England beat some Australian players

Jos Buttler playing for a side he doesn't play for

Although, admittedly, you could just as easily say that some England players beat some Australian players. England were down a Pietersen and an Anderson, but Australia were down a Clarke, a Warner, a Watson, a Haddin and we can’t actually be bothered working out who else would be in the first eleven. If they were using a handicapping system, Australia probably still won.

But let’s not quibble

England won a match. Furthermore, Ben Stokes went from bringing about some sort of six-shower from James Faulkner a couple of matches ago to bowling six dots at him and conceding just a single run before dismissing him. That’s progress, that is. Stokes also found time to hit 70, batting at three.

The future is here; the future is Ben Stokes putting in top performances in consolation wins.

Also

The future is also Jos Buttler, the fastest bat in the West and the most insanely watchable England batsman since Eoin Morgan was a novelty. You want to see a bat flourish? Jos is your man. Sometimes hitting the ball is just a dull preamble to that follow-through.

Buttler hits fours and sixes that literally defy expectations. As often as not, your initial response upon seeing him go for a shot is to internally scream: “Don’t take swing at that one! It’s not right for the shot!” only to see the ball sail into the stands after a bizarre contortion and an insanely fast blur of willow. It’s bleached-clean hitting and his bat appears to only really have a middle. We’re slightly in love with him.

His audition to become England’s next Test wicketkeeper is going pretty well, but hopefully they leave him to pretty much just do what he’s doing for the time being.

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15 Appeals

  1. I dont really get Jos Buttler. I mean, I love him, I just don’t get him as a human being. He is starting to do now what he has done in County cricket for ages, which is score runs really quickly without ever really looking like getting out. He is also completely expressionless which is absurd – if I could hit a ball like that, I would be on my knees playing air guitar with my bat in between balls.

    • I added “my” as you penultimate word when I read this first. That gave me a slightly different image.

  2. My theory on Joss Buttler is that he doesn’t actually know he’s playing cricket. He has been raised, by Somerset, to believe he is playing Squash. That’s why he seems so unconcerned, because, in his carefully programmed brain, he’s just hitting a little black ball against a wall. It would also explain how bemused he looks at press conferences: why are they asking me about cricket? He must be thinking. It’s a theory.

    • King Cricket

      January 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm

      It’s a strong theory. Hopefully he never learns about the back wall because he’ll start leaving straight balls so as to try and catch them on the way back.

  3. Buttler: why I got out of bed early this morning. I considered getting up when Morgs arrived but that was a little *too* early.

  4. Frankly, before the tour event started, I went on record saying that the 4th ODI was the only match that was going to REALLY matter this winter.

    All that earlier stuff was merely a preamble, an hors d’oeuvre ahead of THE BIG ONE. All that now follows is merely preparation for the next big one.

    In a fair world, The Ashes would have been decided by this one match alone. Indeed, in my mind, The Ashes have been thus decided and have been retained by England.

    We’ll be dancing in the streets of West London tonight.

  5. “We’ll play our second team against your second team in a bunch of meaningless one-day matches, and if we win one then…that’s the real Ashes.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_EbFdwqlRM

  6. We’re still playing you, are we?

    Still! Thought you’d gone after long ago.

    • King Cricket

      January 26, 2014 at 10:49 am

      It’s an interesting philosophical question. If you replace all of the components of something, is it still the same thing?

    • From the first Test to the final ODI, who was still there having played every match? Cook, Bell, maybe Warner? Anyone else?

    • Bailey, right? Warner missed one I think.

  7. “we’re so shit it’s unbelievable”

    • Given the dismal performance in the tests, the England shitness level in the ODIs is certainly believable, cent.

      Indeed, the fact that we did well enough in two of the four matches we lost to snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory is perversely encouraging.

  8. hmm. you have a point

    i would ask: how did they get so desperately low on confidence? but i suppose this is what’ll happen when you get stuffed in a series you were widely tipped to win… get shredded by the press… have one of your “key” players retire mid-series cos he’s decided he can no longer bowl worth a piss… etc etc. must be quite hard to keep yer chin up throughout all that. (well… impossible, apparently.)

    nice little limited overs tour to some weaker opposition should be just the ticket, eh?

    what do you mean, “no”?!

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