England snatch the baton of mass suicide and bludgeon themselves to death with it

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At some point surprisingly soon, England and Australia will complete the most one-sided close series in history. Not that it’s been one-sided in favour of one particular side. It’s been one-sided in favour of both of them, just at different times.

It’s hard to know what to make of a close series which features no close results. We can only conclude that London is now part of Australia and that the nominal tourists have therefore had home advantage during those two Tests. How else to explain the marked shift in fortunes when the crowds have roared using different vowel sounds? Not that they roar at Lord’s. They haven’t much at The Oval either, it has to be said – except in frustration.

We went out on our bike towards the end of today’s play. It was only a quick ride, half an hour, but during the time we were away, England lost the Test. It was almost as if they saw what Australia produced at Trent Bridge and went: “Hey! Embarrassing collapses are OUR thing,” before showing them how it was done. Pulling out all the stops, several of them even contrived to get out to Mitchell Marsh.

Shouldn’t it feel more painful than this? Time was we’d be almost in tears if England were bowled out for jack shit, but now it’s just something that happens, like women’s clothing catalogues addressed to the previous owner of your house being pushed through the door each morning, even though she moved out near-enough two years ago. Shameful collapses are commonplace. Humiliation’s the new 86-2 after 30 overs.

If you go behind in a Test match these days, you just race to defeat as quickly as you can, like you’re ripping off a plaster. Truly, if these are Ashes, they have resulted from self-immolation.


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. All summer I’ve been wondering what was odd about Johnson run-up. Today I realised that he runs like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, all stumpy arms and lolloping gait. And his shiny hair bounces mesmerically in the slow motion replay. Not like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Although is that a dinosaur which is now thought to have had feathers?

  2. it’s great isn’t it. i have seen far less of this series than i would have wanted – though i did get to see most of the first test – and finally this evening i get the chance to turn on and watch live for a bit… to find england 92-7. i was just in time, in fact, to see that become 92-8: broad, having obviously been disappointed to see an edge fly just short of clarke, made no mistake with the very next delivery and clobbered it straight to voges. good show chaps

  3. It has finally dawned on me.

    ‘king cricket

    is a ‘king bowlderised swearword isn’t?

    ‘king ‘ell

    ‘king Engerland

    ‘king cricket

    1. But is it bowlderise as in bow tie, bow down (before the almighty ‘king King), bowl, bowel, etc?

  4. So that’s how you are going to explain your latest order of satin manssiere, eh KC?

  5. I love the inconsistency England is now deploying within its inconsistency.

    It was much publicized when the Edgbaston test was won, that England’s recent test record was the most inconsistent on record for a seven match run: WLWLWLW.

    Of course, there is a consistency of sorts to that.

    So naturally, England went on to thrash the Aussies in the next match and then to capitulate like pusillanimous novices in the current match.

    It would have been nice to have had even one properly competitive match in this Ashes series, but hey ho.

    At least England have been magnificent in their inconsistency by the end of the summer; now inconsistently inconsistent.

  6. Clearly the decision to give Clarke a guard of honour in the first innings was justified, as he’s not going to bat again.

  7. I agree that London is now part of Australia and was delighted to see that Vic Marks is on my wavelength in the Guardian this morning:

    “Based on the evidence of this series, it obviously behoves England to take Ashes tests away from London.”

    1. In 2009 England won both of the Ashes tests in London.

      In 2013 England won and Lord’s and drew the dead rubber at the Oval while (perhaps unwisely) playing several tryouts.

      The obvious conclusion is that we need to populate the side with more southerners in order to win the Ashes tests in London. Not relocate more Ashes tests to “there be dragons” places, north of the Watford Gap, as shown on my map of the UK.

    2. So, you’re calling for a recall for KP and Ballance?

      We already have Stokes, how much more southern can you get than Christchurch?

  8. England’s mums have clearly told them to give Australia a chance, so they don’t have to go home in tears having lost 4-1.

    1. Proof positive that the England chaps come from the right sort of families.

      My mum would have said “never give a sucker an even break” and “kick the oppo while they’re down and make sure that they stay down”.

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