Do you like to watch your team bat or bowl?

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< 1 minute read

Shit, something has gone wrong

Last year, we were going to watch a cricket match with a friend who hadn’t watched the sport in many years. “I only like it when we bat,” he said.

We’re off work today and we’re a bit disappointed that England are batting. We prefer cricket when England are bowling. We get more excited.

When England are batting, it’s too much like life. Things can only go wrong. Progress comes incrementally, almost imperceptibly and then one shit-for-brains move knocks you back again, undoing all the hard slog.

When England are bowling, it’s actually possible for good things to happen. Wickets are great highs and they come without warning, like the postman.

One minute, you’ve nothing, the next minute you’ve got a £6 train voucher in your hands because someone has felt pity for you after you were stupid and bought the wrong ticket the other day.


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. I guess for Indian supporters in this particular series, neither is appetising. An English innings consists of batsman after batsman making merry, and just in case 6 of the miss out, the seventh and eighth not letting a whiff of a wicket.
    While the Indian batting innings is basically a series of baloons of reputation pricked one after another…

  2. I prefer to watch England bowl as well.

    And at 88-6, my wish may come sooner than I want.

    1. I agree. But watching England’s bowlers bat was also quite pleasant this afternoon.

      At the risk of sounding inappropriately enthusiastic for an Englishman – test match cricket is fantastic.

  3. Praveen Kumar just bowled a ball to Ian Bell that gave me an orgasm.

    Ah, the joy of swing!

  4. Depends on the individuals involved..
    I like to see India bat when Sehwag is batting or Harbhajan or even Praveen Kumar.
    I like to see them bowl when Zaheer is bowling or Yuvraj is bowling to KP

    1. An excellent point. South Africa v India had some wonderful sessions of Steyn and the Indian’s tussling for supremecy.

  5. I always hope my team will have the ball in their hands on the day I turn up.

    You’re on the attack when you have the ball, you’re actively trying to send the batsmen home – especially if you’re bowling 4th innings, you’re attacking to win the match. It’s brilliant stuff.

    It’s one of the many things that made the winter Ashes tour so great, most of the time England only had to bat once…

    1. Consequently my favourite players are almost exclusively bowlers (apart from Jonathan Trott).

      It was Masters fine bowling of 8-10 yesterday that means I’m not at Southend watching Essex today.
      But on the plus side, I get to watch England bowl…

  6. I was there yesterday when Strauss made a balls of the coin toss, and I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. Watching England bat is stressful, and the stress can only be lessesned by drinking. Watching England bowl, on the other hand, is childishly exciting – excitment that can only be handled by drinking.

    When Anderson took a wicket with his first ball, England were winning the match, and all the troubles of watching them bat disappeared. As I write this, India trail by 37 with six wickets in hand, but because you are watching your side bowling, it is still very easy to imagine a first innings lead for England. A hat-tick for Anderson and one the next over from Broad is all that’s needed.

    1. “A hat-trick… from Broad is all that’s needed.”

      I said that! I said that just there above, and then it happened! I have THE POWER! Whatever I say happens, apart from some things that don’t happen. But these things can just be replaced by an ellipsis. So I still have THE POWER!

      It is an awesome responsibility, and cannot be used lightly.

      Susanna Hoffs is coming round to my house later dressed as a Traffic Warden, and she’s bringing some cheesecake.

    2. What was that Bert? Did you just say Deep Cower would spend a wild, passionate night with Anne Hathaway?

  7. Bert, you need to be very, very careful where the ellipsis might go in. You don’t have control over that.

    Pour example:

    Susanna Hoffs is coming… and she’s… cheese…

  8. I’m looking for Bert saying about how he’s looking forward to seeing Strauss and Bell remind Cook and Trott of how to build a soul destroying massive partnership.

    I’m very excited about today – a day where I hope I won’t see England bowl at all.
    I really need a TV in the garden as it looks nice out there…

    1. Wise words from his majesty.

      Congratulations to Bert on his amazing hat trick yesterday, btw.

  9. Thanks, Ged. Not feeling too well at the moment. I think I overdid it with the cheesecake last night.

  10. Radio and garden worked wonders for the batting team today.
    Channel 5 highlights was just a series of boundaries. At this rate this missus will think Test matches are just five days of T20 but with drunk fans instead of cheerleaders.

  11. I enjoy watching Bresnan getting 90 in the morning and a 5-for later in the day. And on ‘Yorkshire Day’ as well, whatever that is.

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