Day 1 Review….And A Tribute

Before we get down to today’s amazing action at Edgbaston, I thought I’d do something a little different. It’s because this blog isn’t just a cricket blog to me, but also a little window on my life and memories. For me today has been an exceptionally sad one. When I saw this afternoon the reports of the death of Sir Peter O’Sullevan, I have to admit, a little tear came to my eye.

I’m not a racing nut. I like a bit of the top quality flat stuff, and I’ve increasingly gone off the iconic Grand National, but for people of my age, Sir Peter was an integral part of our lives. I was a young kid in a council flat in South East London, and on Saturday afternoons I was plonked in front of the TV while the horse racing was on. Now as a little kid I was fascinated by horses. When we got our first dog, we called her Gigi – not after the film, but because I wanted a horse! But I used to watch all the horse racing on BBC and the man who guided you through it, as a youngster, was Peter. He was an anchor, an icon for my childhood. When I used to play horse racing games (Totopoly anyone?) I’d imitate his voice. Dad used to think I was a bit mad. I still am. It’s the same with the other great commentator we lost this year, Richie Benaud. In the days of three channels, it was those voices that took you through the sports. A part of my childhood died today.

I’m sorry it’s not cricket, but RIP Sir Peter.

Now to the cricket. This series is getting plain daft. Australia were never going to put England in even if this pitch was a sticky dog. Too many memories, too much past form saying batting first is crucial to win the match in the Ashes. It seems like this, in hindsight, might have been a mistake. The Aussie batting, so serene at Lord’s, was put under pressure early and folded like a cheap suit. Steven Finn came back and made a great early impression, Jimmy Anderson hit the perfect notes, and Broad picked up a couple too. 36 or so overs, the Aussies had gone for 136. This is typical of this series. Expect the unexpected.

Without Chris Rogers it would have been even more disastrous. Warner has been a real disappointment thus far in the series if you are an Aussie, that pressure-free second innings at Lord’s apart, and nicking him out early opens Smith up to the moving ball. I’m sure those who think Smith is too high at three feel vindicated today, but he’s too idiosyncratic to judge strengths and weaknesses in my view. The rest of the order doesn’t seem to be in form, and the fear is that the Aussies might be carrying a passenger at #4. We all know this Aussie batting line-up is a little flakey, and England exploited it today. I always felt we had a 100-150 score to chase in us. This one puts England in pole position.

I’m just about to see Lyth’s dismissal on the highlights…. and this one doesn’t worry as much as the others. He’s playing an attacking shot, which he could have creamed for four. He wasn’t technically undressed as he has been a little. This one was non-substantial for me, other than, of course, he needs a score. Sure, have a go at the execution, maybe even the selection, but this wasn’t the same as some of those other more concerning dismissals.

Bell appears to have got out to a crazy shot – and I won’t wait for the highlights to show me it – and The Deer Hunter to some misfortune. Fact is we are three runs behind, with seven wickets in hand, and with a long batting order. Time to take control. Joe Root is the key, and I don’t know why, and I’m probably wrong, but this might be Buttler time.

SimonH asked who would make a fool of themselves? We have a winner….

Match Situation

This was a massive “f**k you” to the gobs of Steve Smith, Mitchell Johnson and all those BTL who were chuntering about “psychological scars” and “normal service resumed”…….what scars? The only psychological scars visible were that of Michael Clarke doubting his own ability….and the only normal service resuming is what has been going on for the last decade on English soil – clueless Australian collapses

The likes of Bairstow, Root, Stokes, Buttler and Ali have some great freedom to bat as they wish.

It goes on to show that it is easy to bat when your team is on top (which is why David Warner’s stats should never be taken seriously – he has five or six centuries in third innings after his team have gained a first innings lead). This was the first proper test of the much hyped Aussie batting in classic English conditions and they failed miserably.

Beaten by 405 runs? Zero wickets at Lord’s? That is how you bounce back.

You skittled us at the hot and dry WACA with Mitchell Johnson bounce and your crowd baying for English blood? Here is some classic wet and nippy Edgbaston for you added with Jimmy Anderson seam. Mitchell Johnson sure looked wound up by the crowd. Go England Go!

Let me count the ways…. As Shaw Taylor said “keep ’em peeled”.

Good night.

25 thoughts on “Day 1 Review….And A Tribute

  1. Arron Wright Jul 29, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    The same bloke thinks Australia have “given up” trying to dismiss a man who averages 34.60, with one fifty in five knocks and exactly half as many series runs as their own *second highest* scorer. He really is priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Jul 29, 2015 / 8:49 pm

      I load them up, you put them over the sightscreen.

      Check out Warner’s first test century in a losing cause.


    • escort Jul 30, 2015 / 6:00 am

      I have a horrible feeling he has already been guaranteed any position he wants in English cricket. Chairman of selectors or even a job with the ECBs PR company Sky


    • metatone Jul 30, 2015 / 9:46 am

      Only in the spirit of recognising the new member of the 400 club, I feel compelled to note that Steyn got injured partway through the 1st innings.


  2. Rooto Jul 29, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    In memoriam of Mo Mentum, daughter of R. Smyth and MS Media, sadly ailing these last 12 months and finished off by a bout of MRSA (Mis-Reading of Situation by Aussies) on 28th July, 2015. The remains to be buried in the family plot, alongside her cousins John O’Lism and Dee Tachment. Mourners will remain outside cricket.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. SimonH Jul 29, 2015 / 9:26 pm

    Oh lord, Martin Samuel.

    Anyone want to do the honours? I would but I’ve got some fish in a barrel that need shooting.


    • Arron Wright Jul 29, 2015 / 9:36 pm

      It’s not often I’m desperate for the effing Premier League to start again, but….


  4. Mark Jul 29, 2015 / 9:52 pm

    I must admit I do agree with the poster on one thing, and that is all the “chuntering” in between test matches is a pain. I don’t remember all this shite in between matches before.

    Oh, and by the way it’s not just Australia, England said some moronic things after Cardiff about how they could all play Johnson with a stick of rhubarb, and he was not much kop. It just ends up making people look like muppets. No doubt if England go on and win this match we will be back to England gobbing off.

    Hopefully Englands remaining 7 wickets can bat the day tomorrow and essentially put the game almost out of reach for the Ausies. But it is not out of the question that the Aussies shoot England out for a lead of only say 70/80. I would not want to be chasing much more than 150 in the forth innings under pressure. As the old chestnut always says….first session vital tomorrow.


    • metatone Jul 29, 2015 / 10:42 pm

      Agree with this. In principle the conditions should be better for batting tomorrow – but if England don’t take advantage, then the match will be in the balance. They have to get enough of a lead to cope with Aus batting better 2nd time around, otherwise the pressure goes back on them.


  5. Rohan Jul 29, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    I remain to be convinced that we, sorry I mean team ECB, are in control. If, at the end of tomorrow’s play, team ECB are still batting, then the match should be ours to lose, sorry I mean win!

    That may seem sceptical, but I agree with Mark above, it is not impossible for Aus to bowl us out with a low lead, 50 to 100. I do not think Aus will bat any near as badly in second innings, then us batting last will not be easy on a pitch many are predicting will deteriorate…..


  6. Fred Jul 29, 2015 / 10:10 pm

    I guess its in keeping with the spirit of our time that people rush to judgment, and even the first day of a test can be taken of evidence of complete certainty. Until the second day.
    Anderson’s always a handful in these conditions. The Australians were, rather than being hard handed and brash, a little too fearful.
    The two most important things to emerge today were that Voges catches better with his stomach than his hands, and that maybe Clarke’s batting really is becoming an issue.


  7. hatmallet Jul 29, 2015 / 10:57 pm

    Wasn’t expecting the day to go like that at all. The pitch offered some seam movement and England took full advantage, whilst Australia seemed very wary. There was not much intent from the Australian batsmen and after lunch there were some poor dismissals, be it the failed withdrawals of the bay, Nevill’s leave or Marsh’s waft. Rogers ground or a fifty without ever looking particular comfortable, though part of that is just his style.

    In response, Australia either bowled to short or to wide. They were just nowhere near what Anderson and co were able to do. Lyth looked very jittery, didn’t give you much confidence he would stay in. Cook was very unlucky with the dismissal (annoyingly I missed the wicket because I was scanning the press box through some binoculars). Bell was looking in sublime touch until his wicket. I guess if it had gone for six it would have been praised, but it was only the second ball he had faced from Lyon and didn’t need to go up a gear, we were already going at 6 over.

    Plenty of batting to come, must make hay and get a big lead. Hope we don’t get complacent though.


  8. escort Jul 30, 2015 / 5:54 am

    Agree with you about Sir Peter Dimitri. My Saturday afternoons were not much different when i was young and i’m now always of the opinion that even a bad day at the races is always better than a good day at the office, even if it’s at a wind swept freezing cold Wincanton.


    • paulewart Jul 30, 2015 / 7:40 am

      Would it be that scion of Birmingham, that son of multicultural, egalitarian, tolerant Britain Alastair Cook, by any chance? Or is the South African born Director, a shining example of British meritocracy?


    • Mark Jul 30, 2015 / 7:49 am

      The ECB always gets very nervous about giving too much credit to the Birmingahm crowd. Because that might make people ask why hasn’t there been an Ashes home test since 2005, and it amplifies how boring and dreary the Lords crowd are. And they get 2 test matches a season.


      • Arron Wright Jul 30, 2015 / 7:56 am

        There was one at Edgbaston in 2009. It was ruined by rain.

        However, your general point is one of my top bugbears concerning ECB policy. I think the bidding system is a joke, and the geographical allocation of matches shows a marked bias against the north over a long period of time (not just this summer). Did some analysis in December, just after the major matches up to 2019 were announced. I think Maxie borrowed some of it for a Full Toss piece on the same subject.


      • Arron Wright Jul 30, 2015 / 8:24 am

        It’s this second article that inspires a lot more comment and analysis from familiar faces.


      • Mark Jul 30, 2015 / 9:13 am

        I blame Charles Colville for my mistake. I heard it on Sky last night that there hasn’t been an ashes test since 2005. I thought it was a damming statistic, but didn’t bother to check it. My fault for not fact checking Sky.

        Although as Arron says, the wider point is still valid about how test matches are allocated. And the comparison to Lords.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 30, 2015 / 7:52 am

      The Deer Hunter for losing the toss. He’s only half joking


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