Joe Root survives the pea-rollers to welly a hundred despite not remotely being ‘due’

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Joe Root having the Ashes runs with the big numbers
Photo by Sarah Ansell

The 2015 Ashes started with a hail of bouncers. Double-bouncers, triple-bouncers and a few outright grub-hunters. It was intimidating stuff from the perspective of an ankle – although the puddingness of the pitch did at least simplify things for the bowlers, allowing them to both pitch it short and hit the top of off stump.

It could have been worse however. Michael Clarke could have opened with Mitchell Johnson in addition to Mitchell Starc, which would have resulted in two left-armers bowling to two left-handed batsmen. Confronted with this, we would have employed a mirror to make the game normal again.

After three early wickets, Joe Root emerged and he was due a failure. He is now overdue a failure. Quite what the rules are now that he’s entered such territory, we’re unsure. Perhaps we just reset everything and he’s due neither a hundred nor a failure and will score entirely according to how well he plays on the day.

Arguably, it was Brad Haddin who sent the rules of duedayism all out of kilter by shelling one like a gnarl-faced gifford with non-stick pans for hands. The outside edge came off Root’s second ball after he’d inside-edged the first. Duly calibrated, he then proceeded to score 134 off the middle.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


    1. Ah. I used to read the badger. Then i switched exclusively to using email only on the workplace server because I got scared of how many unread emails I had on my personal account.

      I’ve just checked my old account and have 666 unread. NOPE.

    2. All of this “Haddining” offends my delicate constitution. “B*** H*****”, if you please – or, failing that, “the twat diving over the stumps”.

  1. Who is going to win the ashes? No qualification. England or Australia. If you get it right I will give you a copy of Jordan: The Comeback. On cassette.

    1. What happens if England win now? Half a cassette each to Haviland and His Maj?

    1. I have Jordan The Comeback on vinyl, Prefab Sprout.

      Are you Paddy or Wendy? I can;t believe for one moment that you are one of the other two.

  2. Meanwhile, KC, I know that you know that duedayism has laws, not rules.

    Be sensible.

  3. Ged, it is indeed me, Paddy McPantsaloon. Wendy says hi. She is currently working in admin for Newcastle Council. She says it better than being in the sprout!

    1. Last I heard Wendy was teaching media studies somewhere like Sheffield.

      Anyway, great to hear from you again, Paddy.

      Thanks so much (once again) for stepping up to the plate and headlining for us at Keele in 1985 when the enormously talented, but slightly flaky, Kane Gang decided at the last minute not to show up for the Kitcheware Tour. You were champion.

      Strange to be thinking Prefab Sprout again at the start of these Ashes. I downloaded the Life of Surprises (Best Of) collection for me and Daisy to listen to all the way to Chester-le-Street for the Durham Test last time the Aussies were over.

      I must admit that I also bought the Kane Gang’s “Miracle” equivalent and listened to that too. Not elast because we were staying in Seaham.

    2. I remember that gig, Ged. We blew the roof off with ‘When Love Breaks Down’ if I remember correctly. Kane Gang were notoriously flaky. The singer had a penchant for tuna in brine and some nights would eat a multi pack and the next day would be a write off. It wasn’t the last time we saved their asses.

      Glad you listened to us on the way to Durham. Next time you are up this way do the secret knock (three knocks) on Andromeda Height’s purple door and we will have a brew.

      Sadly I don’t tour these days. I’ve told everyone my hearing is shot but really I can’t be arsed. I just like lying down and counting the royalties from that hotdog jumping frog song and eating cornbeef and horeradish baps.

    1. Not sure there’s much to say beyond “well that was bloody stupid wasn’t it”.

      Still, it did give rise to a lovely picture on Cricinfo where it looks like David Warner’s backside is spouting flames.

    2. To be honest we were delighted with how it allowed us to just meet a deadline, freeing us up in time for the first delivery.

  4. I currently don’t have a TV and I rely solely on this site to get all the best of cricket. And also world politics, teenage Russian gymnasts, Bollywood news, and Kate Middleton’s fifth baby. This kind of vague reporting won’t do, KC. I do hope you’d step up your game.

  5. If you missed my genius plan to watch every ball of the Ashes (see yesterday’s comment section), you’ll be delighted to learn that it’s off to a roaring start as I slept until 3:45 p.m. today, then went almost an entire eight-hour shift without checking Cricinfo or Twitter until I absentmindedly opened Cricinfo ten minutes before the end of my shift. So… how about that Joe Root?

  6. Having slept on it, I am now convinced that England are in one of two positions:

    * plenty of runs already, much like Lord’s in 2013, as the frail Aussies are bound to fold in a heap at the thought of any score north of 350, granting England a massive first innings lead;

    * nowhere near enough runs, much like Cardiff in 2009, where a 450+ England score was way short of the mark, as the Aussies rattled up a 200 run lead with only 6 wickets down.

    In my fevered brain, those are the only realistic possibilities. The notion that England might be making roughly a par score and that this might go on to be a rip-snorter of a five-day match hasn’t even entered my…

    1. There is no such thing as “plenty of runs” against Australia.

      Even in 2010 when England scored 513 runs in reply to Australia’s 98 all out my main thought was “well, they should’ve got at least another 100 or so, just to make this match safe”.

  7. Ashes!! I am on course to watch every ball of the first two days. Then I fear my “working from home” will be found out due to the fact that “from home” is the only accurate part of the phrase. Perhaps I could redefine it to “working from couch”or “working from pub” for tomorrow just to mix it up?

    1. Have you not laid the all-important groundwork by doing precisely ball-all while you’ve been in the office for the last few years?

    2. Obviously KC. Plus I cleverly changed my job title to “Consultant” which means precisely ball all too.

  8. Shove it up yer arse! He’s the best number 8 in the werrrrrrld! Nevermind anyone else!

    1. Someone scores runs: “Move him up the order!”
      Someone doesn’t score runs: “Drop him!”

    1. He’s the best full-time part-time spinner in the world! Never mind anybody else!

    2. Give him out! Give the dirty get out! Get him off the field! That were diabolical! Get him off the field! That’s just typical Aussies! Get him walking! They don’t like it! Walk him, Dharmasena, if you’ve got any bottle! If you’ve got any bottle, Dharmasena, he should walk! That were absolute diabolical! He’s give him not out. I can’t spake. You bottle-less get, Dharmasena. You dickhead. You bottle-less get. I can’t spake.

    3. Any particular injustice in mind there, Sam?

      Or is that merely an “every ball incantation”?

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