Alastair Cook’s sticking around for another brandy

“Oh, you’re still here. I, er, thought everyone had gone home. Are you going to, er…? No, you’re not. You’re going to stick around for a bit longer, you say. You’re going to stick around and have another brandy, even though everyone else has gone home and I was clearly just about to go to bed.”

As we understand it, at least one of the selectors wanted shot of Alastair Cook as one-day captain, but Peter Moores didn’t so they just sort of went with that.

Unlike everyone else who writes about cricket, we’re not actually against this. We’re not in favour either, but we don’t really buy the argument that if England were bold and radical, they’d have a far better chance of winning the World Cup. As such, we think it’s fine to stick with Cook because if England do somehow do okay, at least it’ll be funny watching everyone backtrack.

We know you’re supposed to be positive about and say ‘at least if we gamble, we’ll have a chance’. It’s just that we don’t really believe it. We’ve seen enough England World Cup campaigns to know that bright ideas six months out tend to result in a bunch of new players who bottle it in big games, having never actually played in one before.

At least Cook’s used to everyone calling him an ineffectual bumcock and won’t be taken aback by the hostility directed his way when his side collapses against New Zealand.

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60 Appeals

  1. Well he’s in now. No point in continuing to moan about it, because that won’t change a damn thing, unless his scores in the Sri Lankan series read like a line of Boolean logic.

    So we may as well hope that he can remember those times when he scored crazy hundreds at reasonable pace, for which he’ll need to stay in for long enough to see the spinners. And then not get out to them. On Bunsens.

    Meanwhile, Alex Hales needs to remember that he’s at his best as a “mad flailer”, as described here: http://www.kingcricket.co.uk/alastair-cook-as-a-one-day-opener/2011/06/28/ and stop trying to play stodgy partner to his stodgy captain.

  2. Bumcock? Is that what I think it is?

  3. ‘As we understand it, at least one of the selectors wanted shot of Alastair Cook as one-day captain, but Peter Moores didn’t so they just sort of went with that.’

    Anonymous sources? Is that you, Mike Selvey?

  4. I like the fact that England seem wedded to the idea of being resolutely crap at ODIs. Top level sport is great to watch but just like there is something reassuring watching Hamilton stall on the start line, it’s good to see a bunch of professionals find themselves at 30 runs for a depressing number of wickets after 10 overs.

    Just as Andy Zalztman has stated that olympic golf should be played by half-drunk accountants sneaking out of work on their lunch breaks to get in a round or two while evading calls from their wives, I believe the ECB should send out a WC squad comprised of confused looking amateurs who all hope the captain asks someone else to open (ideally that bloke who’s a mate of one of the new ball bowlers).

    • I bemoan professionalism, when is the last time there was some good old-fashioned crap sport on telly? Featuring people with a realistically-attainable physique (or better yet, a realistically-avoidable one), whose enthusiasm outweighs their skill by a 10:1 ratio or better, and whose knowledge of the rules is as limited as my own?

      I demand answers.

    • Bailout, I know what you mean. I look at Inzamam, Jesse Ryder and Samit Patel and think to myself, “Alec, no matter what changes you make to your diet and excercise regime you will never have a physique like theirs”.

    • Daneel, you read my mind – I was actually thinking of the Tennis Whack event on IKoS!

      But some of them actually looked like proper athletes. I’m really after a sub-Channel 5 version of Primary School Sports Day.

    • Saturday morning wrestling on ITV?
      It’s a Knockout?

  5. I’m not concerned about England’s World Cup chances – I don’t think they have any and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it goes better than I expect. there’ll be some good 50-over cricket played but I can’t see England playing much – or any – of it.

    My all-consuming fear is that the skipper successfully adapts his game over the coming ODI months and can’t switch back into Test mode afterwards.

  6. England are going to surprise everyone in the forthcoming World Cup and walk off with the trophy.

    Remember where you read it first.

    • I do hope you make this comment before any major tournament in any sport England are competing in

    • Absolutely not, Pat. Where would the fun be in that?

    • What? So the they are just going to casually take the cup from its display plinth thingi at the opening game and just sort of saunter off with it? I suppose it’s a bit less suspicious than running away with it. Obviously they can’t try the heist on at the final as their presence would be far too incongruous.

  7. Back to Lancs – Atherton says he would have declared on 250 to deny Middx bonus points. So is it allowed or not?

    • Ask the declaration monitor Sam. That’s what he is for.

      Hypothetical question as Lancs were not 250/5, so a declaration at 250/6 would have condemned Lancs to division 2 cricket for sure.

      My opinion for what it is worth, is that, had Lancs reached 250/5 this evening, the declaration dude would not have been happy with the declaration. In the morning, if Lancs reach 300/8, he will be happy with a declaration.

      My only previous experience of this indignity was at the Oval in 2005. I was there in person when Ben Hutton disappeared into a shed. “He’s gone to check whether the declaration will be legit”, I was told. Ben emerged about one minute later and declared as soon as Middlesex passed 400/5:

      http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/219846.html

      Even that left us squeaky-bummed until Middlesex took a third wicket the following day.

    • Blimey – Trego and Joyce bowling for Middx. How times change.

  8. I love cricket. No other sport could have made such a balls of its rules and regulations that they need someone to assess the precise reasoning behind a decision before they know whether it is legal or not.

    But surely there is more that can be done. I favour having a Declaration Monitor Decision Review System, where the on-field umpires can be asked by the captain to watch a video replay (with HotSpot) of the Declaration Monitor making his decision, to check whether his balls had moved outside leg at any time during the process.

  9. As long as Cook gets out early in the World Cup, this team could be a real chance as there are some proper ODI batsmen in there. If he muddles around for ages, trying not to get out, the English team is ****ed.

    • I still think that there’s some sense to the suggested strategy of “wickets in hand, accelerate later”. Bar Cooky, the entire team can accelerate to a decent degree. The trouble is that you’ve either got one less wicket in hand, or a batsman at the crease in the middle overs who struggles to accelerate later. Putting the kibosh on the “wickets in hand, accelerate later” strategy.

      There’d be no problem with having Cook at his best opening, because (referring to that other KC article I linked to above) he was utter class. But he’s not at his best.

    • King Cricket

      September 25, 2014 at 10:09 am

      You wonder whether he benefited a bit from being relatively unknown as a one-day batsman when he returned to the side. He added about two shots to his Test game and it worked and now everyone just blocks off those two shots and he’s stuck.

    • I remember there being one time, possibly in the tests, where the TMS commentator said, “If Cook has a reverse sweep in his arsenal, now’s the time to use it.” I assume that they’d loaded the field disproportionately on the one side.

      From the ensuing commentary, I deduced that Cook didn’t have a reverse sweep in his arsenal.

    • Opposing skippers are so defenxive these days in odis, if Cook can learn to rotate strike it might work out. Don’t know if he can in time though. If Morgan finds form, anything can happen.

  10. Tense tension at Fly Emirates For All Your Getting Somewhere Far Away Needs Old Trafford. 289 for 8. 11 more runs maintains Lancs hopes. A wicket before then relegates them. A declaration at 300 for 8 brings the Declaration Monitor Lizard into play. Freckly Ginger Smurf at the crease.

  11. Going to more of a case as to whether they can get the runs in the overs

  12. DECLARE! DECLARE!

  13. Has someone woke decision Monitor?

    • King Cricket

      September 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

      This is why normal people often feel moved to inappropriately use words like ‘legend’ isn’t it?

  14. Yeeeeeeeeeessssssssss!!!!!!!!

    I assume that had been agreed with the pencil monitor earlier. So Lancs get 6 points, Middlesex 3, 16 for the win brings Lancs exactly the 19 over Middlesex that they need. Only the result matters now.

    • And just to add to the tension, all done with 4 balls of the 110 overs to spare.

    • King Cricket

      September 25, 2014 at 11:43 am

      We’ve just realised that Lancashire are going to have to bat last, which means relegation still hinges on Lancashire’s batting…

    • Don’t worry KC. The batting is fixed now. Lancashire DECALRED. Imagine that! Lancashire, that team that plays at Old Trafford, scoring enough runs in an innings to declare. Heady days.

  15. Middlesex to make 400+ and get and easy draw now after all that excitement.

    Nothing more certain.

  16. More importantly, Leics only need to score 521 to win their first game of the season.

    Losing by more than 400 runs to Derby will sum up this season quite well, I’d imagine.

  17. Middlesex 36 for 2 in this single innings shoot-out.

    Chapple (4 for 55, 45 no, 40 years old) has not yet had the impact on the second innings that he is destined to have. Hang on to your stupid panama hats, Middlesexists, The Freckles from Eccles (*) is coming to get you.

    (*) He’s from Skipton, actually.

    • Skipton? Sounds suspiciously Yorkshirey to me…

      James Whitaker is also from Skipton. Has anyone from there ever got more than one cap for England?

    • Of course, Whitaker has 2 ODI caps to gowith his solitary Test one (Ashes winner!). So carry on.

    • One more wicket and Lancs. will be into the imaginary county’s soft underbelly. Actually they’ve already had a first shot at it with Denly, but there’s more to come. So much more…

    • A fair point, Daneel, but he moved to the civilised world at some point in his life, making him a Lancastrian. Look at this photo of him, which is how Lancastrians all look:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Chapple#mediaviewer/File:Glen_Chapple_2009.jpg

      Middlesex are now 53 for 3. Ged and KC are presumably hiding behind the sofa. Different sofas, probably. I tend to see Ged as having a Chesterfield sofa in burgundy leather, KC more a futon from Ikea.

    • Whereas Sam is casually reclining in a comfy armchair, the Bears having secured second spot with a crushing innings victory.

    • King Cricket

      September 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      It’s a two-seater in some kind of thick gauge cord. It was from one of those warehouses going by the name of Furniture Universe or somesuch. We can’t remember exactly where.

  18. Oh dear, it is 3 years ago i first came in touch with this beautiful sport. It was strangley exciting, as i had no real idea how everything works (why does a sport going for 4-days even exist?), but one team had to win in a relativley short time to score around 200 runs, if that wouldnt be enough, they also had to hope that another team didnt win.. everybodys was pumped up, the commentators, the few spectators in an empty stadium.

    And they pulled it off, the chased down 210 in 30 overs and sealed the deal. this team was no other than Lancashire, and tomorrow history will repeat itself. Best of luck to Lancashire (but in fairness best of luck to Middlesex too).

  19. 90 for 4. The soft underbelly (Morgan) is exposed. Lancashire will win for sure.

    • Morgan varies between being as hard as his bat, and as squidgy as wet cotton wool. Your guess is as good as mine as to which Morgan is turning up today – but he’s already hit a six, which is not a good sign.

      On the other hand, Dexter’s in the middle, so the underbelly is out in the evening light all the same. Toblerone Jones is MCCC’s only remaining hope, apart from hard Morgan.

      …Yes, hard Morgan. What’s so funny?

    • King Cricket

      September 25, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Paul Horton, you’ve just dropped 2015 first division County Championship status.

    • Poor old Paul Horton
      But then again
      He should have flipping caught ’em

  20. Poor old Leicestershire. Bring back Chris Lewis and Al Mullall.

  21. MS Dhoni biopic announced: http://www.india.com/showbiz/m-s-dhoni-the-untold-story-first-look-sushant-singh-rajput-is-set-to-hit-the-cricket-field-157415/

    I expect that they’ll provide an unbiased look at the great man’s career, go into great detail about his record in Tests away, and barely touch upon the IPL.

    • Rags to riches story based around him whacking the winning runs in the World Cup 2011. In fact, it might only be about him whacking the winning runs in the World Cup 2011.

    • King Cricket

      September 27, 2014 at 8:56 am

      A riches to even greater riches story about him whacking the winning runs in the World Cup before renegotiating a series of contracts and product endorsements.

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