Cricket: More Than a Game

Some stonking bowling there, though. Tremlett and Broad looked dangerous all the way through, and England's catching was fantastic. That last snag by Bell and the low slip catch from Strauss were what we needed.

Two fantastic hours of cricket this afternoon. Kinda makes me wish I had put some money down!

Yeah, thought they'd blown it when allowing Bell to collect his hundred. SL were far too negative, they needed to get rid of the deficit first.

Great bowling though, particularly with Jimmy Anderson out of the line up. Be interesting to see who gets the call for the second Test.

Almost no one in top level cricket knows how to play a measured test innings any more.

A little statsguru query shows 45 times a team has been dismissed for under 100 since the turn of the century.

Compare this to 15 times in the '90s, 14 times in the '80s, 13 times in the '70s and only 9 times in the '60s.

Sure there are a lot more tests being played these days and the sample set for the 2000+ is slightly larger but no way does that account for the fact that occupying the crease for the long haul seems to be a dying art. Kumar at #3 and Jayawardene are usually pretty good in this regard, but the rest of them have probably only been practicing clearing the hip and swinging hard.

Not to downplay the quality of the English seam attack (that Tremlett bloke looked the goods during the Ashes) but crap like that just shouldn't happen from test cricketers.

I think you're right, Bruce, though it would be interesting to see just how many of those 45 belong to Bangladesh, who I don't think were a test playing nation for all of the 1990's.

I blame it all on pyjama cricket. An interesting point was made on yesterday's commentary that two of SL's senior players had only just come into the UK having finished their stint in the IPL, and that a 5th day wicket in England in May (that had been covered for probably 2 full days) was somewhat different to the wicket in Chennai.

If you think about what stats are most often quoted though, even during a test, after the obvious score and average we are seeing the increasing rise of 'strike rate' for batsmen. Unless you are considering this in conjunction with the match position (ie need to score runs quickly before declaring, or whatever), then why is this of particular relevance ?

Two amusing factoids from the BBC

- that was the 10th shortest Test innings in history in terms of time.

- at one point, there were 19 paying punters in the ground, and that was after play started

Glad to see we're not on that list.

Remarkable collapse by Sri Lanka there.

19 punters... Oh dear...

Every time I tried to watch it was a rain delay so I didn't see a single ball live.

Stats search here

Ban - 8
Zim - 7
Pak - 7
SL & WI - 5
NZ - 4
Aus & Eng - 3
Ind - 2
SA - 1

So while the usual suspects make up a third of the list, even if you remove the 15 pieces of filth from Zimbos and Bangers that still leaves twice as many substandard performances from actual test nations compared to the previous decade. Not. Good. Enough.

Meanwhile the overhaul of Cricket Australia structures appears to be complete. Troy Cooley goes home and is replaced by a failed property developer who has turned every kid that came his way to sh*t at the "high performance centre". And that is all the change we've seen so far since the worst home defeat in living memory. Useless.

[Edit - missed the single SA instance from 2006]

sorry MrDevil - there was the one Sth African collapse in 2006.

Bruce wrote:

Meanwhile the overhaul of Cricket Australia structures appears to be complete. Troy Cooley goes home and is replaced by a failed property developer who has turned every kid that came his way to sh*t at the "high performance centre". And that is all the change we've seen so far since the worst home defeat in living memory. Useless.

Not only that but last I heard was that Mike Young the veteran fielding coach was sacked with no replacement. WTF is going on at CA?

Mike Young was useless. The cordon has never been worse in my lifetime and that's where it really matters in test cricket. So what if they can pick up and throw quickly, there's been rock-all runouts effected by the Aussies lately and far too many lives given to regulation edges. We are well rid of him.

Bring back Bobby Simpson!!

Also - can you still be called England if you only have 5 actual Englishmen in the team?

Of course, we are counting people from all of those countries we used to own. Maybe you guys should take a tip from your rugby teams

Bruce wrote:

sorry MrDevil - there was the one Sth African collapse in 2006.

Ah crap, was too good to be true.

Well done Joost Van der Trott on being named England's cricketer of the year.

He and Cook have shown what occupying the crease really means. I look with some degree of envy at the type of batsman that are playing tests for England and despair when one of our selectors talks up David 'Cow Corner' Warner as possible test batsman; And have you seen Steve Smith's technique? Putrid!!!

Yeah, I feel Trott completely deserved that. Shows what application of talent and mental toughness can get you in today's 'smash it!' atmosphere.

Also, Hampshire are playing a T20 benefit match for Nic Pothas at our ground against our 1st XI on Monday. Its going to be cool, even if I have to work the gate for the first part.

One of the commentators on England's game vs SL pointed to an increasing ruthlessness by England, and he probably has something. A few years ago, that game would have been allowed to peter out to a draw, or even been agreed as one by the captains with only two innings being completed by the early part of day 5.

I don't know if it's ruthlessness or not, but they are clearly good enough to push hard now and that certainly changes the mental approach to the way matches play out.

I saw it in our blokes from the mid '90s to mid '00s, where they genuinely believed they could get a result no matter what the state of the match, because they really were that good.

There's definitely something there. Compare this most recent day 5 performance vs day 5 in Adelaide 4 years ago. Both days started with a draw being by far the most likely result but one side pushed hard and the other rolled over. England were on the receiving end back in 2006 but handing it this week.

Was just thinking that the international cricket season for us must be about to start again, but our first games are the Aussie tour here in October. Holy crap.

After the pretty much incessant cricket over the last few years an actual season break feels weird.

Might not be the best time to start a cricket thread, after England collapsed for 51 in the second innings in Kingston, but its the start of their Windies tour, so alot can change in the next couple weeks. With the English summer only a few months away and our team undergoing a crisis of confidence, I know there are some Aussies on the board who can feel the rumble of the approaching Ashes. Oddly enough, he won't be at home for long because him and that other overrated sack of lard, Fatty Flintoff, will now be heading to Serth Arfrica to play in the clown circus that is the IPL. Not too knackered for that, eh lads ?

Nice work tailoring the spam to the topic, even if it's a couple of years out of date.


So the worst kept secret in world cricket is out. Gary Kirsten to coach South Africa. Slightly more surprising, Allan Donald is the Bowling coach and AB De Villiers to captain the ODI and 20 over sides.

I'll be interested to see if/when the Empire XI declares today.

Surely the Shrees couldn't roll over in two fourth innings in row. Could they?

Just how badly does the BCCI need the kleptocrats' vote from Zimbabwe?

The only possible solution from the painful way the past 2 World Cups have been run is to.... do it the same way again with 14 teams.

Are there any non-corrupt global sporting adminstrations?

And I'm still waiting for some changes at Cricket Australia - root and branch review my arse.

Kumar at #3 is one of the classiest players going around.

*warning: Article is by pearl-clutching Peter Roebuck

So, big win there. You wonder how different it would have been with Khan fit and Tendulkar healthy, and Broad having to face Zaheer rather than just Sharma and Kumar. I'm not sure Sachin being healthy would have been enough to put our bowling attack off its stride. They looked like a cohesive unit, and some of those balls bowled at the end of the day were absolutely magic.

Bring on Friday.

On a related note, I know it didn't dramatically affect the result, but the lack of Hawkeye in the DRS really bugged me.

*record scratch*

India is allowing the DRS? Their resistance was very fierce when they toured here December/January.

No, DRS is out for this series, at least as far as Hawkeye goes. Just as well for them, as Billy Bowden had a shocker and missed at least 2 absolutely plumb LBWs against Indian batsmen.

How is Clownden still getting a gig? There are blokes running grade cricket that I rate more highly than him. Rauf Mauf seemed to put in a solid performance.

India refuse the DRS because they know they will come out ahead in the good/bad decision ratio. They have unjustifiably claimed the the moral high ground since Sydney and use it to bully the umpiring panel into submission. (cf. Harper)

England seem to have had some unfortunate tourists of late. A couple of Indians go down early for this series and I seem to remember the Shrees having the same problem in their last series. Touring is a tough business and these certainly won't be the last to fall prey.

A massive amount of column inches about the selection of our team to tour SL and the Cricket Australia contracts. Not a single journo has spoken out in support of the decisions made, not even the tame ones hoping for insider access. De.Ba.Cle!! Form against the Klepto's B side is apparently good enough to get a baggy green now. At least the Steve Smith experiment is over for the moment. I doubt we will see the urn for at least another series.

An interesting highlights package from Trent Bridge.

Harby is given out Bat Before Wicket and thanks to India's choice not to use DRS he has to go. To which I can only add a Nelson style HA HA!

Then The Sherminator makes a school boy error and is correctly given out, but somehow is called back after peer pressure is applied on Dhoni.

I have a new theory; Any team that invokes "the spirit of cricket" is not actually living up to it.

The Aussie version of the 'Spirit of Cricket'


India have been broken. That is just filth they are serving up this morning.

The boys in the commetary box were making jokes about padding up and wanting some of it. Can't say as I disagreed. Sorry Bresnan didn't get his ton, as he played really well for the 90.

The Bell issue for me falls on Rauf. It is poor concentration from Bell, but when you watch it, Rauf just casually wanders away toward the batsmen and everyone seems to accept that it is over and tea. Either he has to squash the appeal really before it starts or he acts like the ball is live and that attitude conveys itself to the batsmen. He let it go on too long either way, and should have had more control of the game.

Also, I love working from home during the summer.

That was a pretty meek surrender in the end. I see a potential 4-0 if weather doesn't intervene.

I think England deserve the #1 ranking the way they have played over the last couple of years. Amazing how well you can go when you select a balanced team that are in form for test cricket.

(Just don't get me started. The Argus review is due out in August - a mere 5 months after the worst defeat in living memory)