Six deliveries from today at the Test – Edgbaston day 4
Stumps day 4: West Indies 426 England 221 for 5
Lizzy Ammon at Edgbaston
Having praised Edgbaston yesterday, today I’m going to have a moan. Few more than 5000 tickets were sold for today. The ground was empty although thankfully not totally quiet. Tickets for today cost £43. If you’ve only sold 5000 of them what does that tell you? Why not have let those with tickets from day 1 and 2 come back today? Or drop the price to £20? I simply don’t understand it.
Cricket cricket cricket – doesn’t it just make you want to scream sometimes? The farcical light situation in the evening session was infuriating.
I took a wander out to the stands both when they came off for light and when they came back on. There was no material difference at all, it was perfectly playable and in no way dangerous. I’m not an expert at facing 85mph bowling obviously but I’ve been at darker Test matches.
It is a completely unsustainable situation to perpetually have this happening. It absolutely has to be sorted out. Especially clarification on the balance between artificial and natural light.
Cricket has to compete with plenty of other sports – especially this year. At the best of times Cricket doesn’t win the battle but when the players are taken off for reasons that are just not clear to joe public (or indeed Joe Media) one wonders why anybody even bothers to pay for broadcast rights.
There’s a major football tournament going on – the minute the players went off for bad light I’d imagine everyone switched over to watch Iniesta and co..
KP made the very valid point post-match that it was a bit gloomy and when Tino Best is firing 90mph balls at it is very difficult.
But there just doesn’t seem to be any consistency or at least not consistency that is easily explained.
Tino Best will fill some column inches. His innings was pure entertainment. Simple as that. Pure wonderful entertainment. But not silliness – he played proper shots. Leaving the ball, defending solidly mixed in with glorious driving and some showboat hooks and pulls. I enjoyed every ball of it. Cricket, I’m afraid, is in many ways devoid of characters. Bland seems to be the order of the day. We need more like Best. More like Samuels. More like KP (warts and all).
Ramdinnotegate – actually no one but me is calling it that but the post ton “note” did seem to cause rather more controversy than it should have done. OK most of us wouldn’t have pulled out a note with a metaphorical “up yours Sir Viv” - it was perhaps rash and a bit silly but he didn’t drown Sir Viv’s puppy. It was a silly note for the cameras. It was, for me at least, quite amusing. Combined with his exuberant celebration this morning’s cricket was how I want cricket to be.
Post match he did say that he still thought that Viv was a legend and he would still have a drink and a chat with him although he stopped well short of an apology. I’m not sure he actually has anything to apologise for either and the criticism from Sir Viv clearly fired him on to a performance. Ideal situation really.
It didn’t require Scooby doo, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred to solve the mystery of Narine today.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Obviously in Tests v T20 batsmen don’t need to play shots, take the risks playing against the spin. The spin revolutions on a red ball are easier to pick up by all accounts because the white ball seam gets dirty and is harder to see.
Today he bowled consistently too short and whilst his “mystery spinner” tag is the same one given to Ajmal, Narine is slower paced than Ajmal which makes him less dangerous in this format. Having said this, this is his first Test, in new, not really turning conditions, with a duke ball. We do need to give the man a bit of a break.
Nobody wants to return to the bad old revolving door days of crap England of yesteryear and writing a young batsman off after 3 Test matches is foolish. Bairstow is unquestionably a talented young player but he simply may not be quite ready for Test cricket yet. Today he got out to a full ball, previously it was short balls. No one is saying he will never be good enough but he might just not be ready.
Of course – the question is if Bairstow doesn’t play in the SA series in the number 6 slot – who does? Ravi is back from injury and scoring a lot of county runs. The smart money is probably on a Bopara return.