At the fifth time of asking, we finally got a good game in the shape of Bangladesh versus South Africa. It’s been an interesting response to it from some quarters, Bangladesh’s victory treated as a major shock, which it surely isn’t. A small surprise perhaps, and maybe a hangover from the view of Bangladesh from years past. They’re a reasonable enough side, and more recent quarter finalists than England for a start. But it was an entertaining, enjoyable game throughout, and one that the tournament needed. South Africa were rather poor, and are now in a bit of trouble.
England and Pakistan start their second round of matches with India still yet to play, having apparently negotiated a three week gap between the end of the IPL and the start of their World Cup campaign. It’s a remarkable thing that the World Cup can be manipulated according to the needs of another tournament and constituent country, and while in itself it doesn’t overly matter, it’s indicative of the weight of power that can be brought to bear. Equally, India have five matches at the weekend to England’s two, which makes no sense whatever in terms of promoting the competition in the host country, but perfect sense financially and in terms of the TV audience. Strictly speaking, in purely ticket selling terms, it is logical (if counter-intuitive) to have the less attractive games at the weekend, given England matches will likely sell out whenever they’re being played, and others might not. But it isn’t how it would be done if thinking from a promotional or public relations perspective, to generate momentum within a tournament location. As ever, there’s the choice between imagining this things happen by accident, or being deliberately planned. Given how India and Pakistan amazingly always manage to draw each other even if there are groups, there can’t be many who think it’s the former.
As for today’s game, England’s domination over Pakistan in the warm up series (“It’s not a warm-up game. It’s a bona fide series between England and Pakistan in the lead up to the Cricket World Cup” – Tom Harrison) means that sod’s law suggests this is the one that England will stuff up, naturally. But Pakistan opening game was not remotely reminiscent of the weaker, but competitive side that managed to score heavy runs against England only to have to concede to a stronger batting line up, it was one that was timid and fell apart in the face of hostile West Indies bowling (1983 says hello). Assuming England play Jofra Archer, and maybe even Mark Wood having seen the West Indies game, it can surely be imagined that they’ll be facing more of the same today.
For England, it’s all pretty serene. A second win today, and they’re well on their way to the semi-finals.
hah,,, seems England (and Archer) got carried away with the short ball and paid the price already…
Pakistan were ready for it.
tbf, Woakes was actually much worse than Archer – hideous spell
End of Powerplay 1, Pakistan: 69-0
It’s very revealing how little clout the ECB has with the ICC (even with a man on £700,000 a year) Didn’t cut any ice at all. No, no no, James Vince can’t play for Hampshire in the 50/50 final at Lords the weekend before the start of the World Cup. However, India’s domestic arrangements take preference over an entire ICC event.
We used to talk about the so called big 3. That was always an illusion. Cricket is now fully revealed as a ……”big one.” And what they say goes. This is not anti India it’s just a fact. And money always talks. Cricket better hope that India doesn’t fall in love with 16.4.
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The ECB’s belief that they can licence the Hundred, or more specifically that the likes of the BCCI would pay a licensing fee, is so gorgeously naive it breaks your heart. Bless.
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Indeed. And even if they can keep the rights what is to stop someone setting up another version called the 99? Or the 101? Or the 90+10?
I suppose my point is, as India has all the power in world cricket, if they like it, we will all be stuck with it.
Pakistan 165/2 after 28 overs. Good platform to go on and make a big score.
It could be a very big score. On a different note, I just learned that the guitar riffs are being played on a cricket-bat guitar and for some reason that just makes it even more annoying.
England repeatedly wobbling under pressure.
Had some good catches at various points to pull it back, but it’s going to take a good batting performance to make up for the early bowling and some of the late fielding.
That bloody guitar riff player is really irritating.
Well, if the ECB don’t win this World Cup, they can always organise a “The hundred” World Cup ;),
Metatone has summed it up nicely. It’s been a patchy performance form England so far but the team will be confident they can chase down what ever score Pakistan sets them. I just wish I shared their confidence.
So England will need 349.
Not impossible with these boundaries, but as the sun has gone in, I think the batting has gotten trickier.
Roy tops off a dodgy day in the field by wasting a review and out for 8.
End of Powerplay 1, Pakistan: 69-0 ; England 62-2
So far, Pakistan nosing ahead.
Nearly a week in, and finally a game that matters that might not go as expected.
Stokes out – game rests with Buttler and Root now, largely Buttler one suspects. The supporting cast can eke out the anchor role Root plays, but Buttler is the last one who you’d trust to put in the necessary acceleration.
Really looks like Pakistan should win from here though.
Still a long way to go but Root and Buttler doing a great job (though if a wicket falls, I’m going to bed).
Crap – jinxed them
Without being all wise after the event, there’s a world of difference chasing down 350 in a run-of-the-mill ODI, and chasing it down in a World Cup, and I’ve thought that for a long time. There will be an obvious tightening in the England team – they are human – and the stakes are higher.
This is going to make it interesting going forward….
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The clamour for Buttler to bat at 4 will be in 3,2,1……..
Just as I was starting to get confident, Buttler holes out. It’s going to be hard to win from here.
Had the huge misfortune of switching on TMS on the way home at the the exact point Swann came on commentary. To make it worse he then got into heated argument with his co-commentator about the mankad law. I’m not saying I disagree or agree with Swann, but the childish, immature, pathetic way he carried on and tried (abysmally) to construct an argument was unbearable. When he could not respond to the point posed to him, he simply resorted to childish insults and jibes……it was terrible. It got his co-commentator riled and meant I didn’t hear much about the cricket for 20 minutes or however long it was. Ughhhh
Anyway fascinating match, really enjoying it; I do like Pakistan, infruriating and inspiring at the same time!
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I put “Swann Mankad” into Twitter.
Three of the four comments were in full agreement with you.
The other one was by Paul Newman.
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Good stuff Nonoxcol, Newman you say, what a surprise
The curse of “Ollie”
Blimey, wow, that’s some writing/piece, what to make of that?!
I see he was also using a bad taste analogy (“like cuddling your sister, not illegal but you shouldn’t do it”).
Twitter reveals that he used exactly the same words for the same subject in 2014.
What a guy. How I’ve missed him.
Who was the co- commentator?
Someone still not told him how unfunny he is?
He was playing to the gallery. The more he made bad taste comments or jibes, the more you could hear sniggering at the back of the commentary box. So disrespectful to Fazeer Mohammed.
Hats off to Pakistan (and Roy Harper). We let them get to many runs so even with Archer in the side the bowling is still a bit of a worry. On the bright side, the tournament just got more interesting.
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On the bright side, the tournament just got more interesting.
Amen to that!
Early days, and not the end of the world. However, add this defeat to the one against the Aussies in the warm up and England don’t look quite so unbeatable. On both occasions they failed to chase down a score. As Dimitri said, it’s not quite the same under World Cup pressure.
I didn’t see any of the game, but by all accounts the fielding was shocking. It happens. Perhaps a bit early to bring up Hales, but he is one of those players who can explode at the top of the innings and get you off to a flyer. If you are going to drop a player of talent, I’m not convinced talking about team ethics will always get the job done. England struggle with talented players who are individuals.
Plenty of time to put things right, and Pakistan are quite capable of losing next time out. However, this was the Champions trophy semi final all over again. Same team. Same result. England may still go on and win this event, but I wouldnt put much money on it.
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I don’t really see how Hales changes things. Root is a great ODI player, and Roy / Bairstow / Morgan / Buttler all fit the bill for “can explode and win you the match”. Roy is the weakest of all those and he has a better average than Hales and more centuries.
The ODI side seems to be a safe haven for those individual talents – Morgan himself isn’t exactly Alastair Cook. Hales only has himself to blame.
Oh – and Hales is the worst fielder out of those guys, too.
England sides of old would definitely have had to accommodate him, but the quality of England’s batsmen means he isn’t anything special in this squad.
Burly – long time no hear. Welcome back!
I think there is little doubt that if none of the nonsense would have happened, Hales would have been picked instead of Vince. So my point is that the squad took a decision to punish a reserve player for non-cricketing reasons because he didn’t feel like he had to don a hair shirt to assuage some people’s sensibilities. It’s not on the KP scale, but it is still a tedious load of nonsense. Hales is as good a back-up player as you could get in the world, and Jason Roy’s back is not to be relied upon (and also his form). He wasn’t the reason we lost yesterday, I know!
I agree, Morgan isn’t Alastair Cook, and I probably looked the other way back in 2016 with the “that’s on me” comment when the hype was getting up about the World T20 squad. We sort of admired him for his stance on Bangladesh – which I wonder what he thinks about that in hindsight – because he was getting lambasted by people we don’t like. But he lost me with that trust and culture bollocks. That management speak shite is guaranteed to get my back up. So no, we’re not seeing a sacred cow like Cook, but they are elevating Morgan to it if he should be successful. I await the reaction if/when he isn’t.
I do think Morgan believes in the value of that “trust and culture bollocks”. What he said and what England have done with Hales is de rigeur for rugby, where the players set the standards expected of each other and have a big role to play in these situations.
In this case, they know they’re going to be under huge pressure in a home world cup, and the last thing they need is the negative headlines and added stress of Hales’ inability to keep himself out of trouble.
Trust and culture don’t trump talent, but England are in a position where they can demand all three, which is fair enough to me.
You sound very prickly at the mearest observation. What do you mean by safe haven? No team should be a safe haven for anybody. I said in my opening line “Early days, not the end of the world.”
I didn’t say Root/Bairstow /Morgan weren’t good players. However, facts are facts……
England’s top five scores of all time….
June 2018 England made 481 VS Australia. Hales made 147in 92 balls.
August 2016 England made 444 VS Pakistan. Hales made 171 in 122 balls.
February 2019 England made 428 VS WI. Butler made 150 in77 balls? (Hales also made 82 in that match.)
June 2015 England made 408 VS NZ. Butler made 129 in 77 balls.
2016 England made 399 VS SA. Butler made105 in 76 balls. Hales 57
Each time either Butler or Hales stared. Sometimes both. Let’s see if they can do it when Butler fails, and there is no Hales.
England should still comfortably qualify for the last four. But if they don’t they will only have themselves to blame.
Not at all prickly, that was about as deadpan a post as I can make! 🙂
The safe haven comment really isn’t one to take issue with. I’m saying that actually it seems to me that “individuals” seem to prosper more in the ODI side, and I believe part of that is down to the very not-establishment Eoin Morgan being captain. You look at the people who’ve previously settled in there and it’s clear that unlike in the Test team, being a bit different or a stronger personality isn’t held against players. Rashid is another example of this.
Reading between the lines and the more measured reporting, it seems pretty clear that the entire team is sick of Hales’ shit and they are fed up with off-field behaviour causing problems – I wouldn’t be surprised if lines in the sand were drawn after Bristol (where Hales was not exactly blameless either).
Looking at our biggest scores is all well and good, but I feel you’re doing other players a disservice. Roy is more consistent than Hales ever has been, and has already surpassed him. Hales is comfortably the next best batsman outside of the starting XI, but talking about him as someone who can explode in comparison to the guys we already have there just doesn’t make much sense to me. He has a lower average and a slower strike rate than both our openers, for example.
Hales – 2419 runs @37.79, 95.72SR, 6 tons / 14 50s
Roy – 3000 runs @40.54, 106.23SR, 8 tons / 15 50s
Bairstow – 2361 runs @46.29(!), 106.92SR, 7 tons / 9 50s
He’s a very good backup, but in this team that’s all he is. Or was, I guess.
I think my reply got eaten by the internet, but the gist was: not prickly at all (at least, not intended to be), safe haven simply means that compared to the Test team the ODI side seems to be more than happy to accommodate ‘individuals’, and that I’m not dismissing Hales’ ability but instead pointing out that Roy & Bairstow are better players – better batsmen with superior records and much better strike rates, and much better fielders to boot.
Hales is much more inconsistent. Love to watch him when he’s on song, of course, and he’d be a brilliant backup.
Roy had an abysmal game all around (that early catch he dropped definitely set the frame for the match) – he needs to bounce back – and if he doesn’t we’ll definitely miss Hales.
On the other hand, with the return of a couple of bowlers Pakistan now look like a team that can beat anyone if they are in the mood.
And England overall might just be discovering what pressure is like, but at the same time I wouldn’t write off their ability to grow from the experience. In addition to just fielding a bit better, Woakes really almost lost the game with his first spell and it’s not rocket science to fix, just kick his ass and tell him he’s allowed 2 short balls per spell, instead of per over… Rashid’s shoulder is a worry tho.
Batting I think revealed more concerns.
(1) Roy looks weak against spin, lot of teams will be making new plans around that.
(2) Moeen looks woefully out of form – get him in the nets I think… but basically any game that goes that far down the batting order right now makes us look vulnerable.
(3) Being extra harsh, Stokes also looks like he needs some net sessions…