Tonight was the first episode of the BBC’s new Test highlights show. It’s called Today at the Test, which is a great name (although given today’s rain and its 45-minute running time, this first one should probably have been called Today at the Test Plus Quite a Bit of Other Stuff.)
It’s early days, but it’s immediately obvious that they’ve got some simple yet important things correct.
- If you missed the 7pm start time, you could bring it up on the iPlayer and click ‘watch from start’
- It was available on the iPlayer thereafter
- They’re using Soul Limbo for the theme tune
That last one is particularly important. They could have used something completely new or they could have used an updated ‘trendy’ version of the same song, which is a very bad thing that TV people sometimes see fit to do.
Fortunately, they didn’t do either of these things. They recognised that they’d always had the perfect opening and they didn’t piss about with it.
Isa Guha is the host. Isa Guha is solid. Probably a better commentator than presenter at the minute, but that’ll change in no time.
Alastair Cook and Carlos Brathwaite joined her for the pre-match chat and the three of them didn’t exactly run it fine with the social distancing.
Cook spoke borderline eloquently. Turns out he is only the worst public speaker in history when he’s captaining England.
Alison Mitchell, Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell supplemented those three on commentary. Mitchell is great and Vaughan is fine when he’s only really taking about live cricket. Tuffers was relaxed and amiable.
Vaughan came back at the end to talk through the day.
This is Michael Vaughan’s hair at the minute.
Michael Vaughan is 45 years old.
With just a few overs of play in an empty ground, this wasn’t exactly a dynamite day to cover, but all in all we found Today at the Test professional and inoffensive. It’s pretty much exactly how you’d expect it to be really.
We can’t wait to find out which specific elements are going to drive us absolutely mental once we’re a few Test matches deep.