When is a day a fifth of a Test match?

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< 1 minute read

We’re all for the ebb and flow of Test cricket with all its nuance and scope for recovery, but all in all we’d much rather see Australia being bowled out for 60 in the span of time normally reserved for a football match.

There’s a cycling commentator who routinely uses the word ‘testy’ to mean ‘testing’. Quite possibly he says ‘teste’ but that would still be wrong. We’re now going to use ‘testy’ incorrectly in an entirely different way and say that today’s play has been Testy. We mean this in the sense that it was what Test cricket usually is: protracted, patient and slow to ripen. It was almost like they were bothering to set the scene for once, rather than kicking off with a wild gunfight or an attack by Zombeavers (not seen that film yet, but can’t wait).

It was the kind of day when you could find yourself with an opportunity to watch live Test cricket and quite quickly find yourself not watching it. We don’t mean turning off in disgust. We mean just sort of drifting away from it to check out breakfast burrito recipes online or something similarly pressing.

Unless something dramatic happens after this rain break, there are no real headlines. It’s almost as if up to 80 per cent of the match is still to come.


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. Headline:
    Throdkin dropped for Burrito

    King Cricket’s idiosyncratic breakfast selection policies a cause for concern?

  2. Headline:

    David Warner, the multi-millionaire T20 player, scored 14 from 42 in the first hour of the match, and having seen off the worst of the new ball’s tricks, went on to score 85 from 131, thus demonstrating that truly classy players, when they have their mind in gear, can adapt their style of play to the conditions and the match.

    I don’t work in the media – maybe that’s a bit long for a headline. But Warner looks the real deal to me.

  3. Good job Australia didn’t remember how to bat earlier in the series.

    Can we just skip the next four days and move straight to lifting the urn?

    1. Quite long things, Oval test matches. I went to Day 2 of this one, 12 years ago. Even at the end of Day 2 there were many in the crowd bemoaning England’s “obvious fate”.

      I agree that the Aussies are in the better position, naturally, but I also agree with KC that we might only be 20% (or less) of the way into this one.

    2. One of the reasons I remember the match so well, was because some goons sitting behind us were going on and on about Tres batting slowly on the second evening, after England lost two fairly quick wickets.

      They were irritating me so much, I turned around to them and said, “you’ll think differently when he scores a double hundred tomorrow and England go on to win the match”. At the time I didn’t believe for one moment that my prediction would come true, but I was never going to see those goons again and just wanted them to shut up.

      I’m struggling to loom on the bright side this morning though.

      Not just England.

      Graham Onion’s back. As in, returned. He wouldn’t be able to bowl so well if he had ankylosing spondylitis or anything like that.

    3. Banger!!! His finest hour (or twelve) for England?

      I dreamt last night he retired but put it off until March 2016, which infuriated some of the more fickle Somerset faithful, who had already bought a one-day shirt with his name ‘n’ number on it, and subsequently felt conned.

      Flintoff’s 95 was the real catalyst in that game IIRC…

  4. Is there a Veritas Sky camera focused on Cook(y)’s trousers? Did those trousers go brown while Warner was batting after lunch?

    I need to know anmd the bli9mp was in the perfect position to tell me.

  5. Moeen is very awkward. Seems to pick up too many wickets to be replaced as principal spinner, even though he is neither the aggressive option nor the defensive option that captains ideally want one or both of. And gathers too many runs at too good a clip not to lose his “all-rounder” badge, which means dropping her would mean changing the balance of the team.

    So he appears to be undroppable, despite neither establishing himself as a frontline Test spinner, nor a frontline Test batsman. Though frankly it’s a travesty he’s so low in the order and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he occupies every position from 3 to 8 with perhaps a temporary stint as opener the next time we have a minicrisis in that position.

    Makes me wonder, though it’d be harsh to apply this term to Moeen himself, is there a word to describe a player who’s somehow undroppable despite not actually being very good? (E.g. captains having form crises, all-rounders whose deselection would “unbalance” a side…)

    1. Breaking news: Moeen Ali not transgender after all. My autocorrect has glimpsed The Beard and realised the error of its ways.

    2. He’s the Catch-22’s Yossarian’s liver of this current England setup. Just short of being jaundiced so cannot be treated, but too bad to declare cured and hence release the patient back into the war to fly more missions.

      I have a suspicion we’ll see Moeen getting the chance to bat for longer when he becomes Cook’s opening partner in the near future, should Lyth run out of chances.

  6. There goes Adam Lyth. Who’s next on the opening partner merry-go-round?

    Moeen? Hales? Compton?

    Mark Lathwell?

    1. Short-term, Moeen will open in the UAE, so Rashid can play as the second (first?) spinner.

      Long term, Root will open, because England captains have to be openers.

    2. 3 tests in the UAE, so I think it’s gonna be like jury service where a week before the tour 3 lucky people from across the land will be required to drop what they’re doing and open for England in a test match.

    3. I reckon Daneel’s got it; they have to pick a ‘proper’ spinner for the UAE tests, don’t they?

      On a largely irrelevant but still very irritating note, how do England manage to be this inconsistent so consistently? I suppose the same charge could be levelled at dem aussies, but screw them, Ashes in the bag etc.

    4. England’s performances are based almost exclusively on one thing – how much does everyone watching expect them to win? When they are underdogs they win. When they are, er, overdogs (?) they lose.

      This leads to simple harmonic performances. They lose, so everyone expects them to lose again, so they get mentally focused and win, so everyone expects them to win again, so they get blasé and lose, repeat.

      There are two ways of breaking this cycle. In the 90s, England found one of them.

    5. You might argue that this is bollocks, because they won two tests in a row. Anderson provided the edge for Trent Bridge.

  7. 92-8.

    Hey, ho. The urn will still be lifted. Might be an odd lap of honour after this performance though.

    What a peculiar series.

    1. This is good though. No sense wasting all those runs on a dead rubber. All have a bad game here, then they’re due some against Pakistan. See also Broad not wasting wickets on this game.

      Bell did about 10 times too much, though.

      On the other hand, are we really going to have an Ashes where that Cardiff game was the only one that was even vaguely competitive? 4 matches all but over by Day 2?

  8. At least England didn’t almost embarrass themselves by experimenting with fringe players this time.

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