When the England cricket team became ruthless

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We’ve always asked that England become more ruthless. Now it seems to be happening and by the jackal head of Anubis it’s a good feeling.

England have been good before, but in continually passing 500 and repeatedly recording innings victories over the course of the 2010-11 Ashes, they’ve added something new – a delightful lack of empathy for the opposition. They’re like sociopathic surgeons – skilled and utterly devoid of guilt, compassion or remorse.

Maybe it stems from the fact that they themselves have plans for when things go wrong these days.

If you’ve made the effort to work out ways to take wickets after the shine’s gone off the new ball, why should you feel sorry for a team that doesn’t seem to bother to do that?

If you can change half your first-choice bowling attack and still have a guy like Chris Tremlett narrowly missing a hat trick despite a near-perfect third delivery, why should you give a toss when the opposition loses a captain or an opening batsman to injury?

No international cricket team deliberately goes easy on the opposition, but they don’t always play as well when they’re 400 ahead as when the scores are level and the adrenaline’s pumping.


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  1. Don’t count your chickens, KC, it’s not over just yet. Surely if those years of watching England lose showed you anything, it is that England has an unbelievable capacity to lose from seemingly unassailable positions. There’s still time in this series for Australia to add 300 for the last three wickets, bowl England out for 120, send Shane Watson to circle the Earth so fast that it changes direction, thus reversing time, and convince the infant Mitchell Johnson’s parents to move to Surrey. That would do it.

  2. I would love to see these sociopathic surgeons take guard against Steyn and Morkel in SA.

  3. We’ll just wait till all their best bowlers have retired, Deep Cower, then we’ll be ruthless against them as well.

  4. Deep Cower, perhaps you should have watched a year ago, then. If you weren’t paying attention, it’s probably best to just check the Second Test. The others were pretty similar, not worth looking at.

  5. I would love to see India, South Africa and England play each other in (the third) neutral country.

    Would be fun to watch.

  6. Recent History (the country on the left being the home team)

    RSA vs ENG: 1 – 1
    ENG vs RSA: 1 – 2

    IND vs ENG: 1 – 0
    ENG vs IND: 0 – 1 (ok this is a while back)

    IND vs RSA: 1 – 1
    RSA vs IND: 1 – 1

    The contenders are pretty close.
    Oh wait. England have not won a series against India or RSA in the past 3 years (home or away).

  7. Pavan, The fact that England have not won against India or SA in the past is not important in deciding how good they are right now. Suppose there’s a world test championship starting next month. England would have as good a chance as India or SA to win it. If it takes place outside India, they have a much *better* chance than India to win it. Simply because they have got a better bowling unit.

    Me, I would prefer watching the Cooks and the Sehwags destroyed by Steyn though. Makes for much better viewing.

  8. I was not berating england. I really think they were a good team.
    It was a mere after thought that had occurred to me after I posted the series results. (Honestly I thought England did better than the records suggest).

    The reason I posted the results was to show how close the teams are. The point I was trying to make: England are good, but there is no way to say who is the best.

    India have been consistently challenging Australia over the past decade. In fact India has won more matches than it lost against Australia in the naughties. As for RSA, well that is the only team India has struggled against.

    @Deep Cower
    Yes England has a much better bowling unit than India. So does south africa.
    South Africa, with home advantage, with steyn + morkel at full throttle, with a better (read more experienced) batting line up than England, managed to draw the series. The Indian bowlers on the other hand (unpredictable and less skilfull they may be), are tending to utilize good bowling conditions as much as any other team. The question you need to ask is, does the advantage that england bowlers have over Indian bowlers, offset the advantage Indian batsmen have over the English batsmen ? (This may change in 2 years, especially since the English line up is young, and the Indians ageing). But right now, I’d say too close to call.

    sorry for sabotaging the comments 🙂

  9. Pavan: “The question you need to ask is, does the advantage that england bowlers have over Indian bowlers, offset the advantage Indian batsmen have over the English batsmen?”

    That is a good question, and the answer depends on where they battle. In India, the batting advantage of the Indians would almost certainly overwhelm the English. But outside India (say in England), the Indian batsmen have zero advantage over their English counterparts (in fact, they are worse). So, a better bowling unit would hand you the series.

  10. Blah blah blah India better than England blah blah Steyn and Morkel blah blah hubris blah blah England will be rubbish again within the year.

    In case anyone hasn’t noticed, England is about to complete the biggest rout of an old enemy since Waterloo. We English ought not to have to explain or apologise to anybody for the following:

    1. Being more interested in this one-sided series than in the clearly better one between India and SA

    2. Enjoying the moment, and not being interested in the future

    3. Enjoying the pain and discomfort of the Australians who have enjoyed my pain and discomfort for twenty years

    4. Reading The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian on line every day

    5. Not caring even a little bit how good Steyn and Morkel and Gambhir and Tendulkar are playing, and how they would crush us in the blink of an eye

    6. Comparing this series with Waterloo

    I love you all, but this is ENGLAND’S MOMENT.

  11. Well said.

    To the rest of you, we believe what you’re trying to say is: ‘Looking forward to England v India in July.’

  12. “But outside India (say in England), the Indian batsmen have zero advantage over their English counterparts (in fact, they are worse)”

    You have no basis for saying that 🙂
    Gambhir: (29 in england, 40 in India) strauss ( 41 in england)
    Sehwag: (40 in england, 59 in India) cook (41 in england)
    Dravid: (65 in england, 50 in India) trott (82 in england)
    Sachin: (62 in england, 57 in india) pietersen (51 in england)
    Laxman: (45 in england, 50 in India) bell (45 in england)
    Dhoni: (52 in england, 43 in India) prior (42 in england)

    Not much in it, is there ?

  13. Is this the TTNT? Or should I say NMPMIAT (not much past midnight if at all thread)?

    Daisy and I are going out this evening and will probably only just get back in time for the start of play, so this post is simply to wish everyone happy viewing and listening this evening. We can hardly wait.

  14. If these Australians had any dignity left, Ged, they would understand that it’s the middle of the night here and that continuing this match beyond 11:30pm GMT is just rude. Half an hour of celebratory bowling, half an hour of triumphant presentations and fireworks, and half an hour of analysis of “Exactly Why Australia Is Crap”. That will do for the night.

  15. Just a thought: had Australia played England in a three match test series, the result would have been 1-1.

    Does anyone really believe that Australia are as good as England?

    Three match text series are just not long enough to know who is best.

  16. There goes one of next week’s posts, Aerouant.

    We won’t bother writing it now. It wasn’t going to say much more than that comment anyway.

  17. that was a surprisingly good venn.

    Good point. May be we should even have series go on until a side has a clear 2 match lead.

  18. What are we all going to do once this has finished. I’m scared.

    Hope Colly gets a last test bowl and hopefully wicket tonight.

  19. Good Lord! I have made it!

    I have been an horrific misser (or perhaps just leaver) of TTNT for the past many nights but I am glad I have made it back for the finale. Indeed I have bought a bottle of apple vodka in honour of the occasion.

    Let the thread commence. Oh and the cricket as well – why not

  20. Huzzah. We see your apple vodka and raise you a McEwans Champion (7.3% and £1.30 in Tesco).

  21. One doesn’t give Venn, Alex, one does Venn.

    Dost thou know nothing of modern language?

    Howe Zat, for sure you do good Venn. Although a three-circle job is surely showing off a bit. But still, good Venn.

  22. Oh, and what we will do, The Dawg, is sleep more and try and do something spectacular to save ourselves from being fired due to several weeks of desk-sleeping and tired ill-temper.

  23. Was it you that was a witch all those threads ago tight but loose? If so and it is going to rain there tell me what time I need to wake up to watch the conclusion.

    McEwans Champion – I’m glad I’ve neither heard of nor sampled that heady brew.

  24. 37.5% and £11 (if you buy it in bulk – and let’s face it, I do)

    I really wish Anderson wouldn’t throw himself around stopping the cut shots. Every time he does it he looks at his hands as though he has snapped them from his wrists. It’s disconcerting

  25. I got all Witchy a while back Dawg but my bout of flu (well probably medieval style plague) has set me back a touch. I now see the past which is not as helpful as you might think.

    In other news we wrap this up by lunch

    In other other news I have made myself a really good chilli. Without the cricket it would be unseemly to eat this at 1am

  26. Not at all Tight, I’ve gone through a tremendous array of foodstuffs at bizarre hours through the course of this series, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Today, bottles of Grolsch are washing down sliced sausage, fried potatoes and the greatest mustard in the world. Shame it won’t go on till about 4 so I can work up the hunger to eat the leftover momos (nepalese dumpling things) I have in the fridge.

  27. Hello Tight! (and all your witchy familiars)
    I have two duvets, no alcohol and am waiting for the rain to stop and the badger parade to begin…

  28. Jo

    2 duvets? What sort of tog ratings are we talking about?

    Went out for a celebratory curry with the girlfriend tonight, followed by a celebratory beer, and now I’m home having a celebratory sauv blanc.

    Over 20 years of hurt. I’m celebrating. And getting a bit drunk. Not having to go back to work until Monday and having the last 2 weeks off has meant I’ve been going to bed after 4am and waking up at sometime between midday and 2pm. I’m not saying it’s been the best 2 weeks of my life but…

  29. DD

    Hang on you’re saying it hasn’t been the best two weeks of your life?? You have lived all our dreams AND still have a girlfriend.

    I salute you sir! The badgers doff their caps to you

  30. ohhh… not back to work until next Monday…sounds like bliss.
    I tried the staying up for the whole of the first night of this Test and was completely wasted for the whole of Bank Holiday Monday.

    The duvets are ancient and were made before TOGs were invented. Two summer weight ones.

  31. Well fortunately the little lady enjoys the cricket as well, so understands my emotions.

    Speaking of which. price is on a date TONIGHT! Tonight of all nights! Now I’m all for getting your leg over, but there are 2 things about this girl which trouble me about price’s choice of his evening entertainment. a) She doesn’t like cricket, b) from what I can gather her choice of profession offers him no firm retirement plan.

    I’ve just recieved an argument via text being that she has an amazing body. What do we think? Does this excuse his behaviour?

  32. He can video the cricket and try not to find out the result before he sees it. I’m getting flashbacks to “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?”

  33. Really? Man speak? On the internet? After midnight? After many, many drinks? Really?

    In his defence she does have a good body, and if he is truly passionate about cricket it will rub off on her. Eventually.

    Sorry I started picturing the rubbing. Even I know that is wrong.

    What was the question again?

  34. I’ve thought of the perfect solution. He needs to invite her back to his to watch the result. If she agrees, and then stays, he should keep her forever.

  35. DD – keep us posted.

    Mr Jo Fitz has given up and turned the light out. I’m typing this in the dark.

  36. I woke Mr JF to tell him that Siddle had just gone.
    He was most uninpressed.
    About the being woken up, not the wicket.

  37. Hooray. Both for the wicket and my own realisation that the NZ v Pakistan test is on and will help me through the weird sleep pattern insomnia. Until I finish all my beers that is, then I’ll sleep wonderfully.

    Mrs Dawg, whilst a fan of the cricket, is safely ensconced in bed. I have been relegated to the couch for weeks.

  38. Dawg – this is exactly the situation that wifi enabled laptops were made for.
    Bed, leccy blanket, stash of beer next to said bed (if one so wishes).

  39. Jo. Will do.

    Dawg. I had that very sam thought when I saw the Pak v NZ game on earlier. I suppose someone is going to come on here and tell us we should be ‘paying more attention’ to that game as well?

  40. DD
    Regarding the Price situation, you do know that this woman is all in his imagination? I have no idea how else he could be on a (third!!!) date with a woman who is part time barmaid, part time model.

    We need to finish this soon. I’m so very, very tired. A friend in San Francisco is gloating. It’s 4pm, not half past midnight, he’s got a live Sky feed and he’s in bloody California.

  41. string-tell your friend he’s a c…

    Part-time model you say. He never told me about that! Just mentioned the bar work.

    This potentially changes things. Do we have access to internet based photographs?

  42. Jo – as good as that sounds, it would lead to an angry and vengeful sleep deprived wife. I am happy enough with couch, alcohol, cricket and snacks.

    DD – we will pay more attention, just as soon as the important grown-up cricket has finished!

  43. No internet based photographs that I know of. I tried to persuade him to go for dinner at a mexican restaurant near my office so that I could stalk him.

    I’ve just read that. I need to re-examine what I do with my spare time.

    Consider my friend told.

    C Prior B Anderson.

    It’s goodnight from me and it’s goodnight from him.

  44. String – you should be proud of yourself. Good effort.

    Sorry to veer dangerously back toward the cricket, but it is just dawning on me that we are about to secure the third innings victory against australia of the series, in australia.

    I can’t even remember the last time we won over there, because I was tiny. I’m starting to feel emotional.

  45. Easy there Dawg. When we get the final wicket simply nod your head in a satisfied way and then attempt to shake hands with the nearest arm like object you can find.

    We’re English dammit

  46. Dawg-I’ve been waiting for Sky to share a stat about the number of innings victories we’ve had in a series down under. This must come close.

  47. Dawg, don’t apologise. It’s quite simply the most astonishing thumping I can remember any England team ever inflicting.

  48. You’re allowed to shed one tear as long as you quickly wipe it from your face with a pristine handkerchief.

    I am pretty sure that no team has won in Australia with three innings victories

  49. We’ve drunk too much for quiet reserve Tight. I’ll be leaning more towards scouring the net for an England cricket rompersuit for my little nephew of shamefully half Australian parentage before he embarks on his 3 month voyage there.

    That will be a present that will go down as well as my numerous unwanted score update texts I’ve been sending the father.

  50. And so it is done – that is the kind of reserve I would have liked to exhibit….damn.

  51. Anyhow guys, I have work to get to tomorrow.
    Love you all and see you during the ODI series.

  52. Gentlemen, it has been a pleasure to have TTNTed with you on this most historic occasion. If it weren’t for my sensibilities and stiff upper lippedness I would clasp you to my chest and swear eternal brotherhood.

    I must now take my leave, I am succumbing to my emotions

  53. Beauty.

    Well done all.

    Special mention for King Cricket’s excellent coverage of the series and allowing us to ramble on through the nights.

    Bring on the World Cup.

  54. Fare thee well gentlemen. It has been a pleasure.

    Perspex vodafone bat. What a tasteful trophy. Cook deserves better.

  55. 80 comments ! Like England you have defeated our adorable Aussie blogger Jrod by an innings in Ashes related posts .

  56. All those weeks of sleep deprivation took their toll.

    We returned from our evening at 22:57. Daisy’s head hit the pillow at 22:58 and she was close to unconscious within seconds.

    I managed to keep myself awake until just before the cricket restarted after the rain interval. Next thing I knew, Brocket was talking to The Tubster.

    Damn you, Sydney showers. I bet you did it deliberately just to deprive me of seeing the actual moment of victory live.

    I guess our boys will just have to go back in 4 years time and do it again.

    It’s been a pleasure TTNTing (and sometimes failing to TTNT) with you all throughout the series.

  57. I would like to clear a few things up

    1. I was in a pub on the date with the cricket on the telebox, so I got to see it anyway

    2. String exaggerates. She has done a bit of modelling. She is a part time barmaid, part time actress really.

    3. She once got turned down to be an NPower girl as she wasn’t blonde enough, apparently. Tenuous cricket link

  58. Thanks for the clarification there Price. I was beginning to hate you.

    Still, a failed npower girl’s got to be worth a decent knock?

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