You see, the thing with Test cricket is very rarely is a game totally dead. It only takes a combination of some inspirational cricket, a scrambled mindset, a bit of daftness or two, and it is game on. It is what makes this game so bloody great. We’ve been hooked on that finish – well I know I was.
Now if you excuse me to make some comments, given I’ve lost what talent I had, and am wierd and a coward (Hinge and Bracket again), let’s run through some intitial thoughts:
- Let’s not be silly and pin this on Cook’s failure to up the ante. At the start of the England innings our aim was to draw this test. Given 2012, given the experience of the team in these conditions, given how the spin bowling performed in the first innings, the knock by Cook was what we needed. It ensured we would not lose in a game where the chance to win, no matter how bloody well we played, was remote. This was sit-in cricket, which won us the series in 2001. If you don’t believe me, read Michael Henderson on Mike Atherton’s century in that match.
- I said we needed one of our more flair players to really make a big score. Sadly they made half centuries. That’s not really a knock on them, but if one had stayed there we might have been able to declare a half hour earlier. I think Cook got the declaration pretty much right and was impressed, yes impressed, with his captaincy. This doesn’t absolve his sins in my eyes, but unlike others who pop, shows that I do come to fair assessments. Meanwhile, those lot were blathering on about KP. Says much.
- Well done Adil Rashid. I’m proud he shoved the garbage back down the throats of his critics. The bar is set ludicrously high for our leg spinners, thinking we’ll have a Warne or a Mushy and if we don’t then let us not bother. Given our ability to scorch the tail has been a sore point for a while now, Rashid’s evisceration of the lower order batting was mightily impressive. He bowled with flight, he got enough turn, and his fielders did the rest. Moeen was a really good partner too, and Anderson bowled excellently up front. This was a really good team performance.
- I do hope no-one goes on about time-wasting. England are just as adept as the opposition at this. We know this. This is no morality game. I might be being cynical, but in the last two overs Bell and Root decidedly did not go airborne, while Jonny B is trying to cart it to all parts. Better not have been some average harvesting there (I know Root skied a couple up in the air…..)
- Matt Prior in the studio. FML.
- On to Dubai for the next match. There’s always something about a Pakistan test series that just has that edge and it’s really great we are playing them. It’s such a refreshing change from Australia and India. I’m going to enjoy this winter.
Please add your thoughts. I might do some more on the match later.
PS – You might be interested in this….Hinge and Bracket.