Oh sure, Daryl Mitchell and Jonny Bairstow are batting really well right now, but…

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Jonny Bairstow has worked out that he can score twice as many runs simply by doubling his strike-rate. Daryl Mitchell has realised he’ll probably keep hold of his Test place if he scores a hundred in every single match. But what do these developments actually prove?

Because yeah, sure, Jonny Bairstow’s in form right now. But will he still be in form next week? Will he still be in form next year? Will he still be in form in 10 or 20 or 50 years’ time?

The same goes for Daryl Mitchell. It’s all well and good scoring 538 runs in a three-match series, but what good will that do him in Pakistan in November? What good will it do him when New Zealand are touring England in 2032 or 2042 or 2072?

And okay, they’ve each shown they can make runs in these conditions against these bowling attacks. But can they make runs in India or Australia, against those teams’ bowlers? Could the two of them make hundreds against Jeff Thomson in his pomp, bowling from 18 yards on a disgraceful club pitch that’s unfit for cricket? And would they be so dominant batting in a pyroclastic flow against a bowling machine set to 200mph?

To truly prove yourself as a batter, you have to make runs against everyone, everywhere, in all formats and all match situations. Anything less than that and someone, somewhere is going to be left unimpressed.

Can Mitchell and Bairstow make runs one-handed? Can they make runs with their eyes closed? Can they make runs without using a bat?

These are sterner tests. Daryl Mitchell and Jonny Bairstow haven’t proven themselves yet.

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  1. Remember when we were told that Jack Hobbs was a “great” batsman? Look at him now.

  2. In seriousness, it will be interesting to see if England can keep the extraordinary form & positivity going for the rest of the summer. India & South Africa are different gigs.

    And then there’s the thought of this brand of cricket for the Ashes next year. Is that the sound of lips being licked in anticipation?

    1. Can one actually hear lips being licked, in anticipation or otherwise? How close would one have to be to those very same lips to hear them being licked? Within 22 yards, say? And who owns these lips? I just licked my own lips – not anybody else’s, mind – as a test, and could hear nothing. (Admittedly, hearing isn’t one of my sharpest senses, but still.)

  3. So today I timed myself.

    01:07:18 (that’s minutes, seconds, and something smaller than seconds) is all it took me to finish the article. So I am doing well. But will this hold? Will I continue to beat KC’s stipulated article time six months from now? A year? Dunno. The body gets old, and them eyes are not what they were.

    Regarding England, I feel the best strategy is for them to enjoy the honeymoon and not dwell on the inevitably painful and expensive divorce.

  4. Also, not forgetting the way these things work, that most/all who moaned/downplayed will speak highly of the said player within a maximum of about 18 months of them being retired.

  5. Can they actually embody the process and live out the process and become part of the process of scoring a run? At all times, in every backyard, process elite superior mateship value proposition process? Do they have their own Way? No, only one man could do that, and he didn’t even score a run in this series, the quitter.

    Makes you miss the days of proper batting, before cricket was invented. Batsmen knew how to leave properly back then, because there was no game.

  6. Can King Cricket write without a computer, a pen, a pencil, chalk or a crayon? in the dark? How about with his hands tied behind his back?

    I am just going to enjoy this moment of test cricket but not as we know it.

    1. Nose-typing this on our old fashioned typewriter in a windowless room. One of our captors will upload the words to the internet later, as has become customary.

  7. In other news, Michael Vaughan’s back… as in, stepping back, from BBC media duties.

    “It is always regrettable when matters such as persistent allegations of being a big old racist get in the way of commentating on the same sport from which those allegations arose”, Vaughan denied saying.

    That and he’s a massive, massive, enormous wanker, as Rcaugust so effectively put it on these pages last March: https://www.kingcricket.co.uk/who-is-whispering-to-michael-vaughan-about-jofra-archer/2021/03/12/

  8. Agree with Mike and Rcaugust.

    Anyone who endured that interview on the telly (think it was with Dan Walker) with Vaughan admitting to being really sorry for getting caught being a racist gobshite prick would surely have to call for the Mongoose and start smashing whatever was close to hand in lieu of Vaughan’s head…

    DW: So Michael, how do you answer critics who claim that your Tweet declaring that anyone who didn’t arrive in Britain on of before the Norman conquest are some how part of a sub-culture of fundamentalist corner shop owners?

    MV: Well, it may seem a little misguided now, but you have to understand that emotions were running high and in the past these things were a normal part of dressing room bants.

    DW: But you posted this Tweet 12 minutes before the start of this interview while the dark eye make up you requested was being applied!

    MV: Well, Dan, it’s all water under the bridge now.

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