Philosophy, strategy and leg shaving!

I know a number of my readers – and, yes, there are few despite what some may think/say – are more interested in my photos than the words I write. To save you the hassle of reading this rubbish first, I’ve decided to change the order!

But before we do get to the photos – another first today! Have never seen a security guard shave/wax their legs whilst on duty. I didn’t think it appropriate to take a picture!

Oops! Foakes misjudged the line?
Joseph and Bairstow – studies in concentration
More sweep than Sooty!🤣
Nothing shall pass!
Mass appealing!

Given the debacle in Australia several have called for Root’s head on a platter alongside others who have either stepped down or been booted out. However, given the lack of competition and that too much change too quickly can spell even more disaster, he’s here in charge…probably in the last chance saloon

That’s why today – day 5 – gives him a great chance. But what to follow – a philosophy of the type of captain he now wants to be, the ‘brand’ or type of cricket play he now wants to lead and set as an example or just follow a match by match strategy and hope something matures?

Last summer he was pilloried for not chasing or being assertive enough in the Lord’s test against NZ. The strategy of ‘not losing/safety first’ meant that an opportunity was wasted. There could have been other reasons but who knows? So he has ‘form’!

England start with a lead of 150+, 9 (or 8) bats in the pavilion and a day of 98 overs. What to do? Smash it around for a couple of hours, get a lead over 250/275 and see how WIndies fare; who knows assertive dynamic captaincy could sneak a win here? Or just use the day for batting practice?

I imagine that there’s little or no media attention back in the UK on the series here other than for the aficionados, so what is there to lose? No media glare or spotlight but the chance to shine and set the tone for the summer and beyond?

Two hours of increasingly aggressive batting sees Root declare at 349/6 setting WIndies 285 in a max of 73 overs or get bowled out in the same time. Root went to his century, Lawrence kept him company as they brought out the sweep – haven’t seen sweep this much since he was last paired with Sooty!

So far it’s refreshing – let’s see if it’s a new philosophy!

It could be! By mid afternoon WIndies reach 50 without loss before Stokes is in action and strikes! A little clatter follows and by just after tea, drop to 70/4 with another 33 overs possible. Just goes to prove that when you think this attack (sans Wood) can’t deliver…they just might.

As the last hour starts it looks like a nailed on draw with Bonner and Holder holding on with a 80+ stand. England have used all their reviews but with 4 down there’s just the distant glimmer that something might happen. The last hour has been tactically poor but in the grand scheme of things…?

This intensity in the last hour of Day 5 is wonderful to witness and underscores that this is the best form of the game! If this is the ‘new’ direction under Root…then it’s a great start! And more than a few deliveries were going to shave the leg stump!

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