England in India 2012-13 November 20, 2012

Were England careless or strategically insane?

And some good news for England and bad news for India
79

England, sticklers for tradition as always, have lost the first Test of a series in Asia for the 14th time in their last 20 attempts, dating back to the 1981-82 series in India. They have registered three wins - against Test novices Sri Lanka in their first-ever Test, and two against incorrigible defeat-magnets Bangladesh ‒ meaning that, in their last 17 first Tests of away series against established Asian Test nations, they have drawn three and lost 14. And one of those three draws was with one wicket remaining after a desperate tail-end rearguard. When they go to Asia, England hit the ground running. In the wrong direction.

The good news for England and their supporters is that, in all their other non-series-opening Asian Tests in that time, they have won more than they have lost. Nine triumphs (including two follow-up cloutings of Bangladesh), seven defeats, and 19 draws. The bad news is that two of those defeats are fresh in the memory from early this year, against a Pakistan side with a similarly structured bowling attack to India's.

The other good news is that two of England's batsmen have shown that they can prosper in Asian conditions, which is at least two more than in the UAE. The other bad news is that the English pace attack, which remained steadfastly excellent throughout last winter's failures, was as toothless as an 103-year-old chocolate addict after an ill-advised 12-round pummelling by one of the Klitschko brothers. The supplementary good news is that, whilst the wheels might have come off the English wagon, at least their captain heroically curled himself up into a circle and bolted himself to the front axle. Seldom can a new skipper have emerged from the wreckage of a thrashing in his first match in the job with his authority so significantly enhanced. If only he could learn how to bowl. And field at slip to the spinners.

The additional bad news is that the Indian selectors, and the unstoppable march of time, have largely dismantled the team England completely destroyed just over a year ago. They have even replaced their solitary success in that series, Rahul Dravid, with a new No. 3, Cheteshwar Pujara, who looks as if he could be carrying on batting until Silvio Berlusconi becomes a monk. The bonus good news is that they will have to try hard to field as poorly again. The free extra bad news is that Jonathan Trott's audacious attempt to take a catch in his pioneering new leather-magnetic concave chest that enables him to roost on the ball like an egg without it actually touching the turf was hardly ruled out by the umpires.

Appendix 1 of the good news is that they are unlikely to be on the wrong end of so many dubious umpiring decisions in the second Test. The bad-news footnote is that they are also unlikely to be on the right end of so many dubious umpiring decisions. Cook's near-flawless epic resistance could easily have been flawed and not particularly epic, had he not survived a leg-before appeal when on 41 that looked plumb enough to bake in a misspelt crumble. Samit Patel, the commentators agreed, was harshly triggered in both innings. But he only had the opportunity to be harshly triggered in the first innings because he had already been very generously not triggered. Two wrongs did not make a right. They made three wrongs - the two decisions, plus the absence of the DRS.

Until Cook and Matt Prior's superb and highly skilled partnership, this game went as badly for England as any Australian could have hoped. If the batsmen had learned any lesson from last winter's tweak-induced travails, that lesson appeared to be: "Keep doing the same thing, the laws of physics might have changed."

The seam attack still seemed mentally exhausted and scarred by their surgical dismemberment by Smith, Amla and Kallis at The Oval. Virender Sehwag, for the first time in a long time, transformed a Test match that had hardly even begun, sowing immediate seeds of doubt in England's attack, which grew rapidly in the unresponsive Ahmedabad soil into a beanstalk of impotent frustration. Stuart Broad appealed imploringly for ljafiafbbw (leg just a few inches away from being before wicket). He took 25 wickets in four Tests against India last year, followed by 26 more in his next five matches. It is perhaps understandable that he looked as exasperated as Jimi Hendrix trying to play "Hey Joe" on an aubergine.

After Pujara had finished smoothly Amla-ing them to a fine paste, England compounded their problems with the bat, by continuing to hope that the stiff prod would somehow turn into an effective match-winning anti-spin ploy. It has not done so. Yet. Cook and Prior seemed to be turning to a Plan B on day four, with considerable success. Kevin Pietersen seemed to go through plans C to Z in the space of 24 balls.

Pragyan Ojha bowled mesmerically in the first innings, against a mesmerism-vulnerable batting line-up. So mesmerically, in fact, that he seemed to befuddle his own captain, who let him bowl only eight balls of the last 17.2 overs of the innings, in which time the Bhubaneswar Befuddler still managed to take two wickets, but England at least established a small batting foothold in the match.

From this foothold, they at least clambered up to base camp on the mountain they have given themselves to climb before being conclusively turfed off it on the final day. But England have some crumbs of comfort left over from their failure fajita to push around their plate until Friday's second Test, whilst India might have some droplets of doubt swilling around in their glass after guzzling a decanter of dominance. It will help England's cause if they do not play dismally for the first three days. India have lost none of the 38 home Tests in which they have scored 500 in the first innings. England have lost all six of the Tests in India in which they have failed to reach 200 in their first innings. Conceding 521 for 8, then being bowled out for 191, was careless. Or strategically insane. Probably the former.

● As with most England matches ‒ whether he has played in them or not ‒ there was considerable discussion of Pietersen, a cricketer who attracts debate like a grated seal smeared in blood ketchup attracts sharks. Pietersen returned to the side after his recent suspension for being the dominant slice in an infantile dressing-room bicker sandwich to compose the latest movement of his Barking Mad 2012 Symphony ‒ an in-depth and perfectly executed exploration of how not to play spin, of which the most remarkable aspect was that he was only out twice in the 43 balls of tweak that he failed to negotiate.

In mitigation, Pietersen was unlucky in the first innings. Very unlucky. Up until the late 18th century, there was no middle stump, and the ball that dismissed him would have passed harmlessly through to the wicketkeeper. Perhaps he had fallen asleep the previous night midway through a documentary about the American War of Independence, and was momentarily confused over what century it was.

In his previous Test in Asia, just seven months ago in Colombo, Pietersen powerclobbered 162 runs from 142 balls of spin, including seven sixes and 15 fours. In the match before his Twitter-aggravated ban, at Headingley, he played one of the finest innings by an England batsman in recent years, spectacularly flaying a dominant South Africa. He batted in Ahmedabad as if he has spent the intervening three months sleeping in a tumble-dryer. At Headingley and Galle, he played shots other players would not even have dreamed of playing. In Ahmedabad he played shots other players would not even have dreamed of playing.

Pietersen averages 38 in Tests this year - to date, the only year since his 2005 debut in which he has averaged below 40. He has played two of his best-ever Test innings, had comfortably his worst-ever series, suffered some of his most costly dismissals, been out for less than 5 on a personal-worst five occasions in a single year, reached double figures in a personal-best 12 consecutive innings, played two of his best-ever ODI innings, retired, unretired, was sacked, was recalled, has been implicated in the John F Kennedy hit, and revealed himself as the true author of Tolstoy's platinum-selling smash-hit novel War and Peace.

It has, in summary, been an interesting year for Pietersen. He has slalomed in his characteristically unfathomable way between peaks of peerless brilliance and troughs of painful cluelessness, like the non-existent 1950s German javelin thrower Gecko Clawhammer, who, with successive throws, smashed the world record and speared himself in the foot, then, despite being fastened immovably to the turf and surrounded by paramedics, broke the world record again, before skewering himself in the eye whilst shouting: "I want to be a kebab." He remains a glorious cocktail of contradictions, flawed and fascinating, a one-man dramatic masterpiece.

And finally, some stats:

● Abdur Rehman, Rangana Herath and Ojha have collectively taken 47 wickets at 17.5 in England's six overseas Tests this year, with six five-wicket hauls between them. In England's previous 57 Tests abroad, from 2002 to 2011, left-arm spinners had taken 94 wickets at an average of 49. However, crucially, in those ten winters, the only left-arm slow bowlers from the three major Asian nations that England faced were the left-hand fast batsmen Yuvraj and Sanath Jayasuriya (8 wickets between them, average 32).

● The Ahmedabad Test was only the fourth ever in which there have been seven or more different opening bowlers. It happened in the first-ever Test match, in 1876-77, then only twice more in the intervening 2056 games (including the India-England Kanpur Test of 1951-52, the only instance of the full house of eight different opening bowlers), before James Anderson, Broad, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ojha, Anderson again, and Swann took the shiny new conker at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

I am coming out to India for the second and third Tests. Thank you, ESPNcricinfo. I will be writing daily blogs and doing some World Cricket Podcasts. Whilst there, I will also be doing a few stand-up gigs. For anyone interested in coming to them, I will post details on my @ZaltzCricket twitter feed, and at thebuglepodcast.com.

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

  • David on November 22, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Tell us more about bells batting.

  • Philander of Pathos on November 21, 2012, 23:19 GMT

    You are the Pieterson of puns, the Mahmudullah of mirth, the Sehwag of satire, the Warne of whimsy, the Amla of abstraction, the Kumble of comedy....

  • Pakman on November 21, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    I love you espncricinfo.com, but why you no love me? Why you never post any of my comments. To quote the Pet Shop Boys: "What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?"

  • Percival on November 21, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    This is so hilarious Enjoyable read!!!

  • Krishnakumar on November 21, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Hillarious, enjoyed reading

  • Vishal Sipani on November 21, 2012, 2:33 GMT

    Z-man, that was a riot. I had to stop reading to breathe in-between my laughters. I don't think I have ever read a funnier article on cricket like the one above.

    Wow, just wow!

  • A J Prakash B on November 21, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    Hello Zaltzman,

    Are there any chances that you might do a stand-up gig in Bangalore(Bengaluru) during your upcoming visit to India? Will be much appreciated. Lots of Zaltz fans here!

    Regards.

  • Amit on November 21, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    By far one of the most entertaining piece of commentary in cricketing history....lmaorofl!!! Will go viral on FB in T-10 seconds...keep it Andy!!

  • Raul on November 20, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Amazing article! Zaltzman is very well read. Not a lot of people outside Bhubaneswar know that Ojha is from Bhubaneswar.

  • Geoff on November 20, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    When I get old and frail and open my own kebab shop, I will create a "Gecko Clawhammer" for the menu.

  • David on November 22, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Tell us more about bells batting.

  • Philander of Pathos on November 21, 2012, 23:19 GMT

    You are the Pieterson of puns, the Mahmudullah of mirth, the Sehwag of satire, the Warne of whimsy, the Amla of abstraction, the Kumble of comedy....

  • Pakman on November 21, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    I love you espncricinfo.com, but why you no love me? Why you never post any of my comments. To quote the Pet Shop Boys: "What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?"

  • Percival on November 21, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    This is so hilarious Enjoyable read!!!

  • Krishnakumar on November 21, 2012, 5:07 GMT

    Hillarious, enjoyed reading

  • Vishal Sipani on November 21, 2012, 2:33 GMT

    Z-man, that was a riot. I had to stop reading to breathe in-between my laughters. I don't think I have ever read a funnier article on cricket like the one above.

    Wow, just wow!

  • A J Prakash B on November 21, 2012, 1:33 GMT

    Hello Zaltzman,

    Are there any chances that you might do a stand-up gig in Bangalore(Bengaluru) during your upcoming visit to India? Will be much appreciated. Lots of Zaltz fans here!

    Regards.

  • Amit on November 21, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    By far one of the most entertaining piece of commentary in cricketing history....lmaorofl!!! Will go viral on FB in T-10 seconds...keep it Andy!!

  • Raul on November 20, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Amazing article! Zaltzman is very well read. Not a lot of people outside Bhubaneswar know that Ojha is from Bhubaneswar.

  • Geoff on November 20, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    When I get old and frail and open my own kebab shop, I will create a "Gecko Clawhammer" for the menu.

  • Arvind on November 20, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    Zaltzy is the Sultan of Similes - the English pace attack was as toothless as an 103-year-old chocolate addict after an ill-advised 12-round pummelling by one of the Klitschko brothers ... priceless !

  • Anil on November 20, 2012, 21:55 GMT

    In hindshight, and after having read so many of your articles, Andy, I should have been mindful of the unspelt statutory warning for the confectionery stallers: DO NOT READ AT WORK, OR WHEN YOUR BOSS CAN BE AROUND. First the invocation of Silvio Berlusconi, then the innovation of ljafiafbbw, then KP's intelligent wish to become a kebab earned me a thorough yelling and a pinching reprimand. But I am no better/worse than a canine tail: I shall keep reading you at work, even if I have to search for a new job next week!

  • Sid on November 20, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    Hahaha you crazy nut! Funny article, made chuckle.

  • Srikanth on November 20, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    Burst into laughter the moment i saw KP's pic and the flying start caption. Priceless Andy :P

  • Bullet on November 20, 2012, 20:31 GMT

    "Never get involved in a land war in Asia". Sage word from The Princess Bride.

    If England and New Zealand continue their current form trajectories, it should make for a compelling series down here in NZ in the new year.

  • kailash on November 20, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    Too good Article..Enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • bluefunk on November 20, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Awesome writing, Andy. You reach moments of sublimity here that can only be called Pietersen-esque.

  • Ramarao on November 20, 2012, 19:48 GMT

    Andy - hilarious as ever..

    ljafiafbbw?

    Up until the late 18th century, there was no middle stump....

    lol

  • Ram Rayaprolu on November 20, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    Excellent article, once again Andy. Thank you

  • Mike on November 20, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    Andy, one of your finest ever blogs. I was laughing from start to finish. Your description of KPs year was genius and you've got some absolute gems in here.

    "It is perhaps understandable that he looked as exasperated as Jimi Hendrix trying to play “Hey Joe” on an aubergine."

    Love it. Keep it up!

    PS You were hillarious in your Angel gig last Tuesday. Good luck with the gigs in India.

  • UmeshD on November 20, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Can't stop laughing. Thankx Mr Zaltzman for truely the best humor I've read in recent times. And welcome to India. will look forward to see your gigs in Mumbai if I can.

  • Zaheer Abbas on November 20, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    What can I say, an absolutely brilliant article. Immensely hilarious. Great writing.

  • P. Basu on November 20, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    Lovely posting. Thanks. I was just wondering what the future holds for cricket in general in this era of (pitch) polarization. Come to the sub-continent and we will serve you the crumbling pitches. If you, with your right feet nailed behind the crease, somehow manage to survive the spinning world, you may finally end up with asthma from the clouds of dust. Come to good old England folks and we are ready with pitches that can be hardly told from the rest of the ground. And, you are lucky if you go back to the sub-continent without a few broken ribs. Result? A boring ping-pong of "washes" (white - brown - white - brown - ...). Stupid.

  • Krishna on November 20, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Laughed my lungs out. What a classy write up? The nudge on umpiring and the para on KP brought spontaneous laughter. The subtle item in Left hand fast batsmen was a genius. Rock on Zalts..

  • mark on November 20, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    this is the best thing you've ever written

  • Toby on November 20, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    Artistic combination of ricockulous similies and insightful/irrelevant statistics. Love your stuff and looking forward to the blogs. Thank you ESPN.

  • Bishen Singh on November 20, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Too long ... good, but too long (yawn).

  • rmb on November 20, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    Brilliant, as expected!

  • Sujith on November 20, 2012, 16:26 GMT

    What are smoking Andy?

    I salute your brilliance! And warm welcome to India...

  • Dark Harlequin on November 20, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    Zaltzman you git; you almost got me fired! I have been trying to hold back my laughter so much that I have been crying! That passage about Pietersen was absolute gold!

  • Subash Balan on November 20, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    This s hyper-witty n super humorous..andy in fine knick of form ...

  • Srikanth on November 20, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    "Kevin Pietersen seemed to go through plans C to Z in the space of 24 balls."

    This one was amazing,, literally lolling.. But KP is too good a player, I am sure he will bounce back. Watching KP bat is the best thing right now in cricket, hez 100% entertainer.

  • Sai Prasad on November 20, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    "Who could carry on batting until Silvio Berlusconi becomes a monk"- That my friend was epic! " The free extra bad news is that Jonathan Trott’s audacious attempt to take a catch in his pioneering new leather-magnetic concave chest that enables him to roost on the ball like an egg without it actually touching the turf was hardly ruled out by the umpires" - Andrew Zaltzman at his unbiased best!

  • Ab sami on November 20, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Wohooo... KP falling asleep watching American independence was out of this world... Hilarious as usual.. U rock Andy... :D

  • Darshil Shastri on November 20, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    I really like reading and writing good articles.. And this just made it to my favourites list, based on it's sheer sarcasm... The monk comment was the best.. All in all, very apt and witty.. Enjoyed reading it..

  • Cliff on November 20, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    England's futility in getting off on the right foot in the subcontinent is a bit befuddling considering (1) they can no longer claim not being used to the food as the curry is the de facto national dish of England (2) Many neighborhoods in English towns are as Gujurati as Ahmedabad. It would do the England team well to acclimatize themselves before heading out to stop "smashing" Nando's and hitting the pubs and take on the spiciest vindaloos they can. That and spending some time facing some tweakers in the nets...

  • SAIKOLAPPAN SANKARALINGAM on November 20, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Thats the best of Andy Zaltzman I have read. "England hit the ground running. In the wrong direction" Broads ljafiafbbw appeal - real master piece satire lol. keep going andy

  • Lakshmi Narasimhan on November 20, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Welcome to India Mr.Zaltzman the "stats man"

  • Peter on November 20, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    Hilarity! Thanks.

  • Arjun on November 20, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    Andy, you are the man! I was cracking up every other sentence. The stuff about Trott's catch, Broad's appealing, and Pietersen's plans C to Z was hilarious!! You should do stand up gigs in the US... Doesn't have to be about cricket. I'll be sure to go if you held it in Raleigh, NC.

  • Shyam on November 20, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    "ljafiafbbw"...loved it.

  • Aditya on November 20, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Brilliant as ever .. like the toothless description :)

  • Vik on November 20, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    As brilliant as always..:)

  • Tamesh Singh on November 20, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    In the first innings England were clueless and careless. In the second innings they were cautious and careless.

  • sanjay kumar on November 20, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    Andy:

    Only you can construct an argument in which Berlusconi figures while discussing cricketing matters!

    And poor Keivin. His CV, as portrayed by you, has him dreaming up the beautiful scenarios of War and Peace.

    Hope you have taken Copyright permissions from the trustees of Leo and Silvio.

    Congrats on a mischievously genius piece, a la Andy.

  • david on November 20, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Ok, got that one out of the system... England have it in them to win here- crucially they must remember that they have the best spin bowler on either side in Swann. Pick Bairstow and Panesar and they have the stronger unit overall. The team shrink has to earn his corn now, and work to dispel the accumulation of negativity around the side and the results will follow.

  • Hitesh on November 20, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    ljafiafbbw (leg just a few inches away from being before wicket) - Awesome !!!

  • Anonymous on November 20, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    very nice blog.i was laughing all the way till i finished reading this article

  • Vikas on November 20, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    'Left-hand fast batsmen'...Hilarious. I Almost fell of my chair!

  • sathish on November 20, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    Genius.

  • Siva on November 20, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    "Cheteshwar Pujara, who looks as if he could carrying on batting until Silvio Berlusconi becomes a monk"

    LOL..Andy you beauty....

  • Lokesh on November 20, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Wonderfully written column with a good dash of sarcasm and humor. To be fair to KP, he's always been that kind of cricketer who's been in focus all the times. His pyrotechnics, when it clicks produces the knocks we've seen in Headingly and Galle. But when he fails he looks like an idiot. To his credit, both his dismissals were resulted by good balls and he didn't click the self destruct button in either of the innings. So let's give the man some more time and hope to see some good knocks before the series ends.

  • Narasimha on November 20, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    Wonderful piece by Andy.Never miss his articles on cricket.Keep going Andy. You sense of humour, your way of playing with wotds, your sense of timing is amazing.

    The icing on the cake is ' Cheteshwar Pujara, who looks as if he could carrying on batting until Silvio Berlusconi becomes a monk '.

    Welcome back to India.You fans look forward to more humorous write-ups from you.

  • AP S on November 20, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    “Keep doing the same thing, the laws of physics might have changed.”

    - Brilliant!!!

  • Jav on November 20, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    EPIC. Your writing style. INSANE. Your metaphors. BOTTOM LINE. Love it :)

  • DJ on November 20, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Awesomely hilarious description lol!! Well Pietersen could have tried more ways to stay stable and understand the wicket before attempting his shots. He is a much better player and also has lots of recent experiences in the subcontinent under his belt

  • Sathish T on November 20, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Stuart Broad appealing for that ljafiafbbw was ROTFL stuff..Hail Andy

  • Pakman on November 20, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    ljafiafbbw... belly-achingly laughter inducing! We had quite a few of those appeals from both sides.

    'Amla-ing', great verbalization!

    Berlusconi? or Sarkozy? :~D

    Mesmerically? Mesmerisingly? :~>

  • Ram Venkat on November 20, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Lots of fun reading this! How did I miss this guy all along? Woe unto players and teams performing badly--look out for Zaltzman!

  • Nitin on November 20, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    Andy,

    As a writer, I must say that you are a maestro with words. This paragraph is vintage humour at its best: In mitigation, Pietersen was unlucky in the first innings. Very unlucky. Up until the late 18th century, there was no middle stump....

    These 2 lines are masterpieces that appeal to the writer in me: At Headingley and Galle, he played shots other players would not even have dreamed of playing. In Ahmedabad he played shots other players would not even have dreamed of playing.

    Kudos!

  • Nasser Ali Khan on November 20, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    Andy's articles are very worth reading given the depth and sharpness of his analysis in which he tends to out do the other excellent writers of Cricinfo. But I read his articles primarily for the hearty laughs I get. "ljafiafbbw" was simply fantastic - Andy at his best!

  • pawan kumar on November 20, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    a good one :)

  • kw1k on November 20, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Ohh Andy, you are too good. :D

  • rajeeev on November 20, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    Brilliant piece,loved reading it.

  • Kunal Talgeri on November 20, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    While coming to India, don't forget to bring WG Grace. :-)

  • Vikram on November 20, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Wonderfullllllllllll article. Gr8 sense of humour combined with logics.. Superbbbb..

  • Diezel Glax on November 20, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    hahahaha... awesome read... English Satire at its best... Even if India loses from here would luv to read more here... am sure Mr Zaltz will b fun to read

  • O-bomb on November 20, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    Loved the KP was unlucky paragraph. Great stat at the end too. Looking forward to your daily blogs from India.

  • Qweqwe on November 20, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    At Headingley and Galle, he played shots other players would not even have dreamed of playing. In Ahmedabad he played shots other players would not even have dreamed of playing.

    Haha...that was something

  • Venkat on November 20, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Andy, you are just unbelievably hillarious "KP demonstrates his new technique for getting off to a flying start"

  • Santhosh Gopal on November 20, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Excellent blog, had a good laugh. Great way with words. I wish I could write as well.

  • Srinivas M S on November 20, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Welcome to India, Andy...should be fun reading your daily blogs on the Tests. Will look forwrad to them. Do you think England can avoid a 4-0 drubbing? Think India actually have the bowlers to win 4 Tests for them against this England line up? I KNOW England don't have the bowling to dismiss this Indian line-up twice in Indian conditions :)

  • maneesh on November 20, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    LOL Keep doing the same thing, the laws of physics might have changed

  • Vinay on November 20, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    This was such a glorious read. Thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Kailash Mathur on November 20, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Very well written and with less statistics too. So very good. It is interessting that Yadav was bowling faster than the English quickies. Any comment on that?

  • ASingh on November 20, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Great article Andy! I loved the use of creative and funny analogies. My best one was "....who looks as if he could carrying on batting until Silvio Berlusconi becomes a monk".

  • Jerry on November 20, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Possibly your best work yet. In mitigation, Pietersen was unlucky in the first innings. Very unlucky. Up until the late 18th century, there was no middle stump, and the ball that dismissed him would have passed harmlessly through to the wicketkeeper. Tears of laughter!

  • Sree on November 20, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    The usual zany stuff that makes reading your articles such a pleasure. You have summed up Pietersen's year brilliantly.With so much happening in his life, had not realised that it all happened this year itself! Great to know you will be in India to dish up more of your cricket cocktails.

  • Sudarshan on November 20, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    Saving grace for England: There will be no mutiny on THIS HMS Bounty with OUR Captain Cook at the helm. The ship will sink peacefuly in the Indian Ocean with all hands aboard. The Captain AND the cook will sound the last post. Amen. RIP

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  • Sudarshan on November 20, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    Saving grace for England: There will be no mutiny on THIS HMS Bounty with OUR Captain Cook at the helm. The ship will sink peacefuly in the Indian Ocean with all hands aboard. The Captain AND the cook will sound the last post. Amen. RIP

  • Sree on November 20, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    The usual zany stuff that makes reading your articles such a pleasure. You have summed up Pietersen's year brilliantly.With so much happening in his life, had not realised that it all happened this year itself! Great to know you will be in India to dish up more of your cricket cocktails.

  • Jerry on November 20, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Possibly your best work yet. In mitigation, Pietersen was unlucky in the first innings. Very unlucky. Up until the late 18th century, there was no middle stump, and the ball that dismissed him would have passed harmlessly through to the wicketkeeper. Tears of laughter!

  • ASingh on November 20, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Great article Andy! I loved the use of creative and funny analogies. My best one was "....who looks as if he could carrying on batting until Silvio Berlusconi becomes a monk".

  • Kailash Mathur on November 20, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Very well written and with less statistics too. So very good. It is interessting that Yadav was bowling faster than the English quickies. Any comment on that?

  • Vinay on November 20, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    This was such a glorious read. Thoroughly enjoyed.

  • maneesh on November 20, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    LOL Keep doing the same thing, the laws of physics might have changed

  • Srinivas M S on November 20, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Welcome to India, Andy...should be fun reading your daily blogs on the Tests. Will look forwrad to them. Do you think England can avoid a 4-0 drubbing? Think India actually have the bowlers to win 4 Tests for them against this England line up? I KNOW England don't have the bowling to dismiss this Indian line-up twice in Indian conditions :)

  • Santhosh Gopal on November 20, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Excellent blog, had a good laugh. Great way with words. I wish I could write as well.

  • Venkat on November 20, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Andy, you are just unbelievably hillarious "KP demonstrates his new technique for getting off to a flying start"