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    TNT Sports needs a Bob Willis or Roy Keane to add some spice to its cricket coverage.

    Keith Mason, Sir Alastair Cook (centre) and Stephen Finn lead TNT Sports' coverage of England's tour of India

    In the bright dawn of Sunday morning, those who had been awake since the early hours of the England cricket team's latest fiasco thought they heard something whispering in the wind.

    Are upset family members torn from Morpheus's grasp by repeated industrial phrases coming from the living room? Rising bile after your second packet of Bath Olivers and a “let the chips fall where they may” strategy for late-night adult cool drinks?

    No, something even more terrible: a ghostly reminder, displeased instruction from the other world, a ghost of the past.

    Close your eyes and listen with slack jaws and tension as the England players took the positives, kept moving forward and said they wouldn't change a thing, and here it is again. An irritated, irritated murmur, delivering its verdict with pathetic, righteous confidence. “Well, Charles,” said the voice. “Disgusting, Charles. Absolutely pathetic.”

    TNT Sports' cricket coverage has a lot to recommend it, but presenter Kate Mason, English batting legend turned gentleman farmer Sir Alastair Cook, and the charming, occasional world-beater Steven Finn have a common flaw that we're sorry to have to draw attention to this. The problem is that they all seem to be very friendly and kind people. Decent, thoughtful, smart, fair.

    And it is simply useless, especially when chaos reigns in England.

    Where did the Bob Willises of yesteryear go? Eyes bulging, he switches between imperious professional contempt and deep personal insult at what he has just been forced to witness: the hero of 1981 Headingley, Martin Tyler's former flatmate and lifelong Dylanologist, would be a dream come true for such a cricket disaster, how how is this.

    England's opening match ended in the fourth innings? Joe Root's reverse move? Jonny Bairstow in general? These aren't just venial sins, these are actual mortal sins, and Willis – ideally in the company of longtime handler Charles Colville – would be perfect for the job.

    Instead of Judge Willis being hanged, viewers received a plea for commutation from Sir Alastair and Watford Wall. A group of gentle, sensibly dressed priests have been forcefully put forward as witnesses for a nest of repeat local ASBOs who have once again desecrated the village war memorial and duck pond.

    Finn said: a huge defeat, but it doesn't tell the story of the game. England can take heart from the way they played in the first couple of days.”

    Sir A: “England have lost a couple of important points.” Of course, just like Paulus lost a couple of important points in Stalingrad. It was literally England's biggest defeat in a Test match since 1934! When the real Sir Donald Bradman scored 244

    Perhaps they are both still too close in age to the current team, perhaps they are both just very nice guys, but certain situations call for a certain approach. In football there is Roy Keane, in rugby there is Brian Moore, in cricket, of course, there is “Dear Yorkshireman of this county.”

    Nobody assumes that A.N. Cook or S.T. Finns have to look like something they're not – after all, the sports broadcasting greats just mentioned are only bringing to the fore in their performances what's already deep within their characters – but sometimes you just have to put a boot in.

    According to the post-match opinion of experts, one might get the impression that it was an unfortunate defeat in which little could be done; the guys gave out 110 points per game. cent, as opposed to one of cricket's all-time greats.

    Does this matter? While all of this matters, there is some wisdom that can be passed on to TNT Sports, and it comes from the experience of watching the England cricket team on television.

    And this is a peculiarly English, curious and indeed quite strange fact: England cricket fans like it when they win, but they like it even more when they lose, and that they really, really like it when someone someone authoritative and charismatic calls them nasty names for their failures.

    Of course, it’s strange, but this is where the gold of the broadcast lies.

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