0The Ashes urnThe Ashes: Second Test — Day 1

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.

Leave a Reply