I nearly owe the England Test team an apology. Only nearly mind, let’s not get too carried away; even though England win.
Chris Woakes was back in the side and yes, it was great to see him score his maiden Test ton. Christ, we could even bandy about some chat suggesting he is better in England than Ben Stokes. But will he win us a Test away to India or even an Ashes Test Down Under? Meh, I am not so sure.
I’m also massively unsure, unsurprisingly, about the top order for England. Keaton Jennings is not a Test batsman and we really need to have an obvious replacement ready for Cook. Considering we’ve been through about 20 partners for Cook in the last few seasons (a higher amount than the Test average of all of them I would imagine) it is a bit of a worry.
Anyway, am I being too grumpy about all this? Possibly.
A Small Piece Of Positivity
Ollie Pope looked very assured considering he is a 21-year-old kid batting at four on his Test debut, two places higher than he bats for Surrey. It’s not just his talent that might be a burden, his surname doesn’t help as cricket writers already have a long list of Pope puns ready to use when he hits the headlines. Not here, though. We don’t stoop to that level. We definitely have not scribbled down any awful phrases (yet) mainly because I cannot think of any.
Sam Curran, who last week I suggested would be dropped when Woakes returned, looks like a fine find for the summer with both bat and ball but again, how will he do when the ball isn’t swinging and the opposition have some express pace on pitches that allow that?
I’m being negative again.
Adil Rashid has done very well since being recalled and Jimmy Anderson bowled like only Jimmy Anderson can (when the conditions are that perfect for him).
Why, oh why am I not happier that we won this Test in such quick time? I don’t know, I really don’t. After all, you can only beat what is in front of you.
But boy are there still holes.