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Third Test – random thoughts.

Losing a Test in two days is certain to attract castigation in the media. Michael Vaughan, who seems to have taken over from Geoff Boycott as trenchant critic-in- chief, led the charge after the first day.

However certain points were not made by him.

Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad failed to take a single wicket between them. I have long argued that both are past their sell-by date and are not nearly as effective abroad without the Dukes ball. The pathetic way in which Broad threw his toys out of the pram when rested in the domestic series v West Indies perhaps made it difficult to drop him – but drop him they should – and give full encouragement to the youngsters like Jofra Archer.

When England do badly in any sport the opposition are rarely given proper credit. India are an outstanding Test side fresh from a remarkable victory in Australia achieved without captain Virat Kohli and their pace attack.

Any wicket that breaks up as this did by the second day should be reported. Television showed remarkable pictures of a vast amount of mud and dust being removed with brush and pan from the square.

The real argument, which Vaughan does not address, is this: in an era where players prefers the riches of the IPL does Test match cricket have a future? On the basis of this series I think not.

The Indian commentators were fulsome in praising the Ahmedabad stadium with its capacity of 132,000 the biggest in cricket. Personally the fact that it was named after Prime Minister Narandra Modi, and not one of the legends of Indian cricket, made me uncomfortable. It all reminded me of the Nazi German and Italian fascist grand architecture of the 1930s.

The Indians played the type of aggressive cricket for which Australia has been criticised.

It’s always easy to criticise. Vaughan never toured with a pandemic nor faced the pink skidding ball, like the Barnes Wallis bouncing bomb, under the lights.

This may seem like ‘sour grapes’ but I do not see why.   In dancing on England’s grave after a performance which Alan Hansen might have termed ‘woeful’,  my comments are pertinent all the same.



About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts