Day 1 of Test 2 -The Big Two


Evening all. Pleased to know, no doubt, that my laptop appears to be in its final cycle of life for reasons best known to itself, so it has taken a while to get up and running. Add to that my little appointment this afternoon, and cricket has been on the periphery. So the round up will be brief.

314 for 4 after winning the toss is a very good position. Joe Root took the honours with a very impressive 141 not out, and must be looking to convert this one into a super daddy century tomorrow. Virat Kohli, a man he is compared to in this new breed of top test batsmen, has been filling his boots with a double in Antigua and it would be nice to match. I heard Vic Marks say on the radio that this sealed the issue with him at number three, which is a little premature given in 2013, when he played his second test as opener at Lord’s he made a 180+. We do seem to be in an awful rush to anoint changes as successes. Joe is a fine player, I still think he’s better suited at 4, but that doesn’t matter at the moment. What does is that he made a century, has taken England into a strong position, and 314 for 4 seems even stronger knowing he’s back tomorrow.

Of course there was a century for Alastair Cook. These are now greeted like Christmas Day – of course, the birthday of our captain – by children. The punditerati fall over themselves to celebrate his genius. They compare his records to the greats – he matched Bradman’s 29 centuries today, don’t you know, and also the most hundreds by an England captain too – and give off the effect that his hundred today is a return to some normalcy. Well, it isn’t, is it? It’s his second test hundred at home since May/June 2013. Since then he has gone home series against Australia, Sri Lanka, India, Australia and Sri Lanka again without making a century, with just the excellent 162 v New Zealand in there to break the duck. It was Cook’s first first innings ton at home since his century v South Africa at The Oval in 2012. Cook’s centuries are becoming more spaced apart – his last was 11 test matches ago – and yet we are constantly reminded of his record. I know, people will think this is just me nitpicking because I am anti-Cook. I’m anti people telling me incorrect assumptions, that’s what I am. Cook has played a very good innings today, and one that may have taken the initiative back in this series. Well done.

I noted the Manchester humourists were crying out no-ball whenever Amir bowled. You pay your money, you are entitled to have your say as long as it isn’t abusive or offensive. Amir took a couple of wickets and was viewed as the pick of the bowlers, while Yasir Shah had one of those days, and now seems a lot more human.

Chuntering will start over Alex Hales and James Vince. The latter is going to get it first, no doubt. James Vince has never convinced me he’s remotely test class, but I’ve also got to caveat that by saying I’ve not seen a lot of him. Vince was one of those guys that came with a reputation, but George Dobell said last year, or even the year before, that he scores runs off bad balls fine, but has real difficulties with good ones. His penchant here seems to be nicking off after playing a couple of glorious shots. Pringle has been a staunch advocate, but he’s selling his shares now, as once again he invokes Ramprakash (what did Mark do to him to make him invoke him so) in the “he looks nice but doesn’t have the temperament” piece. England are in a quandary now with Vince. Boot him out and what do you replace him with? Keep him, and know that one score could be the outlier that Robson and Lyth (two other discards) scored rather earlier in their truncated test careers. The knives were doubly sharpened for Compton, both this and the first time around, whereas the arms are ready to be put around Vince’s shoulders. There there. Meanwhile, Hales is not starting the innings well for us, and those whispers are going to start.

OK, enough from me. This was a good toss to win, and England have made hay. They find themselves in a strong position, and Root going on will make that stronger. Still Bairstow, Stokes and Moeen to come after Woakes too. Let’s all go off and read what Newman has had to say to complete a wonderful day.

Comments on Day 2 tomorrow, and wishing Chris a safe evening and return to England after the events in Munich. Keep as safe as you can, sir.


29 thoughts on “Day 1 of Test 2 -The Big Two

  1. Escort Jul 22, 2016 / 10:13 pm

    Good days play I thought. Cook really struggling to explaine why Woakes was sent out as night watchman on Sky atm though. Odd decision I thought.


      • Escort Jul 22, 2016 / 10:42 pm

        That’s a polite way of putting it.😬😬


    • alecpaton Jul 23, 2016 / 7:44 am

      Presumably when the time comes to choose a number 6 batsman, a bell rings in the dressing room and whoever out of Stokes, Woakes, Ali and Bairstow is padded up first is sent onto the field. Certainly how I would do it.


  2. Random Jul 22, 2016 / 10:43 pm

    On 5 Cook said that Woakes asked to go out as night watchman. That seems feasible. Feel for Ali now pp pushed to 9.

    I thought Cook batted really well today and Root looked in fine touch.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 22, 2016 / 10:55 pm

      Most who saw it said Cook batted well. It’s a shame in some ways that I don’t believe a number of them who have claimed that when he hasn’t. But enough have said it to convince me! As if that matters….

      Thanks for the comment “Random”. If new, welcome….


      • Random Jul 23, 2016 / 8:39 am

        Thanks, I’ve been lurking and reading for a while, thought I would contribute for a change!

        The striking thing about Root and Cook yesterday was how few chances they created for the bowlers, both of them batted really solidly and patiently, while still scoring at a decent rate. They seemed to be playing against different bowlers and on a different wicket to Hales, Vince and Ballance.

        Ballance worked hard, but Vince just doesn’t seem to learn.


  3. Philip Chapman Jul 23, 2016 / 6:54 am

    I think Woakes just wanted a bat and thought this was his best chance! In his shoes I would haave been fully padded up before being asked!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Jul 23, 2016 / 7:11 am

      Agreed. I think Woakes is batting in the right position today imo.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. thelegglance Jul 23, 2016 / 8:19 am

    Sunny morning here in Munich. That was one of the more interesting evenings out. I was in Marienplatz, and still not clear what happened there. I was sat outside a bar when there was a mass panic people running and screaming. Only way I can describe it is that it was exactly like you see in a film, people falling and being trampled on in a rush to get away.

    Somewhat surreal. Armed police surrounded the area, kept us all inside and was stuck there for a few hours. Turns out I’m extremely calm in a panic, which came as a surprise, though shouting in English at Germans to stay calm wasn’t especially bright.

    Sneaked out after a few hours and walked back through the city to get to the hotel, which was in chaos in the bar area as I guess lots of people had nowhere else to go.

    Weird evening. Poor Munich, such a lovely city.


    • Zephirine Jul 23, 2016 / 10:55 am

      Glad you’re OK, LG.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. SimonH Jul 23, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Didn’t watch much of the day’s play because of computer problems. Has anyone seen a crowd figure?

    I managed to watch about fifteen minutes of the other Test before my PC packed up again. It was desperate stuff. The reserve team of a not-very-good-anyway West Indies getting slaughtered by a team they owe millions to in front of a crowd that can barely have been in three figures. Someone should turn it into an art installation entitled ‘Memorial to Srini, Wally and Giles (and Dave)’ because it’s certainly no use to anyone as a sporting contest.


    • SimonH Jul 23, 2016 / 10:18 am

      “he took exception to Thompson’s call for terrestrial coverage when Sky have bankrolled the ECB for the last decade”:


    • Zephirine Jul 23, 2016 / 11:05 am

      “the acrimonious fall-out from a well-balanced article in Sportsmail by highly respected Cricket Correspondent Paul Newman.” Ah, those acrimonious fall-outs, such an unwanted and unsought result of the well-respected reporting of the highly balanced Mr Newman in the ever-truthful Daily Mail. How do these things happen? So unfair.

      I did like the line about ‘Graves, fancifully, has installed himself as commercial chairman’.


  6. Zephirine Jul 23, 2016 / 3:20 pm

    Root !!! 254 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  7. d'Arthez Jul 23, 2016 / 5:14 pm

    Seems like were back to boring tests, where the result is pretty much guaranteed. Yeah, that will do Test cricket good.

    Whether that is in the West Indies or England.


    • SimonH Jul 23, 2016 / 5:53 pm

      Big three: 589/9d & 566/8d

      Non-Big three: 57/4 & 123/5 (at time of writing).

      Nope, just can’t see a pattern there.


    • sidesplittin Jul 23, 2016 / 5:59 pm

      Not a bit of it down to Root or Woakes’s respective skills then.

      Coulda sworn Pak won the last test.


      • Escort Jul 24, 2016 / 8:27 am

        Good point well made


    • d'Arthez Jul 23, 2016 / 11:12 pm

      I am sure Sidesplittin is well aware of the multitude of opportunities Pakistan get to play in England / South Africa / Australia or New Zealand – places where pace is the more threatening form of bowling. Care to enlighten us when the last time was that Pakistan toured any of those places for a Test series?

      Pakistan were set up for failure. It says a lot about England that they still contrived to lose at Lord’s. I probably don’t need to point you to the multitude of articles that congratulated Pakistan, and did not stab away at the selectors sensible decisions to let Anderson and Stokes take some rest.

      But I suppose the standard of play is always excellent if your team wins ….

      And West Indies are made to follow on yet again. Excellent cricket from the financially starved hosts, I presume …

      Liked by 1 person

      • d'Arthez Jul 24, 2016 / 12:02 pm

        So, Sidesplittin is in favour of one-sided maulings, as long as England win. Yeah, that will do Test cricket good. I mean, the Sri Lanka series of 2016 is one that will be talked about for years, right?

        Or the brilliant cricket on offer in the West Indies by the host, yeah, that will get the locals excited, as evidenced by the droves of people who bothered to turn up, to see yet another glorious performance by the West Indians.

        England played crap at Lord’s that is why Pakistan won. We have seen that before (i.e. at Lord’s against Australia, at Lord’s against India). But that does not mean that the opposition is good. Or were the Tests against Australia otherwise competitive (Trent Bridge was of course the most competitive Test in England since the Edgbaston Ashes Test of 2005, right?).

        And we all know how brilliantly India batted in Manchester – like a team that actually played with pride and could be bothered, right … oh wait, they did not give a flying fuck. I am sure that will have improved Test cricket) Before we forget, India actually got rewarded with a fifth Test in 2014 for their excellent play in 2011, only losing a very competitive series 4-0, with Gambhir being excellent, Sehwag being even better, and we all know how brilliantly India bowled in that sereies.

        Test cricket is dying, but some people prefer not to see it.

        Individual performances mask that to some extent (eg. Sangakkara managed to do that for Sri Lanka in the past few years – and look at where they are now – the only recent series at home they have won against Big-8 opposition is against the mighty West Indies who are doing extremely well wherever they travel, as evidenced by the brilliant record of having won a massive two Tests on the road since the start of 2000 against Big 8 opposition), but if you actually bother to pay attention beyond the nationalistic chauvinism (and the same applies to Indians, South Africans, Australians etc.), then you cannot miss the huge challenges Test cricket faces, due to willful mismanagement by the powers that be.

        Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Jul 24, 2016 / 9:04 am

      Bit disappointed you didn’t work in a reference to Leicester City there, Sidesplittin’.

      Presumably the fact that I point out India have a bit more money than West Indies also means I don’t think Virat Kohli is a good player (or that I’m not pleased to see Shami back from injury, or that Yadav’s one-two to get Holder and Carlos Brathwaite wasn’t a superb piece of bowling, or…..).

      I’d rather see them on a more level playing field though.


  8. northernlight71 Jul 23, 2016 / 7:42 pm

    Apparently PurpleWoodpecker is really specialist in orthopaedics.
    I am simultaneously not surprised – their reputation among other medics isn’t high – and yet sceptical.
    Presuming he or she still stalks me here, hello Woody. Keep reducing those fractures while the rest of us do the proper medicine, eh?


    • quebecer Jul 25, 2016 / 2:56 am

      My comments on there, Northern, about raising the tone certainly weren’t directed at you, old thing. But I think you know that. He’s an odd bird, and no mistake.

      Have decided to occasionally poke fun, burst the odd bubble (of my choosing), and take on only those I know who can appreciate it over there. Most of the Indian boys are still good value, mind you, and there’s a few Pakistani boys reappearing who I like, but TheHarry seems to have given up. He really was the last person standing.


      • nonoxcol Jul 25, 2016 / 7:34 am

        Lovely to see richardha28 back too, throwing casual insults at everyone who dares pipe up with criticism of Cook. Always remember the first time I came across him, towards the end of the 13/14 Ashes, when he said that “everyone” was fed up reading my “ill-informed drivel on these boards”. It was nice that I was able to show him a post from Fred, just a few days earlier, saying that I was the English poster who had best encapsulated the developing rage during that series. richardha28 never bothered me again.


        • LordCanisLupus Jul 25, 2016 / 9:20 am

          Amuses me he calls everyone idiots but can’t spell the name of the captain he worships.


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