Open Thread III – In At First Drop

While not quite as fierce as the first open thread, the second certainly had its moments, although not many of them were related to the actual cricket going on – though some posted in their match reports or views and they are most welcome.

So far a lot of the attention has been on the high scores for April and the proliferation of double hundreds. Ben Duckett’s 282 not out against Sussex on the opening week was joined by three first division double centuries – Jonny Bairstow making 246 against Hampshire, Sam Robson making 231 (and 106) against Warwickshire and Jonathan Trott compling an unbeaten 219 in the same match. There may be some concern that this “no-toss” rule isn’t providing spinning tracks, but roads. It’s a small sample size thus far (and I remember plenty of early season games at The Oval with large scores) but the portents are that the rampant green tops aren’t in evidence. It’s early.

This week’s matches are as follows:

Division One

Durham v Middlesex

Surrey v Somerset

Warwickshire v Yorkshire

Division Two

Derbyshire v Glamorgan

Essex v Northants

Gloucestershire v Worcestershire

Leiestershire v Kent

If anyone is remotely interested I’m thinking about going to Day 1 of the Surrey v Durham game next week, and more firmly, the first day of Surrey v Middlesex on 15 May.

Meanwhile, the IPL keeps churning along, spewing out fixture after fixture. I tried to get into it with the early matches, but I sort of share thelegglance’s attitude towards it. The content, thus far, hasn’t been gripping and emotional investment, certainly outside of India, is always going to be tough. It becomes a thin line between top class sport and exhibition stuff. Just an impression, but some of the intensity on the field isn’t there. But let’s keep an eye on it with this week’s matches:

23 April – Delhi v Mumbai

23 April – Sunrisers v Kings XI

24 April – Gujarat v Bangalore

24 April – Pune v Kolkata

25 April – Kings XI v Mumbai

26 April – Sunrisers v Pune

27 April – Delhi v Gujarat

28 April – Mumbai v Kolkata

29 April – Pune v Gujarat

Of course, with today’s IPL season-ending injury to KP, I’m even less interested in it than before.

There’s been a bit to talk about this week. The punts on Nick Browne (second division runs, eh) and James Vince in Newman’s article were very interesting. There’s the foiling of Giles Clarke’s ambitions, but even so, the brave old ECB will leave him on that unpaid gravy train for a while yet, and then there’s the boring crap about the helmet. Lord, it was a good story by Lizzie, but hell on earth, what a fuss.

Do you remember that terrible furore when one of our number said that the only way that the English medical team would learn is if one of our fast bowler’s career ended due to their mis-diagnosis or willingness to play with injections? Well, he put it a little less subtle manner and the you know what hit the fan. Now Strauss wants answers over Wood? I do hope that penny is finally dropping. Good luck Mark Wood on your recovery. I want to see you back when you are fit and ready, and as pain-free as possible.

Anyway, fire away on here. I would ask you to respect the conditions regarding the blog. I’ve let a lot of the semi-political stuff go. I really don’t like it, but I can’t be the dreaded censor. I just really don’t have the time.