Change bowlers and mourning spilt honey

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The day in summary: James Anderson earned two wickets through being James Anderson, Moeen Ali earned two wickets through not being James Anderson and Chris Jordan earned nothing. Oh, and Stuart Broad got three.

Word of the day – “displacement”

Play was reminiscent of the later days of Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh when everything seemed to be defined by what happened when they weren’t bowling. There was one match going on when Broad and Anderson had the ball and then India had to work out what to do when they didn’t.

Against Chris Woakes, they took the runs and survived. Against Chris Jordan, they just sort of watched it happen – for it wasn’t Jordan’s best day. Against Moeen Ali, they hit a few easy boundaries, took a few easy singles and occasionally committed suicide.

The upshot is that Anderson and Broad have bowled more than the others, like usual. Anderson has looked far better for having had a few days off and Broad has too, so let’s now watch that slowly drip away before our eyes, like an upended jar of honey trapped behind some sort of electrified forcefield which would fry us were we to reach out to restore order.

Broad’s already showing signs of being shagged out. This is an issue because he does seem to have a bowling speed threshold below which he doesn’t take wickets.

A second word of the day – “rangly”

Andrew Strauss’s inadvertent portmanteau of ‘rangy’ and ‘gangly’ was gleefully highlighted by Mike Atherton.

Maybe you should just stick to four-letter words, Andrew.


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


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Can you have a word with your muckers at All Out Cricket and get them to update their fantasy scores more frequently than once in a blue moon?

    1. It’s been updated this morning. We’re third in the Ageas Bowl first XI.

  2. I’m off work poorly sick at the moment. This means I have watched almost every ball of the Test so far. I think I might be going slowly insane.

    1. That’s the cognitive dissonance setting in, Sam.

      I don’t wish to harp on about it, but I was on the verge of a stonking good team for this match (albeit by accident because it was the mediocre team i chose for the previous match) until you stepped in and reminded me to tinker.

      I could have been a contender, Sam. I could have been somebody.

      And YOU feel sick! The sheer nerve.

      Joking apart, get well soon.

    2. Thanks, I think. On the positive side, my bad ears are rendering me temporarily deaf, drowning out the Sky Sports commentary.

      Every cloud.


      Good thing he can’t hear any of that.

    4. I can’t get sick during a test match, because it simply won’t be believed. Bert off sick, but he’s never off si… oh, there’s a test match on. The lazy lead-swinging tosser. Will that be happening in your office too Sam?

      BTW, GWS

      (I have no idea whether that’s what people say in text speak or not , but it’s probably right)

    5. That’s exactly what they will be saying, Bert. But most if them think cricket goes on all day, every day, and never reaches a conclusive result. Which I suppose isn’t far from the truth. What on earth are we doing with our lives anyway?

      Sorry about that. I’m due another dose of extra-strong painkillers.

    6. Extra strong painkillers, especially when mixed with sedatives, are great for cricket match followers.

      After I had my wisdom teeth removed in late 2000, Daisy took me home, up to me eyeballs with painkillers and sedatives. I then witnessed the second half of this match in glorious technicolour radio:

      I thought I might have been hallucinating while it was going on!

    7. I watched NZ fricken murder Oz in Hobart on account taking 16 weeks leave to recuperate after a bout of pneumonia put me into a coma. Just saying & all, but why not stretch it out till November? More convincing that way. I hallucinated a few overs of Malcolm Marshall in hospital too.

  3. Wonder if Cooky will enforce the follow-on, considering he enjoys bowling them into the ground so much.

    1. I’m certainly looking forward to an attack of Plunkett, Stokes, Jordan, Woakes and Ali next game. Although probably not as much as India’s batsmen are.

    2. The dream dismissal of c Stokes b Woakes draws ever nearer.

      All we need now is Ben Foakes.

  4. No follow on.

    I can’t help thinking that is exactly what MS Dhoni would have chosen. It massively improves his chances of getting a draw. England currently lead by 262, they’ll want another 100 I would think. So they’ve taken about one-and-a-half sessions out of the game, and gained what?

    Oh yeh, the bowlers might be tired, after a night’s sleep and about five overs this morning. They’ll still have to bowl later today anyway, and they’ll have to be aggressive to get 10 wickets in four sessions. So they’ve had an extra four hours’ rest to add on to the 17 they had between 6 last night and 11 this morning.

    So, given that it makes not the slightest difference to the bowlers, can someone tell me what England has gained from this decision to compensate for the potential lost time?

    1. The bowlers, who didn’t want to enforce the follow-on, aren’t pissed off and stropping around half-arsing things, telling themselves they’re more tired than they really are, blaming Cook when they haven’t taken a wicket within three overs.

    2. Ah I see.

      Anyway, a tough session coming up for India, who’ll be hoping to get through it without losing more than one wicket, which I think they’ll more than likely manage BECAUSE THEY AREN’T SODDING BATTING!

    3. Crucial for England’s chances now that nobody gets past 70, otherwise we’ll bat on indefinitely while they get their century.

    4. Three crucial runs for England in those last two overs, as their lead extends past one billion.

      Don’t mind me, I’m just having a rant.

    5. Bert, I’d have agreed with you if Chris Jordan wasn’t bowling such awful pissing dross. Woakes didn’t seem to be all that threatening, though not as awful as Jordan.

      The weight of wicket-taking expectation is on Broad (who can’t have become less injured by bowling 25 overs in the first innings) and Anderson. You’d expect both to need to bowl 20-ish overs to take 10 wickets. That’s 45 overs for both without a break in innings.

      That said, they should have declared by now (lead of 429).

    6. The thing is, what has changed about the English bowling since 11:30 this morning, apart from them having less time to do their job?

    7. I’m no physiologist/physiotherapist, but one of them would probably say something about active recovery (stretching and the like) as well as cumulative fatigue.

      Sleeping is by definition rest. But rest is not necessarily the same as recovery.

    8. It’s probably more about what Jimmy Anderson would be like tomorrow had he been bowling all day today.

    9. Is anyone still around? It’s morning here and am watching the match in my office with more than a little guilt.

      Also, I don’t have any friends.

  5. Stat of the day: Moeen has taken more wickets in 2.8 matches in this series than Ashley Giles took in 5 in the 2005 Ashes. Hasn’t scored as many runs yet though.

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