Sunday, 9 August 2009

From The Ashes Of Disaster

Every bursted bubble has a glory! Each abysmal failure makes a point!
Every glowing path that goes astray, Shows you how to find a better way.
So every time you stumble never grumble. Next time you'll bumble even less!
For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!
Grow the roses! Grow the roses! Grow the roses of success!
Oh yes! Grow the roses! Those rosy roses!
From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!
I suppose that there were a few people who wrote off England in 1981 and ended up with egg on their faces. Not this time. Oh, my Botham and my Willis, long ago!
This was abject. Possibly our worst defeat, ever. Heavy defeats are inflicted upon you when the opposition is twice as good as you; this defeat suggests that in this match the opposition was four times as good. I fear it defines the captaincy of Strauss, the dearth of middle-order batting talent (beyond Pietersen) and the indulgent, feckless selection panel. Poor Strauss leads by example with the bat, but he looks a shrinking violet in the field, and I doubt that he tears strips off guilty parties in the privacy of the dressing room. He wears his wedding ring on a necklace, for heaven's sake, and wears a sun hat instead of a proper England cap. He gives interviews wearing a baseball hat covered in the sponsor's logo. This is simply not good enough. He is a very good batsman and a nice man, but he obviously has not got what it takes to get the best out of his men. If he gives an interview after this game and mentions "taking the positives out of this match", I will drive to Leeds and push a custard pie into his face.
What Strauss and his fellow selectors thought they were doing adding Harmison for Flintoff, I just don't know. England, 1-0 up in the series, ignored the first priority of any test team - runs on the board - and picked a bowler who has not bowled well for England in four years, whilst giving up the Flintoff runs (average 40 against Oz). They will say they played a positive card, intent on bowling the other side out twice. But they picked the wrong sort of bowler, one who lands it halfway down the pitch instead of one who pitches it up, which is how almost all the wickets have fallen in this test match. Ryan Sidebottom, a Yorkshireman not chosen for this test, will wonder what point there was to his learning to bowl at Headingley from the age of 13 onwards; he will have a point.
A bounce back at the Oval? From this group of overpaid and overrated powderpuffs? No chance. It is time to identify those with granite in their character and pick them. This ain't no party; this ain't no disco; this ain't no fooling around!
The Idle XI to face Australia at the Oval in just under a fortnight:
Strauss; Cook; Key (Capt); Ramprakash; Collingwood; Trott (Flintoff if fit); Prior; Broad; Swann; Sidebottom; Anderson; Onions


Lexander said...

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack”. That's how Kipling put it. Reckon those bloody Kangaroos are a fine pack.

Scrobs... said...

Good post Iders.

I thought Vaughan was a better captain after a few games, and although I'm advised he was vulnerable on the off stump, I still rated highly, his 'attitude' to captaincy.

Robert Key I agree with too, shades of Ollie Milburn in his heyday.

idle said...

Kipling is almost always the man to prove the point when it comes to leadership, lex. Well said.

Yes, scrobs, the only thing that took Milburn's eye off his batting (and I mean "eye" - you remember that he went on with only one after a car crash) was sight of a spectator unwrapping a good pork pie.

idle said...

My post inadvertantly disregarded the spinner; Sidebottom should have played at Headingley, of course, but not the Oval. Swann keeps his place.

Anonymous said...

I installed the ECB "app" on my iPhone the other week.

It allows me to keep in almost constant touch with the score in Test Matches.

I wonder how I can now delete it?

Philipa said...

My son told me that their classes next year are to be named after countries and he was thrilled to be in 'Pakistan'. I kept quiet through my puzzlement and asked him why he liked Pakistan so much (the climate, the terrorism training ground?)? "They're really good at cricket" he said. Bless.

idle said...

Oh dear, pip. With about 190 countries to choose from, they go with Pakistan as one of the options. India would have been fine - overlook the poverty and the cholera, concentrate on the palaces and the colour and the tigers. But Pakistan? I used to spend about 6 weeks a year there, trying to maximise Lahore and minimise the dreaded Karachi. I grew to love Lahore, and Murree, the hill station above Rawalpindi, but I know it's all a goner now. Failed state within a year or two.

What made them choose Pakistan as a class name? All too obvious an answer, I fear.

rvi said...

"Failed state within a year or two."

I wonder if England was among the choices available?

Philipa said...

I don't think it was, rvi.

Thanks for reply, Idle. My thoughts too on the choice.

Philipa said...

BTW: the teacher chose the country.

Scrobs... said...

Blimey Reevers, you've got a point there...

Savonarola said...

Key in. Not Ramps. Keep Bopara drop to #5. Harmison is a blouse. But play him. Fred on crutches better than Broad.

Pakistan has been a failed state for decades. To understand what is wrong with non Arab Muslim states, try "Among the Believers." VS Naipaul.

The Beast of Clerkenwell said...

An ex Mrs Beast had a cousin who married a revered Aussie cricketer.
A total Hoon.
Shane Warne was at the Wedding and he is an even bigger Hoon.

lilith said...

It must be time to reprise this.

Elby the Beserk said...

Shocking performance. Worst thing we could have done, winning the Ashes in 2005. All downhill since, and the IPL farrago has contributed to it.

Not enough team players.

Calfy said...

At least there was none of this

idle said...

Thanks lil, KB Wilson always obliges.

Superb, calfy. I do love Neil Hannon. A wonderful lyricist.

I'll take all the Ashes wins I can get, elby, regardless of circumstance and fallout.

Elby The Beserk said...

Oh Lordy yes, Idle. All hands to the pumps. Am almost tempted to include Ramprakash - but not quite. We live in hope.