And it begins…

We’re increasingly thinking that the Ashes is actually a grim psychological experiment that’s being carried out on all of the people of England and Australia.

How much tension can a human being endure?

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10 Appeals

  1. Nailbiting stuff!

    I was going to highlight the stirling work from your physio but it seems Ricky has already had a cry about it therefore I believe that it could not possibly have affected the game in any way.

    Instead I’ll say Australia have only themselves to blame for an excruciating slow performance with the bat by the middle order which cost them the extra time needed for victory..

    Is it just me or has Doctrove picked up from where Bucknor left off with some astonishing decisions?

  2. Agony upon agony. And that physio nonsense was just embarrassing.

    Thought Doctrove had a good a game except for Bopara’s decision (which was a shite shot anyway).

    The KP-LBW in the first innings just didn’t look right in real time, although it was plumb in slow-motion, so i forgive him that.

  3. There will be much wailing and wringing of hands in the England camp at a rubbish overall performance, and much focussed anger and annoyance from the Strayans at the luckiness of the Poms.

    Interestingly, when these things happen in reverse (see recent tests in the West Indies) we get all upset about how bad our bowling is not to be able to dislodge a couple of tail enders, and we assume that the opposition will be on a monster wave of jubilation that will carry them through the next match.

    What we need is a press that says to the England players, “You can’t fail now, you are blessed with an invincibility shield that no Australian can penetrate,” and says to the Aussies, “The cream of your bowling talent can only get four tail-end wickets in five hours, and can’t get Panesar out AT ALL.”

  4. I’d agree wholeheartedly Bert, but England seem unable to take confidence from anything at the moment. As a team, they struggle manfully but fail to win matches of significance.
    And yes, I know that I’ve fallen into the very trap against which you have tried to guard me. Tits.

  5. It’s an easy trap to fall into, String, as I am about to demonstrate in a probably overlong post.

    English batsmen spend their formative years playing in the vacuum that is County Cricket. No press, no fans, no interest, and absolutely no pressure. They demonstrate to us all that they have “talent”, and it is this that carries them into the test team. Then, they set up and maintain an average of 43 or so based mainly around scoring centuries against poor teams. Then they are put under pressure, and they inevitably fail.

    In this match, they wobbled a bit in the first innings, but generally speaking, they did sort of OK. In the second innings though, the pressure was on. I have read several articles this morning whose point is that it was the first innings that was to blame, because it was this that caused the pressure to happen. All these articles miss the point that proper test players should be able to HANDLE the pressure.

    From the start of England’s 2nd innings, this match should have never been seen as anything other that a five-wickets-remaining draw. But we knew when Cook and Strauss came out to bat that in fact it was almost certainly going to be a loss. Why? Because we know that none of the English batsmen can play under pressure. The bowlers can bat because they are under no pressure. Our batsmen cannot. We seem to have broken KP into this mould as well.

    The Times has a bizarre graph that gives the likelihood of the three results throughout the match. The data that goes into it does not take into account this mental frailty of the English batsman. It just looks at the state of the match. At the start of Day 5 it had the draw as the most likely outcome. Who in England actually believed that?

    The long term solution is to breed a race of batsmen who can handle pressure. These will be arrogant, wilful, confident, not dissimilar from KP Mk 1. Ideally, they should have horns. This will not happen before Thursday, however. Therefore, the only short term answer is to get off their backs, big up their confidence, and try to let them play under as little pressure as possible.

  6. Bert, are you suggesting that we engineer a race of anti-Ramps?

  7. A cross between David Gower and Gunther would do the trick.

  8. King Cricket

    July 13, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Bert, we’d certainly agree wholeheartedly that English Test cricketers should be able to handle pressure better and that county cricket can take a huge amount of the blame for the fact that they can’t.

    We don’t agree that they should be able to handle it completely though. That’s an ideal, certainly, but players will always be human and that’s a huge part of Test cricket and an even bigger part of Ashes cricket.

  9. We need more working class heroes.
    We need more street fighters.
    We need people with big bollocks made of steel.
    We need people that don’t get scared shitless every time there’s a bit of pressure on.

    If it came down to a straight scrap between the XI’s, I’d back the Aussies, as they’re all tough bastards. Not too many of them in the The England camp.

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