England couldnât allow another quiet over so Root shoved to cover and set off; Stoinis, zoning in, collects the ball on the run and on the bounce. He could go for either end but picks the strikersâ demolishing the stumps with extreme prejudice. England have a problem.
7th over: England 28-1 (Roy 21, Root 2) After a wide, Starc beats Root with a jaffa, drawing him forward and pushing him back simultaneously before passing the outside edge. Four more dots follow…
6th over: England 28-1 (Roy 21, Root 2) Root stays down for a while, glugging down what looks like brufen and Vimto â Iâm not sure weâll see many quick singles till heâc coming up, and Iâd not be surprised if he didnât field. But heâs quickly on strike, when Roy dabs into the on side for one, only to retort by coming down and shoving to mid on; didnât look much wrong in that. A further single follows.
5th over: England 24-1 (Roy 19, Root 0) Thereâs something extremely Tigger about Mitchell Starcâs bounding run-up, both in practice and principle â heâs going to enjoy inconveniencing those on the other end of it. He sends down a wicket-maiden, but England keep things moving thanks to four leg byes off Rootâs buttock then, attacking the final ball of the over, he drives hard into his own knee. Heâll need a little rest after that, it looked a right sair yin.
Thatâs a classical left-arm quickâs dismissal â or would be if every left-arm, quick was as good as Mitchell Starc, who hurls one across the batsmen that he expect to swing in, and when it refuses, heâs left with no option but to nick off.
4th over: England 20-0 (Roy 19, Bairstow 0) Roy comes down to and swishes hard enough to send a toe-ender through extra for four. England will want to show Hazlewood that his Test-match metronomy has no place here (whatever metronomy is) and perhaps thatâs the start. And have a look! Roy twists the fifth ball off his toes for three, then adjusts feet to clobber one just outside off to the point fence. Heâs seeing it now….
âI donât think it is exaggerating to say Plunkett was, along with Rashid, Englandâs most important bowler,â says William Lane, âwith their ability to take wickets in the middle overs. âFor my money T. Curran is the best-equipped bowler to take over that role and while it is harsh on him, Plunkett was never going to make it to the next World Cup so they might as well give Curran the maximum time to learn his trade.â
I see that argument, I really do, but Iâd have given Plunkett the chance to prove it wrong.
3rd over: England 8-0 (Roy 7, Bairstow 0) Roy shoves to midwicket, and Cummins dives over it like heâs Bobby Mimms; it runs away for a four England really needed. A wide and a single follow, and Australia will be satisfied with their start.
2nd over: England 2-0 (Roy 2, Bairstow 0) Bairstow takes a middle-stump guard; Roy was on two leg. And Hazlewood â whoâs showing, once again, that serious bowling is serious bowling in any format â persuades Bairstow into a pull that drops not too far short of midwicket, then into a wild slash â that sounds worse than it is â outside off, twice. Maiden/
1st over: England 2-0 (Roy 2, Bairstow 0) Roy gets himself down the other end with a leading edge to fine leg for two, the only runs off the over.
âIf football is intuitive and dynamic, you havenât been watching Fulham!â says a âdespairing alreadyâ Richard Hirst. They do, however, have a superb collection of hostelries in close proximity to the ground.
Yup, going over. The bounce at OT makes that a poor call from the umpire, as noted by Nasser.
This was a good ball, swinging and seaming into the batsman, but maybe a little high….
âItâs brilliant,â tweets Jamie Clarke of Skyâs coverage. âInteresting how it has such a focus on coaching and helping cricketers improve. You just donât get this with any football coverage.â
Skyâs cricket is maybe the best any sports coverage has ever been and way better than the football, but we do need to be fair. Cricket is a repetitive and technical game, whereas football is intuitive and dynamic, so itâs trickier to offer guidance.
âRe Plunkettâs discarding,â says Matt McGillen, âitâs not that anyone thinks either of the Currans are better than Liam Plunkett right now, itâs that the Currans need experience so they are better by the time the World Cup rolls around.â
Sure, but thatâs not for four years, and England places should be won, not donated. By all means phase Plunkett out, but not when heâs shown no signs of deteriorating form, and not when no oneâs done enough to tax his place from him.
Another nugget from Broad: he wears a sweatband to give him a visual indicator of what his front arm is doing. Iâd happily postpone the game by half an hour to get more of him talking cricket.
Cricket Auatralia have given us more gen on Smith: âSteve passed both assessments, but we have decided to rest him as an extra precaution in line with our high level of focus on duty of care to all playersâ.
âCould Eoin Morgan and Josh Hazlewood swap sides, then we could have a proper J v M game!â returns Richard Hirst.
Iâd not noticed that. Fridayâs game, which featured Moeen and Mark Wood, mightâve been contested by the fewest different forename first-letters ever.
âFeel we canât start the day without a Bobness tribute,â says Richard Hirst, âso picking up the sun reference, rather than cricket, âThe sunâs not yellow, itâs chickenâ.â
This new feature where kids send in their action is so good. Itâs got Broad talking about yorkers, and how the slingier the action the easier the skill, and how when heâs tired, he focuses on keeping his arm high and straight.
âIâm lying on the settee with the Tour de France on the telly, the Guardian OBO on my phone, recording the Tuscan GP and the NFL starts at six,â says @TAFKAAB. âItâs going to be one hell of a day.â
On which point, what a pleasure it is to have Stuart Broad in commentary. One of the joys of venerable old men is that they can speak honestly and fearlessly, because theyâve earned the political capital and everyone knows that whatever they say comes from a good place.
âI see Finn (who I queried on a previous OBO for his lack of pace only to be informed he was bowling reduced-pace cutters and can still hit the high 80s) is the leading wicket taker in the T20 Blast this season,â emails Tom van der Gucht. âIt would be a great story if he got a white-ball England recall (in both T20 and ODIs) in a similar role to Plunkett, to make things happen during the middle overs. Older, wilier, still (hopefully) possessing disconcerting pace and bounce to enforce a few wickets.â
I love Finn, whoâs sort of the reverse-Buttler: someone with the ability to be a superstar, but from whom it got away after a brilliant start. Graeme Smith is frequently noted as the man who retired England captains, but â in mine â his biggest impact of that ilk was undermining Finnâs confidence during the stump-kneeing incident. Finn is, incidentally, a brilliant talker about the game in both technical and mental aspect, and seems an absolute gent.
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (captain), 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Sam Billings, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Jofra Archer.
Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (captain), 3 Marcus Stoinis, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Mitchell Marsh, 6 Alex Carey (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
I still canât quite grasp how easily Plunkett was discarded. I can sort of see why a contract wasnât forthcoming, though heâd indisputably earned one, but I canât fathom why he wasnât kept about. When the aforementioned matchwinning partnership was under construction, who wouldnât have fancied him having a shy?
A question: is Tom Curran even close to as good as Liam Plunkett is good?
Australia are unchanged, as might be expected after an excellent performance last time out. Mitchell Starc looked in discomfort on Friday and this morning, but stays in the side, and Aaron Finch was particularly impressed with how Mitch Marsh and Glenn Maxwell built what proved to be the matchwinning partnership. Steve Smith is still absent.
Itâs the same track as the other day, which âhad no demons in itâ, but might wear a little later on. England were surprised there wasnât more spin on Friday, and leave out Mark Wood, who hasnât recovered as well as theyâd like, and Moeen Ali for tactical reasons; theyâre replaced by the brothers Cuzza.
If I wasnât so ill with middle-aged nostalgia, Iâd mock myself for the recency bias implicit in my feeling that 50-over cricket has never been so thrillingly compelling. Itâs true that we donât have Richards, Sehwag, Ponting, Murali or Warne, but itâs not really about the individuals â though we have more devastating ones than ever before â rather the format. As skills, thought and knowhow have developed, the game have done likewise, its phases, nuances and contours now far more likely to deliver a refreshing, complex and profound narrative than ever before.
Fridayâs ODI was a prime example of this new world. It wouldâve been hard to conceive of such a match even 10 years ago not just because Old Trafford was being redeveloped, and weâve every reason to expect more of the same today. Because both sides have ridiculous firepower with bat and ball, neither can expect to silence all of the oppositionâs champions, and as a consequence, we can legitimately anticipate another belter. So draw the curtains, pull down the blinds, and make the most of the September sun.
Donnez votre point de vue et aboonez-vous!
Votre point de vue compte, donnez votre avis
[maxbutton id= »1″]