India v England, 2nd Test, Day 2 – It’s Driving Me Mad, It’s Just Another Way Of Passing The Day

There was a day, a good while ago now, where I could do what I pleased on here. Where I could decide that if I wanted to write a truncated review, I would do so. Mail it in. So when I floated the idea of my match review being purely “See you for the Ahmedabad tests” I got no reply. I took that as meaning I had to write something.


England have lost this match, and you don’t need to be Nostradamus to predict that. I said on a tweet yesterday that England would not make 150 on this, and I was correct. Again, hardly Nostradamus. Root was due a failure, and if he fails, then England are pretty much toast in the batting department. So while England made a more than decent start by finishing off the last four wickets for 29 runs, it was only the warm-up act for the circus about to follow.

I hope everyone knows me, and the team on here, well enough to know we are not a bunch of one-eyed England fanboys, bemoaning every slight, perceived or real, like the most avid of Liverpool fans (had to get that dig in, sorry). If we think England are crap, their authorities get things wrong, the press make up nonsense or whatever, then you know we call it. These are honestly held views. While I don’t have the antipathy to this team that I did for the post-Ashes 2014 Cook era nonsense, I can’t get out of bed any earlier to watch Root’s men. (Sleep has become a more important priority these days). I don’t wish them harm, but I’m a bit too old for rah rah nonsense. I hope this means I can offer up criticism of others as well and it be taken as such. Which is a long preamble into this pitch is an utter nonsense, and whoever is responsible for it needs a word.

The wicket has puffed up huge amounts of dust from the outset. It is ragging square. The bounce isn’t that consistent either. Now I know people will defend it, and that’s their right. Australians who laugh at this as if they never do such a thing should never be left to forget the disgrace of Sydney 1999 (when they opened the bowling with a spinner who could trundle medium pace to an acceptable level). Yes, it is as bad as England providing green seamers, although much of the time in England wickets (I know that annoys Pringle, so definitely going to use it) play up because of what is above rather than what is below. Cricket doesn’t need bore draws, but I do disagree with people who say that the toss decided the first test. England had to bat very very well on it to set up a win. Here, the game became a bit of a lottery, but only a bit.

Because what this pitch has shown is that a great performance will win the game, and Rohit Sharma’s 161 is, by any measure, a magnificent performance on this surface. He outscored England by 27, and if he continues in the manner he has started the second innings, he might even beat England on his own! It’s not just the ragging square that has done for England. Burns getting pinned for a second successive duck was just the start England did not want. Sibley, who has worked on a method which is getting him through, was the first victim of spin, and Joe Root was the first victim of Axar in tests when he spooned a sweep shot – hard to be tough on Joe after his Transport for London passenger services in 2021, but it was predictable. He is human. Lawrence getting out to the last ball before lunch was a blow, but he’d got stuck. These are alien conditions, and in some ways what test cricket should be about, if maybe not so extreme!

After lunch the wickets continued to fall. Stokes bowled by a beauty, Pope strangled down the legside, with Pant taking a good one. Moeen Ali, looking like a “magic beans” selection to me, didn’t deliver with the bat again, and last ball before tea, Oliver Stone conspired to hit a shot to mid-wicket. On any given Sunday that could have happened. It just happened on this one.

After tea Jack Leach looked like he had more idea how to bat than most, but then nicked off, with Pant taking an excellent grab, although made more excellent by the fact his first step was to the right, before diving to his left. I’m not a keeper, and I’m not an expert, but thought one of the studio analysts might have picked that up. We’re not getting that from the comm box, we know that already. If it is India, it is great. Which is a shame, because some of them are really pretty decent (I like Murali Kartik, for instance – let him off the leash). Stuart Broad swept and missed and an improbably popular but utterly tedious Twitter feed went back to sleep. England avoided the follow-on, but barely. Whoever has the Day 4 report is hoping Indian wickets tumble rapidly on Day 3.

Ben Foakes played a very impressive innings. I’m not necessarily on the Foakes bandwagon as others, and his keeping has not been flawless (he has just missed a stumping chance), but my word it has been very fluent and his batting was calm and measured. He looks a test cricketer. The England organisation are wedded to the Jos Buttler experience, and anything else is barking at potential returns.

Ravi Ashwin finished with 5 for 43, which was five fewer than some scribes on Twitter thought he might get on this sandpit. Axar Patel looked quite handy too, but let’s face it, I’ve watched just the post-Tea session, and even that was in allergy-fuelled haze, so you might know better than me.

So with a deficit of a mere 195, England set about the Indian batting to allow themselves to nominally chase something short of the world record. It did not begin well. Rohit again balancing attack and defence, while Gill, who if you look up the phrase “potential benefit” in a dictionary will have his picture next to it, alongside a young Mark Ramprakash, did fall, LBW. Rohit Sharma appeared to encourage the youngster to review, indicating that he thought it could be missing leg stump. His eyesight was proved correct, even if the verdict may have been the incorrect one – it was missing leg, but clattering middle. I’m getting a little sick of nearly every LBW being reviewed these days, if it hits the ankle socket on the back foot plumb in front of middle the batsmen especially, and those with ego especially especially, refer it nowadays. I’d make them lose all their reviews if it is hitting the bottom half of a range between the inside of leg stump and off stump to prevent this nonsense. Don’t try to argue against me with logic (what if he thought he hit it?).

Rohit carried on, surviving an out decision for LBW because he hit it (see), in conjunction with Antonine Pujara, but not before an outrageous LBW review where Rohit blatantly hides the bat behind his pad, and yet the umpires somehow convinced themselves that this was a shot played. This hasn’t been a shot for about 20 years, but you know, reasons. This was so egregious even Sunil Gavaskar lost his mind, and that rarely happens on the coverage. In the whole scheme of things, impact on the game, it’s meaningless and not worth getting riled about, and I am not even accusing bias. It’s just wrong. A great, the greatest current cricket nation, like India has been chronically under-represented on the international elite umpiring panel. They arguably umpire in the toughest conditions to adjudicate in world cricket. Surely there has to be better than this? These guys are getting basics wrong.

The day concluded with India on 54 for 1, with Rohit leading England by 52 runs, and India over the hill and far away. I do hope my recalling of the day’s play has not violated a BCCI rule, and I’m off to post my application to be a third umpire.

UPDATE – Ebony has just said that Ben Foakes will never be a Jos Buttler (I presume in test cricket, which is where the debate is – well Ben averages 41, Jos 34, so I suppose Ben has a way to go!)

And as Magnus Magnusson used to almost say, I’ll finish as I started. See you for the Ahmedabad test.


68 thoughts on “India v England, 2nd Test, Day 2 – It’s Driving Me Mad, It’s Just Another Way Of Passing The Day

  1. man in a barrel Feb 14, 2021 / 12:08 pm

    I think Monty Panesar might be part of the coaching team. Pity they didn’t select him. His bowling would be very difficult to play on this surface


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 5:19 pm

      Monty Channel is perhaps this country in microcosm. First of all, you wondered why Monty was doing it. What was it for. Random clips of a beloved cricketing figure. If he was enjoying it, then great.

      Then he started to realise that to get noticed, you had to say things to get noticed. So he did. And now he gets those little gigs on C4 and so on. It’s not what you say, it is how you say it. Oh well.

      If he is in the coaching team, he’s here in the UK. But if he is, I’ll bet that will piss Swann off!


  2. Tom Kerr Feb 14, 2021 / 12:11 pm

    I’m looking forward to the third day of the test because it will be the last cricket I can watch for a few days. The pitch favours India so much it’s a joke, but that happens in all countries. Watching teams lose 2-0 in May on seaming and swinging pitches in England is just fine, as are dry and spinning wickets in Asia.

    I hope the next couple of tests are a bit more competitive.

    Thank you for this opportunity to chat and connect with like-minded and true cricket fans.


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 5:24 pm

      I’m a little befuddled by some of the stuff re our pitches in May. I’m sure the main driver of their condition is the weather, and how they play governed by prevailing conditions. You can’t dry it out totally if the water table is up, and the air is “wet”. I am also not a gardener, nor will I ever be one, and no sod all about pitch preparation.

      I like a pitch that gets you to Day 5. Where the draw is an option, not an inevitability, but then so is a result. This pitch makes a positive result a certainty. That’s what I don’t like about it.

      However, without being a tricky, not impossible wicket, then Rohit Sharma’s 161 would not be as respected as it should be, as one of the best innings you are ever likely to see.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Miami Dad's Six Feb 14, 2021 / 9:04 pm

        The issue isn’t the groundsmen or their preparation of pitches, it’s playing Test cricket in bloody May.


  3. Marek Feb 14, 2021 / 12:59 pm

    Fun Foakes fact: at the moment, his batting average is the highest of any regular England keeper apart from the one who played three of his four tests against a South African team in the 1880s and 1890s when they were basically a club team.

    Also averages almost 80 in Asia now. The next time someone goes on about recalling Asia specialist Keaton Jennings…

    And, to repeat my whinge from last week–England should organise their current tail-end batting in the following manner: unless you’re a recognised all-rounder at county level, you bat behind Jack Leach. (His test match batting might also get him a promotion to no. 9 for Somerset…:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. man in a barrel Feb 14, 2021 / 1:09 pm

    Agreed, you need an obdurate guy who can hang around while the higher order batters keep building a score. Can anyone explain what goes through Stuart Broad’s mind? To get out first ball in such an agricultural way while Foakes was playing so well is some kind of insult to the intelligence. Does he think he has the batting talent of Pant?


    • Mark Feb 14, 2021 / 1:55 pm

      Broad? No, he just has an ego which his batting skills don’t warrant. He can play for sure, but he isn’t Root.

      Since the Jack Russell/Alex Stewart conundrum England have by and large preferred batsman who can keep wicket, rather than wicketkeepers who can bat.

      We now seem to be extending that to spinners. Batsman who can bowl spin, ahead of outright spin bowlers who happen to bat.

      Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 5:26 pm

      When Wood wooshed at Galle, the explanation given is that both he and Broad don’t like batting with proper batsmen, but rather having fun together as tailenders.

      As if that was a proper explanation for professional sportsmen at the highest level.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Marek Feb 14, 2021 / 5:38 pm

        That’s at least partly a coaching issue–although someone who’s played almost 150 tests in particular should know better. Anderson too went through a phase where he batted as if he would be penalised if he stayed in for longer than fifteen minutes, although thankfully he seems to have emerged from it a bit–but given that he was good enough to be part of a last-wicket stand that smashed the test record, it was also pretty silly.

        It may be coincidental and it may not, but it would also be good to be clear about exactly who the batting coach is–which hasn’t been completely clear since late 2014.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Miami Dad's Six Feb 14, 2021 / 9:10 pm

          It’s a good point. Who would you focus on as a temporary stop gap batting coach for a winter tour? Probably the top 6, maybe a couple of the nerdier bowlers like Woakes and Curran. Broad and Anderson – what’s the point? If the batting coach was a permanent post maybe there’d be more emphasis on the whole team digging in.

          I watched a few highlights of Broad’s solitary ton the other day. I remembered it in my head as a swashbuckling, clear-the-front-leg type innings. In reality he batted at the same pace as Jonathan Trott, reached 50 from 100 balls and didn’t really accelerate much from there til he got past 120. He can hold a bat but he just doesn’t want to.

          Liked by 2 people

          • andrewrdow Feb 15, 2021 / 10:41 am

            Couldn’t agree more. I was at Lord’s for the first day of that knock.

            The sting may have been removed from Mohammed Amir’s bowling, because by then, the big screens had shown his bowling of the no balls, watched by his captain, so he might have sensed the game was up, and lost heart.

            However, England were still in a desperate hole and could not go mad. Trott had negated Amir by batting out of his crease, and the 50 made by Prior before Broad came in was crucial in blunting Pakistan too. However, Broad then was a sensible lower order batsman, with the traditional left hander’s ability to make all strokes look graceful. He wasn’t scared of the short ball, and there was one memorable hook into the Tavern for six that went like a bullet.

            As Miami Dad wrote, he batted very well and kept pace with Trott, no more. It was a very good knock.

            His shot in the first innings was anything but sensible, and utterly thoughtless in the context of his team’s requirements.


        • Marek Feb 14, 2021 / 10:12 pm

          The ridiculous thing is that, whether or not they have a temporary “batting consultant” for any given series, the man who, at least intermittently, has been described as England’s batting coach ever since Gooch was sacked is on every single tour. It’s just now he seems to have morphed into a different job title, which is a job that was already occupied by someone else….who’s still there.

          Meanwhile they seem to have contrived to go six series without bothering to appoint a full-time seam bowling coach, and have never yet seen fit to appoint a full-time spin-bowling coach.

          Sometimes I wonder if they have any more idea of who’s responsible for what than I do.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Aden Biddle Feb 14, 2021 / 1:17 pm

    An excellent well balanced view of proceedings. Deciding on good or bad pitches is so subjective all teams enjoy home advantage fast racks at Wanderers or Perth, Green seamers at Lords or Hagley Oval or massive turners in Asia. The best ever teams and players count their away wins as their greatest for that very reason. Although I dont think the players themselves have any concept of the World Test Championship I think boards do mainly for financial reasons is there a possibility the the new system might increase home pitches even more in a desire to win? I shudder to think is a green seamer in England means they win a series against an already weaker opposition (SL for example) and deny India for example a place in the final. Same goes for umpires India are strangely underrepresented in this department why is that any insider knowledge? I did think the idea from another pundit of a ICC TV umpire panel like in NFL watching from Dubai, Lords or elsewhere is a good one.


    • Mark Feb 14, 2021 / 2:04 pm

      I think the proportion of away series wins in the last twenty years has been steadily declining. I think that is not healthy for the long term attractiveness of test cricket. In any sport, you want a contest.

      I think for financial reasons home boards prefer to serve up almost guaranteed wins for the home fans, and then write off away series. Nobody at the ECB seemed very bothered by England’s heavy defeats last time away against India and Australia.

      Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why Sky didn’t bother bidding for this series?

      Liked by 1 person

      • dArthez Feb 14, 2021 / 3:06 pm

        Actually it has been increasing a bit in the last few years.

        In the past it was just West Indies who were generous hosts, but we now can safely add South Africa and Sri Lanka to that list. But those teams are so poor that not being whitewashed on the road will be hailed as a massive achievement (and in a few years not being whitewashed as home as such).

        But that is obviously a product of lack of quality from those countries, rather than the rest having improved substantially.


      • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 5:28 pm

        Do not get me started on the last overseas Ashes where our pundit and media class were more happy with the 4-0 defeat, and as accepting of it, than they were over the 3-0 win in 2013 because England were too dull and won on wickets that helped Swann (slow ones). But we all know what changed in the interim, don’t we?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Andrew Dow Feb 14, 2021 / 1:19 pm

    When things aren’t going your way, they do just that…. two reviews not going England’s way – the back of the glove one and this dreadful LBW “not playing a shot” one demonstrate this.

    Oh, well……………

    I sincerely hope that this is the last Test that Moeen ever plays. He is just a flake. No one really knows if he is a batsman who bowls or a bowler with batting pretensions. Either way, he is an impulsive (or compulsive) flapper at a bouncer, so maybe with this pitch he will have to find another way of getting out second dig. One thing is certain- he is a known quantity now, and very probably will not improve. IMHO, it is time to bin him and invest in someone younger who can be developed. One miracle ball in the first innings, and the best that can be said of him in this innings is that he hasn’t served up utter dross, but when you have such a first innings lead, achieved in so little time, all India has to do is score at 2 an over for however long they like, and he has never kept an end blocked up.

    Given the unpredictable bounce, I’d have Broad, Stokes and Stone bowl round the wicket, pitching it short into the ribs with a couple of guys out for the hook, leg gully and short leg too. We have to try to take the initiative, as if we just let India fiddle around all tomorrow, it’s over. The quicker we take wickets, the more Virat is going to want to bat to build his lead, and any wicket taken sets him back. Just as you can “bat time”, you can bowl it too if you know what the oppo wants to achieve.


    • dannycricket Feb 15, 2021 / 1:15 pm

      This comment ended up in our spam folder for some reason. No idea why, I’m afraid, but I’ve approved it anyway.


  7. Marek Feb 14, 2021 / 1:33 pm

    Meanwhile elsewhere on the continent: my, that was an impressive series win by West Indies.


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 5:30 pm

      Yep, very much so. I don’t think this is a dawn for the West Indies, but two remarkable wins against the odds. Again, it shows what a magnificent format test cricket is, and that more of it should be played!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. andrewrdow Feb 14, 2021 / 3:30 pm

    Hey, Ho, when things go badly, they don’t mess around.

    Two Third Umpire decisions going against England, one in each innings -to date. I hope somebody in authority has a word with these two guys. In both instances, the application of the law appeared to be rather partial, but at least we know how much pad play should be reasonably and consistently allowed.

    Can there ever now be a justification for persisting with Moeen? He is such a flake imho. In either capacity of batsman who can bowl, or that with roles reversed, he falls short. As a batsman he is either a compulsive flapper at the bouncer, or he finds another way to get out needlessly, without selling his wicket. As a bowler, one magic turning ball, but he can be fiddled around for two or three an over without exerting pressure.

    Given the surface and state of the game, I’d like to see Stone, Broad and Stokes go round the wicket, and bowl it short in at the ribs with the occasional bouncer, to a leg gully, short leg and men back for the hook.

    It would be a move that takes the initiative away from India for a time, it would inconvenience them, and every wicket taken early or run scoring slowed down will make Kohli think longer about a declaration. It is possible to “bowl time”, just as you can “bat time”, especially when you know the state of the game


    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 5:36 pm

      The missed catch yesterday was stunning. Absolutely stunning and there can be no excuse. The third umpire did not follow protocol – and I am not implying bias or anything else because let’s deal in facts and not emotion. Today’s with the no shot played is a matter of opinion, only over the past 20 years since Darrell Hair made it his crusade, one that has rather become a fact. Hide the bat behind pad, you aren’t playing a shot. He might not have been out, I am not even sure we saw ball tracking on that one.

      Moeen was a magic beans selection – I name that after the Daily Mash article when Alan Shearer was appointed Newcastle manager with no qualifications or management experience and the Mash called it Newcastle buy some magic beans – because Moeen has not played a test in a fair while, he was dropped for a reason, his batting fell off a cliff, and he had some issues he needed to address. We all love him, I am sure, and would want him to do well. I know I do. But in someone who wants to think out of the box, Smith and his crew sure were wishing on a star here.

      As I don’t have to write any further match reports, I will let my fellow scribes opine on your delaying tactics, Andrew. What I will note is yesterday we fell a few overs short after 6 1/2 hours, while today, we were almost bang on time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • dArthez Feb 14, 2021 / 5:46 pm

        Apparently it was three reds on Hawkeye – so he would have been out if adjudged not having played a shot.


      • man in a barrel Feb 14, 2021 / 6:28 pm

        They showed the full replay, smashing the stumps a little over halfway up


        • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 6:50 pm

          Was too busy writing this… my dog needs walking more or less as soon as play is finished!

          Liked by 1 person

      • andrewrdow Feb 14, 2021 / 6:36 pm

        Much was made by Sunny today about how long Jack Leach was taking to start an over.

        As I don’t read any other cricket Blog, it has to be on here that I read a very rationally argued and very clinical dissection of the sham that is the 90 over a day “guarantee”, and I will always want the paying cricket watcher to be given what they paid for in terms of numbers of overs bowled.

        I got a feeling from the first Test that both sides were trying to play within the real spirit of the game, and that Kohli would probably have wanted to quietly make a point that when the opposition is not ‘Streyya, his team feel no need to get aggressive, but let the cricket do the talking. I hope that England are not the ones to take the first step towards heading this Series game down the gamesmanship / time wasting path.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. man in a barrel Feb 14, 2021 / 3:48 pm

    We know that LCL likes to be harsh but fair but, re Foakes’s keeping, when was the last time he did any keeping in a match? He coped with turn and highly variable bounce much better than either of the Bs. And zero byes in the first innings! That first delivery from Root in the first innings shot through, surprising Rahane but caught cleanly by Foakes. Actually, Root is more effective on this pitch than either Moeen or Leach. But does he want to tire himself, or risk injury, by bowling too much? Captaincy can be tough!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 3:51 pm

      His late father was a referee. They all hated my team. Hence harsh but fair. He is obviously a very fine keeper. But our hierarchy clearly believe Buttler is going to be our Gilchrist one day

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Benny Feb 14, 2021 / 4:57 pm

    As a bowler, once upon a time, I’d feel much happier and motivated if I saw Foakes behind the wicket at the other end rather than Buttler.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 6:40 am

        I take it then that Pant isn’t one of your favourite wicketkeepers!


  11. LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 5:56 pm

    For my sins, and for research purposes only, I’ve listened to the first 10 minutes of today’s TMS podcast.

    Michael Vaughan has just waxed lyrical about Ben Foakes. Best keeper in the world, want to see a bit more of that, played the spinners beautifully. I’m sitting here going, woah….. Jos Buttler’s your boy. Are you saying that he should replace him?

    “Down the track, maybe play Buttler as a batsman and Foakes as the keeper-batsman”.

    Look, I know what he is trying to say, but the fact he shares a management stable with Jos, and some of us know it, makes this opinion tainted, and until he recognises this, I’m always going to have a problem with him. There’s no team I can see, unless you want to bat Pope or Jos at 3, that has Buttler and Foakes in the team. Is a player with a test average in the low 30s that important to keep as a batsman only? I like Jos, but we can only wait so long for him to morph into Alec Stewart, let alone Adam Gilchrist!

    Also, Vaughan needs to ask himself why these accusations are in my head when it comes to him, and not to fellow Phoenix Club members Guha and David Lloyd!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Feb 14, 2021 / 9:54 pm

      Typical Shinny toy. He drops Butler, and replaces him with a new Shinny wicket keeper. Then he just thinks Butler should walk back into the side as a batsman. No consideration as to where he should now bat, who gets booted out or the balance of the side.

      Punditry by numbers. Same as it always is.


  12. man in a barrel Feb 14, 2021 / 6:52 pm
  13. LordCanisLupus Feb 14, 2021 / 7:15 pm

    On a “me me me” note, although I could only watch one session, and the way work has gone post-Covid has been absolutely manic for me (and I know I am lucky in some sense to have a full wage job during these times) I am starting to enjoy writing again (and I think you might be able to tell that). I hope this persists because last year, I stopped nearly entirely because some covid blog posts I did on my personal site started to cause me aggro, and social media became utterly horrific. It resulted in a “breakdown”. So, people, who still read here, thank you, and especially thank you to Chris, Sean and Danny for all their work last year and beyond.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Feb 14, 2021 / 9:44 pm

      It’s very nice to see you contributing in the comments again boss. And I’m pleased you feel as if you are enjoying it it a again. The most important thing is that you are feeling a little better. That is the main thing.

      Don’t put pressure on yourself. Write as and when you want. This site has always been slow slow, then go go, then slow slow. It’s like a timeless test. There are times when nothing is happening and then suddenly a lot happens.

      I doubt we will ever see a return to the days of 2014 because the sport had alienated a section of its fan base and the media refused to either care or understand. You created an alternative voice and should be proud of that. Stay of social media if it gets to you. It’s just not worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dArthez Feb 15, 2021 / 4:48 am

      Your first priority is always yourself and your own well being. Glad that things are looking a bit up for you, and hopefully things will get better for you.

      Take care, and keep finding the beauty and enjoyment in the things you do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • andrewrdow Feb 15, 2021 / 2:50 pm

      Dear LCL,

      when does social media not become horrific?

      I never regretted the day when I came off FB. The only drawback – which demonstrates how nasty and manipulative that site can be – is that when I signed off and deleted my account, never to return, those who were my “FB friends” received a message that I had “de-friended them”.

      One of the few people whose thoughts and opinions I value for just being so unflashily sensible and practical (and also very successful by being unflashy) is Warren Buffett.

      In case they help, a few of his thoughts for a happier life are here :

      How to stop time: meditate. How to travel in time: read. How to escape time: music. How to feel time: write

      How to waste time: social media.

      If you care about people’s opinions of you…you already lost. You’re no longer living for yourself. You’re living for people’s approval, and people will never be completely satisfied with you

      Life is too short to waste in the company of those who can’t wait to put you down. Let them say what they want. Their opinions aren’t your problem. Keep doing good as you’ve always done. No matter what they do or say, don’t doubt who you are and what you’re doing.


      I am afraid I have discovered to my own cost that a significant number of people live their lives trying to extinguish or dim others’ candles, in the hope that this will make theirs shine brighter by comparison. It doesn’t, but that doesn’t stop them.

      Just accept that you do a lot of your writing etc for your own enjoyment and benefit and if 15% of all who read it like it, you’re doing pretty well.


      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Feb 15, 2021 / 5:03 pm

        Yet without social media I would not have easy access to friends across the world, would not have met some really great people, nor would this blog have exploded like a Chennai 1st day pitch in 2014. It’s very easy to just focus on the negative, although the negative can be very bad. It wasn’t Facebook that exposed one individual’s horrific opinions, it was the individual that posted it.

        There’s a whole essay in there. I’ve probably written it somewhere else. In fact I know I have.

        In 2014, when I started getting noticed, I can’t describe the mental processes I was going through. If I didn’t write something, I thought I’d lose the audience I was gaining. So, yes, I wanted people to read it. I also had a real desire to shake stuff up. Too many out there wanted to write about cricket on blogs to get a journo gig, or other stuff. I just wanted people to have another outlet. I had no grand plans or designs. I had no social media strategy. I just wrote and relied on word of mouth getting it on social media, Guardian BTL or Telegraph BTL. I didn’t actively promote much. That 9 months from February to end October 2014 was manic. I recognise some of the mental health issues that arose last year during it. I also thrived off the negative stuff. I wanted a couple of target figures to hate. Thankfully a couple of them obliged, but one in particular turned very nasty. Some of this was childish, I know, but it fed my anger and rage and all the things I needed at that time. Social media was the petrol for this blog’s predecessor.

        Long stories, really boring, awfully self-indulgent. That’s how blogs like this are created, really!

        I’m still blocked by Paul Newman, though. He’ll never forgive me.


  14. dArthez Feb 15, 2021 / 4:58 am

    We’re probably at the stage of the game where it does not matter anymore, but Foakes’ keeping today should be a revelation to the idiots in charge. If not, they do not understand the point of fielding in cricket.

    So, will Foakes actually make it to the team next series?


    • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 6:39 am

      I hope so. Those two stumpings in the first session were special. Even on that very dodgy review near the end of the session for a caught behind of Lawrence – how he caught that ball was incredible – I don’t even know how he could have seen the ball. Standing up to Broad bowling at 130 km/h without a trouble in the world was pretty good to watch as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. dArthez Feb 15, 2021 / 7:37 am

    Ashwin and Kohli are making it look easy. Just more wear and tear for the England bowlers.

    And yes, the pitch is anything but great, but Ashwin has brought up a 50 here. That is more than any England batsman managed a day ago. Sure he had a bit of luck and all that, and obviously batting on the back of a massive lead is a lot easier than when facing a daunting target.

    Obviously the ball getting softer helps as well, but this 7th wicket stand does give rise to a few difficult questions for England. Both in terms of strategy for the chase, as well personnel selection for the next Test.

    Safe to say, no one will expect England to chase 385+ on this pitch. And I don’t see India declaring anytime soon. Maybe about an hour before stumps, if they can bat that long (new ball might have a say in that).


  16. Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 8:11 am

    I was about to say that, selfishly, I hope India do carry on batting until the last hour as I’ll have cricket to watch tomorrow evening my time. Kohli and Ashwin made batting look *relatively* easy but now Ali has just taken Kohli’s wicket and I can’t see India hanging on that long now.


    • dArthez Feb 15, 2021 / 8:29 am

      You’ll have cricket to watch no matter what happens next in the India innings. India batting on is just considerate to you – since you won’t have to agonise over many England dismissals then (in all likelihood).

      Ishant has a decent defensive technique. Not great, but certainly capable of sticking around (yeah, he batted with VVS Laxman in a famous stand a decade ago to deny Australia a win, and then even inflict a loss). Let me just jinx him here …


      • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 8:53 am

        Oh, I was thinking, stupidly, that England might have bowled India out by tea. That would have meant surviving the whole last session of India’s spinners. Maybe that’ll still happen.

        You’ll have to forgive me about going on about watching cricket. For nearly 23 years I’ve not been able to watch live cricket since I lived out in the sticks. For the last couple of years I’ve actually had cable and more importantly, internet service and wifi. Then COVID happened. Now, all of a sudden, I have all sorts of international cricket to watch which means I’m now overloaded. Having an evening without some live cricket to watch is almost like taking all the needles away from a heroin addict.


        • dArthez Feb 15, 2021 / 9:26 am

          No problem at all. I am out in the sticks as well (Nairobi, Kenya), so other than a Supersport subscription (which is outrageously expensive) I have no access to any international cricket whatsoever). And I don’t think I can convince my wife to go out to Indian restaurants every day of her life either 😀

          I used to live quite close by to one of the international grounds in Kenya. Sadly due to wilful mismanagement by whoever is supposedly in charge of cricket in Kenya, hardly a fixture for years.

          Just as I type, Leach got Ishant, but not after Ishant contributed to a 27-run partnership. Will be interesting to see if Ashwin goes all out in an attempt to get to a ton here. Since the target is already world record chase territory, I don’t see why he should not. For England, the question seems to be if Moeen or Leach gets a 5-wicket haul here. The former could mean selection headache.

          But enjoy the international cricket while you can!


          • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 9:45 am

            Wow. I would never have guessed your location, I think I assumed you were in Australia! I hope we can meet up one day and compare notes. You’re surrounded by land, I’m surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.

            Thank you, lordcanislupus, for hooking up all sorts of people from around the world!

            Liked by 1 person

  17. man in a barrel Feb 15, 2021 / 9:50 am

    I don’t know what to say. Ashwin has got a ton on one of the worst pitches I’ve seen. I don’t know what to think. I know he has a decent batting record but really?


    • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 9:55 am

      I was not thinking about how to understand this as well. It’s like trying to combine quantum mechanics and general relativity. Both work but neither can explain each other’s theory.


    • dlpthomas Feb 15, 2021 / 10:12 am

      I can think of quite a lot to say about it but I will limit myself to “well played but should never have happened.”

      Stokes bowls 2 overs for the match – have they admitted he is injured?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 11:02 am

        I don’t believe Stokes is in the team for his bowling. It’s nice to have him there as a third seamer, but surely he’s in for his batting?


        • dlpthomas Feb 15, 2021 / 11:18 am

          I agree Stokes is mainly in the side for his batting. But he bowls well to the tail and I would have thought you’d give him a crack at breaking the partnership between Kholi and Ashwin – he’s got a bit of a “golden arm”.


          • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 12:30 pm

            As much as I admire Stokes, his bowling just isn’t going to work on Indian pitches. I truly hope I’m proved wrong. I see him taking the odd wicket because he’ll just persist and piss off the batsmen, and he has to stay in the team for his batting – and his fielding. I would say more but it’s bedtime!


  18. man in a barrel Feb 15, 2021 / 9:53 am

    A century and a Michelle puts him in Sobers, Botham, Mankad, Kallis territory, which is not really where he belongs.


    • dlpthomas Feb 15, 2021 / 10:15 am

      Was that his 5th century? Add 380 odd wickets and It’s a very good record.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dlpthomas Feb 15, 2021 / 10:46 am

      They just put up a table of who has taken 5 wickets and a century in the same match and it is the 3rd time Ashwin has done it – only Botham with 5 has done it more times. I’m still a bit pissed off that he got a century but that really is an impressive achievement.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. man in a barrel Feb 15, 2021 / 9:59 am

    And now they are bowling beamers at him. What in the world is going on here, to paraphrase Fred Trueman


    • Mark Feb 15, 2021 / 10:40 am

      As I said after the last test match…..l’ll take Roots batting skills above his captaincy every time.

      If the pitch is so bad why can’t England’s bowlers have some sort of plan to bowl in the right areas consistently and let the pitch do most of the work?

      I suspect this tour is going to rapidly be written off by the media again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 11:07 am

        Leach bowled pretty well in the 2nd innings. Ali bowled some unplayable deliveries followed up by full-tosses. I watched one over he bowled that included four perfect deliveries and two full-tosses and India came away scoring 8 runs in that over. It was very frustrating to watch.


      • Marek Feb 15, 2021 / 11:12 am

        Well, good to see that the problem of a bowler interspersing unplayable deliveries with rank full tosses has been resolved by dropping him and replacing him with a similar style bowler who’s bowled some unplayable deliveries interspersed with rank full tosses…:-)

        Mind you, I think Bess might have the edge as a no. 8 on current form.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 11:17 am

          England’s strategy might be to not let India know which full-toss bowler they have to face. Very clever.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Miami Dad's Six Feb 15, 2021 / 11:36 am

          A bit of chat about Mo and his 146 in Chennai last time he played there in December 2016. After that game he was averaging 35 and had 5 tons from 62 Test innings – not record breaking, but perfectly useful given that he was picked predominantly as England’s spin option. Since that match he averages 20 from 43 Test innings. He actually had an ok summer against South Africa and the West Indies too, but I can’t be bothered to click around statsguru any more.


  20. man in a barrel Feb 15, 2021 / 10:04 am

    Why does it take Jack Leach so long to bowl an over? I imagine that he might be fed up of bowling to someone who is so comfortable he might be sitting in an armchair but why not try to end the day as fast as possible, without overtime?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Miami Dad's Six Feb 15, 2021 / 11:08 am

    An article by Jarrod Kimber – often not quite my cup of tea – certainly has me thinking. India have scored 600+ on this “raging turner”, with two centurions and three 50’s. Just cos England will struggle to muster 300, perhaps it’s not the nightmare I’d mentally labelled it as.

    Certainly if I look back to the 134 all out, Burns was fairly unlucky (Sharma around the wicket, it was just about clipping leg stump on Hawkeye but in my mind still a poor decision – admittedly he still missed it). Sibley and Root got themselves out sweeping (Root in the first Test took ages to unleash his sweeps), Lawrence got bogged down but still saw off 50 deliveries before a poor prod. Stokes is probably the one bat who got a good one – Pope was snaffled down leg off Siraj, Foakes batted with no issues, Mo and Leach are not good batsmen but hung around a bit, Stone and Broad are not good batsmen and got themselves out quickly. 4 or 5 bad attacking shots, maybe 3 or 4 hesitant defensive prods, then just the one jaffa. Maybe we’ve just been a bit crap this game.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. dArthez Feb 15, 2021 / 11:33 am

    Joe Root very luck there with the DRS. How that was umpire’s call on being in front of the wicket, is beyond me to be honest (18.1 overs).


    • Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 11:36 am

      It was plumb LBW. DRS got the point of impact wrong.


  23. Tom Kerr Feb 15, 2021 / 11:34 am

    Well, if nothing else, maybe after this test match the ICC might review the DRS.


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