Keaton Jennings: first look in Test cricket

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We don’t believe you can draw meaningful conclusions from debut performances – but we report on them anyway.

If there’s one thing that county cricket generally doesn’t involve, it’s playing in India. You can probably think of other things it doesn’t involve, but this particular aspect seems relevant to Keaton Jennings’ Test debut because he was asked to play in India.

If there’s one thing that playing cricket in India isn’t, it’s playing cricket in England. Sure, there are similarities – lunch breaks, tea breaks, ferocious inescapable heat – but you’re hardly likely to encounter a full trio of spin bowlers up at the Riverside.

It was therefore interesting to see how Jennings went about his business. The opener’s approach against seamers is all straight and conventional, but against the spinners he seemed hell-bent on scoring via the reverse sweep.

This is hardly surprising in this day and age. The shot is now so commonplace, we move that it be renamed ‘the sweep’ and the conventional sweep rebranded ‘the reverse sweep’ to better reflect the likelihood of seeing each played.

At one point during his innings, Keaton Jennings reached three figures. This, to us, seemed impressive. However, he didn’t look especially angry about his achievement, which leads us to conclude that he may lack whatever it is that allows many high profile cricketers to feel ‘super-psyched’ about reaching such landmarks.

Whether that’s a strength or a weakness is something that could have been discussed in this final paragraph, but wasn’t. Instead, we wrote one sentence that failed to address the matter and then a second purely so that there was no confusion about whether the paragraph in question could more accurately have been described as a sentence.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. To celebrate Keaton Jennings’s success, In have added an addendum to my write up from the very first time Daisy and I had a look at him:

    There is a King Cricket match report of the same event and indeed same headline – The Rump Ire Strikes Back, which you can click through from the above Ogblog piece.

    There was something very unusual about Keaton Jennings’s batting that day and I also pose a fun “exam question” for lovers of semantics (i.e. most King Cricket readers).

    1. There’s a gender-based parking joke in there somewhere, Ged, I am sure of it!

      Keaton Jennings scored a hundred.

      1. Good spot, Mike. I can’t believe I missed the opportunity to crack that joke.

        It’s not necessarily gender specific, though. Central London parking as a spectator sport applies to watching parkers of every gender, race and creed.

  2. Perhaps Buster Rhymes Keaton Spinning Jenny Wren is super-psyched. It’s all going on manically under the surface in his internal monologue, “Woa, I’ve got a century. Twirl my bat around my head and call me Shirley. . . no wait, think about what you’re doing. . .”

      1. NFL makes $$$ from playing in London… Or £££ anyway.

        Not sure the Indian locals would be queuing up for Derbyshire vs Gloucestershire. They don’t even turn up for Indian first class matches anymore, sadly.

        But if the ECB had deeper pockets it wouldn’t be a completely stupid idea.

        They do now hold the first match of the county season (MCC Vs Champions) in the UAE.

    1. We mentioned Sliding Doors in reference to the coin toss last week – seemingly unaware that the toss of a coin is already a recognised way of describing how things could easily turn out differently.

    2. Imagine that sometime in 2002, Gwyneth Paltrow had dropped a Fruit Pastille. Bending down to pick it up (it was a black one), she wrenched her knee rather badly, and hence missed that Coldplay gig where she met Chris Martin. In hospital she was treated by Dr Arbuthnot, a noted knee specialist. He was ginger, so she fell in love with him. As a medical person, Arbuthnot introduced Paltrow to science and evidence and things that aren’t just made up inside the heads of people with a crystal fixation. Paltrow became interested in that sort of stuff, and eventually won the Nobel Prize for Physics for her work on renormalisation of quantum fields.

      Meanwhile, Chris Martin, disappointed that Paltrow hadn’t turned up to the gig when it had been arranged and everything, decided to stop singing for ever. Then he blew himself and the rest of the band up with a homemade bomb he’d been carrying around, just to make sure. Then they were buried in a thousand-foot deep bunker along with every last copy of their albums in existence, plus the master tapes.


      1. Excellent visioning there, Bert, although I find the Chris Martin/Coldplay elements infinitely more plausible and enjoyable than the Gwyneth Palthrow Nobel Prize bit.

        Daisy and I once saw Gwyneth Palthrow in a play at the Donmar Warehouse in which she played a mathematical brainiac/maniac. She was not terribly convincing in that role, but she did go with the curtains…

        …metaphorically speaking; the Donmar Warehouse doesn’t have curtains…

        …I’m not boring you all, am I?

      2. I think that’s absolutely brilliant, Bert. One of my worst nightmares would be being stuck in a lift with Gwyneth Paltow and Chris Martin. She’d be knitting something out of yoghurt and Martin singing some simpering mawkish cack. Great stuff.

  3. England’s score in this match is being referred to as “a nice round number”. I assume that what is meant by this is that England’s score is the sum of the first four powers of seven starting from the 0th power.

  4. “a full trio of spin bowlers”

    Are you suggesting the Indian spin bowlers are following the failed Samit Patel-endorsed “6 year abs” regime?

  5. let’s have something on nz. I’m a bit depressed about williamson’s form, he’s been off for quite a while now. worried he’s getting dragged into the …. quicksand (? or whatever, jeez) of kiwi mediocrity. come on, man.

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