The game moved on rapidly yesterday – and thankfully England are still firmly in the driving seat. Can we start to dream of victory? Whisper it quietly.
The day started brilliantly when we took the remaining Australian wickets for fifty odd. Jimmy Anderson hooped the ball around like only Jimmy Anderson can. It was an education. The spell he bowled to Haddin was top class.
Although things didn’t go perfectly when England batted again, I was actually quite pleased with our performance. We stayed positive throughout, and I would’ve taken a lead of 400 plus at lunchtime. With the pitch beginning to misbehave, the Aussies really needed to knock us over for 150 to keep the lead manageable. The fact they fell well short was extremely gratifying.
I’d rather see England playing their shots than dig themselves into a hole. Although it was almost a decade ago, the memories of Adelaide in 2006 are still relatively fresh. And then there was Barbados just a couple of months ago. We all know this England side aren’t exactly the finished article, so craving an even bigger lead is possibly a bit greedy. If we bowl relatively well then the game should be ours.
Before I sign off, I’d love to know your thoughts on the David Warner and Nathan Lyon incident. I’m not sure they highlighted this on the BBC, but the two Aussie clowns decided to prevent Ben Stokes from running his bat along the crease between overs – a superstition or tick he’s developed.
On one occasion Lyon created a physical obstacle by deliberately doing up his shoelaces right under Stokes’s nose (in front of the stumps); on another Lyon and Warner decided to have a chat on the exact spot where batsmen take their guard. I’ve heard of mind games, but this seemed more than a little bizarre.
On each occasion Stokes waited patiently the Aussie pair to move before completing his ritual. They were clearly trying to wind him up, so fair play to him for being the bigger man and refusing to bite. The temptation to twat Warner in the face with his bat, and wipe that cheeky grin off his mischievous face, must have been a strong one. Why is it always bloody Warner? The bloke never learns.
I don’t want to make a big deal out of this incident, but it seemed very childish. Lyon laughed it off at the end of play but it was schoolboy stuff and possibly inappropriate. Can you imagine the opposition doing something similar to Jonathan Trott or Neil McKenzie, who had far more irritating ticks? Deliberately interfering with a batsman’s superstitions just isn’t cricket, right?
Feel free to leave your comments on today’s play below. Have England got enough runs? Australia aren’t out of it completely but I’m feeling increasingly confident. We can do this guys.