Mark Wood is playing The Entertain Yourselves Test

You’ll have noticed that the site’s been a bit quiet this week and we’re afraid it’ll continue to be quiet throughout this Test.

Sorry about that, but we’re figuratively tied up at the minute. Can you talk amongst yourselves until we’re back?

Preview-wise, this Test will be another without Jimmy Anderson. We wrote about that once and we still feel exactly the same.

Jimmy’s absence is becoming a more common thing and we can only presume that he’s deliberately trying to soften the blow of his eventual departure by phasing himself out. Very thoughtful of him.

On the upside, cricket is a little kinder than life because every sad departure necessarily brings with it an uplifting new arrival.

Okay, Jimmy’s not actually departed the game quite yet, and technically Mark Wood’s not a new arrival, but you get what we’re driving at: the sadness is immediately offset, even if it can never be negated.

We all have favourite players, but the numeric nature of a first XI means there’s a certain one-in/one-out rejuvenation that distracts from unhelpful rumination on the vast, incomprehensible relentlessness of time and one’s own fleeting appearance within it.

So this week’s fresh growth is, appropriately enough, Wood. In truth, he is not so green. He was 30 this week, but 30’s pretty young these days – look at the man he’s replacing for proof of that.

We’re almost always in favour of picking Mark Wood for reasons explained in this Mark Wood v Chris Woakes piece (which seems to have done some Dorian Grey, doodle-in-the-loft type deal itself).

The short version is: whenever you have a choice between a player who is possibly electrifying and one who definitely is not electrifying, you should always pick the possibly electrifying one. This applies even if there’s a more than reasonable chance he won’t perform as well as the other guy.

There’s a lot of getting by in life, so you might as well seek out and embrace the memorable highs.


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11 Appeals

  1. All true. But I feel a bit of a scrub for being pleased that Woakes has been passed over. I really like Chris Woakes, possibly more than his objective worth warrants and I feel he deserves better of me.

  2. “So this week’s fresh growth is, appropriately enough, Wood. In truth, he is not so green. ”

    Wonderful & deliberate over-use of the metaphor.

    I too like Chris Woakes, but it is hard to over-metaphor his name in the same way as Wood.

    I suppose this is leading me down the road of nominative prejudice.

    Hands up – I am insufficiently woke…or insufficiently Woakes. Don’t be shook, it’s just my extra boomer aesthetic. Done.

  3. Initially I thought the headline was because the pitch would make deriving entertainment from the actual cricket tricky.

    • King Cricket

      January 16, 2020 at 12:25 pm

      It wasn’t a deliberately open to interpretation headline but always happy to achieve one, even if by accident.

    • I prefer pitches with more bounce and a bit less attrition, but I think this pitch should evolve over the five days and make for an intriguing contest.

      As I only had limited opportunities to watch today and will be in a similar boat tomorrow, I am rather hoping for a match that does its main unfolding on Saturday and Sunday – I suspect most people around here feel similarly.

    • Rain too now! A multi-layered headline indeed.

  4. Stokesy! Popey! Rabada! Test Match cricket!

  5. We’re under orders to entertain ourselves for a few days.

    I have observed that the U19 World Cup has started today in South Africa. Last time that happened, 1998, England won the tournament.

    That sent me on ramble of reflections about how I followed such matches back then, those 1998 players and the people I was hanging around with back then.

    Rob Key is in it. So is Charley the Gent and that gang:

    http://ianlouisharris.com/1998/02/01/reflections-on-the-day-england-u19s-won-the-cricket-world-cup-in-south-africa-1-february-1998/

    Enjoy or ignore as you prefer.

  6. Off the mark with a six. Then a four.

    Love Mark Wood. Love ‘im.

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