The Ashes: Alternative England marks out of ten

Every cricket site, blog and their dog have been arbitrarily awarding England and Australia’s cricketers marks out of ten for their performances in the Ashes. There’s nothing more to add, really. Everyone knows that Ian Bell had a good series. So here’s some marks out of ten that really count, starting with England.

Alastair Cook – Bus-hailing ability – 2/10

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“Where can we hire a pedalo?”

It’s not all chauffeur-driven Bentleys for England’s Ashes-winning skipper – on Sunday night he was reduced to hailing a night bus. Cook gains marks for his technique – any bus driver could recognise that as the signal for him to stop. However, it appears that Cook and Prior are not actually standing at a bus stop and by the look of the passing buses, none of them are in any danger of stopping. Matt Prior’s not even trying to stop a bus – he appears to be trying to get a hitchhike.
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Great Cricket Drinking Episodes: 2013 round-up

For some reason, the internet at large has been very taken by our re-tellings of the escapades of international cricketers when it comes to booze. For instance, if you Google ‘David Boon’, we come up on the first page. Now, cricketers and alcohol have been back in the news quite a bit recently, so we thought we’d give you a brief update on all things leather, willow and ethanol:

1. David Warner assaults man wearing beard. If you’ve missed this, you’re not really paying attention now, are you? The nation’s current favourite pantomime villain was deported (well, not really, not by the border agency or anything) for assault. Not to Australia, like in the old days, but to Zimbabwe, to spend a few weeks rotting on the ‘A’ tour. What he found in southern Africa was a land of unbridled riches, furnished as it was with a pitch so flat it could probably be used for an attempt on the land speed record. However, we’re more interested in the lead-up to Warner’s banishment.
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The Over: The Ashes – Third Test

Here’s our entirely original thoughts on the eventual puddle at Old Trafford

1. Nearly everyone is saying fairly nice things about Michael Clarke’s captaincy, at least to some extent, but we can’t quite fathom his tactics in this one. Put quite simply, he had to win this game or The Ashes were gone. He knew that the weather forecast for the last two days were iffy at best and yet he batted on for 36 overs. If he’d been really bold, he would have forfeited his second innings and set England an enticing 160 to win. Now that’s a bit outlandish, we admit, but he could easily have knocked off 50 in no more than 10 overs and made it 210. That’s a serious score to chase in a fourth innings, regardless of the weather, and based on the evidence of Monday, it would have been a real struggle for England. We’ll say again, Australia HAD to win, even at the risk of losing. They didn’t even give themselves half a chance.

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