Alastair Cook creates a weird scorecard with help from Jonathan Trott

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When have you ever seen an England scorecard that read 517-1? Against Australia as well.

We said that Alastair Cook would be okay and with 235 not out, you’d say we were probably right about that. We also predicted a whole host of series results though – none of which featured a draw.

Defending with an angled bat

Previous TV analysis of Alastair Cook has given the wrong impression. It makes you think that he’s destined to fail if he does anything even slightly wrong, but cricket doesn’t really work like that.

Batting in Australia is more about the batsman’s head than his technique, so the players who have made it to international cricket overcoming technical limitations are actually more likely to succeed. It’s counter-intuitive, but if you’re given a pool of international batsmen and asked to identify who’ll do well down under, pick the guys with the worst technique. They’ve got something about them that makes up for those flaws and those strengths will be of greater importance in Australia than elsewhere.

Cook and Trott on scorecards and in highlights

It has to be said that Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott is the perfect partnership for this tour. We Brits can wake to the fruits of their labours without enduring the detail. Put these two in a highlights package and they’re quite watchable. Or maybe we’re just watching the bowlers’ faces.


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  1. Love that analysis. Straya is a cauldron for the emotions of the pommie batsman. It makes sense that a player who has the ‘ticker’ to play past a shortcoming, despite all the press and expert criticism, would also be better able to deal with the expectations from home and the directed agression of the crowds and press (if not the Oz players anymore).

    Of course, this only applies when the Oz team is ridiculously pedestrian and there is no talent to back up the atmosphere.

  2. “…the players who have made it to international cricket overcoming technical limitations are actually more likely to succeed.”

    That’s a rather romantic view of batsmanship, and is more an exception than the rule.

    “…pick the guy with the worst technique” – I see you are obviously exaggerating there, but there *is* an element of truth in it – the example of Sehwag springs to mind. The best test batsman are those with good technique, particularly opening batsmen. Kudos to you for predicting great things for Cook, but then this was just one game.

    Which is all to say that I don’t know whether I agree with you or not, but felt compelled to comment as part of my morning routine.

  3. Deep Cower, we’re only talking about matches in Australia. If a player with mediocre technique succeeds in England, he’s likely to positively thrive in Australia – that’s our point.

    All other things being equal, of course good technique will help a batsman. But if the end result is equal (batting average) then the players with the poor technique most likely have the attributes to succeed down under.

  4. Wonder why no one is saying “England has hit the ground running…?”

    On technique; Sehwag once tried to articulate…technique is fairly subjective…What is technically correct for one batsmen may be suicidal for another….A technically correct forward defensive stroke is a high risk option for him, he once said.

    Honestly, if you have a good hand-eye coordination, know the field and appreciate the match situation; isn’t that was technique is….

  5. To a degree, but you can hinder your hand-eye coordination with some things you do and no batsman middles the ball all the time.

    Technique is about minimising problems.

  6. A record breaking fight back by England sets things up nicely for the 2nd test. They can’t all be great batting wickets and England should have the edge bowling

  7. “It’s that momentum chat again. I don’t know who takes the momentum.” – Andrew Strauss

    Probably my favourite yet, Ged.

  8. so we get a dull, high scoring draw, toothless bowling, boring batting, a scorecard that would interest pretty much nobody if it were being played, say, in sri lanka, somehow becoming worthy of endless debate just because of all the preceding hype and speculation and some fuckall “history” that nobody really fucking gives a shit about.

  9. Believe it or not, e normous, a blog written by and for English cricket fans is likely to be concerned with the Ashes.

    If this bothers you for some reason, perhaps you are commenting in the wrong place?

  10. Howe_zat, I do agree that the Ashes have history and it is of importance to English fans. But surely that should be no reason to label this website as one “for English cricket fans” – I am not one, but visit it regularly. After all, no matter who plays it or where it is played, it is cricket that binds us, isn’t it?

  11. Only half the match was crap and that’s not the part that will really be dissected in the days to come.

    This is the day after the run scoring, so that’s today’s topic.

  12. I couldn’t agree more, Deep Cower. I always thought that it was one of the many attractions of cricket: fundamentally we all like the game, rather than just one team…

    Or am I being hopelessly unrealistic (wouldn’t be the first time)?

  13. We’re interested in cricket generally and we probably attract like-minded people.

    We also support England, so maybe the site appeals in that way too.

    Basically, what we’re saying here is that if the website is written for anyone, it’s for us.

  14. top coverage of the first test KC, if a little serious.

    can we please have a picture of a cat to provide a bit of balance post haste.

  15. What we’ll actually be having next is your match report, Sam, so any lack of cats is entirely your fault.

  16. Awful track though, if this test had been played in India we would be spewing vitriol at the Indians for producing another dodgy track.

  17. Wasn’t there a monumental crack in the pitch? Isn’t it the bowlers fault for just not finding it?

    Or is that a stupid, simple view?

  18. Posh Boy Cook averages over 40 in test cricket and now has a double century to his name.

    Fat Boy Key only has the double century.

  19. Tight – send in a picture of your cat off it’s face on catnip on the first day of play.
    That should lighten things up again.

  20. To be fair though – had the Aussies taken their chances things might have been a little different and just perhaps with the pressure mounting there might have been an interesting denouement to the game…

    I for one didn’t find this draw boring but then I’m English!

  21. Sorry JF – I’m not allowed to take pictures of the cat off its face on legal highs. If that sort of thing got into the press it could well destroy his reputation.

    As for the cricket it has become clear to me that me watching it seriously afffects number of wickets taken. Don’t blame the pitch, blame me. I think I watched six sessions and saw two wickets (both English)

  22. As an Essex fan I just find it funny that Ali Cook is so much better than you think he is whereas Rob Key is so much worse.

    Cook is on course to become an England legend.

    Key will get to be the next Bumble and host Sky’s mascot race if he’s lucky.

  23. Alastair Cook is exactly as good as we think he is. This website is positively clogged with Cook-lauding. You must have us confused with someone else.

    We think he’s a horrible batsman to watch and we think he’s posh, but that doesn’t mean we don’t think he’s worth his place.

    He is a top batsman, although we still don’t see him as a captain.

  24. Regarding Cook’s supposed lack of style have you actually seen Rob Key bat in the last couple of years?

    A couple of years back at Tunbridge Wells he took about 4 hours to scratch 20 odd runs and he gets past 50 so rarely he must have been assembled in a Trabant factory. πŸ˜‰

  25. It’s not an either/or. It’s not like choosing between the Beatles and the Stones.

    Is this some weird Essex-Kent rivalry thing? We don’t really know about the subculture down there.

  26. There is a healthy Essex Kent rivalry but my disdain for Key is based largely on the fact that he’s the worst batsman to regularly press a claim to play for England.

    Or the IPL even. πŸ˜‰

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