30 July 2012

Taylor's time?


I'm glad that James Taylor got the nod ahead of Eoin Morgan (and Bairstow) to replace Bopara - it'll be great to see how he does.   He hasn't set the world alight over the last couple of years but with a great century to his name this weekend, it'll be interesting to see Taylor can emulate the likes of Gower and Vaughan who were not much more than mediocre in County cricket but who proved very successful in Test cricket.

It'll  be good to see him face Morne Morkel just for the comedy height difference!

As for Bopara, I hope that the cricket lifestyle hasn't caused relationship issues for him (which reading between the lines of various press reports I fear it may have done).   He had a child last year I believe too....fingers crossed all's ok for him.

Personally I'd play Taylor and put Finn in instead of Broad.   So hopefully that tees it up nicely for England to pick Broad and for him to take 10 wickets!

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7 July 2012

Great morning for the pedant

Excellent evening at The Oval watching one of our own see us home against the southerners but confusing if you read the report in The Times this morning. The trick is read Surrey for Middlesex and Middlesex for Surrey and you just have to imagine that they've introduced a very wise new law where run outs get credited to the bowler.

Then we had to listen to a clear non-cricketer talking about getting swing out of a  pitch and then we saw the famous Kasprowicz catch - yes his hand was off the bat but I think that it was his right hand off the bat but that the ball hit his left hand. So justice was done, wasn't it ?

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5 July 2012

Michael Vaughan

I have recently read Michael Vaughan's autobiography and it is a very interesting read. However, I get the feeling from his book that he thinks he was a better player than he actually was. Additionally, I always thought the media overrated him too.

So how good was the former England captain? His international career lasted from 1999 - 2008, where he scored 16 centuries (which is excellent), but his average was a mere 41. In the modern era that is not good enough. If you look closer, he averaged 31 between 1999 and the start 2002 English summer. He then has a golden 6 months, against India, and then in Australia where he averaged a mammoth 76, scoring 7 centuries. However, from January 2003 until his last Test in 2008, he averaged just 36 over 54 matches!

When we think of Vaughan we think of the Ashes 2005, but he only averaged 32! And that was thanks to one major score at Old Trafford where he scored 166. He was extremely lucky in that innings too, as he was dropped on 41, and bowled off a no-ball the very next delivery (so his average could easily have been 20 in that series).

And his presence in the ODI side was an embarrassment. He held back England's progress in this form of the game, and he does not admit to this in his book. He still maintained he was good enough, even after 2007 World Cup debacle. In 86 matches, he averaged 27, with a strike rate of 68, where he batted in the top 3 for most of the time. How was he allowed to do this?

Owais Shah and Robert Key were never given these kind of extended opportunities!
In summary, Vaughan had 6 good months in Test Cricket, and he lived off that run for the rest of his career. He fails to acknowledge this in his autobiography. He talks about how important "character" is to play for England; whilst this is true, you still need the stats to back it up, which Vaughan did not seem too concerned about, which was lucky for him considering how poor his figures were for most of the time he was in an England shirt.
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4 July 2012

Cheers Ramps

25 years in FC cricket! What an achievement! If he played in today's era he certainly would have fared better in England colours.
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3 July 2012

India v Sri Lanka...once again

Since 1979 India have competed with Sri Lanka in a 140 ODIs. Apart from the famous semi-final of the 1996 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup Final, I cannot remember any of the other 138 games. I am sure I am not alone in this regard.

Since 2005, India have played Sri Lanka 60 times! 60! In 7 1/2 years that gives an average of 8 matches a year. In 2008 and 2009 the teams met 12 times each year!

Thus it makes perfect sense that the respective cricket boards have now arranged a further 5 fixtures between the teams this July. Another meaningless event!

The ICC, for once, needs to show some kind of authority here, so maybe one day the cricket world will respect them.

Marvan Attapatu's comment "a bunch of muppets run by a set of jokers" springs to mind. However, I am more tempted to say "retards who just want money, and could not care less about the game".

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2 July 2012

Strange weekend

A complete TFC on Saturday in a 220+ run win following a decent contribution to a ten wicket win on Thursday but the best bits were on Saturday which started late because an official of our league chose to interview the already late oppo skipper before the game.
It was one of those noisy fielding sides full of inane football type statement of the bleeding obvious teams ( one of the opening batsmen admitted to me that he'd expected it so had taken a nurofen before he went in to bat). I'm umpiring - big appeal for LBW from the whole team ( including deep square and extra cover - I hate that but it may be an age thing). 'Not out'. Team instantly and politely silent but at the end of the over the bowler, again politely, queries it ' because it pitched outside leg and wasn't going to hit'. Accepted perfectly.

Next over he decides to go round the wicket and ' Umpire, would you mind moving please..............................to your left ? ! '
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England Women's team in match loss shocker!

The England Women's team rarely lose, so it was a complete shock that they lost yesterday to India, thanks to a masterful knock by Indian captain Mithali Raj.   I'm sure they'll bounce back and it's no bad thing that they're getting pushed.   Charlotte Edwards, recently made a life member of the MCC, will no doubt be desperate to get back in the runs having missed out in her last few innings.
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Where are the best New Zealand players?


There's been a couple of Twenty20s going on in the States in the last 48 hours as West Indies took on New Zealand.   Not everyone was bothered - Michael Holding was asked if he'd watched his country playing cricket yesterday replied "Is that cricket?" reiterating his distaste for the shortest form of the game.

Surely though someone in New Zealand was bothered, or otherwise what's the point of agreeing to play the match?   The World Twenty20 is less than three months away and presumably all Twenty20 matches between now and then are practice for that tournament.   So why New Zealand are playing without Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori (who has said he'll be coming out of retirement for the World Twenty20) and James Franklin is a question I can't answer.

The two huge losses suffered by New Zealand won't have helped them - perhaps they might play their proper side next time?

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