Friday, August 20, 2010

Cook and the law of averages

So I was an innings out... I thought Cook would score runs in the first innings, but he failed again there too.

As expected, Cook's former player chums in the media have heralded his low ton as affirmation of his quality, cementing his place in the test side. The reality is, Cook could have scored ducks in the next 3 innings and he would still have gone to Australia. The man is totally undroppable. He scratches around for 12 months, then finally spawns a ton and suddenly he is a good batsman? Bullshit. Cook is sub standard and no lucky ton will change that. I continue to believe he will fail in both innings in the fourth test, but the media will (with the notable exception of Boycott and I note Ben Dirs cribbing some of my statistical analysis of Cook as well on his BBC blog), the media will point to this ton and come out with platitudes such as "Cook shows he still has the quality etc."

Let's not forget, if Tresco was not off crying every other day (boohoo I'm so unhappy etc."), Cook would still be cleaning Gooch's boots at Essex. He is in the Test side by default, not because he is a leading opener.

When Cook did finally stumble over the line, I said immediately he would not get past 110. Sure enough, a couple of overs later, Cook is out. Why? Because he knew then his job was done. Nevermind he fact England needed him to stick around. Nevermind that any good batsman is greedy for runs and would have started again. No, for Cook, his three figures were merely about securing an Ashes berth and his next grotesque central contract. Carberry knows the score, hence his comment two weeks ago ("that ships has sailed"). Carberry knew Cook would eventually score some runs and he also knew commentators and the ECB would climb all over him when he does.

But let's not focus only on Cook. England's tail starts at 2. Trott is in a world of his own. He looks like a wicket every ball. There is no authority about his batting and he's not even English. Neither is Morgan and he has been badly found out as quick as I expected. KP is shot (see previous blogs). He too is so far away from any kind of form it is madness to put him on the plane to Oz. The whole batting order is weak and has only looked good due to the terrible two tier nature of world test cricket these days. Any good club player would score against Bangladesh or the Windies. This is village bowling (and in the case of the news Pakistan quick, he really is village - who did he play for? Some Shropshire village side?!)

No, no, no. Engand will be humilated by the arrogant, preening, ghastly yobs in Australia. Our batting is dismal. When Lord Snooty looks like the best player we have got, you realise the kind of trouble you are in.

And our bowling is also laughable. Finn is a lanky beanpole who falls over. Jimmy only gets wickets if it swings (as he will readily admit), while Broad I would hardly describe as a bowler. Yes, Swann looks all class, but wouldn't it be nice if he didn't back away to square leg the moment someone bowls at over 75mph to him?

This batting collapse was as inevitable as it was disgraceful. The media reaction was the same. Cue right-on journos, desperate to keep their jobs, spouting the usual politically correct crap like "this shows how fantastic Pakistan are etc etc." which frankly I imagine they would find rtather patronising. Pakistan are a mess, as I am sure their entire team would admit. Bowling out this dismal England team is hardly an achievement.

Frankly, I find the whole episode disgraceful. I hope Pakistan win easily.

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