And More Again...

That, I think, is a fair wrap, but The Astute Reader can probably understand why these things rankle.

I spent most of the washed out first session last night pondering what you’d be looking to do with a Test side when it came to your approach to the first session on Day One. Was there anything you could draw from that Queensland Primary Schools bit? As it turns out, yes, I think there is.

If you’re bowling on Day One of a Test you want to bowl thirty-plus overs in the first session. England managed twenty-nine on Wednesday. 

At Trent Bridge we managed 26 (England 2-98), at Lords 26 again (England 3-80), England managed 26 at Old Trafford (Australia 2-92) and at Durham we bowled 27, with England crawling to 1-57.

Those twenty-nine on Wednesday had us at 1-112.

Considering the above you might be inclined to think thirty in that first session is a bridge too far, particularly on the basis of that 1-112 and the thought of what might have happened if Warner had managed to stick around a little longer than he did, but consider:

Day One with a new rock should be optimum pace bowling conditions, so you’d figure there’s a definite advantage in getting in as many overs as possible.

The only way you’re going to get to what may be an aspirational rather than anticipated target will be by keeping things bowling and bowling dots. Fetching the ball back from the boundary takes time when the field is up.

Anything defended forward of the wicket will get back to the bowler quicker than a ball that goes through to the ‘keeper, but if it’s been defended forward of the wicket that also means you’ve forced the batsman to play, which is what you want to do with the new ball anyway.

You won’t get to the thirty unless you’ve managed to take wides and no balls out of the equation.

If you’re going to get to the thirty you’ll have to be ready to hit the openers with everything but the kitchen sink right from the time Mickey’s big hand passes the twelve on the clock and the umpire calls play.

And, most importantly, batsmen like to take their time. Razzle dazzle ‘em. Don’t give them time to settle.

If they look like getting away, of course, you can always slow things back a tad, but that thirty in the first session of Day One should go a fair way to ensuring your over rate is up where it’s supposed to be.

All of which makes sense from where I’m sitting. As far as overnight events go, let’s just take a long read of the press reports and ponder the contents. I seem to recall hearing suggestions regarding further weather interventions over the next thee days, so we’ll need something to keep our minds occupied, won’t we? 

© Ian L Hughes 2021