Sunday, July 24, 2005

1-0 to the Convicts

As predicted on this blog, the convicts won the first test, and in the end it was quite convincing.
This can be put down to a few things. Firstly the first innings batting performance of England, which was woeful, particularly amongst the so called recognised batsmen. Secondly, the bowling in the second innings against the tail-end which was tame to say the least - why didn't they take a leaf out of Brett Lee's book, and go into bouncer and yorker mode. Finally the fielding - six dropped catches against the Aussies is simply asking for trouble.

The People's Republic were sad to see the retirement of Graeme Thorpe. England's best batsman of the 90's, it was sad to see his career blighted by personal problems over the past few years. As much as it pains a Bear to say it, bringing him in for Bell in the second test may have given England some of the batting backbone they lacked in the first innings. Ian Bell will become a great player for England, but if he continues to get single digit scores as he did in the first test, the anti-Warwickshire bias of the England selectors may mean he has as short a test career as his Warwickshire team-mate Nick Knight.

The debate continues as to whether it was great bowling or a dodgy pitch which caused wickets to tumble on the first day. The People's Republic is not taking any nonsense; it is clear the pitch was not up to standard. A few years ago a similar situation at Edgbaston led to calls from some sections of the cricket establishment for the ground to lose its test status. This explains why so many 'experts' were so quick to applaud the great bowling on the first day.

If they weren't, they'd have to be calling for the suspension of test cricket at Lords.

I heard somewhere that the test at Lords has to take place before the start of the Grouse hunting season at the end of August as all the members are unavailable thereafter. Compare this to Edgbaston, where in the Eric Hollies stand the footie fans take a break from the beautiful game to give some back to any team that thinks they can psyche-out England.

It's why the England players love the ground; and it is why we'll level the series straight from the heart.

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