Even the highlights were boring

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< 1 minute read

Over rates and now run rates. England are in no hurry. Whatever the motivation, it doesn’t make for much of a spectacle.

A team batting for a draw can make for riveting entertainment, but it’s tension that makes the cricket so compelling. When a team is batting for a draw in their first innings, there is no tension. Quite frankly, if this is an actual policy from England, they deserve to lose.

The generous assessment is that they’re responding to circumstance; that they truly feel this is the best way to play on a slow pitch, chasing a big Australian total, with a 3-0 series lead. However, it’s hard to avoid the feeling that justifiable caution has spread like a virus inside the minds of the batsmen, cannibalising all other thoughts.

Stuart Broad spoke of throwing punches and ‘damaging players’ before this Test. Perhaps the second part of that was meant literally and England are hoping Australia’s bowlers develop stress fractures. The psychological damage inflicted could only possibly result from sensory deprivation.


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. I have no idea what England are or were playing at. Some caution is advised when the oppo has declared at virtually 500, but that doesn’t include dead batting full tosses from part-time bowlers. I wonder if the plan is to kill off Test cricket while beating Australia so that we finish on top over them, history-wise.

    It’s a bit shameful. This has not been a vintage series.

    Good work on the Vuelta.

    1. Gah. Stop drawing attention to the site’s shortcomings and making us feel guilty for not sorting out something we’re actually not technically proficient enough to sort out anyway.

    2. Cheers. It’s just the general faffing about that we dread though, uploading all the data again and stuff like that.

    1. That is exactly the problem. That outcome and this outcome aren’t the only two options.

    2. To repeat myself:

      “Some caution is advised when the oppo has declared at virtually 500, but that doesn’t include dead batting full tosses from part-time bowlers.”

    3. After making a hash of the toss and team selection, England were left with very little chance of a win and even less motivation to go for it. Lots of risk, little reward.

      Australia should have been trying to force a result yesterday, were they?

  2. Report from West London.

    The rain relented sufficiently and for long enough for me and Daisy to play tennis for a while.

    Then Chaac the rain god got really angry and we got soaked running back to the car. (Daisy serving at 3-4, 0-15 when the match was abandoned as a draw, seeing as you asked).

    That flood-inducing stuff should be on its way to the Oval now.

    Never mind the cricket being rained off, it is raining so hard here in London now I’m worried that our theatre visit this evening might also be rained off. And, no, it isn’t open-air theatre!!

    1. Report from the North-West. No rain as yet.

      That’s of no relevance, but it’s the kind of thing people would be saying if the match were rained off somewhere round here.

    1. The picture entitled ‘Spot the Hippo’ clearly shows an awful lot of water though…

      Can’t see any tennis courts or theatres though.

  3. No rain in Cornwall today. My team lost yet again and got relegated to division 6. Good times.

    1. They must have figured out your spin. Point someone out in the other team, name him your bunny and make fun of him endlessly. Note that you need not have dismissed said bunny before, just create that impression.

  4. Went to Wembley for the RL cup final yesterday, Wigan being my team. Very exciting. We left with ten minutes to go, of course. I mean, who’s interested in the end of a tight match, eh?

  5. That was retarded. If you declare risking loss for a victory that was never there, shouldn’t you be taking the loss on the chin like a man instead of citing bad light and marching away?

    It all comes back to the metrosexuality issue, I tell ya. KC was right.

    1. Not really a big fan of the contrived endings…

      I half suspect Australia only declared to try to claim they were being the positive side, I think they expected England to shut up shop early doors.

  6. Anyway, let the record show, most one sides Ashes victory for England in my lifetime. That’ll do me.

  7. Australia 111 for 6 in 23 overs
    England 206 for 5 in 40 overs

    In the final analysis, when both sides had a clear goal (bat quickly), England were better at it. England has looked short of a plan several times this series, a bit Bob Cunis. But when they are focused and know what to do, they are simply better at it than Australia. A Team of the Series would contain a mix of both sides, looking back, but if you pick a combined team for a hypothetical match in a few months’ time, which Aussies would you have? I could make a case for Rogers and Clarke, but it wouldn’t be a convincing one. And I might have Harris as third seamer. But that is it.

  8. Far from boring, was Sunday.

    Our brother-in-law stopped just short of throwing things at the TV when they came off for bad light, but I actually thought the ending was fitting for a number of reasons.

    Firstly, that bad light incident will probably lead to the ICC finally coming up with some more sensible playing conditions for tests played at grounds with floodlights.

    Secondly, England can hardly be said to have deserved to win that test match in the circumstances. They deserved to win that contrived run chase, but with only 15 wickets taken (6 of those taken rapidly while the Aussies were setting the contrivance) England could hardly be said to have a moral right to that match.

    Finally, I think the sight of Michael Clarke scurrying around trying to plead with the umpires and slow his team’s game down at the end inflicted more humiliation on the Aussies than the contrived win would have done.

    I did not enjoy the crowd’s booing. I understood it, but those players and officials being booed no more deserved the booing than did Daisy’s TV deserve it’s near demise at the hands of the visiting family.

    1. An apostrophe catastrophe – it’s in the final sentence – and no edit button. Woe is me.

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