The unpredictable flames of England’s one-day batting

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Marcus Trescothick shortly after twatting a cricket ball

It’s funny how things change. Time was, England’s one-day batting started with a bang/Banger and then burnt out. Nowadays they light tinder, wait patiently while the kindling gently crackles and then chuck on some logs which have spent eight months marinating in petrol right at the end.

The first scenario refers, of course, to Marcus Trescothick, who made 133 not out off 129 balls in a staggering run chase against Durham this week. Even Paul Collingwood couldn’t get him out. His robust, thocking straight bat presents a marked contrast to Alastair Cook’s deflections and Ian Bell’s scything cuts, which is what we get now.

At the other end of the innings, things are rather cheerier these days. Morgan, Bopara and Buttler provide increasingly demented sloggery, but there’s a case for saying that Chris Jordan presents the logical conclusion to this. In Bridgetown, he hit four of the nine balls he faced for six. Today, at the Oval, his strike rate slipped from that high water mark, but only to 292 runs per 100 balls.

Then he did some bowling. We like him a lot.


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  1. They featured Mr. Trescothick in a Have I Got News For You question this/last week. It featured people with sausage-y nicknames, including the Queen and the Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. Made me smile.

    The result of the recent ODI also made me smile.

  2. A 103.1 strike rate is nothing to write home about. I just discovered that Lara’s 400* came at an execrable strike rate of 68.7. These losers would hardly fetch $100,000 these days.

  3. Good old I.Ron.

    Soon to be England’s record international 50 scorer and ODI run scorer.

  4. Would have been even better if he was riding a hamster or something though…

  5. Maybe riding a sausage? The Victorian left hander, Loyd Mash (2005-10). was known as bangers

  6. Chris Jordan is unquestionably the most useful Dulwich College alumnus to feature in the news for a long, long time.

    Chris Jordan makes me smile, whereas that Farage ijit makes me feel sick. There’s also an irony in that Old Alleynian pairing that is probably not wasted on many KC readers.

    1. That’s a creole, not an accent, no? In theory, you could speak Bajan Creole with a received pronunciation accent, just as you can speak English with a Barbadian accent.

    2. The accent is usually described as Bajan, whether speaking creole or English.

      It is hard to imagine Bajan Creole spoken with an RP accent.

      But Chris Jordan will have had plenty of chances to try out RP at Dulwich College. P G Wodehouse, for example, was also an Old Alleynian. It’s almost compulsory to speak RP there. Ask the Test Match Sofa lot – half of them are OAs – the other half AOBs from what I can gather.

    3. Google the phrase Barbadian accent you get 32,000 hits, google Bajan accent you get 84,000.

      Both correct, but I think Bajan is the adjective that most Bajans would use in that context.

      I should get out more, but I am stuck in here writing a really dull piece of work – hence my need to distract myself at regular intervals this morning…

    4. What the hell is an AOB? And why does English cricket revolve around schools so much? Isn’t a school just a kind of child repository?

    5. An Alleyn’s Old Boy – totally different thing from an Old Alleynian. Get with the Programme, KC.

      English cricket revolves around posh schools because they are the only ones that have playing fields these days, so hardly any youth cricket is played anywhere else.

      The notion that “schools are child repositories” rather than “schools are places where children learn useful things such as playing cricket” is the reason why we are in this mess.

    6. We’re not saying that they should be. We’re just saying that they are.

      For many of us, schools are first and foremost locations. We would find it very, very odd if, at the age of 35, someone asked us what school we went to. To us, this would seem a short step from asking us about our first bike. It’s just a cultural difference, we suppose, but we’re only ever really aware of it in the cricket sphere, for the reasons you give above.

      It was a red Raleigh, incidentally. And yes, it had stabilisers.

    7. Schools are child repositories. Cricket is an independent spirit. Spiritus ubi vult spirat.

  7. Before we get too carried away with this win, I think England were hugely helped by the rain breaks, which essentially turned the match into a slightly extended T20. When they went off for the second break, SL needed 7.65 runs per over from the remaining 26 overs. When they came back they needed 9 per over from 18.

    England batted very well to get to their total, but prior to Jordan coming on the run rate was a touch over 5-an-over. When Jordan finished it was 6-an-over. This is good, but is still ODI scoring. The 9-an-over SL needed is T20 scoring. Just look at the SL wickets after the rain break:

    3. Dilshan throws the kitchen sink at it…
    4. He tries to flick this through midwicket again…
    5. Chandimal heaves across the line…
    6. Kulasekara heaves to the leg side…
    7. He can’t get three reverse sweeps away, though…
    8. Perera swinging like a rusty gate…
    9. Senanayake tried to send this length delivery into the stands…
    10. Malinga giving himself room outside leg stump and misses his wild swing…

    With this in mind, it’s also worth seeing this:

    FOUR, thick edge and useful for England, Jordan forcing hard at his first ball and it flies wide of Sangakkara

    That was his first ball. Is this necessarily good batting, or good bowling, or just the random walk of T20 cricket (with a bit of D/L for good measure) throwing up yet another random result?

    1. Everything’s qualified by fortune having some degree of influence, but that doesn’t make the entire result random.

      Although on the subject of edges to third man, a slip in the closing overs wouldn’t be the worst fielding position, but you very rarely see one.

    2. Interestingly, the longest winning streak in T20 internationals is 8 matches, which isn’t bad, and somewhat backs up your point about it not being entirely random. So, who knows which team holds this record, which by extension makes them the most dominant team in all of T20I history?

  8. In a non-UKIP way, I do rather wish Jordan was playing for the Windies rather than England. Think they could do with him rather more than we do. Also, from past experience of England players who have turned out to bowl a bit, and then been discovered wield the willow a bit too, it is only so long before someone makes a “Beefy” comparison, and The Management start getting funny ideas about where they should bat, and inconsistent plans for what role they should play as a bowler …

    After having fuddled around a bit and getting some disappointing experimental results, things tend to go downhill, until rumour reaches the selectors of some hard-hitting number 8 who bowls usefully wobbly dobblers/gentle spin/has a crap bowling average but is rumoured to have “genuine pace”, and then the whole cycle begins again.

  9. Could England maybe do some sort of order reverse? I mean, the way that they go about it now is actually reasonably successful (its easy to be revisionist and say they are rubbish, but actualy their ODI has been fair to decent for a few years now).

    I tell you what would be better though – Jordan and Bopara opening, Buttler at 3, Morgan at 4, Root at 5. Just batting like they normally do. More often and not, we would be 50/4, but then you have Cook, Bell and Ballance/another Steady Eddie to just go in and bat for 30 overs like normal. Then, just imagine the 1% of the time when it comes off – we would make at least 500.

    1. Thinking about Chris Jordan opening the batting, Duncan Fletcher considered using Flintoff as a pinch-hitter at the 2006 Champions Trophy. I am linking to the Daily Mail article in a non-UKIP kind of way, though I know it was covered elsewhere at the time. Nowt came of it, though it would have been an interesting spectacle!

    2. Isn’t the phrase “linking to a Daily Mail article in a non-UKIP sort of way” a bit of an oxymoron, Bailout?

  10. I don’t think UKIP have fully considered the consequences of their stance on immigration on the England cricket team.


    “as bad as we can bat” – tempting fate or what?

    bailout, still think the windies need jordan more than we do?! we need all the decent players we can find at the moment… although this is all acquiring a horribly familiar (80s/90s) feeling… as if it soon might not matter how decent the playing side is on paper, they could contrive to lose anyway… all out for 99 in a home match, chrissake…

    1. My opinion is unswayed.

      Damage to world cricket caused by England team being alarmingly inconsistent? Pretty much zilch, if anything the unpredictability makes it all the more interesting. And serves up a more thorough menu of emotional denouement to the team’s long-suffering supporters. From 2005esque triumphalism to the magical Nineties Numpties Nostalgia Tour, all in the space of two matches? That’s top stuff.

      Damage to world cricket caused by the long-term decline of the Windies? Pretty bad, especially since they are the only team legitimately allowed to play their own historical Brand Of Cricket without such branding being a shallow marketing exercise/being total twats.

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