Anorak News | Heads & Tails

Heads & Tails

by | 7th, January 2005

‘ENGLAND duly lost the Third Test to South Africa yesterday, their first defeat in 14 months and the first such experience for two of their players.

Looking down and out

There was never much chance of England saving the game after the top order had fallen to a combination of poor luck, poor judgement and Shaun Pollock on Wednesday.

But what little hope there was vanished with the dismissal of Graham Thorpe to the new ball and it was only a gutsy effort from the tail-enders (with Steve Harmison top-scoring with an entertaining 42) that prolonged the innings to mid-afternoon.

While the papers line up to criticise England, Michael Vaughan is right to point out that a single defeat doesn’t make this a poor side.

As the Indy points out, Vaughan’s inability correctly to call the fall of a coin has been a massive factor.

The loss of the toss in this match was especially crucial, giving South Africa’s bowlers four days rest to England’s two.

But it wasn’t really the bowlers who lost this match (albeit Steve Harmison is nowhere near the same level at which he was operating last year).

It was a combination of brilliant batting from Jacques Kallis and the correspondingly poor batting from the England top order.

The Indy puts that down to a combination of complacency and lack of preparation.

Certainly, application seems to a problem – in Cape Town, batsmen reached double figures in 16 of the 22 visits to the crease but no-one went on to make 50.

All of which is put into perspective by the picture on the front of the Telegraph’s sports pages, which shows what until just over a week ago was the Galle cricket ground in Sri Lanka.

It’s worth reminding ourselves at times like that that cricket is just a game.

And it is worth reminding people like Robbie Savage that there are people a lot worse off than him.

That’s what Birmingham City chairman David Sullivan does in this morning’s papers, blasting his want-away midfielder a moaner and vowing that the club will not give in to his transfer demands.

Sullivan says Savage’s reason for wanting to move to Blackburn had everything to do with money and little to do with wanting to closer to his sick parents.

“I find his attitude sickening and depressing,” he says.

“He signed a new four-year contract and then, when he was offered more money by a rival club, thought he could ignore it and walk away on the cheap.

“We all have problems in life that we have to overcome.”

And some much bigger than others…’

Posted: 7th, January 2005 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink