Travelling without wheels

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2 minute read

It’s hard to pinpoint precisely when the final wheel fell off. It was probably a couple of months ago, but England’s cricketers have had to continue shoving “it” along anyway. No wonder they ended up going round in circles.

It’s not been the best tour. In a vain effort to gain a well-paid but pointless position at the ECB, let’s take the positives.

Ben Stokes

We can see it now. England are already drafting their excuses for when he’s injured. “We need to find another all-rounder because it’s impossible to balance the side in his absence. He’s effectively two players in one and 12 into 11 won’t go.”

His bowling’s solid but unspectacular. His batting’s surprisingly unshowy. His mental resilience appears first rate. A three-format, two-discipline cricketer – expect diminishing returns as he’s worn to a nub.

Stuart Broad

We’ve warmed to Broad quite a lot during this tour. Not that we ever disliked him, but he’s always been hard to really root for. However, it takes a certain kind of person to be bullied by an entire nation and not buckle; to in fact take pride in it.

Delusion can be a strength for an international sportsman and Broad has somehow played well in a weak side when throwing in the towel and sleepwalking through a few matches would have been infinitely easier. If only he could stop saying ‘to be fair’ in interviews.

Chris Jordan

Back when England’s pace bowling strength in depth seemed like a real thing, you could get down as far as Ajmal Shahzad and still think that he’d probably do okay given a run in the Test team. Nowadays, Steven Finn’s turned into Ishant Sharma at the end of a one-day international.

In this new and murky light, Chris Jordan somehow looked like he backed up the positive impression he made when appearing in our county cricket round-up pretty much every time we bothered to write it. He managed this despite taking six wickets at 42 in the one-day series. Honestly, what a tour.

Jos Buttler

Sort of carried on doing what he does – something almost no other England player managed. The fact that ‘what he does’ is mind-blowingly spectacular is a bonus.

In summary

Why did you push it without wheels for so long? Look what you’ve done to the axles. And the chassis. Junaid Khan (new non-blasphemous exclamation), it’s a right mess. It’s going to really cost you to get this fixed.


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  1. I’d like to think that another positive is the fact that surely now even the England selectors will have observed that Jade Dernbach is not an international standard bowler.

    I’d like to think that …. but I have my doubts.

    1. There’s a question: if the result is always a boundary, can they be considered variations?

      Variations on a theme, we suppose.

  2. Broad being “bullied by an entire nation” is a slight exaggeration. A campaign whipped up by the gutter press of Brisbane, really.

    Yes, he got booed wherever he went, but quite affectionately, just as Ponting was booed in England wherever he went. But polls showed that he was quite the most popular Pom in the team with Aussie fans. More than you could say for Ponting with English fans. Or Johnson.

    I, for one, am glad to see the back of you all. I don’t think the England team was really bothering after a while, and most of us, except the diehards, lost interest. I know they did, cos everyone stopped tweeting about the matches. Always a sign of FAIL.

    1. i know, but it’s too late. it’s a done deal. don’t forget “simples” has been admitted to the OED.

      o tempora etc etc

    1. It’s a reference to the Superb Owl. A seahawk bested the owl in the final after previously conquering a bronco. We have no idea how any of this transpired.

    2. The old English foot to balls is going well for the mighty Foxes, too.

      And its almost time for spring training for the Baseballists.

  3. As for “it’s really going to cost us to get this fixed”…

    …cost shouldn’t really be the problem. England is one of the big three, remember? Up there amongst the Invincibles, the Unreviewables and the Unrelegatibles.

    Time is the problem here. It is going to take time to fix the cranky vehicle and turn things around. England’s track record is as a particularly slow turner.

  4. I think I have said it somewhere before.

    Everytime a New Zealander is England’s best player coincides with the lowest point of English cricket.

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