Wednesday, November 16, 2005

England lose First Test

Well I may have gotten the result right, but the manner of it shocked me. Very few teams in history have surrendered a 144 first innings lead quite so tamely - and quite frankly, it should have been a much bigger lead than that. The lack of application by the England middle order was quite shocking today - all guns blazing may work well on the bouncier pitches of the west, but the sub-continent requires rather more application. England's 5,6,7 of 'bangers' looks far more vulnerable here against more modest bowlers than it did during the Ashes. Having said that, no blame to Geraint Jones today - he did as much as could be expected to him under difficult circumstances - it's KP and Freddie who deserve the Paddington hard stares for very poor shots. Yes, it's great when they come off, and I do accept that that is the way they play, but you have to play to the conditions and match situation, and with four wickets down today and only a hundred needed, the necessary approach was dig in and accumulate, not thrash your way out of it.

Very disappointed. Glimmer of light is Vaughan may replace Collingwood on Sunday, Colly having made no impact whatsoever with either bat or ball, while Ian Bell worked hard to earn himself a reprieve. Udal and Giles took 2-100+ between them - wonder if Fletcher is contemplating a fourth seamer ? Step forward Liam Plunkett ?


Brother#2 said...

Personally I think the result was needed to bring a few soaring egos back down to Earth (The sloggers in the middle order most notably).
It makes Michael Vaughans cemented captaincy seem more like concrete. No disrespect to Trescothick (who's had nowhere near the praise due to him for his contribution this summer) but with one of the aformentioned egos saying how he would like to captain England (albeit in the future) shortly before the tour left, this defeat must have removed any shadow of a doubt from every England player as to who their captain is. Something everyone else (excluding agents/vultures) already knows.
With the dusty wickets wearing out the ball much faster than over here, surely we'd need a fourth seemer that is good at reverse-swinging the ball?
I don't know much about Plunkett (except that he's in a film with Robert Carlyle) so in the absence of Jones I would opt for James Anderson as he's a reverse-swing bowler. Back when he COULD get a game for England it was plain to see that he wasn't an opening bowler as his wickets nearly all came with an old ball - and the ball gets old very quickly on the sub-continent. The trick would be in deciding WHICH underperforming spinner to drop.
With Trescothick looking like he's heading home, Collingwood may yet stay in the side though.
Lessons can be learned from the last five days, most notably don't mix cider with DIY!

Infoholic UK said...

Not sure I agree about the egos Phil, 'cept maybe KP and I'd forgive him for a little swell-headedness after the rise he's had this last twelve months. Stupid bloody shot though.

As for Jimmy A, I disagree entirely - I think he's a new ball swing man from the same mould as Hoggy, but his big problem is that if it doesn't swing, he often goes for five or more an over.

Plunkett is more a hit-the-deck-hard merchant in the same vein as Harmison and Flintoff - obviously have no idea about his control in a Test environment as he's never played.