Crash! Bang! Whallop! It’s Twenty20 time. Can we turn over and watch the Sri Lanka vs. Australia test instead please?
Just for a change, England have a brand new T20 opening pair: Craig Kieswetter (a Marmite figure in the 51allout maisonette) and Alex Hales (a player who everyone is looking forward to seeing). At least it’s not Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright.
After the opening pair, the real interest is around the performances of Samit Patel and whichever of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler gets the nod. We’d like to see both of them in the side – they’re very much the future of this side – but Patel’s all-round ability (*obvious joke goes here*) will see him get the nod.
For India, it’s all change – Gautam Gambhir has finally given up and headed home, joing several others on the injury list. On the other hand, Rahul Dravid has been drafted in to provide some much-needed stability at the top of the order and Praveen Kumar should be back in the side. We’re most looking forward to seeing Suresh Raina, whose comedy ‘efforts’ during the test series kept us amused during more than one gin-shortage crisis.
Apparently the weather in Manchester is forecast to be good. That must be a mistake. We’ll update this bit when we find out just how much rain is actually due.
The pitches at Old Trafford haven’t been all that quick this season so we’re expecting something along the lines of the fifth England vs. Sri Lanka ODI from early in the summer, where Suraj Randiv helped himself to five wickets.
Having been ‘rested’ from the ODI series that follows this game, this is Kevin Pietersen’s last international appearance of a very productive summer. Expect him to try and make the most of it.
For India, it’s all about Rahul Dravid. Will he take to T20 at the tender age of 62? Can he give the batting a solid foundation for the rest of the order to play around? Or will he once again be left looking bemused as the team collapses around him?
Noel Gallagher’s solo album to be ‘a disappointment’ but still better than the Beady Eye album. England to win somehow.