How Dom Bess has massively improved his game since he last played

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Dom Bess didn’t play the last two games. Joe Root said that he had used the time to work on a few things. We saw some evidence of that today.

We’re not quite sure what it is, but we seem to be writing about Dom Bess a lot this winter. This is bizarre, because we don’t actually think about him an awful lot during any given Test match. Somehow, where the Somerset spinner is concerned, we’ve become one of those people who says absolutely everything he thinks.

So why are we talking about him today?

Speaking about Bess ahead of the fourth Test, Joe Root said: “When you do sometimes get taken out of the side, it’s really important that you use that opportunity to improve and evolve as a player, to get better all the time and I think he’s done that.

“He’s used that time to work on his game and become a better player for it. That’s exactly what you want from players – to go away and try and improve themselves and he’s certainly done that.”

The obvious question at this point is how specifically has Dom Bess improved his game?

The answer is that he’s massively improved his third umpire review request signal.

Now don’t get us wrong – Bess is still not asking for a review with textbook technique, but he has definitely upped his game markedly.

Just as a reminder, this was how he signalled for a review after being given out LBW the last time he played cricket.

We described it in much more detail here, but it was basically a lazy, vague, inaccurate, single-hand flop.

If you were the umpire for that delivery and you were 90 per cent certain that Bess was about to ask for a review, you’d still have felt the need to double-check with him. That’s how bad it was. It was dreadful.

Today, Dom Bess was given out LBW and this is what he did..

Okay, so he’s basically aiming his decision review system request at the turf, but at least the shape of it is half-decent.

He also repeated the motion. Rather than that single, limp bat-grab from the first Test, he did five distinct forearm bangs. That’s quite a lot. It makes for quite a protracted signal, which of course makes it clearer.

Throw in eye contact with the third umpire and the whole thing becomes unequivocal.

With the shape, the eyes and the duration, we’d be tempted to give it 8/10.

Excellent work. Dom Bess is improving as a cricketer before our very eyes.

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  1. We’re jiffed. How can they expect us to play on a pitch that doesn’t offer massive turn on the first day?

  2. Akila Dananjaya!! Akila Dananjaya!! Akila Dananjaya!! 😀

    Akila Dananjaya! Akila Dananjaya! Akila Dananjaya! Akila Dananjaya! Akila Dananjaya! Akila Dananjaya! :-/

    1. I was expecting a short article about him when I woke up but it must still be work in progress.

  3. I can’t believe no-one is going on and on about the umpires not calling back foot no balls. I always enjoyed it greatly when umpiring in club cricket. Just the sort of pedantry cricket has lots of scope for.

    There are loads of them. Loads. Especially Ishant Sharma. The on field umpire doesn’t check any more and the third umpire only looks at the front foot. It’s unbelievable, I don’t know what’s going off out there. Ok, there hasn’t been a dismissal off one. Yet. One day there will be and all hell will break loose. Only it won’t because no-one will notice.

    1. This is one of our favourite comments of recent times; a window into a parallel world where someone’s as irritated as we are about something, only that something is slightly different.

      1. Everyone has their own niche bugbear about cricket. Be it slow over rates, bad light, no balls not being called, people walking behind the bowler’s arm.

        Mine is when they get a bit of rain, go off for five minutes, the sun comes out and they announce they will re-start in an hour. Then they come back on for a bit and take tea.

      2. I’ve always thought it very unfair that the umpires never get a chance to bat or bowl – they must feel quite left out, poor sods. One solution would be to replace the coin toss with an umpire-vs-umpire single-wicket Super Over, in which the teams bet on the result to decide who “wins the toss”, and provide fielding support for whichever umpire they backed to come out on top. This is not among the Top Hundred Rule Changes Most Likely To Happen, but is at least a minor bugbear.

      3. I’ve always thought there should be lunchbreak entertainment of a catching competition between the commentators, so we can see them take all those catches that absolutely should have been taken.

      4. @Fried

        That is a grade A+ idea. Most excellent. Perhaps they could demonstrate the correct defensive technique / right areas to bowl in, while they’re at it.

    2. Yup. There is an argument that they should change the no=ball law and live with the notion that the back foot can be wherever it darn well chooses to be. Either that or enforce the law.

      Returning to the subject matter of this piece, I observed Ravi Ashwin demonstrating unequivocally why he is a better off-spinning all-rounder than Dom Bess with the decisive quality of his appeal to the third umpire for a review. Ashwin’s review succeeded and he added six more runs to his tally after that successful review. Masterful stuff. If you didn’t see it, I recommend that you seek it out on the highlights.

  4. Stokes bowling his heart out here. It appears, though, that Root isn’t particularly keen on Bess having a bowl

      1. He’s defied all that though. If England lose, it won’t be because Ben Stokes didn’t do his bit. 🙂

      2. Second time Root has done this today btw, one over too many for Stokes. He’s knackered, for googdness’ sake

  5. After several hours of constant observation, I can say with some amount of certainty that Jack Leach has a terrible secret that is haunting him.

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