And then we realised that we didn’t have to write about England one-day internationals if we didn’t want to. We could just publish pictures like the one on the right instead.
It’s a new dance craze. We’re calling it ‘the Pietersen’. It’s like normal dancing, only quite miraculously it’s even shitter and even less fun.
Who knew that anything could be less fun than dancing? Not us, that’s for sure.9 Appeals
Just close your eyes, stick your arse out, wobble your bat at a funny angle and hope. It’ll be fine. This is the technique for dealing with the moving ball.
There is absolutely no way that this is the wrong approach. Three people out? Just stick with it. It’ll reap rewards eventually. One day.
Of course balls always move, but not always sideways. Make the Aussies bat against swing bowling or on a green pitch and suddenly it’s catching practice. Today against New Zealand, only Michaels Clarke and Hussey knew what to do as Australia were bowled out for 214.
What are Australian domestic pitches like? Are they generally flat and true? Has the last 10 years of Australian batting dominance roughly coincided with a period where Test match pitches worldwide have been produced like Australian pitches?
Test cricket these days requires tall bowlers (preferably quick) and wrist spinners. Nothing wrong with that, they’re two of the best sorts of bowlers, but it does seem to us that swing bowlers and finger spinners used to have more of a role in Test cricket and that these are two types of bowler that have never really thrived in Australia.16 Appeals
The kid who sits next to you at that match will have been waiting for a tenth of his life. He’ll find out that his hero isn’t playing and he’ll cry.
“Players know their body best and in future more and more players would come out and say that they are going to skip events.”
That’s the Indian captain saying that, people. He’s just about the most important figure in cricket. Don’t tell us it’s Lalit Modi from the IPL – he’s not in cricket, because he’s not a cricketer. He’s merely a businessman and is therefore just someone who wants a slap – like all businessmen who’ve ever lived.
There are three points of view about Dhoni’s comment:
(1) Children should be disappointed by their heroes and made to cry, because that’s what life’s about: disappointment and crying, perhaps with a dose of pessimism – which the experience should also teach them.
(2) International cricket is clearly full of players operating at 80% to try and conserve their energy for future matches. Surely that’s what county cricket is for.
(3) Maybe it would be nice if people could arrange things so that we could see the best cricketers playing at their best.
We also have a question. Is Dhoni resigned to this and stating facts, like the pragmatist he is, or is he stirring?6 Appeals
And an arse falls out. Someone should tell Matthew Hayden to try and blend into the scenery if he ever sees a tape recorder or a microphone in the vicinity.
“When you get to my age, you get to a point where the next 12 months is a long, long way away.”
Not all of it, surely Matthew? Okay, we can see that next October’s quite a way away. But December? That’s not long away. Tomorrow? That’s fairly near. One second’s time? That’s already gone. Does that second seem a long, long way in the past now, Matthew?
“But having said that, I’ve been really process-driven right throughout my career. It’s all been about how I was going to present myself for this Test and whether I was in good shape to play it. I feel like both of those are crossed off.”
You heard it from the man himself: Matthew Hayden is process-driven.
We can only presume that the process that’s driving him is the one he’s going through in order to become the biggest guff-talking tool in human history.
We’ll miss Hayden when he goes. He’s like a lightning rod for all our blind fury.7 Appeals
Last time England toured India, Ian Blackwell was in the one-day side. He did all right as well.
As a batsman he’s usually described as ‘rustic’ or somesuch. A variety of adjectives might get used, but they all mean that he’s a fat slogger. He’s a good fat slogger, don’t get us wrong. We’re just filling you in on what the writers REALLY mean.
He never did anything with the bat for England, but he was surprisingly economical with the ball. He was abandoned though, because he didn’t take many wickets and didn’t score many runs.
Mostly though, you get the impression that he was discarded because he was fat. It’s not a crime, but England think it reflects a certain attitude – an attitude where battenburg is there to be inhaled and chewing food’s looked upon as wasting valuable time.
Ian Blackwell, Mike Yardy, Jamie Dalrymple – all showed a bit of promise, batting a bit and bowling some economical spin. Watch out Samit Patel. Watch out Graeme Swann.7 Appeals
Andrew Symonds said:
“I did something silly with him one night and I suppose I was a bit disrespectful to him.”
What does that sound like to you? It sounds like it could only be one thing to us. What act is both silly and disrespectful? Ask yourself that.
It is abundantly clear to us that Andrew Symonds gave Michael Clarke a wedgie.5 Appeals
This was England’s 500th one-day international. It was Yuvraj Singh’s 219th. Yuvraj is 26.
Once again Yuvraj hit a hundred. This time, he also took four wickets.
We’re not sure it would make a huge amount of difference, but we’re inclined to agree with everyone else in the entire world about England’s team selection.
There seems to be an attitude of ‘this is our best team and that’s the end of it’. We agree with that mentality to an extent, but there should be an acknowledgement that playing one-day cricket in England isn’t the same as playing one-day cricket in India.
Specifically, if pitches are conducive to spin, surely it makes most sense to employ your best spinners. That would be Monty Panesar, but he’s not in the squad, so Graeme Swann’s the next best.
England have a funny attitude to the art of spin bowling. They’d never dream of leaving out their best pace bowlers, no matter what the pitch. If there’s a hierarchy of roles in the England camp then spin bowlers are at the bottom. Just beneath the guy who pre-warms KP’s jockstrap.9 Appeals
“We thought we were a bit tentative in the way we played and could have been more aggressive in everything we did.”
So says Peter Moores. He’s right. England need to show more aggression in absolutely everything they do. Look at the first one-day international for example.
England showed little to no aggression over breakfast on the morning of the game. Ian Bell ordered puri bhaji but was given chana bhatura and yet he never said a word – even though he doesn’t like the texture of chickpeas. He just ate it when really he should have chinned the waiter. Where was the aggression?
Stuart Broad asked for an energy drink during the first innings, but when he drank it, he just sort of tipped it up and sipped at it. He should have thrown the bottle into the air and then burst it into his own face with a huge clap of his hands. Where was the aggression?
Kevin Pietersen won the toss and inserted India, but what good did that do? KP should have sought out the coin after the game and really gone to town on it. Somebody was to blame for England’s poor performance and it might well have been the coin. Where was the aggression?12 Appeals
We have never once seen someone quarantined without dire consequences for everyone on earth.
It starts with vomiting. It ends with zombies or a flesh-eating virus. Maybe there’s an alien gestating inside Jesse Ryder as we speak – Lord knows, there’s room for one.
It’s at times like this that we should all be thankful that Australia’s just a tiny, tiny island miles from anywhere with no inhabitants. The quarantined area can be expanded to incorporate the whole continent and then, in 200 years time when the fuss has all died down, we can venture in to see what happened.
Of course there is a chance that the doctors have merely overreacted to the fact that Jesse isn’t eating. We can see why they might. He doesn’t look like the kind of man who’s easily stopped when there’s a cream bun in his orbit.
No matter how it starts, it always ends up as a Jesse Ryder is fat post.4 Appeals
Has any batsman every played a more destructive innings while wearing a girdle?
We’ve always liked Yuvraj Singh, but he’s lost a little bit of lustre lately. This is largely thanks to Sky Sports’ ‘look at all the cricket we’ve got’ advert which starts with a big orchestral crescendo, before breaking into soft indie music for an underwhelming montage of cricket footage.
Think of the start of the Stiltskin song off the old Levi’s ad, only instead of cutting to the loud Stiltskin bit, it’s some chump feigning an American accent over music that Busted would discard as too puny.
Anyway, at one point you see Yuvraj Singh celebrating winning a match. It was possibly the Twenty20 World Cup final, we can’t really remember. That’s not important though. What’s important is that he pulls a stump out of the ground and adopts this utterly contrived, muscle tensing contortion, which he holds for the cameras. At least that’s what it looks like: a big pose that he’d honed in front of the mirror.
If that’s not what’s happening, please let us know, because it’s excruciating to watch and the advert doesn’t seem to be going away in a hurry.
At one point in today’s whopping great 78-ball 138, Yuvraj Singh hit a six. Nothing unusual in that. He hit six in all. But this one was different.
His follow-through barely got to waist height. It was pretty much a lofted forward defensive, yet it sailed away. Batsmen shouldn’t be able to hit sixes without putting some effort in, no matter how well they time the ball. They really shouldn’t.5 Appeals