Friday, 8 January 2010

Taking Stock

Right. NWG has calmed herself (a little bit, at least), and today the full weight of yesterday's play has dawned on her.

England are finally good at something.

They can save Test matches.

Graham Onion's performance yesterday was unimaginable. He braved the worst of South Africa. They did everything. And failed.

Ian Bell, not NWG's favourite player, came good. He did what he was supposed to do. He fulfilled his role. As did Paul Collingwood, but that wasn't a big surprise. Not compared to Bell.

And now England can't lose the series.

And if that wasn't enough, seeing Graeme Smith get hit in the head by Paul Harris' knee added that bit of comic relief to what was a very stressful day of watching cricket.

Anyone who says that Test cricket is boring either doesn't understand it, or (and this may be slightly controversial) has no brain.



Stani Army said...

I think you should give yourself more credit Nightmare.

...and, these Test haters, they could have no brain AND not understand it at the same time right?

I love the way the English boys celebrate draws.

The Nightwatchgirl said...

It's a winning draw, Stani. Don't forget that.

And NWG does have some super powers but she's not at liberty to be discussing them on the internet.

Stani Army said...

Nooo, it's a drawing draw my dear. Soufrica can win the last Test and draw the series. In fact, did they not win the last series? So then a series draw would mean they retain the 'trophy' no? That then makes that last Test a losing draw. Sorry Mare. Time to use those super powers.

Anonymous said...

Clearly they do have the power to save tests, but don't you think they should consider the NHS budget and the general heart health of the UK and start just plain winning them?

Oh wait ... they did that; at Lords. And the Oval.

I thought I had successfully blocked those from my memory.

And who said test cricket is boring? We should stalk them, no?

Unknown said...

The draw doesnt prove anything, apart from England are never safe from defeat. Bell is a mirage, I dont buy his new faux-tough image.

SixSixEight said...

I fear Ben is right.

It would be nice if we could develop a bowling attack that could take 20 cheap wickets, you know like - regularly.

Anonymous said...

Ian Bell is a much better batsman than Collingwood.

Virtually identical stats.

But collingwood has batted almost always at 5 or 6

Contrast Bell who has played in the hot seat no 3 spot for almost half of his career.

Bell also played more against Australia when they had mcgrath and warne (ie 2005)

the media downer on bell is utterly ridiculous. Wouldn't happen if he played for any other country.

NWG, don't jump on the anti-bell band wagon.

Far too much attention is paid by the media to pretty nebulous concepts of character.

You don't win matches by grimacing lots and blocking. ooooh, what character! You win matches by demonstrating superior skills over 5 days

Stani Army said...

Have to agree with anonymous. I would also add that Bell is one of the few English batsmen who have a bit of class in their stroke play.

Cauliflower has been arse kissed for quite some time now. This is the same arse kissing Cook will now receive as the captain in waiting. Strange.

Unknown said...

If they play 4 bowlers, they are going to be hard pressed to get the 20 wickets. They dont have a great bowler like Steyn who can get the breakthrough or run through the top order. Broad looks like he has struggled to rise to the occasion here.

I still think the important stat on Bell is that he only makes a century on flat decks when others are also helping themselves. Maybe batting at 6 will suit him better and he will be more consistent. Of coure, Bell should never have been forced to bat at 3, same as Bopara. Trott or KP make better no.3s, they have the temperament and technigue to play defensively.

Rob said...

"Virtually identical stats." ... apart from the ones that are not identical (like average).

SixSixEight said...

Nonymouse Bell fan - yep virtually identical stats.

How many double centuries was it that Bell draged home for the cause again, against Warne, Lee, Clark and Mcgrath? I know that crap Collingwood only managed the one 206 - shameful, he should be playing us to play don't you think? Do please remind me of all the other Brit batters that have got double centuries against the full legendary Aus bowling attack on Aus home turf cos my mind has gone clean blank.

Colly of course did not secure a match winning innings - how many has Bell racked up against the Aus menace again? That is the kind of thing that counts. Lay those stats on the table....

Crap Collingwood has also often been at the other end while KP and the like have racked up big scores – so he is a partnership player not just out for his own personal run tally, bit of a team player, but we shouldn’t be paying him for that either should we.

Bell - he might be a lovely batsman – so classy, pretty at the crease - but often pretty vacant - lets hope 2010 is his year for big time runs.

Stani Army said...

It's only a difference of 3 plus Bell has a better strike rate and more 50s so I'm sure that makes up for it.

Do you honestly believe Cauliflower is a better batsman than Bell?

SixSixEight said...

I think Collingwood is a more effective player than Bell.

Overall he responds better to the needs of the team at any one time.

I think the idea that one is 'better' than the other is rather redundant. They are really different types of players and their role as batters is often different too.

For me to be more positive about Bell - he needs to score more runs, and runs when it matters. I think Bell should be performing better than he does - and I do think he can. But if the Bangladesh tests turn out to be the kind where we score a sack load of runs and Bell is up there than I won't be counting that.

But should Bangladesh prove tricky but Bell manages to do well, when others fail - then he will move up in my estimation.

That my thinking on Bell.

Stani Army said...

I'll take that as a no :) I knew you had it in you.

I agree, Cauliflower is a better all-round cricketer but Bell is the better batsman. Or what I should say is that Bell is a proper batsmen and Cauliflower is a nudger and nurdler. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but you have to call things what they are, and there's nothing redundant about that.

I'm sure if Bell had as much faith placed in him as Cauliflower has by the ECB, then he'd be in a much better place. Unfortunately, English cricket runs on some strange kind of favouritism, just ask the likes of Bopara, Shah and Kabir Ali. They'll tell you all about the likes of Cook and Broad.

As for Bangladesh; you can't bash him for failing but then not give him credit for succeeding....regardless of opposition or what his team mates do. I should also add that Bangladesh are not the whipping boys they used to be.

Unknown said...

Collingwood is so much more handsome and rugged than Bell. Bopara padded his stats against WI, but his loose technique was exposed against average Aus bowling, as was Cook, which does not make Gooch's coaching look good. Shah makes Watson look like a good runner. Who is Kabir Ali?

Stani Army said...

"Collingwood is so much more handsome and rugged than Bell"

Oooof! You need not have written anything else after that.

So why is Cook in the team and Ravi Bops not Benjamin?

SixSixEight said...

Who said anything about Bangladesh being whipping boys, Stani? Not me! I think it could be a very interesting away trip for England.

There are many who would argue that Bell has been just as favored as Barbie and Eyeliner boy. Like them he manages to do just enough.

"Collingwood is so much more handsome and rugged than Bell" not difficult Ben cos Bell is neither handsome nor rugged. He looks like a bedraggled mouse that has had a run in with some hair bleach.

Kabir Ali is a good bowler who is having a tantrum right now and has gone on strike! What Worcestershire CCC are going to do about it we should find out shortly.

Stani Army said...

Of course you didn' said Bangladesh were amazing. Just trying to run from the wrath of Purna aren't you? Good luck :) doohoohahahahaaaa

See, that's the problem with having your door number as your name....people will know where to find you.

P.S, get well soon Nightmare :)