England finally managed to get some runs on the board in a test match and they still couldn’t win a game. Yorkshire runs it was that they wasted.
The first test of the summer, was also the first test of the new post-Pietersen regime, with a new coach and new faces would there really be a new beginning?
Well something was new and old at the same time. It was new for England to get over four hundred of late, getting over five hundred, near six, was back to the old days when they were number one in the world. All centred around Joe Root’s unbeaten double hundred as he became the first player to hit back to back 150s at Lords.
When Gary Ballance walked off on the fourth night with an unbeaten 104 to his name hopefully it shut up those that have doubted both their places in the England set up. Yes the bowling from the visiting Sri Lanka team isn’t the most demanding but Cook, Bell, Robson et al didn’t register three figures.
The new kids, well, hit and miss in a way. Robson didn’t exactly shine opening the batting and you have to say Carberry was maybe unlucky not to be picked. He did OK against a better Australian pace attack you wonder what he could have done against this lot.
Moeen’s batting in the first innings looked the part, his bowling, well it left you wondering how things would have gone if Swann had been fit and not retired.
It was good that Jordan was given the chance after he had a good one day series. He does look like one of those players who makes something happen, both with bat and ball. Brings a bit of verve and excitement to the game. And gets wickets.
Don’t blame Cook for not declaring earlier than he did, on the fourth night, quite frankly you don’t want to give the likes of Sangakkara more time to get a target than necessary. That amazing stat that when he hasn’t taken the wicket keeping duty he’s averaging nearly 71, which puts him on another level from everybody bar the Don. Hell his standard average is ninth overall and he’s done it in between two and five times as many innings as those above him.
Now if Swann had been available would they have got those 10 wickets?
It looked like it didn’t matter at one point as the game was meandering towards the inevitable draw and then Anderson decided to stop bowling wide long hops and on the legs and started doing what he should do nearly all the time. Pitch it up and allow the ball to swing.
And what was a dull final day became a last over, last ball thriller the type that makes test cricket so good.
Of course they may have done it if they hadn’t faffed about and had the 17 overs that they lost due to their own waste.