England and Australia have too many very good batsmen

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Maybe this statement would seem more accurate to some of you if we said ‘too many fair batsmen’ – but that would fly in the face of the universally-accepted Premier Manager 2 scale where ‘fair’ actually means ‘really rather shit’.

No, England and Australia have too many Very Good batsmen. Too many Very Good*** batsmen way down the order to be precise. It’s not that either side has better batsmen than ever before in the top six. It’s not that at all. Nobody would make a case for this being the best line-up of specialist batsmen either team has boasted. It’s down the order where the problems lie.

In the first Test England had Moeen Ali at eight, while Australia had Mitchell Starc – a guy with a Test 99 to his name – at number 10. This means innings can really drag on.

It’s not that it feels like a drag while you’re watching Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Mitchell Johnson or any of these sorts. As often as not, they’re more entertaining than the guys above them. It’s just that with tails docked, the importance of a wicket is diminished – and in a Test match, wickets are very much what it’s all about.

Time was, you took two top order wickets and it was like an explosion. Bricks flew everywhere. Damage had been done. Walls might collapse. The whole damn structure might implode. Nowadays it’s like picking a bit of sealant from around a window, or dislodging a slate from the roof. Technically you’ve done some damage, but there’s so much more left to do.

Bring back Alan Mullally and Jo Angel.


    1. I’m not so sure. Fortunately for England it looks like Siddle will still sit out.
      This is shades of 2009 when Stuart Clark sat on the sidelines whilst the team lost, and when he was finally brought in it was too little too late.
      There is a lovely irony in that Watson’s career looks to be ending the way it resumed in 2009 – dropped to bring in a guy who can bowl more overs to cover for the fact that a Mitch isn’t bowling too well.

  1. It is disappointing, no one in that test had a single figure average, even Jimmy has dragged his up to 10.5. I much prefer the days when a guy was promoted to number 8 because he was just coming off a solid 17 not out in the previous game.

    1. Agreed, there used to be genuine delight in the tail wagging. Bowlers now spend nearly as much time practising their batting as flinging the ball down in the nets, so it is no great surprise standards have risen. First it was standards of fielding rising then batting all the way down the order and increased run rates. It’s terrible, bring back Tavare and The Cat.

      STD (aghh that’s as bad as my avatar!)

  2. There’s always Pankaj Singh to restore the balance (sadly not in this series though)

    1. Arrgh I’m not a member there so cannot access attachments… please can you just describe the picture to me?!

    2. It’s Mark Wood, having made a tent out of kit-bags. He’s lying in it, just his face poking out.

      Clearly you should join the forum, Mike.

    3. Global moderator, Balladeer?

      I think you should have declared your interest before inciting innocent KC readers to your own rebel empire.

      Global. Wow. That might even exceed Lord Megachief status. I’m a bit rusty on pecking orders.

    4. Nah, if/when Mark Wood shows up, he’ll be granted the title “Grand High Administrator of the Imaginary Horse” (pronounced “guy” but aspirated).

  3. Tom Milnes! Jeetan Patel! Laurie Evans!

    They’re the best Bears in the world! Never mind anybody else! Shove it up your arse!

    We all can’t spake.

    1. I dunno, I’m quite fond of pandas.

      Not koalas, though. They’re not even proper bears.

    2. I thought that was going to have a bear in.

      Spoiler: it doesn’t. Just an almost naked woman and a clothed man.

      The feminist within me snarls.

  4. Bangladesh are about to smash South Africa by many wickets. Consecutive series wins against Pakistan, India and South Africa now.

    Soumya Sarkar is the one to get obsessed about, because Monimul Haque isn’t playing.

  5. Guardian reporting that not only is Moeen doubtful, but Rashid has been ruled out with a poorly finger. Room for a fifth right-arm-medium-fast bowler?

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