Month: February 2012 (page 1 of 3)

Why is Samit Patel in the England Test squad?

30 per cent fat is higher than a pork scratching

Life’s about compromise. That’s what we’ll tell our kids when we take them to Lancashire v Yorkshire and buy them an ice cream between them instead of splashing out on Alton Towers tickets.

If the Battotron 9000 averages 50, but has to be bolted to the floor in order to field, we’d pick the more mobile Batmaster 3000 if it averaged 49. Samit Patel might not be a gazelle in the field, but who’d want a gazelle in the field? They haven’t got hands.

No, wait. What was our point?

Oh yeah, Samit Patel might not be much of a fielder, but he’s a very good batsman and a reliable bowler who might get through some overs in Sri Lanka, allowing the quick bowlers more of a rest. Bits and pieces is a bit pejorative. Samit Patel has massive bits and a great big piece…

Virat Kohli middles it

Virat Kohli playing cricket

Virat Kohli went a bit Nathan Astle earlier. In fact, we’re pretty sure Mahela Jayawardene said that he ‘batted out of his skins’ which raises the possibility that Kohli isn’t human.

India needed to chase down Sri Lanka’s total within 40 overs in order to secure the bonus point that would get them into the final of the CB Series. Sri Lanka scored 320.

Virat Kohli wasn’t phased. He started rapidly and then accelerated, like a cannon fired down a steep hill. By the end, everything was going for four. That’s why we used the A-word at the start of this piece. It was reminiscent of that innings. It was what happens when a set batsman swings his bat rapidly with perfect timing and middles the ball.

Lasith Malinga’s yorkers constituted ‘clip for four’ practice and Australia might want to take note of that for the finals (we have haven’t checked, but we presume there are several finals – best of nine, say). The odd bouncer to Kohli might not go amiss. In this form, they wouldn’t trouble him, but they might only go for three.

Taking stock of England’s tour against Pakistan

Well, we would take stock, only there’s NO TIME. England announce the squad for their next tour later today.

England’s fixture list frightens us. We once planned to buy a toothbrush one day and toothpaste the following day because we needed to spread out our tasks to fill the week. It’s good to be in control of how you fill your time.

We don’t mind being busy, but we don’t like appointments. When we have an appointment, it feels like our life’s mapped out and we’re just going through the motions. It feels like watching a bad film for the 50th time.

If there’s one thing that convinces us we could never have been an international cricketer, it’s the number of appointments.

MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag – do they want to punch each other’s lights out?

India’s tour of Australia has been a bit poo. They have lost a lot of cricket matches and as a result of all this losing, some of the players are getting tetchy with each other.

The media are gleefully pouncing on the tetchiness and seem to be weaving a few soap opera storylines. It might be that the players start to buy into these manufactured narratives a little bit, which will give them more impetus. Or maybe they don’t give a toss. Who knows?

The main story involves Dhoni and Sehwag. They’ve never been great mates, by all accounts. It’s been a long tour and they’re both a bit down, so the friction’s a bit more apparent. In India Today, it was described thus:

“The aggressive duo has been at the loggerheads threatening the very edifice of Team India.”

Great sentence, but a bit dramatic. Hell on earth, how are we ever going to scale that mole hill and will the maelstrom within this teacup never wane?

Pakistan v England in Abu Dhabi match report

Bradders writes:

This was a curious day on which I learnt much. It began however, if not badly, certainly disappointingly. I shouldn’t complain of course seeing as it was a free day out but when you get an unexpected invite to a ‘Corporate Networking Day’ which just happens to be in a box at the cricket you start to dream big about what the day might hold.

My friend, whose company was organising the day, had promised me a bacon sandwich and a beer upon the journey up from Dubai. However, because unexpectedly one of his Emirati clients had accepted the token invite extended to him, it was deemed that pork and alcohol was not the done thing.

No problems of course, but then when this aforementioned client failed to turn up and didn’t contact us, we sat in the car park for what seemed an eternity and we missed the first hour’s play.

This low was soon transformed into a sparkling high when 80 beers arrived in a wheelie bin almost immediately upon our arrival. Our spirits restored we moved into the networking part of the day during which I established a few things listed below:

  1. Chicken sausage rolls are practically inedible
  2. Drinking beer out of a small coffee cup with saucer to disguise the fact we were drinking outside (something for which we were threatened a visit by the CID if we were caught) means that you get through beer more quickly. Anyone who has ever played ‘centurion’ will know what I mean as the experience is similar
  3. Networking events where you are plied with alcohol mean you talk to everyone yet then have trouble remembering who they were when you pull the cards out of your pocket the next day
  4. Despite common opinions to the contrary, the Abu Dhabi police have a sense of humour – signs saying: “The dress code is simple – keep your clothes on” raised a smile

The undoubted highlight of the day was the ongoing battle between the Abu Dhabi cricketers and the Barmy Army who were marshaled brilliantly by their trumpeter. It began when the handful of Barmy Army in attendance were cautioned for being too noisy by a couple of Arabs only for them to respond with a chant of ‘Who are ya, who are ya’. This then escalated when the trumpet itself was taken away to receive a stamp (live for any length of time in this part of the world and you begin to appreciate the unexpected power of a man with a rubber stamp) with the poor chap in question being assailed by chants of ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning’.

On the bus back we managed to stop at all five petrol stations in the hour drive home as the 80 beers took their toll before heading out into the night and quantities of spicy olives from Nando’s which we voted unanimously the best olives in the world.

I am sure the esteemed readers of King Cricket have some further opinions on this very important matter.

England might keep their one-day openers

Alastair Cook - one half of summat

You go away for a few days and the unthinkable happens. England at least appear to have settled on a pair of one-day openers.

It’s like we’ve been to a faraway planet and have returned to a parallel earth. We had to switch Radio 1 on for a minute just to check that most people are still cow-brained.

It’s hard to express just how unlikely this is. There are rules about this sort of thing. England’s Test team is sacred. It is kept in a locked cupboard and only dad is allowed to touch it in case someone gets one of the settings wrong. The one-day team is a big, brightly-coloured, plastic toy for babies that makes sounds when you faff with it.

No parts of the toy invite a press and a squeeze more than the two opening slots. The chunky plastic is oh-so-inviting and both children and adults can’t help but jab at it.

Since Alastair Cook made his Test debut, England have used seven opening batsmen in the longer format. Two of those batsmen – Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan – have retired. A further three – Jonathan Trott, Mike Carberry and Ian Bell – have played one match each at the top of the order.

In that same period of time, England have had 16 one-day openers, including Mal Loye, Ed Joyce, Joe Denly, Luke Wright and no fewer than four different wicketkeepers. You might think 16 is a lot, but think about how many ways you can combine those names.

It’s not like there’s been an ever-present. This isn’t the charts. It’s not all ‘blah-de-blah, featuring Rihanna’. Instead, it’s a near endless list of ‘blah-de-blah, featuring blah-de-blah’. To have this uncertainty replaced is profoundly unsettling.

Tino Best cups his balls in his left hand

Head back, eyes closes - what's he thinking?

A ‘balls’ joke.

You can tell we’re on holiday.

Watch the bail, Ricky

As most of you know, this site uses pictures taken by Sarah Ansell. While perusing her site last week, we found this beauty:

Ricky Ponting watches the bail

We like the way the ball is behind his head.

As a batsman, it’s never good to have the ball behind your head. This is never more true than when it has arrived there via the stumps.

Michael Clarke ain’t all that

Michael Clarke thinks he's Rear Admiral Marvellous

A lot of people are backtracking on Michael Clarke’s captaincy. He was astonishingly unpopular when he got the job – largely on the grounds that he looks like he drinks Smirnoff Ice – but many Australians seem to have warmed to him, what with all the wins and all.

On top of that, we’ve noticed that Clarke has moved up to number three in the rankings for Test batsmen. It’s all going well for him, of late. But is he all that?

He ain’t all that.

Okay, so maybe he’s won a few Test matches as captain. But how well would he captain if his players were all made out of dough and egg white? Hmm? How well would he captain then? Bet he wouldn’t win many matches with that side, would he? Captain your way out of that one Captain Fantastic.

And yeah, he’s hit a few hundreds in recent times. But how many runs would he score if he was encased in a giant fat suit and had to use a spatula instead of a bat? Not many, we’d wager. Bat your way out of that one Commander Sensational.

In conclusion: what a giant bell end.

We’re away for a few days

We’re going to the Lakes. But it’s okay, we’ve got stuff written and ready to go. You might well ask why we didn’t use some of that stuff yesterday. Well, er, it was already scheduled for next week and we, er… dunno. Shut up.

This opens up the delightful possibility that Sachin Tendulkar will hit his hundredth international hundred and we won’t react to it. Bright-eyed Sachin fans will doubtless head straight to King Cricket as soon as he reaches three figures, but they won’t be greeted by a paean to their hero; they’ll get a photo of Tino Best accompanied by a limp and faintly crude joke.

Back Wednesday. Or Thursday. Behave yourselves.

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