Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lambs to the Slaughter

When England began the day at Trent Bridge, they were 43 runs behind on the first innings, with 9 (possibly 8, given Trott's injury) wickets in hand. They have ended the day 387 ahead with four wickets in hand. The aforesaid Trott has come and gone. Before him, and after, England have handed out an ass-whipping to a team that looked like they would much rather be back in the West Indies, dealing with Darren Sammy's outfit.

India never looked like restricting the runs, taking wickets, or showing imagination in field placings. Lines on eyebrows were stretched tight early, the shoulders were fighting a losing battle with gravity early on, and the fielding ran ragged, hither and thither.

England flogged, and flogged. 400 runs in a day's action in a test is rare. (England did it in the 2005 Ashes too on a day when Ponting lost the plot, not just McGrath's Ankle).

England do not have to declare tomorrow. They can blast away, lose their last four wickets in a flurry, and set India something close to 450-475, if not 500. Then, cry havoc.

This wasn't a good test in which to show two of your biggest weaknesses (letting opponents tails prosper; having a tail with the resilince of a limp noodle), to miss another bowler because of injury (while Harbhajan didn't look like he was going to take wickets, it did mean the other bowlers had to be bowled into the ground).

Someone has to find the wheels and put them back on.

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