Monday, 18 January 2010

Captain Cook

So it comes to something when a new England captain is announced.

And not just anyone. It's Alastair Cook.

Mr. I-can't-score-that-many-runs-most-of-the-time.

Mr. I-wear-eyeliner.

Mr. I-don't-really-look-like-I'm-thinking-most-of-the-time-let-alone-organise-a-team.

NWG can't decide if this is a rather large mistake. Strauss will be out of the game till May. There's not much batting to do sitting at home twiddling your thumbs.

23 comments:

Mock Wah Steam Wah said...

Atleast we get to see less of Strauss in the One-dayers!
Secondly, If C'wood can lead Eng in T20's why not 2 odd tests??!

The Nightwatchgirl said...

What's wrong with the lovely Andrew?

SixSixEight said...

Nothing is wrong with Andy - he will be sitting at home - personally I think that isn't such a bad place for him.

Just so long as we are 'trying out' Eyeliner boy. I want it written in blood by the selectors that should he fail - and lets face it - who apart from them has faith in him - that he will never never never ever again be selected as captain, vice captain or be given anything more mentally taxing than drinks duty!

Ben said...

Most of them need a break. They should be sending mostly a reserve team there. They wont learn anything apart from improving their stats. Bell will no doubt score a double century and 'cement' his spot.

Stani Army said...

Ben,
Really? That's a nice view of Bangladesh you have. You can't have a cosy club of England, SA, Aus, NZ and India in World cricket. It's boring.

You must remember that England have not achieved anything in World cricket for quite some time. They really are not that good, really.

I hope the English get caned and Cook comes home with his eye liner running.

The Nightwatchgirl said...

Friendly as ever, Stani. NWG has missed your mean streak (although on this occasion she does agree with the whole eye liner running down the face scenario).

Stani Army said...

And where exactly was I unfriendly Mare?

They need to be brought down a few notches, cricket-wise and generally. If I was one of the Eng players (may be soon, remember our little bet) in SA whilst the ball tampering and UDRS thing was going on, I would have come out in the media and said "I'm ashamed to be part of this team at the moment. We're behaving like children". But no, Petal and Levi come out in the media as if every thing's fine and dandy and their extra white clothing means they are in fact angels.

And I also felt that BangladeshBen was being a bit unfair. Teams and fans alike need to support the minnows of this game.

...and it's not a mean streak, it's an inner burning desire, a compulsion and craving to stand up for what is right. You wanna try it :) :P

..and I'm glad you missed it.

Mr Wizzy said...

Presumably Carberry's going to open with Cook. Excellent, I very much don't think.

This is going to be rather trickier than the press are willing to admit, meaning that if England struggle (let alone lose, oh criminy), Strauss is going to be the world's most relieved camper as Cap'n Max Factor is splatted from a great height.

Still, said splatting will (maybe...pretty please) create a place for Kent's own Joe Denly. He's used to playing in a side full of Rock Spiders, too, so he'll be right at home ;).

Dare I cheer for the Banglas ??

Ben said...

They won the ashes and drew a series in SA, thats a reasonably good achievement for a team that noone rates. I dont see anything wrong with sending a reserve team if they are good enough to win. Its obvious all the England bowlers need a rest. They cant keep playing continuously. Having the T20 world cup every year is a ridiculously stupid idea.

SixSixEight said...

Mr Wizzy - Cap'n Max Factor; oooooh I like that. Not notice it before, did you make it up? Anyway I feel I shall be calling Eyeliner Boy that for the duration of this upcoming tour :)

Stani Army said...

Ben,
I was talking in regards to world cricket. The Ashes is just one Test series so it shouldn't be made into what it is not. As for South Africa, England showed their true level in the last match. If you're honest with yourself, England are not better than Aus or SA so even if they did win the Ashes and drew in SA, they were fortunate.

The fact that you don't see anything wrong in sending a reserve team to Bangladesh is precisely what my point was. You don't see anything wrong with it, and that is what is sad.

As for playing continuously; this just adds to my point on this cushy club those 4/5 teams have created. They play each other in 5 or 4 Test match series and 7 or 5 ODI ones when they dont have to. Why not keep them as 3 match series just like they do with everyone else. It's their own fault. They can't arse kiss each other then moan about it because it's the developing teams (like Bangladesh) that suffer when England send their 'reserves'.

In all honesty, I think English cricket suffers from delusion of grandeur. It is something that is the product of us clinging on to 16th/17th century history and the British Empire, the notion that we are somehow more important to the world, an over-hyped series with Australia a.k.a the Ashes, and mostly the idea that the game was born in England. Honestly, we're really not that important, or that good at cricket - simple.

Ben said...

They were lucky to beat Aus and draw with SA, but Im not going to detract from what was technically a good achievement. Those results didnt just happen, they occasionally played some good cricket to get there.

The Ashes is important. It creates a lot of interest and publicity for cricket and it should be hyped because it still matters in a cricket world where most series are pretty meaningless. Why should the big traditional series be reduced to 3 matches? A 5 match series is really what Test cricket is about. There is time for momentum to change and it really tests the endurance and consistency of teams. If every series was standardised to 3 matches it will remove the unigueness and tradition of these rivalries. Already most of those 3 match series are like meaningless friendlies. Just look at the Pakistan tour of Aus, the Pakistan team just want to get the tests over with because they dont have the attention span for it. Might as well increase the T20 and everyone try to hit more sixes.

Bangladesh is no better than a weak county side. Why would they suffer from playing reserves? They need to prove they can beat the reserve team before the full team is sent. It takes a long time for a country to be competitive in Tests. They are not going to learn much getting smashed by far stronger teams. It is better for them to have a close match with the reserves than to stick to their pride and demand the full Test team be sent. Anyway, England is sending most of their team when I think they should rest all the bowlers.

Stani Army said...

Ben,
Will you stop this English snobbishness, it's embarrassing. First Bangladesh, a Test nation, don't deserve to play against a full strength England side and then Pakistan don't have the "attention span" for Test matches and just want to get them "over with". That's laughable. Pakistan hadn't played Test cricket for over two years until recently. Did you forget that?

Before that "lucky" Ashes, England didn't really achieve anything.

Most series are meaningless? So what does the Ashes mean exactly? If anything is meaningless, it is playing for something which was 'made-up' to seem somehow significant i.e the ashes and the urn. They'd be much better off selling the colonialism/convictism rivalry then a burnt bail.

And I have to disagree it's the Ashes that creates interest...it is interest that is created for the Ashes (once again to make it seem important).

I didn't say the big traditional series should be reduced to 3 matches.

"A 5 match series is really what Test cricket is about", Exactly, so why don't the other nations deserve this from the fab five? I'm glad you agree with me on that.

I also didnt say we should standardise EVERY Test series to 3 matches because the 2006-07 Ashes 5 match Test series whitewash was a joy to watch. I'm surprised that after that drubbing, Aus didnt send their reserves over to Eng in the following series just to make England prove that they deserve to play the Aus full team :)

"Bangladesh is no better than a weak county side." If you honestly believe that then either you haven't been watching them or I have to seriously question your cricketing judgement. Why do Bangladesh "need to prove they can beat the reserve team before the full team is sent"? Well with attitudes like that, I'm not surprised it "takes a long time for a country to be competitive in Tests".

And you don't learn by playing those at your level. You learn off playing those that are higher than your level.

My belief is that you should have enough respect for a fellow Test playing nation to send your full strength squad. If you're worried about tiredness then play less games (simple logic) or don't tour, but don't take the p*ss out of other nations like Miller and his crew are doing.

SixSixEight said...

"Bangladesh is no better than a weak county side."
Ben what weak county sides have you been wasting your time watching?!!? The Bangladeshis would have strolled over last years Middlesex, Surrey and the like, easily. Then again the rather stronger Durham v Bangladesh could be interesting [as would Durham v England; and Durham would win that if all the Durham players were playing for Durham!]

In 2005 against the likes of Flintoff, Jones, Harmison, Hoggard in English conditions Bangladesh were never going to look wildly strong. But they are playing at home and while they have come on in leaps and bounds we have gone backwards and have a lesser team. Our team that toured the Windies last year could not manage to take 20 wickets on the flat pitches there, [and only managed it once in SA – but came no where near in the other matches].

Our team has not changed that much and I still think it is at full strength although hamstrung by a potential captaincy disaster. [there are other 'regulars' that I would have rested cos it might have made for a better team, rather than making it a reserve! Remember Stani we aint SA who have a definite first team, this is mostly a change of personnel and not a snub, well Cap'n Max excepted. And we should have the guts to do it against stronger opposition too – that is the unfair bit] It is going to be a very interesting tour.

Ben said...

Dont have to take my word that Pakistan don't have the "attention span" for Test matches, just listen to their tour manager who says exactly that after every match. After every match, they get questioned about the unity in the team. Younis Khan cant make up his mind whether he is coming or going. The captaincy is a revolving door. The Board spends more effort investigating its own players than it does on the terrorist attack last year.

668 the comment about being a weak county side was a bit overdone, but I think they got test status too soon and it had more to do with politics than merit. They would have been better served playing more teams of their own level and building a stable squad, there doenst seem to be a lot of stability in their setup.

SixSixEight said...

Just to go back to the county thing Ben getting thrashed year in year out hardly did Durham any harm did it? They would still be a minor county if they had only been allowed to play the right level of opposition.

When they joined the major counties many said they would lower the standard of the game. Last year they contributed 5 academy nurtured local regional players to the test squad.

Stani Army said...

Ben,
So everything the tour manager says is right? I reiterate, Pakistan had not played Test cricket for over two years until recently. You cannot just go back into five day cricket like a duck to water especially if you haven't played for two years and have been used to playing ODIs and t20s in that time.

"The Board spends more effort investigating its own players than it does on the terrorist attack last year." And who was talking about that? This is just another of your self-righteous holier-than-thou comments. And why should a cricketing board investigate a terrorist attack?

668,
I agree it's still a relatively strong side. Anderson has a niggle, fair enough but Strauss has no excuse. Rest? He doesn't play the shorter form so he gets plenty of rest. In fact, he gets more rest than the guys that are going. The simple fact is that he doesn't rate Bangladesh and feels he is too important to go.

I agree, it will be interesting. I hope Cookie crumbles as he is definitely not there on merit. I hope Carberry is played and not wasted like other coloured players who have broken into the first team. I hope Bell scores a shed load of runs, although the poor sod will be criticised if he fails and criticised if he scores as "it's only against Bangladesh". And finally I hope Shahzad gets a chance to show what he can do.

Ben said...

A cricketing board should investigate a terrorist attack if it promises 'presidential level' security and delivers a couple of police officers with peashooters. When the touring team is left to be shot at for 10 minutes and then the terrorists get bored and walk off. I know the board is politically appointed so Im not going to dwell on the subject of Pakistan cricket. They will play well in the limited over matches when everyone is up for it.

668, did Durham become good before the 2 division system came in? A lot of people think it is a good idea because teams get to play against similar strength opponents and having promotion/relegation makes things more interesting.

Mr Wizzy said...

SixSixEight,

Yes, I plead guilty to inventing 'Captain Max Factor'.

Not to pry, but....ummmm....uhh....Why do you have a picture of a headless pigeon as your avatar ?

Is it perhaps some sort of metaphor for CMF's much-anticipated leadership against the finest that Chittagong and Cox's Bazar can provide ?

If so, the make-up's a bit tatty.

Stani Army said...

Ben,
You must be a Sun reader too?...and a Sun believer by the looks of it.

People died, I don't think you should be ridiculing in regards to this subject, or is a Pakistani police officer's life not worth as much?

Ben said...

I am a Liverpool supporter so dont ever accuse me of reading the Sun.

SixSixEight said...

Good point Ben, and I don’t know about Durham and the 2 division affect. I think Durham’s success is more down to some sound and inspired vision, and some stability in the management and backroom staffing – but….? I’ve only followed them since end of 2004.

2 divisions for international stuff. What if England ended up in that second division – what would happen to the Ashes and the like then? Possibly only a good thing if it meant that all series would be of 5 matches in both divisions. On the sub continent would that mean even more drawn matches? There needs to be a move to liven up some of those dead pitches. Would the likes of India want to play regular 5 match series?

Mr Wizzy – well done there!

The voodoo sacrifice pigeon is just random, I came across it in a random way, took a rather random picture of it and randomly just stuck it up as an atavar to what was going to be a photography blog. [where the first – and only – post was a still life with a bird of paradise skin]. Since then most of my posting has been on other cricket related blogs. It may change to the rather more lovely Mark Davies soon.

The headless pigeon could stand for England selection…..perhaps I should wait for the outcome of the Tests – pigeon or Mark; the fates decide!? [random eh? Cap’n Max does good and the pigeon gets it, he weeps the mascara tears of failure and the pigeon stays cos the selectors got it wrong]

Ben said...

Im certainly not saying they should have relegation in test cricket, but countries should have to prove themselves more before getting test status. Being the ICC they will do whatever they want.