I suppose the question is who we sack first. For like many, if not most England fans, I am at a stage beyond rage, beyond reasonable doubt, beyond all good sense. I want blood.
As a friend of mine who supports Everton posted on Facebook this morning, ‘Name two seven-letter sports teams beginning with E who will always let you down.’
The candidates for the chop are as follows:
1. Jason Roy as opening batsman. Dear god, I could do better. My old friend Simon, who used to open for the team I play for, could do better. He played 252 games for us and averages just over seven. He has just one shot, a smear down to third man. That’s one shot more than Jason Roy, unless you count the firm-footed edge to the wicketkeeper.
2. Trevor Baylis as coach. He’s going anyway, at the end of the series, and good riddance to big-jawed, one-day-international-obsessed Australian rubbish. His most recent pronouncement was that Jason Roy was better off as a middle-order batsman. Yes, but in which team? Not England’s for sure. (It’s interesting that he should finally have spotted this. Surrey, if they play Roy in red-ball cricket at all, put him in the middle order. They tried him as an opener in 2012, but it didn’t work.)
3. Ed Smith as permatanned, effortless elegant chairman of selectors. Another one who is obsessed with one-day internationals and T20, which is why he keeps putting one-day international and T20 batsmen in the Test team, where they get out for 0. Lovely suits, though, and terribly distinguished greying hair.
4. Joe Root as captain. For various reasons Root had had almost no captaincy experience before he became captain of England. He was appointed because he was the best player by far. Since he became captain he has shown very little aptitude for the job and his batting average has halved. He’s still the best player but only because the others are all so terrible.
5. Joe Root as number 3 batsman. He has said he prefers to bat at number 4 where he scores runs at will, as opposed to number 3, which requires him to be a different sort of player, a more watchful, defensive player is now usually out second ball.
6. Jonny Bairstow. As we saw during the World Cup, Bairstow is an angry man, whose red hair is no mistake. He used his rage to score runs then in fine style. But in Tests he has barely scored a run for the past eighteen months. His confidence is shot. Why is he still in the side? Hasn’t anyone noticed?
7. Jos Buttler. Another short-form batsman who is struggling to make the transition. Which is a kind way of saying, he’s a complete waste of space.
8. Joe Denly. Words fail.