2nd Test, Lords – Day One review

Fabulous Lords, cricket’s majestic home. Doesn’t it look scintillating in the beaming sunshine!

Seeing the big golden fire ball beating down on England inspires one’s self to want to travel there and get amongst it. But, just ask any of us who’ve been lured in at the prospect of sunshine, lollipops and smiley times in the rolling hills. It’s bloody rare! I’ve been disappointed a few times.

Sitting at Lords last “summer” watching England v West Indies, we were clad in heavy coats and beanies, supping red vino. Loving the venue and appreciating a Shiv Chanderpaul special, but cursing the bitterly cold wind and 12 degree temperature. The elite and the lucky weren’t doing that last night (yesterday).

I was disappointed Australia lost the toss as the “belter” of a wicket indicated batting first would be advantageous, despite the tinge of green a top the famous slope. Australia confirmed a couple changes that had been leaked ahead of the toss, Starc and Cowan out for Harris and Khawaja. England dropped Finn for Bresnan.

The start was delayed somewhat by, it appears, Her Majesty the Queen who eventually greeted the players and allowed proceedings to continue toward first ball. Australia’s belligerent and highly admired former Captain Steve Waugh had the honour of ringing the Lords bell, which signals the beginning of the day’s play. Champion Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt rang the bell when we were there last year.

First Session

A slightly wayward start by James Pattinson permitted Alistair Cook to get a few easy runs early for England, but after just four overs Australia’s captain Michael Clarke took the brave decision to bring on Shane Watson. Australia’s fourth choice fast-medium bowler. Clarke knew it was a great batting day and early wickets would be vital. It proved to be a stroke of Captaincy genius as Watson immediately snared the prize wicket of A Cook, trapped LBW.

Two more wickets followed, snaffled by Ryan Harris and England are now 3 down for 28. Great beginning for Australia and boy, didn’t my neighbours know about it!

I was a bit tired after watching rugby league’s State of Origin the night before and a big day at the office. At one point I thought I might just sneak off at the lunch interval, 2215 or so, but three consecutive wicket celebrations oxygenates the blood and stokes the adrenal glands. Next thing you know you’re looking beyond the break and into the second session, denying sensible decisions and the existence of pressing occupational matters the following morning.

A flurried exchange of text messages from several mates, with some of the usual suspects – Damo, Dave and Brad – all providing their froth and excitement, ensured I wasn’t the only one sat up.

J Root and K Pietersen were the other batsmen dismissed in the first session. The former was adjudged LBW, a decision Root referred via the DRS. There was an inside edge and at one point it looked as though it was bat before pad, or even simultaneous connection. But, one side-on view of hotspot confirmed that the pad had been struck first by the Duke ball. I paused the television and photographed this and promise to submit the evidence to this blog’s audience, as soon as I get the required technical guidance!

Some solid and conservative batting from J Trott and I Bell steered England through to the tucker break without further loss, at 3/80.

Second Session

England have started well and are currently 3/114. I think it will be a tough day in the field from here on in.

Typical with the twists and turns of Ashes cricket I go to log off and Trott skies one to deepish mid-wicket and he’s caught by Khawaja running in off the bowling of Harris. 3 wickets now for Harris and England are 4/134 as I attempt to log off again nearing midnight…

Summary

It was great to see some footage of the Long Room at Lords. It’s one space where I really can appreciate the gentile and conservative elite! The MCC members all huddled in there clapping, portraits of great players and contributors to cricket, it must be a real pleasure descending the stairs from the dressing rooms and walking through on your way out to bat. Not so nice coming back in after a duck!

I also enjoyed having an Australian in the commentary box. Shane Warne joined the group of former England Captains who dominate the Sky box, and with West Indian legend Michael Holding, the two non-English (and bowlers) in the group add some much needed, varied perspective.

I admit I succumbed to the call of bed at about 1230, hence missing the third session. England were still 4 down when I turned in. A nature call had me checking the score about 90 mins later and England were still 4 down. I thought, crikey, looks like that good batting strip is working now.

So England finished the day on 289 runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Steve Smith nabbed 3 late wickets with his part-time “leggies” removing the last three recognised batsmen. Ian Bell scored another 109 and should be praised for a great knock. Johnny Bairstow made a useful contribution of 67. The late wickets bring Australia back into the match and probably leave Day One honours about even.

Don’t be fooled though, England sent Jimmy Anderson in as nightwatchmen. He accompanies Tim Bresnan, who can be considered an all-rounder averaging 31, while leaving another two useful tailenders in the shed – Broad and Swann.

Australia need to contain England and ensure the score doesn’t exceed 350 tonight. Hopefully Australia’s James Pattinson has a better outing on Day Two as he was extremely wayward on Day One. The Aussies need quick and consecutive wickets once again and then, well, if you read my Lords Preview, then you’ll know exactly what they need to do with the bat…

5 comments

  1. On the Root dismissal- I thought it would have been fair enough for the umpire to go either way with it. It would surely not have been overturned had it been given not out originally and it was fair enough to remain out once the former Sri Lankan spinner gave it out.

    Incidentally, I feel that there was enough doubt in both dismissals for them to be given not out in the pre-DRS days (I thought at first glance that Cook may have gotten an inside edge on the ball but clearly didn’t, and also the ball was a bit high- enough doubt in the old days for the umpire to decline the appeal). This is why DRS should continue to be used- I think it has emboldened the umpires and has led to more correct decisions, which people would have been happy to overlook in the past as there was “enough doubt”.

  2. I reckon it makes umpires look for reasons to overturn decisions, not support the original decision. Just like league, DRS reviews are becoming a lengthy interruption any time the technology can’t provide conclusive evidence of bat/pad/whatever. If they have to look at it over and over from multiple angles at a glacial pace, and STILL can’t be certain, then perhaps it’s not worth the trouble.

  3. I think if you compare it to the fallout below from the India-Australia test in 2008, the difference is very positive:

    Australia Australian 1st Innings

    Ricky Ponting (17) given not out by Mark Benson – Ponting attempted a leg glance off his pads while facing the medium pacers of Sourav Ganguly. He edged it back to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The appeal was turned down by the umpire. Ponting went on to score 55 runs.
    Ricky Ponting (55) given out by Mark Benson – Ponting inside edged bowler Harbhajan Singh back onto his back pad. He was adjudged LBW after an Indian appeal to the umpire.
    Andrew Symonds (30) given not out by Steve Bucknor – Symonds attempted a push outside off to the bowling of Ishant Sharma, but managed to edge the ball to the wicketkeeper Dhoni. The Indian appeal for caught behind was turned down by Bucknor. Symonds went on to score 162*.
    Andrew Symonds (48) given not out by third umpire Bruce Oxenford – Symonds lifted his back foot while beaten by Anil Kumble, Dhoni appealed for a stumping which was referred to the third umpire. While analysing the video replays, Channel Nine commentators Mark Taylor, Michael Slater and Ian Healy speculated that it was out. The third umpire turned down the appeal, commentators at Cricinfo saying “in by a whisker, make that half a whisker”. Symonds went on to score 162*.
    Andrew Symonds (148) given not out by Steve Bucknor – Symonds attempted to slide his back-foot into the crease when beaten by Harbhajan Singh, Dhoni appealed for a stumping but Bucknor did not pass the request to the third umpire, adjudging Symonds not out. Cricinfo commentators said “he just appeared to have some part of his foot grounded behind the line”. Symonds went on to score 162*.

    India Indian 1st innings

    Wasim Jaffer (3) given out by Mark Benson – Jaffer bowled by a yorker from Brett Lee. Replays show that Lee’s front foot was outside the crease which would make it a no ball.[27][28]
    VVS Laxman (16) given not out by Mark Benson – Laxman shaped to flick a full ball from Brett Lee down the leg side, further replays indicate the ball would probably have struck middle and leg or leg stump. Laxman went on to score 109.
    Sachin Tendulkar (36) given not out by Steve Bucknor – Tendulkar was struck low on the pad in front of the stumps by the second ball of the 79th over of the Indian innings bowled by Michael Clarke. Bucknor adjudged it not out. Tendulkar went on to score 154 not out.[29][30]

    Australia Australian 2nd Innings

    Michael Hussey (22) given not out by Mark Benson – Hussey is struck on the inside of the right pad deep in the crease off a ball that turned and kept low off the bowling of Anil Kumble. Hussey went on to score 145*.
    Michael Hussey (45) given not out by Mark Benson – Hussey turns the full face of the bat to the leg side and gets a fine touch to wicket-keeper Dhoni off the bowling of Rudra Pratap Singh. Hussey went on to score 145*.[31]
    Andrew Symonds (0) given not out by Steve Bucknor – Symonds was struck on the front pad by a top-spinner from Kumble on his hat trick ball. Bucknor adjudged it not out. Kumble missed out on a hat trick. Symonds went on to score 61.

    India Indian 2nd innings

    Rahul Dravid (38) given out by Steve Bucknor – Dravid tucked bat and glove behind his pads as he successfully padded away a delivery from Andrew Symonds. Adam Gilchrist caught the ball and appealed for caught behind and Bucknor gave it out. Replays revealed a small deflection of the pads going almost straight into Gilchrist’s hands.
    Sourav Ganguly (51) given out by Mark Benson – While the TV evidence was inconclusive as to the correctness of the decision, the manner in which it was delivered has generated controversy. Sourav Ganguly edged the ball to Michael Clarke at slip who was engulfed by his team-mates in celebration of an apparent catch. Umpire Benson appeared unsure as to whether it carried and instead of referring to third umpire asked captain Ricky Ponting for clarification. There was a prior agreement between the teams that the fielders would be honest about whether the catch had carried. Ponting, having already consulted Clarke about the validity of the catch, raised his finger, telling the umpire that he thought the catch was cleanly taken. He came under criticism for claiming the catch on behalf of his fielder while he was himself not sure about it. He had earlier appealed for another dubious catch off M. S. Dhoni, when TV replays suggested the ball had touched the ground while he was diving.[32] TV replays were inconclusive about whether ball touched the ground for Ganguly catch as well, in which case the batsman normally gets the benefit of the doubt.

  4. but I can nonetheless see your argument Barnowl- you wouldn’t want it to go down the NRL path where every bloody decision is referred!!

  5. No I certainly don’t.

    And even if the calls went largely our way in *one* series in *one* year against India, it’s not persuasive enough to prove Australia somehow has a higher net benefit overall from having the DRS…plenty of rubbish calls go our way too 🙂

    Happy birthday by the way!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s