Jimmy Anderson and the lost art of opening doors

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Brian Charles Anderson

This England team isn’t the most popular, but you can’t fault Jimmy Anderson for that. He’s waging a one-man willow-wielding war on unpopularity this summer. You wouldn’t think it possible to improve on his efforts against Sri Lanka, but at Trent Bridge, against India, he may well have managed it.

But there’s another story here. It’s the story of two captains who like to stick to what’s not working until they’re absolutely convinced that it will never, ever, in a million years work. And then they give it just three more overs – just in case.

When it comes to last wicket partnerships in this Test, Alastair Cook and MS Dhoni have delivered an absolute noviceclass. To sum up how resistant they are to evidence, we can easily imagine them spending long hours pushing doors marked ‘pull’, confidently thinking to themselves: “Pretty soon this is going to come good.”


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  1. I do enjoy a new portmanteau word, especially when it could come in handy in several contexts.

    I shall certainly start using the word noviceclass.

    Thank you, KC.

  2. so he’s in dreadful form with the bat, he can’t captain and he’s just dropped his opposite number on 5.

    remind me what this guy cook is doing in the side again?

    1. We had a competition at the test on Friday, to suggest the real reason Cook is in the team. The best answer was that he is very good at singing Jerusalem. In fact, that was the only answer.

    2. He’s there to ensure England get to play plenty of matches against Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Bangladesh. After the coup, they needed someone to make a token effort at pretending it wasn’t just about money and power, and England drew the short straw. We’ll be alongside them in the rankings in no time.

    3. Well there’s your answer, Cent – he’s in for his bowling. And his sense of humour.

    4. yes, i did eventually realise that it’s cook’s part-time bowling which makes him so invaluable… wonderful stuff. oh, and of course he is (as previously established) a public-school educated southern batsman and therefore a good egg. what ho chaps…

      oh and btw they aren’t a team in transition any more, according to mark nicholas they have turned a corner (yeah? which corner is that then?? i dread to think where it might lead)

    5. Having seen the light at the end of the tunnel England have now turned the corner.

      …which is all good…

      …except that when we turned the corner we found the entrance to the next tunnel.

      Oh well.

      But maligning Cook in this way does no good for anybody. It is clear that he is largely blameless in this matter. He is trying his best and the ECB management have told him that they want him to persevere with the job as no-one else is ready for it.

      I’m sure that Cook would jump at the chance to stand down as captain and focus on what he does best. Bowling…I mean batting.

    6. I don’t really care what Mark ‘They should pick Gareth Batty’ Nicholas thinks.

  3. What a fantastic test match – it had everything: ticket sales, all five days being played, no one giving a fuck for most of it. Perfect advertisement for test cricket.

    1. And even better, knackered pace bowlers, meaning we’ll get to watch the b-team later in the series. It’s rubbish when it’s the best players from each team competing.

      Might be good news for Finn and Onions, I guess.

    1. I have a deep reservations about the driving of anyone who passed their driving test first time, Sam. This heuristic is based on terrifying experience.

      Thanks for the offer, but I’ll walk.

    2. I’ve passed two driving tests first time.

      The guy in Seattle did say my reverse around the corner was in his all time top 5 worst, though. I’m very proud of that.

    3. Sam, if you decide to end your life, remember to slash your wrists vertically (along the length of your arm). I learned from that netflix documentary that slashing across wrists is an amateurish move.

      You’re not a amateur, Sam.

    4. Good wholesome advice is always available in the King Cricket comments section.

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