Jos Buttler took some fine catches and made a double ball hundred but all we’ll remember is the terrible drop and when he trod on his stumps

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History is not just written by the victors. When it’s a particularly bad defeat, the losers make doubly certain to note down all the really awful moments too.

Jos Buttler made a fourth innings double ball hundred in Adelaide. In a series where England have so far displayed almost zero batting competence, he stuck around for over four hours.

Then he trod on his stumps.

We’ll all remember Jos Buttler treading on his stumps.

Buttler took a couple of tidy catches as well. But he also dropped a really easy one.

We’ll all remember Jos Buttler’s terrible drop.

All in all, Buttler dropped several catches and made a duck in the first innings and 26 runs in the second – and yet really it’s not so outlandish to suggest he had a pretty good game. That second knock was a hell of a 207 (26 runs).

What else?

In any other match, we’d probably remember Joe Root’s facial expression while witnessing the worst of those dropped catches too. But then this was also the match when England’s captain had to go for a testicle X-ray after getting hit while taking throw-downs.

Root then suffered a second ping of the swingers off Mitchell Starc later the same day.

BT Sport uploaded the delivery as one of their highlights of the day and labelled it thus.

We’ll all remember Joe Root getting hit in the nuts.

We’ll all remember Adelaide 2021.

The Ashes is still going, so we guess we’ll carry on writing about it. You can get our articles by email here.

13 comments

  1. Cricinfo had a headline like “Root’s nuts prove the toughest to crack” next to a picture of a delivery nestling directly in his… um… midriff.

    Seemed a bit of a low blow from the subeditor

    1. Though Root might be in favour. No one takes as much innocent delight from seeing other people hit in the balls as Root does. Still giggling ten minutes later.

      Root being Root it comes across as charming. He’d make a terrible horror film villain. If the Saw films were exactly the same, but with Jigsaw removing his mask every ten minutes to reveal Root’s smiling face, I imagine you’d be on his side. I don’t know, I’ve never seen any of the Saw films, maybe that’s what happens anyway.

    1. Indeed, I was thinking myself that England’s ridiculousness has been quite outstanding in this series so far.

      The ridiculous momentum is all with England, yet surely several of the Aussies are due some serious ridiculousness. Smith has been very ordinary in that regard, so far, as has Warner.

  2. In rugby, which isn’t cricket, there is an age group where the match dynamic flips on its head. Up to around U14s, matches are won by the team’s better players. From U15s onwards, matches are lost by the team’s worst players. You can have twelve (or fourteen if you’re from Bath) of the best tacklers in the world, if one of your players can’t tackle, you will lose.

    When you reach decent standard open age rugby, say Tier 5 and above, it becomes worse than that. It’s not just how good you can be, it’s how good you are at every point in the match. You can make twenty of the toughest tackles anyone can make, if you also miss five you are a net liability to the team.

    Cricket, which isn’t rugby, is a bit of a mix in this regard. As a batsman you can have a terrible match, and it only matters if everyone else also does. As a bowler, it’s a little harder to hide a poor show, but you are not solely responsible in the way a rugby player would be. But as a fielder, you can absolutely individually all-by-yourself lose a match.

    There is only one specially selected fielder in a cricket team, specially selected because of the critical importance of that particular role. If you make a balls of it, as Buttler did, the only way out is to single-handedly win the game, with a couple of hundred runs or thereabouts. Otherwise, you are a liability.

    At their worst, the defining characteristic of an England test team is a weary acceptance of failure, especially by trying to offset it with some positives. “He didn’t have the best match,” they will say, “but he did score a fighting 46 in the second innings.” You cannot offset incompetence with mediocrity.

    1. We suppose with Buttler, his keeping in this match featured a harrowing drop but also a couple that most other keepers would far more likely have dropped than caught. In that sense the incompetence is weighed against exceptional acts.

    2. You cannot offset incompetence with mediocrity.

      Someone should tell [insert name of public figure here depending on pre-existing political views].

    3. Great comment. Though I wouldn’t go so far as some have done. It was a bad drop for a professional, but I for one would not have caught that, and would probably have broken something if I’d tried to.

      Apparently Buttler’s catching stats are okay. Don’t know whether the same goes for our slip cordon – they don’t seem great, and it must affect the bowlers. I know it’s very different to keeping, but Pope and Bairstow are never going to keep for England again save in an emergency, and you must be looking for similar basic attributes in a keeper and slip. Don’t know if it would make sense for them to train as slip fielders.

  3. I didn’t watch the match but would be most obliged if everyone would let Buttler be and blame Rory Burns instead. I mean, if you cannot blame a fully grown adult sporting a ponytail (in front of people), who can you blame?

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