Eng 457-3 (Bell 181no, Pietersen 175) stumps
James Anderson will never get a better chance to score a test century. That statement just about sums it up. In fact, Jason Gillespie’s record score for a nightwatchman (201no scored against Bangladesh in 2006) might be in serious danger – even though Jimmy is currently just 3no.
This Indian attack is about as toothless as a newborn sucking a gummy bear. Any batsman worth his salt could score runs against this lot. The Indian bowlers looked worse than a county attack yesterday afternoon.
Let’s take an average division one county side. Sussex is a good example. They’re a decent team – nothing special as they were in division two last season – but they hold their own in domestic cricket.
In their ongoing championship game against Yorkshire, the Sussex attack contains South Africa’s Wayne Parnell, a decent left arm quickie (better than RP Singh anyway), Amjad Khan (the former England speedster who’s quicker than anything India have), and Monty Panesar (a quality spinner with a significantly better test record than Mishra). Need I go on?
Having said that, England’s batsmen can only play the bowling in front of them – and after a somewhat nervy start, in which India actually bowled and fielded like a test team for once, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen punished Mishra and Co mercilessly. What’s more they did it with style.
There cannot be two better players to watch in world cricket at the moment. Bell and Pietersen forge a formidable partnership.
KP dominates off the front foot and hits predominantly to leg; Bell utilises the crease better and plays elegantly through the offside; Pietersen plays with a quirky technique characterised by improvisation and power; Bell is orthodoxy and timing personified.
What are the rules on cricketing monogamy? I want to have both their babies.