We’re thinking about trying to get more into selective use of statistics. It seems to be a big thing in cricket, but we’re not off to a great start. Truth is it’s barely been nine months since Joe Root last made a hundred in England.
Actually, we didn’t specify Test cricket either, so it’s more like eight months. It seems that even when you’re really trying, it’s very hard to make Joe Root look bad at the minute.
Matt Prior got the day about right.
— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) May 21, 2015
England successfully navigated the first hour, losing only four of their ten wickets, and then Root and Ben Stokes almost immediately went mental, cashing in with the same gleeful enthusiasm with which characters in gambling adverts cash out.
Stokes, in particular, batted like some kind of hell ox – that is if hell oxen could hold cricket bats, timed the ball sweetly and had a taste for clip-driving every other ball through the legside for four. For his part, Root ensured he was top scorer and then did one.
After that, it was a play-off to bat at seven. Jos Buttler, the incumbent, has just gone up a spot – he made 67. Moeen Ali’s dropped down to eight from six but he’s 49 not out. If he makes 70, maybe he’ll push Buttler back down again and if he can make a ton, Stokes at six might also be in danger. Or they could just operate a rota system.
Twenty20 tends to either ebb or flow. In one day of Test cricket, we most definitely got both – and the match has barely even started.