Back to normal for me, I’m afraid.
I’d like to thank Justin for inviting me to share the day with him and his colleagues yesterday. I had an absolutely brilliant day and appreciated it so much. A day like yesterday reinforced to me how great it must be to watch this sport and get paid for it. I know it was a one-off so it was probably more special for being so.
Some quick thoughts. Stuart Broad was immense yesterday. I thought he bowled superbly on a wicket not giving him much help. This isn’t Nagpur, as some tedious irk said on Thursday, but it is a benign surface and thought processes and proper considered bowling were required. Once again, Anderson, who was such a rock on surfaces and conditions like these, was below par. I really believe we hit the high-water mark two years ago at Trent Bridge, and something inside Anderson went with him. Sure, you’ll get good performances now and then, but the tiger inside may have roared its last. I’m probably talking nonsense, but he did not bowl well.
Steve Smith was a pleasure to watch. It’s not for the beauty of his batting, but for his temperament. He’s also a photographer’s nightmare / dream.
As for England’s batting. Knock me down with a feather. We collapsed. I missed Bell completely (toilet break) and Australia did Root up like a kipper. Watching Johnson in full cry was an amazing sight.
To today. England need a miracle, but I’ll say this. Ben Stokes came out at 30 for 4, and the Aussies are nervous of him. He was allowed to plonk his front foot down and drive, in stead of Johnson starting off with chin music. He has that swagger about him. It’s the first time I’ve seen him in the flesh. I was impressed. Cook’s knock at the other end was what was required.
Comments on the day’s play here. I might put some of the 235 pictures I took yesterday up during the day.