Comments on today’s play below, as England try to take a substantial first innings lead and then spend 8 hours batting to get Cook a career-saving hundred 🙂
I’ll be home a bit earlier today as the car is in for its MOT (#prayingforastra) and so should be able to watch the post-lunch session. The bits of the game I’ve seen so far have been interesting in their own way, but also sad to see what has happened to the West Indies. Remember when Darren Bravo came on the scene and he was viewed as the next big thing? He’s really not gone on. Shiv Chanderpaul now seems to eschew scoring runs as a matter of importance and now seems to concentrate on saving the game single-handed. I don’t think that swagger and attitude, the sort of bravado that now seems more Australian than the WIndies I grew up with, can come back that easily. There is not a lot of hope, not even Shai, in West Indies cricket.
One of the points made is that the IPL now clashes with the West Indies season, but is this true? I remember England playing series there in February and March, not April and May. Until they go back to that time, it will always clash. Yes, I get it in World Cup winters, but there won’t be one of those for 8 years now.
England still have a lot more questions than answers. Ben Stokes did well at 6, but I’d be getting worried if that’s where he stays against Australia. Trott as opener can’t be called a failure after one go, but it does appear we are ramming a square peg in a round hole. Watch us try Ballance there in the not too distant future. As for Cook? Well, 32 and counting. But by doing so we are disloyal. I got “Captaincy” by Graham Gooch out of the loft this weekend, and read the bit about how it was vital for him to score runs at the top of the order as captain or else the players would question his legitimacy to lead. But if we point that sort of thing out, it’s heresy. Well, there you go…….
Ian Bell made a very nice 143. OK, not a small enough ton to anger my senses, but still. He has a relative shortage of 150s for a man who has passed 100 on 22 occasions. I think I pointed out that 119 makes his top ten. This is picking on the man who pulled our arses out of the fire with a splendid innings, but I wanted more. There’s nothing much in this wicket, and the bowling is no better than decent. Our propensity to make big scores overseas is not great, and what a statement a double would have been. That said, Bell in flow is a decent old sight, although I’m not going into the paroxysms of ecstasy I was reading BTL. This blogger has been frustrated at his performances in the past, but now worries he is our rock (along with Root). Seems there is room for one other high performer, with a bit of swagger in there to me!
Didn’t see a lot of the bowling. Can’t help thinking that Chris Jordan is going to be the Phil De Freitas of his generation, and Stuart Broad is not going to be here for the long haul. Anderson, I understand, bowled well, but he’s no spring chicken. When I saw Tredwell, he looked like he posed no threat, but did take a wicket.
Happy to hear more, and will be along later.