High horses and salvation

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< 1 minute read

No matter how wobbly the opposition appears to be, you shouldn’t gloat too enthusiastically two matches into a five-match series – you need to pace yourself, if nothing else.

We’re finding ourself a little bit overwhelmed by the ferocity of the post-Lord’s vivisection. Aussies are tearing strips off their team, which is fine – that’s their prerogative. What’s more unsettling is the enthusiasm with which the Brits are then marinating those strips in urine. What happened to deep-rooted pessimism and superstitious caution?

The feeling has just come to a head upon visiting the cricket section of the Guardian website. The most recent article is entitled ‘Joe Root – salvation of English cricket’.

Quite what English cricket needed saving from is left unsaid and it’s not an entirely serious headline, but even so, this kind of premature hero worship makes us uncomfortable.

Below that, Mike Selvey has written a piece telling Australia what they have done wrong as a cricketing nation. Firstly, when did we get into a position where we felt we could hand out advice with three Tests still to play? Secondly, why are we handing out advice?

The second Test? That Australian performance? That result? That’s just fine thank you. More of that please. No advice. Leave them to it. Whatever they’re doing is working perfectly.


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  1. Well said.

    Fine margins. It’s not so long since we were 14 runs away from losing the first Test, and even not so longer ago that we were 28-3 on the first morning at Lord’s.

  2. The point is we get to gloat now. In great detail. Australia might win the next 8, but we still have this moment in time.

    Here is some more gloating.

    1. Shane Watson. A profoundly stupid man, or insane.

    Case for stupidity – he almost had to give up on bowling, not becuase of fitness, but because he had trouble counting to 6 and finishing his over.

    Case for insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result (sticking out tree-leg and getting out LBW more than almost anyone in history).

    2. “Agar is our saviour” screeched the Aussie team. After one fluke batting innings, in a match he should of been taking wickets. Now as predicted, he’ll be dropped for being shit at both bowling and batting. They still have one more youngster to ruin, after that they will need to start poaching crap players from primary school.

    3. Darren Lehmann may be a ‘ripper’ bloke and a legendary batsman, however no amount of bluff honestly and fake bonhomie can sort out the massive sack of shit he has inherited. Notice how the smile which never left his face, has quite literally left his face after only 2 tests? Futher massive weight gain and premature ageing shall be his only reward.

    Ok, done now.

  3. We could win the next 5 tests, lose the 3 after that and Australia would be left in possession.

    What chance games for Kerrigan, Taylor, Rankin and Tremlett if England make it 3-0? Resting players during the Ashes?

    To be honest, England have been more than a little crap themselves in this series. One decent game for Clarke will probably win a match.

    1. Not Rankin. He’s rubbish. They only like him because he’s tall. He bowls too short. He got frightful stick from the cidered-up Somerset fans at Taunton yesterday.

      Who do we think comes in if KP is not fit for Old Trafford? Bopara’s injured, apparently. Taylor? Compton? Chopra? Ballance? Buttler?


    2. Morgan hasn’t played a first class game since August 2012 and is still coming back from injury. If Morgan was in the running for the test team he’d be playing a 4 day game somewhere not training.

  4. English cricket was indeed about to become a den of iniquity.

    Then along came Saint Joe.

    Lo, English cricket was saved.

    This stuff is not complicated, KC, what’s the problem?

    More importantly, picking up on Sam’s excellent Cricinfo blog about the negative correlation between England players’ playing ability and their ability as spokespeople – it seems to me that our players are becoming so monosyllabic, it is becoming unusually common for them to have single syllable names.

    Cook, Root, Trott, Swann, Finn – possibly even Prior (depending on how you pronounce it, but in the Lord’s pavilion, Prior has one syllable only for sure, especially after the third G&T).

    As a result, our monosyllabic spokesfolk add an affectionate Y to the end of everyone’s name, to double the syllable count but to make up the most unimaginative nicknames ever.

    Forget the high horses, folks, something has to be done to save England from monosyllabism and naff nicknames, otherwise we could be back in the 1990s before you can say Lamby, Smithy or Hicky.

    1. Two mentions of Hick in two comments, posted three minutes apart.

      It’s a sign.

      Get him in.

    2. Dammit. Hadn’t finished typing. None of Atherton, Stewart, Hussain or Thorpe won The Ashes. Maybe give a couple of them a game? Perhaps pick Caddick?

    3. How did I miss Broad off that one-syllable list, I wonder?

      Hamilton-Brown is a good attempt at four syllables, although perhaps the double-barrel comprises cheating.

      Luke Wright has been scoring runs for fun in the CC this year, if we want to up the monosyllable count.

    4. Why are you both so obsessed with how well the England cricketers speak? You already mentioned that every time they give a decent opinion it gets picked on by the media, possibly to their detriment, so why bother with the hassle when you can just dish out inane guff and get on with your real job which is why you started playing cricket in the first place? Going by your rationale we should have the likes of GK Chesterton, Oscar Wilde and Stephen Fry in the middle order. Which would still be better than Australia’s…

  5. I usually agree with the big K.C but on this one I can’t help but feel your strategy is hopelessly short sighted. The Australians will bring in, I don’t know, Luke Pomersbach and that fat lad who used to play for Glamorgan, both of whom will score run-a-ball double centuries, before Ashton Agar takes 12 in the match to win a stunning victory at Old Trafford. At which point, England will collapse.

    Then, in the post-match interview, when asked what inspired this remarkable transformation in playing style and results, Michael Clarke will look deeply into the camera and utter the phrase: ‘Aw look, Matty Haydo came in to the dressing room and told us about executing skillsets, ripping your own balls off rather than disgracing the baggy green and how he managed to average 50 in Test Match cricket, by just being a top bloke.’

    Its-a-coming K.C, we have to enjoy this golden period while we still can.

  6. Lyon to come in at Old Trafford and bowl England out.

    You heard it here first.

    Or, if it doesn’t happen, you never heard nothing.

    1. I still cannot understand why he wasn’t playing from the outset. Lord’s probably would have suited him too.

      Can’t see him scoring 98 with the bat, though.

  7. A hypothesis: this batting line up would score more runs than Australia’s top 6 against our bowling attack: Compton, Carberry, Key, Bopara, Taylor, Morgan. All England rejects. This is not advice. It is taunting.

  8. Root’s salvaging apart, theres been too much focus on how crap australia are, and not enough on how well england have played. Sure, Cook, Trott and KP havent scored too many, but others are making hundreds, and the bowling is as good as ever (finn aside)

    All of this is to say that Australia may not be`so bad as to deserve the kind of condescension they are getting. Theyre getting outplayed by a better team

  9. Finn bowled ok early on – one brilliant ball off a hat trick. Would have bowled well at Lord’s I think. But happy with Bresnan’s performance.

  10. Pattinson out of the series injured. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chadd Sayers in line for a call-up.

    Christ, doesn’t anyone have a normal name anymore? Come back Neil Smith, all is forgiven.

    Actually no, don’t.

    1. I was thinking about this before I heard about the injury – it’s completely logical for Australia to replace a bowler after that humiliating loss.
      Think about it – last time around Mitch wasn’t bowling too well so Phil Hughes was dropped to bring in a batsman who could roll his arm over to make up the shortfall. This time around since the batsmen aren’t doing so well it makes sense (in Australian selector land) to drop someone like Pattinson and bring in Fawkner because he may add a few runs.

    2. But in losing Pattinson, aren’t the Aussies losing their most consistent batsman?

      And surely all of Australia was pinning its hopes on Pattinson’s Tin Tin quiff. Where can they pin those hopes now? Does Faulkner have a quiff?

    3. Brilliant! Faulkner also has a quiff. The Aussies are saved.

      What a relief that must be for you and your entire nation, wolf.

  11. If we’re going to being any Englishman back from the past to bask in Ashes glory previously denied to him, it must be Ramprakash. He’d make hay against this attack, even now.

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