It started well for England with Anderson showing us why he is the best bowler in the world at present. Our friends in the south of Africa will disagree, but I for one, cannot wait to see him and Dale Steyn go head to head in a couple of months. Watching Anderson bowl the inswinger and the away swinger with no change in action, just a flick off of the different finger, is to watch an artist at work. It is Olivier playing Hamlet, Van Gogh painting the Sunflowers or John Terry gatecrashing a cup presentation.
For the West Indies, Barath looked a decent player, with some fine cover drives, and as usual Chanderpaul was a pain in the arse, clinging to the crease like a limpet to a rock, was involved in a run out and it was a stereotypical Chanderpaul knock. Both him and Jacques Kallis are fine players to watch, but don't put bums on seats, although their value to their sides are priceless. Would it be harsh to say that Chelsea inspired me more with their artistic flair on Saturday night? Stuart Broad ended up with the wickets, whereas Jimmy Anderson bowled better, but sometimes cricket is like that.
|Strauss answered critics with a fine 122|
Lord's looked fantastic and Mick Hunt had produced a decent, albeit slow track, a billiard table style outfield and you started to feel as though summer had arrived, especially after seeing the sun kissed highlights in Mark Nicholas' new hair do on Channel 5. Even TMS had a decent line up with Vaughan and Viv, Aggers, Tuffers, Blowers et al. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and Andrew Strauss had been getting not so much grief off of the press, no this was tame compared to some England skippers of the past, but the odd snipes, more in the way of a nagging wife trying to coerce her husband into scoring runs. He answered them with a 122, before the England innings fell away somewhat. The West Indies debutant Shannon "archangel" Gabriel looked as if he could be a handful.
On the Sabbath the Windies batted and batted and the Reverend Chanderpaul gave out his sermon to the English bowling again, from his popping pulpit, when everyone thought Sunday school would be over by lunchtime. This time he was joined by the much more pleasing on the eye Samuels, and the St Lucian Sammy chipped in. England were set a rather tricky total.
Even more so when Strauss and night watchman Anderson were both back in the hutch with the score on 10. Not many of us are fans of the night watchman by the look of things. Trott trotted off soon the following day, and KP played the knock of a man with marginally more brain cells than an amoeba. Luckily Cook and Bell got us home, before a Mikey rant on Sky about the WICB, which I'm sure will be discussed at length soon.
A good proper Test match, and rumour is reaching us that a certain Mr Gayle may even play at Nottingham this week. Now that would be good for the game.