England vs. Australia, 2nd Test, 3rd Day (sort of)

It was a sad yet highly predictable ending to Day 3 at Lords, which after a slightly curtailed morning session in which England took 3 wickets, the weather once again set in and the rest of the day was a soggy disappointment for those fans who had a spare £150 to purchase a ticket. Though I have no sympathy for any of the members or anyone who turned up at Lords today with a bottle of champagne and then proceeded to pop the cork onto the outfield, there’s a special place in hell for the latter group!

The one session of cricket that we had was a somewhat strange affair in that despite England getting 3 crucial wickets (although not the most crucial wicket of them all), they bowled pretty poorly in my view. The first hour in particular was a lesson in how not to bowl at the opposition with helpful overhead conditions, although our learned friend always likes to disagree:

I’m genuinely not sure I could cope without Mr Selvey’s nuggets of wisdom, especially as from first view the England bowlers spent most of the first hour bowling back of length and wide of the stumps to the Australians, but I guess now it must have been some terrific act of subterfuge! Having seen a number of games like this with similar conditions at Lords, the absolute must at this venue is to be bowling a nagging line on 4thstump from a good length, this is why Tim Murtagh has been so successful at Lords over the past several years. Sure I get that you don’t want every delivery to be on a good length so the batsman can plonk his front leg down the pitch, but the law of averages dictates that you’re not going to get much change on this pitch or most other pitches in England, if you don’t make the batsman play. Sure Lord Selvey can point to his experience in bowling at Lords, but I also call what I saw for the first hour at Lords this morning and it was total dross.

When England did eventually get their plans and lines right, they suddenly looked like a different unit. Archer set up Bancroft perfectly with a couple of short balls and then swung one into his pads, Woakes after looking like he’d had 10 pints last night in his first couple of overs finally got Khawaja to nick one that should have been left alone and Broad got Travis Head LBW with one that had to be reviewed despite the fact that it was cannoning into middle stump. Perhaps Aleem Dar had been out on the sauce with Chris Woakes last night? So after a very poor start, England were back in the game before the heavens opened, though not before half of England’s fans nearly wet themselves with a 93MPH delivery to Steve Smith that was left well alone. I do get the excitement of having a bowler who can bowl really fast, but the main difference is that the Australian quicks (and they are sharp) have focused on hitting a line against each batsman, something that Archer will need to learn with time. It’s all good having someone who can chuck the ball down at 90MPH+, but that bowler also needs to make the batsman play or at least fend off, which is something Archer didn’t do nearly enough this morning; Otherwise you may as well pick Mark Footitt in the future. Now this isn’t a criticism of Archer at all, as I think the lad has a terrific future ahead of him in all formats of the game and no doubt it will have taken him time to adjust to the Lord’s slope, but it was just frustrating that one of the senior bowlers or captain didn’t have a quiet word with him about adjusting his lengths with such favourable overhead conditions.

As for Australia, their limpet like ex-Captain is still at the crease and doesn’t look like he plans to go anywhere anytime soon, which is most annoying for those who love watching the art of batting in its purest form and for those who would quite like an England win. There may be small opening should England get Smith out, but we’ve been saying that all summer and he still hasn’t taken the hint! As for the rest of Australia, there must be some real frustration with Usman Khawaja, who looks a class apart when he’s at the crease, but all too often has a brain fade and gives his wicket away. This was never more apparent than this morning, when after playing some wonderful shots square of the wicket, he nicked a ball from Woakes that he should have left alone. It’s almost like he is the James Vince of Australian cricket. Almost.

So we go onto day 4, with the draw looking like the most likely result, which is something that England probably would have grabbed with both hands before the start of this Test especially as their record at Lords against the Australians in dismal. That being said, there is a certain ability to collapse in a big heap by both batting teams, so perhaps we shouldn’t write off a result just yet.

Anyway, I’m off to campaign my local MP to see if I can get Steve Smith deported on the grounds of compassion, so I will leave this here as it made me laugh during a soggy and interrupted day’s play.

As ever, feel free to comment with any thoughts on the game or anything else cricket related….


59 thoughts on “England vs. Australia, 2nd Test, 3rd Day (sort of)

  1. thebogfather Aug 16, 2019 / 5:01 pm

    It’s been a play shortened day so flows the weather fairy, frustrating
    Brief unseen scenes of intensity displayed, with TMS so momentary elating…
    The radio is my eye, sadly it can’t even try, to describe the vibe or the view
    As Tuffers, Vaughan and Agnew, think it’s all about them, not the game for you
    So shown up by Jimmie Max with swing left and right delight that is Johnson, Mitch
    With Geoffrey B, speaking without pantomime glee, our only true observational bitch


  2. jennyah46 Aug 16, 2019 / 5:25 pm

    I enjoyed the Steve Smith video clip. Maybe our lot should give it a go? If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em. That’s my motto for the day, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. nonoxcol Aug 16, 2019 / 7:06 pm

    Well, according to the C5 commentary, both Boycott and Vaughan agree with your assessment of the early bowling. Vaughan even used the word “rubbish”. I know you probably don’t want to be on the same side as Shiny Toy, but stopped clocks and all that.

    However they only played 190 Tests between them, so I think we should all defer to the man who played three. His book “My Criticisms of England quick bowling since 2009” is the third shortest cricket book in the world, behind “My Criticisms of Andy Flower and David Saker” and “What I Like About Kevin Pietersen” by the same author.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sean Aug 16, 2019 / 7:12 pm

      Argh. I might have changed my opinion if I’d have known, but thankfully Lord Selvey is always there to rely on. I sincerely don’t know what I’d do without him.

      The first shortest book is obviously ‘why i think Adil Rashid is a decent bowler’. Yep those 3 Tests make all the difference in my book…

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Aug 17, 2019 / 10:03 am

        More people disagreeing with the Chiswick Oracle on TMS:

        Phil Tufnell
        Stuart Broad “we were half a yard short for the first 45 minutes and had a chat”.


        • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 11:58 am

          You can add Holding to that list


    • Quebecer Aug 16, 2019 / 7:23 pm

      Actually, the 1st edition of Selvey’s “What I Like About Kevin Pietersen” which spanned the first decade of this century was quite the tome, before the enormous editing in the 2nd edition circa 2012.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sean Aug 16, 2019 / 7:35 pm

        I haven’t yet seen his Rashid edited edition yet..🤣


      • thelegglance Aug 16, 2019 / 8:01 pm

        Is that the one that coincided with the inclusion of “my bestest mate Andy Flower” in the index?


        • Sean Aug 16, 2019 / 8:19 pm

          That was David Saker surely??


          • thelegglance Aug 16, 2019 / 10:38 pm

            Saker merely reinforced. As did the Odious One.


    • Mark Aug 16, 2019 / 8:14 pm

      England have consistently bowled too short at Lords in the last few years. Anyone who saw their dreadful performance against India on a green top when they just banged it in short knows this.

      Selvey was a so called cricket journalist so you would think he would know this too. But he is wrong so often that it’s quite surprising when he ever talks any sense these days.

      I am finding modern home test cricket very monotonous. It all seems the same. Top order fails, with maybe one exception, and then the lower order scrapes up to a parish score.

      The days of 180/1 or 240/3 seem very rare indeed. It’s almost the same script every time. One can only imagine that bowlers must be so much more brilliant than before or a lot of batsman are not very good. Or the pitches are doctored to produce 4 day results.

      Anyway, three days into the the second Ashes Test match of the summer, and the schools go back in two weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 10:53 am

    Australia still need to bat at least for two more hours, otherwise they might be praying for rain to save them on Day 5. Despite a boatload of overs being lost this Test already. So it is on Smith, Paine and the bowlers to get them as close to England’s total as possible. If they do, then Australia can’t realistically lose from there.

    It looks like New Zealand might be the first team other than the hosts and Zimbabwe (though that was due to incompetent umpiring) to throw away a won toss in 4 years in Sri Lanka. That would be a shocker.


  5. dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    Well, if you can’t get his wicket, you can take him out with bouncers. Smith will probably be taken off with a concussion. Does not look good at all.


    • nonoxcol Aug 17, 2019 / 1:42 pm

      Can’t see it, but Twitter says Archer is laughing while Smith on the ground.


      • dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 1:51 pm

        Yup, seen it on twitter as well. Real class.


    • Deep Purple Fred Aug 17, 2019 / 1:53 pm

      Don’t know what twitter is saying but I saw it. Yes, it was quite obscene to see him laughing and chatting while Smith lay motionless on the ground.


      • nonoxcol Aug 17, 2019 / 1:57 pm

        Approx same place Phil Hughes was hit, isn’t it?


        • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 2:06 pm

          Yep – he’s very lucky.


        • dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 2:10 pm

          Pretty much. Could have been a matter of millimetres (as was established in the enquiry into Hughes’ death).


        • Deep Purple Fred Aug 17, 2019 / 2:13 pm

          Yes, flush on the side/back of the neck, under the helmut. Pretty direct blow too, not glancing. Very nasty. But he seemed to walk off OK. He was chatting for a while with the medical staff at the wicket, not clear that he really wanted to go off.


          • dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 2:23 pm

            Better safe than sorry. But see that he has replaced Siddle, so hopefully it means it is nothing major (though I certainly would not advise Smith against getting a full checkup at a hospital).


      • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 2:13 pm

        Archer also seemed a bit slow to go and check if Smith was OK (though maybe I missed him doing so)


    • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 2:10 pm

      Archer got peppered so he was probably quite keen to give some back.


  6. dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 2:17 pm

    I wonder if, despite the death of Phil Hughes, helmets have modern players (both bowlers and batsmen) blasé about the dangers of being hit in the head / neck.


    • Deep Purple Fred Aug 17, 2019 / 2:25 pm

      And Smith comes back on at the next fall of wicket….to boos. Unbelieveable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 2:30 pm

        Piss poor from a crowd anywhere let alone at the “home of cricket”.


      • nonoxcol Aug 17, 2019 / 2:32 pm

        In all honesty, Archer laughing doesn’t even register next to people booing someone taken off for concussion, and that a compatriot of Hughes. I don’t care what they paid to be there.


        • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 2:36 pm

          I’m willing to try and give Archer the benefit of the doubt and say it was nervous laughter but the crowd booing Smith is just fucked.


          • Deep Purple Fred Aug 17, 2019 / 2:42 pm

            It wasn’t nervous laughter. While other players crowded around Smith, he just walked back up to the bowlers end laughing and smiling, totally relaxed, then stood there chatting and laughing with Butler I think, while they checked Smith out. He was chuffed.
            I suspect this event is going to reverberate throughout the series. Archer is not going to see another ball in his end of the pitch.


          • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 2:45 pm

            To be fair, Archer didn’t see many in his half of the pitch in the first innings.


          • OscarDaBosca Aug 17, 2019 / 10:09 pm

            Sorry DPF this is classic Aussie double-think.
            You know what he was thinking do you? You know the inner thoughts of his mind?
            You think he was thinking ‘amazing I have just hurt someone, I’m going to laugh about it’? That sounds like your psyche coming through and assuming everyone thinks like you do?
            What a load of bollocks, your bowlers have been targeting our tail with short pitched bowling, presumably under instruction, which is far more dangerous than bowling it at proper batsmen.
            That’s okay I suppose? Not wearing an arm-guard is stupid, taking your helmet neck guard off is idiocy, but I suppose he must be a brave machismo Australian man.
            This pious bollocks is typical, booing Broad for a series for not walking is all good spirited banter.
            Booing the captain of a team that systematically cheated to the extent of bringing sandpaper on the field is terribly awful, what will the children think??
            You will never ever convince me that world class bowlers didn’t notice the ball deteriorating between deliveries. The team were all at it, and they all knew, just 3 went down for it.
            Personally I don’t care for the booing and I don’t care that your team cheated and got caught, it’s international professional sport, all teams try and get away with what they can, but put the pious hat away, it’s unbecoming of you.


  7. Pontiac Aug 17, 2019 / 2:30 pm

    Why is Archer bowling so many overs anyway? Is Root trying to break him?

    It isn’t like Leach is expensive. And it is the second test not the fifth.

    This is really stupid captaincy. We have seen this in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 2:34 pm

    Are we sure Smith passed the concussion test? That was bizzare.


    • Quebecer Aug 17, 2019 / 3:54 pm

      What’s strange is that he passed them well enough to bat again, but then wasn’t fit to take the field. Hmmmmmm…


      • quebecer Aug 17, 2019 / 5:19 pm

        Ah, Smith was at the hospital from when he got hit on the arm for a quick x-ray/check.


  9. Quebecer Aug 17, 2019 / 3:52 pm

    Oh my god! Roy is out for not many!


    • Quebecer Aug 17, 2019 / 3:55 pm

      Thank goodness we’ve got our own “great” batsman coming out to – oh.


    • LordCanisLupus Aug 17, 2019 / 4:03 pm

      I am raging at this batting line-up. And a lot else, but I’m not on tonight’s piece.


    • dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 4:15 pm

      We could. Could even come up with prizes for the best tweets from such an account (not cash of course).


      • nonoxcol Aug 17, 2019 / 4:31 pm

        If only because AbridgEd Smith hasn’t tweeted since summer 2017.


    • dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      Awesome idea.


    • thebogfather Aug 17, 2019 / 5:32 pm

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonoxcol Aug 17, 2019 / 5:38 pm

        Genuinely wasn’t aware of this! I see it’s only two days old.


      • Marek Aug 17, 2019 / 6:24 pm

        Go on, own up–who is it?!


  10. Deep Purple Fred Aug 17, 2019 / 3:59 pm

    I think Root has concussion too. That was really dozy. Played like a genuine tail ender.


    • Marek Aug 17, 2019 / 4:40 pm

      ..to go with England’s other woes, he’s averaging 31 in 18 Tests since the end of the last Ashes. Despite scoring three hundreds.


      • nonoxcol Aug 17, 2019 / 4:54 pm

        I’d be interested to see how his decline post-captaincy compares to Cook’s. I think we have enough data now for the comparison to be meaningful.

        When BOC posted those averages on Twitter I was genuinely shocked to see Root’s was below 49. I was accustomed to seeing 53-54 until about 2017.


      • Marek Aug 17, 2019 / 6:21 pm

        Despite that, as far as I can see (disregarding Cook’s last century when the pressure was off completely), the only England batsmen to average more since the start of the 2018 season is Buttler (he averages 41.8 over that period before this innings).

        To answer your question NOC, there’s no comparison. From the start of the 2013 Ashes, which was when his form started dropping off, Cook’s average as captain was 41.56 as against a career average up to that point of 49.17 (ie around 85% of his career average). Root’s 31 is against 53.28 up to that point, or 58%.

        What interests me is why it seems to disproportionately affect England captains–at least after a grace period of a few months (Cook, after all, scored five hundreds in his first nine Tests as captain, and Root’s form was fine too).

        But it hasn’t affected Williamson, and it didn’t affect McCullum, at least not to anything like the same extent. Nor Smith, Clarke, Ponting or Waugh. Or`Shakib Al-Hasan. Or Jason Holder. Or Misbah-ul-Haq or Virat Kohli. Or Graeme Smith. Or (I don’t think) du Plessis or Mathews.

        But after that grace period, Cook was really not in very good form for most of his time as captain despite keeping his average up to a reasonable extent, and none of Strauss, Root or Vaughan were anything like the force they’d been before they were captain.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. dlpthomas Aug 17, 2019 / 5:09 pm

    Next time you change the name of the website maybe you should consider “How Did We Loose At Lords?”


  12. quebecer Aug 17, 2019 / 5:11 pm

    Stokes showing a lot of intent in his first over from Lyon. At the moment, the intention seems to get out. Crucial times…

    Say what you like about him, but Burns does pick up the length well.


    • quebecer Aug 17, 2019 / 5:12 pm

      Fuck me. Epic jinx. By the time I’d written that about Burns, he was out.


      • quebecer Aug 17, 2019 / 5:20 pm

        (out, not nut!)

        Having said that about Burns, Buttler seems to have no idea right now whether tp play forward or back.


    • dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 5:22 pm

      Are you per chance Australia’s lucky mascot?


      • quebecer Aug 17, 2019 / 5:26 pm

        That’s a horrible. thing to say! Subconscious colonial guilt, maybe, but nothing deliberate, I can assure you.


  13. dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 5:28 pm

    England lucky that Australia did not review that Stokes lbw of Lyon – it would have been 76/5, and England would still need to bat at least 3 hours to avoid setting an eminently gettable target.


    • dArthez Aug 17, 2019 / 5:32 pm

      That is the second time Lyon was denied a wicket. Earlier he would have had Burn, if they had chosen to review it (at the same end).


      • Pontiac Aug 17, 2019 / 6:08 pm

        They’ll be feeling they could have had six or seven.


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