England’s most influential player puts his hand up and comes to the party

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Sometimes the crowd are said to be a 12th man. Sometimes the 12th man is a 12th man. At times, in England, persistent drizzle is the 12th man.

Even Brendon McCullum at his most innovative couldn’t get the better of the United Kingdom’s damp, maritime climate today. “What if I set nine short midwickets?” he was heard to ask the umpires, while looking mournfully out of the window. “It’ll still be pissing it down,” replied a faintly perplexed S Ravi.

It wasn’t the perfect rainy day at Test cricket, but it did have much to commend it – most obviously a long, unbroken, sitting-on-their-backsides-drinking-tea opening partnership between Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth. Will it be more of the same tomorrow? No-one knows. Although the Met Office are saying: ‘Maybe a little bit, but only in spits and spots.’


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. And on the day after Ben Raine got a maiden five-fer. Coincidence? I think not!

    1. I saw the scorecard and thought of you guys… it might just be possible despite the forecast today looking like a fair bit of time might be lost. I still want you to lose, though, because I hate it when long runs come to an end.

    2. 108 more to win with all ten wickets in hand, decent weather forecast.

      Would it be unprecedented for you to lose from a position like that?

    3. Were you not paying attention to Leics’ last game, where they lost 7 wickets for 9 runs?

      Don’t worry, they’re quite capable of losing from here.

  2. Looking forward to rain being one of Wisden’s cricketers of the year next year.

  3. It’s typical of this England team that it oozes with talent yet cannot keep the performances going for five days.

    Rain is a classic example. Last night it looked set to see out the draw, but come this morning it’s gone before the first ball has even bowled.

    1. Rain needs to put his hand up and come to the party. This is his big chance ahead of an important summer.

      PS, some people (including respected national journalists) are seriously suggesting Bell should be dropped. Unbelievable.

    2. I’d give him two more tests to do something special.

      Then the headlines: “Bell Ends Test Career”; pundits implore Bell: End Test Career.

    3. I really do find it staggering that anyone has a bad word to say about my beloved Ronald. But I can’t resist a good penis joke.

    4. Eh, they should have probably been able to draw this easily, they’ve just randomly decided to follow the usual test match thing where sides who are batting mostly on the last day fall apart for no reason because it’s meant to be difficult, despite most of what occurred prior to that; it’s part of why most test matches tend not to have a real narrative. The point was probably already made.

  4. I reckon Latham wouldn’t have caught Root if it had been warm. That lovely big thick cable knit did had a bit to do with it.

    1. Did Latham borrow that jumper from the father of Watling, BJ?

      That was virtually cheating if he did. Or indeed if he didn’t.

  5. Moeen’s in trouble. He’s not looking like a Test batsman or bowler at the moment.

    1. are Bell & Ballance looking like better Test match batsmen than Moeen at the moment?

      If not, we can then drop them for Rashid & Jordan for next test against Aussies. Should definitely improve Slip Catching and batting cannot get any worse.

      Alternatively, England could copy the kiwis and pack their batting with Keepers
      Stephen Taylor? – from Surrey (sorry I forgot his name)

  6. Seriously, this is something special to in all likelihood lose by over 250 runs having been 177-0 in the first innings, then recovering for first-innings parity and having the opposition 23-2. Could anyone else in world cricket manage to fail so comprehensively from those positions of relative strength? (OK – Leicestershire and Somerset probably could).

    1. Good point! We shouldn’t have underestimated these plucky, talented yet inconsistent Kiwis!

    2. Interesting that they are plucky, talented and inconsistent while we are just shit. I’m not saying it’s not true, just that it is interesting.

    3. My main issue is that we appear utterly unable to arrest a decline at times – fecklessly inept, I’d say. I’m expecting to see some pretty stupid dismissals on the highlights later. Ridiculous to the sublime and back again, multiple times in one match it would seem. Hey ho, that’s the beauty of test cricket, I guess!

  7. Anyway, can I be the first to call, “Strauss Out!”

    Seriously, team results have been in free-fall since the heady days of Lord’s all those hours ago. I don’t think we’ve won a match since (might want to check that).

    Down with this sort of thing!

  8. England don’t have the mental fortitude to chase/draw large targets. Nor, in fact, do NZ.

    Who wins the Ashes may be predicated on the tosses.

  9. but on topic, got to stick with this XI. got to do whatever darren lehmann did to succeed and that’s stick with a failing XI…right?!

    in all seriousness I’d bring Rashid in, 17 wickets at 21 this season, get stevey smith topedging all sorts of variations to midwicket again, just like old times

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