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Old 14th August 2007, 22:33   #161
Joe Diddly
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Really, does it bother you that much? I admit there were negative comments about Anderson, but they were almost solely related to his winning of MOTS, which was baffling, but really, the ones about Bell really weren't that bad at all. I think you are reading too much into people being critical (it's what we do here).
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Old 14th August 2007, 22:36   #162
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If he was listening, I expect SDC did. I'm not trying to say that it was likely that England would lose the game from when Bell was out, merely that in pure game state terms, his innings was less valuable than Prior's or a hypothetical 20* from 80 balls. In terms of its affect on his average and possibly his career, let alone in aesthetic terms obviously it was a very good innings. In terms of the match, it was still a very good innings, actually because it did contribute significantly to England saving the game. It just wasn't as good, in those narrow terms but rather important terms, as not being out would have been, irrespective of runs scored.
Don't wear yourself out with the back-pedalling, FS.

I can't believe that anyone would say that a hypothetical 20* from 80 balls was better than 67 from 65 balls unless the team were 8 or 9 down. The point is that Bell wasn't deliberately trying to score quickly. He was trying to save the match but the runs were there for the taking, and he took them.
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Old 14th August 2007, 22:39   #163
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I was in the Bedser stand close to the steps the batsmen come up. There was sustained applause for Bell right until he got into the dressing room. All of us appreciated the knock very much.
Applause? What about the nice young ladies in the Peter May stand screaming their heads off? Or the nice young man who joined in?
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Old 14th August 2007, 22:42   #164
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Calm down you unruly lot.
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Old 14th August 2007, 22:44   #165
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Really, does it bother you that much? I admit there were negative comments about Anderson, but they were almost solely related to his winning of MOTS, which was baffling, but really, the ones about Bell really weren't that bad at all. I think you are reading too much into people being critical (it's what we do here).
I try not to take it too seriously, I used to tell Kiki not to let things get to her, we're only in cyber space. What was depressing was the contrast between my positive feelings about Anderson and Bell and the level of criticism - the reaction to the MOTS award which turned itself into abuse of Anderson himself, and some of the comments about Bell. I wouldn't mind if he had played badly, but he batted really, really well and I believe did help England's cause.
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Old 14th August 2007, 22:45   #166
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I've been composing the post that now appears below, so have missed these. I did see this post on the match thread earlier when I wasn't in a position to reply and it makes me very annoyed to tell the truth. I think the post I have done just now covers most of it. When Bell doesn't score he is useless and when he does it is because he "has an appetite for easy runs".

May I just say something? I have just spent a very enjoyable five days at the test match. For the first time since his debut v. West Indies in 2004 I was able to see Bell score some runs at the Oval and was very pleased for him, although naturally I would have preferred him to get a century in the first innings and a not-out in the second. I have also enjoyed Jimmy's performance, his 4 wickets in the first innings (let's forget about the runs conceded!!), his brilliant fielding, his night-watchman heroics and his superb first spell in the second innings. It was sad that England couldn't level the series but we knew it wouldn't happen as soon as Vaughan lost the toss. However, the match itself was fascinating and I enjoyed every minute. I returned home in a cheerful mood but any good feelings I had were swiftly eradicated when I read the negative comments about Anderson and Bell. I have been tempted to follow Kiki and FBU in taking a sabbatical from this board for a while and may yet do so. Actually I am going on holiday next weekend so maybe I will get things into perspective.
We wouldn't dream of trying to stop you.

MF, without wishing to sound harsh, I do think, as you recongnise yourself, that you need to get things in perspective. Much of the criticism of Anderson has not been attacks on his effort or even his performances but merely a questioning of a bowler averaging 35.6 in a series getting the MotS award over a batsman averaging 57.5. Bell too comes in for a hard time sometimes. The thing is that he has had a poor series overall, despite actually batting rather well. He needs to deal with that. Hopefully a promotion to number 3 will help him.

The board is losing enough of its better posters without you taking a long break too.
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Old 14th August 2007, 22:46   #167
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Applause? What about the nice young ladies in the Peter May stand screaming their heads off? Or the nice young man who joined in?
We don't do screaming in the Bedser stand.
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Old 14th August 2007, 22:53   #168
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Don't wear yourself out with the back-pedalling, FS.
I haven't altered my position one jot, actually. I've just amplified what I previously said.

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I can't believe that anyone would say that a hypothetical 20* from 80 balls was better than 67 from 65 balls unless the team were 8 or 9 down. The point is that Bell wasn't deliberately trying to score quickly. He was trying to save the match but the runs were there for the taking, and he took them.
The hypothetical 20* from 80 might not have been as good an innings and certainly wouldn't have been as nice to watch. It would have been better at saving the match though. I don't quite grasp how you fail to see that balls faced and survived were all that mattered in terms of saving the game in that situation, apart from minor psychological factors. I'm very pleased that Bell scored so many runs and batted so well (as I've now said about 4 times). I was gleeful when he got the three consecutive 4s (especially when Bearders pointed out he'd never scored 4 overthrows, all run 4, normal 4 in series and thought it was probably unique). That doesn't alter my feeling about the game state though. I certainly wasn't impressed when Pietersen threw his wicket away playing a loose back foot drive, I can tell you.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:01   #169
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We don't do screaming in the Bedser stand.
Nor Mexican waves (well, not with much gusto at any rate)...
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:09   #170
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I haven't altered my position one jot, actually. I've just amplified what I previously said.

The hypothetical 20* from 80 might not have been as good an innings and certainly wouldn't have been as nice to watch. It would have been better at saving the match though. I don't quite grasp how you fail to see that balls faced and survived were all that mattered in terms of saving the game in that situation, apart from minor psychological factors. I'm very pleased that Bell scored so many runs and batted so well (as I've now said about 4 times). I was gleeful when he got the three consecutive 4s (especially when Bearders pointed out he'd never scored 4 overthrows, all run 4, normal 4 in series and thought it was probably unique). That doesn't alter my feeling about the game state though. I certainly wasn't impressed when Pietersen threw his wicket away playing a loose back foot drive, I can tell you.
I totally grasp that balls faced and survived were all that mattered in terms of saving the game, and I'm sure Bell did as well. Survival was the aim but how you survive depends on the circumstances. If the bowling was tight and there was nothing to hit you would rein yourself in and play defensively. But it wasn't. What are you supposed to do when the ball arrives in a perfect position to hit it and there is a space to hit it to? You hit it, of course, and score the runs that are there to be scored. As I keep saying, every ball he hit was done so safely, competently, and aesthetically pleasingly. I don't know why you wanted him to make it look more difficult or score fewer runs even though the runs were on offer? Obviously he didn't despatch every ball to the boundary but judged each one on its merits. Also, if Prior had got out that might have changed things; certainly India might have tried a different approach.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:17   #171
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I totally grasp that balls faced and survived were all that mattered in terms of saving the game, and I'm sure Bell did as well. Survival was the aim but how you survive depends on the circumstances. If the bowling was tight and there was nothing to hit you would rein yourself in and play defensively. But it wasn't. What are you supposed to do when the ball arrives in a perfect position to hit it and there is a space to hit it to? You hit it, of course, and score the runs that are there to be scored. As I keep saying, every ball he hit was done so safely, competently, and aesthetically pleasingly. I don't know why you wanted him to make it look more difficult or score fewer runs even though the runs were on offer? Obviously he didn't despatch every ball to the boundary but judged each one on its merits. Also, if Prior had got out that might have changed things; certainly India might have tried a different approach.
I didn't want him to score fewer runs. I was merely discussing the game theory. In fact, if the ball arrives in a hittable place when runs don't matter, the best thing to do is probably either defend it or tap it for a single to rotate the strike. Still, that's obscure enough that I wouldn't really expect a batsman to do so. There is an element of instinct that you can't expect them to go too far against. The point is that even an apparently very hittable ball can get a batsman out trying to hit it. A rank long hop that would go to the rope 9 times out of 10 should clearly be slapped pretty hard in normal circumstances. It will occasionally be pulled straight to a fielder though. The same thing applies to a full half volley outside off. Occasionally it will swing away and get the batsman caught behind, even if it normally vanishes through the covers. Batting when runs matter, the minimal risk is worth taking. When runs are irrelevent, probably the batsman should leave the ball alone. No doubt Pietersen thought he was scoring 4 from the ball that got him out.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:24   #172
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I take your point. However, I can just imagine the howls of even greater abuse Bell would have received if he had defended those 65 balls and made 17. It's also possible to get out when simply occupying the crease. I'm no expert on the technique of batting but I am constantly hearing the pundits say that you can't just stagnate, that is asking for trouble.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:35   #173
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I take your point. However, I can just imagine the howls of even greater abuse Bell would have received if he had defended those 65 balls and made 17. It's also possible to get out when simply occupying the crease. I'm no expert on the technique of batting but I am constantly hearing the pundits say that you can't just stagnate, that is asking for trouble.
I know that's what the pundits say. They may even be right in terms of the psychology of the batsman and the fielding side. There's no way, in theoretical terms, however, that scoring runs should matter in the kind of situation that obtained when Bell came to the crease. There is quite a strong argument that by playing shots the batsman gets the close fielders out of his face and is therefore safer from a good ball and more comfortable. Really though, the fielding captain shouldn't be so supine. Let the man play his shots with the field close in and see how he does.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:51   #174
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I know that's what the pundits say. They may even be right in terms of the psychology of the batsman and the fielding side. There's no way, in theoretical terms, however, that scoring runs should matter in the kind of situation that obtained when Bell came to the crease. There is quite a strong argument that by playing shots the batsman gets the close fielders out of his face and is therefore safer from a good ball and more comfortable. Really though, the fielding captain shouldn't be so supine. Let the man play his shots with the field close in and see how he does.
Right, this argument has gone as far as it can. But I claim the last word or several.

Bell could have defended his position, made 17 and taken England to the close of play unbeaten, earning your undying admiration and tepid applause from the Oval crowd. Instead he scored a superb 67 from 62 balls, put the Indian fielders under a bit of pressure, annoyed Kumble and Dravid, gave the spectators something to cheer for the last hour, got out just before the end but batted long enough to more or less make the game safe, increasing his average, his confidence and his chances of remaining in the side, and earning my undying admiration and thunderous applause from the Oval crowd.

Last edited by Michelle Fivefer : 14th August 2007 at 23:57. Reason: You just daren't make a mistake on here
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:51   #175
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May I just say something? I have just spent a very enjoyable five days at the test match. For the first time since his debut v. West Indies in 2004 I was able to see Bell score some runs at the Oval and was very pleased for him, although naturally I would have preferred him to get a century in the first innings and a not-out in the second. I have also enjoyed Jimmy's performance, his 4 wickets in the first innings (let's forget about the runs conceded!!), his brilliant fielding, his night-watchman heroics and his superb first spell in the second innings. It was sad that England couldn't level the series but we knew it wouldn't happen as soon as Vaughan lost the toss. However, the match itself was fascinating and I enjoyed every minute. I returned home in a cheerful mood but any good feelings I had were swiftly eradicated when I read the negative comments about Anderson and Bell. I have been tempted to follow Kiki and FBU in taking a sabbatical from this board for a while and may yet do so. Actually I am going on holiday next weekend so maybe I will get things into perspective.
I'm glad you enjoyed the test match Michelle - it's always nice to see your favourite players do well isn't it? As FS and JD have pointed out you really shouldn't let the opinions of people on here upset you so much. They are, after all, just opinions.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:54   #176
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Right, this argument has gone as far as it can. But I claim the last word or several.

Bell could have defended his position, made 17 and taken England to the close of play unbeaten, earning your undying admiration and tepid applause from the Oval crowd. Instead he scored a superb 67 from 65 balls, put the Indian fielders under a bit of pressure, annoyed Kumble and Dravid, gave the spectators something to cheer for the last hour, got out just before the end but batted long enough to more or less make the game safe, increasing his average, his confidence and his chances of remaining in the side, and earning my undying admiration and thunderous applause from the Oval crowd.
Last word? Against me? When you've got the number of balls Bell faced wrong (it was 62)? Ha.

You know, I actually preferred Bell to have done what he did rather than what I said he should have done too. The game isn't all about ensuring the final result. I like swash and buckle as much as the next man. Bell's batting was a revelation. Still, it wasn't tactically sound.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:54   #177
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I'm sorry FS but I'm going to go against you here. I feel that scoring runs is absolutely imperative to survival, unless mentally you are very strong. That is generally though: in situations where survival is a matter of 50/60 balls then runs aren't really going to matter, and scoring at a run a ball is perhaps a little extreme. However, Bell's innings was hardly that risky, despite that one shot against Kumble.

In general though, especially when the time for survival is significant, scoring runs is a huge part of relieving pressure. For players like Pietersen, I always think if you give him an attacking field he will be more comfortable than if he is scoring slowly with lots of men in the covers and at midwicket.

Reading your posts again FS, I'm not entirely disagreeing with you, as Bell's innings was played so late on that you are right in the unimportance of runs.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:56   #178
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I'm glad you enjoyed the test match Michelle - it's always nice to see your favourite players do well isn't it? As FS and JD have pointed out you really shouldn't let the opinions of people on here upset you so much. They are, after all, just opinions.
Thank you Psyduck. I know I shouldn't let opinions upset me. Anyway I'm still here and the sabbatical hasn't started yet. I will be away next week though.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:56   #179
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I'm sorry FS but I'm going to go against you here. I feel that scoring runs is absolutely imperative to survival, unless mentally you are very strong. That is generally though: in situations where survival is a matter of 50/60 balls then runs aren't really going to matter, and scoring at a run a ball is perhaps a little extreme. However, Bell's innings was hardly that risky, despite that one shot against Kumble.

In general though, especially when the time for survival is significant, scoring runs is a huge part of relieving pressure. For players like Pietersen, I always think if you give him an attacking field he will be more comfortable than if he is scoring slowly with lots of men in the covers and at midwicket.

Reading your posts again FS, I'm not entirely disagreeing with you, as Bell's innings was played so late on that you are right in the unimportance of runs.
In a sense you are right. The thing is that games are not played by perfect game theoreticians but by human beings. Certainly Pietersen may be better frustrated than blasted out. I wouldn't be removing too many slips for him though.
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Old 14th August 2007, 23:58   #180
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Thank you Psyduck. I know I shouldn't let opinions upset me. Anyway I'm still here and the sabbatical hasn't started yet. I will be away next week though.
This is, in fact, your normal time on the board isn't it?

Some opinions can be pretty upsetting. Imagine what you'd think if we started talking about Jimmy and Ian being unattractive.
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