India v England – 4th Test, Day 3 – Are You Gonna Try To Make This Work?

Confession – I’ve seen none of this test match up until 8:30 am. I woke up, looked at the phone and it said England were 65 for 6. Joe Root then got out. A large part of me, and that’s large, said “go back to sleep”, but duty called and I rumbled downstairs to watch it. In the 10 minutes before tea all that seemed to happen was Sunil Gavaskar getting on my nerves. He’s not on his own for doing that when I have just woken up.

I’m also one who sleeps in bunches and looks at the phone. When I looked at 5 and saw no wickets had fallen, it wasn’t a surprise. I then didn’t bother when I briefly woke up around 6:30. I had a thought of Karun Nair, and that Axar and Sundar might put on 200 for the 8th wicket in a mini-Chennai tribute band style, but it appears as though once Axar departed, the last two batsmen were not able to stay with Sundar to get his first test century.

England’s wickets fell in a heap, as we’ve become used to. It does seem a very long time since Joe Root’s magnificent double hundred in Chennai, and downright embarrassing that in the subsequent 7 England innings the team hasn’t managed to make his first test individual score, let alone anyone approach that great feat. It’s also a long time since another premature and ultimately ill-fated Ed Smith victory lap, and we wait with baited breath for the explanation the genius will provide us for the utter calamity that followed. I mean, yeah, it’s terrific to have a pool of players and to rest them during the mentally exhausting bubble environment, but no, when that is followed by abject uselessness, such “how damn clever am I” pontification, lapped up by a media willing to believe this fool, seems somewhat hollow.

Let’s look at this calamity, in the batting because the bowling hasn’t been truly woeful. England managed scores of 178, 134, 164, 112, 81, 205 and 135. We have had two players pass 50 in six test innings – Ben Stokes leading the way with 55. Zak Crawley made a half-century in the early knockings at Ahmedabad Part Un. Dan Lawrence might get there as I write this. We’ve seen Sibley look all at sea, Bairstow, well, if there isn’t an expose of our ridiculous thinking then I don’t know what is. Ben Stokes has not bowled until he was flogged here, and to me seemed mentally somewhere else. Ollie Pope looked decent at times, but that’s not exactly enough and he’s going to hear voices about his place this summer if there are no runs. Rory Burns looked out of his depth, and was chucked in the sea. Joe Root’s mammoth contributions were always going to end. Dan Lawrence has shown promise, and in this innings has looked decent, and with an idea, which is a bit of a damning indictment on his slightly more experienced colleagues. Foakes has flattered to deceive, but everyone is in love with his keeping, so that’s fine (Indian comms trying to put Pant on a level field with him has been one of the more amusing commentary traits). Sometimes it appears as though Jack Leach has more of an idea and a game plan than some of our “better players”.

But what’s the point of caring about this if the authorities are really only playing lip service? They have the T20 World Cup as their priority. Also, the players aren’t absolved of this, as it is clear (and I am not sure I can blame them) that some view the IPL as more important than this test series. Yes, India can also be accused of this, but Stokes not bowling until this test, and Buttler being packed off home is a bit of a tell. Look, it’s the real world we are dealing with here, and money talks, walks and buys houses. Test glory just makes you feel good. It don’t pay the bills. It’s not the only thing, not even the main thing, but there has been mood music that it’s good prep for the IPL, and that’s got to be good for the World T20. That the World T20, and then the Ashes are important this year and that to lose this series is expected. It’s a mish mash of points, I know, but a Joe Root wonder innings could well have stopped a 4-0 thrashing, so that’s OK. At least his tour de force won a game on a result pitch.

Yes, time for one of my golden great “oh no, not again” points. But yes. Ever since we lost an Ashes series 4-0, and seemed happy that the media’s hero had prevented it with a 244, that same media should have that pointed out to them at every turn. At least in that series Malan and Bairstow made a good century each. At least we had some nice moments to watch. But the media said 4-0 was not that bad, and we should just move on. Now, when you see the last three tests resemble something much worse than Ted Dexter’s all at sea garbage of the 1990s, the press and the pundit class need to can it. Your ship sailed.

Dan Lawrence has added a 50, Jack Leach has just got out.

A 3-1 series defeat flatters England. They were eviscerated in this test. Once Sundar and Pant dragged India out of the hole they had made for themselves, put a lead up of 150ish, the game was done. England realistically needed to make 350 to give themselves a live chance, and that was never going to happen. That England have been demolished in a series where Pujara, Kohli and Rahane have not made centuries says it all.

Lawrence is now out, and the game is over. India have won by an innings. Ashwin and Axar take five each. The game is up. In more ways than one.

I really can’t be bothered, because, frankly, once the tide turned, I don’t think England were that massively bothered either. Anger long since passed me by, and despair is something you feel only when really disappointed. England talk about the primacy of the test game, and then subside in a clueless funk. They have a bowler who, possibly despite himself, took wickets in Sri Lanka and the first test, dropped him, let the news run that they thought he was shot, left him out of the test where Joe Root took a five-for, and then picked him here to fail. They did that and had just two seam bowlers, one of which hadn’t bowled much at all all series, and played Lawrence, who they’d dropped, at number 7. This isn’t blue sky thinking. There’s nothing clever about it, It’s an idiot let loose in the laboratory. Whether it is Ed Smith, Chris Silverwood or Joe Root responsible, I don’t know. If Vaughan is decrying the treatment of Bess, as he has been today, then I doubt Joe Root is responsible. The treatment of Moeen was also gob-smackingly ignorant as well. Stop telling these people they are clever.

India were ruthless, they bowled brilliantly on favourable wickets, to which they are absolutely entitled to produce, and in my view to be criticised for if we feel like it. A result pitch, set out as such, is better, whether we like it or not, than a road. But none of us are experts on how wickets play, and I try to steer away from it. But you are judged on results. Ashwin and Axar annihilated England on the helpful wickets. That’s test cricket, these days.

England came out of this with virtually nothing to show for it after a promising start. Reputations were not enhanced. Two day and three day defeats are soul-destroying. England at least clawed back in the last two tests, but from the moment Rohit set about England in Chennai, the die was cast.

It was good to see this on Channel 4, of course it was. That’s a decided positive. But the teams move to the stuff that matters now – white ball. It pays the bills, it gets the crowds, and it is the future. The tests may well be looked at as a curiosity. That we still appear to care feels like nostalgia for a bygone age, even in the present. This was a chastening loss IF it matters. In the immediate aftermath I have no doubts the players are incredibly hurt, but life goes on, and the circus is due to start for the big players and flailing at a spitting cobra on a spinning top is not in the IPL’s modus operandi.

The opening lyric to the song that the title comes from is “You don’t have to take this crap”. As I type Simon Hughes is blathering on. It seems appropriate really.

Cheers for following us through this test series, and one thing we are grateful for is England have allowed us a few extra lie-ins. As they say after the game “we need to take the positives”.

Comments below.

68 thoughts on “India v England – 4th Test, Day 3 – Are You Gonna Try To Make This Work?

  1. thebogfather Mar 6, 2021 / 10:55 am

    I love the smell of an LCL rant in the morning… (and I’ve missed them so much!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. man in a barrel Mar 6, 2021 / 11:09 am

    Personally, I derived pleasure in this match from the batting of Rohit, Pant and Sundar. Pant’s assault on Anderson with the new ball yesterday was reminiscent of Botham 1981. Sundar looked a decent, well-organised batsman. He would walk into the English team on merit. Throughout the series, the bowling of Ashwin was fascinating to watch. Foakes’s keeping was self-effacing brilliance. Other than Root’s one big innings, it is hard to find many other positives in the English team in the whole series. They were playing an imaginary game where every ball was turning square.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebogfather Mar 6, 2021 / 11:25 am

      If ‘Hurry On Sundown’ was English, we’d screw him up by batting him everywhere from 1-9 and not appreciate his spin skills because he may cost 3.5 runs an over – a la Mo’

      Liked by 1 person

      • dlpthomas Mar 6, 2021 / 11:43 am

        If that’s a Hawkwind reference, then you showing your / our age.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thebogfather Mar 6, 2021 / 12:18 pm

          …from very early this morning… must have been in a bit of a personal ‘space ritual’… sing along now!

          Like

          • NE Mike Mar 6, 2021 / 5:58 pm

            Personally, for the last couple of days I’ve been unable to hear , or sing, anything other than ‘Babylon Sisters’ by Steely Dan whenever Washington Sundar’s name is mentioned (much to my wife’s annoyance)…

            Liked by 1 person

          • dlpthomas Mar 7, 2021 / 9:22 am

            The tour had plenty of “Quark Strangeness” but very little “Charm” as far as I was concerned. And that is an album I haven’t played in far too long.

            Like

    • simpsonlong1 Mar 7, 2021 / 7:12 am

      That audacious treatment of Anderson in that one over had me cheering. It was wonderful. The look on Jimmy’s face. Priceless

      Like

  3. Sophie Mar 6, 2021 / 11:37 am

    I thought the media were a bit too triumphant after the first game. It always goes like this, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • man in a barrel Mar 6, 2021 / 12:35 pm

      Yes, I remember after the 1st Test on the last tour of India, Nasser Hussain declared that Ashwin was a spent force and that the English batsmen had found a way to nullify him

      Like

  4. Nicholas Mar 6, 2021 / 12:23 pm

    Nice to be back here commenting (although I’ve been reading along as ever – thanks for all the writing, all!)

    Whilst I may well return and say plenty about the England team’s performance over these last three tests, I want to flag up Simon Hughes’ spectacular return to form over the last couple of days.

    He’s been appearing as oddly normal on his C4 stints over most of this series, more like the public at large would remember him from the old days on C4, but he has quickly veered back to the Partridgean character that we have come to know and love over the last few years.

    Him installing his own green screen at his home so that he could deliver Hawk Eye-based analysis was absolutely hilarious (and you could tell that those in the studio thought it was really funny, too) – the effect was made by him resting a cricket bat against his crotch as he spoke.

    But the absolute crowning glory came after today’s result, with him delivering a monologue promoting the Cricketer magazine (which of course he edits). Frankly, that kind of thing is illegal in British broadcasting and I am severely tempted to report that 5 minutes of the Channel 4 programme to Ofcom. And it’s so typical that Mr ‘Conflict of Interest’ strikes again, on his biggest stage yet.

    I actually burst out laughing. Funner than an England collapse.

    Liked by 2 people

    • man in a barrel Mar 6, 2021 / 12:38 pm

      Today his room was plastered with magazine covers and an extraordinary array of cricket bats. I wasn’t struck by this on his other visits to the screen. Was it done especially for today? Eccentric is one way of describing it

      Like

      • Nicholas Mar 7, 2021 / 12:18 pm

        Yes! This was the bit I was referring to. I’m so glad it’s been captured, as I don’t have a Freeview recorder and Channel 4 aren’t putting up the live coverage on their catch-up service.

        Glad it wasn’t just me who noticed it – so unbelievably Partridge, and illegal under the British broadcasting code!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Mar 6, 2021 / 6:09 pm

      Absolutely brilliant Nicholas!! Alan Partridge seems like Plato compared to this snake oil salesman.

      And yes, please do report them to Ofcom.

      Like

  5. Miami Dad's Six Mar 6, 2021 / 2:30 pm

    I actually think this was a huge missed opportunity. How often will anyone go to India and see none of Kohli, Rahane or Pujara score big runs?

    A litany of errors across selection – three Tests in a row, a lot of those decisions made weeks ago, with no flexibility when circumstances seemed obvious to most! Then those who were picked, esp as batsmen, invariably poor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 6, 2021 / 2:37 pm

      History has shown that India quite frequently gave us a variety of surfaces, from raging turners to Mohali’s foggy murk, and all parts in between. The last series that felt like this was the 1992/3 circus, but that also brought us Hick’s test best, a century from Chris Lewis, and Neil Fairbrother’s highest test innings too, as well as Tuffers actually setting a batting record. India scored a ton of runs on these same surfaces.

      We are told today’s players are so much better than the past, but they seemed, in the main, pretty clueless. What else can you say?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mark Mar 6, 2021 / 5:54 pm

      The Ed Smith lap of honour!!!! ;-)) It never fails to amuse.

      Unfortunately Mr Smith is usually celebrating the equivalent of blowing out his hamstring on the first corner.

      The list of England scores…. 178, 134, 164, 112, 81, 205 and 135, reads more like 20/20 scores. Which is appropriate because that is what English cricket now is.

      Smith is a fool with a degree, if that makes sense? The media know the game is up regards Test cricket, which is why they have now decided to become the ECBs public relations officers. Years gone by they would have torn into Smith and England. But now they are on the same page. Probably have the same agents, and dine together.

      I once would get angry about this. Now, it’s just resignation and nostalgia for a by gone age.

      Not very long ago England’s previous captain, who is now often found employed by the BBC claimed that the standard of modern test cricket has never been higher. A sport run by, and professionally analysed by fools, dreamers and fantasists.

      I fear The Ashes will be more of the same. Where are the runs going to come from?

      Like

      • thebogfather Mar 7, 2021 / 8:47 am

        Ah, but the Ed Smith lap of honour is already done for this winter… hence with lovechild Jos, three wins out of three!
        With Foakes, three big defeats.
        WK position sorted for summer and Ashes…

        Like

      • Marek Mar 7, 2021 / 12:30 pm

        …which is a totally false choice right at the moment: leave out the player who’s averaging 50 in the last year or your best keeper who averages 31 in tests at a time when most of your specialist batsmen are averaging about 31.

        I would pick both.

        Like

  6. Metatone Mar 6, 2021 / 2:32 pm

    There are lots of things that went wrong (not least selection) and it was always going to be a tough tour.
    Tough because even if the pitches had been more reliable they would always spin and Ashwin right now is at some kind of peak in being able to use his variations to think a batsman out.

    All that said, I am extremely fed up and it’s because, as you note, beyond Root, Lawrence and Leach none of the batsmen even looked like they had a plan, let alone the concentration and skills to carry it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • man in a barrel Mar 6, 2021 / 7:31 pm

      If you go back a few years, to the last tour of India, it seems incredible that, this time, England got thrashed by a team that did not get big runs from Pujara, Kohli, Rahane (remember Kohli’s 265, or Pujara’s 2 centuries?), and which did not require the services of Rahul, Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav (a century at number 9!). England are scraping the barrel to find anyone who can match what those guys achieved in that series and yet they have been replaced by players who might be better – Axar and Sundar. When Jadeja returns, India have real selection dilemmas. England just don’t have the players. If India really want it, a few seasons of county cricket could get their batsmen into shape to conquer Fortress Trent Bridge or Headingley. I hope Ed is getting worried

      Like

  7. Sri.Grins Mar 7, 2021 / 1:15 am

    England did very well and competed given
    a) poor selection and assessment of pitch
    b) lack of experience on turning pitches
    c) Differemtial in quality of spinners who were the ceggucial element

    Both the 3rd amd 4th test could have gone England’s way but for Axar, Sundar and Pant

    I think rotation is the biggest culprit. India did not change their batsmen or spinners in the series.

    England outplayed India in Chennai on a flat pitch.

    ECB claims of prioritizing test cricket sound hollow. That is your real issue..BCCI despite all its issues does not rest key players in tests unless they are requested by the player or the opponents are expected to be weaker.

    I still remember the way ATL and BTL commenters in the Guardiam from 2012 used to talk about India’s fascination with short form cricket and how English cricket focused on the ‘tests’ that matter.😁

    Like

    • Sri.Grins Mar 7, 2021 / 1:15 am

      Were the crucial element

      Like

  8. Amit Garg Mar 7, 2021 / 4:18 am

    Rotation is obviously one reason England haven’t had the right pool to choose from for the series. We may not like it but it is a harsh reality that operating in bubbles or living with so many restrictions will likely hamper performance. We’ve all been there over the last 12 months in some form or other.

    That said, what did we know and what did we learn new?

    1. Precious little about the new guys in England squad. We knew Joe was a class apart. Validated it. About others? We knew some weren’t likely to cut it and they haven’t. Leach and Lawrence and may be Crawley could be persisted with, based on their performance. I find it hard to support anyone else. Don’t discard them yet but there needs to be a clear pathway towards tangible improvement.

    2. India are turning into a fighting squad. We learnt this in Australia but reaffirmed it here with their ability to fight back. Hasn’t always been the case.

    3. High profile names like Kohli, Rahane, ChePu are also mortals. We knew it but didn’t want to believe it. This series has shown that to be true. With KL Rahul, Iyer and a host of others waiting in the wings for their turn, both Pujara and Rahane need to score regularly. Both are capable of tough runs but their rut seems to last longer.

    4. India now seems to have bowlers for all pitches and weather conditions. Bumrah, Shami, Ishant, Siraj, Umesh, Bhuvi, Saini, Ashwin, Jadeja, Axar, Sundar, kuldeep and Pandya (if fit and bowling) offer a wide range of choices and can succeed in most conditions. If the top order batsmen can show discipline, they will be a force anywhere.

    5. England need a rethink on their test squad. They may be better off by developing a few test only players.

    Of course as an Indian fan, the result looks better but it’s the depth in bench strength that is really pleasing to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marek Mar 7, 2021 / 1:00 pm

    For me, blaming the defeat on Coronavirus rotations–or, which seems to be related although i suspect the rotation policy has as much to do with Silverwood and Giles as him, on Smith–doesn’t make any more sense than blaming it on the pitches.

    To begin with, it was probably unavoidable. We only have to look at the WI squad that went to Bangladesh to see what can happen if players get too fed up with the rigours of Covid-era touring.

    In any case, there wasn’t a whole lot of rotation of established players. Four of the top seven and both first-choice spinners were available for every game (and although of course the series wasn’t won or lost on the seam bowling, Anderson wasn’t rested any more than he usually is and Archer played every time he was fit); Crawley only missed games through injury and Burns was dropped not rotated. The only effects rotation had on the batting were to swap round two players neither of whom had played for England in the last year and to send home a keeper whose replacement many people think is a better test batsman and who is clearly a better keeper.

    The result is that I can’t think of a single player who was rotated out of the side who would clearly have made the side better for the games he missed. Buttler might have; Ali might have, although his weak point is exactly the same as Bess’s; there’s no compelling reason to think that Bairstow would have batted better than Lawrence; Wood probably, and Curran and Woakes almost certainly, wouldn’t have.

    I think there were mistakes made in the rotation policy (notably not resting Buttler and Ali for the SL series rather than portions of the India one and, worse, not resting anyone for the SA tour). However, this series was lost for the reason that LCL talks about above: the ECB’s policy make it difficult to produce a successful red-ball side.

    Sure, there was some brainless selection (I thought dropping Bess mid-series was not good selection, and the seamers at Ahmedabad and the eight batsmen were just idiotic–it’s interesting that many of the biggest howlers of the Smith era have come on tour when the decisions were being made by Silverwood, Bayliss or Root). But if only one of your specialist batting candidates averages over 35 and only eight players in the county game average over 40 (of whom four were on this tour, one retired, one too old to select and one struggling with mental health issues), then what is any selector supposed to do? Sure, playing batsmen who are used to playing at 4 or 5 in the number 3 slot can look pretty crazy, but is anyone really saying that Tom Westley, James Vince or Ben Duckett would have done better?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Miami Dad's Six Mar 9, 2021 / 2:46 pm

      You’re absolutely right in a lot of what you have said. England were always rank outsiders in this series – the ECB’s approach to red ball cricket cemented that long ago. You only have to look at the averages of the Top 6s to see a huge disparity in the numbers (this probably won’t format very well):

      Sharma 47 Sibley 30
      Gill 34 Crawley/Burns 34/30
      Pujara 47 JB/Lawrence 34 / 28
      Kohli 52 Root 49
      Rahane 41 Stokes 37
      Pant 45 Pope 31

      Stokes is widely seen as England’s second best batsman – but his average of 37 is comfortably below all of India’s apart from their rookie 21 year old opener. If you put Stokes in India’s side, he’d probably bat at 7 below the keeper.

      Pope, Sibley, Crawley, Burns, Lawrence realistically aren’t as good as India’s worst batsman. Most have been picked on potential rather than a weight of runs. Bairstow and Mo are probably similar, they get picked as it is thought there is the potential for them to magically get back to their red ball best out of the blue. It’s pie in the sky thinking.

      I don’t expect Smith, Silverwood and Root to be able to change that the cupboard is bare, or make the barrel anything other something you scrape things out the bottom of. I do expect them to attack a four Test tour against probably the world’s best Test side (sorry NZ) with the sort of zeal and ambition to at the very least get the best out of your best XI. To go from being 1-0 up to losing the remaining 3 Tests in the manner that they were lost is just a huge missed opportunity. Leaving out spinners on raging turners, sending spinners home, picking 3 bowlers, chucking anyone in to bat at 3, giving a keeper a game who’d not played red ball in god knows how long just as the incumbent keeper was finally, finally looking adequate.

      This past month was a failure on so many levels. Structural, selection, technique. From Harrison, through Smith, Silverwood, Root – through the entire playing squad; Bairstow to Woakes. Rubbish.

      Who’s betting that the Ashes next winter will be any different?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. man in a barrel Mar 7, 2021 / 4:38 pm

    One for the Darthez cam… I thought the on-pitch umpires did a good job. Not many over-rules.

    Also, we have discussed Bess bowling full tosses, but how many did Stokes bowl?

    Like

    • dArthez Mar 8, 2021 / 3:47 am

      The on-field umpires did quite well. Of course, there were a few dubious calls (like Rohit getting out on two umpires calls in this Test; and a few misjudged lbws), but those will always happen – and given the state of the pitches, not really surprising that these things happen.

      Kohli really needs to work on his reviewing skills though. A lot of the Indian reviews were shockingly poor. England did much better in that respect throughout the series.

      Obviously the talking point with regards to the umpiring is the third umpire performance, specifically when protocols were not followed. With regards to the umpiring, that is something the ICC could really work on (it happens in other series as well, from time to time, but this time around, it was far more noticeable and to some players irritating).

      As for Stokes’ bowling, I can’t really tell since poor internet, robbed me of the opportunity to pay much attention to all the fielding from England (in the fourth Test, and that is the one in which Stokes was hopelessly overbowled).

      Like

  11. man in a barrel Mar 8, 2021 / 12:44 pm

    Is anyone following the Road Safety league? It seems to have legends such as Lara, Tendulkar, KP and Treadwell!

    Like

    • Marek Mar 8, 2021 / 1:38 pm

      Wot you saying about Gavin Hamilton and Chris Schofield?! Implying they’re not legends…?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Miami Dad's Six Mar 9, 2021 / 2:49 pm

      I just can’t sum up enthusiasm for that sort of tournament. It gives me Soccer Aid vibes.

      Like

    • Grenville Mar 11, 2021 / 11:59 pm

      Usmaan Afzal… I always thought that he should have had more games

      Like

  12. dlpthomas Mar 12, 2021 / 1:27 pm

    Its good to see Jofra back for the first 20/20 game but I’m puzzled about what his “elbow injury” actually is. It can’t be a recurrence of the stress fracture because any half decent medical team would have sent him home so what….oh, wait…. never mind.

    Like

  13. Tom Kerr Mar 12, 2021 / 1:57 pm

    Really impressed by England’s opening attack in the first T20 match. I live in the US, and the first phrase that came to mind was “shock and awe”. India 20-3 after 5 overs.

    Like

    • Tom Kerr Mar 12, 2021 / 2:02 pm

      Even Jordan is bowling at 140 km/h+. Wood is approaching 150 km/h.

      Like

      • dlpthomas Mar 12, 2021 / 2:12 pm

        Wood looks very impressive.

        Like

        • Tom Kerr Mar 12, 2021 / 2:21 pm

          So did Archer. It looks as though all the quicker bowlers right now are trying to make a point.

          Like

          • dlpthomas Mar 12, 2021 / 2:42 pm

            Wood is for sure.

            Liked by 1 person

  14. dlpthomas Mar 12, 2021 / 2:05 pm

    Pant just played a reverse sweep over the slips for 6 off Archer ( at least I think that’s what it was) Incredible shot.

    Like

    • Tom Kerr Mar 12, 2021 / 2:31 pm

      Yes, saw that, Pant is a serious talent, but it was the only way he could get a boundary. There is some serious pace from England.

      Like

      • Tom Kerr Mar 12, 2021 / 2:35 pm

        Jordan up over 90 mph. Maybe the speed gun is off whack but watching it live it looks like some very fast bowling. India 63-4 off 13.

        Like

  15. Tom Kerr Mar 12, 2021 / 3:52 pm

    If only England could find a pace attack to win test matches in India, just like the West Indies in the 70s and 80s.

    Like

  16. Tom Kerr Mar 12, 2021 / 3:58 pm

    England going well, but some of the India fielding is astonishingly good. I just watched (Rahane?) save a six that he had no chance of getting near let alone saving the boundary. Just wow.

    Like

  17. Tom Kerr Mar 14, 2021 / 3:43 pm

    Does anyone know why Mark Wood isn’t in the team for the 2nd T20 match against India?

    Like

    • Sophie Mar 14, 2021 / 5:38 pm

      He’s injured.

      Like

      • Tom Kerr Mar 16, 2021 / 1:41 pm

        The latest India vs England T20 match has just started. Given recent responses or lack of them, I guess this isn’t raising much interest. BTW, thanks for your reply, Sophie. Wood is back in action right now, so glad he’s recovered and he’s just taken a wicket.

        Like

        • dlpthomas Mar 16, 2021 / 1:43 pm

          I’m curious to know what injury he had given he’s bowling at over 150 km/hr.

          Like

          • Tom Kerr Mar 16, 2021 / 1:51 pm

            Same here. Archer and Wood bowling with more than serious pace, all started by the first over being bowled by Rashid.

            Like

        • Marek Mar 16, 2021 / 1:49 pm

          Bruised heel according to Morgan the other night.

          Like

          • dlpthomas Mar 16, 2021 / 1:52 pm

            It seems to have gotten better surprisingly quickly. He great to watch when he bowls like this.

            Liked by 1 person

  18. dlpthomas Mar 16, 2021 / 1:59 pm

    Kishan gone for 4 – enter your own cliche about cricket being a great leveller.

    Like

  19. Tom Kerr Mar 16, 2021 / 2:45 pm

    I know I’m an old codger, but I grew up watching cricket from 1977 onwards and then wanting to play the game as a pro. That never happened but while doing all I could to make it possible Idid learn a few things.

    One of them was that the West Indies bowling attack at that time scared batsmen. Secondly, they didn’t change their great advantage of a scary fast bowling attack because the pitch might take spin – that wasn’t their strength, fast bowling was.

    England are now fortunate enough to have some very fast bowlers plus the incredible skill of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Leach is OK as a spinner, I think he is better than Ashley Giles for instance, but there was no way we would ever beat India if we tried to match their spinners. The era of Swann and Panesar is long-gone.

    So why didn’t England just use pace? It’s the one thing England is good at right now. We see it in the T20 matches and I know they aren’t the same as tests, but the England fast bowlers have really intimidated the India batsmen.

    Sorry for the rant, it’s late, didn’t have the most fun day, but hopefully, I’ve asked some reasonable questions. I just Wood bowl at 152 km/h with the batsman getting nowhere near the ball.

    Tom

    Like

    • Tom Kerr Mar 16, 2021 / 3:02 pm

      Kohli is putting on a bit of a masterpiece right now.

      Like

    • dlpthomas Mar 16, 2021 / 3:12 pm

      1977? Your just a spring chicken. I’m not sure how you bowl to Kholi when he is in form like this but he has got India to quite a good score.

      Like

      • Tom Kerr Mar 16, 2021 / 3:54 pm

        I do have memories of the 1976 Eng vs WI series if that counts – John Edrich with the big bat etc.

        Like

  20. dlpthomas Mar 18, 2021 / 3:40 pm

    I’m starting to think the third umpired must be English.

    Like

  21. Marek Mar 22, 2021 / 11:50 pm

    Two bits of Yorkshire-related stuff:

    …first, bangs heads against wall that Joe Root has been allowed to play the first two games for Yorks–plus potentially four more to come. That’ll be the England captain who has 15 tests to play in the next year, most of them against the world’s top three sides–plus (if there’s a bit of sensible selection) a WT20 and anything up to 11 warm-up games for it plus (knowing the ECB) a weekend or two for Trent Maidmarians or whoever. I could understand giving him the two May games but….aaargh!

    Second, was watching some live cricket from England on the Internet today (what’s not to like about THAT?!) and was heartened–no, that’s an understatment–to see Gary ballance back and scoring runs. I seriously wondered reading some of the news last year whether we were ever going to see him on a professional field again. He looked pretty trim too.

    Like

    • dlpthomas Mar 23, 2021 / 11:24 am

      I didn’t realize Ballance was only 31 – his last game for England feels like a very long time ago.

      Like

  22. Miami Dad's Six Mar 23, 2021 / 11:21 am

    Bloody hell, playing cricket in England! It’s freezing where I am, and I assume the rest of the country is nothing but colder.

    I quite liked Ballance up until the ECB suit whose name escapes me, basically repeat-stuttered his name throughout a fairly lengthy interview to justify getting rid of KP. He still averages more than anyone currently playing Tests for England bar Root, but, err, KP he ain’t.

    I can see that it’s on, but I can’t really see the point in an ODI series without crowds and without a WC to plan for. Is this really making money, or generating interest anywhere? I note, with grim resignation rather than with visceral fury, that Moeen and Buttler were rested during the Tests but then are playing in this? Jesus H Christ I hate cricket.

    Like

    • dlpthomas Mar 23, 2021 / 11:27 am

      Was it Paul Downton?

      Like

  23. dlpthomas Mar 23, 2021 / 2:43 pm

    Roy and Bairstow got England off to a great start but the wheels have well and truly fallen off. 5 – 176 chasing 318 – we bat deep but I think we’ve blown it.

    Like

    • dArthez Mar 23, 2021 / 3:40 pm

      Really starts to look like it. Mind you England were helped a bit by Kohli’s fielding. Otherwise, 135/0 would have become 137/3.

      Also note that the opening partnership had reduced the required run rate to something rather comfortable, but the hyper-aggressive way of playing by England, a ‘comfortable’ situation occasionally deteriorates rather quickly. Even when Billings got out (6th wicket) required rate was less than a run a ball.

      Like

      • dlpthomas Mar 23, 2021 / 3:49 pm

        It looked a completely different game after Roy got out. Credit to India for a great fight back but England really lost the plot. (Given that it is nearly 3 in the morning and I’m still watching, you could also argue I lost the plot)

        Like

  24. Marek Mar 23, 2021 / 9:37 pm

    One thing I was really unimpressed by with England–and it’s been an interesting contrast with India for all the white-ball matches–was the conservative approach to selection. It’s nearer three years than two to the next WC, and England are wasting a match where they could have had a look at Livingstone, Parkinson and Topley selecting Buttler and Stokes–who they really don’t need to find out any more about!–and to some extent Tom Curran, who I would have thought has already shown he’s not one of England’s best white-ball bowlers at the moment.

    So let’s hope they only play one of Morgan and Buttler for the rest of the series, give Stokes a rest, and only play two of TC, Wood and Rashid.

    Like

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