England v New Zealand: days four and five at Lord’s

This was England’s most dominant day’s test cricket since the 2011 India series. For resolve, fluency, ambition and power, it was a flashback to an England near the peak of their powers. I’m struggling to remember the last time England turned a losing position into a winning one so emphatically, or won a day’s play by such a large margin.

So – well done, England. As the young Mr Grace used to say in Are You Being Served?, “you’ve all done very well!”.

There’s little I can add to Ben Stokes’s epic performance which didn’t speak for itself. Joe Root has long since become the wicket Australia will most value. And, yes, Alastair Cook batted impressively and effectively.

I was offline most of yesterday, but my antennae vaguely picked up on what must have been a furious if gleeful ‘I told you so’ from some quarters of the crickosphere.

The most sensible comment I’ve read on Cook’s innings came from the regular TFT commenter THA, who said on Facebook:

I’m pleased he’s scored runs – not because of any good-and-evil battle with KP, but because it’s his job. He hasn’t deserved his place in the side for sometime as a batsman and he’s behaved like an entitled ***** whilst being comfortably the world’s most incompetent international captain, but he’s played a genuinely decent innings for the first time in at least 18 months and I’m pleased. Why people feel the need to react by shouting ‘KP’ is beyond me though.

In all the turmoil of the last eighteen months the principle at stake was this: the England team should be picked on cricketing merit alone, not influenced by political or personal grudges. If Cook is scoring runs (as he is now), then he should be in the team, it’s as simple as that. But this principle should apply to everyone.

Yesterday Cook did his job, and after letting England carry him for two years, he owes them big-time. But his innings should be kept in proportion. This was not Jack Hobbs at the Oval in 1926, but a home century against New Zealand on a flat pitch against rusty bowling. Commend Cook for a professional performance, yes, but there is no excuse for mass genuflection and idolatry.

Cookites revere their hero’s achievements as if he were some plucky underdog battling the odds for a noble cause. They talk about him like he’s an amputee ex-serviceman running the London Marathon on prosthetic legs for charity. In truth, Cook has everything on his side. He has enjoyed more indulgence, support, and privilege, than any England cricketer in the modern age.

Cook appears to have turned a corner and genuinely regained his form. Some of you will feel pleased for him, and some of you will not. Personally, on an emotional level, and to use a Pietersenphobe phrase, Cook has burned too many bridges. It’s little things like this, from the ECB dossier.

Meeting between AF and KP in AF’s hotel room (at AF’s request following AF finding out that KP saying to AC, MP and others that AF shouldn’t be the coach any longer).

The Cook debate has usually revolved more around his captaincy than his batting, and today will be about the former. Will he time the declaration right? Can he devise tactics effective enough to prise out ten wickets in 75 overs? England’s batting achievements yesterday will count for rather less if they fail to win today, and it’s possible they can still lose. In my bones, though, I feel this will be England’s day.

Please add your comments and thoughts below, as the day progresses.

Update, 11.44

England now lead by 340 and are still going. What kind of lead does Cook want – 400?

Meanwhile the Telegraph are now reporting that Trevor Bayliss, not Jason Gillespie, will get the England coaching job:



  • You are coming across as very bitter and twisted. It’s been a great test. England are playing well. Just enjoy it.

    • “This was England’s most dominant day’s test cricket since the 2011 India series. For resolve, fluency, ambition and power, it was a flashback to an England near the peak of their powers. I’m struggling to remember the last time England turned a losing position into a winning one so emphatically, or won a day’s play by such a large margin. Well done, England. Ben Stokes’s epic performance [spoke] for itself. Alastair Cook batted impressively and effectively”.

      All felt pretty positive and upbeat to me.

    • I don’t know who you are as there is no name. A very very unfair comment and certainly does not describe Maxie, IMO. Maxie is neither bitter nor twisted. What a very horrible thing to say. Maxie speaks for me in his piece. Cook has certainly burned his bridges in my estimation and has indeed been carried for far too long. He has on too many occasions acted like a kid in the playground. He is not professional in the way acts and speaks and is totally out of his comfort zone when attempting to captain the side. He should be relieved of his captaincy and be allowed to bat only. Nothing bitter or twisted about it. The facts speak for themselves. It certainly comes to something when Blowers starts saying that Cook is not effective in setting the field.

  • Maxie, a fair and concise post about yesterday’s play. Can I just say that the comments on Twitter yesterday were grossly unfair to you and that you handled them with the flair that you usually do. I don’t really use Twitter, because I don’t know how to do it safely and therefore never comment.

    Both you and James do a great job on here and you complement each wonderfully, you passionate and hot blooded, James more evenly tempered, it makes a great combination. I sincerely hope some of the comments heaped on you don’t change that. I look forward to business as usual as, that seems to be the theme at today’s news.

    Congratulations to our young players yesterday, you can see where good leadership and ability are coming from in the future. Well done cook for getting the runs both England and you needed.

    • Oh you poor thing. Is it ‘flak’? Or just people telling you how it is. A bit like you with Cook, if you’d like a comparison. I can assure you that you get less than you give. Give it rest – try football – you’d fit in well, they really like talking balls.

      • Foghorn. Play the ball not the man. You are perfectly entitled to dispute Maxie’s views, but insulting the man himself has no place on this blog. You don’t know him, but I do. His views are genuine and come from the heart. He cares a lot about the England team. You obviously disagree with him, but there’s no need for name calling.

          • Foghorn Leghorn (above). The guy who is making personal comments about Maxie because he shares a different cricketing view. I have no idea what you’re taking about today Neil.

            • I’m not making personal comments about Maxie because I share a different cricketing view. I’m making personal comments about Maxie because of the deliberate use of the word ‘prick’ in reference to Cook. If you wish the comment board to be free of abuse then do not include it in your articles. If you make personal attacks by using insults against the likes of Cook then don’t moan about the exact same word being used in the comment board. And I’m afraid if you only want people to say nice things to you, then you need to stop being abusive – it’s simple.

              By the way, I don’t usually abuse people with different opinions to my own as strong debate is good for all concerned. However, you have overstepped the mark in many ways in this article and I think a dose of your own medicine will do you good.

              Incidentally, not everyone who comments on here is a guy.

              • For heaven sake. THA said Cook was acting like a prick. That’s totally different from coming on to a blog and directly saying to someone that they are a prick, and then telling them repeatedly (to their face) that their opinions aren’t worth a bean.

                As for the analogy, you have every right to be offended. So go on, be offended. Stamp your feet and pout. Be self righteous too if you want. What’s it going to achieve? Maybe it wasn’t the best analogy – it will annoy some but not others – but what’s done is done. So what. Move on.

        • James Morgan

          ‘You are perfectly entitled to dispute Maxie’s views, but insulting the man himself has no place on this blog.’

          You have just displayed how hypocritical you both are. Why was the word ‘prick’ quoted in the original article to describe Cook? If that is not ‘playing the man’ then what is? You did not have to use offensive terms towards the man (Cook) – but you deliberately chose to use it – and may I say in a very cowardly way. You are fantastically petty towards Cook and this nonsense about ‘playing the ball not the man’ comes across as one rule for you and another for Cook. If you can use the term ‘prick’ to describe him then don’t complain about it directed at you.

          Also, this stuff about amputees is just sick. What the hell is wrong with you. We are not ‘Cookites’, just England supporters who do not turn on our team. If you can not accept other people challenging you on the way you abuse and denigrate people in your articles, then maybe you should find another hobby.

          • Foghorn. As far as I’m aware Cook is not a regular reader or poster on this blog. If he was, and someone called him a prick, then the comment would be moderated. It was me who asked Maxie to edit your comment – in fact, I wanted to remove all of them as all I’ve heard from you is abuse unrelated to the cricket – but he insisted that your comments remained (in order to avoid being hypocritical). It’s not the swearing I object to, but the site decorum. Abusing people just because you disagree with them is something I’m trying to clamp down on.

            As for turning on the England team, neither Maxie and I have campaigned for England to lose. As far as I’m aware, you’ve never posted on this forum before. You suddenly turn up, shouting the odds, and calling one of the editors a prick. Why bother reading if it annoys you so much? It’s not very constructive. We run this blog for free and many people enjoy it. If you don’t like it, vote with your feet.

      • Why don’t you go away Foghorn. This is not your blog to exact your rubbish. This blog belongs to Maxie and James. Why don’t you go away and try football.

  • Really – can’t you just enjoy a great performance? So many comments on Cook that read as incredibly defensive. There may be context to this that I haven’t read on Twitter (as mentioned above) but in isolation it’s a bit sad to read this.

    Anyway – I will enjoy it. Think things are looking positive for England this summer.

  • ‘Genuflexion’ Maxie? That’s over egging the pudding a bit, don’t you think? As for ‘idolatry’ – talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    I didn’t see much of a gleeful ‘I told you so’ on Twitter yesterday. Just large numbers of people enjoying a great day’s cricket and pleased to see the success of Cook, Root and Stokes.

    Cook was applauded on his return to form and for ‘the captain’s innings’ that he played. Sure it has been a long time coming but it was a superb effort and wonderful to see.

    He batted all day and scored over 150 runs. He was bound to get attention along with the incredible, never to be forgotten innings by Ben Stokes.

    I don’t think many have any difficulty in separating Cook the batsman, from Cook the captain. Who could be so daft? I find the suggestion a tad disrespectful.

    Personally I was absolutely delighted to be able to watch a brilliant day’s play and to share in the excitement and joy of thousands of people. I felt sad for those who missed it.

    • “I don’t think many have any difficulty in separating Cook the batsman, from Cook the captain. Who could be so daft?”

      Actually, it’s been argued several times in the English media that once Cook gets runs it will end the scrutiny of his captaincy. George Dobell has just written an article saying that Cooks innings makes him a “leader” of men. (I don’t remember anyone saying Bell was a leader of men after he got a hundred in the West Indies.) So I would argue that many people are that “daft”. It was a great innings under difficult circumstances but as stated above, that’s his job.

      On a brighter note, if you listen carefully you can actually hear Warne pulling his hair out over Cook’s field placements. And if you consider how much Warne’s hair cost, that’s impressive

      • I think the point about Cook scoring is that it removes the calls for him to be dropped. There are many elements to captaincy. There are some, in an in form Cook. His dogged elder stability allows the others to play with freedom. He is obviously well liked and well supported by the team, but he is never going to make a good tactician in the field. It’s the most vital part of captaincy but I really can’t see an obvious replacement who would do better. Give Root space. He has great potential but best to leave him to enjoy his fancy free cricket for a little while longer. He is a supremely talented young scamp at the moment. Let him be.

        • How did we get on to Root?

          However, since you brought him up – there is talk that Cook may give up the captaincy after the Ashes series. If that is true, then the next captains first series will be an away series against Pakistan. I wouldn’t give that job to Root.

          • Strauss made Root vice captain because he thought it was time he took some responsibility! Obviously very much in line for the job.

          • Nor me. I think the reason why Root was made vice captain was to replace Cook if he failed in the tests. They didn’t want Bell so he was replaced. Cook is dispensable to the ECB now. Root is in the wings, captain in waiting, but put that mantle on him too early and it all may implode.

        • Sorry but I don’t get that at all. ‘ His dogged elder stability allows the others to play with freedom.’ He doesn’t have an “elder stability”. Others are playing with freedom despite Cook’s captaincy. I think you are being very unfair on Maxie.

  • Cook this, Cook that, blah blah blah. This negativity is getting as repetitive as the anti Pietersen nonsense at the other end of the spite spectrum… just enjoy your cricket man. Damn.

    At the start of this match, I genuinely felt like the ECB had worn me down with their idiocy and tainted my love for the team. But by lunch on the first day, I just couldn’t hold back my excitement. This is our game, and nobody is going to ruin it for me. Two wickets in two balls for Stokes, go on lads!!!

    • I had plenty of praise there for Cook! All I’m asking is that we keep it in proportion. Home test wins against New Zealand are not normally the benchmark of successful England captaincy.

      • Try keeping your childish hatred of Cook in proportion. Or better still just grow up.

        • ‘Cookites revere their hero’s achievements as if he were some plucky underdog battling the odds for a noble cause. They talk about him like he’s an amputee ex-serviceman running the London Marathon on prosthetic legs for charity.’
          Those words can only have been conceived by a very sick mind – as such, I cannot condemn you for typing them but I do suggest you seek help urgently.

          • Correct Pam Nash – very sick indeed.

            I’ve read plenty of opinions expressed about cricket before, but that one is just downright peculiar. I think TFT have got lost in the mists of hatred: quoting a reference to Cook which calls him a ‘prick’ is pretty low by any standards.

              • Pam Nash
                I was only anonymous because I forgot this site doesn’t retain details
                Cook and Pietersen are two of England’s highest run scorers. You clearly respect one and not the other. Maxie Allen appears to have the same opinion but in reverse. You make comments on here that suggest he is need of psychiatric treatment because he uses language about one of these players that you object to. You yourself have referred to the other player as a slug, an arse, a poisonous wart and a self obsessed twonk
                That tells me all I need to know about your standards

              • Well said Alan. Honestly, if you don’t like the blog then don’t read it. Maxie and I have never gone on to other blogs (if there are any that are supportive of the ECB) to deliberately start fights. It’s no better than trolling.

              • Sorry Pam. Your problem is that you actually know very little about this blog. We publish articles from different authors all the time. In fact, we’ve had about twenty different writers over the years. Just last week, we published a very pro-Cook article and I defended its legitimacy robustly in the comments section.

                I have no wish to make enemies with you, but please don’t drop in on this blog from time to time and start preaching. I imagine you’ve made all kinds of assumptions about me as a writer without actually reading much of my stuff. I bet you even think I love Kevin Pietersen as much as you love Alastair Cook. I’m afraid you’re way off the mark.

                We are 100% committed to being a broad church. We plead with those who disagree with us to keep posting, and not be put off if others disagree. Just ask Jenny and Hamish. Maxie insisted we allow Foghorn (and you) to have your say no matter how frustrating and misinformed I find your opinions. Your assertion that we only want comments that agree with us therefore couldn’t be further from the truth.

                We have never blocked a single person on twitter (to my knowledge) no matter how much they criticise us. This is what tolerance and diversity is about. I suggest you do the same rather than blocking people (ourselves included).

              • James
                I’ve been on Twitter for over 7 yrs – I’ll block who I want, when I want. If you don’t understand why, read the comments above from ‘alan’.
                If you don’t want comments that express a different opinion I suggest you take your own advice and make it an ‘Invite only’ blog.
                I’m done here, enjoy the mutual appreciation society.

              • We do want comments that express a different opinion! That’s the whole point Pam. What we don’t want is trolling, insults and no attempt to address the cricketing opinions expressed. Why not engage in a polite, intelligent, respectful way like other posters?

                We’ve had plenty of good debates over the years and I’ve made a lot of online friends with people who disagree with me. We’ve always come in peace. Your hostility mystifies me. I have never once dropped into the forums you inhabit to rubbish your views. I leave you to it.

                If you actually engaged with people who disagree with you, you might find we’re not the evil miscreants you think we are.

              • James Morgan
                ‘Why not engage in a polite, intelligent, respectful way like other posters’
                If you think ‘alan’ in any way matches your description, then your judgement is suspect.

              • This argument is getting silly. Alan has only said you have low standards (as well as pointing out the holes in your logic) which was a response to you coming on here and maligning the blog and its authors. What do you expect Pam? It was you who cast the first stone. Now please can we draw a line under this argument. You obviously don’t like us, so please leave us alone. I’ll even let you have the last word if you want to reply to this.

              • Pam – further to the above, we *do* welcome comments from all perspectives, including – and perhaps especially – from people who disagree with me, James, Tregaskis, or whoever’s written the post.

                There’s been some rough and tumble on this thread – and once or twice in the past – but l hope that both you and we can move on and mutually let bygones be bygones. Like anyone else, you will always be welcome here both as a reader and as a contributor to the discussions.

              • Pam Nash
                I’m afraid your reputation goes before you, rather like that of Piers Morgan . I don’t follow him either but I know he makes derogatory remarks about Cook. In the same way I know you make derogatory remarks about Pietersen. Specific examples are very quickly and easily found in both cases.

              • ‘Pam Nash’ Your comments about me merely confirm how low your standards are.By the way I’ve never discussed you with anyone. Why ever would I want to.

              • Pam Nash
                Yes let’s leave it. Oh incidentally, Alan is my name and you do not know me at all.

              • Simplyshirah
                l think she proved the point about her standards when she started getting abusive with me. She seems to think that anyone who doesn’t follow her on twitter must have a sad life! She can’t block me as I’m not on twitter which she appeared to find frustrating . I wouldn’t normally engage with her . I just didn’t want to let her rudeness to Maxie pass without pointing out the hypocrisy involved. I certainly managed to annoy her! She’s convinced that I’m someone else too which is rather baffling

            • Apparently the reference to Cook being a prick comes from Maxie’s brother on Facebook (THA). He hasn’t exactly searched far and wide for what he claims to be ‘the most sensible comment on Cook’s innings’

            • Right, then! A few responses.

              Foghorn – you make a very fair point about redacting the response but not the original, so I have now edited the quote (although in fairness I was quoting it as an interesting example of views I’ve encountered).

              On the marathon analogy, I stand by that, and Oreston articulates my thinking more acutely than I could myself. The analogy refers to the rhetoric and characterisation used by observers, not the individuals’ actual circumstances.

              Leg Slip said:

              “Surely you must expect to be called out or at least challenged on your biases and prejudices?”

              And yes, of course I do – that’s one important function of the comments board. James and I (and others) air our views, and then everyone airs theirs. After James and I had a little discussion we reinstated all the comments criticising me, and what I wrote, because as far as I’m concerned I’m fair game and you can say what you like.

              Was I too negative about Cook on a day which for most people was about joyous achievement? For a start, I included plenty of praise for both Cook and England, and also I wrote that post at the beginning of day four, before England won. It was by no means clear they would win. Soon after the match ended, I posted this, because the story had moved on significantly, and to reflect the prevailing mood in a different way.


              Blogs like The Full Toss only work if we say what we think. I will always write what I believe to be true and relevant, and so will you, in the comments. The status and mythology around Alastair Cook, and his conduct, have been among the central issues of English cricket for several years, which means he will remain a valid figure of scrutiny for some time to come, whatever happens. His successes or failures need, I believe, to be put into context.

              • I think Maxie’s analogy was spot on. It describes perfectly the praise bordering on veneration of Cook which we have seen for the last year or so, and it in no way insults or diminishes anybody associated with the images he used.
                It strikes me that those who dislike it probably aren’t capable of understanding nuance and balance in writing. Given many of the responses here, careful and metaphorical use of language may not be their forte,

        • If anyone is being childish here it is you Foghorn. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You come on here by kind invitation of two very expressive, honourable, people with great integrity. I for one am very grateful to them for allowing me a place to give vent to my frustrations. Maxie has been very open in his praise of Cook for his brilliant stand. Like him I will never ever feel the same about Cook.

      • Thanks for replying Maxie. Maybe we are coming at it from two different places then. To my mind, what you said really did not constitute an even-handed article, never mind one containing plenty of praise! There was one initial sentence that complimented his innings, followed by plenty of disparaging paragraphs that effectively undermined that achievement by focusing solely on past and present negatives. Can you honestly not see that? Fair enough if that is your personal opinion, I actually like the fact that these articles contain the individual’s viewpoints instead of bland, neutral humdrum. So surely you must expect to be called out or at least challenged on your biases and prejudices?

        But maybe we aren’t looking at it the same, it seemed like a lot of what you said was a reaction to a perceived love-in for Cook in the crickosphere, which I haven’t come across (I thought everyone was going mad over Stokes, quite rightly!), whereas in the context of this blog, I’d say the vast majority of articles and comments seem to highlight his flaws and downplay his successes.

        “A home century against New Zealand on a flat pitch against rusty bowling.”

        What is that if not damning with the faintest of praise! So even when he gets a hundred against a quality Test attack (going back to an article of James’), there has to be some kind of caveat?

        “Home test wins against New Zealand are not normally the benchmark of successful England captaincy.”

        I didn’t say that he was now Brearley! Honestly, I’m not a Cook fan, I’m not a KP fan, I’m not even a Stokes fan. I’m an England fan. And for England to win, I want whoever is representing us to do well, so they have my full support. Maybe I’m wrong, but it doesn’t always sound like you do? It seems wrong that this is even up for discussion during such a cracking game, especially as ALL of us were bemoaning having to talk politics instead of play.

        Regardless of this, thanks again for supplying such an excellent forum for debate, it really is a broad church! And you guys are right, personal abuse has no place in such conversations. When words like that are used to describe Cook and yourself, it all just gets a little bit childish…

  • “This is our game and nobody is going to ruin it for me”.
    Bravo, Leg Slip. Spot on.

    • Cheers Kev! What an absolute corker of a match! Hope you were able to follow it in Aus (?) Had almost forgotten how good this game could be, feels like a relief to just enjoy it again. Very much reminded me of the second May Test against Sri Lanka last year… a substantial first innings deficit overturned by the winning team, partly due to a second innings 160 from the captain and a dramatic last day bowling performance. Much better to be on the other side of it this time!

  • I don’t know who Maxie Allen is, but reading this – I’d say they come across as a bit of a ‘*****’. Obviously, I don’t mean that as a personal insult: showing any sense of obsessive and irrational hatred of the aforementioned person, but as simply the most sensible comment, along the same lines as regular TFT commenter THA on Alastair Cook. Let’s face it Maxie you could have just had the balls to call him a ‘*****’ yourself instead of hiding behind the pretentions that this is somehow an article about cricket. Anyone reading it can tell that it’s the usual immature sniping of a bitter and irrational failed amateur. Like I said, nothing personal you understand.

    • James/Maxie

      Why have you redacted the word ‘prick’ in my reply but not in the original article when it was used in reference to Cook? Surely you don’t have different rules for some and not others?

  • To be frank – much to my surprise after a lifetime supporting England – I am hoping NZ can force a draw. I want to see Cook and Strauss out of the team and “every little helps”.

  • What’s happened in the last 24 hours? TFT’s traditional posters have been imprisoned and the blog seems to be under attack……

    Has Piers Morgan, in a desperate attempt to court public opinion, now decided to endorse Strauss and Cook, and sent his army of minion trolls into action?

  • I think cook started to leave the ball like he used to a few years ago. Maybe the attempts at one day driving have worn off and his brain can start making better judgements outside off stump. Maybe he will be able to prosper now in test cricket particularly if he relinquishes he captaincy post ashes which is now being postulated.

    An aussie coach could work well for us as it will simplify the situation in terms of looking to win games through picking the best players to win the game. I’m positive about the new coach. Move it away from ecb priorities to winning cricket matches

  • At the start of the day, I thought that New Zealand would best be served by keeping Cook in and on strike because he would declare too late. As it was, England only used up 10 overs and scored 40 or so runs, which rmoved the need for any decision-taking. the fact that England only won with 10 overs to spare shows how tight it was. Cook should not have batted on this morning. If he had batted another 5 or 10 overs, he would not have won the match.

    • Are you saying he shouldn’t have batted on at all? Because that would have left NZ a whole day to score 295 runs on a flat track. Can’t see how anyone would have that much confidence in the same attack that conceded 523 runs to them in the first dig.They bowled well in the end but hindsight is Twenty20. Mind you, dunno why he didn’t declare after Mo got out, that did seem like unnecessary procrastination.

  • James here. I had initially deleted this entire thread, but Maxie encouraged me to restore it (he has a thicker skin than me). Now it has simply been purged of personal insults.

    Please feel free to debate the cricket vigorously, but calling people names just isn’t cricket … did you see what I did there?

    We don’t have time to moderate comments on a regular basis, so we rely on our readers to be polite and civil. At the end of the day, we all want England to win.


    • Well said James. Quite right too. Utterly disgraceful abuse towards Maxie. I am disgusted by these attacks on Maxie.

      Listen up you people. This blog belongs to Maxie and James. If you don’t like it then you know what you can do. Some of the names on here I haven’t heard from before. A lot of trolling going on here.

  • All maxie was ssaying is lets all stand up and say well played to Cooky for a very good innings under pressure after a long time , lets just not Knight him based on that.

  • I would really hope Root isn’t given the captaincy for a long time. The pattern seems to be to just give your best batsman the job and it eventually ruins them. Leave Root to do his thing and not mess with it. Maybe when he is in his 30s then it will be time.

    Cook is one of our best batsmen and it was 100% correct, he should be allowed to play his way back to form. Hid career record is extremely good and at his age he should have a lot to offer moving forward although preferably without the captaincy. This is another reason why Root shouldn’t get it – if it doesn’t work out its much harder to go back to being a team member.

    • For me, the single greatest moment of the game was when Root saluted Stokes from the balcony. I’m not sure he could do that if they make him captain.

  • Just read this blog looking for the write up on day 5. Tried to avoid day 4 as I expected negativity about Bell.
    Can I ask a question, how can someone write the paragraph about the prosthetic legs?

    • Maxie’s paragraph isn’t “about” prosthetic legs, or disabled ex-servicemen – for whom I imagine he probably has just as much sympathy, empathy and admiration as you or I or anybody else.

      His paragraph is “about” the overly-reverential treatment he deems someone to have received from certain sections of the media over the past 18 months. Within this, the term “prosthetic legs” is employed in a literary device known as an “analogy”. You might possibly have heard of this, but if not it’s where you illustrate a point you’re endeavouring to make by saying that one thing is “like” another thing. The choice of things being compared can (as here) sometimes have an ironic slant. In this instance, if I read Maxie correctly, his intended point is that Alastair Cook’s travails and public utterances during said period have been indulged with the same sort of unquestioning sympathy and acceptance that should properly be bestowed only on someone whose suffering has been infinitely more dreadful and whose deeds are incalculably more admirable – like a marathon running amputee ex-serviceman. Perhaps it’s an emotive bit of imagery (I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with that in principle) but as I read it no one here is mocking amputees – quite the reverse.

      You’re of course free to disagree with Maxie’s take on Alastair Cook, but please let’s not resort to the pastime of faux offence taking as a tactic to close down debate. That’s really not cricket.

      • Let’s not resort to being patronising either.
        I’m well aware it’s an analogy, but one I’m surprised he thinks its ok to use.

      • Always thought Cook should not be captain since it is not what he is good at. But I don’t think captaincy should be dumped on Root now, before he is ready. This is a problem that might resurface.

        Definitely hoped Cook would be able to spend time on his batting. When he is in form, he is invaluable. Is he up to Australia? Don’t know but we’ll find out soon.

        I think deciding who will play should be based on, well, cricket. If someone isn’t doing well they should be rested or dropped. Cook, or anyone. If they get back into form, they should be available for selection.

        Any outstanding player should be available for selection. For me this is a principle so it doesn’t change if England do well even without KP. It continues to be disturbing that this principle is not shared by those in power. Doesn’t mean I’m unhappy when England win. But it does mean I still want the best players, not what ambiance they bring to the dressing room, not their approved families, not what public school they went to, etc.

        I think my opinion is as valuable as anyone else’s. I would like to see all opinions respected, and thanks given to those whose hard work makes this wonderful blog available to us.

  • “The most sensible comment I’ve read on Cook’s innings came from the regular TFT commenter THA, who said on Facebook:……”

    At least come clean and say that THA is your brother, Tristan!

  • Bloody great match

    This however has to I be one of the most bollocks things I have read for quite some time

    “Cookites revere their hero’s achievements as if he were some plucky underdog battling the odds for a noble cause. They talk about him like he’s an amputee ex-serviceman running the London Marathon on prosthetic legs for charity. In truth, Cook has everything on his side. He has enjoyed more indulgence, support, and privilege, than any England cricketer in the modern age.”

    Cook has been a great bat for England, and a fairly dull and quite often inept captain. But this sort of chip-on-the-shoulder nonsense about privilege etc just gets on my tits. He’s captain because when Strauss went there was no one else up to the job – including your hero……

  • A very good test match where a genuine all round team effort beat a New Zealand side that is ranked above England. Not the time for back handed comments. The most pleasing aspect of this test match for me was the full houses for the 5 days. It was a pleasure yesterday to be surrounded by parents with their under 16’s who got into the ground for free. Many of them were at a their first test match, and a significant number their first cricket match. The kids loved it! My only moan? £22 for a bottle of cheap white wine and two plastic glasses? Shameful.

  • Completely agree that the comment about the amputee ex-serviceman is out of line….and comes from a very irrational and obsessed mind. By all means criticise Cook, but pitch it at the right level – the analogy you chose was completely wrong, strange and yes, offensive.

    • Oh so Anonymous you know exactly what was in Maxie’s mind aye? You are being very irrational here and just as obsessed now as you were at the beginning of this thread. Either say who you are or go away. This is cricket blog and not a place for your offensive stuff. You are completely wrong, strange and yes, offensive.

      • Annie, for the record, I am not the same “anonymous” as the one at the top of the thread, or in fact any other “anonymous” poster on here. This was my first and only posting on this thread (although not on the Full Toss…I am a regular reader and poster). I stand by the comment that the analogy of the ex serviceman is very poor and comes from a strange place. I know Maxie very well personally and have done for many many years and am disappointed that he chooses to compare the respect and admiration that a permanently disabled, ex serviceman would get for running a marathon to praise given to Cook. By all means compare to a marathon runner running for charity etc….but this analogy is too extreme. Please make no mistake, I love cricket, and have done for all my life – however I am entitled to post an objection to an analogy like this. I am neither irrational, nor obsessed and as I say, please don’t assume that “anonymous” is the same person throughout (each one could be a completely different person). I am no fan of Cook at all as all those who know me know, however a sense of respect, perspective and decency is important.

  • I thought the point of this blog was to discuss the cricket and not to make personal attacks on the writers or other commenters.

    Obviously there’s some higher level of operation, involving ‘challenging’ and ‘calling people out’ and ‘giving people a dose of their own medicine’ which I’m simply too stupid to understand.

  • Marbles and Lost springs to mind Alan. This is Annie by the way. My name keeps changing on here but not sure why. I’m Xpressanny and dog. Me avatar’s gone walks as well…. Very odd.

    A lot of people have blocked her because she is so nasty.

  • Hi everyone. James here. Thanks for sticking up for us. Let’s keep things civil though. I don’t know much about Pam but I know she cares about the game. Let’s not turn this into a slagging match. Things seem to have got a little heated :-) I was a little wound up myself yesterday, but the debate has moved on. Cheers.


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