As I’m just using the phone at present, there will be no long discussion from me on the test starting tomorrow in Dubai. (UPDATED since)
I’ll write more tonight, all being well. The reaction to the first test has been interesting to say the least. If you can’t use a momentous 263 to “inform the malcontents of the error of their ways” then when can you? Adil has been getting his props but don’t worry, one bad game and his critics will be out.
Some statistical stuff. The next man to score a century in Dubai will be the scorer of the 20th test century at that venue. Graeme Smith holds the record score (234) and is the only visitor to score two centuries at the venue. Younis Khan has four centuries there, and Sarfraz Ahmed two. Azhar Ali, who isn’t, it looks, playing tomorrow also has two, including his match-turning 157 in 2012.
The highest team score is 517 by South Africa in 2013. There has been a 454, and two 403s, but nothing else over 400. This indicates it is the sort of surface that doesn’t resemble DXB’s runway. England’s four scores are 252, 192, 160 and 141. The lowest score is 99, made by Pakistan on two occasions. Once, of course, against England.
Alastair Cook has the air of satisfaction, rightly it should be said, of a man who has scored 263 in the first Test of a series. But the left-hander has not become England’s leading run scorer (9,593) by looking back on his achievements. He looks forward with steely determination, ready to again quench his thirst for runs.
If you see quotes that contain steel (or other metals) and our Al, please let me have them!
Al’s record in Dubai. 3,5,1 & 49. Bell’s record in Dubai. 0,4,5,10. Yikes.
There is a fair bit of international cricket on tomorrow. Sri Lanka meet the Windies at PSS Colombo in the second test; India try to draw their ODI series level in Chennai against South Africa and Zimbabwe meet Afghanistan in Bulawayo. All comments welcome.
Did You Know? The highest ODI score in Chennai is 337/7 by an Asian XI. Pakistan have the highest score by a national team (327/5) and India have never made 300 there. South Africa have played one ODI in Chennai – England beat them in a World Cup group game in 2011.
I do believe this is the West Indies first test at the P Sara Oval. The record score at the stadium is 541/9 by the hosts against Bangladesh. The ground record score is Stephen Fleming with 274. It was also the venue of my favourite of the Master Trilogy Centuries by the man who can’t be mentioned.
So, looking forward to tomorrow, and let’s have your views on all the cricket.
I hear Stokes has the guts ache. The poor sod. Feel for you sir. Put it this way. He ain’t the only one!