England vs. Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 Live Blog



So here we go then, the first day of the 2019 Ashes series is now upon us and time when all of the talking and all of build up is now in the past and only actions on the pitch actually matter. At least that what it would normally be during an Ashes series, as the build up to the one has been at best muted and worst non-existent. Now whether this is due to the recent World Cup tournament and the euphoria for England in actually winning a 50 ball tournament or the possibility there might be a bit of Ashes fatigue, especially with neither team being as strong a units as they have been previously, it has been noticeable how the build up to this series has been little more than a whimper.

Still here we are, with International Cricket’s biggest rivalry upon us and the players thrust into the limelight at what will be a vociferous crowd at Edgbaston, it remains to be seen what type of hangover either or both sides have after the World Cup. I am going to try and liveblog the action throughout the day, as it is the first day of the Ashes and the opening exchanges could be key to revealing what will happen for the rest of the series. It is just me on my own today and I do need to run a number of errands too, so don’t shout at me if I inadvertently miss any of the action. As a small reminder, we aren’t the BBC and don’t have the technology to refresh automatically, so please manually refresh for updates.

9:30am: England have pretty much gone with the team that most expected them to go with, even if many of us didn’t want them to go with. Jimmy Anderson comes in for Stone and Buttler and Stokes are back after resting for the Ireland Test Match. As for Australia, it looks like they have dropped Mitchell Starc from the team with the main battle appearing to be between Siddle and Hazelwood for the opening bowler slot.

10:15am: Despite the odd cloud, the pitch looks a belter and should be an easy choice to bat first if you win the toss. That being said, does Joe Root trust his opening batsmen not to make a horlicks of this should he win the toss.

10:30am: TOSS – Australia win the toss and choose to have a bat. Bit of a no brainer to be fair. Siddle plays in place of Hazelwood. England need to get the line and lengths right quickly on this pitch.

11:00am: Out come the ‘sandpaper siblings’ to bat. Sir Jimmy has the new ball and more importantly I am armed with a cup of tea. Here we go then..

11:04am: Decent opening over from Jimmy, even if the first couple of balls were on the short side. Maiden.

11:06am: Broad with a wide one going down leg. Bairstow appeals but no-one else seems to be interested but there appeared to be a noise. Oh hello, England should have listened to Bairstow there, ultra-edge shows a tickle behind from Warner. Lucky boy. Will England rue missing that opportunity.

11:13am: Decent opening spell this from the England bowlers. They have often been guilty of wasting the new ball by bowling too short, but they have been full and on the money so far.

11:15am: Broad bowls round the wicket and strikes Warners on the pads. Dar says not out, England review and the ball is missing the stumps by some way. Not a great review at all, seems like a retrospective review from Broad there.

11:19am: WICKET – Warner is the man to go. A far better delivering by Broad, pitched up and swinging. Looks plumb to me and Warner walks off without reviewing. A big big wicket for England there.

11:22am: Haha, Warner should have reviewed. Missing leg stump according to DRS. Sort of makes it even funnier.

11:31am: Couple of loose deliveries from Broad that over and a boundary each for Bancroft and Khawaja. A bit of pressure relieved for the Aussie batsmen.

11:34am: Shane Warne into the commentary box and TV sound is immediately muted. Another probing over from Jimmy who has got his line and lengths right this morning.

11:38am: WICKET – Got Im’. Bancroft pushes at a slightly wide one and edges straight to Root at slip, who pouches a relatively straightforward catch. The Aussies have lost both their openers for not many. Game on. In comes Steve Smith:

11:48am: Jeez, Broad is bowling well. There was some talk in the build up to the Ashes whether he might be the fall man in the English attack. I think this puts this to bed. Quick, hostile and on the money. Piggy Smith struggling.

12:00pm: Woakes hasn’t exactly looked threatening since he joined the attack. Not hitting the pitch hard and too many floaty deliveries. This is the criticism I have with Woakes at times.

12:02pm: Drinks. I’m off the make myself another cup of tea too. England’s morning so far, but could do with removing Khawaja or Piggy before lunch.

12:12pm: Woakes to Khawaja and Woakes thinks he has an outside edge. Root reviews, but that the looks speculative in my opinion.

12:13pm: WICKET: Well what do i know! There’s a tickle behind and England have got the Aussies 3 down this morning. Great review by England this time.

12:19pm: Stokes bowling his second over, but looks particularly rusty with the ball. This really is some dross from Stokes. I’d bring back Jimmy who has only bowled 4 overs so far and can test Head in particular, who can be a bit tentative playing forward early on in his innings.

12:30pm: England are slightly lucky that the umpires don’t particularly want to call a wide as there have been some perfect contenders in this spell. As for the umpires themselves, they have had hardly covered themselves in glory, especially Aleem Dar who used to be one of the best. Meanwhile a poor over from Woakes allows the Aussies to steal some easy runs.

12:36pm: This really is some poor bowling from Woakes and Stokes, both of whom have looked pretty innocuous. This really should be the time for England to exert pressure on the Aussie batting line up, but there are too many poor deliveries. Head hits another 4 off Stokes, who really should be told to have a breather..

12:39pm: Moeen into the attack now and he is taken for a couple of boundaries by Head. Meanwhile, there seems to be growing concern about Jimmy:

12:44pm: This has not been a good spell for England who are undoing all of the good work they did in the first hour. If indeed Jimmy A isn’t fit, someone from the England management team really needs to answer why they’ve risked him for the First Test.

12:52pm: Buffet bowling from England here. Stokes looks as bad as i’ve seen him bowl and there is virtually nothing in the pitch for Moeen. Not great signs.

12:54pm: Meanwhile, Beefy looks like he’s put on a fair bit of timber. No doubt enjoying his vineyards in France during his holiday…

12:58pm: Woakes bought back into the attack, but not much happening. Jimmy back on the field now, but still a huge concern. Can they fit in another over before lunch? Yes they can. Moeen to bowl.

13:03pm: LUNCH. Australia 84-3 off 27 overs (3 short). England without doubt had the best of the first hour but once the openers went off, England’s bowling has been poor. Australia will be quite relieved to head into the pavilion with that score after being 3 down for not many. The biggest concern for England is the fitness of Jimmy Anderson, who has bowled only 4 overs and been off the field for the majority of the session.

I’m also going to go out and find some lunch. Be back in 40 minutes or so.

If you’ll excuse my language. Why the Fucking Fuck have England picked a Fucking injured Jimmy Anderson for the Fucking First Test knowing this could endanger his participation in the rest of the series. Meanwhile there’s a puff piece Harrison interview on Sky if you feel like tearing your eyeballs out of their sockets.

13:40pm: What is with England’s medical team? Time and time again, they pick bowlers who are injured. If Jimmy has re-torn his calf muscle, then England are truly up the creak without a paddle. I’d rather have Dr. Death managing the players fitness. Stuart Broad to open up proceedings after lunch.

13:51pm: Yep of course it is. England’s medical team desperately trying to cover their asses here. Meanwhile, not too much is happening in the middle.

13:54pm: This pitch is starting to look very good for batting. Ball has stopped swinging and England’s attack starting to look a little innocuous. Great straight drive from Head goes for 4.

14:02pm: Broad keeping things tight, but Piggy Smith is starting to look in ominous form. Broad tries the ‘old ball has gotten out of shape’ trick but is quickly dismissed by Aleem Dar.

14:08pm: WICKET – Got Im’. Woakes with a straight ball wrapping Head on the pads. Head reviews but that is hitting off stump. England absolutely needed that.

14:12pm: Did that carry? Stokes is looking pensive. Nope an edge from Wade falls short. Suddenly England’s intensity is back again.

Meanwhile, Tom Harrison’s interview isn’t going down exactly well with English cricket fans:

14:15pm: Broad bowls at Piggy Smith and pins him on the back with no shot offered. Umpire’s fingers goes up but Smith reviews. Not out, missing off stump. Boooo

Meanwhile, it seems that Aggers was offering more loose half volleys to Harrison than even Nasser Hussain managed. They know who pays their wages…

14:20pm: WICKET. The umpires have got another one wrong. Woakes hits Wade’s pads in front of the wickets and then reviews after it is given not out. That was plumb. Australia 5 down now. What a change of fortunes for England this afternoon.

14:23pm: It may have been a mistake for these umpires to have taken advice from S.Ravi in hindsight.

14:29pm: How long can England keep Broad and Woakes on for. With Anderson out of the attack injured, if Australia can survive the next few overs, they can feast on Moeen and Stokes.

14:34pm: The answer is not long. After a brilliant over by Broad, Moeen is bought into the attack. The one thing I am really enjoying is the analysis by Kumar Sangakkara. A brilliant batsmen in his day and someone who knows the game inside out. Far more enjoyable than listening to the rubbish Warne is spouting.

14:40pm: WICKET – can you believe that? Broad bowls one short and Paine picks out Burns at deep square leg. Terrible shot, that he won’t want to see again. England now in charge.

14:44pm: WICKET – Broad has hit 4th and that looked out at first look. Pattinson trapped in front and the umpire gives him out straight away. I’d have probably reviewed that with the umpires in the form that they currently are. Australia are in deep doo-doo here.

14:46pm: Haha, Pattinson should have reviewed it, DRS shows it was missing leg. This has been a day of truly awful umpiring. Broad won’t care a jot mind.

14:51pm: Surely it’s fair to question why Piggy Smith didn’t help his mate there. Probably had the best view of the delivery and would have seen that the umpires are having a shocker. That being said, perhaps he is saving an ego review for himself..

14:56pm: Broad finally takes a breather after a wonderful spell of 8-2-22-2. Can Stokes bowl better than he did this morning, which granted couldn’t be difficult…

15:00pm: WICKET – Stokes does bowl better. Stokes follows a couple of out swingers followed by a booming in swinger which wraps him on the pads. Height may be a question but that looked out to me in real time. Australia in trouble here, real trouble.

15:06pm: Stokes looks like a completely different bowler in this spell. Stokes beats Smith all ends up but there’s a noise and a big appeal. Not out and a good decision from Aleem Dar as Smith seemed to clip his front pad rather than the ball.

15:11pm: Jeez, another clanger from Joel Wilson. Woakes strikes Siddle on the pads and Wilson gives him out, but you could have heard that inside edge from the Hollies. This is a really damning indictment on the level of Test Match umpiring.

15:16pm: 50 for Piggy Smith. Has played well considering the carnage around him. England will want to wrap this innings up quickly (as will those who enjoy the art of batting).

15:28pm: Siddle hunkering down in support of piggy. I suspect that’s what the rest of the Australian batsmen were supposed to do instead of leaving it to the number 10. Intensity has dropped a little as we head to tea.

15:37pm: England have to be careful here. Smith looking like he is going on the counter attack with Siddle locking down the other end. Another 40 or 50 on the board could make all the difference in this Test.

15:40pm: TEA – Australia are 154-8 after 53 overs (7 short). England’s afternoon without doubt especially without their talismanic opening bowler, but whilst Smith is still at the crease, then Australia are still in the game. I’m off to get a brew myself. See you in 20…

15:50pm: We have rain, and looks like plenty of it. Looks like a delayed restart unless it clears very quickly. Meanwhile on TMS:

16:04pm: Well it looks like we are off for the foreseeable future at the moment, whilst the  rain continues at Edgbaston. I’ll be back on air as soon as we have some play again by which time, Danny might also be around to post.

16:06pm: Restart at 4:20pm, providing we have no more rain.

16:14pm: In other news, it looks like this will be both Gower’s and Beefy’s last series in the commentary box for Sky. I’m not terribly sad as both are past their sell by date, but how on earth is Bumble being spared? The guy is more clown than commentator these days:


16:19pm: The rain might have done England a favour here as it will have given Broad and Woakes a little longer to recover from their lengthy spells in the afternoon session. Broad to once again open up against Siddle.

16:23pm: Decent opening over from Broad who once again looks lively. Woakes with a real loosener than Siddle puts away for four. In the meantime, Ramprakash doing what Ramprakash does best:

Never one to admit culpability was our Mark, both for his batting and his coaching.

16:30pm: Peter Siddle is one of those annoying tailenders that are really hard to shift. He looks comfortable out in the middle and his technique looks better than most of those in the Aussie middle order. This partnership is becoming a real annoyance for England.

16:31pm: Another rain break. Joe Root not looking particularly happy about it and we are back out again. It’s like the hokey cokey at Edgbaston..

16:34pm: Anyway, Danny is now back from work and is joining me on the live blog. Over to you Danny.

16:37pm: Afternoon everyone. Danny here. What did I miss?

16:42pm: I’ve been watching ten minutes and this partnership is already worrying me. Facing the two wicket-taking bowlers, Smith and Siddle both look pretty comfortable and the partnership has already reached fifty.

16:51pm: England are bowling with a misshapen ball. Sounds painful, and certainly isn’t helping them to bowl these two out…

16:57pm: FFS. Australia are going to win this, aren’t they? We all know what happens after a team’s key bowler is injured near the start of an Ashes series, after all.

17:06pm: Stokes replaces Woakes and is bowling a lot of short balls to Siddle, but it’s not worrying the Australian at all. I imagine England are hoping for some rain so they can start fresh tomorrow.

17:10pm: Smith falls on his wrist following a tight run, and the umpires call an early DRINKS.

17:14pm: Denly has replaced Broad, at least technically speaking. If Denly bowls more than 20 overs in this series, we might as well just give up and give Australia the Ashes urn now.

17:26pm: No news is good news, or so the saying goes. I’m not so sure. Sky is reporting that there won’t be any updates on Anderson’s injury today. As (I think) Botham points out, if it’s an existing injury (as seems to be the case) then England shouldn’t be able to use a fielding substitute under the current laws.

17:31pm: WICKET – Moeen comes in and draws an inside edge from Siddle to Buttler at short leg. That brings to an end the partnership of 88 runs, which could be huge in this game. Australia on 210/9. England might want to take their time, because I doubt their openers will want to face an hour session tonight.

17:43pm: Steve Smith is farming the strike to keep the pressure off Lyon, and it’s worked. Australia have already added an extra hundred runs for their last two wickets. Poor from England, notwithstanding Anderson’s injury.

17:52pm: CENTURY – Steve Smith smacks one through the covers, and is now on 103*. Kisses the badge on his helmet too. God, I want to throw up…

17:57: Honestly, watching him today, I think Smith will more centuries in this series than the England team combined. With England a bowler down in this game, and potentially missing Anderson for the rest of the series too, these are ominous signs for England’s hopes of reclaiming the Ashes urn.

18:04pm: Broad calls for a REVIEW with Steve Smith going across his stumps to a full ball. Live, I thought he’d edged it onto his pads. In fact he had missed it, but it was sliding way past the leg stump. England will have to take their last wicket without a DRS appeal. Given today’s performances by the umpires, that could be an issue…

18:07pm: Apparently, due to rain delays, today’s play can go on to 18:52pm. I didn’t realise this when I agreed to do the live updates to the close. This is what happens when you’re not paying close attention. It’s looking more and more like Smith will bat out the day, although he is going for more aggressive shots now that he’s batting with Lyon.

18:15pm: The commentators are talking about how Joffra Archer could be useful in this kind of situation. Personally I’d prefer Adil Rashid, even on a first day like today. Australian batsmen, even tailenders, are accustomed to pace. Leg spin, not so much.

18:22pm: Chris Woakes bowling 79mph bouncers to Smith. I’m a fan of Woakes, and he’s done well today, but I don’t think that’s going to work.

18:35pm: WICKET – Steve Smith goes for a wild swing and misses a full, straight ball from Stuart Broad. Broad ends up with 5/86 and clears up all three of the players returning from abrasive-related bans. Australia have reached 284 after being 122/8 earlier in the day. England are facing two or three overs today, and I bet they wish Leach was available to call in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Broad or another bowler acting as nightwatchman though.

18:45pm: Nope, Burns and Roy come in to face the two overs. Cummins to bowl the first over.

18:50pm: First over survived. Roy missing a wild pull though, maybe time to put that shot away for the day, Jason? One more to go.

19:04pm: England reach the close on 10/0, 274 runs behind the tourists. Smith’s huge 144-run stand has put Australia in what might be considered the lead after wickets were falling like dominoes earlier in the day.

We seem to have lost 5 overs today, although that may be due to the short rain delays and excess of DRS appeals rather than England’s tardy bowlers. This is notable because, with this game being the very first in the World Test Championship, teams can be docked league points for being slow in bowling their overs.

Tomorrow’s forecast seems fair, with no rain expected. Good batting conditions, you might think, but England have shown themselves capable of collapsing in even the friendliest of situations. It will certainly be a nervy first session for England fans as they try to post a first innings lead.

That’s me (Danny) and Sean signing off the live blog. Comments on the game, coverage, or anything else below.


118 thoughts on “England vs. Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 Live Blog

  1. nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 9:21 am

    As we all know, the fourth and fifth Tests of this series will be held in September, and one of them in Manchester.

    Can anyone clarify whether the Oval Test of 2005 is the only previous Ashes Test to be held *wholly* in September? (I know the 1985 series *ended* on Monday 2nd September)

    Or, given that The Oval is the traditional host venue for the final Test of an Ashes series, whether any Ashes cricket has *ever* been played outside London in September?

    In 2005, was the start time 10:30am rather than 11am?

    If so, are the ECB not risking a farcical ending to this series? (Bad light stopped play on Sunday 11th September 2005 at 15:42… you know, the Aussies in sunglasses episode and Geoff Boycott shouting “what are they DOING [going off in this]?”)


    • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 9:47 am

      There was a Test between England and Australia in September in 1880 at the Oval. That is the only other instance of a Test starting in September in England against Australia (other than the 2005 one).


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2019 / 10:01 am

      Your reminder that 31 July saw the end of the Edgbaston test in 2015. The third test of that series.


  2. metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 9:50 am

    Someone needs to break into Sky HQ and burn that tape of Butcher on the guitar.


    • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 9:52 am

      Yes, yes they do!!!


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2019 / 9:59 am

      And baritone voice-overs to give every occasion extra gravitas. I’ve not even watched a second of the coverage, but know it will be along shortly.


      • Mark Aug 1, 2019 / 10:10 am

        Oh boy, don’t get me started on the voice overs with the stupid tones. “THE FIVE LIVE PODCAST.” Screams BBC with a stupid voice to give it so called drama. In fact it just makes it sound moronic.

        I suspect it’s part of the “let’s apeal to kids morons” market.

        This is the first day of the series and I’m already in a bad mood after listening to some of the previews. I have a bad feeling about this series, on many issues. ….let’s hope I’m wrong.


    • nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 10:03 am

      Is it as good as the one on Kicca?

      Don’t answer that. Nothing is as good as Kicca.


  3. Burly Aug 1, 2019 / 10:00 am

    Please never sing the anthem like that again

    Liked by 1 person

    • psoans Aug 1, 2019 / 10:41 am

      That was possibly the worst rendition of Jerusalem I have ever heard. Too clean and sweet and bereft of any passion.


  4. dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 10:08 am

    Well, Warner is very lucky that Broad could not be bothered to appeal there …


  5. Deep Purple Fred Aug 1, 2019 / 10:12 am

    Australian team booed onto the pitch. Australian openers booed to the crease. Warner’s first run booed. Ho hum.


    • Northern Light Aug 1, 2019 / 10:16 am

      Comedy booing followed by Warner already getting warned for trying to surreptitiously rough up the bit of the pitch that Nathan Lyon will be pitching onto. Ho hum.


  6. metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 10:14 am

    England are actually bowling well here. But failure to review the Warner nick will hurt them.

    Prediction, Aus 100 odd for 0 at lunch.


    • metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 10:16 am

      oh ffs, now they are wasting a review on Broad’s LBW fantasy


      • metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 10:22 am

        hah, then Aus fail to review and let Warner go LBW

        Liked by 1 person

        • psoans Aug 1, 2019 / 10:43 am

          India start their Test campaign soon. If reviews don’t go their way then we will probably see a change to the review system again.


  7. dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 10:22 am

    so the umpire have 2 wrong already – good to see them carrying on the high standards of the world cup

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aug 1, 2019 / 10:34 am

      Yup. Crickets review system is ludicrous. Batsman hits it, and is given not out, then he is given out when the ball is missing the stumps.

      Who says two wrongs don’t make a right?

      Meanwhile they will get every decsion right, after review, if the ball goes for four!!


  8. dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 10:24 am

    The umpiring from Broad’s end has been rather poor thus far. A missed nick, and a leg before air given.


    • nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 11:14 am

      Are we at the “come back S Ravi, all is forgiven” stage yet? Another one just overturned.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 11:17 am

        Maybe even Dharmasena. No that’s silly talk


        • Rooto Aug 1, 2019 / 1:49 pm

          And now Pattinson sawn off too. I’d be angry about the quality of the umpiring if I wasn’t so busy laughing.


  9. psoans Aug 1, 2019 / 10:46 am

    2/3 of the Sandpaper gate are out. I disagree with the SKY commentators about giving more respect to the Australian players.


  10. Tom Aug 1, 2019 / 10:48 am

    I’m back, at least for now. Got a whole bunch of things to worry about including protests in Hawaii, a couple of hurricanes heading our way and just life in general. But it’s the Ashes, nothing will keep me away from that. And I have a live stream even if it’s in the middle of the night my time.

    England bowling well and Aussie 17-2. Nice! I’ll be awake for another 30 minutes or so…

    Hello to all my old friends.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 10:52 am

      Good to have you back Tom. Hopefully we’ll see you once or twice more during the series.

      Fingers crossed re: Protests and hurricanes..


      • Tom Aug 1, 2019 / 11:12 am

        Thank you, Sean! Just watched the first hour and probably won’t be able to make it much longer – 1 am here. Nice bowling from England but wonder why they haven’t bowled more bouncers to Khawaja. Steve Smith is a different prospect of course.

        I’m glad Archer is not included. He’ll be great later in the series but with Anderson coming off an injury it really wasn’t worth the risk. Really looking forward to him bowling in the second test though.

        I missed the pitch report. It’s a decent pitch from what I can see, not a slow seaming pitch that we saw in the World Cup. Anyone with more info?


        • Tom Aug 1, 2019 / 11:16 am

          OK, Aussie 35-3. Maybe I’ll stay up a bit longer!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 11:18 am

          It’s a decent pitch, but the ball is doing just enough to make things interesting. England bowling very well.


          • Tom Aug 1, 2019 / 11:36 am

            Thanks, Sean. Woakes is bowling well to Head but the bounce now seems to be a bit low. I’m guessing the pitch will become quite slow with variable bounce quite soon. But what do I know? Wil watch ’til lunch and then it’s bedtime. Looks decent for England so far other than not getting Smith out.


  11. dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 11:13 am

    and another one wrong – this is getting silly


    • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 12:25 pm

      Had some business to attend to, so could not watch after the openers were gone. How many wrong decisions were made by the umpires? And how many were overturned on review?

      The umpiring standards ought to be higher than what I saw in the first 30 minutes from Broad’s end, or we’d be better off with a fully automated review system. Just requires some additional processing power, which frankly is not that expensive (unless Jadeja is bowling, because he tends to go through his overs extremely fast).


      • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 12:31 pm

        By my count, 3 wrong decisions
        – missed the edge of warner (but England did not call for the review)
        – Warner given out LBW to a ball that was missing leg stump (he didn’t review)
        – Khawaja given not out caught behind and then given out on review


        • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 12:41 pm

          Thanks for that DLPThomas.


          • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 1:15 pm

            and number 4 – not that I am obsessed with bad umpiring


          • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 1:20 pm

            and number 5


        • nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 1:24 pm

          This is seriously embarrassing now. 5 wrong decisions in less than 3 hours, involving wickets? FIVE? With only 5 wickets down.

          I didn’t get into cricket to keep reading “brilliant review” either.

          Liked by 2 people

  12. thebogfather Aug 1, 2019 / 12:08 pm

    Oh Joy! – Empty Suit imminent on TMS… time for corporate bollox bingo


    • nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 12:23 pm

      Hey there, can you let me know if Lovejoy is on the rota today? I really don’t want a shock when I get in the car later. Cheers!


      • thebogfather Aug 1, 2019 / 12:30 pm

        No Lovejoy, too much ShinyToy, thankfully no EmptyBrainForRent…

        Harrison been on two minutes and I’ve called ‘House’ twice already… FFS lock him under the stairs with GraveyBrain… ps Aggers is gushingly kneeling before him, licking his boots


        • LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2019 / 12:31 pm

          Listening to it now. “Hello Aggers” sets the tone.

          “Values” “Take the Cap Forward” “Look After The Shirt” “leadership shown by the dressing room” “what does culture mean” “team environment” “grow the game” “opportunity – partnership with Sky” “over a hundred hours free to air on BBC next year”

          13 million of the audience, the biggest piece of it was on Sky? Really? How the hell did he work this out,

          He sounds like the party political broadcast on behalf of Sky. It is all about defending Sky for providing investment, being a partner. As if he’s been told to stick up for Sky as the only fig leaf they have to defend themselves from the accusations. The full stadium today is due to Sky’s investment! A partnership with Sky taking their investment to a totally different level. Digital TV (no we didn’t just have five channels in 2005, it wasn’t the fucking dark ages – all new TVs had Freeview) is mentioned.

          “Context and meaning”. “Global Poster Child for Test Cricket”

          He sells everything as if he’s an online, scripted phone salesman.

          Liked by 2 people

          • nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 12:36 pm

            Just what is it about this country and its worship of the bosses?


          • LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2019 / 12:45 pm

            The reply to the Free To Air question was “Sky are great” and “We are bunting some of that Hundred garbage your way”, “Analog TV in 2005” and if you forgot “Sky are really great”.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 12:47 pm

            Couldn’t be bothered to watch it. Guess Nasser was lobbing up wide long hops to him..


          • LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2019 / 12:47 pm

            (a) where did he get the 13 million
            (b) is he saying Channel 4 got 4.7 million and Sky nearly 8?
            (c) Empty Suit – discuss – “The figures peaked during the deciding super over when a combined total of 8 million were watching on Channel 4 or Sky’s pay-TV channels. Around half that number tuned in for the entire match.”

            Oh – the new 50 over contest is going to be a great opportunity for young players. First mention of the Hundred is right at the end of the interview.

            Liked by 2 people

          • thebogfather Aug 1, 2019 / 1:44 pm

            Whatever ‘good feeling’ from the consumers that he thought giving the plebs a viewing of the WC final attained, he just lost it and more in ten minutes of badly scripted, data failure, continued corporate bollox and bullshit. Well undone you Empty Suit, now just fuck off into the sunset with your unwarranted Sky payoff


    • Glenn Aug 1, 2019 / 1:23 pm

      I’m sure he said that the reason for no free to air tv is because “children do not consume analogue tv anymore”.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 12:34 pm

    Anderson re-injuring his calf could be huge.


    • mdpayne87 Aug 1, 2019 / 12:42 pm

      Yeah, looks like a mistake. Heard a lot in the media this week about ‘whoever wins the First Test wins the series’ so I guess the brains trust took the same view. But if they had any concern about Anderson bowling 20-25 overs in the day then he shouldn’t have been picked.

      Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 12:43 pm

      Yep. And this isn’t just an England thing, the record of teams who lose a bowler to injury early in Test Matches is grim. Aus should be extremely worried if they don’t win this game now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 12:56 pm

        True, but most other teams don’t have a competent fifth and sixth bowling option. So it should be a bit easier to manage for England than most other teams.

        But it is a big blow.


  14. metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 12:47 pm

    If Woakes wants to claim the slot as successor to Anderson, now would be a great time to stand up and seize the match by the scruff of the neck.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 1:02 pm

    “Yep of course it is. England’s medical team desperately trying to cover their asses here.”

    Just quoting Sean for truth there.

    Can anyone remember that quote about the ECB medical team that was the equivalent of “England will play to their strengths” at Ahmedabad?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 1:22 pm

    5 howlers inside 35 overs. That is one plain wrong decision every 7 overs, and I am not talking about no-ball calls or wides given / not given.

    Seriously, that is really poor.

    At this rate, the innings will be howled to a close.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 1:47 pm

      And 6 howlers for 7 wickets now. Well done umpires. Will you reach ten before the end of the innings?


      • nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 1:49 pm

        DRS really solved everything, huh?

        I mean at this rate it’ll take about 3 days to match the whole of the 2005 series for howlers.


  17. metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 1:42 pm

    Broad really enjoyed that shot from Paine… and I have to admit, it made me smile too.


  18. dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 1:45 pm

    I am sure that by the end of the Test Nasser will have forgotten all the insults to atrocious batting that Australia have served up thus far.


  19. metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 1:48 pm

    Once again Aus fail to review and it was missing…


  20. nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 1:51 pm

    Trust this prat.

    First reply enough to make me wish I was Australian.


    • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 1:53 pm

      Thankfully I’m blocked, so I don’t have to see whatever drivel Vaughan posts…


  21. thebogfather Aug 1, 2019 / 1:55 pm

    Looks like the ECB/ICC brains truss are going to get their max 4 day Tests, just as well make them 75 overs a day and be done with… (allowing time for fireworks, toons, bands, flags, old crock walkabouts, announcements from our dear leaders, and extra lager sales time during the ten minute drinks breaks in which the players can change their named and numbered shirts to encompass their nicknames or a sponsored derivative) -fully expecting ShinyToy to take this up as his latest ‘thought’ very soon as he flogs his soul to replace Gower as Sky’s affronted man…


  22. nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 2:05 pm

    Guardian OBO contributor:

    [“Let’s not get on the backs of the umpires,” says Mike Daniels. “Umpires are probably now making more out decisions after subsequently seeing how so many not outs would have been shaving the stumps and therefore being ‘out’, with the proviso that the review system is there for players to use if they ask for it. If the players don’t ask, don’t blame the umpires.”

    Yes, you’re right – days like this stand out because they are usually so good. It’s incredible how few howlers they make. Minor mistakes, which all of today’s decisions have been, are unavoidable. I suspect that if any of us tried umpiring we’d be off to Specsavers, in floods of tears, before the first drinks break.]

    Not having any of that. I suspect d’Arthez isn’t either.


    • nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 2:10 pm

      I actually think it’s one of the most easily fiskable comments I’ve ever seen on the OBO. Virtually every sentence is as lame as the umpiring.


    • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 2:18 pm

      Since when is a wicket, let alone 7 WICKETs in less than 2 sessions, a minor mistake? Might be the case when the target is 500 away in the fourth innings, and it is the last wicket we are talking about (then it is rather unlikely that the howler will change anything about the outcome of the game), but in the first innings that is not the case. Never.

      Even the time taken up by all the reviews is impacting on the game, due to conditions changing, the fact that one or two overs will be bowled fewer in the day. Basically the paying spectators are robbed of a pound each, for the simple reason that the umpires don’t do their job well at all.

      I am sorry, but umpiring by flipping a coin can’t be much worse than the performance of these two today thus far.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Rohan Aug 1, 2019 / 2:05 pm

    I’m sorry, but this is not test cricket as I knew it growing up and in the first decade of the 21st century. The way test matches have evolved in this country over the past 2 or 3 years makes me sad 😔……

    I used to revel in England running through teams, but it used to be hard fought, worked for, now, well, now they just turn up and it’s expected.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Aug 1, 2019 / 4:09 pm

      It’s dumbed down Test cricket.

      For a new, younger, app friendly generation who are time poor, but require constant adrenaline hits. As Freddie Mercury would sing…..And another ones gone, and another ones gone….another one bites the dust!


      • Rohan Aug 1, 2019 / 5:18 pm

        True Mark, however, maybe I over reacted a tad, Smith has redressed the balance with a proper test match innings, watching him bat with the lower order is very impressive….


  24. dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 2:20 pm

    Smith being Smith – it may not be pretty but its very effective.


    • Rohan Aug 1, 2019 / 2:49 pm

      I like watching Smith bat because he grafts, he works hard, he does whatever is required to score runs!


      • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 3:41 pm

        Like an old-timey test batsmen?


        • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 3:44 pm

          Novel concept. Bat time, score runs. Will never catch on, or rather will be dismissed as ‘boring’, which is apparently the cardinal sin these days.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Rohan Aug 1, 2019 / 5:02 pm

            This Smith lad might be on to something; great century….


  25. LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2019 / 2:45 pm

    Re your Twitter quotes, Sean, from Tom Harrison.

    I’m still wondering where he pulled 13 million from. Have I missed this. I did not imagine it while he mentioned how great Sky had been every other sentence. He said 13 million.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 2:48 pm

      I didn’t see the interview TBF, just pulled off a few interesting quotes from Twitter. Perhaps someone else can corroborate? I think he did claim Sky had more viewers than C4 mind…


      • LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2019 / 4:03 pm

        I listened to it on TMS. If there was one on Sky I can pick it up later.


  26. LordCanisLupus Aug 1, 2019 / 3:01 pm

    Harrison also kept mentioning that the World Test Championship wasn’t a “silver bullet”. Is test cricket a werewolf? A Stephen King book?


    • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 3:03 pm

      Doesn’t make enough cash for the ECB to be interested more like..


    • Mark Aug 1, 2019 / 4:03 pm

      Harrison really lucked out when the hapless ECB gave him a job. He has to negotiate a tv deal once every five years. And the winner always seems to be a company he calls his partner. Apart from that he has to subject himself to intereviews with broadcasters (who are partners or those who would like to become partners)

      Once you have heard one of his interviews, you have heard them all. This leaves him free to practice his corporate speak language course which has every slogan and half arsed clap trap ever heard.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 4:05 pm

      He probably meant rubber bullet.


  27. metatone Aug 1, 2019 / 3:38 pm

    Missing a frontline bowler is starting to bite… Siddle hanging in well.


    • dannycricket Aug 1, 2019 / 3:44 pm

      I doubt Australian batsmen would be worried about pace without much lateral movement. Rashid might have been more useful for breaking partnerships…


      • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 5:23 pm

        I think Siddle and Lyon would struggle against Archer


        • dannycricket Aug 1, 2019 / 5:28 pm

          I think they’d be much better against it than most English batsmen (tailenders or not), and he couldn’t do it for long at top pace. Besides, Lyon has faced less than 2 balls every over in this partnership so far, so Archer would be bowling at Smith most of the time.


  28. Sir Peter Aug 1, 2019 / 4:22 pm

    Peter Siddle can bat


    • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 4:31 pm

      He’s an under-rated cricketer.


  29. Mark Aug 1, 2019 / 4:28 pm

    Harrison language course…..


    • Mark Aug 1, 2019 / 4:33 pm

      See 2.03 for a Harrison zinger….


  30. dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 4:32 pm

    That could prove to be a very important partnership.


  31. Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 5:04 pm

    England looking increasingly desperate here. Terrible review (again) by Broad. This partnership is taking the game away from us here.


    • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 5:22 pm

      We’ve really let them off the hook here and clearly have no idea how to get Smith out.


      • dannycricket Aug 1, 2019 / 5:25 pm

        I think, given the available choices, I’d go for Moeen and Root. Spin at least brings in the chance of a bat-pad chance or stumping. Seam bowling with fielders out on the boundary is just gifting Australia with extra runs. And Root’s a better bowler than Denly.


        • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 5:38 pm

          8 for 122 and all out 284. Good effort from Broad but they got way too many. There’s about 8 overs left tonight so we’ll soon see how good a score that is.


          • dannycricket Aug 1, 2019 / 5:41 pm

            I think they said play finishes at 6.52pm, which means we’ll be lucky to see another 3 over tonight. More likely to be 2, with the batsmen ‘gardening’, doing their shoelaces, etc.


          • dlpthomas Aug 1, 2019 / 5:51 pm

            Cearly I can’t count. Just as well, I can’t stay awake much longer. Oooh, Pattinson – I’ve been waiting to see him bowl.


  32. nonoxcol Aug 1, 2019 / 5:21 pm

    From TMS, it sounds like Alastair Cook at Headingley 2014 has taken over as captain…..

    Endless fun, Test cricket, isn’t it?


    • dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 5:38 pm

      You are sure it was not Faf du Plessis (first Test against Sri Lanka, earlier this year)?


  33. Quebecer Aug 1, 2019 / 5:42 pm

    So, 284. Does anyone feel that given our batting we’ve allowed them to get about 200 too many?


    • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 5:43 pm

      About 250 too many. Follow on target is the big challenge


      • dannycricket Aug 1, 2019 / 5:52 pm

        You’re just too pessimistic, Sean. I reckon Woakes and Broad will get England past 100.


        • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 5:55 pm

          Only if they come in edges and ill advised wafts…


          • dannycricket Aug 1, 2019 / 6:05 pm

            I said Woakes and Broad, not Roy and Denly…


          • Sean Aug 1, 2019 / 6:09 pm

            Haha, I just presumed you meant Roy and Denly couldn’t even do that…


  34. dArthez Aug 1, 2019 / 5:56 pm

    Just 5 overs short for the day. Partly as a result of the umpiring howlers. And with all the allowances, I doubt Root will be worried about copping a penalty here.


  35. riverman21 Aug 1, 2019 / 8:45 pm

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of Smith being available for selection that was an immense test match innings.

    Big questions linger for me over Root’s captaincy. Noticed Jos interview as they came off saying how they still have to try and get Smith out. Didn’t really look that way from 8 down.


  36. Quebecer Aug 1, 2019 / 9:55 pm

    Smith is so weird. I’m reminded of how when you saw a still pic of Sehwag at the moment he hit the ball, it was perfect. However, if you watched everything live it alll just seemed wrong and impossible. Smith is like that. The point is when he plays the ball he”s got both eyes going right at the ball, and the hands and perfectly perpendicular bat right underneath. All these years we’ve been told all these things you need to do to get to that point: stay sideways, straight back lift, foot to the ball etc. Smith ignores all that guff about how you’re supposed to get to the end point and jumps straight to it – eyes and hands directly over the ball with the bat perfectly straight underneath. Easy, really.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Deep Purple Fred Aug 1, 2019 / 10:15 pm

      Oh I see you’ve posted at the same time as me about the ridiculousness of Smith, except you did it, typically, with more expertise.
      Technique is for normal people, who need such discipline. Smith operates on a different plane. It’s really fucking annoying because it subverts everything I know. Still, 284 runs, what do I know after all?
      He must drive the bowlers batshit. Can you imagine what plans the analysts prepare for how to bowl to him?


  37. Deep Purple Fred Aug 1, 2019 / 10:04 pm

    Quite conflicted over Smith.
    I recognise he’s shaping up to be the best Aus batsman in my lifetime, beating out Chappels, Border, Taylor, Waughs, Clarke, Ponting etc. (Yeah, Border, I know, but his runs counted for more).
    But he’s also unbearably ugly to watch, he should be playing MMA, not cricket. I don’t lke watching him bat, he irritates me.
    At this point I have to put his ugliness aside, for pragmatic reasons, until someone better comes along.

    If he hadn’t run out of partners and gone slogging, he would have scored a double ton today. After being banned for a year for cheating, stripped of the captaincy, having a public breakdown and being welcomed to the Edgebaston bullring with boos. On the opening day of the Ashes. I’m just in awe of this person, he’s just irresistible, what does it take to stop him?

    Does anyone know why he wears a rubber band on his head under his helmut?

    Anyways, England have a fight on their hands now, with Anderson out. But only a fool would predict what will happen next in a test match.


    • quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 12:43 am

      1. Australia will win the next test match.
      2. He wears a rubber band to keep his head on.
      3. One thing I did today to stop myself shuddering at his aesthetics was to concentrate (and marvel at) how much time he had to play the ball. That helped.
      4. Bowling plans. when Smith really became prominent, people started with, “Just bowl one coming in – nailed on LBW.” When that had been proved wrong they then went with, “Er…” and that’s where we are today.
      5. I’ll always have Ponting the best non-Don Aussie batsman. Interestingly, I think your list of Aussie bats is split about 50/50 in terms of whether they were easy on the eye or not, and if the Waughs and Chappells are anything to go by, so are Australian families.
      6. Smith is, as you say, simply brilliant.

      P.S. I wonder how many times Siddle is going to clean bowl Bairstow in this series? Can’t say for sure, obviously, but let’s just say I think it would make a good drinking game.


      • metatone Aug 2, 2019 / 6:08 am

        Obviously picking out what to do with bowling plans against Smith is a bit of a fool’s errand, but there are a few things I’ve noticed:

        1) Cliche, but early on you can get him with a leg slip and a moving ball. But you have to have a firm idea of what “early on” means – and once he settles, move on to other things.

        2) Boring, but make him win the game on the off side. This takes a lot of discipline as you have to keep to a 6th or 7th stump line and LBW won’t happen. Also he’s a good leaver, so this only works if you can keep the other batsman under pressure too. Of course he is good enough to score on the off side, but his instinct is the other way, so if you actually make him play outswingers all day you have a higher chance of wearing him down.

        3) I suspect that Jofra Archer’s “helmet special” ball could hurry Smith up a bit, as during his journey from caterpillar to butterfly as a ball is bowled there’s a moment where his attention goes slightly downwards. Trouble is, you have to commit as he’ll score a bunch of runs pulling and hooking, you have to invest in it, both with a field set up for it and as a strategy for creating uncertainty that might pay off later in the series. All that is only feasible if (a) your own batsmen are scoring decently and (b) you’ve largely solved the problem of the batsmen at the other end.

        In a way, I feel that the failure to have a good plan for getting Siddle out is probably going to hurt England in this game as much as the difficulty of getting Smith out. But, equally, it’s always hard when you’re down a front line bowler. Whether or not Jimmy would have gotten wickets any quicker at that stage (ball was not moving so much) having a bowler of skill really makes a difference in building pressure.

        Oddly enough, if England can score well in the first innings then at least Mo should get more turn in the 2nd, so they might not miss Jimmy as much as they did in that Smith-Siddle period.


        • Quebecer Aug 2, 2019 / 6:30 am

          Got to say, metatone, that”s a bloody good post even for you.


  38. Pontiac Aug 2, 2019 / 3:22 am

    I’m just sitting here quietly liking that how Lyon’s once again been quietly useful.


  39. Miami Dad's Six Aug 2, 2019 / 7:04 am

    I won tickets through a Specsavers competition for yesterday. Which was nice.

    Australia hugely let off the hook. I opined to the person next to me that “I bet Smith ends up 70* and they get to 200” when Siddle came in. Underestimated somewhat!

    I think yesterday highlighted:
    a) don’t pick a player coming back from a serious injury without match practice.

    b) Stokes is useful as part of a 5 man attack, but the pressure really released when he was required to bowl 20 overs in the day. He’s capable of great balls, and will always run in hard – but I haven’t seen a great spell or innings from him in ages, as he’s just too loose. He looks like he’s put on bulk? Not sure if that’s my imagination. Meanwhile Ali didn’t seem trusted even though he was picked as the frontline spinner. 13 overs when we were flogging Broad and Woakes (who both looked great live, for the most part).

    c) How on earth will we get Smith out? Well, you’ve got to bowl well to him, for a start. He was squared up a couple of times by 4/5th stump outswingers early on, and likes to leave outside off stump. He’s a bloody good leaver though, so you need a big inducker to hit the top of off; if it’s remotely towards middle/leg he’ll tuck you away. So how do you bowl to Smith? 4th stump, top of off. Just bowl well, and don’t give up on bowling well – the same as every other batsman but slightly harder. Don’t try anything weird or funky, or try and bounce him out unless you’ve a natural bumper ala Archer/Harmison/Flintoff, (which is worth a go once Jofra is involved). Try an pin his scoring down with a spinner maybe if you’re not initially successful. It seemed to me that he farmed the strike completely for the pace bowlers but was happier to let Lyon/Siddle face more of Moeen – so bowl Moeen more.🤷‍♂️

    Had a really good day!


    • Sean Aug 2, 2019 / 10:14 am

      Nice work!!


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