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I think England will win this test.
Those Saffers are fucking dull; 11 runs off 10 overs leading up to tea.
The Lord's ballot opened yesterday if anyone is interested... should be going to three tests this summer. Yippee!
...no hang on, Trott just hit a boundary. England win.
the saffer lineup is way to strong for us to roll them cheaply in the second.
so ali cook: on borrowed time?
does not look good. decidedly erratic bounce out there. another wicket and we could find ourselves crying into our pints come lunch time.
Opting to bowl first is looking like a rubbish decision right now. England are scoring at about 0.01 runs per over and the ball is keeping low.
Still if we can hang on for another 78 runs we'll avoid the follow on...
the pitch is doing ridiculous things and it's only day 3. I'd be impressed if we got to 300.
Bloody brilliant being at home for Christmas with Sky Sports though. Watching the cricket is the best kind of revision break.
damn the SA time zone.
you could say it's all gone Pete Biltong.
but the lunch break is well over by the time we head off for our lunchtime pints. that's no small thing : )
We get a nice gritty hundred from Collingwood and some lower order runs from Broad and Swann we'll be alright.
as he's just played on whilst chasing a ball that was well away from his stumps.
let's hope bell values his chance at 6...
he was on the radio going on about how good Pietersen was looking, next ball he gets bowled.
any other top team would take a significant lead like this and shove it down our throat. I can see us finding a draw.
I'd rather have Luke Wright in the team.
but i'm inclined to agree.
used to go on about how great Bell was, while at the same time slating Paul Collingwood's selection.
I know who I'd rather have
obviously collingwood is the more useful cricketer. however, bell could be englands answer to ricky ponting. collingwood is useful to the point of being invaluable, but he'll never be 'great'. bell could be... but almost certainly never will.
from the fact that I've never played cricket, so I therefore have no reference point for how good a player he can be (and by good I mean text-book good).
Whereas I can appreciate Paul Collingwood's obvious mastering of the mental side of the game.
Bell has been tried and dropped countless times and I think it's now time to move on.
and i appreciate how incredibly useful having the skill level bell has is to a cricketer. if you have his kind of timing it makes everything else immesurably easier.
that said, the rest of his game is obviously lacking in some key but hard to define department. his results aren't good enough and he should be dropped until he proves over maybe 2 years of county play that he's changed.
the fact that he hasn't been dropped is a coaches shout. flower must believe that he can be made to come good and his failure to do so is on his head.
because i don't. i was rubbish : )
This sometimes happens to really talented batsmen - they get obsessed with the perfect shot or perfect innings, and rather than just playing they freeze up. Look at Thorpe v Ramprakash for example - one had three shots, one had all of them, but Thorpe had the mentality. Same goes if you look at Tendulkar v Kambli: Tendulkar could cut it mentally, Kambli just couldn't, even though they were almost equal in talent at 20 (almost, almost!)
is a shit. put in wright. never liked bell
but where's the criticism for cook and prior whose also just got out? people can keep lambasting bell till it becomes cliche (and it is), but cook's a far less classy player whose being marked for captaincy despite having been unconvincing for two years now.
so don't take my comments seriously, i haven't seen how bell got out. i just have never been confident with bell ever since the 2005 ashes really, and i see prior as the best keeper available. cook i presume has no chance of being ommitted but yeah, i am running out of support and patience for him. but who else would open? if we could convince tresco to come back it would be perfect but it won't ever happen.
my grasp on country cricket isn't great but alex hales looks like a brilliant talent. saw him at trent bridge and he hit 150 in about 100 balls.
as i haven't seen the wickets, what was the worst?
I'd disagree about Cook being a less classy player, he's got the potential to be a really stylish opening batsman if he can just sort himself out outside off stump. I think he's worth putting further trust in despite his inconsistencies.
Bell, on the other hand, is mentally weak, does badly in the big games and just finds new ways to embarass himself all the time.
Maybe he can't necessarily stay in for ages without scoring (except unusally enough in the one-dayers), however there is anyone as good at coming in and clouting the ball around to take the game out of sight if England are on top. Also he has turned into a reasonably good wicket-keeper.
Cook is nearly as frustrating as Bell but seems to have formed a pretty good partnership with Strauss.
not just bell. only strauss and colly got out to good balls, everyone else gave it away. cook looked out of his depth and should have been out first ball, trott got bogged down and played a rash shot, pietersen played at a wide one that wasn't there to hit, bell looked like he'd forgotten how the game was played and left a straight one, and prior looked out of his depth.
at best you could say that the pressure of a deteriorating pitch and a big score got to them, at worst england are confused across the board. good when attacking rubbish when asked to grind out a score.
as to cook and prior, i just don't trust either of them. i suspect that the reason prior's a poor odi player is because he can't play under pressure, and cooks problem outside off is the entire game for an opening batsmen. forget pace, all it takes is discipline to trouble him - witness ntini messing with him at the start of this game.
as to replacements, i accept there probably isn't a better option that prior at the moment. i'm sure we've got some alternative openers though, even if we just bring them in to gee upo cook a bit. at the moment there's no other opener on the tour bar strauss...
to play alongside strauss's rock.
We are fucked.
Wonder what would've happened if we'd batted first...
for fear of a jinx.
swann to make a 50
(just to see if the jinx works)
there is my jinx
rather offended swann. he's taking it out on them now : )
that at the moment swann has a higher batting average than bell, and will continue to do so if he's not out at the end of the innings...
due to some massive scores against weak teams, so Swann is doing pretty well. This pair have done really well, turning a probable loss into a probable draw.
Mostly the Barmy Army just irritate me, but sometimes you have to tip your hat to them They're currently regaling Centurion with their own version of a Joy Division classic: "Swann, Swann will tear you apart, a-gain."
swann is averaging 43 runs in test cricket! that will fall, but still, that's pretty imperssive.
shame he's a newcastle fan.
laid it off today at 1.88 after Collingwood got out. I think I made the right decision.
big wicket : )
Kallis gone too, huge wicket that... are we bowling really well or are they choking? cant watch as working... sucks
tight and disciplined
I don't think I could love that bloke any more than I do now. I think I'm gonna pop him the question.
Can we send out Bell as the nightwatchman please? I don't want their bowlers to have a couple of overs at Anderson before the close.
Is this the end for Bell?
The Bell End. Yes, I went there.
is that he sticks around for one of his 30 run efforts long enough to see us to the draw and then somehow keeps his place.
it would have been incredible if that'd happened.
I think we'll survive the day tomorrow, just. It's time for Alistair Cook to show what he's made of, certainly.
please don't let bell be the one who bats till close and takes the plaudits
why couldn't you even bat out the last measly hour?
this de wet guy is tearing us a new arsehole... it would incredibly english to lose this
3 overs for onions?
shit shit shit
that was unnecessarily close.
<something about Onions taking root at the crease>
no other game could ever be this tense.
now me and lily allem have at least one thing in common, we would happily bed Graham Onions