The great Roman philosopher Shanus Warnus once asked gladiator Michus Clarkus if he was thirsty after slaying a lion in the colesseum.
That probably entirely accurate fable is a wonderful segue into the performance of another lion overnight.
The English, Welsh and Kiwi version that for the first time since the great willow shortage of 1939 was sans South African. Or any African.
The available narrative from the first day’s play is broad, and not in the Stuart sense.
Given this, and the fact that I didn’t have time to produce multiple pieces, here are all the available headlines from day 1 at Edgbaston.
Which one would you have run with?
A piece about how the “unselectable” Steven Finn; the man with the worst World Cup hat-trick in history; the man once deemed “unselectable” ; the man for whom the law makers had to change to rules to ensure knocking off the non strikers bails during delivery was a no ball; the man with a better Test strike rate and average than James Anderson; was the man responsible for setting up England’s amazing start.
The Ghost Of Shane Watson
A quick blurb on how David Warner looks just as uncomfortable at the crease as Watson, complete with the ridiculous automatic use of the DRS when given out LBW.
Something Something Is Clarke Finished Something?
There is no doubting Clarke’s record as a Test batsman. He is also one of the great modern day attacking captains. However, his recent form has waned. Not since his 100 in Adelaide has he looked like making runs. He was defiant in the World Cup Final with a 70 odd, but that’s about it.
Does Lara Bingle still haunt him? Perhaps Watson being in the dressing room is closer to cancer than he would like? Is it that his wife Kyly refuses to spell her name correctly? Did someone show him those Bonds underwear ads?
Whatever it is, it is all consuming and he will probably retire post The Ashes. It’s guaranteed if Australia lose.
This is cricketing karma. Not giving Haddin his job back after an enforced layoff due to personal matters did not please the Gods. Nevill failed with the bat. Haddin couldn’t come in at 5/not much and save Australia’s backside.
Expect Nevill to drop Joe Root early on day 2 for added selection tension.
The best bowler in the world* bounced back after not taking a single wicket for three innings in a row with a thumping 6/47.
All hail the great man. Plaudits will flow. The chirping was back. But those photos still linger if you google “James Anderson naked”.
*Conditions Apply. Please read terms and conditions carefully before making this statement. Ensure the the pitch has grass, the ball is a Duke, there are clouds in the sky and Dale Steyn is not playing.
If There’s Grass On The Wicket, Play Cricket
It’s amazing what 2 mm of the green stuff can do to a playing surface. It helped the ball grip the surface, ensuring bounce, carry and seam unlike what we have seen so far this tour.
Long may it continue. At least until Day 3 when the match will be over.
Ring The Bell
Literally. Pick him up, shake him, and then throw him up to number 3.
It wasn’t a gamble. Only the ill-informed would claim this.
No, it was English selection genius.