England v Australia – Day 4 Open Thread

Welcome to Day 4. Australia lead by 34 with 3 wickets down and one of them isn’t Steve Smith. England fans are in panic mode, Smith having taken on the cricketing form of Thanos, turning English bowlers to dust by his very presence. His immortality at the crease threatening to conquer England singlehandedly and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

I don’t think we’ll be live blogging today’s play, as we do have lives, but we will do what we can.

Panel Prep

1. Moeen Ali had one of those dismissals that gets people talking. What should be done?

2. Australia playing just four bowlers looks a mistake in hindsight. How would you change the team for Lord’s?

3. How many is too many to chase in the final innings?


I did most of the StatWatch for Burns’ century yesterday in the live blog. Rory made the 35th score of 133 in test matches. The previous 133 was by Cheteshwar Pujara in 2017 against Sri Lanka, the last one for England was by Alastair Cook, also against Sri Lanka, but in Cardiff back in 2011. The last 133 in an Ashes test was scored by Adam Gilchrist in the 5th Test at Sydney in 2003, while the last one for England in an Ashes test was by Mark Ramprakash at The Oval in 2001. It is the first 133 in tests at Birmingham. The first 133 in test matches was scored by Monty Noble in 1903.


Well you lot put him through it with your piety and need to be seen to be above questioning. Oh well. If it makes the press happy.


Mike was (rightly in my view) defending the umpire over the Warner dismissal – a wicket that Stuart Broad, that well known shrinking violet, did not appeal for. He got a little flustered in his responses..

I Can See You Paul…

Well, actually not. It appears he does not write for the Mail on Sunday. Lawrence Booth and Richard Gibson get the honours. We are also spared Martin Samuel, but instead we get Oliver “Olly” Holt, the King of Sanctimony himself, shinning up to a world class sporting gig he thinks he’s entitled to comment upon. His piece, I’m not linking to it is a comment on crowd reaction and song, more than a cricket report. It’s the sort of stuff we could churn out in our sleep, but we aren’t revered for it. I wonder what justifies the Mail employing about 7 different people to comment on the same event. Did Paul Newman have to pay to get in for his day off work?

Or was he watching in a Birmingham hotel?

Sorry it is a bit shorter this morning. But life and all that, and the start of the football season is going to hit resources even more. We will try to live blog some of the play, but I’ve promised to take Teddy for a long walk this morning, and I know TLG is at another sporting venue today. Let’s see what we can do. This is a very good test match, and the stakes ride on whether we will see Smith fail to convert this start, and how well his team-mates support him. I think Australia fancy this position. 200 will be a lot too many in front for this exceptionally flaky England batting line-up. It will take something special for England to win, in my opinion.

UPDATE – I missed Shiny Toy Watch. Here’s a gobshite classic from this sherbert dip.

Let me tell you the reasons I despise this tweet.

1, If Australia are bowled all out for 220, and Smith is 100 not out, are you saying England will lose?

2. If Steve Smith is out at 12:10 for 60, and Australia finish 180 all out, are you saying we will lose?

3. If Steve Smith gets out, and the rest of the Australian batsmen stick on another 200, are England still dead certs?

4. You are employed as an analyst, a pundit, a man with insight – not as some carnival barker shouting out the first thing that comes into your head?

5. It’s Shiny Toy.

Comments below.



66 thoughts on “England v Australia – Day 4 Open Thread

  1. jennyah46 Aug 4, 2019 / 8:23 am

    If Moeen Ali doesn’t take a five fer today I would drop him. We have another off spinner. Mo would benefit from time back in his county.


    • metatone Aug 4, 2019 / 10:08 am

      Hate to say it, b/c I’m a big fan of Mo, but I agree overall.
      Lyon will be really tough to deal with on this pitch for the England batsmen in the 4th innings.
      If Mo can’t be equally threatening then we need to look elsewhere.
      Where I differ is I wouldn’t put it on him getting 5 wickets, sometimes the wickets go to the bowler at the other end. The question for me is does he look like getting wickets, are the batsmen unsettled, does his bowling help us look like winning.


      • Pontiac Aug 4, 2019 / 1:54 pm

        Sometimes the spinner is the hammer and sometimes the anvil.


  2. Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 8:46 am

    I think England are in a more precarious situation than some think. The general consensus before the Aus innings was 200 was the maximum England could realistically chase down under pressure. Well, they are 170 away from that type of score with 7 wickets left.

    England may come out and blow away three or four more wickets this morning and get control of the game. Or……they may not. One thing slightly concerning is the run rate Aus seem to score at. A faster rate than England do. Englands 90 lead took almost two extra sessions to achieve. Which means they will need far fewer overs to get a decent total. If Aus are still batting at tea then England are in the mire.

    Right now I’m much more worried about Moeens bowling. He bowled some good balls and got a wicket but he didn’t look as dangerous as their spinner. Some of Roots field settings seemed overly defensive yesterday. If you can’t attack with a 90 run lead when are you going to attack? England need wickets.

    This is a funny pitch to read. Broad and Woakes batted serenely yesterday afternoon, yet England’s much vaunted middle order collapsed in a heap. (Stokes being the exception.)


    • metatone Aug 4, 2019 / 10:10 am

      I really do feel Aus are in the box seat right now.
      Being a frontline bowler down is a big thing too, as much as no-one seems to want to talk about it.
      Stokes can produce some magnificent overs, with some unplayable balls and get some key wickets, but when you workhorse him he quickly gets innocuous. And being a bowler down means he’ll get workhorsed.


  3. dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 8:53 am

    1. Dropped. His batting is barely good enough for a #11, and I think there are better spinners around who can bat above #11.

    2. Lord’s will be a different pitch and venue, and there is no point in picking the team for the next Test that ought to have played the previous Test. See Ahmedabad for an example.

    3. A lot will depend on overhead conditions. But honestly, Australia will want to bat for at least 2.5 sessions before they will feel they can defend this total. Anything above 200 will be challenging, anything below 150 ought to be straightforward enough.

    But it is nice that after three days of a Test, all four results are still possible. Has been ages since we have been in such a situation in Test cricket (barring complete washouts).


    • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 9:11 am

      1 If Moeen does not deliver with the ball today I think he needs to be dropped. As you say, there other better spinners available. His batting has become almost as useful as a number eleven.

      2 Let’s wait and see if the four Aussie bowlers bowl England out and win the game before deciding it was a mistake.

      3 200


  4. growltiger Aug 4, 2019 / 9:10 am

    1. If Mo can make a serious contribution with the ball here (doesn’t have to be 5-for) then he can stay as the lead spinner, for the time being. He should be told to hit his way into some sort of form with the bat as it cannot be worse than leaving a straight one and losing his off pole. #

    2. I cannot see why Wade is in the team. They could drop him and play Hazlewood or Starc, preferably the latter, as they have no left-armer otherwise. This is just reversing the mistake of playing one batsman too many, and would be reasonable if the next Test were to be played at Perth or on the Moon.

    3. Anything over 150 will be tricky, because what will have preceded such a low total is a low total by Australia, and probably evidence of increasing turn.


  5. Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 9:22 am

    In other news….. for those interested in what passes for English football journalism ….The Sunday supplement is back. With the same old tired Manchester Untied propagandists, and stenographers. Henry Winnter and Ollie Holt, nodding sagely, while looking a very odd shade of orange, telling us that £80 million for Harry Mcquire is marvellous.

    Henry Winter is such a fan boy.

    English football journalism, still only interested in one team, nothing changes…….Anyway back to the cricket.


  6. nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 9:59 am

    1. Shove him down to no.9 for starters. Crazy that he bats below Woakes.

    2. I haven’t looked at their full squad, but if another bowler means Cummins or Pattinson at no.7, I can’t see them doing anything.

    3. 200

    I think England will win, but the margin will be the closest (by wickets) in an Ashes Test since Trent Bridge 2005. Unless Smith is out this morning, in which case they will win comfortably.


    • nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 9:59 am

      *Above* Woakes. Like, obviously, durr.


    • nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 1:41 pm

      Don’t bother coming to me for lottery numbers.

      Really expected a lot more from England today.


  7. metatone Aug 4, 2019 / 10:12 am

    One thing in Mo’s defence is that with better close fielding he would have leaked noticeably fewer runs yesterday and taken one more wicket… but I’m still in the “send him back to CC if he can’t match up to Lyon in this game” camp. I think that kind of thing is a better metric than a precise number of wickets.


  8. nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 10:14 am

    Both Cricinfo and TMS are pointing out that Smith averages 34 against left arm spin, which is less than half his average against both types of seam and less than a third of his average against off spin.


  9. growltiger Aug 4, 2019 / 10:42 am

    Moeen too short and too slow. And that lob in the first over looks ominously like a sign of the yips.


  10. dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 11:04 am

    Not sure if it is wise by England to give such a long spell to Broad at the start of the day. If you are a bowler down, probably better to stick to shorter spells.

    Also a bit puzzled as to why Moeen opened the bowling today. Yes, there is something to work with, but Moeen is not the kind of bowler who keeps things really tight (don’t expect a string of maidens from him). Also, with a bowler down, and a new nut probably being necessary you also want your seamers raring to go at the 80 over mark (barring weather it will fall in the middle of the post lunch session).


    • dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 11:58 am

      Likewise with bowling Stokes for so long (an 8 over spell, if I am not mistaken). Woakes has not bowled all session. Not saying that Woakes would have run through this Aussie lineup, but England probably can’t afford to wear down their quicks needlessly. There is still a Test to be won / saved.


  11. thelegglance Aug 4, 2019 / 11:24 am


    • dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 11:33 am

      Considering that any team other than England, Australia and India did not play more than 7 Tests (and Moeen 10) , those stats are pretty worthless. Only Anderson and Stokes played in more Tests (11), while Shami and Broad managed 10 Tests. Yasir Shah managed 38 wickets from 7 Tests, with most of those coming against New Zealand in the UAE (against Moeen’s 47 from 10).

      Half of those wickets came on insults to country roads for wickets in Sri Lanka too. This pitch does not strike me as an insult to a country road.


    • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 12:17 pm

      When he came into the England side he was a batsman who bowled a bit of spin. He even opened the batting against Pakistan. Now he is our premier spinner. (Our only spinner if you discount Root) And is offering nothing with the bat.

      Surely our premier, and only spinner needs to be more potent on a forth day pitch with lots of rough? Especially as we are also missing our strike bowler.


    • dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 12:42 pm

      Also worth pointing out that since Cardiff 2015 (when the Aussie bowlers went after him, and paid with their wickets), Moeen is averaging nearly 80 with the ball in the Ashes. Hardly figures that seem to suggest that he ought to be playing as a frontline bowler.


      • thelegglance Aug 4, 2019 / 1:02 pm

        Its legitimate enough to question him, but his recent record has been a good one, which is undeniable. Plus the idea that dumping him means all of a sudden we’ll have a fantastic spinner is complete fantasy. Leach is ok. Now fine, choose him instead, it’s fair enough too. But it’s not going to dramatically change things except, ironically, probably in the batting.

        As always, players out of the side invariably become greats in their absence. I’m not defending Moeen especially, he’s been poor this Test.


      • dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 1:16 pm

        At the moment it seems to be the case that players who don’t play can’t take wickets or score runs – and that then is used indefinitely to justify their exclusion.

        In the case of Moeen his figures in Sri Lanka were in no small part due to the nature of the wickets served up. Fair enough, he still has to take them, but it would be equally ludicrous to suggest (and you are not) that any other spinner who could have played there would naturally have failed as well – and 18 wickets in 6 innings in Sri Lanka hardly signal failure on the part of Leach (and a SR that was only slightly worse than Moeen). 0 wickets from 3 overs against Ireland hardly signify failure for Leach.

        The problem is that England have for quite some time stuck with underperforming players (and I am sorry, but if you bat Moeen ahead of Woakes, you are picking him as a batsman who bowls, not the other way around), and then no one can get in, due to the accidental once in a blue moon performance (and with the bat a once in a blue moon performance from Moeen would definitely be an improvement). The only ones that were exempt for that were the openers, provided they are not Cook.

        I am not expecting miracles from whoever comes in. But it is hard to imagine that Moeen is really the best that England can pick now.


        • thelegglance Aug 4, 2019 / 1:23 pm

          Yeah, I think it’s a reasonable case to make that he’s not the best option, but I would always caution the way *some* seem to expect miracles. Graeme Swann was the best spinner England have had in 40 years, and his average against Australia was about 40. So let’s say it’s Jack Leach instead, who isn’t (currently) in the same class. What would represent a good performance from him against them? An average of 55 say?

          Obviously away is much harder, but that is reflected in all the options who do better at home against them. Leach is probably a marginal call over Moeen, and he might do a little better (certainly given Moeen’s performance this game) but I don’t see that much difference overall. He seems at about a similar level. It’s a toss up.


          • dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 1:37 pm

            While it is true that sometimes people who don’t play seem to be better, it is also true that people who don’t play can’t get better. I’d be inclined to give Leach a go, and see how he fares. I don’t think he’ll run through the Aussies for fun, but he will probably keep things tight, and pick up the occasional wicket at a reasonable average.

            One of the reasons Moeen is not effective against Australia is that they have learned how to play him. And if you don’t go after Moeen, he is pretty innocuous, at least on these wickets. Throw in Leach, and the Aussies will have to adapt. Leach’s economy may then work to England’s advantage, even if he is not taking wickets by the bucket.

            The alternative would be to prepare wickets for spinners, and play two or three spinners (seeing that raw pace will probably work against England) – and then play Leach and Moeen together.


          • thelegglance Aug 4, 2019 / 1:40 pm

            Sure, and I have no objection to that at all. Moeen seems totally out of sorts batting and bowling currently, so it’s a fair case.

            What always gets me is a slightly different thing – that so many have totally unreasonable expectations, and that if Leach did as well as might be expected, reasonably, there’d be the same howls of protest and demand to try someone else. And then round we go again.


          • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 3:42 pm

            I’m not altogether sure England know how to handle spin bowling It must be difficult to thrive in a team that has a philosophy of bowling dry. Swann was a different creature. Confident, and a wicket taker. He could rip out a top order on his own.

            I have always viewed spin bowlers differently when looking at stats, and averages. What I want to see is are they a wicket taker, and can they rip out top order batsman. If a spin bowler takes 3/100 but takes out three of the top six that is worth a lot more than the average appears.


          • quebecer Aug 4, 2019 / 4:40 pm

            Good thread, peeps. TLG: I think there is aping to be made about what a bowler can still contribute when they are a little off or out of sorts. Lyon wasn’t really quite right either, but he could still contribute overs to the cause. Yesterday ( missed this morning and early afternoon today) looked like his captain really couldn’t bowl him any more. The point you were making about Leach is relevant here: even if Jack isn’t ripping through a team, he’ll be able to get his overs in, but the way things are for Mo right now, it seems that he can’t be relied upon in the same way. In this case, wickets over the previous year just aren’t the point. Mo misses Lords, Leach comes in.


  12. metatone Aug 4, 2019 / 11:52 am

    Why has Woakes not bowled this morning? Even for just a few overs for variety and to give others a breather?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. metatone Aug 4, 2019 / 11:54 am

    It’s interesting to me hearing Gower go on about Stokes back foot which may well have been no-balling how many rules cricket have which were utterly unenforceable pre our current tech era and are barely enforceable now.


    • dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 12:02 pm

      On this I have a lot of sympathy for the umpires. It is impossible to do all that well, and still be spot on with the lbws (and to a lesser extent edges). Either simplify the laws or the Playing Conditions, or use technology to ensure compliance with the laws – and that would probably also result in better decision making.

      107/1, just about the perfect session for Australia.


      • metatone Aug 4, 2019 / 12:06 pm

        Oh yes, I wasn’t meaning to sound down on the umpires, I think the rulebook is at fault and in a number of areas should be simplified.

        Agree. Seeing how much Lyon got the ball to spin, even if he bowled a bit below par, I think this game is basically over.


  14. Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 1:36 pm

    Don’t think rain is going to save us tomorrow……

    England had two big chances in this match. 1st when Aus was 122/8 and second when England finished day two on 267/4.

    They didn’t take full advantage. Doesn’t look like they will get a third chance.


  15. nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 2:09 pm

    Currently Smith’s average against England is still below his career average. BUT, bearing in mind that his 138* at The Oval in 2013 was his first Test century, his record with that as a cut-off point is extraordinary. At the time of writing he has 1942 (out of 2299) Ashes runs at 80.83 since that innings. His ten hundreds are level with Steve Waugh, in 24 Tests overall compared to Waugh’s 46. In the history of Ashes cricket this number of hundreds puts him below only Bradman and Hobbs. Wisden only records full details for batsmen with over 2,500 runs in Eng v Aus Tests; of those his runs per match overall is behind only Bradman and Sutcliffe. His runs per match since The Oval 2013 would put him second behind Bradman.

    He’s actually made those 10 hundreds in 17 Ashes Tests, and on that metric (Tests per hundred) with that cut-off he would be ahead of even Bradman (19 in 37).

    I guess batting purists and England fans will hate this, but stats and history lovers are seeing a phenomenon.


  16. dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 2:19 pm

    Not sure why England have not picked the new ball. It is not like the spinners are stemming the flow of runs. Either this was planned all along, or some rather bizarre workload management for the quicks.


    • nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 2:25 pm

      I’m only listening, but there have been several times this match where I’ve thought Root might be a significantly worse captain than Cook. I know this might shock people, but I’d actually be interested to hear what Cook would make of his efforts if he were on TMS.


      • quebecer Aug 4, 2019 / 4:26 pm

        NOC, my dear old grumpy friend. Root isn’t great, it’s true. He actually really did crumble a bit down under, hasn’t always understood his own form, and really doesn’t go further than the basically obvious, doesn’t really get spinners, let’s games drift like no one since Dhoni, but come on… You know what I’m saying.


        • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 4:52 pm

          I don’t think either Cook or Root were chosen firstly for their captaincy skills. More about image. Morgan with the ODI side was about captaincy skill. Image didn’t seem as important.

          And no, I’m not calling for Morgan to take over the Test team. And I’m not sure there is an obvious replacement for Root. What I’m saying is pure captaincy ability alone is not the most pressing criteria for the England management these days.


  17. dlpthomas Aug 4, 2019 / 2:21 pm

    I know there is a lot of competition but that “LBW” may have been the worst decision of the match.


  18. metatone Aug 4, 2019 / 2:31 pm

    Smith chugs a can of Red Bull and then gets twitchy and nicks a wide one…


    • dlpthomas Aug 4, 2019 / 2:45 pm

      I have a cunning plan……………


  19. Pontiac Aug 4, 2019 / 3:07 pm

    This business of Root bowling after tea… That is a pretty early capitulation.


    • nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 3:31 pm

      This is the worst thing I can remember since Cook at Headingley 2014. They got Smith with a seamer using a new ball, then….. this? I’m not buying Anderson being crocked and Ali being shite as an excuse for this. If I still cared I’d be livid: one of most wretchedly disappointing days for England since third day at Lord’s in 1989.


  20. dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    We are in record chase for this ground territory already (283/5 by South Africa 11 years ago). England must be hoping that the Aussies bat too long, so they will have fewer overs to survive in the fourth innings. Oh, and if a bit of rain can come through / bad light tomorrow that will help too.


    • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 3:34 pm

      Pretty embarrassing to have your opponents at 122/8 on the first day, and then have them declare on you late on day four. I wish I could say that the pitch has flattened out. We will see when the Aus bowlers bowl on it.

      All the talk about what England could chase will soon be irrelevant because a draw will be the only option for them soon.


      • thelegglance Aug 4, 2019 / 3:35 pm

        The pitch looks pretty slow and dead now, but as ever, that it looks like that when England are bowling on it doesn’t mean it will be when they bat on it!


    • dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 4:34 pm

      Australia batting way too long here.


      • dlpthomas Aug 4, 2019 / 4:38 pm

        They have more then enough runs – surely they want to get a decent bowl at England tonight.


      • dArthez Aug 4, 2019 / 4:53 pm

        At least they did not bat out the day, but a RRR north of 4.1 (and that is assuming we get all the overs in, which is doubtful) seems a bit excessive for such a long chase.


  21. quebecer Aug 4, 2019 / 4:28 pm

    444/7 and they’re changing the ball! Ha!! Excellent. One more wicket and I reckon we’re through ’em.


  22. Deep Purple Fred Aug 4, 2019 / 4:40 pm

    Declare you idiots. England will never get those runs. Don’t try cute strategies, just win.


    • dlpthomas Aug 4, 2019 / 4:48 pm

      Maybe they want a 400 lead.


    • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 4:55 pm

      Either they have enormous respect for England’s powers to chase these runs down…….

      Or more likely….

      They don’t have much faith in England batting a day to save the game. If it’s the later, I must say agree with them.


    • Deep Purple Fred Aug 4, 2019 / 5:07 pm

      Well, that was a bit excessive. But on the other hand, with 400 on the board they can set fields like millionaires now. Total bowling. Might get ugly.
      What was that film with Bob Hoskins where after initial resistence they ultimately got totally overwhemed by Zulus? England might get overwhelmed by the total pricks.

      No team can compete if their lead bowler goes lame on day one. That was the end of this match, given England’s bowling depth.


      • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 5:17 pm

        That is why they needed their batsman to deliver more runs yesterday. If they had batted the day, and ended with a two hundred run lead a draw could have been achieved because Aus would have had to bat well into tomorrow.

        But they didn’t, so they are now hanging on, and will probably lose.

        As you say, Aus will attack all day. England would not attack even when they had a 90 run lead and preferred to contain with men back on the boundary.


      • nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 5:20 pm

        But you were 122-8 without Anderson, and only the equivalent of 34-3 at the start of today…

        Sorry, I can just see the excuses from here, and I don’t think England should be allowed to get away with so little scrutiny. The captaincy against Smith/Siddle/Lyon on Thursday was Cook-at-Headingley league, and it’s only been forgotten because England established a handy lead. God knows why Root didn’t think Woakes (who’d just got Smith out) was worth even a few more overs with a newish ball straight after tea as well.

        It’s kind of related, but if the medical team get away without scrutiny for passing him fit in the first place, that’s another insult.


        • Deep Purple Fred Aug 4, 2019 / 5:50 pm

          True, Australia has dragged itself out of the mire.
          And it was curious how little a role Woakes has had.
          I guess Anderson was a gamble. They’ll never admit it publically, but I guess they rolled the dice on that call.

          On a broader level, maybe England believed their own hype a little, and thought that at Edgbaston Australia will just crumble in the face off convict chants from the crowd, and they didn’t need to attack too much. It’s not the strongest Australian team ever, but they’ve done enough.
          Or maybe it’s not England’s fault, Australia just played quite well, and also Smlith.


  23. dlpthomas Aug 4, 2019 / 4:58 pm

    I know it’s only the first test but I’m starting to think my prediction of a 3 to 1 series win for Australia may have been a little optimistic.


  24. nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 5:41 pm

    Graham Thorpe just said Woakes was fine. Not injured.


    • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 5:47 pm

      So it’s on Root then for not bowling him?


      • nonoxcol Aug 4, 2019 / 5:50 pm

        Well Thorpe went on to say “we wanted to look at spin options” and to “manage workloads with a bowler down”.

        Fewer overs than Denly though? I mean, WTF?


        • Mark Aug 4, 2019 / 6:11 pm

          If I have paid £100 per ticket for the Ashes I really want to be told about work loads. England had batted for almost two sessions yesterday. And had batted the whole day before.

          Do you think both Anderson and Woakes went into this match with problems? Wood is out out for the series, and Archer is still recovering. Anderson will miss the next test and maybe more as well.


    • Quebecer Aug 4, 2019 / 6:07 pm

      I was wondering where Woakes was all day. That sounds like bullshit from Thorpe. At least I hope it is. Otherwise we are STAGGERINGLY stupid.


      • Deep Purple Fred Aug 4, 2019 / 6:36 pm

        Ha, bullshitting vs being staggeringly stupid. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes, but I’m leaning towards bullshitting. You don’t manage the workload of a senior bowler during a premuim test match when the result is in the balance. Nor do you explore options.

        England are perfectly capable of batting out the day tomorrow. If Root has a good day and a couple of others support him, it’s entirely possible.


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