Blood and panned

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< 1 minute read

Gautam Gambhir in happier times

We think you’ll agree that it’s been very difficult to watch England methodically pan India without concluding that they are vampires. If you see Alastair Cook in your neighbourhood, don’t invite him into your home.

While England have found ever greater vitality, India have been looking more and more tired. It cannot be coincidence that the changes have been proportional. The home team have clearly been exsanguinating the tourists. How else to explain India’s listlessness and painfully slow thinking versus England’s staggering rejuvenation?

Look at Stuart Broad’s innings in the fifth Test. Here was a nervy batsman with a broken nose, sitting on the back foot and awaiting the inevitable. Yet when the short ball came, it was so insipid that he could larrup it for six. Then India batted and eleven pale, ghostly, bloodless men repeated the same mistakes as always, simply because it was all they had the strength to do.

Apparently, a bloodless coup can still involve comprehensive destruction.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. It’s obviously been gutting for me to lose the Kingdom’s mini-league to p = mv. It’s the process that counts, not the results, and I really believe that I’ve improved my cricket prediction skills. I’m a young predictor, and hopefully I’ve gained some valuable experience and will be able to come back harder in the next series.

    1. Plus there’s always the one-dayers. You’ve got to put the Tests behind you and try and concentrate on the shorter format. With a World Cup fast approaching, it’s important to build momentum.

    2. Is the league finished?

      The one dayers are listed as fixtures. Of course, with three subs per game, if they are included, it’ll probably take until the third game to get a team on the field.

  2. The saddest thing here is not that they got walloped, but that they will do absolutely nothing to ensure this doesn’t happen again. There will be the customary “The youngsters learned a lot” crap, but then they will go back, play some one-dayers, beat the hell out of visiting teams on flat tracks, kick-start the IPL and put this all behind them as they enjoy the bling. It is heart-wrenching to watch your team be so pathetic outside their country. I am beginning to understand how the nineties English fan would’ve felt.

    On the bright side, I just polished off a Margherita pizza.

    1. Even there, I’m afraid, the English have the upper hand. I polished off a Sloppy Giuseppe this evening, and I’m sure that the difference in quality between the two pizzas is at least an innings and 200 runs.

    2. When asked if some of the players, handpicked as India’s Test future, could maybe give up the IPL and work on their Test game, Dhoni shot back: “Don’t be jealous of the IPL.” It says a lot that a man who hardly ever says an emotional thing in press conferences, no matter how dire the circumstance, loses a bit of control of his emotion when a finger is pointed at the IPL. Says a lot, not just about him but the whole Indian cricket system.

      I don’t blame Indian cricketers for being more interested in the IPL than Tests (and especially overseas ones). If I were a professional cricketer, I would be too. It’s a job and that’s where the money is. See also; the English football team and the Premier League (sorry, I’m in the US, so the EPL).

      But it still sucks. This series was pants.

    3. Balladeer, I’ve never had that, so I cannot say if the difference is really an inning and 200 runs. Be that as it may, way to kick a man when he’s down.
      Come on, at this point, food’s all I’ve got.

    4. The Margherita is the worst pizza in existence. It’s a Stuart Binny of a pizza. What’s the point of it?

      Completely lacking in the essential ingredient of dead pig.

    5. Almost everything that is ever piled onto a non-margarita pizza is an attempt to distract from the fact that the restaurant in question can’t make pizzas.

    6. This was a Pizza Express cook-out-of-the-freezer variety. I don’t think there was much disguise involved.

  3. How can anyone think about food at a time like this?

    Daisy and I ate chicken thighs with a chick pea, herb and prawn stuffing, plus salad and yogurt. They were delicious, but we ate them in a state of mourning, knowing that test cricket is off the England cricket menu until April. What a travesty.

    Meanwhile, has there ever been so rude a man as Giles Clarke? Talking to other people and/or gurning and/or making it absolutely clear that he was not listening to Dhoni, when the Indian skipper was speaking.

    1. More to the point, who measures him up for suits? Every time I see him he seems to be wearing a jacket that has been measured up for an African elephant. I dont know if he thinks wearing a small parachute will make him look slimmer, but I can confirm that all it does is make him look like a clown.

    2. Steve – really. Giles Clarke’s African elephant suits. Are you trying to put me off the food that I can’t even think about at a time like this?

      But actualy there’s worse on the subject of hopeless shmutter. Daisy was utterly incensed by Sourav Ganguly’s ghastly jacket when doing his post-match pitch side yesterday. Not only the jacket, but the mismatching shirt and tie to go with it. She wants Ganguly up before some sort of International War Crimes Tribunal for infringing her human right not to be inflicted with a cruel and unusual punishment – i.e. having her eyes offended by sartorial monstrosity.

    3. Can’t believe we’re talking about being put off food and nobody has mentioned Ian Botham’s “middle stump incident” yet.

    4. Ian Botham’s “middle stump incident”? Forgive me Balladeer – I think there’s probably a well-known funny yarn or joke in there, but the reference has gone straight over my head.

      I’m afraid, that, after eating too much of Daisy’s delightful puréed chick pea and herb dish last night, I might have…

      …lost my sense of hummus.

    5. Ah…

      …and now KC himself, Twitter-rounder-upper-extraordinaire, has revealed all to us in a column…

      …as it were.

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