England’s batting’s completely fixed and everything’s absolutely fine again

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Let’s just go with that, eh? Let’s just go with ‘everything’s rosy’. They’ve even addressed our concern that Gary Ballance bats too low for Yorkshire by making him go in first drop for England.

Speaking of the batting order, Joe Root clearly benefited from getting one innings in a row in the same slot. Do they call it ‘role clarity’? If he’s clear that his role is to score hundreds, all’s well.

And Matt Prior’s back! As in ‘returned’. He hasn’t got ankylosing spondylitis or anything. He does have a longstanding Achilles problem of course, but that didn’t seem to be unduly troubling him.


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  1. Could’ve been worse.

    The important thing is that Ian Bell has now scored more Test runs than Graham Thorpe.

    Odd batting order, though. I imagine Ali and Ballance would make more sense the other way around. I can only imagine Ali is at 6 because that’s where all-rounders bat.

  2. In three Tests time, look forward to Ballance batting somewhere he has never batted before not working out and England moving Root up to 3. Then they can move Ali up to 5 and bring someone completely unsuited to number 6 like James Taylor in.

  3. Marvellous effort, that. Need to push on to 450+ today, which would be the first time past 400 since some unspecified but long time ago.

    Prior was out 2nd ball, of course, but for an odd decision by Reifel. But hey ho, he made the most of that, and is now, as you say, back. Hugely important figure for England.

  4. Ballance in his crease reminds me of when you first play the game and set up your bat about 4 cm from the stumps. And are out, hit-wicket as soon as you back-lift.

    Top effort Gary, you rotund heir to Rob Key.

    1. Mais non. He is actually standing at the back of the crease (incidentally, that’s not how people beginning cricket works, you should try it), in order to think and contemplate existence, from where he can reach it, and use the intellect in relation to the Myth of Er at the last possible second, in a less than accessible way indicating that he does not have or need the keys to knowledge of the Lord (Maximus Confessor, 500 Chapters on Love, First Century, beginning.) This then allows a quick escape from immediacy. Ultimately, it’s all just a reference to a book by Thomas Wolfe named ‘Look Homeward Angel,’ but ultimately there isn’t any need to disrespect England cricketers who put their life on the line for their country in the Ashes. It’s disrespectful.

  5. I started off wanting Root at 6 with Ballance 5 and Ali 3. Now, I’m just hoping that England don’t try to promote him to opener again.

  6. 547 for 8.

    Andrew Strauss has just said we need to hit out or get out. This means we are past his preferred declaration total, which means we are 100 past the correct declaration total.

    1. Disgraceful favouritism from Cook as we’ll, declaring with Anderson on his way to a maiden test double hundred.

  7. TMS, 1626 (or thereabouts) “(chris jordan) makes things happen… he’s got the x-factor”

    shoot that commentator (i’m not actually sure who it is)

  8. Sri Lanka on track for 800 or so, England’s score looking a little under par to me.

  9. The sight of Plunkett charging in and releasing a mixed bag made me realise that we’re only one-and-a-half Test matches away from a Saj Mahmood recall.

    Inextricably linked those two. I hear Mahmood was his lawyer duing those drink-driving trials

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