England’s middle order shows signs of improvement

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Anyone need 'dejection' in photographic format?We all know how important it is to look to the positives. England’s players and coaches have taught us this for years now.

Ian Bell batted at five and made a three-ball duck. Paul Collingwood batted at six and made a four-ball duck.

England’s middle order batsmen are making tangible progress in terms of occupation of the crease.

Well played England!


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. Positives? Okay.

    Judging by the picture, Colly looks disappointed. Good. Things would be somewhat worse if our One Day captain was completely delusional.

    Also, Strauss’ dismissal was awesome. All of us worse-than-amateur batsmen can get out like that any time we play. It’s good to have a Test player we can relate to.

  2. I think you’re missing the point. 1884 was a LONG time ago. 123 years infact.

    On the radio this evening Hoggy was clearly miffed that it’s “silly season” before the South Africa tests, so hard for him to show form. Same for the batsmen I assume, so if there are changes then that form is going to have to already be out there save for this weeks proper county matches. There should be change, but then NEVER is even longer that 123 years ago. Tempting.

  3. I liked (read: “was incensed by”) Duncan Fletcher’s assertion in today’s Guardian that it was “too late” to make changes to the batting order. Too late for what, exactly? Too late to order overseas Christmas presents before the Post Office deadline? Is the heat death of the universe imminent? Will Matthew Hayden rampage across Western civilisation leading his army of face-eating bears and render all selection decisions eternally moot? Heaven forfend.

    (And even if he does, won’t we need just a smidgen of middle order backbone? Surely there can be no better time to call on his Robness than just before Ragnarok…)

  4. KC, that really made me laugh!

    Then I thought about it and cried.

  5. Positives? At least we won’t have to watch them scratching around like Stevie Wonder.

  6. This, surely, is evidence for a change in the middle order. Occupying the crease for that all important additional delivery shows clearly that Collingwood is a much better batsman than Bell so he should come in ahead of Bell!

  7. So I suppose it’s Shah/Bop? and of course SimonC – his Bobbiness who was on Sky the day before yesterday and I have only just seen it – his cheeks are just so pinchable – bring him on NOW

  8. Bet you Brad Hodge wishes he was English right now – poor lad will never get a long run in the Aussie middle order.
    At least you Poms give your fringe players some hope. I that a “morale building” policy that has been left over from the times of Duncy Fletch? Working a charm really.

  9. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…

    *James Earl Jones voice*

    The E-lim-in-a-tor

  10. Well, apparently this is the first time since the Boer war that England have gone five tests with an unchanged lineup. This is being presented to us as some feat of stability. To my mind a “feat of stability” ought to at the very least involve some combination of balanced whirling plates and babies suspended over a pit of snakes/rabid platypuses.

    Apparently, however, it really means repeatedly picking players with form problems so manifest that they’re still filling out the “sex” bit of job applications by writing “yes please.”

    Either that or Graveney is planning on re-invading the Orange Free State.

  11. Of course the line up has to stay stable! Adidas can’t have a bunch of players identified only for a hitting boundaries and scoring runs, prancing about in their kit. These would be anonymous players and not ‘as seen’ on their advertising hoardings, no one would know who they are!

  12. Graveney has invaded the Orange Free State – that’s what he is doing now he’s no longer chairman of selectors. In a rage, he’s leading a mercenary army to sack Bloemfontein.

    Not sure how he’s getting on, Cricinfo aren’t covering it.

  13. Sportsfreak-
    They try to persuade England fringe players to sign for Warwickshire, while the media completely ignores the gargantuan conflict of interest involved.

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