Lords Day 2

There are times when it would definitely be interesting to be a fly on the wall. Take the report here that contains this little quote re. Siddle’s no ball non-dismissal of Bairstow:

Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann was furious that Siddle's carelessness - for at least the third time - cost the team so dearly on the opening day of the Lord's Test, berating him in the changeroom at tea.

If there’s any justice in the world, Watson and Rogers should have received a blast that would have left the walls in the change room in need of a repaint. According to the report here the whole team got read the riot act, but, for good or ill, it was the Watson referral that set things up so the wheels could fall off the vehicle.

You can read the details of the rest of the debacle as we lost 10-86 here but these things are always about momentum, ad once you’re in a tail spin there’s usually no way out.

Consider the possibilities if the Watson decision hadn’t been referred. 

First, any blast delivered to both batsmen during the lunch break wouldn’t have happened. I’m not sure whether anything that was actually said behind closed doors affected Rogers’ failure to refer his dismissal, but you’d have to assume there’s a sequential  equation that reads something like:

No Watson referral = No lunchtime blast = Rogers refers the full toss LBW = Referral upheld = Still two referrals left = Score line still reads 1-50 = Hughes does not arrive at the crease = No referral to his dismissal, which left us at 3-53.

More significantly, at 1-50 we might just have had Rogers and Khawaja batting to secure their long term places in the side. That’s not to say they would have succeeded, but the possibility would have been there. It might have meant the same sort of scenario for Hughes when he eventually arrived at the crease, a change to cement the slot at Four that might allow Clarke to bat in his preferred spot at Five.

There’s a school of thought going around that suggests the problem is that we can’t actually bat, and the evidence for the proposition is reasonably strong as far as the stats go. We’ve picked a side on potential, but they’ve got to be judged by results and at the moment the results are dismal.

There is, however, a hint of a way out at the end of that Cricinfo article cited above. Lehmann on Bell, the man with centuries in three successive Ashes Tests:

"He just stays within his limitations doesn't he," Lehmann said. "That's Test matching batting at its best."

Since we’ve come to the point where players are starting to be dropped because of poor form, it might be time to drop the bloke whose frequent waste of referrals denies others the chance to use the things, if necessary, to prolong their own stay at the crease.


© Ian L Hughes 2021