Rohan Sep 11, 2018 / 9:08 pm

        Is that Ben Cutting? Is he not on the tour.


      • dannycricket Sep 11, 2018 / 9:13 pm

        It’s come through fine as far as I can tell (unless someone else unblocked it), although it’s a comment on the post rather than a reply to Fred’s comment if that was the intent.


      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 11, 2018 / 9:14 pm

        Oh look, there it is. You’ll have to scroll down to read it. We don’t use this whole rules-based system anymore.


  3. Rob Sep 11, 2018 / 6:48 pm

    “Lower average and strike rate than McGrath” – a case of Cunnigham’s Law?


  4. Topshelf Sep 11, 2018 / 7:13 pm

    Took my kids. Yes, they could have been at school, and I suppose I could have taken them yesterday, but I’ve always been more interested in bowlers, and the chance to see Jimmy go past McGrath was too good to miss.

    What a day’s cricket it was! A proper test match final day, two high quality innings, genuine fear that India might win – but how great would that have been? – and then a perfect ending with Jimmy’s wicket. After Bairstow’s drop it seemed we might all be disappointed, and I reckon Curran’s last 2 balls were as stressful for the crowd as any all day – he was wise to push them nice and wide!

    I could comment more on how England went very flat after lunch, or how Pant clearly lost his mind a few overs before his inevitable dismissal, but for once it was just great to be at the Oval, my kids loving it, and see how great test match cricket can be.


    • dannycricket Sep 11, 2018 / 7:23 pm

      Worth £20? Surrey seemed to get their money’s worth from a flat pitch.


      • Topshelf Sep 11, 2018 / 7:46 pm

        Easily!* Was a genuinely great day. I’m really not given to gushing, but this was a proper day’s cricket. Loved it. I’ve seen plenty of players finish at the Oval (Ambrose, Stewart, Ed Smith – although he wasn’t to know) so frankly not bothered by that.

        But Anderson’s achievement is right up there. I was at Lord’s for his first wicket against Zimbabwe, and really rated him then. To play 143 tests as a (self-described) medium-fast bowler is extraordinary, and his record over the last few years stands up against the real greats.

        I would even argue that his career record is a little bit more impressive than a batting average of 45.35 for an awfully long time, albeit as an opener. But he’s not a batsman, and he’s never going to get the Cook treatment. He does have the record for most not-out innings in test cricket though, so maybe that will get him a misty-eyed send-off in a couple of years!

        * Had a cheeky bet on fall of next wicket when Pant started to lose control. Rahul was out next ball! The day paid for itself…


    • Rohan Sep 11, 2018 / 7:28 pm

      Yes! Amongst the Cook nonsense, it’s almost been missed that this was, in my opinion, a cracking 5 day (proper 5 day) test match. It made me feel nostalgic for something I had not seen in this country for many years!


  5. Rohan Sep 11, 2018 / 7:25 pm

    Hate is a very strong word, those who accuse people outside cricket of ‘hating Cook’ have often created this narrative themselves. That’s not to say those ‘outside cricket’ are his greatest fans or love him; myself, I dislike parts of his carefully crafted media persona and despise the way he handled many things (e.g. Ashes whitewash, KP, Bell, Trott etc.), but hate, no it’s not worth it. I think it is a distraction, a myth, perpetuated by the MSM to try and take the focus away from the shambles that is the ECB. Well done to those who write on here, who have not been distracted by the ‘look over there’ attempt and have continued to shine a light on the many issues facing cricket in the U.K. and particularly the ECB.

    Basically top stuff!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. stephenfh Sep 11, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    Absorbing day and a reminder that a good 5-day game activates the spectating senses that the white ball game gets nowhere near. Credit India who at one point were very much on course to emulate their predecessors of long ago who posted 400+ 4th innings chasing 400+ in a drawn game, also at the Oval. It was an outrageously good ball from Rashid that changed the game.

    Sam Curran set up Jimmy beautifully at the end.


    • oreston Sep 11, 2018 / 7:47 pm

      Le roi est mort, vive le roi!


    • Mark Sep 11, 2018 / 7:52 pm

      Could someone tell Agnew and Selvey this? Perhaps Cook can point this out to The BBCs Alastair Cook correspondent next time he has dinner with him.

      “Aggers, I’m not as great as Jimmy, really you must listen to me.”


    • Topshelf Sep 11, 2018 / 7:53 pm

      Oh for goodness’ sake! I may have just been very complimentary about Jimmy, but just because I think he is a “better” cricketer than Cook doesn’t make him the best of all time. I’d probably pick him in an all-time England side on recent form I reckon, but SF Barnes would still get choice of ends!

      Interesting to see the conflation of great longevity with great talent has already begun for Jimmy. Let’s hope it doesn’t spoil his send-off when it finally comes.


      • man in a barrel Sep 11, 2018 / 9:24 pm

        And for longevity, SF Barnes was still worrying batsmen into his 50s. And his finest Ashes performances were down under when he was 38. And he earned his living as a clerk and sign – writer, ie bowling as a side line. And he bowled many more overs than Anderson.


        • dannycricket Sep 11, 2018 / 9:35 pm

          I’ll be honest, I’m always wary about comparing modern players to ones from the amateur era. It seems unlikely to me that the standard of competition was the same, and so comparing statistics across generations seems unwise.


          • thelegglance Sep 12, 2018 / 6:27 am

            The trouble is, it’s the only way you can, and the balance of bat and ball in the game at least implies that relative to his peers Barnes was exceptional. That’s a lot more than you have in most sports, at least, where it is completely impossible to compare.

            So health warnings, absolutely. But it’s not totally unreasonable. Personally, I generally think that if someone was special in their own time, there’s the likelihood they also would have been had they been born a century later. Talent is talent. Still, I totally take your point.

            This always leads on to issues about the speed of bowling. It is possible that bowlers now are no faster than they were in the past, but it would make cricket pretty much unique in all elite sport, where people get faster. I would honestly not be surprised if bowlers were as quick at fast medium now as fast bowlers were 40 years ago, which doesn’t mean they weren’t extremely fast bowlers then. It’s the Jesse Owens thing – he wouldn’t so much as qualify for a final now. But was he a great back then? Absolutely.


          • dannycricket Sep 12, 2018 / 7:26 am

            Yeah, but if given a time machine able to pick players at their prime would I pick Barnes, or Grace, or any pre-professional era players? Not a chance. Not even (in a World XI) Bradman.


          • thelegglance Sep 12, 2018 / 7:31 am

            But that’s not fair. They didn’t have so much as the healthy diet advantages, let alone the sports science ones. If they were the best in their era, they’d be the best in ours, IF they’d been brought up in the same environment.

            You might as well say HMS Victory was useless by comparing it to a modern frigate.


          • dannycricket Sep 12, 2018 / 7:43 am

            To be fair, I would absolutely say the HMS Victory was useless compared to a modern frigate.


        • RufusSG Sep 11, 2018 / 9:37 pm

          SF Barnes was undeniably a freak, but he didn’t make his test debut until he was 28, and played just 27 tests in 13 years (and was left out from 1902 to 1907 for reasons never completely understood) – he obviously played more county cricket than Anderson, but Barnes’ career was far more spread out, and there wasn’t the need to keep as insanely fit as top players have to today to be successful. Comparing his and Anderson’s longevity is almost impossible because the eras they played in were so different in regards to fitness.


  7. Mark Sep 11, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    So I have managed to avoid watching a single ball of this match. Not one. No commentary of any kind. I have checked in here for updates. And I’m stress free. We knew it would be a jamboree, and good luck to those that like their jamborees particularly laced with sugar and spite.

    As to the match? The take out for me is why do you think England don’t play very much on flat pitches like this? Because they very nearly didn’t win. Imagine a series played in this hot summer in June and July on Flatish pitches? You can forget 4-1.

    Cooks record will never be beaten. Partly because you would have to play from a very young age, and then never be dropped for well over ten years. No injury and no loss of form. And unlike Cook, you won’t get the benefit of playing on flat pitches at home for that time. Cook got a nice few thousands of runs in the bank before the ECBs policy on pitches changed from chief executive pitches to result pitches. And who knows how much longer Test cricket will survive? Certainly five day Tests. I doubt Jimmys record will be beaten either. A bowler to stay fit for that length of time is a minor miracle.

    You would like to think that English cricket will now move on. But it won’t. The KP saga was never just about him, but purging anyone who’s face doesn’t fit from the National game. Individualism over group think. That is why it was nice to hear that Rashid broke the partnership to set up the victory. I feel for new upcoming players because you are never going to be good enough to fill Cooks shoes. It will always be, “yes but he’s not Cook is he.” We will have to wait for the retirement of the current media class. Can’t come sooner for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Sep 11, 2018 / 7:55 pm

      It was the individualism that was purged over the collective.


    • RufusSG Sep 11, 2018 / 7:56 pm

      I know the difficulties of batting in England get exaggerated sometimes, but the notion that the pitches in England were all roads at the start of Cook’s career is so obviously false I don’t know where to start.


      • Mark Sep 11, 2018 / 8:08 pm

        I didn’t say ALL pitches were roads did I?

        But there was a marked change in policy after 2014. Today was quite novel because we actually got almost a full five days.


        • RufusSG Sep 11, 2018 / 8:31 pm

          No, you didn’t. And, fair enough, from 2017-18 batting has become more challenging.

          Actually, the 2015 and 2016 seasons of tests had overall averages – 33.25 and 33.23 – only one run lower than the 34.20 of 2014 (and above the 29.50 of 2013). The 2015 Ashes were so slapdash because neither team was particularly outstanding and the games ended up being really one-sided, not because it was unreasonably challenging to bat in.

          So you agree that Cook scored some runs at home when the pitches weren’t flat, as well as when they were. You don’t have to say he’s the literally best player ever or anything to hold that belief – I certainly don’t think he is. That would be silly.

          But just as selective stat-mining to make Cook seem better than he is isn’t good, neither is putting in a million qualifications literally every time someone suggests that, for a good chunk of his career, he was really, really good. Not Bradman-esque, merely world-class.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. oreston Sep 11, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    Interesting moment in Mark Nicholas’s post match smarmfest with Cook for the C5 highlights. Asked for his thoughts on being named MOTM (yeah, I know it’s not called that anymore – sue me!) Alastair said he thought a little bit of bias had gone into giving him the award. All suitably modest and self-deprecating, of course, but in acknowledging the possibility of bias among the pundits methinks he doth protest too much. Still, demob fever and all that…


    • Mark Sep 11, 2018 / 8:13 pm

      I refuse to use this idiot political correct bullsit term “player of the match.” It will always be man of the match for me. And I’m not offended in any way if the woman want to call their version “woman of the match.”

      Who else could win the award today? Hedgehog of the match? Tulip of the match? Great white shark of the match? Tadpole of the match? Lesser spotted owl of the match? Piss off ECB!


  9. LordCanisLupus Sep 11, 2018 / 8:21 pm

    A word to the wise.

    Those of you who follow @Mark_BOCricket – including Benny, The Bogfather, Maxie, Rob Wilson and others, this is not Mark and the person doing it is on a shit-stir. We’ve seen them before and thought they had packed it in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Sep 11, 2018 / 8:34 pm

      Thanks Peter!

      Yes, I can confirm this is not me. I have no twitter account. Personally, I’m surprised anyone on Twitter who this clown is following hasn’t blocked me. Who wants to read that old fool ranting away?

      A fake twitter account! Hmm….. where have we heard that before in English cricket? I’m honoured to be in the same company as KP. MarkGenius anybody? Perhaps Agnew can explain passwords to me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • BobW Sep 12, 2018 / 7:40 am

        Thanks guy. I’ll unfollow.


    • Deep Purple Fred Sep 11, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      This is quite funny, although I suspect Dmitri doesn’t find it funny to have his blog appropriated like this.

      Agnew has actually taken offense at “Mark”, and insulted him for having only 15 followers. What a joke twitter is.

      Agnew is a publicity-whore, it’s his business. The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. He used a naughty word to Morgan and his fans went wild. How best to be noticed? Pick a fight with a high profile person like Morgan. The celebrity spat, it’s a game as old as the hills. It’s all just a game and doesn’t have much to do with cricket.

      Meanwhile, a quick peek at KP’s account shows he is posting about pursing his new business interest, fighting aginst illegal poaching, and sending gracious and generous messages to Cook. Maybe Agnew could learn something from him. Oh I forgot, getting attention in the media IS his business.


      • LordCanisLupus Sep 11, 2018 / 8:58 pm

        He’s changed the handle. Previously it was an Outside Cricket thing without having Mark’s name attached. I blocked him/her.

        It’s no biggy, but I am not greatly pleased that he/she is trying to pass themselves off as in someway affiliated to us. As we have always said, commenters are responsible for their own output.


      • Mark Sep 11, 2018 / 9:10 pm

        “15 followers” is that all? I’m not surprised Agnew insulted me.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Sean Sep 11, 2018 / 9:33 pm

          I’ve reported it to Twitter as a fake account purporting views as us. Hopefully they shut it down


          • Mark Sep 11, 2018 / 9:46 pm

            Cheers Sean!

            Perhaps that’s what KP should have done all those years ago? But they would just of accused him of over reacting, and being a killjoy.


    • Glenn Sep 11, 2018 / 11:12 pm

      I fell for it. There are some mad people on Twitter. I mentioned the account as Aggers had done an odd response on it.


    • quebecer Sep 11, 2018 / 11:41 pm

      This staggers me. How much fucking time do some people have on their bloody hands????

      @Mark_BOCricket, to me, is the best argument I’ve ever come across for the reintroduction of National Service. Anyone who has ever bothered to make a false twitter account? Guard duty on the island of South Georgia immediately.

      And Mark, sorry to have to say, but if somehow space opened up in my schedule and I had time to make a false twitter account (god knows how this would happen – a couple of my kids get speared by a narwhal, the dog sled learns how to mush itself, I get divorced and have no friends), of all the people I’d make a false twitter account about, sorry old thing, but I’d aim perhaps a tad higher.

      The level of loser-hood in all this is remarkable.


      • dannycricket Sep 12, 2018 / 7:17 am

        I’m a little surprised that no one has done one of LCL or the site. A full-on parody. Because it’s clear that a lot of people on Twitter genuinely believe that we all hate Cook, constantly talk about KP, and are completely unreasonable.


      • Mark Sep 12, 2018 / 7:57 am


        I find envy is such an ugly sin. And there’s you writing such reasoned, rational thoughts and getting nowhere!

        Im joking of course!! And you are completely right. Given the enormous cast of characters from history, living or dead, the idea this person would parody me is ridiculous.

        But that is what makes it funny! Particularly the fact The BBCs cricket correspondent is absurdly responding to a fake account.


    • Benny Sep 12, 2018 / 6:57 pm

      Thanks. Unfollowed


  10. Deep Purple Fred Sep 11, 2018 / 8:32 pm

    Deep sigh. Is this the way it’s going to be?

    Marnus Labuschagne has only ever represented Australia in juniors, and is a product of the Queensland Academy of Sport. Apparently spent time with Plymouth and Sandwich too, but presumably the Queensland Academy of Sport got that ironed out of him. He’s got an Australian accent, and that’s the real measure of a man. He survivied growing up in Queensland with the name Marnus Labuschagne, he must be made of stern stuff.

    Hang on, I thought we’d decided it was OK to be multicultural, and even have some of them in your cricket team? Especially given Australia is even more a country of immigrants than England, for the last 200 years at least. Changing your tune? In which case want to ‘fess up to past sins? Or is it just that you’re distraught over the departure of Cook, and need to lash out at someone in your grief? I’ve accepted your Pietersen, you’ll have to live with my Labuschagne.

    He’s already made an impact on Australian cricket, his catch in 2014 has become the stuff of legend:

    Note the careful re-enactement of his catching drills in the kitchen. I also note that Mark Nicholas on commentary studiously refers to him as “Marnus”. I also enjoyed how “news travelled around” the dressing room that he was a short leg specialist. Can just imagine the old hands: Hey Marnus, we hear you’re REALLY good at short leg, we really need a legend like you…aw good on ya mate…

    As regards team selection, Australia has moved into a sort of post-cricket world. Cricket is now seen more as a type of interpretative dance, or performance art, for those not accustomed to art galleries. Anything this squad does on the field should be seen as deeply ironic, and an attempt to shock the viewer out of preconceived bourgeois ideas of performance, meaning, or even victory.

    I’ve spent about 15 minutes staring at that list of names, and I’m still struggling. This is worse than I thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oreston Sep 11, 2018 / 11:02 pm

      “I’ve spent about 15 minutes staring at that list of names, and I’m still struggling. This is worse than I thought.”

      I sympathise as this is a feeling us Poms get quite often. I’ll see your Marnus Labuschagne and raise you a Mason Crane. At least if Peter Siddle survives the winter and comes here next summer he won’t feel like the oldest swinger in town with Anderson still playing.


      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 12, 2018 / 7:10 am

        Although I regret the necessity, I’m quite enjoying seeing Siddle back.


        • oreston Sep 12, 2018 / 10:17 am

          Yep, he’ll add a bit of gravitas to proceedings.


      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 12, 2018 / 2:39 pm

        Every team should have a vegan fast bowler who lives on bananas.


        • oreston Sep 12, 2018 / 9:54 pm

          Really? Good grief… wouldn’t have thought that was the breakfast of champions for a quick(ish) bowler. Further to my previous comment, it sounds like he’ll be injecting plenty of “gravitas” into the Lords plumbing system next year…


          • Deep Purple Fred Sep 13, 2018 / 7:22 am

            “I live on a plant-based diet now,” said Siddle. “My partner has been a vegetarian and vegan all her life. I have had a few niggles through my career and I have done a bit of research on different ways of approaching my game and that is the lifestyle I have worked out now. It is working. I am feeling fit and strong. It can vary anything between 15-20 bananas a day. Obviously it is a fruit-based diet and a lot of vegetables. It keeps my healthy, it keeps me strong and that is what is working at the moment.”


          • Mark Sep 13, 2018 / 8:32 am

            I suppose if it’s working for him you can’t argue. But 15-20 bananas a day? That’s a heck of a lot of potassium. I would find that quite bloating. He’s certainly not doing a low carb diet.

            Perhaps Sir David Attenborough should go and film him in his natural habitat!


    • quebecer Sep 11, 2018 / 11:28 pm

      I didn’t even know his ethnicity until I looked him up after I’d posted. My point is not about Labuschagne himself even, but rather how the hell the average Aussie is going to pronounce his name.

      But as for is this how it’s going to be, oh yes, my fine friend, right up until you don’t name a squad like this one.

      P.S. Actually, Marsh might do well.


      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 12, 2018 / 7:08 am

        His name is pronounced alot like Marcus, but with an n instread of a c, the stress on the first syllable.

        People have been saying for quite some time that Marsh might do well. But yes there were some indications of growth there recently.


        • quebecer Sep 13, 2018 / 12:37 am

          Does it matter which Marsh we’re talking about?


        • Deep Purple Fred Sep 13, 2018 / 7:11 am

          They seem to come as a pair. But I think Mitchell has potential to be pretty handy, maybe.

          I think we may have seen the best of Shaun, which is not too bad on it’s day, but he’s had alot of opportunity to date.


  11. veturisarma Sep 11, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    The result of this series is hugely disappointing for me, but ultimately reflects fairly on the sides competing in it. India should have won one of Edgbaston or Ageas Bowl but we weren’t ruthless enough with the ball to win either of those.

    As an Indian fan who was at the receiving end of those three spirit-sapping monstrous centuries in India, I always thought Cook would get the triple hundred against India. Not even 6 failures in a row in the first 3 tests could convince me that Cook was going to be out without making a century in the 4th. I’m always glad, ridiculously glad to see Cook out. He has left me scarred.

    As for the reception to Cook for this last test, I thought this was more than what Sachin got for his final test in Mumbai, (it certainly felt so even if it wasn’t – just a disclaimer in case someone with a stopwatch throws facts at me ). Never thought that Cook was so admired in England.


    • Zephirine Sep 12, 2018 / 10:20 am

      Never thought that Cook was so admired in England.
      To be honest, I was surprised, even though I know how much he’s been hyped over the years. But the timing meant that a lot of people who were Cook fans could get to the Oval for his last day, And it was a big occasion and people like to celebrate.

      Also, for some older English fans Cook embodies Test cricket and they feel it’s dying. There have been a lot of ‘end of an era’ comments. I think this is premature, but it’s a genuine feeling.


      • dannycricket Sep 12, 2018 / 10:45 am

        Well Cook was the last remaining part of the batting unit which took England to being the number one Test team in the world. Looking around, it seems unlikely they will be in contention for that honour for quite a while.


  12. quebecer Sep 11, 2018 / 11:32 pm

    Sri Lanka Tour thought experiment:

    If you could actually clone people like some people think you can, and we did that to Scurran, and we then picked 11 Scurrans to play the Lankans, would that team do better than the one that we will actually pick in reality?

    I’m leaning towards yes.


    • dannycricket Sep 12, 2018 / 7:14 am

      I’m not sure how good he is at spinning the ball, or wicket-keeping, or fielding in the slips. Maybe just four clones to replace the batsmen?


  13. quebecer Sep 12, 2018 / 12:03 am

    One last thing I’ve been thinking about for a while: Joe Root.

    I happened across old highlights of our then record ODI score verses NZ back in 2015 and was struck by Root’s batting; it was perfect. A few of things stood out.: how still his head is at the time of delivery; how nice, upright, and composed he is in his stance; how every shot is played so close to his body. For an ODI innings, it was just the purest batting;

    The thing is, these are exactly the key parts to his technique that have now crossed over in to not just trying to be more expansive as a player, but actually becoming a different batsman.
    Even in his hundred at the Oval, he’s still way more jumpy at the crease, his head is often moving (especially towards off), and he’s playing with his hands well away from his body in ways he simply didn’t before. Much the same shots, but instead of staying in his ‘batting box’ (as ABDV and Kallis called it) and playing close to his body )so his eyes are over or nearer the ball), he’s playing away from himself. He’s gone from being perfectly balanced to being rarely balanced.

    The shot at 1:28 here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KO8YTyPTmg) says it all. In fact, even the straight six before at about 40 seconds in shows a loss of balance.

    Perhaps this was because of his determination to be a more expansive batsman, but he’s lost what made him excel.


    • oreston Sep 12, 2018 / 4:02 am

      Root is centrally contracted, therefore his principle recourse to coaching is via resources provided by the ECB. The ECB manages the England men’s cricket teams across all three competitive formats (all of which Root plays, though arguably he needn’t). The batting coach for the England men’s cricket teams is Mark Ramprakash. You can see where I’m going with this.


      • dannycricket Sep 12, 2018 / 7:22 am

        Players can go outside for coaching though. Cook did, albeit with limited results.


        • oreston Sep 12, 2018 / 1:13 pm

          In view of all of the above, Root may need to do that too. Knocking the limited overs stuff on the head would help as well. He probably has too much hubris to do that though. As a child of the modern era he’ll also want to keep his future options open to secure lucrative T20 contracts (not to mention the Hundred – musn’t rob those mums and kids of their chance to witness greatness, eh?) when he’s finally had enough of playing for England. This is why Root was always going to be a different kind of England “great” to Cook.


    • dannycricket Sep 12, 2018 / 7:21 am

      Arguably this is what happened to Cook as well. His initial decline coincided with his time in the ODI team, and even afterwards Bayliss has made it clear that he prefers batsmen with a high strikerate.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. dlpthomas Sep 12, 2018 / 2:11 am

    Channel 9 WIde Wolrd of Sport went with the headline “England freak knocks off Aussie legend’s record”

    To be fair it is a complimentary article.


  15. BobW Sep 12, 2018 / 7:47 am

    I’m really looking forward to Dennis’s next gushing article on Jimmy Anderson. It’s going to be hilarious. Especially with Glenn McGrath’s wicket tally being over taken.


      • BobW Sep 12, 2018 / 7:57 am

        He’s a contrarian Australian. He makes me smile.


      • Mark Sep 12, 2018 / 8:39 am

        Anderson’s achievement should by all rights be the take away from this test match. Yet it has been obscured by the usual absurd sacrifice to everything Cook.

        They did the same to KP, but claimed he was beyond the pale. Yet even one of their own has to take second billing to the Cook road show. I wonder if Jimmy will be alllwed to go out of his own choosing?


        • Zephirine Sep 12, 2018 / 9:45 am

          Totally agree, Anderson’s is a terrific achievement and should have been the main cause for celebration. But they love each other and Jimmy cried that Cook was leaving, so apparently it’s all fine.


      • dlpthomas Sep 12, 2018 / 10:32 am

        Don’t underestimate him – he’s an idiot over a lot of things.


    • RufusSG Sep 12, 2018 / 7:58 am

      What will win out: his loathing of “Overratedson” or his loathing of Indian cricket in general? Stay tuned.


  16. nonoxcol Sep 12, 2018 / 8:10 am

    Just checking in to ensure we don’t miss this:

    I’m sure you’ll all have your own thoughts on the balance between praise and…. something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Sep 12, 2018 / 8:34 am

      They carried Selvey around for three Tests!

      It’s amazing how a former bolwler doesn’t understand the concept of a vital wicket taker. Even after five days of non stop sugar it can’t sweeten the bitterness, and bile of some can it?


      • Amit Garg Sep 14, 2018 / 2:12 am

        Rashid has 48 test wickets – that’s 42 more than the septuagenarian 😉
        That may have something to do with the bile…


      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 13, 2018 / 8:09 am

        “Richard Caborn, a former sports minister and Sheffield MP, said authorities should do all they can to ensure the pair are recognised by New Year.
        “Cook is the best batsman this country has produced and the both of them…

        And so, almost imperceptibly, it passes into folklore.
        Cook’s career would be a great case study in media courses.


      • Mark Sep 13, 2018 / 8:39 am

        Didn’t Sir Ian Botham get his predominantly for his charity work, his walks, and money raising? And he had to wait a fair few years to get it.

        Cook will get his for his work for the ECB/Establishment, so therefore as soon as is humanly possible.


      • nonoxcol Sep 13, 2018 / 8:47 am

        I have absolutely nothing invested in Britain’s “honours” system and find it a ridiculous throwback in all honesty.

        That said, I am interested in the immediate rush to knight sportspeople, which seems to be a relatively recent trend. I recall no such clamour for heroes of my youth such as Daley Thompson, or even those of my early 20s like Christie, Gunnell, Mansell. It seems to be a very post-Diana thing, accelerating remarkably with the three most recent Olympic Games and alongside that most obvious in the campaign to knight David Beckham.

        I always say, if Bobby Moore was never knighted, Bobby Charlton only became a CBE after retirement and ‘Sir’ twenty years later, and Nick Faldo was knighted 13 years after his last major (and the year after his disastrous Ryder Cup captaincy, strangely enough), how on earth can you argue that this rush is not an exclusively modern phenomenon?

        Makes me cringe.


        • Zephirine Sep 13, 2018 / 10:53 am

          There’s a touch of Diana about Cook, I think. That doe-eyed ability to make every journalist feel like they were the only one who understood.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Riverman21 Sep 13, 2018 / 4:34 pm

            You’ve written exactly my thoughts this week.

            Cook like Diana is a cipher for many people to project onto. Officer class, stoical, follows orders of superiors, seems to appeal to what many people think of as true English values. You can see why he’s a pin up boy for Selvey et al.

            That’s partly why I posted the Collingwood quote. He’s just a bloke who sometimes acts like a bell end. Bit like most of us normal people. He’s not a saint or the best batsman ever and he doesn’t represent some glorious moral code. He’s actually quite trapped in an image that other people have created for him. Maybe he was a bit embarrassed at the OTT outpourings. It’s out of his control now. MP’s and press want a piece of the Cook image. He will be deified. There’s not a thing that can change that now.

            Liked by 1 person

      • oreston Sep 13, 2018 / 1:36 pm

        This is off the scale. He’s a 33 yr. old who hasn’t even retired from the game yet. About as much of a sense of proportion to it as this…


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 13, 2018 / 1:55 pm

          Knighthood for Rory. The ‘rey are champions again.

          Freedom of Kennington for Morne Morkel.

          MBE for Rikki Clarke.


          • oreston Sep 13, 2018 / 3:18 pm

            Sir Alec Stewart has a ring to. That I would not object to.


      • REDRUM106 Sep 13, 2018 / 2:33 pm

        Quite honestly I’m not surprised at this, it was always on the cards after the nauseous outpouring of platitudes last week. For myself I’m past caring, they could give him the Freedom of the City of London and make him a peer of the realm if they want to, the whole thing has long since devolved into a boring farce.


  17. Riverman21 Sep 13, 2018 / 7:44 am

    Paul Collingwood to retire. A true pro. Thank you Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Riverman21 Sep 13, 2018 / 9:19 am

      From a Times interview with Paul Collingwood this summer…
      There are, he concedes, occasional drawbacks to becoming a coach while still playing, when issuing orders to players who were team-mates not long ago. “I had that with Cooky doing a fielding drill in Adelaide,” he says. “I told him to attack a ball harder and he lost it, yelling at me that he’d got a bad back and using some other words you don’t expect Alastair Cook to use. He apologised after it and we had a laugh, but you probably don’t get that from players you don’t know quite so well.”


      • Mark Sep 13, 2018 / 9:48 am

        Every now and again the masks slips a wee bit, and we see the real person.

        The media image is bullshit. Always has been.


    • Zephirine Sep 13, 2018 / 10:51 am

      Collingwood, now there’s a cricketer. Quite apart from the fact that I’ve had an embarrassing crush on him since 2007, there is somebody who actually wasn’t governed by ego or his average, actually is a grown-up with a sense of humour, actually did help the team to gel, actually did make the best of his ability, and actually didn’t trash anyone else’s career.

      Anybody talking about a knighthood? Didn’t think so.


        • Zephirine Sep 13, 2018 / 12:23 pm

          It was earned after it was awarded. He’s from up North, they do things differently.


          • Zephirine Sep 13, 2018 / 12:36 pm

            And still the only captain in the men’s game to have led an England team to a world title.

            I can’t remember if that got mentioned at Prime Minister’s Questions [as Cook did yesterday] but it should have been.

            Knighthood. Now.


    • oreston Sep 13, 2018 / 6:43 pm

      It doesn’t seem right that he had to finish as a Division Two player.


  18. nonoxcol Sep 13, 2018 / 9:03 am



    • Mark Sep 13, 2018 / 9:46 am

      I Claudius……Just do as I say. And confine your debates within the narrow talking points I have decided for you.


      • Mark Sep 13, 2018 / 10:31 am

        As you say, Newman didn’t have Cook as all time best batsman, so what else does he do? He doesn’t bowl, drops catches, and was a crap captain.

        Next week Newman tells us why Joe Cole was England’s greatest footballer……


      • thebogfather Sep 13, 2018 / 3:49 pm

        I bet that the ‘just in time for xmas’ Newman ghosted ‘autobiography’ will come with the glossy centre-spread pages already stuck together…


    • Deep Purple Fred Sep 13, 2018 / 10:40 am

      Er, what debate Selvey? The one in your head?

      Anyway, as long as no one is debating whether Swann was better than Warne, or Bell was better than Ponting, and is just recognising all time greats.

      Someone told me The Spice Girls were better than Mozart the other day, I told him it was a ridiculous debate and he should just…


  19. Mark Sep 13, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    Sir Dennis Lille? Sir Michael Holding? Sir Viv Richards? Sir Brian Lara? Sir Sachin? Sir Glen McGrath?

    To global?

    How about Sir David Gower? Sir Graham Gooch? Sir Harold Larwood?

    Larwood had to wait for over fifty years, and then….

    “In 1993, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Larwood was appointed an MBE for services to cricket. Of this award, Today newspaper commented: “At last the ruling classes honour the man who carried the can for their savage arrogance”


  20. Sir Peter Sep 13, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    Come on the ‘Rey!


  21. BobW Sep 13, 2018 / 1:35 pm

    Did anyone see Bairstow standing up to Jimmy towards the end of the match? The sound of the ball hitting the gloves was like a right thwack. I remember reading something a while back about Bairstow’s keeping technique or lack of.


  22. oreston Sep 13, 2018 / 6:58 pm

    Jonathan Trott is also retiring (which he announced several months ago). A fine player who definitely deserved better from his time in an England shirt. His name is one of those that reminds us of a time, not so many years ago, when we had a truly World class batting line up (I wonder whatever happened to those guys?)

    Is it me, or does the retirement of seasoned old pros like Trott and Collingwood seem even more poignant with the English First Class game in the condition it’s in?


    • Zephirine Sep 14, 2018 / 11:17 am

      One consolation is that these guys have made decent money. As long as they’ve been careful they should be in a good situation, it’s not like the old days when cricket was a national game that everyone watched but the players were lucky if they could buy a share in a little sports shop or a chippie for their retirement.


      • oreston Sep 14, 2018 / 1:38 pm

        Chris Old bought a chippie in Cornwall. When he eventually gave that up the tabloids found him working in the local Sainsburys. As you say, players back then generally didn’t make much money – but at least 30+ years after they retired millions of people still remember them fondly and former England stars of that earlier generation remain slightly newsworthy. We’re heading towards almost the exact reverse of that situation.


        • dannycricket Sep 14, 2018 / 3:25 pm

          One way Chris Old supplemented his earnings was by going on the 1982 Rebel Tour to Apartheid South Africa, which means I have much less sympathy for him than most cricketers of his generation…


          • man in a barrel Sep 15, 2018 / 8:35 pm

            Such as…? It is easy to be judgmental when you are in your late 30s, your career is ending and you have a family dependent upon you.


          • dannycricket Sep 15, 2018 / 8:49 pm

            Yes, I find it very easy to judge people who are racist or, in the most generous interpretation of the Rebel tours, supported racism for money.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Riverman21 Sep 14, 2018 / 3:38 pm

          Used to love watching Chilly bowl (when he was fit)
          At least he didn’t go down the Wayne Larkins route!


      • Zephirine Sep 14, 2018 / 1:45 pm

        Hm, apparently not: the granite-like batsman, productive rather than attractive, whose upbringing in Consett, an old steelworks town, had taught him from the outset that life did not owe him a living. Having lost much of his England rewards in bad investments, he knew that all too well.

        Still, espn seems to think Coach Colly will be in business quite soon.


        • Mark Sep 14, 2018 / 1:57 pm

          I would be interested to know how many of these “bad investments” were recommmded by agents who seem to hang around all sportsman like a bad smell these days?

          They may have nothing to do with agents of course, but I think there is going to be quite a few stories of money loss in the next few years, especially in football.


  23. Deep Purple Fred Sep 14, 2018 / 11:24 am

    Not sure about cricketers at this point but Australia has better journalists than England. The first calm and measured words I’ve read on Cook yet.


    This last comment may have been a play on words with the football team Collingwood, but I’d like to think he would have noticed anyway.

    For now, though, it’s hard not to stare into the abyss Australia dug for itself. That wretched little bit of sandpaper abraded both ways. The only good cheer I can offer is that Collingwood is gone. But that’s Paul, the former England all-rounder, who also has retired.


    • Mark Sep 14, 2018 / 11:48 am

      An interesting opening paragraph, and a bit of savoury to the endless sugar we have been spoon fed ……..

      “Alastair Cook caught the Tube to his last few days as a Test cricketer. On the Central Line, he was not recognised, on the Northern Line only dimly. Make of that what you will about the status of Test cricket, remembering that Cook’s entire career was behind a pay wall in England. It is the note that Australia should take, but won’t.”


  24. Mark Sep 15, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    I see the annual jamboree is on today. In the middle of September. At least it ain’t raining. When this started didn’t they used to have in June/July?

    The umpires look dressed as ice cream salesman. Tow choc ices and a cone please.

    Looks a bit like a Lancashire wake. They were the favourites with Butler and Jennings back in the team. So much for the pundits eh? When it used to be Bumble, Atherton, Allot & Cork it was a bit one eyed.

    Worcs vs Sussex final.


    • Rohan Sep 15, 2018 / 5:05 pm

      I quite enjoy it Mark, but can’t understand why it’s been moved, it should be straight after the group stages have finished! Your right I think it used to be earlier, but was in mid August. I certainly enjoyed watching Jordan, Archer and Mills bowl!


    • Rohan Sep 15, 2018 / 5:21 pm

      2017 2nd September
      2016 20th August
      2015 29th August
      2014 23rd August
      2013 17th August
      2012 25th August
      2011 27th August
      2010 14th August
      2009 15th August
      2008 26th July
      2007 ?
      2006 12th August
      2005 30th July
      2004 7th August
      2003 19th July


      • Mark Sep 15, 2018 / 5:43 pm

        I’m not against it, and most people seem to enjoy it. I can’t see the new 16.4 getting a better crowd. Yes I thought it used to be in July. While you can never second guess the English weather, I do think these sort of events need a nice warm summer evening.


        • Mark Sep 15, 2018 / 5:56 pm

          It’s Leonard Cohen on commentary. No it’s Bumble……


          • Rohan Sep 15, 2018 / 7:14 pm

            I agree completely about the 16.4, I can’t see how or where it fits in, but then I’m not a child or female (the ECB really are idiots) and, therefore, it’s not for me.

            Yes you are right, definitely needs a warm summer night, when the premiership is not on as the football season has not started and the evenings are much longer.


    • quebecer Sep 16, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      I did see one cute comment BTL after the final, with someone posting that after the 16th over they lost interest and turned it off.


  25. Northern Light Sep 16, 2018 / 12:33 pm

    Luke Wright on the Hundred : “the concept is sound – it’s cricket but simplified”

    I can imagine a young Luke having real trouble getting his head around cricket when he started out. Balls, overs, maidens, wickets . . . his little brain must nearly have exploded.
    Thank heavens it will all be simpler from now on. He could even find his mum might be interested in it.


    • nonoxcol Sep 17, 2018 / 12:34 pm

      The Hundred.

      The only thing that makes Aggers sound like a BOC contributor:


      • LordCanisLupus Sep 17, 2018 / 1:21 pm

        The voice of the ECB.


        • nonoxcol Sep 17, 2018 / 1:47 pm

          Indistinguishable, as ever.

          Reminder: literally the only time I saw him go against the ECB after 2012 was when they criticised his Guardian colleague Donald McRae over a Michael Carberry profile piece.

          Not even sure why it’s remotely controversial among BTLers to call him out.


        • nonoxcol Sep 17, 2018 / 1:53 pm


          • Zephirine Sep 17, 2018 / 2:55 pm

            Aha. It occurred to me yesterday that there must be some plan of the sort.

            They really do confuse running a sport with selling biscuits.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mark Sep 17, 2018 / 4:36 pm

            And this is what it’s really all about. They didn’t do that with 20/20 and they lost control of the product and the money.

            This is the reason they are bulldozing this through no matter what Agnew thinks or we think. If every cricket fan hates it then fine, as long as they can find some new fans. How that fits with their remit to govern English cricket I don’t know?

            This time they want to own it all. It’s all about money and greed. If they can make it a success they can take it globally in a franchise model with huge commissions. I hope it falls flat on its arse. It’s not their job to be inventing new sports. They are supposed to be governing the existing one. And they shouldn’t be risking money that has been generated by cricket supporters on a get rich quick scheme for a few individuals who are gambling with crickets money.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Mark Sep 17, 2018 / 4:38 pm

            Also, how many of the journos who keep pushing this are in line for a cut of the profits if it takes off?


          • BoredInAustria Sep 17, 2018 / 7:45 pm

            I am going to start a new tournament in Austria: “Cricket 101”


          • Zephirine Sep 18, 2018 / 7:01 pm

            They learned nothing from the Allan Stanford experience, did they? Remember how that million-dollar contest was going to run and run? Stanford/Clarke cricket as going to set the USA alight?


  26. dlpthomas Sep 17, 2018 / 12:08 pm

    Foxtel’s 24 hour cricket channel went live today. I may never see sunlight again


    • Miami Dad's Six Sep 19, 2018 / 7:30 am

      If it’s anything like SKY Cricket’s dedicated channel, it’ll favour anything they can muster over showing actual, live cricket.


      • dlpthomas Sep 19, 2018 / 9:00 am

        I can do without the station “promo’s” but they have shown some good highlight packages of old test matches. Bit too many 20/20 replays for my liking but it is early days.


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 19, 2018 / 8:19 pm

            Exhorting Sky to get the Champions League rights as Jake Humphrey was worse than Robbie Savage. Make it happen Barney……

            On first name terms with the head of sport at Sky. Lovely.

            No biggie, but an example of journos thinking that we should pay more and more for something they no doubt can claim as a justifiable working expense.


          • Mark Sep 19, 2018 / 9:08 pm

            I have no interest in either BT or Sky, but I want BT to get more sport just to piss off all these journos who get so angry when they have to watch BT.

            There is a Sky bias that stinks. As you say, I bet a lot of them get it paid for by their companies yet they seem to have little empathy with the paying fan. A lot of sports journalists really hate the fans.

            Liked by 1 person

  27. man in a barrel Sep 17, 2018 / 9:54 pm

    If only Gillette had copywrited the formula of their 60 over tournament… But in those days, the game was looked after by the MCC, a private club abhorred and despised by just about all commentators here, despite the fact that it puts out hundreds of teams every year to play cricket at all levels.

    Is the ECB so much better?


  28. Nicholas Sep 18, 2018 / 3:20 pm

    I see that Simon Hughes’ latest enterprise hasn’t been noted here yet: a Kia-sponsored series of interviews with some Surrey figures. It is hilariously Partridgian. (Quite literally, as the opening sequence of each interview is very similar to a sequence in Scissored Isle)

    Note also the car-related questions which are excruciatingly shoe-horned in, presumably at the request of the sponsor.


    • Mark Sep 18, 2018 / 4:28 pm

      Do they sing like carpool karaoke with James Corden?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Sep 18, 2018 / 7:32 pm

      ECB directive….

      “No-one may conduct themself in a manner or do any act or omission at any time which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket, or which may bring the ECB, the game of cricket or any cricketer or group of cricketers into disrepute.”

      The interests of cricket? They don’t do irony at the ECB do they. “This new 16.4 is not for you the fans.”


  29. nonoxcol Sep 19, 2018 / 7:21 am

    ECB have charged Stokes and Hales with bringing cricket into disrepute.



      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 19, 2018 / 4:36 pm

        Oh dear, that hasn’t aged well.

        Stanford revealed one of the maxims that had made him so successful. “If you really want to know how well run any company is, look in their bathroom. That’s where you really learn about whether a firm is worth investing in or not.”

        Maybe you should look in their audited accounts instead.

        Quite a gratuitous swipe at Atherton and Fraser there from the young punk, too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mark Sep 19, 2018 / 5:10 pm

          Bull should have been fired for that piece.

          “Stanford’s press conference at Lord’s this week attracted a sniffy reception from Mike Atherton in The Times and Angus Fraser in The Independent, among others. His money was good enough for better players than both men.”

          His money?

          Stanford was running a Ponzi scheme, just like Bernie Madoff. You would think Guardian writers would be a bit more sceptical, and suspicious, but alas not.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Deep Purple Fred Sep 19, 2018 / 7:11 pm

          The lack of professional skepticism from a journalist is astounding, especially with the Guardian’s ostensible mission. Unfortunately, we’ve come to learn, this support of establishment, whatever they did, was editorial line.

          The “better players than both” line sounds like a schoolyard taunt. Fancies himself as PJ O’Rourke, comes across as Partridge.

          Looking back on those days it seems like things have cooled down a bit. Stanford is gone (although he’ll be released when he’s 155), Modi is gone, Giles has gone, IPL has settled down into a part of the calendar without having destroyed cricket, and the ICC Big Three seem to have lost their dominance. Certainly there are still governance issues but they don’t seem as existential now as they did then.

          Of course now England is trying to shake it up again with their 100 thing, but at the moment it’s nothing much more than a distraction and irritation. I doubt the rest of the cricketing world is taking it too seriously. I think Australia is trying to get the Sheffield Shield back in order, and also kultcha. I can’t imagine India being interested in a T20 lookalike. No other countries would have reason to be fiddling with format. In fact, I’m not sure why England is, they’ve already got three options.


          • dannycricket Sep 19, 2018 / 7:15 pm

            Given the duration of IPL games, often around the four hour mark, I doubt TV executives or BCCI officials want a shorter format like #The100. That would mean fewer ad breaks.


          • Mark Sep 19, 2018 / 7:48 pm

            The thing to remember about the Stanford business is that it occurred just at the time of the IPL really taking off. The ECB were just at the beginning of the whole KP saga, and it is my view the reason they jumped so eagerly into the arms of Stanford was it offered the chance for England players to make a huge amount of money in a one off trip.

            It was a way of trying to appease those players like KP who wanted to play IPL. As it was England didn’t even win the match, so didn’t make any cash, I believe some of the WI players put their money into Stanford’s company, and lost much of it.

            The Guardian is still trading on its old image as the liberal Manchester Guardian of old, yet has become a mouthpiece for the establishment..


        • Sherwick Oct 3, 2018 / 5:01 pm

          “Stanford Financial is worth around $43bn (£21bn).”

          The USD GBP exchange rate hasn’t aged well either.. well, for GBP anyway!


  30. Riverman21 Sep 19, 2018 / 2:16 pm

    Is this the end of Durham CCC?


    • dannycricket Sep 19, 2018 / 2:20 pm

      Why? They’ve still won three more games than Glamorgan this season.


    • oreston Sep 19, 2018 / 10:32 pm

      If you’re going to try to play first class cricket in England in the third week of September, this kind of thing is going to happen now and again. Abbas 10-52 in the match. Sounds like Durham were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.


  31. quebecer Sep 19, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    So, Olly Stone then. Poor lad. His 50 record is his least impressive, and it’s in Sri Lanka. Good luck Olly.

    Still, if he impresses, that would be a very very good sign. Fingers crossed.

    P.S. Too quick for Durham the other day:


    • Deep Purple Fred Sep 19, 2018 / 9:11 pm

      ‘ car’s got alotta pickup.

      Bowls at the stumps too.


      • quebecer Sep 20, 2018 / 12:14 am

        Yep, he’s not afraid to go full. He’s got something to him, as well. On an England U19 tour he took over the captaincy half way and led the team to a come back series win, getting the MotS to boot. He was tearing it up at Northants as youngster before horribly tearing up his knee jumping to celebrate a wicket. After a long nasty rehab he moved to Warwickshire this season where despite a few (I think quite predictable given his lay off) niggling injuries he’s got a fair few wickets at a stupidly low average this summer.

        Happy to bowl full or short, gets a little late movement, and has jets.

        And he’s English, Fred, English!!!!


      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 20, 2018 / 7:42 am

        An English fast bowler, haven’t seen one of them for a while. No skeletons in the closet? He didn’t go to school in South Africa, or captain the Zimbabwean U19s? Injuring his knee when celebrating a wicket sounds like something an English bowler would do, so he must be legitimate.
        MJ has had success in SL in the past, it’s not necessarily a fast bowler’s graveyard.

        I do remember you being quietly optimistic about some young talent before the last Australian tour, Malan was one, can’t remember the other, Vince I think. So, we’ll see.


        • oreston Sep 20, 2018 / 10:39 am

          “An English fast bowler, haven’t seen one of them for a while.”
          Nowadays they’re only available in even small batches than in the past and are marketed as limited collectors’ editions. Each one comes in a fancy presentation box with a certificate of authenticity, although an included disclaimer notes that some units may occasionally be manufactured with imported components sourced from a variety of current and former Commonwealth countries. Each one also bears another disclaimer to the effect it’s intended as a display item only and under no circumstances should it be used in actual Test match conditions since it does not have the requisite MTBF specification.


          • Mark Sep 20, 2018 / 11:20 am

            During the 20/20 finals day last week they where earnestly discussing on commentary how difficult it is for the specialist 20/20 bowler to play two matches in one day. It means he will have to bowl eight overs instead of the normal workload of four overs. (which their bodies are not finely tuned for apparently) Even though there could be about a four hour break between the second lot of overs.

            I’m sure Fred Trueman would have loved that. “what’s going on out there.” Not much it seems.


          • Sophie Sep 20, 2018 / 5:55 pm

            Wasn’t that about Tymal Mills who has a back condition that doesn’t allow him to bowl more?


      • Deep Purple Fred Sep 20, 2018 / 7:51 am

        Huh, interesting quote from Ashley Giles:
        “We can only keep him under wraps for so long but after the way we’ve managed it in consultation with England, who have listened to us, he’s now ready to go.”

        Reading between the lines:
        “We told the ECB and Loughborough to keep their grubby hands off him until he was ready, but now they’ve got him so I hope they don’t screw him up”.


        • quebecer Sep 20, 2018 / 1:56 pm

          Actually, I always thought his ACL came at a fortuitous time for Stone, as it meant from the ages of 22-23 the Loughborough monkeys couldn’t throw pooh at him, or whatever it is they do up there to ruin every prospect they’ve ever come across.

          And to set the record straight, under huge pressure from SriGrins to not be the pit of negativity I was being before the Ashes, I tried desperately to look for reasons to be optimistic and thought that maybe Malan and Stoneman wouldn’t do so badly downunder as the pitches would suit them. Can’t exactly claim to have been correct, I admit.


  32. Deep Purple Fred Sep 20, 2018 / 10:50 am

    This is probably the most clear-eyed obituary for Cook I’ve read. Inevitably it doesn’t all reflect well on him, the praetorian guard are not going to like it. Of the various comments, this might be the most cutting:
    “Cook is not a gilt-edged limousine cricketer. He is a 12-year-old Mondeo with 12,472 on the clock and an economy of 45.35 mpg.”



    • pktroll (@pktroll) Sep 20, 2018 / 12:43 pm

      Cooktards were whining there wasn’t enough love for the big innings v Pakistan in the desert. That wasn’t really the point of that article though, it simply gave perspective that for huge chunks of his career late 2010- to early 2013 he wasn’t anywhere close to being a great. Still would prefer the Cook 2015 model over any likely opener England take to Sri Lanka but I’m not sure I would want even peak Cook stepping out to face a fresh Starc, Cummins and Hazelwood should all three be fit and raring to go next summer.


      • oreston Sep 20, 2018 / 5:18 pm

        I anticipate some “revisionism” entering the official narrative of the end of his international career at some stage, maybe as soon as next year and especially if he has a decent season with Essex. I fully expect, on the strength of county form and his performance at the Oval, we’ll be told that he was driven out of the England team prematurely – probably by the “media” and/ or hordes of uncouth persons on all those blogs and social media platforms he never looks at. I’m quite confident that this will happen and might even take out a small wager on it (…waits, half expecting someone to post a link to some article where this has already been claimed).


        • dannycricket Sep 21, 2018 / 6:17 am

          Yeah, I thought that was a bit harsh when I first read it…


          • pktroll (@pktroll) Sep 21, 2018 / 10:11 am

            The arguments that I have for the ‘true believers’ are that even then, it wasn’t like he did that well against the top class pace attacks, like his disappointing returns v SA in 2012, but of course they will point to 2010/11 Ashes. Although it is reasonably fair to argue that that Aussie attack wasn’t exactly top draw, you still have to score the runs (and he undoubtedly did and precipitated them falling apart, yet overall, in 5 series out of 7 v Australia he averaged markedly below 40 and of course he was utterly dreadful in his last series there earlier this year before Melbourne. That may have sorted him out statistically as far as the series was concerned but it really is rather insulting if one thinks that it didn’t highlight his diminishing overall impact and that it disregards the match situation at MCG (i.e. no Starc and an indisposed Cummins).


    • nonoxcol Sep 21, 2018 / 11:18 am

      I am fairly certain that is written by Tregaskis, an occasional contributor here and at TFT (and formerly the Guardian).


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 22, 2018 / 12:23 pm

          Meanwhile, Selvey on the Ryder Cup…


          • Mark Sep 22, 2018 / 2:39 pm

            What does he mean “unplayable?” Who would go to the Ryder cup thinking they were going to play? I take it it means unwatchable? And how many of the 7 or 8 did he pay to get into?

            As usual he is acting as a Sky salesman. If you go into Curry’s this afternoon you might find Selvey flogging Sky boxes.


          • Mark Sep 22, 2018 / 4:12 pm

            Yea, but I’m guessing Barney Ronay didn’t play at the top level in any sport so that’s all right then. Perhaps he should talk to Selvey? But then Selvey doesn’t work there anymore.


      • Zephirine Sep 21, 2018 / 2:54 pm

        Aha. Yes, once you know you can detect the voice of Tregaskis in turtle-dissecting mode. It’s an excellent piece.

        For a lot of Cook fans, though, it seems to be exactly the Mondeo qualities that they love.


        • oreston Sep 21, 2018 / 10:02 pm

          Presumably then they would have no love at all for an Advanced Auto Design Shaka Nynya 😉


    • Rohan Sep 22, 2018 / 6:46 am

      Whether people agree with this article or not, it’s incredibly well written and hard to argue against many of the extremely well constructed and reasoned points, that show Cook in his true form, as opposed to the exaggerated hyperbolic media created superhero giant. A great read!


  33. Rooto Sep 29, 2018 / 1:06 pm

    Hope everyone has had a nice relaxing week. Can anyone add to my knowledge of what happened at the county chairmen’s meeting with Graves on Thursday? Apparently it was a stormy session and I read that the county chairmen were less than thrilled with a dramatically reduced profit forecast for ‘The 100’. It seems the turkeys have now been told that the Christmas they voted for has been, if not (yet) cancelled, then at least severely Scrooged.
    Fallout that made headlines was that Graves was either frazzled enough or pissed off enough to not go and present the trophy to Surrey, who’d just lost a classic arse-nipper outside the meeting room window. However, I think the financial climb-down is a lot more significant than a change of ceremony. The 100 goes from weakness to weakness, and – hopefully – the breakaway from the ECB gets a step closer.
    That’s all I know, and if anyone on Twitter has heard more, I’m all ears.


    • Zephirine Sep 30, 2018 / 10:55 am

      Do you think there was something in the Sky contract that meant if the ECB just set up a new T20 league they had to give it to Sky?

      They have at least always had the sense to realise this thing has to be on free-to-view TV. But as I recall it started out as a city-based T20 league, which while not evidently necessary was a relatively sensible idea. Then suddenly there was this insane desire to make it different and then different again….

      And I wonder if the new owners of Sky are interested in cricket. Or even know what it is.


      • Rooto Sep 30, 2018 / 11:39 am

        Interesting idea. The Contractual Obligation Album theory. I don’t have Sky, so don’t know if they are still banging the Selvey-owned drum in support of the 100, or if there have been as many misgivings about these incoherent changes and incompetent marketing announcements as there have been pretty much everyhere else.

        Meanwhile, if the profit continues to disappear for the counties, the 100 could, maybe, spell the death of one or two of them. (Although you’d hope the county chairmen didn’t sign an empty contract having failed to read the smallprint that ‘the value of your investments can go down as well as up’. I don’t know if the counties would be legally responsible for a loss made by an ECB competition, even though they clearly think they’re going to benefit from any profit).


    • quebecer Sep 30, 2018 / 11:10 pm

      Not sure it was completely unnecessary. Anyway, what kind of bird was that walking around at h beginning?


    • quebecer Sep 30, 2018 / 11:28 pm

      I’m not being lazy in asking – I’ve done my research into common bird species in the Coogee Bay area, and it’s certainly not a Australian King-Parrot, New Holland Honeyeater, or the somewhat obviously named Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo. The naming gets better with the Superb Fairy-wren, but the one walking around the outer is clearly no wren, unless ‘superb’ relates to it being a truly massive wren, and the ‘fairy’ part that it magically does’t look like a wren at all. Best name has to go to the Willie Wagtail, but there’s barely a tail at all on this one.

      It’s a real mystery.

      Bit bored up on the tundra today.


      • Zephirine Oct 1, 2018 / 11:39 am

        It’s quite a nice bird. Research* suggests it might be an Australian White Ibis. According to Wikipedia:

        Due to its increasing presence in the urban environment and its habit of rummaging in garbage, the species has acquired a variety of colloquial names such as “tip turkey” and “bin chicken”,and in recent years has become an icon of popular culture, being regarded “with passion, wit, and, in equal measure, affection and disgust”.

        I’m sure there’s a joke there about icons of popular culture and how they’re regarded, but I don’t have time to think of it.

        * Research facilitated by the fact that Google immediately suggested the search term “Australian bird with long beak”.


          • quebecer Oct 1, 2018 / 2:58 pm

            “And the ibis came second in a 2017 vote for Australia’s most popular bird, organised by Birdlife Australia and The Guardian. (It was pipped at the post by the Australian magpie.)”

            They missed the chance for ‘wit’ in not concluding the magpie had stolen that election.


        • Deep Purple Fred Oct 1, 2018 / 7:45 pm

          I’m finding this line of discussion a bit disconcerting. It wasn’t supposed to about the bloody bird and its Egyptian heritage. This is a cricket blog.
          I visited Rocester today. Lovely place but birds all over the road, I almost caused an accident trying to avoid one. They don’t seem to care about cars. Not sure what they were but they look alot like an Australian White Ibis, except they’re brown, and don’t have the big beak. Lots of cows and sheep in the area, and I saw two signs for a local cricket club. So there is a cricket connection.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Quebecer Oct 1, 2018 / 8:53 pm

            Pretty sure what you’re dealing with there Fred, is the Brown No-beaked Ibis. Unless it was quite small. Were they the size of a sparrow? If so, they were sparrows.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Deep Purple Fred Oct 1, 2018 / 11:11 pm

            Superb Sparrows, maybe. Greater Superb Sparrows. But not very smart. At least the Australian White Ibis knows where to find its dinner, and its not in the middle of the road. Australian birds have attitude and skills, witness the Pink and Grey Gallah.. English birds just look blankly at you.

            I dont really know why Im getting nationalistic about birds. Theres something wrong with this whole discussion.


          • BoredInAustria Oct 2, 2018 / 5:23 am

            It was the rare spotted Labuschagne


          • Deep Purple Fred Oct 2, 2018 / 12:26 pm

            Ah, the South African migratory bird. Lots of them in England.


          • quebecer Oct 2, 2018 / 1:02 pm

            Easy to spot. They are the ones that don’t stare blankly.


  34. Zephirine Oct 1, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    Well, I guess the Ibises had to simplify their activities so that women and children could understand what they were doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • quebecer Oct 1, 2018 / 2:03 pm

      Women and children can’t be expected to understand such a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals. Ancient Egyptian religion is pretty complicated too.


      • Zephirine Oct 1, 2018 / 5:38 pm



  35. thebogfather Oct 2, 2018 / 3:11 pm

    On a birding related note… Talksport have announced that their coverage of the Sri Lanka tour will be broadcast without their ‘Albatross of Adverts’ – no Ads in between overs. On a more down note, commentators will include Mark Nicholas, ‘TheBigCheese’ and whichever Sky pundit is free at the time (Hussain, Bumble, Wardy, Atherton etc) all alongside some of their own team.
    Looks like the fight with TMS is going to get serious!


    • Glenn Oct 3, 2018 / 11:39 am

      Is it on Talksport, Talksport 2 or a mix of both?


  36. OscarDaBosca Oct 3, 2018 / 11:36 am

    Director, Cricket has stepped down. Leaves the Martinet in charge until December temporarily. What price now for him being in total control?


    • Zephirine Oct 3, 2018 / 11:50 am

      Who else will want the job, in the present situation?

      Sorry for Mrs Strauss, this suggests the outlook isn’t good.


      • Oreston Oct 3, 2018 / 1:06 pm

        Mr Strauss isn’t leaving the ECB altogether. For now he’s reportedly stepping into some sort of ill-defined, part-time advisory role. One wishes he and his family all the best at what must be a very tough time.

        Who else will want the job? In reality it hardly matters since nobody in whom we would actually want to entrust it will stand an earthly of getting it anyway!


  37. nonoxcol Oct 3, 2018 / 11:42 am

    Read the replies… one in particular.


    • quebecer Oct 3, 2018 / 1:38 pm

      I didn’t know Mike Selvey was a cricket writer.


      • quebecer Oct 3, 2018 / 1:41 pm

        Hmmm, reading the replies (I don’t do twitter) it seems even Selvey admits he’s not really a cricket writer. Still, nice free lunch, I’d expect.


      • Deep Purple Fred Oct 3, 2018 / 2:51 pm

        I’m guessing it was the evidence that a couple of ECB suits went to a journalist’s lunch that caught his eye.

        Liked by 1 person

        • quebecer Oct 3, 2018 / 3:09 pm

          I’m never really sure why Selvey is so grumpy. Surely he has a pretty nice life.


        • Deep Purple Fred Oct 3, 2018 / 3:21 pm

          Yeah it’s odd. Aside from the agendas he pursues, he did often have a churlish argumentative tone. Most sports writers give the impression they’re enjoying what they’re doing, or what they’re seeing.
          But aside from his agendas and his churlish argumentative tone, he was fine.

          The British do have a bit of a reputation for grumpiness though. Your PM was proud to declare herself difficultI think, and Corbyn always seems to look pissed off at something.


  38. Oreston Oct 3, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    Should our gracious host or his fellow bloggers find a moment or two to spare, could we (assuming there’s nothing more substantial pending) perhaps have a new “open discussion” post to append comments to? This one’s sooo last season and is getting to be hell to scroll through on my phone 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • quebecer Oct 4, 2018 / 9:44 pm

      On the plus side, at least it gets Flower away from player development.


  39. Mark Oct 4, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    Rejoice, rejoice………

    “Stars of Test Match Special will present a new, interactive cricket show during England’s tour of Sri Lanka.
    The Cricket Social will be streamed on the BBC Sport website and app and will feature Jonathan Agnew, Michael Vaughan, James Anderson, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Phil Tufnell and Andy Zaltzman.”

    Ben Gallop, head of BBC Radio and Digital Sport, said: “The Cricket Social, will give fans a chance to hear their favourite TMS broadcasters, like Aggers and Michael Vaughan, give their expert view on England’s tour of Sri Lanka and take part in discussions around all the big issues in the sport.”

    Expert views? I can hardly wait.


    • Stevet Oct 5, 2018 / 8:19 am

      At least Lovejoy is on Strictly!


  40. quebecer Oct 5, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    So, off we go in Sri Lanka! Spinners did OK and bowled their full amount, quicks all bowled 6 overs, with Olly Stone being the least profligate, conceding 32 runs. The worst figures? Chris Woakes. Sigh.

    Apparently, the :Lankans have a lad who bowls both right and left handed, both quite tidily, turning the ball away from both left and right handers. Got to love how the Lankans accept unorthodoxy.

    The closest I can think of in England was the old Middlesex and Hampshire allrounder Kevan James, who bowled left arm but often threw in from the boundary right handed. I don’t think he ever bowled right handed in a 1st class game but I saw him do it at club level. One of my twins (Twin B) writes and throws leftie but is right footed. Lefties are weird.


    • Rooto Oct 5, 2018 / 3:23 pm

      Signed, A. Lefty-who-bats-right-handed.


    • BobW Oct 5, 2018 / 3:40 pm

      Back in the mid to late ‘70’s Kent had an opening bat called Charles Rowe who could bowl spin from either arm. I used to face him in the nets as a youngster. It was a bit confusing trying to work out what he was going to do next!


      • BoredInAustria Oct 5, 2018 / 6:36 pm

        My brothers and I learnt batting against spin bowling facing my dad in the back garden. He could bowl both left and right handed. He would do off and leg breaks from both arms. It used to do our heads in as kids.

        My brother’s strategy was to stop the game, turn his back to the bowler and try and work out the spin. This became a bit of a family running gag. Dad used to then change hands and bowl a googly. Always did the trick.

        Love my dad. He will be turning 90 soon. An Afrikaaner that fell in love with cricket in the 50s. It was not politically very correct.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Oct 5, 2018 / 4:02 pm

      Does he bowl left and right handed with the same delivery? Sounds more like a bloody contortionist!

      Didn’t Sir Garfield Sobers bat and bowl with both hands? My old memory is going, so maybe not.


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