Virat Kohli is not a bowler, Lendl Simmons is not out, Andre Russell is not suspended

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India became so utterly convinced of Virat Kohli’s Midas touch that they gave him an over with the ball. He took a wicket with his first ball. That was the point where they should probably have drawn a line under things. Instead, Kohli came back to bowl the final over with the West Indies needing eight to win.

Is wishful thinking a legitimate way to decide on bowling changes with the outcome of a World T20 semi-final at stake? Andre Russell hit a four and a six.

It has to be said, Andre Russell hit the ball very hard throughout. Watching him employ his giant muscles – which may or may not have been naturally produced (we don’t know which, because he doesn’t take dope tests) – it was easy to see how a soupcon of extra power can help make small gaps larger.  At the other end, Lendl Simmons repeatedly walked on and off the pitch after succumbing to three non-dismissals. Clearly aware that it was his day, he hit 83 somehow-not-out off 51 balls.

In addition to Kohli’s dreamlike batting and the West Indies’ crunching boundary-hitting, there was plenty of the truly entertaining stuff – you know, missed run-outs (including two off one ball), dismissals off no-balls, catches that turn out to be sixes and overthrows. Top stuff everyone. More of this kind of thing.


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. Looking forward to having a cricket final on Sunday.

    I might paint a wall in the lounge and listen on the wireless. Salmon pink, since you ask.

  2. For those who don’t want to watch it on the radio, do any of the channels have highlights rights? As opposed to random online clips, though of course random clips summarise T20 better than most other brands of cricket.

    1. Highlights are all over the place this tournament, cricinfo being the easiest to find.

      1. Yes but I mean a highlights show, edited into some palatable product which attempts in some ways to communicate the ebbs and flows of the game, not just a random selection of clips.

      2. I noticed that the ICC WT20 youtube page had highlight shows for some matches, but not all.

        England are about to win a World Cup, for goodness sake (or more likely lose yet another limited overs final) so how come no terrestrial channel wants to show me it?

        This is the game’s “saviour” product too, its lifeblood among the young, its all-singing all-dancing all-pyrotechnical most blazingly exciting format ENTIRELY DESIGNED TO REAWAKEN INTEREST IN CRICKET, and they have decided to sell their product by NOT BROADCASTING ON NORMAL TV SO NORMAL PEOPLE CAN CATCH A GLIMPSE AND GET HOOKED ON IT.

        That is madness. Utter madness. To get the clips you have to be interested already and be searching them out specifically. Then they wonder whether this cricket lark will ever catch on again. And spend millions of pounds on consultants so they can get some management-waffle drivel about the state of their “product”. Well their “commercial offering” can go screw itself, this stuff really winds me up.

      3. Franz Kafka’s masterpiece – The Trial – was found among a collection of his writing after he died. It’s got ten chapters, but apart from Chapters 1, 9 and 10, nobody actually knows their correct order. It is part of the nature of Kafka’s work that it doesn’t really matter. Indeed, it is almost axiomatic in Kafka’s work that it doesn’t matter.

        What you need, Bailout, is a highlight randomizer.

      4. Highbrow references are one thing, but highbrow references that actually make a point? What’s happened to this website?

      5. Bert, thank you for bringing to my attention

        Which is surprisingly fascinating stuff.

        Indeed, watching T20 is increasingly akin to Kafka’s The Trial. I think T20 is by far the most isotropic and interchangeable form of cricket there is. Frankly, T20 highlights could alternate balls from completely different innings, or even matches, with little loss of context – it’s pretty much like those “Top Twenty Unbelievable Boundaries” clipshows you get on Youtube.

  3. hm, so if the empire still ruled cricket, appearance of Dre Russ in the final against England would’ve been a no no. glad to see the Pig3 minds think alike.

    1. Nothing to do with who he’s playing against or where we’re from. The World Anti-Doping Agency recommend sanctions for any player who commits three anti-doping whereabouts violations in a 12-month period.

      Russell is just symbolic of the naivety of cricket when it comes to doping. If Russell is banned after his hearing, that will taint the West Indies’ team’s achievements in this tournament.

      1. Quite. England’s team also look more like gym bunnies than ever before, and I can’t say I’m thriller with the phenomenon – only partly because cricket is losing its appeal as “pro sport that normal-looking people can be seen playing”. Experience suggests that the more pumped-up the players are looking, the bigger the scandal that’s around the corner.

        (Not necessarily with the top players, but if amateur and semi-pro players start seeing the need to pump up like their heroes then that’s often where the problems are. Hence current issues in lower level rugby and even in older-age-group cycling.)

        Not sorting out and/or enforcing basic procedures though is raising the risks of senior players getting complacent about what they can get away with. And if they feel a place in national teams or big-money T20 leagues is at stake, then incentives are there. If cricket ends up having a baseball-style meltdown then it’s not as if the administrators didn’t have a chance to cut it off or had a valid excuse for not seeing it coming.

      2. I have managed two separate rants at cricket administration, over two separate issues, all in the same thread. Hope nobody mentions the way Associate nations get treated in another reply or I shall be going for the hat trick.

      3. Top ranting! Nobody will notice if you complete the hat-trick in another thread, so you need to try and do it within the same over, so to speak.
        In my humble opinion, Afghanistan have been a breath of fresh air in this tournament so it saddens me that this sort of thing may not be allowed to happen again, should the ICC get its wicked way.

      4. If the Windies beat England again in the Final – which is hardly out of the question – then Afghanistan will be the only side to have beaten the Windies this tournament.

        If England beat the WIndies, then not only did Afghanistan almost humiliate them, but England have previously lost to the WIndies who in turn lost to Afghanistan, which makes the Afghans honorary super-champions.

        The idea of a ten-team World Cup is a perverse act of self-sabotage by cricket administrators who have funneled millions of dollars into “spreading the game”, and then decided that other nations being good at cricket might overshadow their own countries’ prowess (and moreover, the revenues generated from more established countries reaching the latter stage of tournaments) so the new mantra seems to be “spread the love of the game, it’s marginally better for the bottom line if you lot tune in as well, and it’s kinda sweet that you play too but we’re not letting you lot play us“. Sod ’em.

      5. I did actually rather like your rant Ged. It had good pace and structure, with a deftly poised turnaround of the argument, like a classic Test innings. My shortish sharpish blasts fell more into the oeuvre of T20 stuff and nonsense but the -ishes suggests I have fallen into the predictable, turgid and formulaic ODI genre instead.

    1. Yes. It’s not really as funny as the media seems to think, but Dhoni is likeable.

      1. Impressive that he can appear to be in such a good mood just minutes after losing a World Cup semi-final in front of his own crowd.

        Also, he talks a lot in press conferences, which you wouldn’t expect given his “ice man” on-pitch demeanour.

      2. He does talk a lot. He’s actually very good value if you’re us and look for nonsense and mischief in your cricketer quotes. We imagine he’s less good for the people trying to find out what he’s actually thinking.

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