After the day-night nonsense on Friday, there’s a very short turnaround for game 3 of this compelling series. The teams will do battle at the Ageas Bowl and England won’t want to remember the last time we met at that venue….
This game was just before the Champions Trophy, and the score of 359 was an asbolute blockbuster for this country. Now it seems around par. What the hell is going on? I seem to recall Jonathan Trott getting a bit of stick for his century at just over a run a ball, but then again, we sort of blamed him for most things in ODIs when he was a decent performer. But with the euphoria of the last two matches, Jonathan Trott appears to be the Betamax to this team’s VHS. It’s odd how things have turned in two years.
There also was the clue for Guptill’s double ton in the World Cup writ large in that fixture. He went off in the last 10 overs. It was a great batting wicket, he got in, he cashed in. Also, it can’t be helped, but Jade Dernbach posted some mighty fine numbers in that game.
So to the game at the Ageas. England will be forced to make a minimum of two changes. Chris Jordan being ruled out was no surprise as he was shunted down the order, clearly inhibited by his injury, but Liam Plunkett’s absence falls into the “oh damn” category. While his bowling has been no worse than the others, his punchy hitting in the last two games has shown a real liveliness, and he gave England hope when there was little on Friday. Damn. Craig Overton has already been called up, and there’s speculation on the wires over the other, with many wanting Footit to have his day.
As it is, tomorrow might see two of the squad members play, with Mark Wood and David Willey surely in line to play (otherwise, why are they in the squad?) There then remains the question over whether Sam Billings keeps his place. It would appear slightly strange to drop him as his replacement would need to be James Taylor and he’s not a number 7. Or he shouldn’t be. We don’t want Buttler coming in at 7, nor Stokes, so there is a logjam there. I’ll let them call that one.
After a hammering in Game 1, the New Zealanders showed their batting class, and had the real difference maker on the day, Trent Boult, in their line-up. McCullum might be due a big one if he can just cut out the 100% give it a lash approach, but that’s the joy with this team; they can hurt you in so many ways.
Here’s hoping for another belter. Comments below.
It was good to see the people coming out of the ether to discuss thelegglance’s piece with us today. It was an excellent discussion and gave us some food for thought. There’s a key point not to treat the print media as a homogenous unit, but the old guard are certainly in the firing line. One read of Pringle’s article in this month’s Cricketer which speaks again of KP’s propaganda machine and of Strauss calling him a c–t being quite endearing, is just embarrassing. I’ve been advised by more than one source to stop letting this sort of thing wind me up. Well, if I didn’t, you lot wouldn’t be here………
Set your alarm clocks. Bunkers at 8:30 am.
All the best.