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Thoughts on the Test and Lord Ted

When Mark Wood was added to a lengthening injured list of speedsters – Jofra Archer, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes and – with Ben Stokes declaring himself burned out – I feared for the England pace attack but first Ollie Robinson and now Craig Overton have stepped up to the plate.

Both are useful enough with the bat to compete for the crucial eight position.

Nowadays wicket keepers have to bat so it’s a more than useful asset for bowlers too.

With India collapsing in their first innings it never looked like being the competitive Test we saw at Lords.

However you can only admire Joe Root who does not seem constrained by the travails of captaincy.

The problem with our batting  line-up is that he is so much more productive than anyone else.

The absence of Ben Stokes is crucial.

We deemed it appropriate on the Rust to delegate the obituary of Ted Dexter to Ivan Conway who knew him best.

I never met him but I agree that he was an unusual man of apparent contradictions.

He advocated passionately the side-on stance but admitted he adapted this to be more chest-on facing Wes  Hall and Charlie Griffith.

Of the latter he did believe he was a chucker but had a lifelong friendship with Gary Sobers.

He found his time as Chairman of selectors difficult, particularly with our new trade envoy to Australia Ian Botham, but under his stewardship the B team developed so you could enter the Test arena with some experience.

He was widely liked.

The obits played on his eccentricities – arriving at meetings in leathers on his motorbike, flying his family to Australia single-handed but the same obits mocked him for being patrician and conventional.

He was very much his own man.

I cannot think of a batsman who struck the ball harder, nor one as adept at golf though both Brian Close and Ricky Ponting played off scratch.

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