Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Crawling form the Wreckage

The good thing about having your own website is that you can vent and let off steam in a more rational way than simply swearing a lot and kicking the cat - or whichever sentinent being happens to be closest to hand.

In no particular order, and without any coherent structure therefore, here is a stream of conciousness response to the monumental fuck up that was Day 5 in Adelaide,

Firstly, hats off to Shane Warne. After all the premature obituaries, he now must surely have a free licence to play for Australia as long as he wants - even if it ends up in 2044 with a 75 year old dribbly, incontinent, 38 stone Warnie being wheeled out to the middle to bowl his overs. Sure as hell our batsmen will still curl up and die in the fourth innings faced with that level of menace.

Secondly, if you think you're wound up and angry with the inept showing today, imagine how Paul Collingwood feels right now.

I don't honestly know how we come back from a sucker punch defeat like that. In some respects a good shoeing is preferable to a self inflicted disaster like todays lame-brained exhibition. Some US jounalists talk of a 'levels of losing' scale, with an expected debacle ranking as 1.0, losing in the last minute of a cup final when you were two up with five minutes to go at 6.2 and a real shocker like Buster Douglas/Mike Tyson ranking a 9.9. I'd put this at around 17.4 on that criteria.

Leaving aside the 'headless chicken' routine with the bat - the bowling looked ill-thought out and, frankly, embarrassing. As soon as Ponting and Hussey were set, we should have effectively reduced the number of overs available by a third by making sure that two balls an over were either bouncers out of reach, and fired down the leg-side - it's not rocket science. Harmison looked quite impressive yet only bowled four overs, whilst Hoggard's muscles was obviously tighter than a cows arse when there's flies around and was over-bowled.

We now need to go into the Perth Test with a side that has the best possible chance of WINNING it. It's time to forget all the 'clever clever' fannying around about avoiding defeat, and only having to draw the series. This means that we need bowlers who can take wickets. Forget all the bullshit about playing Giles because he adds a bit extra to the batting. It's been patently clear over the first two tests that he is no longer a test match bowler. That means Giles out and Panesar in. Giles has been out of cricket for eleven months - and it shows. Panesar has been bowling with great effectiveness all year. Youd' have thought it would be a 'no brainer' of a decision, but sadly the selectors just seemed to have demonstrated that 'no brainer' can have two connotations.

It's equally clear that Jimmy Anderson is currently out of his depth. We've got someone champing at the bit in the changing room - someone with bags of attitude and a heck of a lot of raw skill (and some batting prowess too...) Iif Duncan Fletcher suggests that Anderson's 40 minute rearguard with the bat today might justify his place, then the England team should strap Fletcher to his chair in his hotel room (think the 'bring out the gimp' scene in Pulp Fiction) and write out their own teamsheet with Saj Mahmood's name on it. In fact, even if Fletcher does plump for Saj, why not strap him to his chair and bring out the gimp anyway - it'll certainly help work off some of the frustration...


Fraser said...

Like all English men I crawled out of bed this morning only to see what you aptly call the "wreckage" that is the result of the second test. Made all the worse as I stayed up to watch 10 overs go for 10 runs, when I had the optmisitic hope that they would actually try and post a total and put the Ozzies back in. Instead we tried to defend, and threw away the test match, the initiative and the respect we were getting from Warne. Why we tried to defend against the pudgy little Ozzie I'll never know, when he was knocked all round the park in the first innings and history has shown that trying to defend against him means that you score no runs and still lose wickets.
How we bounce back from this I don't know but harping on about Panesar will not help the cause. Love him ot loath him, Warne is still one of the best spinners in the world and only took 4 wickets after 80 plus overs. What they must do to stand any chance in Perth is taken there chances. Dropping Ponting and then missing 2 run outs last night (i haven't seen the highlights yet, and might not have the stomach for it) but I understand they were excellent chances cost us dear. Against the best side in the world chances are few and far between and they must be taken.

Rishi Gajria said...

Absolutely agree, it was the mindset and the muddled thinking that cost England the game.
I dont see the English able to win or save the series from this point on but they need to select Panesar and Mahmood for the next test. Jones hasnt been that bad, his keeping has been steady and his batting can improve but it will make no real difference if he is dropped and Read is drafted back in.

Andrew Strauss
Alistair Cook - Hasnt done much but can only get better
Ian Bell
Kevin Pieterson
Paul Collingwood
Andrew Flintoff
Geraint Jones or Chris Read
Sajid Mahmood
Steven Harmison
Matthew Hoggard
Monty Panesar