The James Anderson plan

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James Anderson - slippery and slithery

England showed us Plan A today – James Anderson beheads the innings with the new ball and then returns to sweep away the ankles with the second new ball. But you’re aware how fragile it is.

Today it worked, but even after taking three wickets in 2.1 overs, Australia still mustered 245, despite a few mistakes. Down under, it is a hard slog even on the good days. It must be bloody murder on the bad days.

The good thing for England is that James Anderson is doing his bit and he’s doing it brilliantly. He’s being given the narrowest of windows to make some impact and in this Test he’s slithered through like a greased invertebrate weasel.


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. This analysis of playing test cricket down under is heading towards becoming definitive. It’s as if the England cricket team management has commissioned a “Langer Dossier”, but since no previous players have a clue about how to win in Australia (those young enough to remember anyway), they’ve asked the internet instead. Everyone knows that the internet is always right.

    What it tells you is that because of the flatness of the conditions and the lack of help for the bowlers, to win a test match in Australialand you have to bat well once and bowl well twice. In this match England has done well, but to win they need now to bat well. Even then, as was seen in the first test, they will still need to bowl well again to get the result.

    Aussie teams of old have done this. English teams have failed when put under pressure to perform again and again (and again), as in the Unmentioned Test. The best hope for England here is that they are strong enough to come out tomorrow and bat to a big lead, and then that Australia is sufficiently fragile to be unable to do what England did at Brisbane, i.e. bat their way out of a crisis. The awfulness of their capitulation at the start of their first innings might help. Ponting already looks somewhat unhinged, and Hussey is due a failure (!).

    By the way, does anyone know what was said in the Minor Altercation of the Captains?

  2. apparently the minor altercation was about anderson’s sledging.

    not sledging like on snow.

    sledging like sledging.

  3. Not sure about your concluding simile there, KC. Surely the remarkable thing about rodents’ ability to slither through small spaces is the fact that they are vertebrates.

    “Greased invertebrate weasel” therefore makes no sense in this context.

    And before anyone asks, yes I can. I’ll be back in a minute.

  4. The inverse KC theorem might come in to play. The English batsmen, having been overdue for runs for much of their career, are now overdue for a run of dismal scores.

  5. That last one implies our readers are spineless, Ged.

    And the line about the greased, invertebrate weasel was meant to imply a creature that could slip through even smaller windows than a conventional weasel.

  6. Not sure about the empty set, Ged. Octopussesi are invertebrates, and their slithering through tiny spaces is so remarkable that I have remarked on it (just then). Anyone who sees a nominally foot-wide octopus pass through a two-inch perspex tube is bound to remark on it in some way or another.

    Also, rabbits are invertebrates (after they’ve been shoved through a two-inch tube, that is).

  7. Only the hyper-nervous nailbiters amongst the TTNT community qualify as invertebrates.

    Of course, the real spineless folk are people like me and Daisy, who watch the cricket from the comfort of our bed and dare not even emerge from under the bedclothes to join the TTNT antics until after dawn/stumps.

    We’d need our own Venn but I cannot produce another just now. I’m off to cower under the bedclothes for a while this afternoon, in training for Day 2.

  8. Evening all – I will be joining the TTNT in a postively vertebrate capacity with all fingernails intact tonight.
    Unfortunately, I had to STTN (sleep through the night) last night what with being back at work and all that this week.
    However, the weekend starts here – time to start buggering around with the bodyclock again and get a few packets of Frazzles smuggled under the bedclothes.

  9. I managed to fall asleep during the highlights on ITV4 after half a bottle of Amarone, but now have found my second wind.
    Frazzles have been banned, so I have sneaked a banana for the lunch initerval.

  10. Lunch interval, obviously.

    Anyone else out there preparing themselves for the England collapse?

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