BBC BLOGS - Test Match Special

Archives for August 2008

England exploit SA failings

Jonathan Agnew | 10:18 UK time, Saturday, 30 August 2008

It has been a very long time since I have seen an England one-day team play with this current level of confidence.

There have been moments of short-lived success scattered through the past couple of decades, but generally England's record has been thoroughly disappointing.

Am I the only one who now feels that we just might be on the threshold of enjoying something really special?

Read the rest of this entry

Can sorry South Africa fight back?

Post categories:

Jonathan Agnew | 07:50 UK time, Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Graeme Smith faces a colossal challenge to rescue South Africa's tour which, three weeks ago, appeared to rather overdo the celebration of its success in the Test series.

There was even talk of them going home for a week.

Little wonder, then that at Trent Bridge his players seemed aloof and disinterested - certainly the batsmen did not appear to have any stomach for a fight - and they were thoroughly deserving of their 10-wicket humiliation...

Read the rest of this entry

Pietersen has the midas touch - for now

Jonathan Agnew | 11:03 UK time, Saturday, 23 August 2008

Kevin Pietersen must be thinking that being captain of England is the easiest job in the world.

His batting is flourishing with the extra responsibility - just the 190 runs from two innings - and every plan he hatches in the field is paying off.

It won't last forever of course, as sport isn't like that but bearing in mind what an inexperienced captain he is, he is indeed fortunate that everything is falling into place so easily in his difficult early matches.

You make your own luck, of course...

Read the rest of this entry

Getting ready for the Twenty20 party

Paul Grunill Paul Grunill | 19:11 UK time, Friday, 22 August 2008

Men, according to the American writer John Gray, are from Mars and Women are from Venus, but next year they will be inhabiting the same cricketing planet closer than ever before when the ICC World Twenty20 takes place in England.

Including both sexes in the competition is an interesting move by the game's world governing body and one which, if it succeeds, should certainly raise the profile of the women's game.

But with crowds used to seeing six-hitting specialists like Chris Gayle, Andrew Symonds, Kevin Pietersen, Yuvraj Singh and Jacob Oram send balls into orbit, just what will female cricketers bring to the Twenty20 party?

To answer that question, I asked one of the best players in the women's game, England captain Charlotte Edwards.

Read the rest of this entry

Confidence and consistency is key for England

Jonathan Agnew | 06:36 UK time, Thursday, 21 August 2008

After the disappointing Test series and the Twenty20 wash-out, England head into a five match one-day series against South Africa, starting at Headingley on Friday.

It is less than 12 months ago that England embarked on a World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa with a squad supplemented by one-day specialists like Darren Maddy, Chris Schofield and Jeremy Snape.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior damaged a finger in the course of the tournament and was then replaced by Phil Mustard who was given an extended run behind the stumps before giving way to Tim Ambrose

All of that in less than a year so no wonder England's one day form has been so erratic...

Read the rest of this entry

TMS changes explained

Adam Mountford | 15:21 UK time, Wednesday, 20 August 2008

There has been a fair amount of comment since the news was announced that Mike Selvey was not going to be part of the Test Match Special team and I thought it was a good opportunity to explain the thinking behind this decision.

Firstly I would again like to thank Mike for his outstanding contribution to the programme. The decision was not an easy one, but we felt that the time was right to introduce some more recent Test cricketers into the commentary mix.

Over the 51 years of the programme TMS has always evolved and occasionally a new voice has arrived. It is important for the commentary team to have a blend of experiences, backgrounds and voices.

The mix is the crucial part of the success of the programme and we felt that a couple of more current names would bring listeners a different viewpoint.

Read the rest of this entry

Ask Bearders #176

Bill Frindall | 10:12 UK time, Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Welcome to Ask Bearders, where Test Match Special statistician Bill "The Bearded Wonder" Frindall answers your questions on all things cricket.

Below are Bill's responses to some of your questions posed at the end of his last column and if you have a question for Bill, leave it at the end of this blog entry. Please do include your country of residence - Bill loves to hear where all his correspondents are posting from.

Bill isn't able to answer all of your questions, however. BBC Sport staff will choose a selection of them and send them to Bearders for him to answer.

Read the rest of this entry

Kent pay price for indisciplined batting

Blog Editor | 19:45 UK time, Saturday, 16 August 2008

By Simon Mann at Lord's

Grant Flower, the oldest man on the pitch, transformed a tense final into a comfortable canter for a buoyant Essex team as Kent paid for their careless batting.

Flower was not the obvious match-winner coming into the game but he has played more one-day internationals than anyone on either side and he used that experience to wrestle the match away from Kent.

Read the rest of this entry

Don't panic! Lots more cricket to come...

Adam Mountford | 18:58 UK time, Wednesday, 13 August 2008

It seems rather strange that we have now finished this year's Test summer as early as the second week in August.

But don't worry, we have plenty more cricket coverage to keep you entertained over the next few weeks.

This Saturday we will bring you commentary on the final of the Friends Provident Trophy from Lord's. It promises to be an exciting match between two of the in-form sides this season in Kent and Essex.

Read the rest of this entry

Ask Bearders #175

Post categories:

Bill Frindall | 10:09 UK time, Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Welcome to Ask Bearders, where Test Match Special statistician Bill "The Bearded Wonder" Frindall answers your questions on all things cricket.

Below are Bill's responses to some of your questions posed at the end of his last column and if you have a question for Bill, leave it at the end of this blog entry. Please do include your country of residence - Bill loves to hear where all his correspondents are posting from.

Bill isn't able to answer all of your questions, however. BBC Sport staff will choose a selection of them and send them to Bearders for him to answer.

Read the rest of this entry

England future brighter with Harmison back

Jonathan Agnew | 15:20 UK time, Monday, 11 August 2008

England duly achieved their victory with only an occasional hiccup or two, lifting morale in a dressing room that was in real need of a boost.

As we all expected, South Africa have proved a much greater challenge than New Zealand and in order to gauge where England stand in the scheme of things, we should all pay close attention to the forthcoming series between Australia and South Africa.

England remain frustratingly unpredictable and inconsistent. Bear in mind that they should have lost the Manchester Test to New Zealand - and yet they could have forced an overwhelming victory over South Africa at Lord's.

Read the rest of this entry

Graham Gooch's England ratings

Graham Gooch | 14:51 UK time, Monday, 11 August 2008

These are my ratings for the England players who were involved in the Test series against South Africa.

Read the rest of this entry

England struggle to turn the screw

Jonathan Agnew | 18:01 UK time, Sunday, 10 August 2008

Although recent experience suggests that their batsmen might make hard work of it, England appear to be on course for their consolation victory.

However, it sums up the level of cricket that England have been playing for too long now that South Africa were able to recover from a situation that at lunch looked hopeless.

It was also the case under Michael Vaughan's leadership that England, in my opinion, are far too quick to give established batsmen a single when a lower-order batsman is also at the crease.

Read the rest of this entry

Ainsley, master of the bacon buttie

Adam Mountford Adam Mountford | 17:45 UK time, Saturday, 9 August 2008

It's been a really frustrating day at The Oval with less than 18 overs of play due to the poor weather on Saturday.

However, a visit from celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott helped to keep us entertained with a very enjoyable "View from the Boundary". The Ready Steady Cook presenter is a huge cricket fan and told us how he is related to former West Indies wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon.

Although Ainsley was modest about his own cricketing achievements, Graham Gooch joined us to reveal that he had faced the bowling of Harriott in a charity match and was impressed with his speed.

Read the rest of this entry

Pietersen hides cracks in England batting

Jonathan Agnew | 18:57 UK time, Friday, 8 August 2008

After just two days as England's Test captain, things couldn't be going any better for Kevin Pietersen.

In becoming only the fourth English captain to score a century in his first Test in charge, he answered a number of questions about his ability to bat with his usual freedom.

And although, understandably, he showed some nerves while in the 90s - not usually a problem for KP - he was rewarded with a wonderfully emotional reception from the Oval crowd.

Read the rest of this entry

Harmison and Anderson shine for KP

Jonathan Agnew | 18:46 UK time, Thursday, 7 August 2008

Kevin Pietersen could not have asked for a better response from his bowlers in his first day in the field. They all responded in conditions that favoured swing bowlers, but on a surface that should have yielded more than 194 runs.

After a rather scruffy morning session which was curtailed by a shower of rain, Pietersen was able to maintain attacking fields during the afternoon in which James Anderson and Steve Harmison took five wickets between them. Even Monty Panesar did precisely what Pietersen asked of him - twice!

Bringing the spinner on for the last over before tea - as many captains do - Monty had the obdurate AB de Villiers lbw with his third ball. And then, when the last pair had hung around long enough to be thoroughly annoying, Pietersen turned to his spinner again, and he bowled Makhaya Ntini with his fifth ball.

Read the rest of this entry

Bold Pietersen puts faith in Flintoff and Harmison

Jonathan Agnew | 14:00 UK time, Wednesday, 6 August 2008

In announcing this 11 for The Oval - and its batting order in particular - Kevin Pietersen has already made his own statement.

Only two matches ago at Headingley, Michael Vaughan said Andrew Flintoff's future lay in batting at number seven - regardless of the balance of the team.

Now Pietersen has very obviously promoted his all-rounder, with the ringing endorsement that he has great faith in him.

Read the rest of this entry

Pietersen will bring a new style of leadership

Jonathan Agnew | 08:42 UK time, Tuesday, 5 August 2008

For all the debate about the appointment of Kevin Pietersen as England captain, we can be sure of one thing: that his outgoing manner and style of leadership will be very different from the more reserved and thoughtful Michael Vaughan.

That is no bad thing at all - in fact, merely a change of style can have an immediate positive effect which the team certainly needs, and the other players will certainly rally round in support.

Let's face it, it is hardly in their interests not to be seen to be backing the new captain who will have his own ideas, and a honeymoon period in which to make changes...

Read the rest of this entry

Pietersen revels in his coronation

Oliver Brett | 16:26 UK time, Monday, 4 August 2008

Bang on time, he stepped out of the lifts at the Lord's media centre, flashed his Colgate smile and even rolled his eyes as the cameras clicked away manically. If he blinked once when the flashes went off, we never saw it.

National selector Geoff Miller, in his flat Derbyshire vowels, revealed the news we already knew, and nobody listened - least of all Kevin Pietersen himself.

The photographers were camped in a little huddle down to his left and he faced them first, raised his eyebrows, and - remarkably - mouthed the words "Cheers, mate" to one.

Premier League football clubs do a lot of "unveiling" of their new players in August. This, on the other hand, almost had the air of a coronation about it.

Read the rest of this entry

Lack of runs costs emotional Vaughan

Jonathan Agnew | 16:30 UK time, Sunday, 3 August 2008

Of all the resignation press conferences I have attended, Michael Vaughan's was easily the most emotional. Visibly moved throughout, he choked when thanking his family for the support he has received from them during his five years as England's captain. Towards the end, we were all willing him through it.

Not one journalist in the room had expected to be there today. The managing director of England Cricket, Hugh Morris, spoke of his surprise at Vaughan's decision although Vaughan revealed that he had been considering it since England's victory in Napier in March.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

It is a time-consuming and pressurised job, but it was the lack of runs that did for Vaughan in the end. Fiercely proud and professional, he simply could not stand the constant debate over the value of his place in the team any longer.

Read the rest of this entry

Outstanding Smith deserves his success

Jonathan Agnew | 20:15 UK time, Saturday, 2 August 2008

Saturday's play at Edgbaston featured one of the finest examples of a captain leading from the front that you will see in Test cricket.

To score an unbeaten 154 batting last on this wearing surface was a superb achievement - not least because Graeme Smith was close to withdrawing from the Test with a bad back!

Curiously, he survived what was only a polite enquiry on 85 for caught behind off Monty Panesar which replays showed had flicked his glove. It was not an easy decision for Umpire Aleem Dar because the glove and pad were so close together and the fact that Panesar did not give one of his pogo stick appeals probably swayed his mind.

Read the rest of this entry

Pietersen fails to complete rescue operation

Jonathan Agnew | 19:30 UK time, Friday, 1 August 2008

Paul Collingwood gave us all a shining example of what makes him one of the most popular members of the England dressing-room when, in what might have been his last test innings, he produced a superb, fighting hundred to keep England in the hunt.

Rather than hide in his shell as in the first innings, he batted purposefully and positively. Boundaries flowed, and his footwork started to return after England faced the real possibility of losing the match today.

Michael Vaughan produced a fluent failure when he drove a low catch to mid off for 17. He will not be dropped, of that I am certain, not least because there is no one to take over especially now that Kevin Pietersen must surely have ruled himself out of the reckoning today.

Read the rest of this entry

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.