Posted by: tootingtrumpet | March 5, 2009

The Strauss Tapes Part VI

034084066801_sclzzzzzzz_After a few days post free, another tape has arrived in deepest South London, a transcript of which appears below.


“It’s a fax from a place called Smokaa’spliff’ii– isn’t that what they call Invercargill now? Tim, you’re a Kiwi – I’m right aren’t I? What? You’re an Aussie too? Anyway, whoever is in charge out there says that young Samit has a problem with his fatness… sorry, it’s a bit smudged, his fitness, and won’t be coming here for the ODI series. Swanny’s already out so… heaven help us, does anyone have Mike Yardy’s number?”

“Samit’s not fit – it’s unbelievable isn’t it lads? You’d think that bar was low enough wouldn’t you Ryan?”

“While I’m at it, Swanny, I don’t want you spending all you’re downtime at home on the mobile begging for a spot in the IPL or Strictly Come Dancing and opening supermarkets in Goole, I want you studying how Rolf is getting those Aussies out, because if he can do it, anyone can (except maybe Mike Yardy).”

“Anyway, we’re here to talk about the Fifth Test. The first thing to say is that everyone is in contention for a place – I haven’t even ruled out Harmy – yet. Belly – if that’s the Trini posse making all that noise outside, be a love and take a handful of those signed photos of Stuart out to them and tell them scream more quietly”

“Where was I? Yes, we’re just one win away from retaining the Wisden Trophy, just twenty wickets to take. Well don’t look so downhearted – we got Ramdin in the end and we can get him again. Maybe twice.”

“Cookie – I liked the runs, but they were cheap weren’t they? Averaging 40 isn’t what it was – though it’s always worth mentioning it to Nasser and Athers when they get on their high horses. Owais – take the helmet off. Can you go and sit next to Tim and Ryan over there? No reason, just makes the room more tidy. KP – getting better. Throwing the ball is an improvement on throwing your wicket away. Colly – showy, Colly, showy. Nobody likes a smartarse (and I should know). Ravi – I loved it. Is that a new ear-ring? Spending the IPL money already Ravi? Tim – You’re a great team man. Shame you’re not a man in a great team – or even an ordinary one now Matt’s back.”

“Bowlers? Stand up will you? And stop holding that ball in the air Swanny – you’re not Glenn McGrath. Obviously I’m looking for more from you – not overs, wickets!”

“Right let’s go and have a net – lend me your pads Owais please”




  1. I bet the bug’s the button on his extra-white T-shirt.

  2. It might be that ring he always wears around his neck.

  3. Toots, with England failing to win a match in the Caribbean (so far), how correct was KP in his demands for change?

    The status quo looks to have failed quite miserably. I understand that Strauss is doing a reasonable job (and without his batting it could have been far worse) but do you reckon results may have been different if KP had been given what he asked for?

  4. I don’t think you can do anything about the 51 all out. It just happened in a crazy hour or so.

    They came very close in Antigua – perhaps KP would have declared earlier and maybe not sent in a nightwatchman, but who knows?

    No result was possible in Bridgetown.

    I supported KP as captain and wanted him re-instated, but the time for that is gone now. It’s Strauss for better or worse, and I think it’ll get better soon.

  5. Duncan Fletcher said in his column today they were lucky to get 600. That’s some luck! I should be so lucky.
    Strauss will be solid for years to come, it was the right move for England. Captaincy is the only area in which they are looking good at the moment.

  6. Strauss scores one more 100 and he is just going strong….

  7. Considering England must win their pedestrian scoring rate seems to indicate that they aren’t that motivated. Shah’s innings was Tavare like. Retiring hurt with cramp on 29 was as funny as his innings was excruciating!

  8. Nesta – I don’t think the rate was so bad as it’s another anti-cricket pitch, easy to survive, but difficult to score. The declaration will be critical. I want them to declare on 420, but I think 520 is more likely.

    • Well they better take a risk or two while they can. They can save their hide in the second dig if they must. I think continually blaming the pitch is a poor excuse. Australia had the same pitches at this time last year and found a way to win. Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and South Africa in the preceding years too. After not winning a cricket match in seven months I’d expect a bolder performance.

  9. I’d never blame the pitch as you play on what you’re given, but it does set the innings in context. Prior and Colly are not playing badly, but must press on after lunch or I’ll be very annoyed.

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