We all dream of a scoring rate in excess of two runs an over.
Given that we’re still traumatised having been woken up by the midnight oil getting out of control and causing a blazing inferno, only to watch seven trillion dot balls this morning, the format of today’s review has been tweaked so we actually have something to write about. Instead of the usual awards, we have devised a brand new set of honours to hand out to the opening day’s star performers.
Eyebrows (or eyebrow, in Ravi Ashwin’s case) were raised when Ravi Jadeja was thrown the ball inside half an hour on the first morning. And not just in an ‘I would’ kind of way, either. To pick three front-line spinners and proceed to bowl a part timer on debut ahead of them all seemed, well, mental, but it proved inspired as England too were dazzled by his shimmering beauty and failed to hit him off the square all day. The wickets of Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen were the crucial ones and he picked up both, even if each had a healthy dollop of suicide about them. Speaking of which…
An extremely hotly contested category, with nominations for Ian Bell and Nick Compton as well as the aforementioned die-hard Englishmen, but the honour must go to Trott for his not very well-judged leave of a not particularly threatening straight ball just as England were gaining control. We can only assume he was perplexed by the sheer amount of deliveries ripping square past his outside edge in the first half of the day.
A runaway win for Joe Root, who had the punters drooling even before the tea interval with his calm, composed, electrifying 10 not out. He didn’t let up after the break, either, as he took his score to just six away from Usman Khawaja’s Sydney effort, the clear pinnacle of debut-excellence. A tour-de-force of batsmanship.
Any man partnered with Rod Tucker for a Test match needs his ‘A’ game to have any hope of bringing home the bacon. Fortunately, Kumar Dharmasena, official bestest umpire in the world and self-styled Oligarch of Officiating rose superbly to the occasion. After 40 minutes of Alastair Cook poking around for one, he simply gave him out LBW to a delivery that had third man running for cover and moonwalked off to square leg shouting “have that you boring prick!” Or something.
Our kingdom for an attacking shot.
*Joe Dawes is the bloke who told us Zaheer Khan was in the “top six bowlers in the world” about three hours before he was dropped. Trust us, it’s witty.