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Thoughts on the Third Test

England won the Wisden Trophy to be renamed the Botham/Richards trophy notwithstanding the enormous differential in achievement between the two.

What lessons do we learn from the series  ?

The weather

Hopefully it will now register with the powers-that-be that you cannot trust an English summer. Four games were wiped out totally in last summer’s World Cup and if we had a four day Test this match would have been drawn.  It does not bode well for the Hundred.

Ollie Pope

There are stylist and run accumulators. In this side Dom Sibley and Rory Burns are the accumulators so another stylist alongside Joe Root is most welcome. James Vince is a stylist, as is West Indian batter Shai Hope but neither can produce Test runs.

Another stylist – Ian Bell – had a problem going from 50 to 100.  Ollie Pope looks like possessing  all the style and a run scorer too.

Botham v Stokes 

Ben Stokes surely has the edge now.

Botham may have been the better bowler but Stokes the better batter and outfielder.

In his first game as captain he had to deal with the furore over Stuart Broad’s omission. In his second, as vice captain, he threw a protective arm around Jofra Archer

The West  Indies. 

They never made 400 runs and no one scored a century. Jason Holder is a world class all rounder but they desperately need more prolific batters. Nonetheless they deserve our appreciation for coming from Covid free Caribbean to being locked up in wet Manchester.

Spin

England still lack a class spinner. 

Long live fatties 

At a time when Boris the Merrie Monarch is exhorting us to lose weight to fight Covid, how inspiring for us fatties that Radheem Cornwall at 22 stone joins the likes of Inzimam-ul-Haq as a porky cricketer.

He waddles up to the crease and is hopeless in the field but never mind. Cricket and golf are two sports where the fatso can still prosper.

The future

Pakistan are next up and trickier opposition than the Windies. The last home series against Pakistan was drawn.

Then the Ashes. I can see both Broad and James Anderson selected for both series but I doubt if either will be effective on the bouncy Aussie tracks.

We do not have one spinner, let alone a pair like John Emburey and Philippe Edmonds, who will scare the Baggy  Green Caps and we will have to grind away to get the ultimate run accumulator Steve Smith out.

Factor in team morale, as the group will have to spend a lot of time in hotel rooms, and I doubt if the last two routs will be reversed.

 

 

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

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