England’s batting collapse in the first Test in Cardiff

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Should have hit it harder

England’s second innings top order batting collapse was pretty piss-poor, but it was just as big a crime to get themselves into that position in the first place.

Neither set of bowlers were exceptional in the first Test. The exceptional performance came from Australia’s batsmen, who were sublime. There was barely a single mistake from all of them combined. It was cold, relentless and quite, quite brilliant. It wasn’t eye-catchingly brilliant, but it was almost superhuman in its level of efficiency.

That batting performance got them the second innings wickets because it created that nerve-wracking situation for the England batsmen and as Bert so sagely pointed out yesterday:

“English batsmen spend their formative years playing in the vacuum that is county cricket. No press, no fans, no interest and absolutely no pressure.”

England had a chance to create a similar situation for Australia when they batted first and they failed.

England’s first innings 435 was a reasonable score, but it wasn’t a killer score, which is what the Australians managed. A killer score, keeping the Aussies out in the field for far longer, would have made it all the harder for them when they batted. It’s a team game: a side’s batting affects its bowling and vice versa. Another 100 first innings runs could have led to 100 fewer runs from Australia.

England have got to set themselves higher standards.


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  1. So no report on the 2nd Test between SL and Pak, then?

    Boo! Hiss!

    Having said that, there’s probably no need for extra humour — the Pakistanis seem hell-bent on causing mirth by themselves.

  2. I don’t mind them rattling up quick fire 430odds, if they have the bowling to back it up. They don’t.

    Jimmy Anderson is still an inconsistent little knob, who averages over 100 against Australia.

    Stuart Broad just seems a bit thick. Can’t seem to work out what length he should be bowling, and tries them all.

    Swann was out bowled by Hauritz, and if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s the best interviewee, The England have ever produced, I’d be setting him alight.

    Panesar was again too quick and unthreatening.

    Flintoff, good for a spell, shite for the rest, and bowled into the ground. Athers was right, he’s a dodgy second hand motor now.

  3. Now THAT was a batting collapse, Mahinda. 285/1 to 320 all out is the sort of thing England could only dream of.

  4. I enjoyed watching the complete non-event that was the English bowling, especially the excessively over-hyped object (even by English standards) that was Swann. Especially since out own non-event Horrie bowled better than all England together.

    Why have you come over all serious, KC? You’ve made me react accordingly.

    It’s your team that should be serious and your blog a send-up, not vice-versa.

  5. I object to my commenting being described as “sagely”. Are you trying to suggest I am some sort of bad-tempered fat owl who keeps falling out of trees? I think what you meant to say was “as Bert so parsley-ly pointed out.”

  6. Bert, much as Parsley was a superbly camp beast, I think I see you more as Dill, or perhaps one of the Chives.

    “As Bert so Dilly pointed out.”

  7. Steve, since Hayden’s retirement, KC has had to go serious.

    And with this England side: you can’t write comedy about comedy – it’ll be like that film Scary Movie – making a spoof of a spoof.

  8. Bit too much pessimism going on here in the last few days, although I suppose I’d rather have that realistic slant ahead of the sensationalist bigging up of England’s chances across the media that have followed the losing draw. However, everyone in the England set-up acknowledges they are very much a work in progress and I’ve been quite impressed with the team Flower / Strauss have managed to forge from the shambles that we had back in Jan after the KP/Moores fiasco. We are prob 2/3 players away from being a decent side with a decent balance and given another 12 months we could be at that juncture.

    England have always bottled it under pressure when needing to bat time to save a match, with a few exceptions – see Thorpe in the 90s /early 00s for Collie now (& Athers at times eg Joburg). Don’t think Swann deserves too much criticism – he’s been a revelation and that was his first bad game since he came in. Same can’t be said for most of the others.

    I disagree with a lot of the recent comments that have defended KP. He has the talent to be the very best and should be aspiring for more. Even if he has top scored, he is far more talented than any other batter we have and when you have a line-up that means Prior is coming in when you are just 4 wickets down then the top 5 have to make big runs. He should be relishing the responsibility to make big 100s. You could see against Windies over the winter and May he couldn’t really be arsed because it didn’t present enough of a challenge. That was Ponting’s 14th score of 150 or more. A guy like KP should have more than 1 double century by now. Think of all his dismissals over the last few years and how often has he actually been got out vs given his wicket away cheaply by pushing to see just how many risks he can take. Someone like Collie would kill to have his talent. Really feel he needs to reign in the risk-taking a bit whilst we have this batting line up.

    Plenty left in this series; I remember thinking “here we go again” after what eventually transpired to be a heavy defeat at Lords in 05 and look how that series finished up. Your buzz word MOMENTUM can change in just a couple of sessions.

  9. Benno, you say 2/3 players would make England a good side – but who would they be? There might be the odd batsman heading in the right direction (Denly?), but where are the quick bowlers to replace Flintoff, Harmison etc? I just can’t see it.

  10. 2/3 players would make England a very good side if they were Bradman, Holding and Sobers.

  11. An air of seriousness has certainly pervaded the Website since Cardiff. For me the two main pleasures obtained from Test Cricket are
    1. Seeing sublime skill-not much of it seen in Cardiff but probably Ponting’s innings the nearest to it and
    2. Seeing the ridiculous-Australia being held out by Monty’s batting
    You’ve got to laugh

    Anyone seen a few skunks in a box at a Pub holding miniature bats lately?

  12. GoodCricketWicket – Chris Woakes for a start. The point is it is not always obvious who has the talent to step up a level and that is the job of the selectors. Tresco had a fairly average county record before Fletcher saw something in him and picked him. Who expected Sidearse to get a recall and yet he did really well for 18 months before getting injured. Although not a quick, Rashid has bags of potential to be a genuine no. 7. And I’m sure we could find another good saffer who has qualified to play for us!

  13. Come you lot, let’s chill and sing ” Men of Swalec” for Jimmy and Monty.
    Anybody knows the words??

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