2nd Test Preview

Dmitri on the decks for this one, written on Wednesday night, a couple of days before the game is due to begin. This won’t be long.

As we all know, England came out on the wrong end of a hard fought game, with the best performances by the visitors just about overcoming Chris Woakes’ break out game. With Woakes proving such a success, it is Jake Ball, who let no-one down on his debut likely to give way for the fit for the first test (so we are told) Jimmy Anderson, and possibly Finn may make way for a second spinner (or if Ball keeps his place), or more likely for Ben Stokes. There may be questions around Moeen with Rashid included in the squad, but at the end of the day, they’ll pick who they pick. Whoever they is.

The last time England lost the first test of a series, it was against Australia in Brisbane. That didn’t end well. The last time they lost the first test of a series at home, it was against South Africa in 2012. That didn’t end well either. Pakistan won the first test in England, at Lord’s, in 1996. We lost that series 2-0. So omens aren’t good, are they?

I’m not going to make this a long post, because the joy of these threads are the comments as the game goes by. The press reaction, given how they have the selection committee in their sights at the moment, will also be very interesting. Interest in the series has risen because there is a real contest in prospect. It augurs well. Hopefully the weather plays ball and we get another excellent game.

Comments and observations below. And laughter, as around the tea break and into the evening session, I’ll be having root canal done. Lovely jubbly.



37 thoughts on “2nd Test Preview

  1. nonoxcol Jul 21, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    I look forward to your first day bwiefing, live from Foggy Bottom. As long as you aren’t too hostile.

    (Confused? Google Celestial Navigation plot and quotes)

    Oh, I had it done last year. It’s not that bad.


  2. Julie Jul 21, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Dmitri, you poor thing.I’ll be thinking of you and your root canal.Being the coward I am at the dentist, I just had the tooth out.Just think about Cookie batting while they do it.Should almost send you to sleep.Am looking forward to tonight and the start of the test.Am hoping for a great close game but I want Pakistan to win.Will never forgive England for what they did to KP.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 21, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      They aren’t seeking forgiveness. Think we’ve established that.


    • northernlight71 Jul 21, 2016 / 11:31 pm

      Last time I needed it done, I had the tooth out as well. But not because of the hassle or pain, it was simply a lot cheaper.
      Not something the Selveys of this world need to worry about, I’ll wager.


  3. Rooto Jul 21, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Summer’s hotting up. Feels like you may be busy again soon, Dmitri. Good luck for tomorrow, and hope you’re in fighting form for the coming weeks.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 21, 2016 / 10:32 pm

      Been a little pick up in interest on here after a very quiet June. Long may it continue. Helps when some of the blog favourites are making total fools of themselves.


  4. Mark Jul 21, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    How can you leave out when we went 1-0 down to India in 2014? And the greatest comeback of all time. Remember Southampton!!! Interesting that Jimmy Anderson bailed out Cooks backside in that series. Maybe he will do so again now. Makes you wonder who has been the more important ENGLAND player since the KP sacking Cook? Or Anderson?

    It’s got to be Anderson. Can’t think of too many Cooks innings in winning test matches lately.


      • Mark Jul 21, 2016 / 10:49 pm


        Although we did go behind. But as you say not the first test.


    • Escort Jul 22, 2016 / 5:04 am

      Is it either of them? I would think Stuart Broad has been the teams most important player in recent times.


  5. SimonH Jul 21, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    Advice on playing Shah from the Essex brains’ trust:


    It isn’t all nonsense of course – playing straight is usually a good idea and, having seen all Shah’s Tests except against Bangladesh, the only batsman really to get on top of him was McCullum who danced down the wicket and smacked him straight. That said, back foot shots should be safer at OT where the bounce is usually truer. Hussain seems to be fighting the last battle more than the next one. I thought Shah bowled slower than he usually does at Lord’s as it was the only way to get any turn (except from hitting the deepest footmarks) and England’s batsman couldn’t seem to pick his length which is an under-estimated issue playing spin compared to picking variations.

    The reference to Kumble is a reminder of 92/93 when the best brains in Essex dismissed him as a slow-medium in-swinger who didn’t turn the ball. That worked out well…..


  6. Benny Jul 21, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    I’m looking forward to watching what Pakistan do.

    Both my wife and I had the root canal thing and neither of us had pain. It’s like a normal filling but takes longer. And still the dentist has to chat with you.

    “Are you feeling OK?”
    “That’s good”


    • northernlight71 Jul 21, 2016 / 11:34 pm

      I always want to take flashcards to the dentist. You know, “YES” , “NO” “THE LAKE DISTRICT” , “NORWICH CITY” , “STOP, THAT HURTS” kind of thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Zephirine Jul 22, 2016 / 1:10 am

    I dreaded having root canal treatment but everybody told me it was OK and they were right. It does go on for a long time. But it doesn’t hurt at all afterwards.

    I see St Alastair now has no idea why the media have been making a fuss about the selectors.. Could it have been something he said? Surely not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andy Jul 22, 2016 / 8:23 am

      I just came on here to post this (just having my morning news catchup).

      Here is the article


      The other titbit is

      “The medical report was 50-50, so he was left out,” said 31-year-old Cook. “The selectors felt he was a week away from match fitness.”

      50:50, not 75%, or 90%, but 50:50….

      Yet the genius’s in the press corps insist he should have played. Cause that has done wonders for so many players careers (as mentioned yesterday, the Woods / Flintoffs etc of the world)

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Jul 22, 2016 / 8:27 am

        Cook “I don’t know where these stories are coming from. ”

        I don’t know whether to laugh or chuck this phone at the bloke opposite. This simpleton shtick is getting dull.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. quebecer Jul 22, 2016 / 1:31 am

    Look. This is all very well but how do you do this stupid ‘like’ function on this stupid site?

    I mean, if I’m going to be here and everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Jul 22, 2016 / 10:36 am

      You have to have a WordPress ‘identity’, if you click on ‘like’ it’ll ask you to register.
      But there’s something annoying about that, I can’t remember what it is but I stopped doing it. I think the identity sort of follows you around on other sites.


      • Benny Jul 22, 2016 / 12:09 pm

        Have a feeling it’s the same everywhere. Guess the register/login thing is to stop people, especially the author, hittting the like button a dozen times and skewing the score


  9. Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Jul 22, 2016 / 6:23 am

    I’m confused by a couple of things to do with this Test. First, some of the descriptions of the wicket seem to match those excellent wickets produced before the changes at OT a few years back. Is it really going to offer pace and turn like that, or is more Surrey Loam dreariness the most likely result? If it is, why does anyone think playing two spinners will help us when these very same batsmen dominated those very same spinners in helpful conditions last winter? Lastly, if we are going to lose the series, as seems likely, due to the excellence of Shah where is the debate about how the lack of FC cricket in the peak of summer in futures seasons will effect our ability to bowl and face spin?

    Very brave of Joe Root to tweet yesterday about his round of golf with Vince and Stokes. Great preparation I’m sure.

    Pakistan have a sense of togetherness and a street fighter’s ethos that England seem to lack. Outside of a Joe Root ton the most likely thing to disrupt this, as ever, is our seam bowling attack.

    Two Tests on today, happy days.


    • sidesplittin Jul 22, 2016 / 3:00 pm

      Root struggling at tea after the temerity of a round of golf y’day.


  10. SimonH Jul 22, 2016 / 8:37 am

    Another good win for the Lions.

    Set the stopwatch for the first article putting it down to the genius of the coach. Bonus points if the article a) doesn’t mention the previously mediocre results of the Lions under said coach b) doesn’t give one specific thing said coach has done that has brought about these good results c) does include an explicit reference to reappointing said coach to the senior team. Double bonus points for a reference to “hounded out by Kevin Pietersen” or “man of honour who has kept his own counsel”.


  11. AB Jul 22, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    Very good ton that.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 22, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      Sounds a decent one. However all the nonsense about how this is normalcy is quite funny as it is just his second home test hundred in 23 tests and his first first innings hundred at home since July 2012.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tuffers86 Jul 22, 2016 / 3:05 pm

      Lets hope the next one screams “moves level with Shiv Chanderpaul” for consistency.


    • oreston Jul 22, 2016 / 5:22 pm

      Don Bradman: 52 tests, average 99.94, 29 centuries.
      Alastair Cook: 130 tests and counting, average a shade under 47, 29 centuries.

      A meaningless comparison before even examining the bowling attacks faced, the personal protection equipment available in the two eras or the kinds of pitches these runs were made on.

      Chances of MSM journos inserting any such reality checks into their Cooie-wookie wankathon tribute articles ? Minimal….


      • Benny Jul 22, 2016 / 5:34 pm

        Interesting comments on Sky at lunchtime. There was mention of WI famous bowling attack and Ramiz Raja recalling facing 18 bouncers in a row. Batting’s a bit easier now


  12. Topshelf Jul 22, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    It was an excellent ton, I saw almost every ball. Maybe one chance offered early, but that’s it, and some almost pretty shots. I do have a soft spot for the sheer functionality of a Cook off-drive, the absolute anti-Gower.

    Having said that, Pakistan, Amir excepted, have looked a lot more pop-gun today than at Lord’s.

    Root looks in cracking form, and has clearly decided to cut out the hook/high pull. Even wore one on the shoulder early on. He looks to be feeling his back after tea though… has golf ever given anyone (except Tiger Woods) back problems?!

    The shouts of no-ball at every Amir delivery are unutterably tedious. I hope he gets 10-175.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keeper99 (@PaulKeeper99) Jul 22, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Didn’t John Daley have back problems given the extreme coiling of his back in his swing – reminiscent of the C-shape of Jeff Thompson’s delivery action. I don’t think a ‘normal’ golf swing is linked to back issues. Not sure where Root’s problems have come from…

      Talking of injury, presumably Shah’s infamous injury was to his bowling shoulder, in which case the extent of his bowling on a day one flat-tracker might be a worry for Pakistan this series.

      Woakes could provide a big psychological impact tomorrow by batting with Root for a session.

      Signs of a very good Test series emerging here or am I being premature?


  13. Mark Jul 22, 2016 / 5:03 pm

    The media will no doubt congratulate themselves on the new selections that they wanted, but these are the same batsman as Lords. As we all know Cook and Root are the two best players and if they get runs, England get a good score. If they don’t, England struggle.


    • metatone Jul 22, 2016 / 5:15 pm

      Yep. England in the box seat thanks to Cook and Root. If they bat deep into tomorrow the rain should give English style bowling a boost on Sunday as well.


  14. hatmallet Jul 22, 2016 / 6:40 pm

    For those of who you haven’t seen Twitter, TLG is in Munich atm and not far from the shootings. Currently safe, let’s hope he stays that way – and likewise all the others caught up in it.


      • hatmallet Jul 22, 2016 / 10:09 pm

        You don’t say!


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