I remember, a couple of years ago now, popping down to The Oval for the season opener against Somerset. At this stage Jos had broken into the England limited over teams and was seen as a T20 assassin in the English competition. This picture, of him not particular flattering pose, was tkaen then. I think Jade Dernbach dismissed him. He was an ODI player too! How fondly we remember that.
England look to ride the Buttler Bus all the way to a series win. His mind is uncluttered, free from the stick or twist nature of test cricket for the time being, a purchased star for the biggest stage of all. His century in the first game was the key cog in a 400 innings (call me a liar for a run) and his tour de force finish in the second game, making Imran Tahir look like the sort of stuff I used to dreg up in the intra-club games. He seems a decent, self-effacing chap, the sort that us English quite like. Be really good, but don’t be too damn flash about it.
Alex Hales played a really decent innings on Saturday, and yes, he became the first man to make 99 at ODI and T20 level, and I’m hoping that he’ll go on and become the man to set us up at the top of the order. Jason Roy showed what I think most Surrey fans know – he’s a definite hit or miss player, but the hits are really worth it. The gate between his bat and pad when Abbott dismissed him last weekend was quite alarming which should be Exhibit A for any people tempted to think he might be the next taxi on the rank for the test opener slot. But Jason is box office, and I’m hoping we treat him better than we did Ally Brown back in the day.
The bowling did well on Saturday and kept the South Africans to a total that could be managed. I think we all know that this part of the team is a work in progress, but in Adil and Moeen, we have two spinners who I don’t mind having in the team going into the upcoming World T20.
We meet again in Centurion, on the High Veldt, and while not the home to the fearsome totals at Friday’s location, it still poses a great test. The home team are giving off the vibe that they are in a state of flux, and it is England’s time to pounce.
Comments on the game below, of course…..