World Cup Match 32 – England vs. Australia.

Today saw another pretty one-sided, turgid affair with Bangladesh comfortably beating Afghanistan on a pitch that was well suited to their spinners. The pitch at the Aegeas Bowl has become consistently slow and low as the tournament has gone on leading to some fairly dull cricket for those watching. At least today’s game is the last one to be scheduled at the Bramsgrove Bowl as England certainly wouldn’t fancy batting on that pitch, which was similar to the one at Headingley and it is quite possible England would have collapsed in a heap for 150 all out playing silly shots and aiming for 330 when 260 is a par score on such pitch. It doesn’t look like this will be the case tomorrow after seeing George Dobell’s earlier tweet:

If England’s game plan is to have a pitch that does something for the quicks and if they do plan to leave some of the grass on this, then their plan is not without huge risks as the Aussie bowling attack of Starc, Cummins and company will be licking their lips at the prospect of bowling to a weakened England batting order with some help from the pitch. Even if they do take some of the grass off the pitch, then it would be a huge surprise if there is much turn for either of the side’s spinners, as England no doubt don’t want to be undone the way they were undone at Headingley. Is this particularly fair to both sides, probably not, but in a way, it piles more pressure on this English team to perform tomorrow in the hunt for a semi-final slot.

We now know that Jason Roy has once again been ruled out of this English side, so we get to have the pleasure of seeing James Vince open the innings, play a couple of pleasing cover drives and then get out at slip chasing a wide one for a pretty but ineffective 15. It was Shane Warne who said that Monty Panesar “rather than having played 33 Tests, had merely played his first one 33 times.” The same argument can be made about James Vince who it seems hasn’t learnt a single lesson in his time in an England shirt and is in the team not on merit, but because he has ‘the right values’. Either that or he has some serious dirt on Ed Smith, naturally the latter would be funnier to see. This absolutely has to be last chance saloon for Vince, another failure would surely make his place in the team untenable and anything less than a serious, match influencing knock should not be tolerated. The so-called ‘put up or shut up’ time has come for Mr Vince.

As for the rest of the side, if there is unlikely to be much turn or some grass is left on the wicket, then you would expect England to rest one of their spinners in favour of playing Liam Plunkett, who has the uncanny knack of taking wickets in the middle of the innings. One would suggest that Moeen is at greatest risk, especially after his performance with the bat in Leeds, where it was suggested rather kindly that he has dumplings for brains at times. Rashid is also bowling well, but as is often the case, England have a history of dropping a bowler every time the batsmen fall in a heap, so Moeen’s perceived superiority with the bat might elicit favour. The England selectors normally have a habit of making the wrong decisions, so expect Moeen to open and Root to be dropped!!

As for Australia, they are likely to stick with the same side that comprehensively beat Bangladesh with their hopes that either Warner or more likely Finch can get them off to a flier whilst the rest of the batsmen bat around Steve Smith who will hope to anchor the innings. I still think Australia’s bowling attack is a little weak, especially if you can see off Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins with the new ball, so ideally, they’ll want the pitch to be doing something or to bat first and put runs on the board to create scoreboard pressure for England.

Make no mistake, this is a massive game for England with a loss meaning that they are likely to need to beat India and New Zealand to progress to the Semi Finals. If England collapse in a heap once again, when the pressure is on, they’ll be a whole lot of red faces at the ECB’s headquarters and some pretty difficult questions coming their way. Not that Geoffrey Boycott seems worried with the upcoming game, after all we won 2 World Wars! What a complete and utter plumb!

What? Someone say he wasn’t talking about England’s chances at the World Cup? I must have misunderstood….

As always, please do leave your thoughts below…


54 thoughts on “World Cup Match 32 – England vs. Australia.

  1. Metatone Jun 24, 2019 / 7:51 pm

    Interesting to look back at the warmup game.
    Aus prevailed without Starc/Cummins – but Lyon had a great spell of overs.

    I presume Lyon, having not played up to now, won’t play.

    England looking fragile and on top of that, there’s Vince.

    Hard to argue against an Aus victory.

    It seems the weather will be awful over night and likely still wet.
    Could be late start, reduced overs.

    Not sure what the rain will do to the pitch.


    • Sean Jun 24, 2019 / 7:58 pm

      I would imagine the pitch will remain completely covered overnight, so although it may sweat a little, I’m not sure too much will change.

      Lords also has one of the best drainage systems, so unless it rains until 10am tomorrow, we should get a full day’s play.

      Not exactly feeling confident either…


      • Metatone Jun 25, 2019 / 5:35 am

        My question is, does the sweat change the balance for spin/seam?
        ie – Moeen or Plunkett ?


    • Marek Jun 24, 2019 / 8:50 pm

      If Plunkett comes back, to me the player whose position should be most under threat is Vince.

      Even though Moeen’s been very out-of-form, I’m not at all convinced that he’s likely to score less than Vince as an opener. His best role as a batsman in the ODI team has been as an ultra-aggressive opener in the style of….Jason Roy, say–and he averages five runs more than Vince as an opener.

      He’s been messed around something chronic in all formats with where he bats–albeit less so recently in one-day cricket—which I think is an underemphasised factor in his decline as a batsman. (He’s also the least-rested of England’s multi-format players by some way, so he might also have got to the stage that Collingwood did at one point, and just be frazzled: this might well show up as a lack of judgment before it does as physical exhaustion).

      Irrelevant Moeen statistic of the day, which struck me: his Test strike rate is creeping very close to Graeme Swann’s–who has the lowest of any spinner who’s played 20 Tests for England.


      • Metatone Jun 25, 2019 / 5:33 am

        This is a great point.
        Send Moeen out and say “we need you to get to 15 in 15 balls – anything after that is a bonus, just don’t get bogged down” and it’s hard to see how you do worse than having Vince in the team.

        Again, if Plunkett can score 15 at a decent strike rate (which he can) he’s better than having Vince in, although I’d prefer it if we had an extra batsman. Woakes, Stokes, Ali, Rashid, Wood, Archer and Root is about all the bowling flexibility any side needs.

        (Side note: if the pitch really isn’t going to take spin, I can see the logic of resting Moeen for Plunkett.)


      • Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 8:04 am

        Moeen’s biggest problem is the short ball. And Australia have Cummins and Starc. I can’t see it being a success.

        I really want Vince to score a fuck-you hundred but I have absolutely no doubt he’ll just gift one to slip instead. What we really need is for Bairstow and Buttler to kick into gear again…

        On the pitches – the talk before the tournament was how English pitches were going to suit the English game, making it a contest of how many runs you can batter and what records you can beat. Instead we’ve had a succession of awkward wickets and I can’t help but think that England have suffered a little as a result.


        • Marek Jun 25, 2019 / 1:04 pm

          I always rather fear batsmen scoring fuck-you hundreds in this kind of situation…because it means we get stuck with them for another 10 or 20 matches waiting for them to score another, knowing that what we’ll actually get is 10 or 20 more matches of 20-ball 17s including three dreamy fours before a flat-footed waft to second slip!


          • Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 1:28 pm

            Oh, I agree with you there. The good news is even a fuck-you hundred doesnt stop him getting dropped for Roy.


          • dArthez Jun 25, 2019 / 1:59 pm

            Vince removed all doubts by going for a two-ball duck.

            On the bright side, the race for 4th is suddenly open again. On the less bright side for England supporters: it is mostly due to England’s mistakes.


  2. Deep Purple Fred Jun 24, 2019 / 10:09 pm

    Oh Boycott, just shut up. Why does he still get air time for tripe like this?


    • Metatone Jun 25, 2019 / 5:34 am

      Well said.
      Surely time for him to retire.


  3. Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 9:58 am

    Insert my usual rant about how an “umpire’s call” that’s pegging back leg stump, that looked out all day long, is not “a good decision on the field”


    • Grenville Jun 25, 2019 / 10:09 am

      It’s just possible that the umpire thought that he’d nicked it, but that it would have crashed into leg. In which case the ‘umpire’s call’ should have been overturned.


    • dArthez Jun 25, 2019 / 11:51 am

      The problem is, as I have pointed out years ago, that the umpire can have doubts about one aspect of a decision, hence not giving it, only for technology to show that that doubt was unwarranted. But then that the decision will stand due to an error on other parts of the decision.

      The ICC is in no hurry to address the obvious issue. They don’t care.


  4. Deep Purple Fred Jun 25, 2019 / 10:35 am

    I just realised Broad is not in this team. I know Anderson has become a test specialist, has Broad gone the same way?


    • Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 10:56 am

      He hasn’t played an ODI for over 3 years.


  5. Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 10:57 am

    This is like watching a high quality Test match – annoyingly. Needed wickets, didn’t get them, now Australia are set for a big total in really challenging conditions.


  6. dlpthomas Jun 25, 2019 / 12:32 pm

    Nice fightback from England but it may be a bit late.


  7. Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 12:34 pm

    Smith is such a good batsman. It’s great that we can have him and Kane Williamson be almost complete opposites in terms of technique and approach, and both be considered two of the best in the world.

    Happy with how England have clawed themselves back into this, but it’s been an average performance in the field.


  8. Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 1:37 pm

    Vince falls just 100 runs short of his fuck-you hundred


    • Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 1:39 pm

      I was going to post how braindead it was for them to ask Stuart Broad anything, as Broad went all Glenn McGrath and decided to make massive claims about Vince.

      I don’t need to point out how daft and Swann-esque that was.


    • Sean Jun 25, 2019 / 1:44 pm

      Cheers for coming James, now go have a lie down… the road.


      • LordCanisLupus Jun 25, 2019 / 2:23 pm

        Nailed on for the Ashes. Absolutely nailed on.

        It’s the cover drive like Michael Vaughan, you know.


        • Marek Jun 25, 2019 / 2:42 pm

          Runs in the family.

          Like agent, like player….


  9. OscarDaBosca Jun 25, 2019 / 1:52 pm

    This is fun to watch


  10. Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 1:53 pm

    Turns out when the ball is swinging you might want to aim for the stumps a bit


  11. OscarDaBosca Jun 25, 2019 / 2:05 pm

    Which bit about being 2 down in 5 overs (with 45 to go) do you think, yep 8 balls in I’ll take on the hook shot

    Liked by 1 person

    • Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 2:28 pm

      I love E O I N Morgan, I think he’s a fantastic captain and an excellent batsman.

      However… he has this habit of disappointing at World Cups.

      In 23 innings, spanning 4 World Cups, he’s hit 3 50s and 1 century, to go with 4 ducks, for an average of 25 – 15 lower than his career average.


      • OscarDaBosca Jun 25, 2019 / 7:03 pm

        I love him too. I think his attitude is generally great.
        The situation though didn’t need a hook shot, the run rate was very gettable even after 40 overs. All he needed to do was read the situation and stay in for 10-15 overs.
        Good balls are one thing, this was a ball that could have been left alone.


  12. nonoxcol Jun 25, 2019 / 2:13 pm

    Can someone who’s listening or watching tell me if there’s any sense of wounded entitlement from the commentary team yet, a la Guy Mowbray at the 2010 football World Cup?

    Naturally I think this is more likely among certain commentators than others.

    Meanwhile I’ll leave this, from the Guardian OBO, here without comment:

    [“James Vince, ODI average of 26.5 – is he really the best opening batsman understudy in England?” asks Joe Hunt. “Seems incredible that he gets chance after chance for England.”

    No, he isn’t, but the best understudy has been as stupid off the field as Vince has on it.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jun 25, 2019 / 2:16 pm

      Can someone who’s listening or watching….

      Therein lies the issue. This, the marquee match-up for England, is being played on a Tuesday. Not only is the damn match hidden behind a paywall, it’s invisible if you have to work.

      And I have Kiwis on either side of me in the office having a jolly good laugh.

      The powder does need to dry somewhat, but this is stacking up to be an epic ECB moment, and not a Downton in sight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dlpthomas Jun 25, 2019 / 2:20 pm

        I’m about to stop watching and go to bed – maybe it will bring England a change of luck.


      • Metatone Jun 25, 2019 / 5:20 pm

        This. I had meetings around London today, so I’m passing by a big square with a big outdoor screen – and I realise it’s for WWC and the Wimbledon. So no-one having their sandwich in the sun this lunchtime got even a sight of England.

        (Of course, in the end it would have been ugly viewing, but that’s a different problem.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • pktroll (@pktroll) Jun 25, 2019 / 7:37 pm

        I took my iPad so I could watch at lunchtime and on finishing work it was on in the gym there so I watched a reasonable amount. Sorry I haven’t been on more but I guess more than anything I am a test match man. If you did get the odd hit in Georgia and Armenia a couple of weeks ago that was me!

        Anyway, am I surprised that England’s weaknesses have been exposed? Not really. Too often erratic/unthreatening with the ball and shambolic with the bat when they lose early wickets.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sean Jun 25, 2019 / 7:42 pm

          Haha, I did wonder where the random hits from Eastern Europe were coming from 😀


    • Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 2:26 pm

      The commentators have been fulsome in their praise of the Aussies and accurately pointing out the weaknesses in the England players. No wounded entitlement on show.


  13. LordCanisLupus Jun 25, 2019 / 2:22 pm

    Oh my, there a lot of people not going to be happy about this.

    But while there is Buttler, there is hope. Right?


    • OscarDaBosca Jun 25, 2019 / 3:31 pm

      How exactly does one spell Hubris?
      In space no one can hear you scream, seems like the same applies to sky

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Burly Jun 25, 2019 / 2:44 pm

    Terrible shot by Bairstow. A weird sort of stiff-armed flick straight to a fielder. No problem with the shot selection but the execution was dreadful. Ugh.


  15. Mark Chapman Jun 25, 2019 / 2:45 pm

    Major sports World Cups really are painful for us English. Not sure why I allow hope to build up every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. man in a barrel Jun 25, 2019 / 4:39 pm

    Bye, bye, Moeen. That delivery was simply too good for him, late away swing.


  17. man in a barrel Jun 25, 2019 / 4:49 pm

    Bye, bye, Woakesy…. I guess it’s better to go out swinging. It’s just a shame that Vince and Bairstow thought the same at the top of the innings


  18. quebecer Jun 25, 2019 / 5:05 pm

    This was always going to be about Root and Bairstow, and hey-ho, there we go. Fred, annoyingly, wrote an excellent point the other day about a country spending four years putting all its eggs in a World Cup basket and then failing to make the semis…


    • Deep Purple Fred Jun 25, 2019 / 5:40 pm

      A few short days ago, that was just whisical and admittedly a bit mischievous speculation. Now it looks like a real risk. Not sure what happened to the England machine, although one top gun is injured and one is off snorting, so I guess that doesn’t help.

      Losing to SL and Pak was not really part of the plan. Beating India is not impossible, you know.

      Anyway, it’s all very entertaining. I was slightly irritated by how much England seemed to enjoy drowning kittens in their match against Afghanistan, feeling a bit better about that now.


      • quebecer Jun 25, 2019 / 5:48 pm

        I knew you were being cheeky at the time, but as soon as I read it I knew you were actually spot on.


  19. man in a barrel Jun 25, 2019 / 5:27 pm

    It’s good to see Ward pick up Morgan’s inevitable comment about “needing to do the basics better” and asking when they will start to get the basics right


    • Deep Purple Fred Jun 25, 2019 / 5:44 pm

      He can consider it karma for what was no doubt a cooly calculated comment regarding Smith and booing. Dog whistling I think they call it.
      I thought England had the basics sorted out?


      • man in a barrel Jun 25, 2019 / 7:11 pm

        Selvey thought that Aus out bowled Eng in the first 10 overs but that they were even in batting terms! That’s a hard case to argue when one team had lost no wickets and Eng were 4 down and below the run rate. I guess he was drunk


        • Deep Purple Fred Jun 25, 2019 / 7:49 pm

          Ah, the mighty depth of English batting! Some sense to that, but if your top 4 go without doing the job, Moheen Ali is never going to finish it. Sometimes you can beat the odds, but mostly you can’t.
          I guess Selvey…no, no comment.

          Liked by 1 person

        • LordCanisLupus Jun 25, 2019 / 8:45 pm

          Farbrace said we could have had them 30 for 4 “easily”.

          This passes for analysis – an LBW shout that was reviewed and given not out “looked stone dead” to him. Then there’s the Cardiff semi explanation. It’s the absence of critical speech, because if he genuinely believes the shite he’s spouting, then don’t have him back on again. Is Paul Newman OK? Anyone checked?


      • Burly Jun 26, 2019 / 9:51 am

        Dog whistling tends to be for more serious things than “I’m fine with the crowd booing players they don’t like for decent reasons”, tbh.


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