Posted by: tootingtrumpet | March 10, 2009

The Strauss Tapes Part VIII

300px-kennethwilliamsAnother package has arrived at the door of the Tooting Trumpet in deepest South London. Postmarked “Trinidad – the Island that’s a lot bigger than Tobago” inside was a tape, a transcript of which appears below.


“Well it was funny Kevin, that’s why we’re laughing. Have you heard of Kenneth Williams? Thought not – worth a look if you carry on (stop it Swanny!) like you did ducking that last ball from Fidel”

“Where’s Stuart? He’s not still in the ice bath is he? Belly – go and tell him to get out and get in here – at this rate we’ll need him to bat, won’t we Owais?”

“Look lads, you can’t expect me to get a ton every innings – I’m not that young Aussie, Merv something – it’s time for you guys to contribute something to the cause. Tomorrow, I’m looking for quick runs – you’ll be looking for quick bouncers, Kevin, if you want that to be fit to grab an armful of the IPL loot, and we know you do. We need enough to set the bowlers up for a win. How many is that? Not 700 Colly, don’t be cruel, or I’ll have you bowling on this. 270 in 50 overs is ideal, but I’ll settle for 250 in 55 if I have to.”

“So Swanny and Monty – get a good night’s sleep. Stuart, Chaka and Jimmy (is he still in the toilets?) you too.”

“Right – whose got Ravi’s mobile number?”



  1. It will be quite a juggling act but I think about 4 an over will interest the Windies. Any more and they’ll shut up shop and be content in the knowledge that they get the series win.

  2. Kev , if he has never stuck before, he has to today..

  3. oh .. there goes Colly.. Hell of a ball, too.

  4. Well Collingwood just departed to an insipid limp-wristed shot and with Prior and KP at crease this is England’s best chance to score quickly.

    I find it difficult to imagine the Windies losing but I’m interested enough to see Strauss’ tactics.

    I like Lendl. Looking forward to seeing him in Australia.

  5. I am watching this match on the internet, nesta.. I am prevented from having the TV on after midnite. ( because my cricket TV is in a treehouse, and by some wierd osmosis the sound travels far further than it should.. .. that site you posted is terrific.

  6. my god, Prior is ugly.. I hadnt realised the quality of it before!!.

  7. I like em all, nesta!!.. I reckon Dyson must be enjoying himself hugely. But Lendl, most certainly. And Fidel.

  8. No worries pepp I’m using it too so I can sit in bed and watch on the laptop.

    Don’t understand the switch-hit. Better to hit through the line long and hard. If one of our blokes tried it in a Test Ricky would give him a clip in the ear and send him on the road with the Ashton’s circus.

  9. I agree nesta. It presumably causes some uncertainty and confusion for the bowler and field placement, but its better to just play cricket than invent gimmicks. Especially when you have his talent. Its pathetic really, I don’t know why he doesn’t get laughed off the field.

  10. Especially when only 120 ahead and four down. Maybe acceptable in the last 5 overs before a declaration. And you are right fred with his talent he should just smash sixes straight down the ground.

  11. KP’s switch hit wouldn’t be needed by Aus, but it’s essential for England, as it moves the field around and adds some much needed arrogance to the batting. He practises it relentlessly and has thought through the balance of risk to advantage. He’ll get out to it, but all batsmen aiming to seize the initiative will have shots that will get them out.

  12. I’m really heartened by this – KP and Prior, probably the two best equipped to move it on – are scoring at better than a run a ball showing no fear of all out 180 in pursuit of setting a target of 240+. This is good, clever cricket – at last.

  13. Let’s hope it has some benefit. In the long run it will be the bowlers who decide England’s fate.

    • Absolutely.

  14. KP’s strike rate (62) is higher than any batsmen in the SA vs Aus match. That’s a tremendous figure when he’s averaging 51 too. You only get that from fearless players.

  15. Hinds is bowling fruit and deserves what he is getting for bowling a yard outside leg. What rubbish!

    • This is my point about the match situation being unusual – the Windies may become confused about exactly what they are trying to do here and confused thinking while batting will be far more costly than confused thinking while bowling.

  16. There are nine fielders on the boundary. This is ridiculous. I’ve never seen anything like it.

  17. I think it is the rope-a-dope strategy. Gayle is ensuring a declaration just before lunch!

  18. Ah there you go again, apples and oranges, strike rates in different games are not at all comparable for so many different reasons. What on earth does that prove that his strike rate is higher than anyone in the SA match?
    Yes he’s fearless, talented, capable of changing matches etc, but its still a stupid and unnecessary shot, and its ugly too. You don’t need a circus act to change a game.

    • Prior is doing very well playing conventionally.

  19. Gayle only has the draw in mind, doesn’t he? If he sends his men out with two strategies in mind, it’ll play into England’s hands.

    • It would seem that way but I’m yet to see Gayle bat a session for 30 runs. I reckon he’s daring Strauss to declare earlier than he expected and then he’ll have a go and let the rest of the team play for a draw.

      Regardless England’s chances are slim considering the Windies have batted hundreds of overs this series.

    • Windies won’t make a game of this, only England can. I guess slow containment is the best way fofr WI to drag it out. Boring as it is. If England don#t self destruct he’ll just let the match die.

      • These are the easiest runs a Test batsman could ever get. No pressure, part-time bowlers, all the fielders on the boundary.

        • Some pressure, its in the batsmens interests to push it along. Otherwise they lose the series.

  20. Siddle is having a quiet beer in the ice bath right now, watching Pietersen and working out exactly which toe, or teeth or both… ah. the wonders of TV. Johnson will be following suit. They will be drawing straws to see who has first go.

    • Ricky will be taking bets on the result.

  21. I thought it was so amusing that Paul Weaver in the Guardian was so chuffed that he persuaded the barman to change the channel so that AU players had to watch England batting. If only he knew. They watch with those medical drawings of bones and ligaments all coloured in.

  22. England cannot set any more than 220 if they want to have the Windies chase. Otherwise the Windies won’t be changing their minds about the draw.

    Also, Dyson is no fool and he won’t advise taking any risks. It is a delicate balance and Strauss should tell them to get them as quickly as possible and have a go at the Windies before lunch.

    Two shots before and after lunch with the new ball will be an advantage and could be the difference.

  23. Gee Harmison looks so cool..

    • I hope he plays in July. That would be great. Pietersen will get his hundred then they’ll call it quits. If Gayle is a good skipper he’ll try and make it difficult for him.

  24. I pray for Vaughan to rise from the floorboards in a puff of sulphur, Nesta. !! It isnt an impossibility. He is very persuasive.

    yup.. its nearly time for Kev to do something so nutso….

    • They won’t be able to resist bringing Vaughan back. I bet Ricky starts telling the press what a great leader and bat he is and how England would be a better team with him.

  25. This is a slamming for Gayle’s boys – I expect England to carry momentum into bowling and win from here. I may be wrong, but I’m very hopeful.

    • Toots, I fear you are wrong. Strauss waiting for the Pietersen hundred has played directly into the Windies hands. They have lunch to prepare and won’t have to make two starts. Should have declared at 18 minutes to the hour when Pietersen was 92 but he didn’t have the balls. Probably won’t make any difference but Strauss has plummetted in my estimations as a leader. He’ll keep KP happy and perhaps that is more important than giving the team every chance for an unlikely win. You could see in Stauss’ body language that he was disappointed with the extra couple of overs needed to placate his star bat.

  26. Hope is good. Nothing wrong with hope, toots. !!

  27. and the Blessed Stuart.. what a lovely boy.

  28. They’ve done what they needed to, time to stop. Surely.

  29. you can set your clock by Kev!!!

  30. Nesta – by declaring at lunch he has bought an extra ten minutes or three overs from Monty and Swanny that he would otherwise have lost in the innings change. I’d trade that for the “two starts” which applies as much to the bowlers as the batsmen.

    • Actually Toots, two overs are deducted regardless of declaration time. Only overnight declarations are exempt. Are you watching? Heads dropped on the England balcony as soon as the cut-off time passed. Andy Flower and Collingwood who were sat beside Strauss in deep conversation throughout just stood up disgusted and walked inside. Every pundit on telly agrees and really two starts is always harder than one against the new ball. For Strauss’ sake he better hope it isn’t tight at the end or he’ll be roasted alive. No word on declaration yet either.

      • I’m at work writing tedious documents so not fully up to speed and certainly not watching. I didn’t know that about the two overs being deducted, so it’s an obvious mistake.

        Whether it will cost I don’t know – I like the 240 target still.

  31. Assuming he does in fact declare…

  32. Wingnut might just let lunch go by !!.. .

  33. 240 in 66 overs? That’s a bolder target than I expected, as I didn’t expect England to be able to score that quickly against an hour of bouncers from Fidel.

    You can get 11/1 about England which I would definitely take.

    • It’s not a bad declaration but Strauss has missed an opportunity. 120 a session looks a few too many but we will see soon enough.

  34. They scored at something over 6 an over, so that’s not so bad. Took advantage of a defenseive approach.
    But I don’t think they have a snowflakes chance in hell of bowling them out in two sessions.

    • It was virtually impossible not to score at six an over. Everyone was on the fence! I think the Windies played it well. They bowled themselves out of the game!

  35. Fifth day pitch, five bowlers selected including two spinners, 66 overs to bowl a side out? If you can’t do that, you don’t deserve to win a Test.

  36. I’d be interested how many times Warne and McGrath bowled a team out in two sessions, England excepted, on the last day?

    I do remember it happening but only on really terrible pitches.

    Anyway. Good luck. It’s improbable but not impossible.

  37. But the question is, do England deserve to win a test:)
    It’s not a bad declaration but i’ll be amazed if WI don’t get through this. Chander could do it on his own.

  38. I honestly believe that Strauss forgot to declare, only realised he had to do one thing or the other with the first scone.

    But thats me. It’s the kind of thing I would do.

  39. In the last ten years, Aus have bowled sides out to win Tests in less than 66 overs for fewer than 240 runs eight times (see;filter=advanced;innings_number=4;orderby=start;page=5;result=1;runsmax2=240;runsval2=runs;team_view=bowl;template=results;type=team;view=innings;wicketsmin1=10;wicketsval1=wickets).

    • How many times England in the last decade? I’d do it myself but cricinfo stats engine is beyond me at this late hour.

  40. Poor Monty.. been fined 25% of his match fee for ‘excessive appealing’..

    I dont think that is fair, actually. .. Monty got all sorts of stick for not appealing.. and there we go.

  41. Overall, it’s 42 times in the last ten years (sides losing bowled out for less than 240 in fewer than 66 overs).

  42. But Toots the question is the final two sessions not the number of overs. I’d think it is rare to get bowled out starting your innings after lunch on the fifth day.

    One down. Only nine to go.

  43. well. nine to go, thats not too bad, really. It’s only the West Indies, after all…

  44. and there is Monty and Stuey and Jimmy…

  45. Everyone knows pitches deteriorate over the match to become, on the fifth day, something between difficult to suicidal. Everyone knows that, except WI groundsmen. Wer’ve been hearing for 4 days how flat this pitch is, and the report this morning didn’t suggest great deterioration. So no help there. Two teams just scored over 600 each on it. It’s going to be tough on this pitch.

  46. Tough but not impossible.

  47. 31-2 and panic already. Another wicket in the next hour and things will be very spicy.

  48. Video link’s broken.
    Never mind, WI will hold out anyway.

  49. One hour to play and things are very spicy.

  50. Great cricket – not of the very highest standard of course, but the players are fighting and the umpires are doing okay under immense pressure.

  51. Brilliant from Monty – the son of the Punjab is, like his warrior ancestors, giving everything in the cause of England.

  52. Daren Powell has cojones!

  53. Eight down and it’s just the way the die is cast now. No recriminations for Strauss or KP or the bowlers. They’ve given everything, this team.

  54. they nearly did it, Toots..

    so very nearly. it was so hideously exciting!!!..

    bloody Botham outdid Bill Lawry in spades.

  55. so close.. so almost home, toots..

    what can I say.. it was tremendous cricket.

  56. for gods sake, tooting, type something so that I know you are still among the living!!

  57. Please, Gary, MoTM, Trumpet, I beg you. One word. I cant go out the door till you do.

  58. they fought like terriers, toot

  59. Valiant indeed and England can console themselves with Pietersen’s century instead of the win. Four overs before lunch may well have been the difference. Strauss deserves all the condemnation coming his way. I’d say bad luck but really it was bad management that cost England. However, the Windies deserve their win and I thought Ramdin was very very good in that last hour.

  60. Pepp – I’m touched and I commend your generosity in acknowledging a team that has flaws in skill and decision-making, but gave it everything. I was writing the post above on which your comments will be welcome.

    Nesta – an error in declaring, but it shouldn’t have been fatal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: