England’s Prospects at Old Trafford

My thoughts on the changes to the England squad for the upcoming 4th Ashes Test and lots of photographs (do let me know of any you think calendar worthy!)

INTRODUCTION

England have made a couple of changes for the upcoming (and crucial) fourth Ashes test match at Old Trafford. This post looks at those changes and at England’s hopes, and optimistic as ever, discounts in the interests of simplicity the possibility of the Manchester weather emerging victorious.

SETTING THE SCENE

This is probably the most important Manchester test since the equivalent match in the 1902 series (when Australia won by 3 runs to clinch the Ashes). Again, a win for Australia would secure them the Ashes, since as holders a drawn series is enough for them, and that would be all England could do, while a win for England would leave them needing a draw at The Oval to secure the urn (as in 2005, when thanks to the second most significant 158 by a South African born England batter – Basil D-Oliveira’s 1968 effort being #1 in that category the necessary was achieved). In 1956 England needed a win at Manchester to secure the Ashes and Australia, thoroughly spooked by Jim Laker, failed to capitalize on the assistance of a number of weather interruptions, the final margin being an innings and 170 runs in England’s favour. In 1981 England were 2-1 to the good going into the penultimate match at Old Trafford, and won courtesy of Ian Botham’s second ton of the series. Finally, for the historical comparisons, in 1964 a draw was all Australia required from the equivalent match, being one up and holders, and on a pitch which needed white lines down the middle Bobby Simpson ensured that quite literally off his own bat, not being dislodged until the third morning of the match, for 311 in 762 minutes. Australia eventually declared at 656-8, England replying with 611 (Barrington 256, Dexter 174) and the few overs that remained before the draw could be officially confirmed were bowled by Barrington and Titmus with an old ball.

ENGLAND’S CHANGES

Jason Roy and Joe Denly have changed places in the batting order, Denly moving up to open and Roy dropping to no 4, while Craig Overton of Somerset replaces Chris Woakes. While I think switching Roy and Denly was the least England could do in the agttempt to address the problems at the top of their batting order I do not believe it goes far enough (readers of this blog will be aware of my own radical solution, first proposed a year ago when Cook as approaching retirement and Jennings’ inadequacy was all too obvious), and I feel that a no 3 has also to be located somewhere, as Joe Root is clearly not relishing the position. Overton for Woakes is uncontroversial, though I would have preferred another Somerset man, Lewis Gregory, to have got the nod. Denly has a low initial bar to clear – get England’s batting off to a better start than they have been managing of late – a three-legged elephant would probably have a chance of clearing a bar that low. Having made their calls, England need to back their judgement, and if they win the toss they should choose to bat first and hope to score enough to put Australia under pressure. If the Denly-Roy switch works out (and it can hardly turn out worse than the previous arrangement!), then a big total is a genuine possibility. As England have been discovering lately it is hard if you are starting each innings effectively already two wickets down. If England win they will go to The Oval as favourites, a draw still leaves them with a chance (look up 1926, 1930, 1934 and 1953 for examples of an Ashes deciding victory happening at The Oval) but defeat means curtains. However, even a defeat might be used to benefit England in the long term – with the Ashes gone it would be an opportunity/ necessity for England to experiment (I would expect a second front line spinner to be named in the squad for that match regardless of the result of the upcoming one, because pitches in South London so often offer turn).

PHOTOGRAPHS

My usual sign off…

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This azure damselfly seems an appropriate picture to use to point out that I am thinking about pictures for use in the aspi.blog 2020 wall calendar – I have a few ideas already, and would welcome suggestions from readers.

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A red dragon fly in flight.

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A two for on damselflies! (five pics to choose from)

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Not often in easy view – a water vole seen near the centre of King’s Lynn today.

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Emails and Cameras

An account of a day at James and Sons, including my first public mention of a new project, some important links and some photographs from in and around King’s Lynn.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this post about yesterday at James and Sons. I also have some pictures from King’s Lynn and a few links to share.

EMAILS

Today there were two bulk emails to dispatch., The first was a straight forward email to everyone living within a sensible distance of the locations concerned about the two fairs that James and Sons take part in every month. The second, following instructions relayed by a colleague was a targeted email about our auction for buyers of Medals and Militaria. I chose as well as altering the strapline of the email to create a new graphic featuring military themed items only , and as a matter of necessity I very carefully made sure that the list of recipients for this email did not include any of those who had received the one I sent out on Friday. Here are the images involved…

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This was the image I decided to use.
This was the image I decided to use.

Militaria IMG2 Militaria IMG 499 451 448 447 440

CAMERAS

As well as my usual duties connected with an auction, and my role running the database, and my role doing press releases and my unofficial role as in-house “Gordianus” (Gordianus is Stephen Saylor’s central character in his Roma Sub Rosa series and has the nickname “the finder”) I have yet another area os responsibility relating to our 28th October auction – we have received a car load of vintage cameras, and I will be responsible for catalogiuing them, as well as for producing the images. I have made a start on this new project, and the images will give you an idea of my approach…

This lot are just about worth listing as a boxful.
This lot are just about worth listing as a boxful.
A close up of the Thornton Pickard name.
A close up of the Thornton Pickard name.
Camera open and ready for action.
Camera open and ready for action.
Closed case - ready for carrying
Closed case – ready for carrying
This is the star item of the collection thus far (and likely to remain so - I have given it a deliberately conservative estimate of £60-80 - there is one without the case, instructions and accessories on the net at 119.99) This is one of four images I took of this item.
This is the star item of the collection thus far (and likely to remain so – I have given it a deliberately conservative estimate of £60-80 – there is one without the case, instructions and accessories on the net at 119.99) This is one of four images I took of this item.

point and click Kodak Mixed EKF EKF -b

A genuine antique, should attract some inetrest.
A genuine antique, should attract some inetrest.

EFV

Interesting again, but not worth a huge amount.
Interesting again, but not worth a huge amount.

Coronet Rapide

This is of an interesting type, and comes in its original carrying case.
This is of an interesting type, and comes in its original carrying case.

boxed mixed BN2b BN2a

This image and the next two are all of a camera that is worth selling singly only because of its antiquity and the fact that it is still in its original box.
This image and the previous two are all of a camera that is worth selling singly only because of its antiquity and the fact that it is still in its original box.

LINKS

I have three things to share in this section, starting with…

WARWICK’S WOBBLY WEEK

The title of this subsection refers to the actions of the Student’s Union at Warwick University. An ex-Muslim named Maryam Namazie had been invited to speak at the university about why she had abandoned her religious faith and other related matters. Some idiot within the Students Union then decided that there was “a danger of her inciting hatred” and barred her from coming. A petition was quickly organised on change.org to get the S.U to reverse this appalling decision, and with strong international support, notably from the team at whyevolutionisttrue it has duly been overturned. I have three links for you to gain further information…

  1. The original petition
  2. The official declaration of victory.
  3. A final word on the case from whyevolutionistrue.

VOTING REFORM

This is an update on a long running campaign. Apparently many MPs who have been contacted about this (and I did not deem it worth my while to contact my own MP given how obvious it is where he will stand) have been sending form replies about the vote in favour of retaining FPTP at the last referendum. This is calculatedly dishonest, since at that referendum FPTP was not being tested against PR, but against a system called AV (although I made a point of voting for the latter so that my opposition to FPTP was a matter of record). Thus, I have two links and, courtesy of George Aylett on twitter, a splendid infographic to share with you:

VR

A MUST-SEE VIDEO

This is a three-and-a-half minute you-tube video created by Autism-Mom and her son, the Navigator (it is more hearing than seeing, as neither are ever actually in shot, but there is some good text accompaniment to the voices). Please view this video by clicking here.

KING’S LYNN

I finish this post by sharing some of my recent pictures from around King’s Lynn…

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These pics from here until the second to last are from yesterday morning before work.
These pics from here until the second to last are from yesterday morning before work.

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This pumpkin field is near Knight's Hill, just beyond comfortable walking distance from the town centre - I took this from the top deck of an X8 bus.
This pumpkin field is near Knight’s Hill, just beyond comfortable walking distance from the town centre – I took this from the top deck of an X8 bus.
From yesterday evening, part of the light show at King's Lynn Minster.
From yesterday evening, part of the light show at King’s Lynn Minster.