I tell you what, as a ‘batsman’ I am a fan of this new game of cricket.
No, not the Hundred – that will die on its backside within five years.
I’m talking about this new game of cricket where you can get clean bowled and yet you are not out because the bails just refuse to come off.
It’s not enough that the bowlers are being asked to bowl on absolute roads so that the tournament organisers can please the paying public with every score being above 300. No, they want to make it even more difficult for them by making the bails so heavy that they don’t dislodge – even if they do get hit at 85mph and above.
I’ve probably seen it happen twice in my life before the Cricket World Cup 2019. And now I have seen it happen five times in 15 matches. That’s crazy.
I think my favourite one so far was when Chris Gayle was batting for the Windies and was given out caught behind – the review showed that Gayle had missed it by a mile and that wooden sound the umpire picked up was the ball nicking off the off stump and going through to the keeper.
But, you can’t change the bails now – we’ve started going down this river and now we need to see it through until the very end. Even if that does mean batsmen are going to get even more lives than your average domesticated feline.
I might have said in last Monday’s column that England would beat Pakistan because everyone beats Pakistan. I was saying it half-tongue-in-cheek as regular readers of this rubbish probably picked up on. Of course, England lost. And they lost because Pakistan were better in the field than they were. Imagine that! It turns out that those regular 300+ scores the Pakistan bats were collating in the ODI series whilst losing were just about getting their eye in. They were waiting for their proper bowling attack to turn up knowing full well they’d be OK.
I’ve called Pakistan out as my wildcard for the fourth semi-final spot and they showed me why they are a wildcard in their first two matches. Battered by the Windies pacemen in the first match and then world number one beaters in the second.
The disappointing thing from England’s point of view was the fact that they felt the need to copy and paste the Windies bowling plan. Just whacking it in short wasn’t working and I am not personally convinced England benefit from Mark Wood doing everything he can just to bowl a quicker ball than Jofra. Would the middle period guile of Liam Plunkett or Tom Curran not be better?
England sorted themselves out against Bangladesh with Jason Roy smashing 153 before getting caught out trying to hit six sixes in a single over. He fell with his fourth swing of the bat.
Are England going to win this tournament? You know what? I don’t think they will (this week).