The fast bowler’s injured, the new opening batsman made a duck and the returning genius reminded us precisely what we were missing by being dismissed by a left-arm spinner.
But actually, things are okay. When they play well, England’s biggest strength is that you can happily avoid watching their first innings in the knowledge that at least one of the top three is boring everyone to tears and then beyond tears and then back to tears again. So hurrah, Alastair Cook is up and running with a beautiful, plodding hundred.
Another plus point is that Samit Patel has scored runs. We like Samit Patel. We’ve got in our head that he’ll score runs in India. This opinion is based on a feisty one-day knock in Mohali last year and a Twenty20 innings which we’ve just realised was played in Sri Lanka. Still, plenty of people in sport believe that ‘gut feeling’ is the best way to make decisions, so maybe we should shed our old-fashioned preference for careful consideration of detailed information.