So, another day of exceptionally entertaining Test cricket is over, and the second test match is well and truly under way. Pleasingly today hasn’t been marred by any poor decisions (by umpires or players), but I was disgusted by the mistaken booing of Jimmy Anderson. I’ll talk a little more about that later, but first some predictions (admittedly a day late)
So, my first Test predictions didn’t work out all that well (although England would have won by around 150 runs if 3rd umpire decisions hadn’t been shockingly incorrect, and it did finish “around lunch” on day 5!). But never-mind, I predicted an England win and that is what we got. So — what of the second test? Well, I was expecting England, under sunnier skies, to make around 400 give or take 30, altho in light of the first day’s play I think 350 give or take 30 is now more likely. Having won the toss and got ~300 on the board I expect England to win — and to win more comfortably than in the first test. The pitch is a decent pitch, and whilst Australia should, in theory, be able to pass England’s total in their first innings, I don’t expect them to. There was already some spin on day 1, and some considerable swing at times. Add in the slope at lords and the much greater experience of the England bowlers on the Lords wicket and I expect them to make the most of what is on offer and restrict Australia to no more than 300, with a small England lead. Having already shown they can overturn a first innings deficit I expect England to make another 300 or so in their second innings, and then roll the Aussie’s over cheaply on a wicket that will continue to suit Jimmy and Swann.
Now, onto my disgust at today’s events. For those that didn’t hear it (and it wasn’t mentioned on the Channel 5 highlights), after Matt Prior was out the next batsman in was expected to be Stuart Broad. In reality Jimmy Anderson came out as night watchman. Quite a significant number of individuals in the crowd (along with the TMS commentary team) didn’t immediately realise that the switch had taken place, and assuming that the new batsman was Broad, quite a large number of people took it upon themselves to boo. I think Phil Tufnell’s comment, in the moment, summed it up quite well — “Is that in the spirit of the game?” No doubt there were a number of Australian supporters booing — that doesn’t particularly bother me — all of the former Aussie pro’s who have been asked about Broad “not walking” have said he was right not to walk, and the Aussie’s of course have a long track record of waiting for the umpire — so for an Australian supporter to boo is just utterly hypocritical, but in the passions of sport such things happen. What really angered me was that the booing came from all parts of the ground and quite clearly included a significant number of “England supporters”. These self-righteous individuals should stick to watching their cricket on the TV and boo at that if they really wish to be so miserable. I would have given anything to be at the Lords Test today and booing would have been the last thing on my mind. Regardless of your view on Broad’s actions, booing him isn’t going to help him, either team, or anyone’s enjoyment of the game. Further — to say it again — how can you justify behaviour so out of keeping with the spirit of the game in response to something you regard as not being in keeping with the spirit of the game? These crass and unthinking individuals obviously forgot that 2 wrongs don’t make a right. I would like to remind those people that the start of the football season is only a month or so away so please take your pathetic behaviour there and pass on your tickets for the next 4 days to people who want to go and make the most of the fabulous standard of entertainment on offer.