2015 Ashes – 2nd Test, Day 1

England’s Second Test Venue…..

I would encourage you, if you haven’t already, to read the preview piece by the Leg Glance and the new Ashes Panel (below). They shouldn’t be lost below a thread on the first day’s play at Lord’s.

For my own reminder, I know I am four centuries behind on Century Watch, but will have a bit of breathing space after this match to catch up a little,

But this game now takes precedence and the series will pivot on this. We look to have good weather set for the game, so a result is probably on the cards. A win for England and the series takes on a surprising complexion, a win for Australia and it is game on. The latter, in my view, looks unlikely. This squad is showing all the distress signals we were seeing from England in 2013/14. Injuries, rifts, personal issues (I know this is more coincidental than causal) and things just not going to plan. This is a huge match.

Comments below…..


72 thoughts on “2015 Ashes – 2nd Test, Day 1

  1. OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 9:22 am

    The teams haven’t been announced yet, but I will be genuinely shocked if Watson is dropped. Obviously Haddin is an enforced change and I don’t think they would have made it if circumstances hadn’t prevailed, but your team for the first test is generally the team you want to play the series barring form and injury. If they do drop Watson it suggests that the ‘blip’ is being perceived internally as something more than that.

    It’s like an English tour to Australia, first team selection doesn’t work, ring the changes (or see India away when Panesar was picked for the 2nd test)


    • thelegglance Jul 16, 2015 / 11:46 am

      Not sure whether you saw it, but Clarke was clearly thrilled at the toss about Watson not playing. It was extremely obvious.


      • OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 5:22 pm

        No I missed that. No love lost there and barring injury that’s the end of Watto’s test career.

        He looked the part of an all Australian hero, but he never quite did it in test matches.


  2. SimonH Jul 16, 2015 / 9:43 am

    Australia won toss and bat. Cook said he’d have batted. Warne back on Sky duty reckons pitch is dry and will be slow initially but getting quicker – he also reckoned (before the toss) it wouldn’t be a bad toss to lose.

    Teams as expected.

    Weather overcast and humid with cloud forecast to burn off in afternoon so important first session coming up.


  3. OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 10:19 am

    Rogers is trying to hit everything, this will either be a brilliant innings or he’ll be out soon.


    • OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 5:23 pm

      Brilliant innings then. To be fair he calmed down after he reached 30 odd, but it worked as the bowling with the new ball was the worst bowling all day.


  4. SimonH Jul 16, 2015 / 10:39 am

    Cloud cover burnt off quicker than expected and precious little swing so far. Just a bit of seam movement. Bounce looks pretty consistent.


  5. d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 10:55 am

    From the little I have seen, the pitch look like a batting paradise. And this start is just what Australia needed. I have my doubts with regards to England’s batting, especially when they have to deal with scoreboard pressure themselves.

    Will be interesting to see if either team manages 20 wickets.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sir Peter Jul 16, 2015 / 11:03 am

    I have a bad feeling about this…we’ll need a kp to hold things together 🙂


  7. Sir Peter Jul 16, 2015 / 11:08 am

    And alas, I can’t see our openers doing quite as well. Hopefully I’m talking a load of cods.


  8. Sir Peter Jul 16, 2015 / 11:11 am

    Warner out.


  9. d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 11:11 am

    Warner suicides in the thirties again. Against Moeen Ali, in his first over.


  10. OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 11:12 am

    poor batting by Warner again. Which bit of ‘Moen takes wickets’ do they not get? He has hit one lovely shot (to an full toss loosener), and then smeared two more, and then he is out. Anderson v Smith should be interesting at Lords.


  11. thelegglance Jul 16, 2015 / 11:28 am

    Warner is a proper dimwit. The message is obviously “attack Moeen”, so he thinks that means “slog every ball as far as possible”.


    • paulewart Jul 16, 2015 / 11:53 am

      Rather like Alastair Cook in the first test….Bayliss had to publically remind his skipper that being aggressive didn’t mean changing your natural game.


  12. d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 12:17 pm

    In other news, Tredwell has finally picked up his first 3 wickets of the season in Division 2. Mind you, his average is still 50+ for the season (3 games played). Surrey duly romped to a six-wicket win. Again, he bowls mainly at second Division batsmen, so whatever made Whittaker, Moores and Cook think “Test class spinner”?

    Meanwhile we still don’t know if Rashid actually has what it takes to succeed in Tests …


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 16, 2015 / 12:24 pm

      Didn’t feel like a romp to a Surrey fan especially when he had Sangakkara stumped !


      • d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 1:37 pm

        Maybe not a romp, but considering the state of the game at Stumps Day 2 (after which I had to contend with a 24-hour power outage), a very good result. I was certainly not expecting this – if victory was to happen for either side, I’d expect it in the last session of the game.

        Certainly not complaining, since Surrey seem to be nurturing a fair number of good prospects.

        It may have spun substantially (Tredwell getting the new ball suggests that). But even so, you’d expect a good team to chase down a target of 125. And Surrey did not disappoint in that respect.


    • metatone Jul 16, 2015 / 3:32 pm

      And this already looks like a pitch where a leg-spinner might have been a good pick…


      • OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 5:25 pm

        On cricinfo and the guardian they said he ruled himself out with an injury to his spinning finger (Rashid). However no mention of it on TMS, the times or the BBC


  13. d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    165/1 after 47 overs. Australia have batted themselves into a useful position. Smith just two shy of a 50, Rogers on 69*. England could be in the field for a while …


  14. ArushaTZ Jul 16, 2015 / 2:12 pm

    Anybody else a bit sickened at the site of a hospitality box with Andrew Strauss, James Whittaker, John Major, Tim Rice and Jeffrey Archer amongst the party? All enjoying the champagne hospitality, looking like they were enjoying themselves.
    Athers made a nice little comment that he can’t recall Strauss having been spotted at a test match in the north (not that there is one in this series).


    • SteveT Jul 16, 2015 / 2:30 pm

      Makes you want to use the C-word!!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    Jeffrey Archer? Was it not some kind of running joke that he actually spent time in jail? I may be missing something here, but … is he the mentor of Mr. Giles Clarke?


  16. d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 2:24 pm

    Bell dropped Smith. Fairly straightforward too.

    Cues the endless stream of derision he will be getting today.


  17. thelegglance Jul 16, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    First mention of the pitch being really, really flat, and with no spin it’s going to be a very long five days.

    I know this is a very radical concept,but maybe wait until both sides have completed their first innings? Australia could still be 350 all out, England could be 200 all out. Calling out the pitch as “killing cricket” at this stage is beyond stupid – and pretty disappointing that people as astute as Ponting and Hussain are the ones doing it.


    • d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 2:35 pm

      Seems nothing wrong in the pitch thus far. If it still plays like this on Day 5 though … But we have to wait and see for that. The pitch could become more and more conducive to spin, uneven bounce may become a feature too.

      Australia have had a few close shaves too, that with a bit of luck could have resulted in a wicket or two (Bell dropping Smith, Rogers surviving a few scares). It is equally true that England have not bowled as well, as they would have liked.

      189/1 (after 54 overs) and Australia are ahead. But if it had been 189/3, it would have been about par, maybe England slightly in front, considering how Lord’s tends to be batting friendly in the first few days.


    • Pontiac Jul 16, 2015 / 3:16 pm

      Hasn’t it been a pattern over the last couple years where on the first day or so of a Lord’s test there’s all this moaning about how flat the pitch is but the game ends with someone getting bowled out for about 220 at tea on the fifth day?

      Liked by 1 person

  18. PaulE Jul 16, 2015 / 2:51 pm

    Shock, horror! Cook’s revolutionary tactic of throwing a ball to the spinner before tea fails to produce a wicket. Will this be commented on? Has Cook’s captaincy entered a period of decline form which there will be no return? Has he lost his funk?

    I always had him down as more Peter Skellern than George Clinton, I must say.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rooto Jul 16, 2015 / 4:34 pm

      The Richard Stilgoe of funky captaincy.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Grenville Jul 16, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    I’ve not been following this as well as I should be to make this comment, but it seems that, barring Davey W, Aus have worked out how to make the Beard not very fearsome. Day 1 of course, but my pre-series prediction is looking better than it did at Cardiff.


    • OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 3:23 pm

      It is a slow pitch, England didn’t bowl well for the first 12 overs (they made a few half-chances but weren’t really getting it in the consistent areas that they did in the 2nd innings in Cardiff), however post lunch they have bowled well but there is nothing in the pitch really. It may be a ‘make the new ball count’ pitch by the looks of it.


      • Grenville Jul 16, 2015 / 3:37 pm

        That’s helpful, thank you.


  20. thebogfather Jul 16, 2015 / 3:39 pm

    I haven’t been able to follow much of today so far and I am TMS only, but anyone have any comments on how Captain Fantastic is marshalling his troops?


    • thelegglance Jul 16, 2015 / 3:42 pm

      Not too bad. No meltdown, not outstanding, just fair to middling really.


    • OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      Not too bad, he tried the spinner before tea tactic (using Lyth as a leftfield choice). After lunch England bowled as dry as they could, and given that the pitch is much flatter than Cardiff, there isn’t much they he can do apart from hope a batsman gives his wicket away.

      The pundits reckon it will quicken up over the next few days, we should be able to score lots on this pitch, but scoreboard pressure does unusual things to batsmen.


  21. metatone Jul 16, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    242-1 so far.

    England likely going to lose this by an innings.


    • SteveT Jul 16, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      The Century Watch backlog might well get bigger after this match!


    • metatone Jul 16, 2015 / 4:09 pm

      Posted this on this very site on July 12:

      “I’m definitely suspicious of the idea that this England bowling attack has all the bases covered. As soon as it dries up and swing goes away they are going to look as toothless as usual.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • thelegglance Jul 16, 2015 / 4:10 pm

        Let’s wait and see if Australia are equally toothless on this pitch.


      • OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 5:06 pm

        I blame FICJAM on TMS (Ed Smith). He wasn’t present for Cardiff, he is now and every time I turn the radio on his smug voice echo’s out. Although Geoffrey constantly referring to him as the ‘Wordsmith’ in an ironic tone all the time makes up for it a little. The lack of respect Geoffrey has for him is clear.

        Liked by 2 people

  22. Andy Jul 16, 2015 / 4:14 pm

    I’ve just said elsewhere something along the lines of ‘shooting yourself in the foot’.

    Eng request a slower pitch, then don’t have the bowlers to take wickets on the pitch they get.


  23. SimonH Jul 16, 2015 / 4:15 pm

    Pringle needs 8 from 11 including this one.

    There’s probably slightly more chance that Selvey will start calling for the inclusion of Adil Rashid.


    • d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 5:19 pm

      Even if the Pakistan series does not go ahead, at best that can be reduced to 5 from 8. (And that was on the assumption that England would whitewash Pakistan in the UAE. Who’d be willing to bet on that?)


  24. Rooto Jul 16, 2015 / 4:43 pm

    Totally missed the first test due to being on the road. Apologies for missing the panel, btw. Now arrived at my parents’ place in England to find exactly what I feared would happen taking place. It’s like the “first test” never happened. Is everyone absolutely sure that it did, really?


  25. Zephirine Jul 16, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    Been out all afternoon, just got in. Aus 327 for 1. O.M.G….

    Tell you what England could do with on this pitch – the sort of batsman who scores, oo, I dunno, 355*?

    Liked by 1 person

    • escort Jul 16, 2015 / 5:18 pm

      After today that could be well below the follow-on figure.


      • metatone Jul 16, 2015 / 5:20 pm

        Very hard to see where the wickets will come from.

        To revive an old saying – Is it cowardly to pray for rain?

        Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Jul 16, 2015 / 6:55 pm

      “Aus 327 for 1. O.M.G….”.

      Twitter may have to find more band-width to accommodate all the “just add two wickets to the score” Tweets being posted ironically.


  26. escort Jul 16, 2015 / 5:07 pm

    Taking the positives from today at least we were only 3 overs short of the required 90 by 6pm


  27. d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    337/1 at stumps. Brilliant captaincy by Cook but I am sure that Bell will be lambasted.

    Cook probably did not do too terribly in the field, but if he can be praised for getting the basics right, because the Australians got themselves out in Cardiff, then he can be critiicised for the lack of results too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Jul 16, 2015 / 5:19 pm

      I think we have to come back to selection and the (lack of) balance in the bowling attack. We have no meaningful options when there is no swing.

      Now I’ll cheerfully admit that much of that is because when you get down to county level, there aren’t many options there. Still, it’s a huge weakness that Broad and Anderson get so toothless so quickly on pitches like this. Stokes is also markedly less threatening. Perhaps Rashid’s injury will turn out to be crucial, as Ali surely can’t bowl too many overs for fear of aggravating his injury.


      • escort Jul 16, 2015 / 5:30 pm

        Any ideas as to who should be picked on a wicket such as this?

        Liked by 1 person

      • OscarDaBosca Jul 16, 2015 / 5:30 pm

        Broad bowled really well today, good length and made the batsmen work for their runs. Anderson didn’t threaten, Woods line and length was off in the morning 6 balls in 6 different areas. Moen bowled okay, but the pitch is too slow for the turn to be threatening. Didn’t see much of Stokes as l was also trying to work today!


    • wrongunatlongon Jul 16, 2015 / 5:26 pm

      Bell might get lambasted, but it’s become increasingly clear that he just isn’t a very good second slip. It’s not like there has been a decline in his catching there, as he has never done it until the last year or so, to my recollection. Sticking him in there and worrying about him dropping a few, is like opening the batting with Broad, then moaning that he doesn’t knuckle down and score a ton every game.

      If only we had an experienced pro in the side, preferably a batsman, who has fielded second slip for his County, very successfully over the past few years…


      • Zephirine Jul 16, 2015 / 5:53 pm

        I had the impression that Bell had fielded quite well in the slips back in the day, but perhaps I was mixing him up with someone else.
        If it was him, he obviously lost the knack in the intervening years.


      • d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 5:53 pm

        Then why put him there if he is not a specialist? Try to get fielders to field in positions they are specialised in. It may help. What are the usual fielding positions for these cricketers, when they do play a county game?


      • wrongunatlongon Jul 16, 2015 / 9:29 pm

        sorry D’Arthez; that was sort of my point. Lyth apparently fields 2nd slip for Yorkshire, very well.

        I think Bell has almost always been at cover, or otherwise he’s an excellent short leg. Gully at a push, if the cordon requires more bodies. But regular second slip? not that I noticed. We’ve been reasonably fortunate to have some pretty good slips in recent years, from Trescothick and Flintoff, Strauss, Swann, Cook, Jordan…I think Bell being in there is a new development, and I’m not sure how long they’ll stick with it, the only reason I can think is that they aren’t sure Lyth will be in the side for very long, so want someone more settled into the inner circle…

        On that note, if I was Ballance I’d spend serious time working on slipping. He’s not got the figure to be an outstanding grounds fielder, and there is definitely a vacany there. Strings to bows, etc.


      • d'Arthez Jul 17, 2015 / 9:14 am

        I thought the same about Lyth as well. If he slips for Yorkshire, that means he’d probably be better off in the slips for England as well. It would also help build Lyth’s confidence (he is still fighting to establish himself in the side), and help to not destroy Bell’s.

        Or are fielding positions in England awarded on the basis of seniority, and / or (future) England captaincy material considerations? There is no particular good reason why the captain has to be in the slips.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Tuffers86 Jul 16, 2015 / 5:27 pm

    It’s all Ian Bell’s fault.


  29. SimonH Jul 16, 2015 / 5:31 pm

    This is well timed:

    Let’s see how that positivity goes when chasing six hundred after two days in the field. Blast 800 with Cooky making the fastest ever quadruple century and put Australia under pressure on the last day?

    I particularly love, “In her book Love Game, the cultural critic Elizabeth Wilson used a Marxist intellectual framework to….. “. That must be the most Ed Smith line ever. He’s writing about tennis of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulewart Jul 17, 2015 / 6:40 am

      I’m assuming he means cultural theorist and a Marxist theoretical framework……is Ed a cultural materialist after all?


    • Arron Wright Jul 17, 2015 / 7:26 am

      I honestly thought that line was you parodying his style!

      I think it beats my favourite from his recent cricinfo article:

      “So my thesis is that there is a far deeper kind of momentum and a much more complex dimension of positivity.”

      Someone should run a “FICJAM or FAKEJAM” test.


    • d'Arthez Jul 16, 2015 / 5:59 pm

      Not to mention Cook being not exactly a genius before the sacking of Pietersen either.

      Or was Cook running scared for a ghost that he supposedly restored to the team? Yeah, that makes sense. Alternatively, was Cook so afraid of the headmaster that he did not dare to veto Mr. Flower over KP’s restoration to the team? That is not exactly inspiring confidence in Cook’s leadership abilities either …

      Questions, questions, questions …


    • escort Jul 16, 2015 / 5:59 pm

      The allegation that Cook would quit (if Pietersen was selected) has been repeated again after Cook denied doing so. Who tells the truth i wonder???


    • Zephirine Jul 16, 2015 / 6:02 pm

      How many more times? Cook is not the Messiah, and Pietersen is not a very naughty boy.


  30. paulewart Jul 16, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    Pup’s captaincy was great today……he led from the front in the dressing room….


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