2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 6, England v PakistanContinue reading
Time is meaningless. Although the sooner a cricketer can appreciate that, the better – so maybe time isn’t meaningless.
The fifth Test moved forward almost as much in the last eight deliveries of the day as it had in the previous 483. England will have finished with a sense that they put in a decent shift today, but as the post-stumps minutes wore on the reality of the scorecard will have begun to impose itself on their consciousness.
Three wickets in almost-an-entire-day is not the same as three wickets in an entire day. Spread ’em out how you like – England lost five wickets.
Right from early on, Joe Root seemed all set for a score between 50 and 99. He’ll be disappointed to have left 16 runs out there, but his dismissal did give Jonny Bairstow the opportunity to edge behind for five – an opportunity he gratefully accepted.
Moeen Ali will be at the crease first thing on day two, despite having been dropped from the team several days ago. Playing as the second spinner and basically just keeping a spot warm for someone else, he’s almost certain to make a double hundred.
Everyone was weirdly fine with Adil Rashid’s omission from England’s Ashes squad, even though he was England’s only consistent wicket-taker on flat pitches last winter. Considering England have spent much of this tour looking decidedly fast-medium, it seems a fair time to revisit the decision.
We took a look at Rashid’s record compared to his fellow bowlers for Wisden.com and have since found ourself wondering whether England’s current Test captain may have made the call. Intriguingly, a Wisden tweet of the story, saying “Adil Rashid is yet to play a Test under Joe Root” was subsequently retweeted* by Yorkshire’s Azeem Rafiq.
It has to be said that building pressure by bowling in a consistent area hasn’t really helped England of late. A lad who turns it both ways and who also has first-class hundreds to his name might have come in handy.
Go and read the Wisden piece. Someone somewhere might at some point call it a ‘doozy’.
* And later deleted.
Now is not the time to analyse. Now is the time to look at Joe Root’s losing-the-Ashes face.
Oh, England have lost the Ashes, by the way. Don’t know if you’ve heard.
Before we look at Joe Root’s losing-the-Ashes face, it’s worth pointing out that you have to be a bloody good cricketer to deploy a true losing-the-Ashes face. Plenty of Britons will be sporting just-watched-my-team-lose-the-Ashes faces today, but it’s not quite the same.
This is the face of a man who is so good at cricket that he plays for and captains the national side. However, the sad fact is that it’s not all linseed oil, glamour and bon bons. Sometimes you lose the Ashes.
What does this face say?
Does it say: “Usually things go my way. It hadn’t really occurred to me that this might happen. I mean obviously I was aware of the possibility, but now that the moment comes I realise I hadn’t emotionally prepared for it.”
Does it say: “It’s beginning to dawn on me just how many depressing interviews I’m going to have to do. It’s not just this match, the line of questioning probably isn’t going to be too cheery in Melbourne or Sydney either.”
Or does it say: “I can’t remember where I’ve put my sunglasses.”
Being England captain: seems like fulfillment of a childhood dream, but most of the time it’s actually kind of a ball-ache.