England vs Australia: 5th Test, Day Four – Win, Lose And Draw

Today was an odd one. Both teams were celebrating at the end, with each claiming their small victories. England had denied Australia a series win on their home turf whilst Australia had retained the Ashes for the first time since 2001. Neither victory seemed particularly satisfying to me. For Australia, they spurned several golden chances to complete a historic away series win, only to bottle it like a South African cricketer in a knockout game. From England’s perspective, they were unable to take advantage of Australia’s continued weakness against swing whilst inexplicably giving Roy six opportunities too many in the team.

The day began with England leading by 382 and so the result was already virtually inevitable. It would take an unlikely, Stokes-esque innings from Australia to even come close. Australia wrapped England’s tail up within 20 minutes, setting their target at 399 runs to win and bringing their openers to the crease. And, very soon after, the two openers left the crease for the final time too.

It’s really saying something that Australia have the worst openers of the two teams (since Roy was dropped, at least). In this series, Cameron Bancroft was the best-performing Aussie opener with a sky-high average of 11.00. Compare that to Burns (39.00) or Denly (41.25 in his two games as opener). I still don’t feel great about England’s top order, as I haven’t for a few years now, but I could see Burns sticking around. Even Denly could potentially fill a role until someone better hopefully emerges, if he can maintain the defensive focus he showed in the last couple of games. For Australia, none of the three openers chosen in the squad showed a single sign of wanting to bat out the new ball. Or, quite frankly, being capable of batting out the new ball.

Labuschagne and Smith were next in, and that was when the nerves began. The logical side of you knows that 399 is virtually unreachable, and so can’t fathom why you’d worry. The side of you which has watched England play cricket over the years knows better, particularly having watched Smith rack up centuries for fun this summer. As it turned out, neither were able to hold out for long against the English bowling attack. Labuschagne was stumped from a good piece of work by Bairstow, whilst Smith finally fell into the trap England have been trying on and off throughout the series of glancing a ball to leg slip.

At that point, the game was over. At least, everyone apart from Matthew Wade assumed it was. The full time shit-stirrer and part time batsman and wicketkeeper has taken Warner’s mantle of least-pleasant member of the Australian team and made it his own. Given Paine’s batting struggles this series, there’s every chance that Wade will be behind the wickets during the Australian summer. If that happens, the home broadcaster will have to find a volume level below ‘mute’ for the stump microphones to prevent a constant torrent of abuse streaming into every Australian home and offending their delicate sensibilities every time he’s standing up to the wicket.

Wade took the novel (and arguably suicidal) approach of winding up 90mph fast bowler Jofra Archer once he was in the middle. What predictably followed was a barrage of short balls, which the Australian batsman managed to avoid for the most part. Throught it all he was accumulating runs, but wickets kept falling at the other end. Tim Paine’s wicket was a real treat for the home fans, with the Aussie captain reviewing a plumb LBW from Jack Leach. Shane Watson has (quite rightly) had the reputation for being one of the worst users of DRS reviews in their short history, but Paine might have surpassed him. It’s genuinely very impressive. It was Joe Root who took eventually Wade’s wicket with a stumping and it was all over as a contest. Leach wrapped up the final wickets, thanks to two fine catches by Root, and England had tied the series.

I don’t really know how to feel about this result. Had England lost a home Ashes series, there might have been more impetus within the ECB to make changes with regards to emphasising the longer formats as a top priority. Whilst I don’t generally want England to lose, and I especially never want Australia to win, I am prepared to accept a loss which leads to an overall strengthening of the game. Right now, England and Australia are fourth and fifth respectively in the ICC Test rankings. Considering the wealth and traditions of both countries, that should be totally unacceptable for either team.

Today’s Test marked the end of Trevor Bayliss’ stint as England coach. His record in ODIs has been incredible (62-24), his record in Tests (27-25) and T20Is (19-14) less so. He will probably be remembered for winning England their first men’s ODI World Cup as coach, but overall I think I’d consider him as being distinctly average in the role overall. I don’t know that anyone could have done much better though, the job seems too big for just one person. England’s schedule is so packed that no one, player or coach, should be expected to handle every game in every format nowadays.

Thanks for reading our posts through this long and historic English summer, and for all of your comments. If you have any comments about anything at all, please make them below.


104 thoughts on “England vs Australia: 5th Test, Day Four – Win, Lose And Draw

  1. Sean Sep 15, 2019 / 8:39 pm

    Definitely echo what Danny said above. It’s been a long old summer but we’re absolutely grateful for those who have taken the time to read and/or comment on our posts throughout the summer. You have been the motivation to keep going whilst we juggle work/personal commitments.

    We’ve still got a couple up our sleeve before the dead time in the build up to the NZ tour, so please do continue to check us out.



  2. man in a barrel Sep 15, 2019 / 8:40 pm

    Australia has a fantastic attack. England has an attack that rests on Broad and whichever youngster gets his act together. The batting for England shows glimpses of an opening pair, Stokes and a load of hopefuls. Australia have Smith and a bunch of useless players.

    Like 1981, and a few other series, two poor teams matched up. Could the Aussie attack negate Root and Stokes… And they did for the most part. But could Broad and Co negate Warner and Smith. Warner was snuffed out. A draw seems a fair result


    • dlpthomas Sep 16, 2019 / 8:19 am

      Labuschagne averaged 50 and Wade got 2 centuries so its a bit harsh to call them “useless” (though feel free to call Wade a bit of a dick)


  3. Zephirine Sep 15, 2019 / 9:11 pm

    Just wondering if today was the first time I’ve seen a TV presenter openly say on screen that he was leaving his job unwillingly. Unusually, Botham was the one coming out with the polite fictions. I actually didn’t realise they were both leaving Sky, I thought it was just Gower.

    Today’s result was an example of how elite sportspeople are all a bit mad really. Most people watching probably thought it was a fair result overall and rather a nice end to the series, but half the players were pissed off because they didn’t win the match and the other half were pissed off because they didn’t win the Ashes.

    The best bit of the celebrations at the end was an overhead shot showing that all the yellow streamer thingies that had been fired from behind the players had landed right on top of the assembled photographers like a plate of badly thrown spaghetti.


  4. Mark Sep 15, 2019 / 9:16 pm

    Thanks Danny, and the team and fellow contributors for keeping going through the summer.

    A World Cup win and a 2:2 Ashes will be seen by most as a good summer. But I can’t help thinking England have missed a huge opportunity to regain the Ashes. Australia had a very good bowling attack, but their batting outside of Smith (particularly at the beginning of the series was a joke.) To put it bluntly they were there for the taking.

    However, we went into the series with ODIitus. We really thought that top order places in the team could go to ODI style players with very little red ball experience.

    Seeing how poorly we have done in the last two Ashes down under we will have to probably wait another four years for any real chance of winning back the Ashes. Will Broad and Anderson still be playing?

    One word of caution to the ECB…..They have written off overseas series losses in the last five years, and instead trumpeted home series wins including winning back the Ashes every four years. That model just ended. Poor overseas results will not be so easy to gloss over if you are not winning at home. I fail to see how the 16.4 will help any of this. In fact I fear it will make matters worse.


  5. quebecer Sep 15, 2019 / 9:52 pm

    Steve Smith then. I was pondering the concept of ‘great’ the other day and settled on my own definition: ‘great’ is when it looks like someone is playing a different game to everyone else. I’ve always held Ponting in the highest regard, for example, and still think his century at Old Trafford in 2005 was possibly the best Ashes century ever, but Smith is different even to a player like that. Honestly, the only other batsman I’ve ever seen who looked like he was playing a different game to everyone else was Viv. Not just good, very good, or even the best around, but different. It’s a qualitative difference, not quantitative – though the stats do back it up just a tad.


    • Mark Sep 15, 2019 / 10:18 pm

      Viv was the best player I saw play, and he carried a real aura about him. He was one of the very few players who you felt actually intimidated bowlers instead of the other way round. I don’t think he ever wore a helmet, certainly in the prime of his career. He may have done in later years.

      I watched him warming up at Worcs once. Kids were doing throw downs at him, and he was hitting it back to them. What stood out was the timing he had. He wasn’t putting any effort into the shots, and yet the ball was just travelling across the grass like a missile.

      He also was a more classical player. Smith is incredibly effective, but it just looks weird. At one point this afternoon he played his trademark across the line swish to leg, and he looked like a witch with a broomstick sweeping the floor.

      Perhaps the whole coaching manual will need to be rewritten.


      • quebecer Sep 15, 2019 / 10:36 pm

        I think the best complement you can pay to Viv was that in a side with Gordon Greenidge in it (and I saw his double at Lords in that run chase, Viv was still playing a different game to even that.

        What Viv and Smith do have in common though was the uncanny ability to see the length so quickly. Even when Archer hit Smith, he still saw it. There was even a moment where you can see Smith knows he’s going to get hit, but has himself in such a tangle he just had to take it.

        In terms of your point about the coaching manual, I suppose what Smith has done is distill it into what actually matters. For example, where the manual tells you to get your foot to the ball, what it’s really doing is getting head/eyes over the ball. Everything Smith does is to maximize his natural gift of seeing the ball so early and playing it with a straight bat right under his eyes. Viv? God knows how he did it. As you say, being so classical especially in defence, yet playing shots no-one else could too? Amazing.

        Actually, I’ve even softened on Smith’s aesthetics.


        • Mark Sep 15, 2019 / 10:58 pm

          The bizarre thing about the ball that hit him at Lords from Archer is I doubt very much that ball would have worried most normal players. The reason was becuae he was standing outside off stump when it hit him. Most players would have just watched it go sailing by.

          Any bouncer at him that goes over the top of the stumps will probably be ineffective because it will sail past him. As he said after his runs at Manchester…… he had always played the short ball very well up until that ball. And England banging it short played into his hands.

          Certainly eye sight and ability to pick up the ball early is what he and Viv had in spades. It would be interesting to see if someone can try and bat like him who does not see the ball so early. I suspect that is why it is not coached in the manual. But who knows?


          • quebecer Sep 15, 2019 / 11:36 pm

            I think you night be giving the coaching manual a bit too much credit there…

            But you’re right about others copying like Smith. It’s sport, after all, and that’s what people do when something new and successful comes along. Your point about whether others actually can is really interesting (I’ve no idea to the answer).

            Smith on occasions does a weird kind of jump/leg split thing, ending with a bent right knee in front of about 2nd slip and a straight left leg thrust our to the leg side. Once there, there isn’t a lot he can then do, so if he does get it wrong (as he did at Lords), then he’s out of options.
            Sheesh, what a loser.


      • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 9:30 am

        If you watch footage like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWYltnwbM30

        You can see that Smith’s technique is most reminiscent of a lad called Don Bradman – that same shuffling right across the stumps, with the bat coming down from somewhere around gully and shovelling it to the legside. Which absolutely does raise the question as to whether we’ve been teaching people to bat the wrong way for a hundred years or so.


      • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 9:39 am

        I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that the way Richards played the short ball was utter insanity. In those pre-helmet days the way to play it was to get inside the line – it was far safer in terms of being able to avoid the ball. That’s why hook shots always went down to the long leg area and why an Andrew Hilditch used to get caught there routinely as a happy hooker. The modern way is to stay outside the line of the ball and hit it over midwicket – you can do that with a helmet on because it’s not quite so dangerous if you get hit (with qualification there of course), but if you get it wrong you’ve nowhere to go. That’s why players get hit more these days, they’re taking a bit of a risk.

        What Richards did was to bat the modern way (the first I can recall doing that) but without a helmet on. The man was a lunatic. A brilliant lunatic.


      • LordCanisLupus Sep 16, 2019 / 1:30 pm

        Viv was the best, for me, followed closely by Lara, and then Sachin in his pomp (he really undid a lot of his legacy for me by hanging on far too long). I have said it loads of times. Imagine Viv with these boundaries, these bats, and this bowling. In his pomp he hit sixes with authority and power. No mishits or edges or lucky sixes. Massive, belted sixes. With a plank.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 1:32 pm

          There’s an old photo somewhere of me at Canterbury watching the West Indies in a tour match. Viv Richards has just been dismissed for 9, and everyone else around me is celebrating, while I’m devastated. I wanted to watch him bat.


  6. Marek Sep 15, 2019 / 9:58 pm

    “Had England lost a home Ashes series, there might have been more impetus within the ECB to make changes with regards to emphasising the longer formats as a top priority”.

    That’s what I thought when they lost the last Ashes 4-0!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Sep 16, 2019 / 1:26 pm

      That remains a serious bugbear of mine, and for these reasons. The press and media deliberately played down expectations. This was a fast bowling unit bowling on wickets that rewarded pace, and with a ball that the artists of the fast medium game couldn’t do a thing with. Added to that the Ben Stokes business, which set the expectations even lower. You would have thought we were sending out a trial XI against the 2001 Aussies. Once the bar was set low, any positive was going to be accentuated, and the one innings stood out in particular. It averted a whitewash and it embellished a saint. Unlike KP’s tour de force at Headingley that averted a whitewash in 2012, and ensconced a devil. Then, when the Ashes were all over, it was oh well, never mind, they were much better than us, so when we collapsed in a heap in Auckland a few weeks later, instead of pointing to our utter frailty, the press had moved on. I’m not sure if the BT Sport thing had anything to do with it, but who knows? It is utterly mad the media let a 4-0 go, but were all over the previous defeat in Australia like a rash.


      • nonoxcol Sep 16, 2019 / 1:38 pm

        Also, in keeping with the calibration of expectations game, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one source gives Jack Leach fewer marks out of ten for this series than they did Mason Crane in 17/18…


    • Marek Sep 16, 2019 / 6:00 pm

      It’s one of the reasons I’m generally reasonably happy with Smith as the selector–for me Whitaker was just unutterably dire and often couldn’t see what was staring him in the face.

      The selection howlers on that tour were enough to make you…well, howl. Vince (ave 22 or so) at no.3 for not the first but the second time, because Flower liked his attitude and he’s represented by the right people for Vaughan. No reserve top three batsman at all (on the other hand, maybe this was a blessing–using the Vince logic, it would probably have been Nick Gubbins!) Crane ahead of both Rashid and Leach. And–the real gold medal turn–the idea that George Garton was ready to become a test cricketer (that’ll be the George Garton who’s the sixth-choice seamer at a club in the middle of division 2 at the moment. Let’s not forget that that one came within a fortuitously-timed injury of actually happening!)


      • dannycricket Sep 16, 2019 / 6:06 pm

        Is Vince a worse howler than Roy? I don’t think so. And Whitaker was still selector when England made the turnaround in 2015 in their ODI team. Why he doesn’t get any credit for that is a little odd to me.


      • Marek Sep 16, 2019 / 6:26 pm

        For me, Vince in 2017 was definitely worse. I can see that Vince in 2016 might be a less bad selection, but Vince for the last Ashes would be like picking Roy–as opener!–for the tour of India in 2021.

        Your second point is interesting. I wonder though how much, if any, of the input into that decision came from Whitaker and how much came from Strauss and maybe Morgan (ie that Whitaker was essentially told “this is the new strategy and we’d like a team of players that plays ODIs that way, and not the Cook and Ballance way)?


        • dannycricket Sep 16, 2019 / 6:29 pm

          But, in that argument, why do we assume that ECB management or the coaches at the time didn’t also mandate the selection policy before 2015? That they said “The Test team has the best technicians, so they will adapt to ODI cricket”, or “We’re already got these guys on central contracts, so it saves us money if they play ODIs too”.


  7. quebecer Sep 15, 2019 / 10:00 pm

    I wanted to put a Smith post on its own, because he deserves it, but what a pleasure it’s been to watch Cummins be the bowler he’s grown into. Staggeringly consistent – 29 wickets with a best of 4 in an innings and an average of under 20 over 5 tests is incredible.

    The Australian attack as a whole was better than England’s, but Broad and Archer were individually so dangerous that it made up for the lesser lights (Woakes was actually exactly what I’ve always thought he was). As excellent as Broad was, if you lay aside the chat surrounding him, Archer was as much the difference in this series as any other player. England would have been staring at a big series defeat without him, and although I know we don’t want to get carried away, an honest appraisal puts him in the category of most exciting test bowler to come along since, well, Cummins, I suppose.

    For some reason, I can’t help feeling Aus had the better of the series and 2-2 isn’t quite a fair reflection of that. But who said life is fair?


    • Zephirine Sep 15, 2019 / 10:24 pm

      67 all out. A veil seems to have been drawn over that innings, even Bayliss didn’t mention it when asked where England could have done better. Without Stokes’s astonishing display of sheer willpower to ridiculously win the match, we might be drawing some conclusions from that score.

      Well, nothing we didn’t already know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • quebecer Sep 15, 2019 / 11:51 pm

        Actually, zeph, I think we did bat a lot better after that 67. There were some absolutely horrible shots in that collapse, but they did manage to not be quite so stupid subsequently (mostly). But you’re right, of course: it’s that a 67 or so is in us every bloody series and it would be nice if we could, you know, not do that, rather than do it but then do a bit better afterwards.

        P.S. Just generally, I feel very sorry for Moeen and his summer from hell.


        • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 9:48 am

          Given Leach did fairly well, that might be it for Moeen now. I guess it’s possible he’ll go to Sri Lanka, given he did well there last year (last year. FFS, Sri Lanka again), but Leach has done well enough to be the number one choice.


          • dannycricket Sep 16, 2019 / 5:44 pm

            Moeen is great at T20s though, so it’s unlikely he’d be dropped for that. And, like you said, he’ll no doubt be in the team whenever they need 2/3 spinners.


    • LordCanisLupus Sep 16, 2019 / 1:28 pm

      England lost four of the five tosses? I could look it up but can’t be bothered. Paine gifted them the Oval with a silly decision. Headingley was a freak we should have lost, but that’s sport. England were on top when stumps were drawn at Lord’s. The toss, and Smith, were crucial at Old Trafford. Smith dominated Edgbaston. 2-2 seems about fair.


  8. Nicholas Sep 15, 2019 / 10:40 pm

    Today has been a massive changing of the guard for the TV media scene. As already discussed, David Gower and Ian Botham are leaving Sky. I must admit that I gasped when Gower made that line about not wanting to leave – he’s made his views very clear in the press, but it’s another matter making them on the air whilst presenting a programme! Still, Sky gave them both a good send-off and I think it probably is time for them to move on.

    It’s the end of Cricket on Five – I haven’t yet had a chance to see how they signed things off, but they have given English cricket sterling service for the last 14 years. It’s looking very likely that Mark Nicholas will be without a gig next summer, given that the BBC will be using Isa Guha as their presenter.

    It’s looking like Sunset and Vine will be taking the BBC highlights production contract, but that’s not confirmed yet, and it could be the case that S&V are also bowing out of English home cricket, after 20 years in which they defined the modern cricket broadcast, through their Channel 4 work.

    Quite the change, then. It will be very interesting to see how the dust settles next year with how the coverage looks across both Sky and the BBC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Sep 16, 2019 / 6:19 am

      Tastes vary I suppose, but I think swapping Nicholas for Guha is a huge win. Mark had slowly become a caricature of himself and it wasn’t an interesting enough caricature to be better than a younger commentator who is just really interested in the game.


      • dannycricket Sep 16, 2019 / 6:28 am

        I can’t say I’m looking forward to the BBC’s TV coverage. Mostly because I assume Vaughan, Swann and Tufnell will be commentators across all formats.


        • metatone Sep 16, 2019 / 8:13 am

          oh god, the terrible trio


    • Mark Sep 16, 2019 / 9:21 am

      By all accounts they were earning very big bucks, and according to one newspaper Sky wants to tighten the purse strings. They also want more woman presenters. (It’s seems it’s a criminal offence now for broadcasters not to have endless woman telling men how to play men’s sport)

      I imagine the BBC coverage will be unwatchable. Most of BBCs sport output is dire. No doubt they will want to focus on the Yoooooof, and being trendy even though we live in an aging population. They all want to copy American sport, with ludicrous presenters that look like movie stars. Style over substance is the preferred way forward for broadcasters. I think broadcasters loathe their viewers.

      More and more sport now I just tue in after he start time of the event so as not to listen to the cringing drivel of the presenters. I tune in at kick off time for football matches, and switch off at half time, and then switch back for the start of the second half. Reduces stress enormously!!


    • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 9:52 am

      It’s been known for a good couple of years that they weren’t going to renew Gower and Botham’s contracts, so while I can understand him saying that, it can’t have come out of the blue.

      The reactions of the two were interesting and probably as indicative of their characters as can be – Botham looked a bit pissed off and wanted out of there as soon as possible. I would think that’s more or less the end of his media work apart from an occasional talking head, he seems happy enough to call it a day. Gower on the other hand looked extremely hurt and reluctant. The irony is that this series he’s been really good, his commentary entertaining and incisive, which makes it a bit annoying that he’s been phoning it in the last few years.

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him turn up on TMS, he’s got the voice for it after all. And especially so if Agnew is pushing the line with his employers – having a tailor made replacement would be a shot across his bows.

      Liked by 1 person

      • man in a barrel Sep 16, 2019 / 10:14 am

        Agnew is also a totally useless commentator. Listening to his stints in the car on a few occasions drove me crazy. Neither my partner nor I knew what the score was, who was batting, who was bowling. It was just an endless stream of vacuous chit chat between him and Michael Vaughan. Complete drivel. Even worse than David Lloyd on Sky


        • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 10:22 am

          Nothing can be worse than the jaw droppingly, ball achingly awful Kings Road sequence that Lloyd put out.


      • Mark Sep 16, 2019 / 10:30 am

        Yes, Beefy looked like he coudn’t wait to leave. (And why not if they don’t want you anymore? Not one for small talk) I don’t think it was because Gower was surprised, but he is not happy. Smacks of change for changes sake. I always preferred Gower as a commentator rather than a presenter. But there you go!

        I doubt he will take over from Agnew as BBC cricket correspondent. It’s not Gower scene. The job involves a lot of attending press conferences and turning up at odd hours on BBC five live.Not sure that is what the more laid back Gower would want. It’s not the Test days, but all the other faffing about and hanging around.

        I wonder how much the ECB has had a say in all this They are partners as Harrison keeps reminding us. The whole 16.4 is aimed at people who don’t follow cricket, so a couple of oldies from the past will not sell to that demographic.


        • nonoxcol Sep 16, 2019 / 10:46 am

          See also: interviewing BBC celebrities like Len Goodman in the middle of the Open golf; relentless celeb-spotting on camera at Wimbledon; not appearing to care about losing the golf but giving us the wonder that is ladies’ darts in January (one 21-dart leg being possibly the worst spectator sport I’ve ever seen on TV).


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 16, 2019 / 1:52 pm

            The nadir was Michael Vaughan doing the interviewing at the Masters one year. Car crash stuff. He was friends with Chubby Chandler then….


          • nonoxcol Sep 16, 2019 / 2:08 pm

            Oh yes of course, how could I forget this:

            “So Tiger, you’ve won three of these before”

            “Four, actually.”

            Liked by 1 person

          • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 2:10 pm

            Funny thing is, some people can handle doing different sports – Ian Smith is pretty decent for rugby for example. Vaughan struggles with one.


        • Mark Sep 16, 2019 / 10:49 am

          Oh, and as they are going at the same time as Channel five has lost the rights I wonder if it’s all part of a new hip hop, trendy, let’s get down with the kids type of repackaging?

          Gawd help us. Janet Steet Porter can try and drum up the yoof market.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 16, 2019 / 1:46 pm

          It does pay to remember that the vast majority of Sky’s money for the next TV contract is for the international cricket. The Hundred isn’t really the thing Sky care about – the ECB want the BBC for it, pure and simple. So maintenance of the international offering is absolutely vital for them.

          That said I’m not filled with joy about the two replacements. Ian Ward has gone from punchy post-game interviewer to fawner in chief to stars on the field and officialdom off it. This isn’t about being close to a strategic partner, it is about representing us to the game as well as commentating on it. We are your punters, you are not the ECB’s mouthpiece. He should remember that.

          I’m not on the Rob Key train either. His good is pretty good, but he is a prime example of why you should not follow people on Twitter. His comms has become too much bantz, faux irreverence and silly ideas. I don’t need another David Lloyd (anyone who caught that Kings Road piece, you have my sympathy. A broadcasting war crime) in the box. I may come across as wanting nothing but seriousness, but I want people to talk about the game, not themselves and their activities away from the game.

          Gower as a commentator on TMS would be great. But that seems like there are no vacancies. He’s not going to do the difficult tours – he rarely did with Sky. It took a while to wake up to the rumours of his demise that were common. He was expensive, as was Botham, and he gave the impression recently that he could not be arsed. I am surprised by the outpouring of grief, if truth be told. No-one was holding him up as a national broadcasting treasure, until now. Speaks volumes. I think some might be transferring their cricket playing love on to a TV man who until he knew he was getting the bullet, hadn’t performed. In my view.

          That said, how Lloyd stays on, heaven only knows. Someone, please, tell him he isn’t funny.


          • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 2:08 pm

            Lloyd is popular I suspect. Especially with the casual viewers.


          • Zephirine Sep 16, 2019 / 9:41 pm

            Lloyd is now a professional Character. And he’s a brand, he was into all the self-marketing and on Facebook and Twitter long before the others. So the producers will like him.
            Whereas Gower’s brand is to appear not to give a damn about brands – that’s probably a bit too nuanced for today’s media folk.


          • metatone Sep 16, 2019 / 10:11 pm

            Key is absolutely maddening for me on the Blast commentary.
            He knows a lot of the players and does his homework on the games he hasn’t seen.
            But… all that knowledge is swamped by endless attempts at banter.
            Also, his tactical brain is just a bit slow – Sanga was on for some of a Surrey vs Middlesex game and the difference insight was just a chasm.


      • nonoxcol Sep 16, 2019 / 10:36 am

        I think he’d be ideal on TMS. Given that it’s probably too much to ask for them to use more journalists rather than ex-pros (oh for an English Jim Maxwell), it really needs another old-school counterpoint to the “lads lads lads” bollocks. We all know who I mean, but add to Danny’s list that bloody producer who finds everything that comes out of former spinners’ mouths hilariously funny. And Norcross, who (unlike Mann) encourages them a bit too much.

        I’m not protesting against laddism just to be PC either. I actually have some sympathy with Mark’s perennial point, although the only female voice on TMS I ever have an issue with is ER-B, largely because I think I’m still in shock from that time on the tour of Bangladesh when she asked if it was Shakib’s first Test five-for. My issue is more with BBC television, specifically the ridiculous overuse of Clare Balding, the absurd tizz they got themselves into through overcompensating for the all-male SPOTY shortlist in 2011, and the change in tone and character of sports coverage since Barbara Slater took over as Head of Sport. The most egregious example of the latter, by light years, is the “rah rah rah Team GB” and “let’s emphasise the human interest angle” coverage of the Olympics, although what they’ve done to SPOTY is vomit-inducing as well.


        • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 10:55 am

          Agree, though I think Mark makes a good point that Gower wouldn’t want to do the correspondent stuff.


        • Mark Sep 16, 2019 / 11:17 am

          I would agree with a lot of that NONOXCOL.

          I love woman, I’m married to a lovely one, but I also love a bit of space for men to be just men. And woman to be woman. I think it’s good for both sexes to have their own outlets so that they can enjoy their own company. Perhaps it’s the company I keep, but most of my wife’s friends are not remotely interested in cricket or football… be it men or woman playing. Now horses, that’s different,…

          I also don’t belive there was this public demand for more woman commentating and presenting on men’s sport. I don’t remember seeing people marching in the streets with placards. The whole thing has been imposed by tv executives, and politicians who seem to think that men and woman can’t have their own thing. There is is a political agenda to it, which I don’t like. The so called detoxifying of so called toxic masculinity.

          Also for the record I’m also not against woman’s sport before that old chestnut is levelled at me. I think it’s great if woman want to play sport,it’s good for their health, and that is where they should present, and commentate. If woman’s sport is to become popular amongs other woman it needs woman to pubicise it.

          For the first time in my life I can see why men of the past created men only clubs to get a bit of peace and quiet. Somewhere where there is no screen with Clare Balding on it. (actually when it comes to horses she knows her stuff, so my wife tells me.Not sure she needs to be presenting Rugby league mind!)


          • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 12:40 pm

            Where I disagree with you is that men have commentated on women’s sport for decades, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be the other way around. But hey, you’re allowed an opinion, I’m not going to shout at you for having a different one.

            Quite like Clare Balding personally. Sorry mate!


          • Burly Sep 16, 2019 / 1:16 pm

            Sport isn’t just for men. Just because there’s not people in the streets doesn’t mean there isn’t a demand for female commentators and analysts. There’s loads of women who love watching cricket (and football, and rugby) whether it be men or women actually playing the sport.

            The “political agenda” here is essentially this: half the population would quite like to be represented and catered to a little bit more than the zero they have been when it comes to the dominant sports in this country. We lose nothing by providing this.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sophie Sep 16, 2019 / 7:03 pm

            I don’t care in the least whether a commentator is male or female as long as they don’t get on my nerves and ideally say something interesting every once in a while. Also, I wish they had sacked Bumble instead of Gower.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 16, 2019 / 1:51 pm

          The only female voice I have a problem with is Charlotte Edwards on Sky’s women’s cricket coverage. I don’t think she adds much and she is bit monotone for me. Also feels too close to the current team as well. I have zero problem with Alison Mitchell, who is a fine broadcaster (as long as she doesn’t get drawn into bantz, the bane of any commentary) and Isa Guha (who could be spreading herself far too thinly at the moment). ERB is OK, again a bit too close to the team, but absolutely fair enough. Wasn’t mad keen on Mel Jones, but would put her above most of the rest of the current broadcasters. There has to be room for good broadcasters and commentators – I yearn for the day non-cricketers observed and reported on the play and the co-commentator gave an expert view. It’s a pretty fine model, and interesting that in the US, the main commercial market for sport in the world, that model remains firmly in place. As it still does for football here.


    • Nicholas Sep 16, 2019 / 1:36 pm

      Interesting comments here. I do think that both Gower and Botham were a little past their sell-by dates in the studio setting, although I agree that Gower is still a superb commentator.

      I remember making a big rant on here about the Participation Test last year (I missed this year’s Participation Test as I was away working, which was probably good for the blood pressure) and part of that was that the end of that test just saw Gower and Botham sitting in the studio chatting, which felt so detached from the ‘grow the game’ message that Sky were attempting to put out. I think that the studio stuff could feel a bit ‘old school’ with Gower et al, so I think it probably is right to move it on a bit.

      Having said that, I’m not entirely convinced that Ian Ward is the right man to take it on. I absolutely rate what he does on Sky, but prefer his analysis/interview work as a ‘second in command’. For the limited overs stuff, I feel that he perhaps doesn’t dwell enough on the ‘broad brush’ stuff and instead there’s a huge amount of granular detail of technique and so on. There’s a place for that, of course, but it’s a bit ‘front and centre’ when Ward is hosting IMHO. Anyway – we’ll see how it all shakes out.

      I hope that Gower does go to TMS, but I can’t quite see this happening myself. Let’s see.

      Re the BBC TV stuff, the highlights package production has been put out to tender – as far as I could make out having read through the (public) document, the only indie who actually fulfils the ‘application criteria’ was Sunset and Vine, so I’d be very surprised if they don’t take up the contract. It was specified that the BBC would like their ‘talent’ to be used on the TV highlights, but would be interested in hearing from the appointed production company who they would use in addition if they were given the option. The BBC are producing the Hundred coverage themselves as an in-house production. I’d have thought that they will want the same host across all of the programmes, so I suspect that we’ll have confirmation of Isa Guha’s appointment reasonably soon.


  9. metatone Sep 16, 2019 / 6:27 am

    I was an early proponent of different captains for different teams (T20, ODI, Tests) because it was obvious that sooner or later the schedule would become too much for one man – but it’s also become clear over time that the games are getting more specialised. Truly outstanding talents can encompass all of them – but they may not have that captaincy talent on top.

    Following on from that, it’s expensive, but England of all countries can afford it – I think it’s worth looking at different coaches for different teams. You could begin by having 2 – ODI&T20 and then Tests.

    Advantages are not only that it confirms a different mindset for different forms of the game but also it helps with selection – the Test coach won’t feel the need to be loyal to players who performed well in short-form, because it’s nothing to do with him.


  10. man in a barrel Sep 16, 2019 / 8:11 am

    Does anyone actually know what the coach of the Test team does? We have glimpses from various memoirs of what Fletcher did – talking to batsmen about playing spin, discussing angles and field- placings with the bowlers – but primarily he selected the team. He had a fair knowledge of players from his time at Glamorgan and used it well in tandem with the selector. Moores, for all his faults was also a good picker of players. What did Baylis do? For that matter what did Flower do other than destroy players? Just how many players have come through the Lions team into the Test team? The best new player this season was Archer and he was not formed in English cricket.


    • metatone Sep 16, 2019 / 8:14 am

      A good point that in the system, in the long term, the coach of the Lions is the key man.


    • dlpthomas Sep 16, 2019 / 8:32 am

      The other puzzle is what does the batting coach do. I think it was Mark Butcher on Switch-hit who said that batting coaches used to identify problems with a players technique and help them sort it out. He claimed that batting coaches these days focus more on how a player feels about his game. This approach does not appear to be working.


      • Rohan Sep 16, 2019 / 12:48 pm

        DLPTHOMAS, really good point about batting coaches and Mark Butcher. Isn’t this also exactly what Compton was lamenting the demise of, when he was interviewed on here! A picture is building…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • dannycricket Sep 16, 2019 / 5:38 pm

        I have some sympathy for them. Fans tell coaches that they should leave players with unusual flourishes alone whilst also saying they should fix players’ problems. It’s often said that players like Smith, Murali or Malinga wouldn’t have developed in England because coaches would force them into playing the ‘normal’ way. Given that frequent criticism, I understand why English coaches would be shy about these things.


        • Marek Sep 16, 2019 / 6:10 pm

          I’m not sure that the two are mutually exclusive. The key is in the word “problem”, I think–and the criticism you’re talking about is when adherence to orthodoxy is required even when the lack of orthodoxy isn’t causing problems. That’s surely a lack of coaching acumen, ie an inability to realise what’s problematic and what isn’t, in favour of dogma.


          • dannycricket Sep 16, 2019 / 6:18 pm

            Absolutely. Dogma is a good word for it. They’d switched from always intervening in what they considered problematic techniques to never intervening. A balance is required, and shouldn’t be beyond professional coaches to achieve.


          • man in a barrel Sep 16, 2019 / 7:36 pm

            The coaches decided that one particular fast bowler’s action needed improvement – Dave “Sid” Lawrence. The result was that he fractured a kneecap in a Test in New Zealand in 1992 – players in that match have said they will never forget the sound it made. The pictures were horrific enough. Coaches also interfered with Anderson’s action, which gave him serious back problems.


      • Grenville Sep 17, 2019 / 12:08 am

        I think that the problem runs deeper. All games can be understood on continuum of 1 vs 1 to team against team. Boxing, snooker, chess live at one end and Rugby at the other. Cricket sits in the middle. It can legitimately be asked in cricket, does the team exist to allow the individual to shine or does the individual strive for excellence so that the team flourishes. This, incidentally, I feel is at the root of the disagreement between KP and the ECB, which is not to say that KP was a selfish player. Boycott was a selfish player, but, I think, was on the side of the team being the focus of the game. KP was anything but selfish. I digress. England cricket is determined to see the team-first brigade triumph. They understand coaching to be about drilling players to execute the right skills at the right moment. The self taught outsiders — and we include mediocre players like Compton here as well as super stars like Smith — are a threat to the whole ethos and ideology that underpins the ECB’s approach to cricket.


      • Grenville Sep 17, 2019 / 12:15 am

        I think that the problem runs deeper. All games can be understood on continuum of 1 vs 1 to team against team. Boxing, snooker, chess live at one end and Rugby at the other. Cricket sits in the middle. It can legitimately be asked in cricket, does the team exist to allow the individual to shine or does the individual strive for excellence so that the team flourishes. This, incidentally, I feel is at the root of the disagreement between KP and the ECB, which is not to say that KP was a selfish player. Boycott was a selfish player, but, I think, was on the side of the team being the focus of the game. KP was anything but selfish. I digress. England cricket is determined to see the team-first brigade triumph. They understand coaching to be about drilling players to execute the right skills at the right moment. The self taught outsiders — and we include mediocre players like Compton here as well as super stars like Smith — are a threat to the whole ethos and ideology that underpins the ECB’s approach to cricket.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 17, 2019 / 11:34 am

          Apologies for this, Grenville, but this one went into spam. No idea why.


          • Grenville Sep 17, 2019 / 7:27 pm

            I think that the wordpress spam filter probably has better understanding of cricket than me.


    • Mark Sep 16, 2019 / 9:05 am

      “Does anyone actually know what the coach of the Test team does? “

      As Ian Chappell once sad….”Coaches are for driving around the countryside in.”

      My view is they are very limited in actually improving players. And are Test matches the time to start tinkering with players techniques anyway? If players have been selected to play the highest form of the game why do they need a batting coach, and bowling coach? Perhaps on tour but then what does the main coach do?

      One big downside of the so called football type coach is it has shrunk the power of the captain. I was never convinced that Strauss was making all the decisions when Flower was coach, and that continued with Cook.

      The best technique coaches are needed for younger players at county level, and even before that at youth level cricket. Get into good habits as young as possible. In individual sports like golf and Tennis players hire coaches for their own needs. The idea that the captain of the Ryder cup would be tinkering with players swing would be preposterous.


  11. metatone Sep 16, 2019 / 8:13 am

    Wider comments, I haven’t checked on my predictions, but I think England did a bit better than I predicted.

    In a way that is unfortunate as I think it papers over some cracks.

    Trying to be optimistic:

    Burns – technique is flawed but has shown the mental fortitude needed. Could become a very solid member of the side.

    Denly – a good stop-gap, I fear he may wilt under video analysis from NZ & SA who both have the bowling to pick on his weak spots, but he’s earned some consideration and at the least can hold up an end with guts while we look for a young opener.

    We don’t have a number 3 batsman at the moment. Perhaps Denly will move down if we choose to give eg Sibley a go at opener. This is the biggest hole in the side.

    Root – I admire his personal growth in putting his batting on the line for the team by moving up to 3, but any sane selection will find a way to move him back to 4, he’s just better there. Captaincy? Signs of improvement in this 5th Test, but still questionable overall, still very much someone who learned by watching Cook. No idea what we do about this.

    Stokes – has the technique to bat at 4, but IMO should not unless he’s going to give up bowling. He’s an incredible physical specimen, but part of how you win at Test cricket is by using your physical resources more cannily than the opposition. Stokes at 5 has more freedom to attack and gets more rest from his bowling. His average with the ball isn’t actually great, but he can fill in and can make things happen. If used wisely his bowling is a big asset.

    Bairstow – Two harsh statements need to be made to JB – who as a Yorks fan I have a lot of affection for – One, you have no god given right to be WK, esp. since Foakes looks so good at it. Two, if you want to play Test cricket you have to go sort your technique out and prove yourself against the red ball all over again. And yes you might consider that actually your destiny is to win an ODI WC and then a T20 WC and not be a Test player.

    Buttler – Similar talk, although his trajectory across the series has been better than Bairstow. Similar ave, but a terrible start and then improvement. Would consider giving him a chance to go to NZ, where the ball still moves laterally, and see if he can sustain the improvement. Also because we’re probably blooding 2 new batsmen in my scheme as it is.

    Anderson – I fear we’re reaching the end of the road. He’ll be fit again and it will be hard to not pick him as the other options are either inexperienced or flawed. I don’t know how we build the path to his retirement. Looks a bit daft to play him in NZ as with no Test points on the line, that’s a place to blood new talent. Yet if someone bowls well there, do they drop out for him to play in SA – where his record is good? And how long can he go on after the SA series? No easy answers right now.

    Broad – bowled as well as he ever has. Load management needs to be thought about, but for now I think he’s the attack leader.

    Archer – a real talent – the trick will be not to wear him out across all the formats, as he is good enough in all of them.

    Woakes – Got more swing out of the white ball sometimes than he did out of the red. Danger that he’s yet another bowler who looks innocuous when it isn’t swinging. Wonder if he’s carrying an injury. Careful management needed, but also some thought about the white/red ball mix.

    Curran – Yet another England bowler who looks toothless when the swing disappears. Young, with moxie and a different angle as a leftie. He deserves a trip to NZ, but I worry that actually it will just flatter him – where he really needs to work on how he bowls in dry conditions.

    Leach – Bowled better than Mo but didn’t set the world on fire. Brings a different angle that bothers some key batsmen. Definitely needs to work on his strategies against Test class right-handers, looked very vulnerable at points at the Oval. In his favour is who is the competition? None of the usual suspects can claim to be definitely better with the ball.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 9:55 am

      Just on Stokes, given the way he’s developed as a player, using him as a mini-Jacques Kallis seems to me the way to go, i.e. a batsman who is the fifth bowler.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rohan Sep 16, 2019 / 12:52 pm

      In a way that is unfortunate as I think it papers over some cracks.

      Spot on Metatone. 2-2 is being lauded by the MSM as brilliant in combination with the World Cup victory. As a lover of test cricket, however, as the pinnacle of the sport, 2-2 is not good enough and papers over some gaping chasms! 67 all out……. jeez


    • quebecer Sep 16, 2019 / 10:20 pm

      Metatone, obviously you’re right to point too the #3 position, but along with that I think three big questions that the new coach will have to deal with are these:
      1. Bairstow and Buttler: can we really have both in the team? I’m increasingly sure we shouldn’t. Morgan won’t go on forever, and Buttler captioning both white ball teams seems to me a good – well, excuse, really, to finally get this sorted out. It’s been unbalancing the team for a while now and it’s not working.
      2. What do we do about Sam Curran? At some point, we’re going to have to commit to him properly or accept he won’t develop into any of the players people are suggesting he’ll become.
      3. The selection of Overton showed exactly how bare the cupboard is in terms of bowling. If Stone isn’t fit, then where the hell do we go from there?


      • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 10:31 pm

        Wait till Broad and Anderson retire. That is one hell of a hole to fill.


        • Grenville Sep 17, 2019 / 12:12 am

          Ollie Robinson


      • metatone Sep 17, 2019 / 7:54 pm

        Hey! I was trying to be optimistic!

        Do you rate Sam Curran? I feel like he probably deserves the SA tour to prove me wrong, but I fear he is very vulnerable when conditions aren’t helpful.

        I didn’t say (1) in so many words, but I was thinking it.

        As for the future of bowling… Sam Cook, Ben Coad and there must be some other youngsters I’m not aware of?


  12. dlpthomas Sep 16, 2019 / 8:24 am

    “Given Paine’s batting struggles this series, there’s every chance that Wade will be behind the wickets during the Australian summer”

    I think they have Alex Carey lined up as the next wicketkeeper. Wade’s not even keeping for Tasmania and the selectors don’t seem to like him much.


      • man in a barrel Sep 16, 2019 / 10:39 am

        It seems that Australia don’t follow the English approach to selection. Wade and Warner wouldn’t be allowed near the England team if they were English (or South African)

        Liked by 1 person

        • thelegglance Sep 16, 2019 / 10:57 am

          I have serious doubts that Steve Smith would have got anywhere near the England team.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mark Sep 16, 2019 / 12:20 pm

            I have serious doubts Warne would have got anywhere near this England team. And certainly not if he couldn’t bat.


          • Rohan Sep 16, 2019 / 12:55 pm

            Let’s be honest, so many players of other nations would not get near the England team post 2013-14. We were lucky in hindsight, to see KP play as many tests as he did, bearing in mind what we now know about the ‘climate’ of the England dressing room!

            Liked by 2 people

  13. man in a barrel Sep 16, 2019 / 4:10 pm

    So I looked up the Lions team who played Afghanistan in December 2016 :

    Curran S
    Curran T

    So, Curran S, Leach, Foakes, Roland-Jones. and Westley have go on to the full team. Westley is probably a discard. With luck Foakes might get back in. If Roland-Jones ever gets fit he will probably play again.

    Is that a sufficient return on the investment?


    • quebecer Sep 16, 2019 / 10:11 pm

      Well, you can include Tom Curran as well, so 6 out of 11, and a fair chance Clarke might join the list at some point. I think it’s a bit more complicated though, as I’m not sure the Lions were exactly ignoring anyone with their selections, so the point is the standard of player entering the Lions, and the help the Lions coaching actually gives – or even can actually give.


      • metatone Sep 16, 2019 / 10:19 pm

        What does seem like a pattern is that the bowlers have come through ok, but the batsmen have lost their way. Looking at various other younger batsmen who came up via different routes over recent years I wonder if something is missing in helping batsmen step up.

        I suspect that it’s easier to get bowlers to progress because at least up to a point good stock balls are good stock balls no matter the quality of the batsmen you’re facing. You can get caught out favouring a variation too much, but a lot of the basics carry through.

        Batting technique however can be much more lax against lesser bowling and it only bites you on promotion…


        • quebecer Sep 16, 2019 / 10:36 pm

          All fair, but the two bowlers who have come on from that list and looked capable at test level are really TRJ and Leach. Both of them are older players, with years under their belts in the CC, so that’s a consideration as well.


          • man in a barrel Sep 16, 2019 / 11:36 pm

            Of the top 5 batsmen, most have fallen away. Yes few get through the second year of top-flight analysis but even so.

            I think cricinfo had scores from a later Lions test but it was against an Indian team including Rahul and Pant so not sure what it has to tell. The Afghan match I looked at suggested Foakes was better than the specialist batters, however


  14. metatone Sep 17, 2019 / 10:53 am

    Anyone read Bayliss blueprint in the Telegraph? I’m not a subscriber.


      • thelegglance Sep 17, 2019 / 11:57 am

        Jesus. The newspapers haven’t covered themselves in glory the last few days.


      • nonoxcol Sep 17, 2019 / 12:13 pm

        I judge every single person who doesn’t think the Sun are c***s. I believe it to be the single most corrosive force in British society in the last 40 years.

        Liked by 2 people

        • LordCanisLupus Sep 17, 2019 / 12:23 pm

          I genuinely believe the Mail runs them close. While Kelvin McKenzie may have been the single most disgusting figure to have been put in charge of a national publication, and what his influence has permeated across society as to what is acceptable and what isn’t, Dacre did in the Mail, poisoning the well higher up the social strata, so now the broadsheets are imitating them.

          A philosophical discussion for another day. John Etheridge should be having a very rough day.

          Liked by 1 person

          • nonoxcol Sep 17, 2019 / 12:27 pm

            (I’m not getting into this, but suffice to say this counterpoint did occur to me and give me pause before posting)


          • thelegglance Sep 17, 2019 / 12:30 pm

            I see very little difference between any of them, whichever side of the fence they sit. The conduct of the Guardian has been reprehensible just in the last couple of days. Attempting the moral high ground from any one of them is beneath contempt.


          • nonoxcol Sep 17, 2019 / 12:36 pm

            Oh I’m not exonerating them – wait three years to make a convincing case against someone and fuck it all up by throwing the worst imaginable red meat to your most implacable antagonists. (It’s even the first reply to their entirely neutral tweet about the Stokes story) That’s the sort of strategic brilliance that leaves you begging for money every time someone visits your website, that.


          • thelegglance Sep 17, 2019 / 12:43 pm

            It’s always my problem with the journalists who react to something like this – they express their revulsion, yet stay silent when their own publication is guilty of something equally vile. That’s hypocrisy – either keep quiet when someone else does it, or call out your own when you do it.

            Selective reading of anything like this drives me nuts, they’re not the good guys no matter how much they all think they are.


          • Marek Sep 17, 2019 / 2:09 pm

            What have the Guardian done in the last couple of days, TLG?


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 17, 2019 / 2:11 pm

            The David Cameron grief thing over his dead son. Didn’t read it because it would make me angry.


          • thelegglance Sep 17, 2019 / 2:18 pm

            And this is where it gets murky. As a freelancer, he accepts commissions from lots of newspapers, but notably not the Sun. So he’s said something here, but didn’t say anything about the Guardian – which you can legitimately argue is because that wasn’t about cricket and so not the same.

            But it gets very, very hard when you start doing this selectively.


          • Zephirine Sep 17, 2019 / 3:20 pm

            At the root of all this kind of ‘journalism’ is a belief that people don’t matter. Human beings are just fodder. Their feelings and life experiences are to be exaggerated and caricatured and manipulated in the pursuit of sales and profit. And, more recently, in the pursuit of political division and resentment which will eventually create more profit.

            The paragraph in the Guardian editorial was shockingly misjudged and attempted to dehumanise Cameron because of his wealthy background. The Guardian – which, to be fair, deleted that paragraph pretty quickly and apologised – needs to have a good look at itself. But it’s the same process, it’s just being taken up by the liberal intelligentsia.


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 17, 2019 / 5:38 pm

            At the root of all this kind of ‘journalism’ is a belief that people don’t matter. Human beings are just fodder. Their feelings and life experiences are to be exaggerated and caricatured and manipulated in the pursuit of sales and profit.

            Amen Zeph, amen. An acquaintance of mine was once on The Apprentice. Met him and had a good chat to him before he went on the show, and was a good online support in some tough times. He had an expose done on him shortly after his very brief appearance. He wrote a blog post about his experiences. I wish to God I could find it. It explains a lot. It wasn’t the Sun, either. If I can locate, I’ll link.


  15. Sir Peter Sep 17, 2019 / 4:16 pm

    …and Retain. Fair result. But we let them off the hook to many times. Here’s my punt at Test Team EWCB: 1.Burns 2.Sibley or another new opener 3.Denly 4.Root 5.Buttler (captain) 6. Stokes 7.Foakes (wicket keeper) 8.Woakes 9.Archer 10.Leach 11.Broad 12th man Curran. Leave YJB and Snr.Roy to open in ODIs, T20s etc. If no:2 doesn’t look right but Denly opening and Bairstowe as three? I’d also take Ali & Rashid on tour so they can keep close to the action. Anderson to replace Swann on TMS and DI Gower moves to fthe One Show or Question Time (maybe Willis would be better on that?)


  16. Sir Peter Sep 17, 2019 / 4:18 pm

    Sorry about the typos…”too many times”…”put Denly opening” and “moves to the One Show”


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