The ridiculous, ridiculous, ridiculous third Test

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Nathan Lyon tries to stare the bails off (via BBC video)

We’ve got one or two things to say about the third Test. Specifically, we’re going to do a bit about Jack Leach and rather a lot more about the drama of Test cricket.

Until those articles are with you, here’s the latest edition of the Ridiculous Ashes thing that we do with Dan Liebke (who went to every day of the Test).


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. I am ‘Excited’! Not least to see what further ridiculousness will be served up on days 3 & 4 at Old Trafford (did I mention that I shall be there?!)

    2. I gave it an ‘indifferent’ too to continue the wonderful tradition. I can’t believe that at the time of this writing, ‘indifferent’ stands at 17% while ‘happy’ sits at a comfortable 40%. Is this the sort of world in which we want our children to grow up? Come on, fellow commenters, make it happen. We can’t let the happy crowd go past us.

    1. I enjoyed.

      I especially like the mention of the Casablanca misquote and the distance between that mention and the misquote itself.

      This poem demonstrates how well you ply your trade as a wordsmith…


      …ply it again, Sam.

  1. When was the last time England won a test without getting bowled out for under 100 in the first innings.

    Actually when did England last win a Test without being bowled out in the first innings and without me being there at the denouement?

    Not this summer

      1. I will be at Old Trafford for the first day. I suppose if England win it on the first day they will almost certainly have been bowled out for less than 100 on the way.

  2. Stokes’ (Stokes’s?) innings was truly something to behold. A masterclass of Boycottian digging in, a bit of ODI fun somewhere in the middle, and a T20 bonanza that might just make Chris Gayle blush.

    One local brewpub in my area of Massachusetts had an English Bitter on tap. Many were consumed as I celebrated – not that anyone else knew I was celebrating or why. Alas.

    1. Absolutely love the idea that they had a huge run on English ale and had no idea why.

  3. Great stuff. I especially like Dan’s line about Tim Paine: “he, like most Australians, is very understated…”


    Well done you for getting Tim Paine’s DRS review antics relegated to third place and just one ridiculous point. That is also testament to how very ridiculous England’s zeros to heroes performance was.

    Bring on the Old Trafford test ridiculousness.

    1. That was quite an understated joke, we thought, and Dan is Australian. Does that fact negate the joke?

  4. Meh — I thought Kusal Perera’s effort was better. But hey, it’s the Ashes — so it’s self-appointedly IMPORTANT and GREAT!

  5. That’s the first time I’ve seen this series so I read all three. Very enjoyable.

    Nonetheless I voted for ‘angry’ because you didn’t mention Lyon’s missed runout.

  6. On a serious note, I have heard (multiple times) Gavaskar also comment something like ‘good batsmen nick it, bad ones can’t connect’. It sounds good and rather deep in theory, but is actually horseshit if you think about it. A batsman is paid to avoid nicking and make contact, so how is him doing precisely the opposite a testament to his goodness?

    1. I think there is veracity in the idea. But you need to think about it in terms of the quality of the bowling, not the batting.

      Gavaskar is talking about deliveries that are so good that they would beat anyone. Deliveries that a batsman simply has to play but that deviate late. In many cases, such “beating” would beat the poor batsman’s bat completely, whereas a better batsman would edge it.

      It is counter-intuitive but it does have merit as an argument.

      A more common-sense-sounding equivalent is an adage Gus Fraser often applies to bowling conditions, where he talks about ideal pace bowling conditions being those where the ball is doing “just enough” for a good bowler to take an edge. Sometimes, when the ball is jagging around a lot, it might look threatening from afar but a good batsman will be able to tell in good time what he can leave and the poor batsman would just swish and get nowhere near the ball.

      Another related adage is the notion that a good bowler works out an individual batsman and goes for the edge of a better batsman, while for the lesser batsman it is more effective to bowl straighter for the bowled or LBW. That is why analysts worry about a batsman’s technique or form if he starts getting out repeatedly bowled and/or LBW – that shows greater deficiency of technique than nicking a really good delivery early in the innings.

  7. KC, I love your articles, but this series misses the mark for me. Personally, the Ashes is the only real point (this world cup aside) when following cricket goes from being a nerdy passion to a true emotional investment. It’s about tension, rivalry and drama, not funny curios, as the last test so emphatically showed. A series like this would be better suited to a less significant bilateral series.

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