If you’re a batsman short of runs, get yourself to Taunton – unless, of course, you’re an Indian. Just to make a mockery of our analysis of the tourists’ match against Somerset on Saturday – in which we called Taunton a feather bed – Sachin and Co batted like pelicans in their first innings and found themselves 132-8 at one point. That they recovered to 224 all out was mainly down to a one-man-show from Suresh Raina, who made a classy 103.
With India falling well short of Somerset’s first innings total, the county side did the decent thing (cough) and refused to enforce the follow on – thus ruining their chances of victory, but ensuring that (a) the Indian batsman didn’t get to spend more time at the crease before the first test, and (b) making sure that Andrew Strauss did. Cunning eh.
Once he got the chance to bat again, the England skipper made hay. He scored a superb 109 to add to his first innings 78 – thus giving himself a huge fillip before the first test. However, let’s not pop the champagne corks just yet. He also made a ton in Middlesex’s match again Sri Lanka earlier this summer … and we know what happened next.
Like a 28 handicapper who insists on visiting the driving range before he tees off, Strauss might have used up all his good shots in practice.