2nd Test Reaction

I was going to post a long and flowing reaction to the defeat in the second Test but then I read Matt Thorntons article over at Six and Out and figured that it had already been said.

I disagree with his Panesar/Giles argument. Panesar is an attacking spin bowler. Giles is a defensive spin bowler. I would have picked Monty above Giles for that reason and, indeed, went on record before the Test saying the same.

In my mind there is no difference between Read and Jones. Neither are very good so you go with the marginally better option which is Jones.

A number of newspapers, blogs, forums and such like say it’s time for Fletcher to go.


It is not time for Fletcher to go, it is time for the ECB to recognise that you need to have a proper structure within the game that is not focused on making money, it’s about creating a successful England team. With success comes money.

I am a big fan of Duncan Fletcher. Look at the state we were in before he arrived. We won the Ashes for the first time in years. Sure, he needs to do some work but get rid of him? That’s madness.

I wear my heart on my sleeve as regular readers will know and I am gutted with what happened in this Test. What has really annoyed me, though, is this call for wholesale changes to the England team and England management by two bit journalists who clearly know knothing about cricket.

Where have you been for the last 20 years with your pig headed, self opinionated views? Have you suffered the same shit as we, the genuine English cricket fans, have? No? Have you travelled half way across the world using your own money to watch another pitiful display? No? In which case fuck off back to your freelance local newspaper articles, you sad little person, and let us grieve.


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14 comments so far

  1. Rachael


  2. Stu

    Don’t despair mate – England will regroup. The scary thing is, one win, and they are only one more away from retaining the Ashes. Imagine the pressure on Ponting then – the prospect of not regaining, after this start! Gotta pick Panesar now surely.

    It is up to these two-bit journalists, Aussie ones though, to unite, and try to help the “regain the Ashes” cause, by not letting the English side forget this woeful day in a hurry. Keep it fresh over the coming two weeks I say… ;-)

  3. Matt Thornton (Six and Out)

    Hi Mike,

    Seems my comments over the Panesar / Giles debate were a little confusing. I agree with you that they are different styles of bowling, and I also went on the record of saying that he should have been playing from the beginning, and that Giles should never EVER have been brought back to the side. I am sick to the back teeth of Fletcher’s argument that we need to bat to number 8 – all he’s trying to do is copy what Australia have managed to do over the years, and as a result we’re picking a weaker side. I think it’s despicable that we picked a player who hadn’t played cricket in over a year (Giles) over a man who has recently shown a glimmer of the things he is capable of (Panesar). Likewise with the Vaughan argument – the press today suggests that he might yet get back in the Ashes side. It’s so negative and backwards.

    In my post at Six and Out, I was really just trying to say that I think some people are overrating the impact that Panesar might have had. Considering that Warne struggled in England’s first innings, I think it’s a little naive to suggest that Panesar might have done anything substantively different. But of course, we’ll never know, the game is lost and the Ashes have moreorless been gifted back to the Australians.

    I also agree that there are people out there who seem to only become interested in cricket since last year and all of a sudden they have an opinion. But there are also a lot of ex-players and people in the know echoing some of these sentiments. Boycott for one is quite pissed off.

    What bugs me the most are the so-called fans of the sport who are disowning their national side. Yes, the defeat is a disgrace. Yes we might well lose the Ashes as a result. But could they have done any better? Why are they running away now? To be honest, it’s these sorts of people who I’d happily let fuck off and support Australia, or whichever team happened to be winning at the time.

  4. mike

    Rachael – apart from the last innings, his figures for the series were 5-316. Sure he bowled well but the key thing is that he was allowed to bowl well by an England team batting like rabbits caught in the headlights…

    Stu – yeah I know. One win and we’re back in it. I was depressed and a little bit tipsy when I wrote the post last night :oops:

    Matt – fair one. Reading the post again without five pints in me, it makes more sense :D I do think, though, Panesar would have asked a lot more questions than Giles. Yeah, Boycott is someone who needs shooting along with the fair weather fans.

    Oh well, onwards and upwards. Only another week until it all starts again and the rose tinted glasses can go back on :)

  5. Jonny

    By the way Reid is brilliant and much better than Jones. Giles cost us the last test, dropped ponting on 42!

    As they say “catches win matches”…..

    So very very true.


  6. mike

    Not sure about that, to be honest Jonny. I personally don’t see there being a massive difference between them. Everyone says Read is a much better keeper but I don’t see it. Neither of them inspire confidence.

  7. Patrick Kidd

    Excellent post. I’m not sure which newspapers and blogs you are attacking, but as someone who works for one and does their blog I thought I should stick a quick defence. No one sane or who has any genuine interest in cricket would say that Fletcher should go right now – perhaps not even if we lose the next three Tests, although a lot depends on the manner in which we play.

    He has undeniably done a lot of positive things for England since 1999 but it is clear that some fundamental mistakes have been made since winning the Ashes. Some of this he can blame on structures (there should have been more warm-up time, better handling of injuries and more central contracts) but some things such as strategy and selection he is rightly getting panned for. He is paid to take it.

    There is a lot of justified anger about the selection and strategy, however, from people who do genuinely want England to do well. It was the manner of our loss that was so devastating rather than the loss itself. Panesar may not have done better than Giles, but many feel that as he was a) fit and b) in form he would have been the sensible choice. Likewise Anderson and Harmison were rushed back too early. Strauss may not have been a better captain than Flintoff, but that doesn’t mean Flintoff didn’t make some hideous mistakes – putting five men on the boundary when defending five runs an over hardly sends a message that you want to win. Read might not have done better than Jones (and to be fair to Jones he has kept very well these past two Tests) but he was the man in possession, played well in his two Tests against Pakistan and was dropped for no apparent reason. To make it worse, Jones apparently is on England’s tour selection panel, despite having no central contract.

    It all just smacks of poor man-management and believing that former heroes can do the job this time round. The whole situation is disturbingly reminiscent of Clive Woodward after the world cup.

    I don regret writing on my blog that if Panesar isn’t selected Fletcher should be sent back to Zimbabwe. It was 3.30am and I’d been awake for 19 hours…

    Keep up the good work

  8. mike

    Hi Patrick,

    Rest assured it wasn’t a dig at you!

    The ‘Fletcher Out’ campaign seems to be pretty much everywhere, to be honest. Yeah, he does deserve the flak he’s getting about his selections but, as you point out, things like warm up matches and such like are out of his hands. It just feels like it’s open season on him and I think that people are ignoring some of the underlying problems in the English game.

    If Panesar doesn’t play in the next Test, I’ll pay for the ticket to Zim ;)


  9. Michael from Brisbane

    “I Spin therefore I am”

    “Its Warne’s world, we just live in it”

    Just two of the headlines celebrating the genius of the Greatest Living Australian. Now that he has bowled KP around his legs I’d like to see the Great Man bowl his disciple between his legs as he did to that Pakistani nonentity a few years ago. I can’t begin to imagine what Test Cricket will be like without him. The best there has ever been.

    Look forward to seeing what team England run with for Fri week. They must win in Perth to have any chance at the unlikely prospect of drawing the series. There is no chance in Melbourne. The 100th Test at the G will be dominated by her favourite son as he climbs the summit to seven hundred wickets. The best that you lot can hope for is a draw. Good Luck. Going in to the New Year’s Test at 2-1 would make it thrilling, particularly as Nasser and his cronies won there last time the Poms were dodging baths over here.

    A wonderful Blog by the way

  10. Jonno

    Hi Mike,

    I think the biggest lesson which England have to take away from this Test is that they have have to go back to plan A when it comes to playing Warne. Throughout the series they have been really positive and attacking against him and it has visibly put him off his game. In the first inning at Adelaide he looked like he had completely run out of ideas.

    Then for some inexplicable reason England decided not to take him on in the second innings. Warne will spin the ball on any surface and he is freakishly accurate for a legspinner. Blocking him out and waiting for the loose one is just setting yourself up for the inevitable. England only needed another 50 runs to save that match – 1 per over. A few lusty blows against Warne, get down the wicket to him. Yes you risk getting spectacularly stumped (eg Collingwood First Test) but you might get him over the fence a few times as well and that was all England needed.

    The other thing I have found bizzare about his whole tour is the scheduling. There is only one First Class game (already played v South Australia) on the entire schedule outside of the Tests. The match v NSW did not have First Class status because both side played squads of 14 players throughout the match. Now England are about to play a 2 day game against Western Australia. 2 days!!! I hope for England’s sake that the WA Captain doesn’t win the the toss and decide to bat for as long as possible. Also spare a thought for Liam Plunkett and Chris Read – this could be their only cricket of the entire tour.



  11. mike

    Hi Michael – thanks for stopping by. Warne is without doubt a special bowler and I for one feel lucky to have seen his career unfold. So many of the greats of the game are confined to grainy black and white images so to have seen a great in action has been fantastic. I did feel, though, that he was assisted on the final day of the match by poor English batting. It will be very interesting to see how things unfold in the Third Test.

    Hi Jonno – totally agree. Attack is the way that he had been restricted in the previous three innings to just 5 wickets. It’s the only way to play him. Also agree about scheduling. Something that needs to be addressed for future tours. Sure you don’t want to pack the games in and risk burnout but there was/is simply not enough preparation for this Ashes series.

  12. Michael from Brisbane

    Mike and Jonno
    Agree with your comments on scheduling. Its got to the stage of being ridiculous. I thought that Australia in 05 were under-done in regard to four and five day cricket but, this 06 tour definitely takes it to a ew level of ineptitude. The improvement between England’s performance in Adelaide from the ‘Gabba shows the value that a few extra games would have made. It is such a shame that one of the most eagerly awaited test series has been sandwiched between the ICC Trophy and the World Cup. Irritating, ridiculous and too revolting for words

  13. David Mitchison


    I thought aussies played great but england played shit. Ashly Giles is shit. Garent Jones is Shit. Drop them. Bell is shit. Giles got more runs then him in 05 series


    Kevin Petersen is a legend, Flintoff needs to find form but is a great player. Collingwood i have a lot of respect for. Harmison bowls waywood shit but can be affective when on his day. Hoggard is threr best bowler by far. Strauss i hope finds form because i love watching him bat and i think he is in the top 20 players in world. Cook looks good but could strengthen his defence.

    England are only fielding 8 test players

  14. mike

    Michael – Regardless of the Ashes series, I simply don’t understand the logic in the ICC Trophy being played a couple of months before the World Cup. In fact I don’t understand the logic of the ICC Trophy being played at all.

    David – C’mon, get off the fence. What do you really think of Giles, Jones and Bell? ;)

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