And again England concede runs to the lower order

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< 1 minute read

It’s okay to start headlines with ‘and’ when you’re emphasising the repetitive nature of something.

Ravindra Jadeja isn’t exactly the tail, of course. Even if you play half your domestic matches on the world’s flattest pitch, scoring three triple hundreds shifts you out of the tail-end category never to return. He bats wonkily, but with gusto and when he gets it right, it sounds less like a cricket shot and more like a gunshot.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar seems rather too skilled to be considered a tail-ender as well. He’s looked a damn sight more solid than Alastair Cook, which reflects on both of them. Don’t worry, we’ll return to Cook next week. If you’re desperate to read more about the England captain’s plight, we’re sure you can find something pretty much anywhere.

As far as this match goes, England have to score plenty of runs on a fifth day pitch where both seamers and spinners look threatening. Unless the play somehow takes on a completely different form, they will lose. The fourth innings isn’t the problem. This match will have been lost thanks to cowardly first innings bowling and an inability to polish off innings. Bowling first using tired bowlers seemed odd too, but perhaps Captain Hindsight is paying a visit there. The bowlers probably could have made it the right decision.


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  1. To be fair though, conceding runs to lower order batsmen has been a problem both teams are struggling with at the moment.

    1. It’s arguably a problem all international teams are struggling with to some degree – lower order batsmen are way better than they used to be.

      But it still seems a particular weakness of England’s of late.

  2. Again, almost every single commentator and pundit is saying England bowl too short. If they can see it, why can’t the players, coaches and management?

    Is it a strategy to bowl short of a length, or are they trying to bowl full and missing?

    1. We used the word ‘cowardly’ above. It’s often easier to bowl slightly short, knowing you can’t be driven than to pitch it further up.

      The ball still beats the bat, it looks good and you don’t concede runs, but the wickets just don’t come. Clearly no-one would deliberately opt for that outcome, but perhaps it’s something that the subconscious is happy to slip into.

    2. I think it’s become a bit of a cliché, this idea that they’re simply bowling too short. There’s been much highlighting of the bowling of Kumar, steady on a good length on off stump, wait for the batsman to make a mistake. But to me that is the problem – wait for the batsman to make a mistake. Kumar can do what he has done, and get a panful of wickets, because the English batsmen eventually make a mistake. If this was Cook and Trott circa 2010, he’d have 0 for 140 in every innings, and everyone would be pillorying him for bowling the wrong style.

      The English bowling has been monomaniacal, but it had India at 145 for 7 and 235 for 7 before running out of steam, and into 100% attacking fields until a few runs have been scored, thereafter 100% defensive fields. England’s seam attack remains better than India’s (who would you swap long term?), but India’s ability to find runs against it is better than England’s.

    3. But are the Indian batsmen so much better? So far only Vijay and Kumar have really seemed “mistake-less” in the series.

    4. Bert, the whole bowling short thing is only pertaining to this particular wicket I thought.

    1. Not all of them. Although Robson has now slipped up twice in two innings, he, Ali, Root, and the punch-doll have all made good showings.

      It’s the long-standing top-order batsmen that are the real problem. Cook, Bell, Prior – none of them have shone since Australia, apart from Matty’s one 81 (and Cooky’s bowling, natch).

  3. There’s plenty of chances for England to win today, even though it’s unlikely overall. They need is a 150 partnership from someone like Broad and Anderson, or Plunkett and Anderson. Or maybe from the middle order. Actually, scrap that last one, it’s a bit too far fetched. Plunkett and Anderson it has to be.

  4. Not much to do with the current match situation, our inability to stymie or skittle the Indian lower order, or the demise of the skipper. But from watching a day at Lord’s on Friday I would say this: Moeen Ali looks proper mint.

    1. I should have been more concerned about jinxing the bugger. Sorry.

      Compelling cricket though. Stokes needs runs now. All three results just about possible.

    2. Stokes is looking like England’s answer to Shaun Marsh on recent form. Ducks and tons.

    3. Probably best to wait until he’s scored another one before ascribing him tons, KC, but I know what you mean.

    4. A valid point. Thankfully he can bowl, so we don’t have to describe him as Shaun Marsh lite.

      Hate the growing use of that spelling.

    5. D Charlton, what exactly will that consist of? KC barely writes 5 sentences per post. He may have to do away with conjunctions, prepositions and adjectives to make it Lite-r.

      Prhps th bst wy s t mndt vryn t nt s ny vwls. Tht wll mk t vry lt.

  5. 4 for 20 odd and the match lost to a short ball barrage. As I said, it isn’t the bowling tactic, it’s the batsmen’s ability to cope with it.

    1. You’ve got to love the way that three batsmen fall pulling, and Broad decides that the best way to cope is to try to pull again and again until he gets out.

      Wait, not “love”. The opposite of that.

  6. At least I have Sharma in my team.

    And, you know, maybe they’ll sack Cook, Moores, Downton and Whitaker, and drop Prior now.

    1. So, teams for the next test? I’d like to scrap Cook, Bell, Prior, and maybe Stokes; but that leaves no viable captain. Seriously, that’s the incumbent captain, his next-in-command, and his habitual replacement.

      Captaincy woes aside, something along the lines of: Lyth/ Rogers/ Ballance/ Vince maybe?/ Root/ Ali/ Foster/ Jordan/ Broad/ Plunkett/ Anderson.

    2. I’d be surprised if they changed the team even after this given the Captain’s / Coaches’ / Selector’s attitude. Well unless someone injures themselves getting out of bed in the morning…

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