Hope can hibernate

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Jimmy Anderson (via BT Sport)

Hope never truly dies. It can however recede to the extent that it entirely loses consciousness. It’s safe to say that at around the point Australia emerged for their second innings, hope was in deep hibernation. A little while later it re-emerged after faint rays of Jimmy Anderson had warmed the metaphorical earth.

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you don’t let opposition batsmen pass 20. Anderson managed the unthinkable and all but forced several of England’s specialist batsmen to perform semi-competently. He also persuaded people to talk more about Steve Smith’s non-enforcement of the follow-on than Joe Root’s insertion of Australia on day one (it’s odd how often the cricket itself is seen as somehow secondary to the captains’ decision-making).

Anderson finished with five wickets, but encouraged the umpire to raise his finger on about eight occasions. His brilliance is not that he can make use of more helpful conditions; it is that he invariably does.

England’s second innings scorecard currently sports the prefix “If…”

If they can have a good partnership early on day five, their target of 354 will actually start to seem attainable.

If Joe Root is out early on, hope might start to feel a little dozy again.


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. My friend (the bewildered one, who wanted answers to his questions) is now completely enlightened.

    He ought to go into hibernation now for 12 hours at the very least; that’s what I’m going to do. But I suspect that, instead, he’ll run around a medieval courtyard like a mad thing waving his stick at a ball, then play his medieval musical instrument very badly and have dinner with one of his mates for several of those hours…

    …and he wonders why he’s tired and grumpy when the Ashes are on.

  2. If England can make Cummins bowl a heavy load on the final day of this test, then it might impact his fitness & availability for the next 3 tests. Australia might end winning the battle but losing the war.

    1. Absolutely. Same for all of their seamers really – but not convinced it’ll happen.

      1. If we lose this battle, the war is over.

        Hope can do one.

        I’m still considering waking up at 3.30am.

  3. Alright folks, a quick update on cricket news elsewhere. India have taken this whole “playing conditions” thing to an extreme and have done the unthinkable: invited a visiting country to play in Delhi. Now, you may or may not be aware that Beijing and Delhi are competing to see which city can cause more deaths through gradual suffocation by 2025. SL players have vomited on the field – pansies simply couldn’t adapt to the conditions. The Indian bowling coach laughed at them – till Shami vomited as well. Things are getting heated up — SL need to bat the entire last day to survive, and rather more importantly, bat the entire last day and survive. India are the clear favourites.

    1. That is an excellent report. We can only assume it is a publicity stunt to bring greater awareness of air quality problems. Essentially, look if we can’t sort this out, we’re going to have to stop having nice things.

      London and Delhi launched some nebulous “let’s do something or other about air pollution” thing together yesterday. Cricket wasn’t mentioned as that would have been a specific and they didn’t really bother with those.

    1. No Balladeer, Hope lives on. Hope is always there, it never ever dies. Sometimes it can be hidden away, lingering in quiet and hard-to-find corners, a faint flicker in the darkness. But it persists, driving our innermost souls. Hope survives, it alwa…

      Oh sorry, my mistake, I’m talking about Despair. I get them confused sometimes. Hope is the one that sneaks up on you before bashing your brains out with a rock, isn’t it. So yeh, you’re right. Hope – useless tosser.

    1. Wonderful. Makes it all worth while.

      But Hope? And now Bravo too? Is this a Windies thread? Have you been hoarding this line since summer?

  4. Has that little green monster been hijacking my KC account again? Just wait until I get my hands on him.

    Not just Grumpy, he’ll be metaphorically taking on all seven pick and shovel-wielding dwarfs at once.

    Especially Sleepy, I suspect.

  5. English cricket has almost certainly taken inspiration from The Fast Show’s Unlucky Alf who appears as a lugubrious combination of Boycott and Vaughan.

    1. The scene where Unlucky Alf greets all the locals as he goes off to the seaside to visit his last remaining brother, then doubles back because he forgot his wallet and discovers what the locals really think of him now he’s out of earshot, is one of the most heartbreaking pieces of “comedy” I’ve ever seen on TV. Not that it stopped me laughing uncontrollably at it. It was the vicar’s imaginative use for Alf’s letterbox that did it for me, I think.

      During his exposure to public opinion via the medium of twitter, I wonder if Vaughan has ever had a similar revelation of what people actually think about him.

      1. Remember when you used to love Michael Vaughan and hate Ricky Ponting? Listening to BT commentary we sometimes feel like we’ve been supporting the wrong team.

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