Foresight and hindsight are two of the sights you don’t use your eyes for but we all possess them in some form of other. I suppose all the ‘more experienced’ cricket watchers have seen things come and go with varying changes of pace over time and their verdict on ‘Bazball’…well:
‘It’s inevitable…can’t last’, ‘the wheels will come off spectacularly’, or come up with other doom merchanting.
In fact, this new approach is not new! It’s been around for ages, been tried by other teams over the years with varying degrees of success. Sri Lanka in the 1980s and 1990s, Australia with Gilchrist in full flow, WI from time to time are immediate examples which spring to mind.
What sets them apart is that they had a team of star quality players…and England don’t have them yet! But today at Lord’s was more ‘Bazb*****ks, but don’t lose heart!
But back to the here and now; today (and this Test) was back to the England of recent times and years. Experimental fields, over use of the short stuff, no Plan B, lose control of the game when the foot should be choking the life out of the opposition and so forth; well documented in these ramblings!
However, the key for me today was the issues with the batting – footwork non-existent, one day style of thrash and bash when things got too tough. Crawley – trigger movements all over the place, shows his brain is scrambled; Lees flatters to deceive, Root and Jonny have the inevitable poor games; Stokes in two minds – go like a bat out of hell or drop anchor; Foakes no footwork; Broad – as ever thinks he’s better than he really is; and you can’t ask the rest to rescue you!
Let’s not take anything away from South Africa – bowled supremely well, Nortje at 94mph one of the fastest I’ve seen at Lord’s (and elsewhere) and England got giving him the respect he deserves. Rabada – on one measure (strike rates) one of the best of all time. And solid bats who are difficult to get out but also quite stylish!
Will England change their side? Probably not. But you start to ask how many chances do you give? Is it time to blood new blood? Who’s knocking on the door on the four day game? Oh…silly me – it’s thrash and bash at the moment since that’s all that counts!
And finally, etiquette – each England bat walked off to silence but every wicket and boundary by England and miss by the opposition cheered to the rafters. Where’s the spirit of cricket gone?
So, here’s a few photos from todays play – short though it was…
Foresight tells me that next week at Old Trafford and later at the Oval things will be better but I can’t see that far!