March 25, 2013

An apology about New Zealand-England coverage

Alan Tyers
Alastair Cook is hard at work during training, Dunedin, March 4, 2013
Cook: master strategist / ridiculous charlatan  © Getty Images
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Along with other commentators, we may have mistakenly given the impression that the England cricket team was among the very best in the world and merely had to turn up in New Zealand in order to secure a 3-0 series victory. Although this was not our intention, we now accept that articles such as "Why England's Enforcers Will Crush Kiwi Makeweights", "Two-Tier Test Cricket: Should Sorry New Zealand Be Relegated to Women's Cricket Division Two?" and "Shambolic Sheep Fanciers Will Bend the Knee to Cook's Heroes" may have suggested that the Test series was a forgone conclusion. This was not our intention, nor did we intend any disrespect to our New Zealand opponents, who we now accept are not "lucky just to be on the same field as the likes of Broady and Ian Bell".

Subsequently, features including "Why Split Coaching is Management Masterclass", "Joe Root Will Break Every One of Tendulkar's Records" and "Steven Finn: the Most Dangerous Man Alive" have been lightly re-edited to reflect recent developments. Click in the usual places to read "Andy Flower's Spineless Desertion Has Plunged Team Into Crisis", "Joe Root Should Never Be Allowed On Cricket Pitch Again" and "Steve Finn: the Most Hopeless Man Alive".

There was a slight misprint in a special pull-out booklet given away free with a recent edition. For "Alastair Cook: England's Greatest Ever Captain?" please read "Alastair Cook Must Resign Now".

With 11 wickets falling on day two and 11 wickets falling on day three of the Auckland Test, it must now be conceded that articles such as "Cowardly Kiwi Bottle Merchants Prepare Dead Pitch in Craven Attempt to Weasel Out With a Draw" might have been premature. This column has now been corrected to read "England's Pathetic Bowlers Don't Even Know How to Hold the Ball Properly Let Alone Bowl It", which we feel better reflects the balance of play. It now seems unlikely, as we had previously claimed, that "you could bowl at England's batsmen for a year on this pitch without taking a wicket" when in fact the correct interval between wickets would appear to be "about 20 balls or so".

However, we do stand fully behind our assessment that Australia are, as had been previously claimed, "absolutely toilet".

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Posted by vsssarma on (March 27, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

Over the last 3 years, India has been struggling in test cricket. Emergence of new players Jadeja, Pujara, Vijay, Kumar has lifted its performance against the visiting Aussies. This series has drawn curtains on careers of Sachin, Sehwag, Bhajji and Ishant.

My ratings of teams in the last 3 years differs from the official list as I look at strengths of teams whereas the official version looks at win-loss situation.

My team ratings are: SAF 1000 ENG 863 AUS 679 PAK 636 WIN 583 IND 568 SRL 443 NZL 342 ZIM 223 BAN 0.

Posted by Tigg on (March 26, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

@Arnab

England played an inexperienced Indian side? So Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Ashwin, Bhaji, Sharma (x2) and Ohja are all newcomers to international cricket?

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

Just don't tell that to the Barmy Army.

Posted by blink182alex on (March 25, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

@desiboy454, Yes Indian wickets do spin and there is nothing wrong with that in my opinion. But as for places like Australia, our wickets are not just for the seamers, our wickets are sporting because there is something in it for every type of player. Good batsmen will score runs whilst seam and spin bowlers can thrive if they are good enough. It's just when oppo spinners come to Aus they struggle just as much as our spinners do when they go to India.

Posted by desiboy454 on (March 25, 2013, 21:18 GMT)

@Pras_Punter... Are you expecting a Perth, Durban or Oval in India??? cuz it confuses me, when places like Australia, England, SA have wickets which barely offer anything to the spinners and are made for fast bowlers are called sporting wickets, even when games end in 3 days.. its said to be an amazing test pitch. When did you see SL produce a seaming pitch, except the new ground at Pallekle is good for seam.

People like you need to understand wickets in Asia will SPIN. We struggle with seaming wickets because our seamers are not as good.. others struggle with spinning wickets because their seamers are not good.

Of the 4 tests against Australia. 2 ended on day 5, 1 on day 4, 1 on day 3. I am sure series in AUS, ENG, SA dont always go to 5 days.. some do end in 3.

Please turn Perth, Durban and Oval into the Kotla pitch. and we will make perth

So i am sorry, I am not trying to be a jerk, but I dont know why its so hard for people to understand, that in India pitches spin.

Posted by PrasPunter on (March 25, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

@kluvsindia - add this to your list : india - "we will win only if we play on doctored wickets . No we won't use DRS. It exposes our batsmen."

Posted by C.P.B. on (March 25, 2013, 20:28 GMT)

Unoriginal. Private Eye did exactly the same thing with David Gower years ago.

Posted by ygkd on (March 25, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

Now if only the Australian media were so forth-coming! Sentences like "Phil Hughes will ramp up Australia's batting" could be replaced by "Phil Hughes will Ramprakash* up Australia's batting" and "Dave Warner is a wonder at the top of the order" could be replaced by "Dave Warner is a one-hit wonder at the top of the order". However, given what has been said about Australia in the last few years, mostly by Australians I might add, such a road-to-Damascus-like event could be indeed be life-changing. So much would need re-writing that journalists would have no time for journalism. Actually, come to think of it, when it comes to Australian cricket, that's pretty much how it is already. Maybe it wouldn't make any difference then, if "Clarke is the best Australian captain ever" was re-written to "Clarke is the best Australian captain in 2013". Sorry, Watto. (* For those unfamiliar with the term, doing a Ramprakash is making tons at FC level and failing in Tests, time after time). Sorry Mark.

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (March 25, 2013, 19:23 GMT)

Excellent article. No doubt Sky will still market the forthcoming Ashes as a battle of gladiators for the Golden Fleece (very apt considering ticket prices) ! Who'd bet on anyone beating the South Africans now (apart from a few South Africans)?

Posted by 22many on (March 25, 2013, 18:47 GMT)

why would you expect to rock up to NZ with three different teams at different times, play three different games and expect wipe the floor.....Your test team including OBrian, should have been here playing the 50 over game....how can you expect guys arriving in NZ, have ten days in QT, play a NZ second eleven (some of the team were so confident they went night clubing during the game)....if you want three different teams, play your test matches first.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Tyers
Alan Tyers writes about sport for the Daily Telegraph and others. He is the author of six books published by Bloomsbury, all of them with pictures by the brilliant illustrator Beach. The most recent is Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects. Alan is one of many weak links in the world's worst cricket team, the Twenty Minuters.

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