Tag Archives: ashes

The Drama of a Batting Collapse

Is there anything better to watch? Alex Massie captures the sentiment:

All sports are on good terms with humiliation, of course, but there’s an extra-special comic quality to cricketing collapses that makes them much more galling, yet engrossing, than calamitous mishaps in rugby or football or other sports. It’s the sense one gets of a virus being passed from one batsman to his successor who proves equally susceptible.

While definitely mysterious, the batting collapse is also a sure sign of a team’s weakness and lack of confidence. You can’t really imagine Australia suffering the same fate, and until recently, you would have expected it of India (see “World Cup, 1996, semi-final,” or “Fourth innings, Fifth day, Any Test”). Continue reading

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The Best Of The Lot: So Long, Vaughan

In India, they say that the two most demanding (and most powerful) jobs belong to the Prime Minister and the captain of the cricket team. I don’t think it’s the same in England (not least because football rules the roost there), but Michael Vaughan’s resignation is nevertheless a huge (and kind of shattering) event.

Andrew Miller gives Vaughan the best send-off I’ve read here, and I’ve included a video of his announcement below. Continue reading

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Did Flintoff Just Admit To Cheating?

I’ve long had a deep affection for Andrew Flintoff, who takes turns being a romantic Australia-slayer and an affectionately flawed drunkard. For all his epic feats, he still resonates as a human figure, struggling to break from the pack. He took years to actually pull away and dominate batting line-ups, and since the Ashes, when he finally did, his personality’s complex strands — the fragility of his physical capabilities; his drinking habits; his immeasurable raw talent — have twisted even more. Like I said, it’s fairly compelling stuff.

His free-ranging interview about his recuperation, then, makes for a gripping read, especially when Flintoff admits, I think, to chucking, so as to compensate for that devilish ankle:

“Also in my thinking was the possibility that I just might not get another chance to take part in this kind of tournament again. In the event I was pretty much bowling on one leg, relying on my shoulder and maybe even a bent arm at times and the realisation grew in me that, if this was as good as it was going to get, it wasn’t enough.”

A bent arm? Is it wrong that I feel even more defensive about Flintoff than before? 

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