Yeah, it rained quite a bit in the first session.
But still, progress, no?
In the selection meeting game of ‘spin-the-bottle-to-find-the-scapegoat’ Ben Foakes was the unlucky party chosen to be dropped to make way for the return of Keaton Jennings.
Exactly what Jennings had shown in the nets between the match he was sitting out and now is unclear. But he must have done something mightily impressive to get his name pencilled back in at the top of the order. A move which saw Joe Denly move to three. (Obviously, as he is the only batsman in the squad we haven’t tried there.) And Jonny Bairstow back behind the stumps and batting at seven.
Yes, whatever Jennings must have shown, right? He certainly cannot have shown any extra ability against pace and seam outside off stump. For that was his downfall once more. You know, just like 90% of all his other dismissals in Test cricket.
I saw somewhere on Twitter that Joe Denly got praise for doing better in the first innings than on his debut. Denly scored 20. 20! If we are handing out accolades for getting 20 at number three then we really should get Nasser Hussain back in the team.
Jennings, Rory Burns, Denly and Joe Root all failed once more. But, rather than completely collapse and start the process of going home early, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler dug in a bit. Getting England to over 200 by the end of the first day. Digging in is clearly overrated though, especially when you then lose the next six wickets for 30-odd. Finding yourself all out for 277. The last five wickets went down in 45 minutes.
Personally, I just hope it rains a lot between now and the end of the match. So that (a) this report isn’t completely out of date and irrelevant by the time you read it. (Editor – Uh oh…) And (b) so nobody else who will actually be useful against Australia in the Ashes ends up with a big fat question mark over his head.
That said, we can’t really go into the Ashes with Jennings, Burns and Denly fighting it out over the opening slots. And there really doesn’t seem to be anyone else in the frame.
Why not go total maverick and bring in Jason Roy and Alex Hales? At least if Joe Root is coming in in the 20th over, those above him might have smashed some quick runs.
The chat is, however, that England need some plodders up there. Two out of the top three should be nurdlers, apparently. I don’t buy into this theory. I’d rather have bats capable of putting their foot down but intelligent enough to reign it in when needed every day of the week.
The problem we have is that every opener that gets in that position ends up being a bit of both and doing neither well.
I think we might have got some wickets by now. I’ve stopped checking. Roll on the ODIs. Something we are still good at (I hope).