Stephen Herzenberg emails “I was going to open Liam Livingston”. “A more natural talent than Stokes as a batsman. A bit of a case — indifferent, arrogant — but he responds well to the responsibility of Test cricket. And he can bowl. Livingston, Bairstow, Malan, Root, Bob, Butler, Ali, Overton/Curran S, Robinson.” Mahmoud, Anderson.
It’s hard to throw a player who hasn’t played red ball cricket for a long time, and I think now that they’ve chosen Hamid, they should give it a try. I really want Bob to be there, but now I also expected him to be further away than he is and have no way of being, so it’s hard to throw him into this mess and anticipate the results. In the end, there is probably no correct answer to this question.
“There aren’t a lot of teams that would drop R Ashwin to get an extra fast player,” Mukund tweeted. “It looks like Kohli misread the circumstances here a bit.”
I’m not sure – my guess is that Kohli thought the cloud cover would make a quick extra benefit more than the extra spinner, and was happy to balance his side out so far in the series.
Warne believes batting is the aggressive option, although Kohli must have been tempted to go after England by pinning them down for pressure. In the meantime, Athers says Overton deserves his chance, but he may have brought Mahmoud to Wood, then consider who to choose, Overton or Curran. Warren agrees, and that makes sense to me too (they would no doubt be happy to learn).
“Good question,” Joe Root says when asked what he would have done. He wasn’t disappointed playing bowling, saying the pitch looked a little tacky and he was getting better at batting, with Malan and Overton replacing Sibley Wood. He was plump for Overton and not lauded by the circumstances – I dare his hitting, hitting and sliding were part of things – and I think he thinks the rebound will be more important than the slip, maybe not just now but in Australia. When England becomes Pat, Burns and Hamid is England’s 22nd partnership since Strauss and Cook.
India wins by throwing and racket!
Virat wants to run on the board and doesn’t see much grass on the field. His team has not changed because he wants an extra tailor in English conditions, and he expects Ravi Jadeja to play a more important role with the ball.
Isn’t aggression exaggerated and unnecessary? Krishnamoorthy V asks? “Determination to win is fine, but should you exhibit such toxic behavior? If sporty people are role models, I shudder when I think of the effect that would have on the children watching. Calm Bjorn Borg any day on the raging McEnroe.”
I think it’s a matter of taste. I enjoy needlework, I love McEnroe, and “as a dad” I don’t rely on athletes to raise my daughter or teach her how to act. There is a line, of course, but provided we don’t cross it, we can enjoy all we have – Borg and McEnroe.
Nasir notes that in Headingley, the playing field tends to improve on batting, And the average length of deliveries that take a wicket is fuller than anywhere else. He says it is morning bowling, but if the sun comes up, he will hit. I’ve taken along a commercial break to make it happen.
email! “Back in 1989, there were injuries that resulted in England (the sixth Test against Australia) bowling by Smalls, Eaglesden, Pringle, Cable and Cook,” says Ian Forth.
Oh my God, that was a long summer. Six tests! I remember coming home from school to see a ton of Taylor the first day at Headingley gloaming and it didn’t get much better after that. Capel was the first new Bothams team — and it wasn’t the last.
The one who always sticks with me is a Headingley 93, mainly because I’ve been there, and international sport is nothing if not about me. England’s attack was then McCague, Ellot, Kaddick and Bicknell – with spells from Gooch and Thorpe – so who would be chosen if that number was not available?
Atheers talks about the way India destroyed England at Lourdes. From Bumrah’s 10-ball to India, to the words exchanged in the Long Room, which resulted in a barrage of bouncers on the last morning, India — and Kohli in particular — has rinsed them off completely. What it does brilliantly is play on the edge without losing its cool, and it keeps a rolling boil with easy cooling. England needs to answer that, but in the end, you can have all the mouth in the world, but if you can’t back it up, it doesn’t really matter.
Ah, Warney has arrived, and he’s already gone “bloody” in his monologue. He loves the intensity of India, and he wants England to do the same. The problem is that it’s hard to achieve when you are 1-2.
So, actual cricket: India is better than England, we know that, but it’s been a while since they were better in English conditions. Not long ago we were talking about England’s second-series attack among their best ever, and I can’t stop laughing when I wonder who they would have picked in the ’90s, were they missing the equivalent of Stokes and Woakes, broad, stone, wood and arrows. However, despite this, the main differences were the high-level strikes and mentality – every time India needed something, someone delivered it. This is a sign of a great team, and while I don’t think India still is, if they continue like this, it won’t be long. In the meantime, they will continue to do what they are doing while England need to find something different. This would be a serious disagreement.
Good morning everyone. It’s already been a great summer for cricket and we are ready for more of the same over the next five days and then again on two more sets of five days. But we cannot begin this test – the Headingley test – to express our enthusiasm, unless that feeling is available to everyone, which is clearly not the case.
Great companion will not watch what we will watch. As a boy, he would get up at 4 am to make sure he didn’t miss a thing, and his dedication to the game and talent earned him a contract with Yorkshire. There, he was subjected to racial abuse, of course, and since the alarm sounded his pain has diminished, but the report that sparked his allegations went unreported.
“Let’s be very frank,” OBO’s Tanya Aldred told earlier in the week. “No matter how strong I am against this, will I get a chance in the game? Probably not. Will I get a job in the game? Probably not. These are real-life consequences.”
Everything – all the joy, all the beauty, all the needlework, all the love – that we’re seeing over the next few days has to be filtered through this post. The aim of this series is to find out which team is better than England and India but the aim of cricket and the aim of the sport is to make the world a better place. So let’s make it happen by improving ourselves, and vow to read, watch or listen to one relevant thing during this match, and then recommend it to someone else. For a really great summer of cricket we need more than decent bat and ball behaviour.