England in India 2012-13 October 27, 2011

Six questions arising from the India-England series

A whitewash followed by its reverse can perplex the sharpest among us
37

I’m confused. England crunched India like a birthday biscuit in the Tests during the summer, then beat them conclusively in the one-day series. But now, just weeks later, they have been unceremoniously counter-crunched by the same opposition, honked 5-0 in a fiesta of grumpy ineptitude, by an Indian team that was as focused, calm and efficient as it wasn’t in England. What does it all mean? It is too early to say definitively. I think we can safely say that, on the evidence of this series, England will struggle in the 2011 World Cup. Subcontinental conditions do not suit their game. India, meanwhile, will be desperately trying to remember not to begin the 2019 World Cup in England (a) with much of their first-choice side absent, (b) after a long, exhausting and humiliating tour that followed hot on the heels of another Test series, the IPL and a World Cup, and (c) in a rainy September.

It is probably also fair to say that England have not entirely cracked ODI cricket yet, but that MS Dhoni has.

Does it matter that England’s batsmen keep getting out after making a start? Strap in, stats fans, I’ve been digging again. Don’t tell the wife. (I’ll give you a couple of paragraphs to brace yourselves for the stat. Gather your family round, I think they should all be told.)

On a global scale, humanity probably has more significant issues to address than England’s batsmen playing themselves in and then playing themselves out again with alarming rapidity. And for Britain as a nation, this matter resides below staving off economicageddon, wondering if we can start exporting our old people to ease the pensions problem, and bickering over whether we should leave Europe and catapult ourselves into the mid-Atlantic instead. However, in the realm of one-day cricket it certainly does matter.

In Mohali, Ravi Bopara played arguably the archetypal modern England ODI innings – 24 off 32. It was not a dismal failure, but it was as close to unhelpful in the circumstances as he could have managed. Admittedly England could have done with a few more archetypal 24s off 32s in Kolkata yesterday, but of the impressive selection of Achilles heels they have flashed at the cameras during this series (historians are reassessing whether Achilles was in fact a centipede, not a man), the infuriating habit of batting quite well for a bit and then getting out was the most swollen.

STAT ALERT. Here it comes. It’s about batsmen getting out in the 20s and 30s. 5-4-3-2-1. Blast Off.

In ODIs since the end of the 2007 World Cup, top-seven England batsmen have been out between 20 and 39 on 152 occasions, compared to the 196 times that they have gone on to reach 40. So 43.7% of the times an England batsman has reached 20 (and has not finished not out between 20 and 39), he is out before he reaches 40. Of Test-playing nations in that time, England are only sixth best at top-seven batsmen not getting out in the 20s and 30s, just behind New Zealand (43.4%). The top four is as follows: South Africa in first (32% dismissed between 20 and 39), Australia in second (36.7%), India in third (38.5%), Sri Lanka in fourth (39.5%).

In this period, the highest ODI win percentage table is: South Africa in first (68.1%); Australia in secnd (67.7%), India in third (62.7%), and Sri Lanka in fourth (57.3%).

Have a glass of water.

The only significant mover between the two charts is Pakistan – seventh-best (44.3%) at not getting out in the 20s and 30s, but with the fifth-highest win rate (56.8%) ‒ nudging England (49.0%) down one to seventh, just behind New Zealand (50.0%).

I am not a professional statistician, and I don’t have the certificates to prove that, and I am sure other statistics could be found that produce a similar correlation. However, this mega stat does suggest that telling your top-order batsmen not to get out in the 20s and 30s, and those top-order batsmen following that instruction, is, as has long been suspected, a good idea.

Judging by the crowds at the matches, this series captured the Indian public’s imagination in the same way that a baby spider catches an Apache helicopter in its web. I love cricket. Should I be concerned? Yes. The cunning formula of overpriced tickets and a less-than-entirely-cordial match-day experience successfully kept crowds down at the neutral matches in India during the World Cup. That scheme has now been rolled out to cover India’s own matches as well. If cricket has not quite killed its golden goose, then it has certainly tied it to a radiator in a dungeon, punched it repeatedly in the beak, pointed a gun at its head, and screamed: “Lay more eggs, you feathery idiot, or I’m going to stuff you with sausage meat and roast you to the other side of Christmas.” The goose, understandably, is finding it hard to relax into its most productive egg-laying form.

Should Jonathan Trott be in the England ODI side? Presumably for the England selectors this is not a matter of much debate. Unless they are easily influenced by internet message boards. I imagine that, when picking their ODI batting line-up, they start with a blank sheet of paper, write Trott’s name on it, and then start thinking about the other players to fit alongside him. They might write Eoin Morgan’s name down first, but have sadly spent too much of the last year crossing it out again when they remember that he is injured.

Trott is not the ideal modern ODI player, but not many teams in any format have 11 ideal players, and he is still very good. In the two years since his debut, his average (51) has been excellent, close to the top of the international tree, and his strike rate (78) has been unspectacular but adequate – similar over the same period to Yuvraj Singh, Michael Clarke, Ross Taylor, Graeme Smith and Ponting.

The problem is that Trott has been surrounded by other batsmen whose strike rates have also been adequate but whose averages have been close to useless. Dropping Trott would be like firing your accountant after you spent your life savings on a giant inflatable Darrell Hair, left it tied up outside the Sri Lankan embassy, and found it repeatedly punctured the following morning. The accountant is not to blame.

How should Trott bat in ODIs? In Mohali, Trott scored 98 off 116, a soundly constructed innings that lacked a definitive final flourish, but which facilitated a strong team score. Clearly it would have been preferable if he had scored 198 off 116. In Mumbai, Trott made a brisk start. But again he made the mistake of not converting his 39 off 48 into 198 off 116. It is starting to look like a behavioural pattern. Some critics also seemed to think that it would have been even more preferable if he had hammered his first ball for four, then smashed his stumps down and marched off proudly announcing that he had given the innings some early impetus. And boosted his career strike rate in the process. Moreover, he would have allowed England’s volcanic middle order more time to Vesuvius it about at 12 an over as they always do.

Is it fair to criticise England for being a bit stroppy in the field? No. They are all worried sick about the Greek financial crisis. It is a tense time for everyone. However, results suggest that the somewhat inexplicable strops have not aided performance. This could, of course, be coincidence. Maybe a study could be done to analyse the effects of grumpiness on cricketing success. Perhaps Donald Bradman’s Test innings could be cross-referenced with his personal diaries to calculate whether his rare failures coincided with him being particularly unhappy at a new shade of paint in which his wife had just painted their kitchen, or irritated that the wi-fi in the Australian dressing room was not working, or generally feeling that life was ultimately pointless and we are all just dust in the winds of history.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • James W on November 3, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    Andy - you've got to bring the giant inflatable Darrell Hair to market, it's a genius product. In fact why not a whole giant inflatable umpire range. I, for one, would like nothing better than a giant inflatable Steve Bucknor in the corner of my living room, index finger raised sending me back to the pavilion (kitchen)

  • Aashish Diwakar on November 3, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Andy,

    Well written, as always, and appreciated - as always..

    However, I am surprised that you did miss out on a question, which should have been your FIRST...

    WHEN will the English batters learn to rotate strike? Regardless, of whether they play in the Sub-continent or in lanes back of their houses...

    Without the numerical assistance from StatsGuru (which, undoubtedly is not without merit), it appears fairly obvious that, if the batsmen learn to take singles, they: a) take pressure off themselves b) give the the non-striker a feel of the pitch c) keep all strike-rates healthy d) keep the run-rate competitive e) put pressure back on the bowlers f) show that they are not engaged in a labour of Herakles and victory does not depend on one brawny performance alone

    ... and, about 20 more letters from the alphabet, each with a point of their own.

  • mike17 on October 30, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    i think Trott should be allowed to commentate on his own innings' while at the crease, as we might get a better balanced view. I guess for the Sky comm box Bell's innings at K'tha satisfied the necessary credentials for excellence. Pre-frontals all round for them then, except Nass who needs to find as many donkeys as possible and apologise to them for his summer hubris against them. Only then will we win again!!

  • Mrinal on October 28, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Some tips to England Coach: Jonathan Trot is a good player and he should be in the team. NO Doubt. but his counterparts should give him that extra bit of support (boosting the runrate). Trot has a decent avg and strikerate. Similar caliber players are Dravid, Kohli, Amla, Clarke. Trot Avg and Strike rate are good. Use him purposefully. England is making a waste of Kieswetter. he should bat at No. 6 or 7. his avg is low but his strike rate is nearly run a ball. he should be more of a wicketkeeper than an opening batsmen. he coming in low the order helps team to finish the game. look at the likes of boucher, Dhoni who finish games. but england over estimates his capabilities to open the innings. he doesn't fit into the shoes of McCullum, Gilchrist. Use a player according to his role. you don't expect kieswetter to keep for 50 over and then score a century opening in a chase of over 300+. but he can get 35-45 runs of 25balls to finish it off. Stats 29matches 28 times dismissed 1 century.

  • Jagger on October 28, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    The answer to all six questions is this: Indian players can't carry their pitches around with them and England batsmen are crap at limited overs cricket. More times than not. All things considered.

  • david on October 28, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    i do not have the exact stats to hand (can anyone out there provide them?) but here is an approximation: in the approx 250 days between the end of the Ashes tour and the start of the one day series in India I am sure Jimmy Anderson bowled no more than 1000 overs. That is an average of four overs a day. Plus a little time batting and field duties. How is it that this man needed a "rest"? Over tha same period of time the majority of fit young men put in hugely more efort into hugely less rewarding employment and would give anything for the chance to have the honour of representing their country at sport. And with maybe three weeks off per year. What is this nonsense? Anderson is our spearhead, and an England side lacking him and our best batsman in Ian Bell was hugely disadvantaged by those absences. We might have lost anyway, but not nearly so abjectly I'd wager.

  • Cookie on October 28, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    The whole point was that you could join the points and present a graph that could be extrapolated to better things in life. But you being the genius that is you joined the graph and presented so many points that all of Darrell's hairs stood up utterly confused! (including the axillary and groin ones!) How you do that I don't know, but I am sending johnny english to spy on you!

  • Gaurav on October 28, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    "Dropping Trott would be like firing your accountant after you spent your life savings on a giant inflatable Darrell Hair, left it tied up outside the Sri Lankan embassy, and found it repeatedly punctured the following morning." That was Classic Andy!!!!!!

  • LOL@LOrd Ensworth on October 28, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    LOL @ Lord Ensworth. I agree completely. When the Indians came to England, they were astounded by the meats and strange food that they got diahrrea and sickness. They did not want to tell the world about this (as it is extremely embarassing) and they claimed of another "injury". Harbhajan was the only innocent, but truthful man who correctly said he had a stomach ache and couldn't play. When England came to India, the Indians decided to get revenge by giving them the spiciest curries and the most hardest of the foods to swallow down. England did not get sick (them ole' English stomachs can take harder things than that), but lets just say their hand-eye coordination was not at its best

  • qqqq on October 28, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    "Dropping Trott would be like firing your accountant after you spent your life savings on a giant inflatable Darrell Hair, left it tied up outside the Sri Lankan embassy, and found it repeatedly punctured the following morning. The accountant is not to blame."

    That made my day. I will now go in to work with a smile on my face. Thanks again, Andy!

  • James W on November 3, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    Andy - you've got to bring the giant inflatable Darrell Hair to market, it's a genius product. In fact why not a whole giant inflatable umpire range. I, for one, would like nothing better than a giant inflatable Steve Bucknor in the corner of my living room, index finger raised sending me back to the pavilion (kitchen)

  • Aashish Diwakar on November 3, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Andy,

    Well written, as always, and appreciated - as always..

    However, I am surprised that you did miss out on a question, which should have been your FIRST...

    WHEN will the English batters learn to rotate strike? Regardless, of whether they play in the Sub-continent or in lanes back of their houses...

    Without the numerical assistance from StatsGuru (which, undoubtedly is not without merit), it appears fairly obvious that, if the batsmen learn to take singles, they: a) take pressure off themselves b) give the the non-striker a feel of the pitch c) keep all strike-rates healthy d) keep the run-rate competitive e) put pressure back on the bowlers f) show that they are not engaged in a labour of Herakles and victory does not depend on one brawny performance alone

    ... and, about 20 more letters from the alphabet, each with a point of their own.

  • mike17 on October 30, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    i think Trott should be allowed to commentate on his own innings' while at the crease, as we might get a better balanced view. I guess for the Sky comm box Bell's innings at K'tha satisfied the necessary credentials for excellence. Pre-frontals all round for them then, except Nass who needs to find as many donkeys as possible and apologise to them for his summer hubris against them. Only then will we win again!!

  • Mrinal on October 28, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Some tips to England Coach: Jonathan Trot is a good player and he should be in the team. NO Doubt. but his counterparts should give him that extra bit of support (boosting the runrate). Trot has a decent avg and strikerate. Similar caliber players are Dravid, Kohli, Amla, Clarke. Trot Avg and Strike rate are good. Use him purposefully. England is making a waste of Kieswetter. he should bat at No. 6 or 7. his avg is low but his strike rate is nearly run a ball. he should be more of a wicketkeeper than an opening batsmen. he coming in low the order helps team to finish the game. look at the likes of boucher, Dhoni who finish games. but england over estimates his capabilities to open the innings. he doesn't fit into the shoes of McCullum, Gilchrist. Use a player according to his role. you don't expect kieswetter to keep for 50 over and then score a century opening in a chase of over 300+. but he can get 35-45 runs of 25balls to finish it off. Stats 29matches 28 times dismissed 1 century.

  • Jagger on October 28, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    The answer to all six questions is this: Indian players can't carry their pitches around with them and England batsmen are crap at limited overs cricket. More times than not. All things considered.

  • david on October 28, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    i do not have the exact stats to hand (can anyone out there provide them?) but here is an approximation: in the approx 250 days between the end of the Ashes tour and the start of the one day series in India I am sure Jimmy Anderson bowled no more than 1000 overs. That is an average of four overs a day. Plus a little time batting and field duties. How is it that this man needed a "rest"? Over tha same period of time the majority of fit young men put in hugely more efort into hugely less rewarding employment and would give anything for the chance to have the honour of representing their country at sport. And with maybe three weeks off per year. What is this nonsense? Anderson is our spearhead, and an England side lacking him and our best batsman in Ian Bell was hugely disadvantaged by those absences. We might have lost anyway, but not nearly so abjectly I'd wager.

  • Cookie on October 28, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    The whole point was that you could join the points and present a graph that could be extrapolated to better things in life. But you being the genius that is you joined the graph and presented so many points that all of Darrell's hairs stood up utterly confused! (including the axillary and groin ones!) How you do that I don't know, but I am sending johnny english to spy on you!

  • Gaurav on October 28, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    "Dropping Trott would be like firing your accountant after you spent your life savings on a giant inflatable Darrell Hair, left it tied up outside the Sri Lankan embassy, and found it repeatedly punctured the following morning." That was Classic Andy!!!!!!

  • LOL@LOrd Ensworth on October 28, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    LOL @ Lord Ensworth. I agree completely. When the Indians came to England, they were astounded by the meats and strange food that they got diahrrea and sickness. They did not want to tell the world about this (as it is extremely embarassing) and they claimed of another "injury". Harbhajan was the only innocent, but truthful man who correctly said he had a stomach ache and couldn't play. When England came to India, the Indians decided to get revenge by giving them the spiciest curries and the most hardest of the foods to swallow down. England did not get sick (them ole' English stomachs can take harder things than that), but lets just say their hand-eye coordination was not at its best

  • qqqq on October 28, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    "Dropping Trott would be like firing your accountant after you spent your life savings on a giant inflatable Darrell Hair, left it tied up outside the Sri Lankan embassy, and found it repeatedly punctured the following morning. The accountant is not to blame."

    That made my day. I will now go in to work with a smile on my face. Thanks again, Andy!

  • Srini on October 27, 2011, 23:20 GMT

    Best quote i heard in recent times ,Dropping Trott would be like firing your accountant after you spent your life savings on a giant inflatable Darrell Hair, left it tied up outside the Sri Lankan embassy, and found it repeatedly punctured the following morning,.

  • Sigismund on October 27, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    Andy,

    The product moment correlation coefficient for your data is -0.879, which is about as compelling as they get.

    Geoffrey was right after all. I think I had better have another water.

  • Darbari Lal on October 27, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    Andy, your blogs are my reason for breathing. Which explains the gagging sensation I've been feeling because of the long gaps between your posts. Save a life, write some more of this fantastic stuff that you do!

  • waqar on October 27, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    please wright about pakistan too!

  • Abhi on October 27, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    As Blackadder had said, life without the confectionery stall is like a broken pencil... pointless! Nice to see you in print again!

  • jag on October 27, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    I am an Indian cricket team fan but looking at Jonathan Trott,s batting is like watching a new Rahul Dravid is playing. He is a bit of unhurried (slow) but the way he is handling England’s middle order is the unique guilty of his batting. Match against SL in 2011 world cup he was the only person who took England’s score over 200, otherwise they will lose the match in very bad humiliation. Trott is the best ODI for ENG after KP and Morgan. Top order needs to support his class by producing brick starts so Trott can play his natural game. ENg should be blaming their bowling more than Trott’s batting. By making some pointless decisions might hurt ENG a wonderful player. If we look at Dhoni, sometimes his strike is around 60-70, even worst sometimes but his team mates such as Sewag and Yovraj cover up his strike rates by pounding the bowler’s. Dropping Trott from ODI side won’t help ENG, it will only make it worst. I think Andy Flower is playing a Chappell role in this team by looking at

  • Nithin G on October 27, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Brilliant!!! " .... if he had hammered his first ball for four, then smashed his stumps down and marched off proudly ... ". Simply superb!!

  • Anil on October 27, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Gosh, Andy, that inflatable and perpetually punctured Darrel Hair ached my tummy so much that my Boss had to yell at me. Unfortunately for him and me, I could not stop and he could not like it. My qPCR is doomed today.

  • Tom on October 27, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    Brilliant!

    wrt England being a bit stroppy in the field, to be fair, we are like that whether we win, lose or draw - particularly the Notts boys, they really rip into each other.

  • Arkid Mitra on October 27, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    Brilliant as always. Present this to ICC, BCCI and ECB. All are in need of humorous intelligence.

  • Deadly Earnest on October 27, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    I enjoy your work Andy, but you have Jonathon Dott wrong in my arrogant opinion.

    It is not enough to simply calculate that a player has an average of x and a strike rate of y over time.

    For example, if you have a bad habit of cruising to high scores at below the match run rate in high scoring affairs, you will inflate your career average and strike rate, but lose your team matches in the process.

    Then there are other vital questions. How do you bat when new batsmen come to the crease? It may be very beneficial for you as the set batsman to take the majority of the strike. This requires scoring more 2's and 4's early during overs, rather than picking up easy singles early in the over which preserves your wicket and keeps your strike rate high, but places a lot of pressure on a new batsman. Do you needlessly occupy parts of the innings where others are likely to score at a much faster rate? Anyone can get a run a ball in the last 10 overs with many wickets in hand...

  • Deb on October 27, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    “Lay more eggs, you feathery idiot, or I’m going to stuff you with sausage meat and roast you to the other side of Christmas.” ....best way to sum up BCCI's attitude towards cricket...Brilliant Andy...keep it up!

  • Vaidya on October 27, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Lol...great article as always :) Simply astounded by the 20-39 calculation! How do you do that on statsguru!!

    Trott's way of playing is similar to Rahul Dravid's. Consistent with an average 70s SR. What worked for India was the Yuvrajs, Gangulys and the Tendulkars waiting to explode while he could hold one end up. Doesn't work for Trott though. England really need big hitters!

  • Spartacus Mills on October 27, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Absolutely freaking brilliant, Andy.

  • Mehul on October 27, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    I dub thee, Sir, the God of comedy!

  • Piyush Ranjan on October 27, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    I like the stats more than the satire in the article.

  • Ronron on October 27, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Giant inflatable darrel hair.....Winner.

  • Jim Roberts on October 27, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Well written... but maybe u should cut down on the statistics and concentrate on humor...

    N i'd've preferred the caption for the picture being,"Dropping trott is as pointless as picking him!" because whatever he does, the rest are going to crash and England will lose...

  • gaby on October 27, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    andy... I love you

  • Abhinandan on October 27, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    omg..... that piece of stat really blew my mind....nice for you to give the couple of paragraphs

    btw, you're appearing less of ten than we like Andy. buck up man......

  • Anonymous on October 27, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    great as always Zaltman

  • mykuhl on October 27, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    ooooh - nice stat. I may have to pinch that one.

    I almost died at the Inflatable Darrel Hair left outside the Sri Lankan embassy.

  • Theena on October 27, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    'The problem is that Trott has been surrounded by other batsmen whose strike rates have also been adequate but whose averages have been close to useless. Dropping Trott would be like firing your accountant after you spent your life savings on a giant inflatable Darrell Hair, left it tied up outside the Sri Lankan embassy, and found it repeatedly punctured the following morning. The accountant is not to blame.'

    Hahah.

    I am sure you are tired of me saying this, Andy, but keep writing. I am at the point in my life where the love affair with cricket is possibly in its dying stages. The least I can do now is to laugh it off. Your writing helps :)

    More please.

  • rahul on October 27, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    bullshit,

  • Jeremy Dawkins on October 27, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Wonderfully written! Amusing and valid.

  • Chris on October 27, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    As someone who once made 6 in 23 overs in a one day match I find it unbelievable that despite the obvious fragility of the England batting line up, every time Trott scores 50+ at a strike rate of 70 he is being too slow and holding up the innings. Standard sports fan mentality that anyone not currently playing becomes a god but when they get in the team they fail once and are immediately useless. Personally I think Bell should come in to open and Keiswetter should bat in the lower middle order come in and tonk it position as 29 of 18 is a pretty good innings if you walk in after 45 overs.

  • Lord Emsworth on October 27, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    I have a theory that Englands failures in India are due to the food. Has nothing to do with sub-continent wickets and all that jazz. Nothing tastes more wonderful than Indian food but it ain't kind to the exhaust pipe, a most sensitive area of the human anatomy. All exhaust pipe sufferers are irritable beasts. Suggest that the ECB contract Jamie Oliver or that dishy Nigella Lawson woman as tour cooks who can feed the boys with solid old English chow....

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  • Lord Emsworth on October 27, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    I have a theory that Englands failures in India are due to the food. Has nothing to do with sub-continent wickets and all that jazz. Nothing tastes more wonderful than Indian food but it ain't kind to the exhaust pipe, a most sensitive area of the human anatomy. All exhaust pipe sufferers are irritable beasts. Suggest that the ECB contract Jamie Oliver or that dishy Nigella Lawson woman as tour cooks who can feed the boys with solid old English chow....

  • Chris on October 27, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    As someone who once made 6 in 23 overs in a one day match I find it unbelievable that despite the obvious fragility of the England batting line up, every time Trott scores 50+ at a strike rate of 70 he is being too slow and holding up the innings. Standard sports fan mentality that anyone not currently playing becomes a god but when they get in the team they fail once and are immediately useless. Personally I think Bell should come in to open and Keiswetter should bat in the lower middle order come in and tonk it position as 29 of 18 is a pretty good innings if you walk in after 45 overs.

  • Jeremy Dawkins on October 27, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Wonderfully written! Amusing and valid.

  • rahul on October 27, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    bullshit,

  • Theena on October 27, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    'The problem is that Trott has been surrounded by other batsmen whose strike rates have also been adequate but whose averages have been close to useless. Dropping Trott would be like firing your accountant after you spent your life savings on a giant inflatable Darrell Hair, left it tied up outside the Sri Lankan embassy, and found it repeatedly punctured the following morning. The accountant is not to blame.'

    Hahah.

    I am sure you are tired of me saying this, Andy, but keep writing. I am at the point in my life where the love affair with cricket is possibly in its dying stages. The least I can do now is to laugh it off. Your writing helps :)

    More please.

  • mykuhl on October 27, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    ooooh - nice stat. I may have to pinch that one.

    I almost died at the Inflatable Darrel Hair left outside the Sri Lankan embassy.

  • Anonymous on October 27, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    great as always Zaltman

  • Abhinandan on October 27, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    omg..... that piece of stat really blew my mind....nice for you to give the couple of paragraphs

    btw, you're appearing less of ten than we like Andy. buck up man......

  • gaby on October 27, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    andy... I love you

  • Jim Roberts on October 27, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Well written... but maybe u should cut down on the statistics and concentrate on humor...

    N i'd've preferred the caption for the picture being,"Dropping trott is as pointless as picking him!" because whatever he does, the rest are going to crash and England will lose...