Tag: Michael Vaughan (page 1 of 2)

Why wasn’t Captain Hindsight made England coach for this series?

Photo by Sarah Ansell

Photo by Sarah Ansell

We can’t understand it. It seems such an obvious solution. Captain Hindsight wouldn’t have made all the obvious mistakes that Peter Moores made.

Maybe England’s loss would have been embarrassing if the opposition had been as mediocre as they were infamously branded, but this West Indies side seemed to us to be much better than that. They’ll surely make real progress until their next internecine conflict, at which point all the good work will be undone. They’re not dissimilar to England in that regard.

There are the usual calls for revolution, but England tend to make significant changes after every high profile defeat. There comes a point where it’s change itself which is holding back the side.

Moeen Ali should never have played

Moeen Ali was getting a lot of criticism yesterday. He certainly bowled badly – self-consciously, perhaps – but it’s also true that spinners get harshly judged for failing on a turning pitch in the final innings in a way that an opening bowler failing to exploit the new ball does not. You’re very alone and there’s no chance to make up for poor bowling later on. Moeen is also unfortunate enough to be an all-rounder. An all-rounder gets twice as many chances to fail.

After the match, Nasser Hussain conducted an interview with Peter Moores in which he looked like he was about to drive a broken bottle into the England coach’s neck at any moment. He asked about the absence of Adil Rashid. We’ve been desperate to see Rashid play, but not because we feel absolute certainty that he’d have won the game for England. The question therefore seemed to amount to: “Would you have preferred to have been slagged off for selecting Adil Rashid?”

Give us what we want

As George Dobell said the other day, hindsight is Twenty20. A lot of the people moaning now are those who were previously moaning about the absence of Stokes, Moeen and Buttler – players who are all now in the side. Whenever England lose, the reason, to them, is obvious. But we can never dip into alternative universes to find out what would have happened had things been done differently. Only the coach finds his decisions exposed by reality. Some were good, some were bad, but we at least can’t rouse ourself to outrage. If nothing else, we hugely enjoyed this Test match, last day and all.

Michael Vaughan, the King of Populist Opinion, has expressed an interest in the new director of cricket job. Doubtless he’ll reject it because they didn’t create quite the right job description and will add this to his list of obvious problems with obvious solutions, but maybe England should kowtow to him.

They should give Vaughan the job and let him select the side. He can even put it to a public vote on Twitter to ensure it remains populist enough (“Fav for Plunkett, RT for Wood”). Give him complete control. Let him decide everything so that when England lose we can all agree to stop whinging on, pretending that the solutions were always obvious. Maybe then people can get back to enjoying Test matches, win or lose, without revelling in the latter as being some sort of proof in the flawlessness of their world view.


Mop-up of the day – tails and knees

First up, tail-enders. They’re ace, but they’re a dying breed. Blame professionalism.

Now we love lower-order shenanigans as much as the next person, but the key word there is ‘shenanigans’. A textbook forward defensive stroke is not a shenanigan. These are shenanigans.

A tail-end innings should bring all the fun of the fair (actually more fun than that because fairs aren’t really considered unusually fun in this day and age). Sadly, what we typically get from nine, ten and jack nowadays is basically just mediocre Test batting.

If we’re watching cricket, we want it to be either really good or really bad – and preferably the latter. That middle ground holds little appeal. The modern tail-ender is neither good enough nor bad enough to be worth watching yet occupies a greater proportion of Test matches than ever before.

It’s a scandal. We wrote about happier times for All Out Cricket.

#juststopit

We’ve moaned about Michael Vaughan’s inexplicable obsession with the hashtag #justsaying before, but it seems we haven’t quite got it out of our system yet.

We’ve previously described the term as a beacon, warning you that the person who uses it really enjoys having arguments, is ready for one and will probably refer to it as ‘banter’. But it’s worse than that. There’s a smugness about it; an intimation that the person deploying it is a plain-speaking, calls-a-spade-a-spade type surrounded by fearful cowards.

We’re hoping that analysis of precisely why it infuriates us so much will somehow dissipate its impact, but the truth is our efforts are something akin to getting angry at a traffic jam. The rage builds so that you’re in a heightened emotional state where everything becomes annoying – which is of course a fine state to find yourself in when trying to pan for gold in the torrent of excrement that is cricketers on Twitter.

This week’s round-up features quite a lot of Michael Vaughan #justsaying things and a jaw-dropping effort from Chris Gayle which you’d hope would be tongue in cheek, but probably isn’t. Gayle’s Twitter bio has him down as ‘World Boss’. We honestly don’t know whether he’s joking with this stuff.

Strengthen those quads

You probably saw the news about Syd Lawrence last week. We missed it somehow. The man sadly most famous for his gruesome on-field knee explosion has apparently become a highly successful bodybuilder.

Oh, and Pakistan v New Zealand

New Zealand have impressed us, bouncing back impressively from the pannery that was the first Test. But Pakistan have impressed us too. They’ve not been disheartened when things haven’t gone their way.

We’ll not mention the score because it’ll probably be something completely different by the time you read this.


Artballing – we love the use of the word “accurately”

Remember Michael Vaughan’s paint thing? He was commissioned to produce a painting of the Chevrolet Cruze.

“The painting took eight hours to create with Vaughan calling on his cricketing expertise to accurately recreate the bodywork, tyres and alloys on canvas using five different coloured cricket balls and over 20 litres of paint.”

Just putting the finishing touches to the alloys

It’s uncanny.

We love artballing. We love how it’s shit.


Michael Vaughan wants South Africans DEAD

There’s a beautifully hazy piece in The Independent today on Michael Vaughan’s comments about South African born cricketers representing England.

Essentially, his thoughts about how some South African players come to England for money have been presented as if he’s saying that Kevin Pietersen should be dropped because he was born in South Africa.

Taking the headline from Vaughan’s thoughts about Kevin Pietersen’s poor form, “Vaughan calls for Pietersen to be dropped from side,” the opening line then sums up Vaughan’s comments about something completely different and makes his view slightly more extreme to boot: “Michael Vaughan wants South Africa-born cricketers to be disallowed from playing for England.”

As far as we can tell, Vaughan said that if any South African born batsman were to be dropped, it would be Kevin Pietersen on current form. He also said that he had ‘a bit of a problem’ with some (not all) South African born cricketers playing for England, saying that ideally all England players would be as English as possible, while admitting that will never happen.


Ask Michael Vaughan a question

Michael Vaughan thinks that's a very good questionRecovered England captain, Michael Vaughan, is being interviewed tomorrow (Thursday) and you may be able to have your question put to him if you comment here.

We would ask him to conjugate a verb and then watch him fall at the first-person hurdle.

Then we would ask him the one question that we always ask people: if you could have an additional body part taken from another animal, what would you have and why?

Update: CNN International want us to credit CNN International in this post and point out that some of these suggested questions will be put to Vaughan on air on CNN International.


Why is Michael Vaughan not in England’s Ashes squad?

Michael Vaughan - a pie-thumbing, plate-spinning one-time Test batsmanBecause he’s busy scoring tens of runs for Yorkshire and pensively rubbing his knee when in the field. Seven first-class innings, 147 runs at 21 with a top score of 43. County cricket can consider itself safe from combustion.

It’s common for people to say that Michael Vaughan has ‘class’, but without being allied to fitness and a single-minded attitude, that unquantifiable attribute doesn’t count for much. We’ve a suspicion that Vaughan’s batting started to decline around the time he started becoming a property magnate.

While twatting painted balls against canvas isn’t too distracting, Vaughan’s also taken on things like becoming head of corporate leisure for the Skelwith Group. Outside interests are good, but can you spin so many plates with your fingers in so many pies. If you try and spin the plate using the pies, you’ll only damage the pies and probably spazz the plates over as well.

Far better to put the pies on the plates and leave them somewhere safe while you go and hit a few balls in the nets.


Michael Vaughan’s paint thing

You’ll have heard of Michael Vaughan’s ‘artballing’ by now. He throws, hits and bowls paint-covered cricket balls against a canvas and what results is branded ‘art’.

Artballing - art or balls?

Vaughan took this up as part of his winter getting away from cricket. We’re not entirely sure whether this really counts as ‘getting away from cricket’. If Vaughan thinks it does, he’s rather lacking in imagination.

If you do something for a living, doing the exact same thing only with the odd implement dipped in paint isn’t ‘getting away from it’.

If you were a mechanic and at the end of the day you were sick of work, would you spend eight hours working on a car using a spanner that had been dunked in red Dulux?

No. Chances are that might seem just a bit too similar to work.

We did a rare half-decent post about this artballing lark, so we gave it to The Wisden Cricketer where it would be more at home.


Don’t totally discard Michael Vaughan

Could be doing and should have been doing a good job as captain and opener“The best thing for me is to try and get back to being best batsmen I can be.”

Fair point. If they didn’t have to drop you, you wouldn’t be losing the captaincy and if you scored more runs, maybe the series would have gone better.

Michael Vaughan now knows that everything isn’t scripted especially for him.

He had to convince everyone he could successfully come back from injury a year ago. He made a hundred in his first innings back. That probably sent him over.

All the effort, all the hard work was instantly vindicated. Put that into the head of a captain who’d received one too many plaudits for an unexpected Ashes win and he maybe gets a bit ahead of himself.

Vaughan never makes runs in county cricket, but tells himself and us that he’s above that. He’s not.

An element of complacency seems to have set in – certainly in his own game. It was always a magic ball. A big score was always just round the corner. Maybe he didn’t really mean it when he said things like that, but it certainly seemed like he did.

Michael Vaughan was a great captain, but like most British sports people, he only really paid lip service to the philosophy of constant improvement that’s the hallmark of true success. Either that or he responded to pressure and criticism in an arrogant way that gave that impression.

If it’s the latter, he’s screwed. That basically just means that he’s not good enough and gets a bit defensive about his shortcomings.

If he did just get a bit lazy, then at least there’s something he can do about it – and he’s the kind of guy who would do something about it. His pride’s been clean bowled first ball and Vaughan’s a proud man.

Half-cut and half-asleep. We’ll come back to this another time.


Come in number six – your time is up

We're getting full value for money from the 'dejected Paul Collingwood' picShove Michael Vaughan down to number six – that’s where England keep their worst batsman.

Paul Collingwood seems likely to lose his place. He has another innings, but does he honestly look like a man who’ll make use of it? It’s the latest chapter in England’s number six saga and after Tim Ambrose’s brief appearance in the slot, the chapters are getting shorter.

Where other nations value their number six batsman, England use it as a dumping ground for the newest arrival to the team, the most likely departure from it, or, in the case of Ambrose, whoever’s left over.

South Africa have vehement letter C denier, AB de Villiers, batting at six. India have VVS Laxman. India’s number sixes have averaged 13 runs more than England’s since 2000. Even Bangladesh’s average more and you’re not even supposed to include Bangladesh when you talk about Test cricket, because it’s an unwritten rule that they don’t count.

Vaughan won’t move to six, because he’ll see it as a demotion, but that’s because of the way England treat the slot. If number six weren’t such a tainted limbo, maybe the fall of the fourth wicket wouldn’t send such shockwaves through the side and maybe the earlier batsmen wouldn’t live in constant fear of that.

England v South Africa, third Test at Edgbaston, day one
England 231 all out (Alastair Cook 76, Ian Bell 50, Jacques Kallis 3-31, Andre Nel 3-47)
South Africa 38-1


Less tweediness from Strauss’s team mates

Remember how Andrew Strauss was going to GET THE JOB DONE? Ceci sent more pictures, saying:

“Squire Hoggard and the chav Vaughan. KP however will always be an alien life form to me. I’d like to say the rough edges are there as an ironic statement, but of course I would be a big fat liar.”

Rural

This one we can take, even if the dog on the left is a bit… visible.

It's just so... smooth...

This is harder to take. Don’t look at the weirdly taut groin, whatever you do.

Would stand up to scrutiny in a court of law
And this one – we don’t know what to say about this one.

You people know that graphic designers read this site, don’t you? Imagine how they feel being so comprehensively outshone.


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