After a frustrating day dominated by rain delays, Jimmy Anderson and England bowled brilliantly to dismiss India for 107 at Lord’sRead Vic Marks’s report from day twoBarney Ronay: Anderson, the Elvis of Lord’sAndy Bull: India have invested too much power in Kohli
Related: India have invested too much power in their captain Virat Kohli | Andy Bull
Related: High five for Jimmy Anderson as England’s attack cuts through India
If you want a look at the full scorecard, here it is.
And here is Barney Ronay on Jimmy Anderson:
Related: Jimmy Anderson, the Elvis of Lord’s, sparkles in between downpours
Let’s end on a classic groaner from Robert Watson: “Re 35th over tail end action - not often we get a chance to see Shami leather it......I’ll get my coat.”
Let’s all get our coats, and let’s all have a pleasant Friday evening. Thanks for reading, today more than most. You’ve kept a couple of old men sane as we watched rain for the majority of the day.
As for India: ordinary, as the Australians might say. The conditions were indeed close to impossible, but they didn’t help themselves very much. Just their luck that the forecast for tomorrow is bright sunshine, so your Sharmas and your Shamis won’t have nearly the same sort of conditions to do their thing.
Five wickets for Anderson: brilliant bowling, in admittedly the conditions he would ask for if someone gave him a lamp and three wishes.
Super delivery from Anderson, the away nipper that starts on middle-leg and moves, traps Sharma in front. It might have just struck him outside the line, but India jazzed their two reviews so Sharma can’t send it upstairs.
35th over: India 107-9 (Sharma 0, Shami 10) Jennings and Cook presumably hoping for four uneventful dot balls. Leg slip is in because suddenly Broad has found a massive inswinger, which Sharma gets a leg-bye from first up. Then Shami - bless his heart, bless his soul - flays a full one over point, that plugs and they take two. They might as well have a go, really. And he does it again from the following ball, that one takes a large edge and it goes over the slips and to the boundary. And again from the next ball, a thinner edge this time for the same result. Good fun.
Barney Ronay is at Lord’s, and he’s already been writing. About Jimmy Anderson, naturally.
Related: Jimmy Anderson, the Elvis of Lord’s, sparkles in between downpours
He did not edge it.
Big inswinger from Broad raps Ashwin’s pads, the finger goes up but he goes upstairs straight away: because he edged it, or because he has to at this stage?
34th over: India 96-8 (Ashwin 29, Shami 0) In news of relatively minor importance, England will now almost certainly not have to bat this evening. Unless, perhaps, both wickets fall in this next over.
Cruel really, making Kuldeep face Anderson. A full, late swinger does him comprehensively, but he gets a thumbs-up from Ashwin at the other end - presumably for not getting an edge on it. He doesn’t get an edge on another shortly after too, but that’s to his detriment: the inswinger traps him the deadest of dead lbw. Missing leg, missing off, hitting middle halfway up. Adorably, Kuldeep reviews. It doesn’t take long.
33rd over: India 95-7 (Ashwin 28, Kuldeep 0) Broad is on instead of Curran, and Ashwin hits his first ball beautifully for four, off the back foot and through point: apart from Kohli, he’s looked the most accomplished batsman out there. And he emphasises the point by standing up to a short one and pulling confidently for another boundary in front of mid-wicket.
Maybe I'm too harsh or too old @NickMiller79, but this is not 85-7 conditions. Line up the ball, watch it all the way, play it late with a straight bat with no gap between it and the pad, keep the hands soft and do not attempt to work the ball to leg. Then, wait for the bad ball
32nd over: India 86-7 (Ashwin 19, Kuldeep 0) Anderson is managing to get the ball moving not only in the air but off the seam too - in the same delivery. India haven’t batted well, but it must be utterly spirit-crushing to try combatting him in this form and in these conditions.
31st over: India 85-7 (Ashwin 18, Kuldeep 0) Hint of rain in the air. I know. Shocking. Although we’ve now clicked past the number of overs where the punters will get any money back: still, while they’d no doubt have rather seen a full day, they’ve got a decent amount of entertainment for their bunce. The England fans have, anyway. Just a single from the over.
30th over: India 84-7 (Ashwin 17, Kuldeep 0) Kuldeep Yadav is here: Anderson to a left-handed tail-ender could be a good laugh, but he survives the remaining two balls from the over.
Here’s JM Anderson for a bowl, from the Nursery End. And straight away, a wicket. Rahane edges a regulation away swinger for a regulation catch at first, which Cook takes slightly to his right. India are well and truly up the creek, paddle a distant memory.
29th over: India 84-6 (Rahane 18, Ashwin 17) Lovely shot by Ashwin, forcing off the back foot through point and to the boundary. As Ian Ward and Ian Botham banter hard about the latter’s renegade nature in the commentary box, Harbhajan Singh chips in with some analysis of Ashwin’s batting. He’ll never last.
28th over: India 80-6 (Rahane 18, Ashwin 13) A moment of brief slapstick, as Ashwin sticks a leading edge right up in the air, the ground waits for a fielder to pouch it but Rashid, at a sort of short mid-wicket, didn’t pick it up at all and by the time it landed, about ten feet behind him, he was looking the other way. Everyone sees the funny side, though, and India pick up two runs. In case you haven’t had enough weather chat today, the sun has gone in and the wind looks like it’s really picked up out there: umpire Dar has popped a jacket on.
“It ought to be mentioned that if Root had lost the toss it might well be England 65 for 6,” mentions Kim Thonger. Consider it mentioned.
27th over: India 75-6 (Rahane 18, Ashwin 8) By the standards of the cricket we’ve seen so far, an uneventful over, Rahane and Ashwin taking a single each from Curran.
26th over: India 73-6 (Rahane 17, Ashwin 7) Five slippers for ol’ Johnny Big Swing, but his first two balls move too far for Ashwin to get anywhere near, then an absolute snorter goes past the edge by the width of some tracing paper. Ashwin drives again, this time getting plenty on it - enough, that is, to send it to the boundary, even if it did go in the air for a good while. A couple more edges, neither of which carry, and this is pretty bloody good bowling by Woakes.
25th over: India 69-6 (Rahane 17, Ashwin 3) On closer inspection, that might not have been a drag-on, which gives you some idea of how far it swung. Ashwin is the new bat, and he plays a lovely drive first up to get off the mark, hauled in by Woakes to save a run, but Rahane goes one better with a tuck off his hips that Rashid can’t stop at fine leg.
“If I see the England team, indeed any team, playing football before a game rather than practicing slip catching I swear I’ll do time,” why-I-outtas Olly. In fairness, they’re catching them eventually...
A man in at short cover as Curran comes in at Karthik, but no fielders are needed as the young lefty pitches one up, it swings in late, late, late and the stumps are clattered via - I think - a flick of an inside edge.
24th over: India 62-5 (Rahane 13, Karthik 1) Six men in the slips/gullies, and an edge straight away from Karthik, if short of the man at sort of fifth slip.
“I think we should put the Lord’s ground staff in charge of arrangements for a no deal Brexit,” suggests Kim Thonger. “If they can clear that amount of water off the outfield in that short time they can deal with any amount of congestion at Dover.”
Drop! Then a wicket! a repeat of what came before: Pandya goes hard at a cover drive, edges and Buttler gets nowhere near it at second while Jennings didn’t even move at third slip. Then, the very next ball, Woakes turns Pandya inside out and, as if guided by some sort of cosmic craving for instant redemption, gives Buttler a fairly simple, if lowish catch.
23rd over: India 57-4 (Rahane 13, Pandya 7) Whoosh, how has that one missed? Pandya goes for a loosey loosey drive to an in-dipper from Curran, gets a big inside edge and it misses the stumps by an inch or so, on its way to the boundary. The batsmen then nearly run into each other going for the first of a couple of more intentional runs.
22nd over: India 49-4 (Rahane 12, Pandya 0) Pandya survives the remaining two balls, but not by much, keeping out a full swinger from the boy Woakes.
That’s terrific bowling and excellent concentration in the slips. The ball before Kohli made a very late decision to leave one from Woakes, it turned out to be too late and the ball glanced off the face of his bat. Buttler went down to his left at second slip, but missed a tricky chance and it squirts through for four. But next up, Kohli tries to flick one through the on side, Woakes gets it to shift just enough and a thickish leading edge goes to Buttler again, who pouches with no drama. HE’S OUT!
21st over: India 44-3 (Kohli 19, Rahane 11) Sam Curran replaces Jimmy Anderson. Rahane, who is looking more like himself after a difficult Test at Edgbaston, pushes pleasantly through mid-off for three. There’s some encouraging inswing for Curran in his first over, who ends the over by angling a nice lifter past Kohli’s outside edge.
And with that, I’m off into the night. Nick Miller is your man for the last hour of play. You can contact him on [email protected] Thanks for your company and emails, bye.
20th over: India 39-3 (Kohli 19, Rahane 7) Kohli edges Woakes this far short of Pope, diving to his left at gully. It’s a brilliant over from Woakes, in which he also beats Kohli twice outside off stump. Woakes has figures of 2-2-0-0, and they don’t flatter him.
19th over: India 39-3 (Kohli 19, Rahane 7) Kohli squirts Anderson square for a couple, ignores a few tempters outside off stump and steals another sharp single on the off side. He is playing admirably, both in his approach and execution.
“Good evening Rob,” says Jonathan. “I hope I’m not alone in realising how lucky I am to enjoy listening to Messrs Holding and Sangakkara on telly for the last 30 minutes. Everything commentary should be and nothing that it shouldn’t.”
18th over: India 36-3 (Kohli 16, Rahane 7) Chris Woakes replaces the underwhelming Stuart Broad. Woakes took 11 wickets against Pakistan on this ground two years ago and starts here by slipping a big outswinger past Rahane’s outside edge. That’s the highlight of an excellent opening over.
“A few members of my cricket club – CIPACC, the (hilariously nerdy) Chartered Institute of Patent Attorney Cricket Club – have been following this thread during the rain breaks and suggested I write in with my hat-trick tale…” begins James Duffy. “We were playing the Treasury at the Civil Service Playing Grounds and were strolling to victory, so the captain invited me to bowl the final over with my occasional ‘leg-spin’. My first three balls were slogged for 10 runs, leading to the retirement of the batsman on strike (for reaching 25 runs). Three balls left in the game. In and out comes their No9, bowled first ball; No10 was then stumped. The no 11 walks to the crease, fielders crowding the bat. Half the team were wishing me encouragement; a more vocal half, comprising the usual suspects including the captain, were praying against a wicket and CIPACC’s first-ever hattrick.
17th over: India 36-3 (Kohli 16, Rahane 7) Kohli squeezes Anderson square on the off side for a couple. It’s a good contest, if not quite as unmissable as Edgbaston. Anderson tries the surprise straight one later in the over, and Kohli flicks it crisply along the floor to midwicket.
16th over: India 34-3 (Kohli 14, Rahane 7) Broad has an LBW appeal against Rahane turned down - too high, maybe going down - and then Rahane is sent back by Kohli after setting off for a dodgy single. A maiden.
15th over: India 34-3 (Kohli 14, Rahane 7) Beautiful bowling from Anderson, who beats Kohli with consecutive outswingers. The first was fuller, inviting the drive; the second, a little shorter, moved in the air and off the pitch to snap past the outside edge.
14th over: India 34-3 (Kohli 14, Rahane 7) Kohli and Rahane have been admirably positive, particularly in their running between the wickets. There are four quick singles in that Broad over, all of which have an element of thievery. That’s really good cricket.
13th over: India 30-3 (Kohli 12, Rahane 5) This session might not be the expected orgy of wickets for England. The ball isn’t doing as much as it did this morning, and these two are India’s best batsmen overseas. Kohli looks comfortable - he’d look comfortable batting on crazy paving - and Rahane has started pretty well with the exception of that one loose drive.
12th over: India 28-3 (Kohli 11, Rahane 5) Rahane is dropped by Root at fourth slip. It was a sharp chance to his right as Rahane launched into a loose drive, and it looked like Root was beaten for pace. Kumar Sangakkara, commentating on Sky, thinks the slips are standing too close.
“Controversial proposition: Curran should be bowling instead of Broad,” says Phil Harrison. “He’d hit a fuller length, get more swing etc.”
11th over: India 22-3 (Kohli 10, Rahane 0) A full, swinging delivery from Anderson is timed sweetly through extra cover for four by Kohli. He has some luck later in the over when he inside edges a defensive push just wide of leg stump.
“Re Richard’s Mark Robinson story, I’m worried by the following scenario,” begins Gary Naylor. “The batting side need one off the last ball to win a limited-overs match. The batsman is hit on the pad but the bowling side do not appeal, as their position would not be improved by an out decision - match tied. The batting side do use their last review because the non-striker has spotted a no ball and knows that it will win them the match - but only if reviewed. Can the batting side call a DRS review against themselves? And if not - why not?”
10th over: India 16-3 (Kohli 4, Rahane 0) Broad has four slips for Kohli, who is hit on the top of the thigh by a nipbacker. It’s not the greatest over from Broad, with Kohli working the last ball off the hip for a single. That means he’ll be on strike against Anderson.
9th over: India 15-3 (Kohli 3, Rahane 0) Jimmy Anderson has three balls of his fifth over remaining, with five slips for the new batsman Ajinkya Rahane. The first ball zips past the outside edge, of course it does - and the next two are defended solidly.
The players are on the field, the sun is out. Nothing’s gonna stop us now.
“YAY!” says Phil Harrison. “That drainage never ceases to amaze. If they can get Kohli early, England could be batting tonight.”
The groundstaff have worked like beasts to get the ground fit for play. The sun is out, and play can continue until 7.30pm.
Play will restart at 5.10pm!
“As a 12-year-old, bowling on the roll-up matting at school, I took a wicket with my first ball of the over followed by two dot balls,” begins Simon Thomas. “Next up a (much) slower ball, leading to another wicket, followed by another next ball up. That’s three in five balls. Final ball of the over and my hat-trick ball was popped back to me for the easiest C&B in history. And I dropped it. Think Mike Gatting’s drop against India for its sheer awfulness. The Head made me stand in front of the whole school the next day and catch a series of balls lobbed at me at various speeds, the sod.”
This is a wonderful triviagasm from Richard O’Hagan
“The current England Women’s coach Mark Robinson was once stumped off a wide - but the wide call meant that although he was out, Sussex also won the game.”
The umpires will now inspect at 4.50pm. An inspection being brought forward? It’s anarchy out there. Won’t somebody think of the playing regulations?
“I saw that Chris Old over from the Rea Bank Stand with my father and sister,” says Mike Daniels. “I remember how lithe Wasim Raja seemed when he bowled. Chris Old - reputed to be the only man who needed a runner to open the bowling. Good bloke though.”
And scorer of the best 29 in English cricket history.
“You would think that the third (if not the second!) victim of an all stumped hattrick might recognise there could be some mystery spin going on and maybe not advance quite so far down the wicket first ball,” says Steve Tayler. “Related to that, I once heard that Robin Marlar went in as nightwatchman, and was caught on the boundary. Second ball. For six. Can anyone confirm?”
Yep, that one is true – this was the game.
“All this hat-trick chat reminds me of the heady days when, in my fourth year at university having just finished my finals, I took four wickets in four legal deliveries for my college first team,” says James Beard. “We’d been pummelled for the preceding 35 overs, so as a (theoretically) non-bowling no.11 (my level is/was resoundingly college seconds beer cricket) I was delighted/apprehensive to be tossed the ball. What followed was two wickets in two balls, 5 wides miles down the legside on the hat-trick ball, and two more wickets with the next two balls. I seem to recall that two of the wickets were also stumped, somewhat remarkably.”
Stumped off wides, I hope.
“I took a hat-trick for Guildford 2nd XI back in the early 80s,” says Chris Wright. “That week’s Surrey Advertiser’s back page had a big bold headline, Hat-Trick Hero. I thought, ‘Wow, they are really going to town’. Turns out it was a piece about some local racing driver and the report on my game was on the inside sports page and somewhat less effusive (‘Wright’s 4-31 included a hat-trick’, as I recall).”
There will be an inspection at 5pm I won’t lie to you, I’m not getting my hopes up.
Abhijato Sensarma writes in with the story of the greatest over in history. Either that or he is Walter Mitty in disguise.
“Once, I was officially the worst bowler in my school,” he says. “Thirteen years old at the time, it made no difference to anyone, since everyone sucked but played anyways. I came on and sent three consecutive wides down leg. Then, two batsmen got out on consecutive deliveries by trying to hit the ball – which miraculously landed on the same good length - over my head and into the hands of the same fielder near the boundary. I bowled two wides outside off and took another wicket the same way.
“Also not on YouTube,” says Richard O’Hagan. “Chris Old’s four wickets in five balls at Edgbaston in 1978 - an event also overshadowed by David Gower’s debut and Iqbal Qasim being hospitalised by a bouncer.”
“Hi Rob,” says Nick Brereton. “Continuing that hat-trick theme can I give some much-needed recognition to my pub team Oddfellows (named after the North Shields pub)? We were on the receiving end of an all-stumped hat-trick a couple of weeks back against Belmonte CC of Durham. According to our league secretary, the only time this has happened in first-class cricket was in 1895 - so it makes us some kind of world beaters. (And Belmonte as well I guess!)”
Weather update It has stopped raining. The problem is that the outfield is a bog. Never mind the Indian batsmen; it’s the Super Soppers that have some dirty work to do.
This might be my favourite hat-trick: in 1972, Pat Pocock took five wickets in six balls and seven in 11. But it’s not on YouTube, so I’m not sure whether it counts.
Thanks Nick, hello again. Let’s proceed straight to some hot hat-trick chat.
“Hi Rob,” says James. “As a 14 year old I played for my dad’s village team. We where a good few runs up so clearly the captain felt comfortable bringing me on. My first ball disappeared over the boundary but my second, a rank full toss, was hit vertically and caught by the keeper. The new batsman promptly hit another full toss back over my head and holed out to deep mid-on. On a hat trick the new batsman came out, went for a push and got himself run out. Technically not a hat trick but I felt pretty chuffed with myself until my next two balls (awful half-trackers) disappeared for a 4 and a 6. I was withdrawn after the over and never asked to bowl again - my career figures read 6, W, W, W, 4, 6 and an average of 8. I still claim it as my only hat trick as well.”
And with that, I’ll hand over to Rob Smyth for a bit. Get him on [email protected]
The sun’s out now. Weird thing, weather, innit?
Now the sun is out.Think Mother Nature’s had a few too many Baileys #EngvInd pic.twitter.com/itLCZdCCEf
“When playing in the minor SW London/Surrey borders leagues, we often used players as umpires,” writes Julian Menz. “I once gave a team-mate out LBW (in my defence he was the last batsman in) when he was hit on the shoulder by a full-toss. My excuse? There was a football World Cup game going to penalties in the clubhouse, and I fancied a pint.”
Not that it matters a huge amount now, but they’ve officially taken tea.
The lesser spotted ‘underwhelming hat-trick’, from Nic Baddeley here: “As a 13 year old spinner in a 20 over school match, I took two wickets in the first two balls of the second over of my spell. Our captain, the wicketkeeper, quickly proceeded to bring the field in as I was on a hat-trick. At this point my PE teacher, who was umpiring and scoring, spoke up and said that I had taken a wicket with the last ball of the previous over and had in fact already completed the hat-trick. Everyone still came up and patted me on the back, but I have to say it was all a bit underwhelming in the end.”
It’s now raining so hard that there’s an inch of standing water in some parts of the outfield. If this was a few years ago they’d call this off right now, but with modern drainage they will stick around for a bit. But...let’s just say you shouldn’t exactly settle in on the sofa.
A little more hat-trick fun: this was in an ODI, but Chaminda Vaas took one with the first three balls of a World Cup match in 2003, against Bangladesh. I think he enjoyed it.
It's raining very very hard here - the umpires will need an ark for the next inspection @NickMiller79
Can anyone beat this as the longest break between two wickets in a hat-trick, from Chris Moore? “I took a hat trick by taking the last two wickets with the last two balls of the season, and then taking a wicket with the 1st ball of my first over two years later!”
(Of course it isn’t actually a hat-trick, but you know what I mean)
Oh for eff’s ess. It’s raining again, so you can stick that 3.30pm restart up your jumper.
Let’s have some answers to those quiz questions, then. Nobody got them all right, some people got a few right.
1) It was the first ever hat-trick comprised only of left-handers. It might also be the first to end a Test too, although I haven’t double-checked that.
We have a restart time: 3.30pm BST. No word on when they’ll take tea just yet.
The covers are off, but the hover cover is sticking around over the bowler’s run up at the Nursery End because there is a bastard of a big dark cloud still looming over the Grandstand. Groundsman Mick Hunt is waving his arms around a bit, Aleem Dar (of course looking odd without his hat on) looks at his watch.
Answers in a minute, but Richard O’Hagan writes, on the issue of hat-tricks: “Can I nick (no pun intended) your idea and ask if anyone has, like me, taken a hat-trick and not realised it? It was in a 20 over school game. As I was the quickest bowler in the team I used to bowl overs 2, 4, 18 and 20. I took a wicket with the last ball of over 4 and the first two of over 18. It was only much later that anyone spotted what I had done.”
Shall we have a quiz? Or, more specifically, nick a quiz from our friends at the Nightwatchmen (buy/subscribe here), on hat-tricks? Here are the questions, if you promise not to Google/look at the replies on the tweets. Email your answers in, I’ll post the answers just after the next inspection at 3pm BST.
Q1: Moeen Ali's hat-trick against South Africa at the Oval in 2017, Test cricket's 43rd, was the first Test hat-trick on the ground. It was also unique in one other way. What was that?
Q2: The Test hat-tricks of Courtney Walsh and Merv Hughes share which unusual feature?
Q3: Shane Warne took one Test hat-trick, versus England at the MCG in 1994. Which three players did he dismiss?
Q4: Who took two Test hat-tricks within nine days in March 1999?
Q5: Who is the only player to take a hat-trick and score a hundred in the same Test?
Weather news: it’s brightened up a bit, and there’s going to be an inspection at 3pm.
Returning briefly to cricket, as P Satish Kumar notes on email, that’s the third time this year Pujara has been run out. The other two were in the same Test, against South Africa at Centurion. One was trying to nick a first ball single, the second while going for a third run in India’s vain run chase. It’s the seventh run out of his Test career.
Let’s briefly dip back into the jazz chat of earlier. “Got to be Pharoah Sanders,” says Mark Dawson. “Live (‘82), and maybe a couple of others (Shukuru, Africa). He was a busy boy.”
This is rain.
At Guardian HQ, a couple of miles from Lord’s, we’ve just heard some thunder. Sorry.
“Was there an option to run out Kohli rather than Pujara?” asks Richard O’Hagan. No, Pujara was on strike and Pope came in from point, plus Kohli had scuttled back to his ground pretty sharpish. But I see where you’re coming from. Actually, looking at the replay again, it looks like Pujara stuttered just as he started running, which might explain why Kohli stopped. A mess, though.
Some (probably misguided) optimism, from Pauline Peel, just down the road from Lord’s: “Looking out of the office window up Baker Street, the Death Star cloud does seem to be followed up by…..some lighter cloud. Maybe it won’t be so bad. (Who am I trying to kid?)“
Us, Pauline. You’re trying to kid us, and God love you for it.
Pujara will be unhappy with Kohli, although rules of seniority might prevent him from laying into his captain in the dressing room, but perhaps even more irked with the umpires, because they could have been nicely tucked up in the pavilion rather than making fools of themselves in the middle. But in fairness to Mr Erasmus and Mr Dar, they will want to squeeze as much cricket as they can out of this soggy day/Test, and when the rain briefly stopped they chose to return to the field.
8.3 overs: India 15-3 (Kohli 3, Rahane 0) And an even more sickening sickener for Pujara, the clouds empty, and torrential rain suddenly - but not suddenly, if you know what I mean - starts. It’s heavy, and the forecast suggests this will be the theme for the remainder of the day.
What an entire shambles. Pujara nudges just in front of point, both batsmen get about a third of the way down the pitch but Kohli changes his mind and goes back. Pujara continues, and it’s he who is run out.
And that Death Star fires its primary weapon: rain. Kohli stuffs his bat up his jumper and runs off...but wait! The rain stops, the umpires call the Indian batsmen and they’re coming back!
8th over: India 15-2 (Kohli 3, Pujara 1) A couple of leg-byes and couple off the bat of Kohli are the runs from the over, but Broad troubles the batsmen with some smashing away movement.
By the way, revised playing times as things stand: tea will be taken at 4.25, evening is 4.45-7pm, but they can continue until 7.30. Although it is raining again: the umpires have a word, and we’re staying on for now. That honking black cloud hangs over us like a Death Star, though, fully armed and operational.
7th over: India 11-2 (Kohli 1, Pujara 1) Three balls left of Anderson’s curtailed over from earlier. Pujara turns down a single to square leg, then wishes he hadn’t as Anderson cuts him in half with the jaffa’s jaffa.
...But also an absolutely horrible looking big black cloud in the vicinity. By the way, sorry if I didn’t get to your email: I’ve been messing around on Cricinfo, obviously.
And with that, the players are out! They’re out! Onto the field! There’s even some sunshine!
Good to see that people are killing time while waiting for the cricket in the sexiest manner possible. “I noticed on Cricinfo just now,” begins Dominic Scott, “that there are four current players in the 200 wickets plus list playing in this test match (Ashwin and Sharma, Anderson and Broad, obviously) - with a total of 1,532 wickets between them. Apart from, presumably, mid-2000s Sri Lanka v Australia matches where Murali, Warne, and McGrath would account for more than that many between them, has there ever been a match where so many wickets have, as it were, been on the pitch at once?”
There will be countless examples I’m sure. But those three players appeared in nine Tests together, between 1992 and 2005. Slightly fewer than you might think, explained by fewer Sri Lankan Tests in the early 90s, plus assorted injuries and Murali’s refusal to tour Australia in 2004.
Here’s Al Jones, an expert witness on rainfall levels, to really rub in how irritating these past couple of days have been. “If you need stats on how dry it has been over the summer, London had around 33% of normal rainfall in July, and less than 20% of normal in June. Doesn’t help with the current rainfall levels.”
Restart! The plan is to get going again at 1.40pm, but let’s not get our hopes up about any lengthy spells of play. Or any play at all.
A few signs of life at Lord’s. The covers on half the square are off and there looks to be movement on the other half. The umpires have been inspecting too. Hope, or more teasing?
“Spending my lunch looking at stats as per,” says Matt Potter, starting his email promisingly, “and I noticed that Alastair Cook has a T20 100 for Essex off only 57 balls! I am genuinely surprised and this had completely passed me by… Any chance of him getting on the T20 world tour wagon when he’s finished playing the longer format?”
Chances are slim, probably. On a similar note, Geoff Boycott’s only ODI century was 105 scored from a very respectable (by 1979 standards) 124 balls against Australia at the SCG.
What a lovely way to hand over. Although it might be bad that I think the only time I’ve ever been described as ‘tender’ is on the OBO. This rain really is being a pain in the hole: not just that it’s rain, and cricket is thus not possible, but it’s been a cruel tease. Yesterday it rained, but not especially heavily, until about three. Then it eased off, not enough to start play but enough to give hope, before returning to the old strength when they did call things a day. And then, as we were waiting for the tube (I was there as a punter), there was a torrential rainstorm, which soaked us to the skin. And today, we’re given a little taste, a hint of Anderson, before being whipped away again, then hinted at once more, and whipped away once more. So, to summarise, the weather can do one.
Still, let’s keep each other entertained. Email [email protected] or tweet @NickMiller79.
Play is scheduled to resume at 1.20pm, but I wouldn’t bet my last Rolo on it if I were you. I’m going to get some lunch, so I’ll leave you in the tender, loving hands of Nick Miller. You can email him at [email protected] Bye!
There will be no restart at 12.45pm. It is raining again at Lord’s, the covers are on and an early lunch has been taken.
Over-35s “The really remarkable thing about that table of over-35 wickettakers is S F Barnes (formerly a pro for my village team of Rishton): 57 more wickets than McGrath in the same number of Tests, a strike rate of 37, an average well under 20, etc etc,” says Iain Noble. “Why he’s ever missed out of lists of the GOATs, not just for English players but all players (and he often is) is beyond me.
“P.S. Other Rishton pros: I V A Richards, Alf Valentine, Subash Gupte, Johnny Wardle, Mohammed Azharuddin, Duncan Fletcher, Michael Holding, Wayne Daniel, Allan Donald and many more.”
What the man said
Drop everything. Stop everything. The only piece you need to read today. One of Pakistan's finest writers on country's greatest cricketer, who also happens to be the PM-elect. @OsmanSamiuddin on Imran Khan. https://t.co/FxQwrept3l
Oi! Read this
“The OBO team are playing down in Brighton this coming Sunday, and due to a couple of injuries are looking a bit short of players,” writes Joe Neate. “If anyone is around and fancies playing in a fun four-team charity tournament with plenty of cricket, beer and potentially sun, feel free to reach out to me on [email protected]
“First thing to say it is now raining in Hereford, so my plans to get the players up here would have been a blow out,” sniffs Pete Salmon. “Colin Graves can delete all my messages from his voicemail. Second thing to say is Jazz Mix Tapes?!!! What does Mr Starbuck’s brother-in-law do with them – does he and his group of (unsurprisingly) few friends sit around together and listen to them? Although I do like a bit of Miles myself, I have to say the words ‘Hey everybody, let’s listen to this 80s jazz mixtape my brother-in-law made for me’ sends a chill down my spine. That said, Jan Garbarek was just getting going. Basically download the entire ECM list, and job done.”
Hang on, I’ve got one. It’s not quite from the eighties, and it’s not quite jazz, but apart from that...
“If John Starbuck can find a recording of Sarah-Jane Morris singing with The Happy End (I’ve looked on the internet, admittedly very briefly, but to no avail) I’d recommend a bit of Mandalay (I’ve been there, you know - I haven’t),” says Ian Stewart before pausing for a split-second’s breath. “Female singer and a bit of big band guaranteed to clear your head out of all that noodling.”
“Sir Alec Bedser’s knighthood was for cricket administration in the main, not for his playing achievements,” says Richard O’Hagan. “I think that the last player knighted purely for the achievements on the field was Hadlee, although we shouldn’t forget that Ambrose, Richards and Walsh were all knighted in the Caribbean for playing achievements (and rightly so). It’s just started thundering here, by the way.”
Ah yes, good point. A knighthood in 1996 would have been pretty belated recognition of his playing career.
“Good afternoon Rob,” says Lee Rodwell. “Your bowlers-over-35 table led me to discover a new favourite cricketer: Herbert ‘Bert’ Ironmonger... Also known as ‘Dainty’... the fourth oldest cricketer to make a Test debut when, against England at Brisbane in 1928-29, he made the first of 14 appearances for Australia. A slow-medium left-arm spin bowler, he achieved some remarkable performances during his brief Test career, chief among them being that in 1931-32 when he earned a match analysis of 11 wickets for 24 runs on an awkward pitch at Melbourne and was mainly responsible for the dismissal of South Africa for totals of 36 and 45. In four matches of that Test series, he took 31 wickets for 9.67 runs each… His achievements were the more remarkable because he had lost the forefinger of his left hand. Isn’t cricket brilliant, eh? Keep up the good work.”
Wait until you read about Mahadevan Sathasivam.
Play will restart at 12.45pm That’s a pleasant surprise. Lunch will be taken at 1.45pm.
“Some actual 80s jazz, not all of which sounds that good now,” says Angus Gowland. “Herbie Hancock (Rockit, etc), Freddie Hubbard, Jean-Luc Ponty, George Benson, Grorge Duke, Keith Jarrett, Brian Auger, Marc Moulin, Yusuf Lateef. Both Nina Simone and Esther Phillips also did a couple of albums in the 80s.”
I’ve actually heard of some of those. Am I … cultured, etcetera?
“Jazz in the eighties,” says Tom Atkins. “Matt Bianco. Curiosity Killed The Cat. Swing Out Sister.”
You’re terrible, Muriel.
The rain has stopped and the umpires are inspecting. The covers are still on, and there are some malevolent clouds in the distance. But we might actually get some play before lunch!
Sit down Jimmy OBE “Very unlikely it will be Sir Jimmy Anderson (or Sir Alastair Cook),” says Richard Morris. “Last Englishman knighted for services to cricket was Alec Bedser in 1996. Seems out of fashion. Botham got his for walking a gazillion miles - cricket not mentioned.”
That’s a good point, though you could argue there haven’t been that many outstanding candidates. Don’t get me wrong, I’d have knighted the entire 2005 side, Collingwood included, but Anderson and Cook are on another level in terms of statistical achievement.
This is quite an interesting table: Test wickets taken by fast bowlers after their 35th birthday.
A few things leap out: Courtney Walsh, Jimmy’s average, Courtney Walsh and Courtney Walsh.
“Rob,” says John Starbuck. “I’ve carefully made plans, when the match is interrupted by weather, to get on with my project of compiling jazz mixtapes (CDs) per decade, for my brother-in-law and a few friends. I’m on the second for the 1980s and it’s getting difficult. Apart from Miles Davis and Courtney Pine there doesn’t seem to be much of significance and even the Miles stuff is rather ordinary. Are there any OBO readers with some jazz knowledge who can recommend stuff, please? Female vocalists preferred to break up the noodling piano tracks.”
Well, John, I am partial to 16-17, a band from Basel, Switzerland. Their music combined punk rock, hardcore punk, jazz and industrial music. When the group played its first concerts in 1983 it was received with controversial reactions: there where hardly no groups that played in an approximately similar style. From 1983 to 1994 the group did a lot of tours and played many gigs all over Europe, Japan and USA. Please consider making a donation of £5, £20, £50 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia. Thanks,Jimmy Wales Wikipedia Founder.”
“I see that Jimmy is now 17 wickets from overtaking Glenn McGrath as the highest Test wicket-taker among fast bowlers,” says David Hopkins. “Without wanting to start a ‘Rooney is worse than Charlton’ debate, is this due to volume of matches played, or should we be getting the bunting out if he gets there at the Oval?”
Both, I reckon. The volume of cricket has helped, but volume also means longevity, one of sport’s more underappreciated virtues.
The rain is getting heavier. I’d say there is no chance of play before lunch and, if the forecast is to be believed, not much chance of any more playtoday.
A good point, this. Now that England have embraced rotation of the XI, I’d like to see them do the same within the XI: change the second new-ball bowler depending on conditions, change the batting order in exceptional circumstances. It’s the future!
#ENGvIND England well on top, yet they may have missed a trick. With the ball swinging round corners, Curran was surely more likely than Broad to strike straight away
“Morning Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Just finished reading Ed Smith’s What Sport Tells Us About Life and while it’s full of excellent analysis, wisdom and insight, I’m not sure I’m any the wiser for having read it. The main reason for this, I suspect, is that I’m just not that clever, otherwise why would I be emailing the OBO on a Friday morning in my undercrackers, looking forward more than any sane man should to a lunch of Pot Noodle and cider.
“If I was being kind I’d probably put myself in the category of sports fan Smith describes as ‘quiet, serious, feeling ... the type who simply trace the action and are moved by what they see. They follow the plot in their hearts. They may very much want one team to win, but they aren’t blind to the sadness of wishing defeat on the opposition. They seek rather than demand victory, admire brilliance, sympathise with humiliation and crave sportsmanship. They may wish ... stories would turn out happily more often, but they recognise they never will. Theirs is a hope tinged with regret, a very human kind of hope’. He’s writing about all OBOers, isn’t he?”
“We get the weather where I am about half an hour before it hits St John’s Wood,” says Richard O’Hagan, writing from the future. “It’s currently drizzling and greyer than David Gower’s head. Even if the rain stops bad light will keep the players off. I’d say that this is it until 11am tomorrow. When it will be bright and sunny and the ball will not swing a jot.”
Yes, I think you’re right. It should still seam tomorrow, but India’s odds of 11/1 look decent while Kohli is at the crease.
“Hi Rob,” says Tony O’Hanlon. “Sitting here in my armchair with a few scoops by my side in Sydney. It’s bloody freezing here and I have my aircon on 26 degrees which I know is going to whack me when the bill comes in later in the month. Tell me Rob, should I go to my warm bed. go to sleep and awake in the morning to find that I have missed England’s day of greatness and save a few dollars, or should I stay up burning my pension only to find the bloody English weather spoiled the day.”
Go to bed. Do one. I don’t think there will be any more play today.
6.3 overs: India 11-2 (Pujara 1, Kohli 0) Kohli is beaten by his first delivery, which jags off the seam, and takes a quick single off his second. That, alas, is that for the time being: it has started to rain and the umpires are hurrying everyone off the field.
Two wickets for the future Sir Jimmy Anderson. Rahul feels defensively for a textbook outswinger that shaves the edge on its way through to Jonny Bairstow. Lovely bowling. Anderson’s reward is a crack at Virat Kohli in perfect bowling conditions.
6th over: India 10-1 (Rahul 8, Pujara 1) Pujara’s Test record outside Asia is surprisingly poor for a player of his class: 957 runs at 27. In Asia he averages 65. He missing at least once an over, but he knows if he can survive this morning things should get easier. He also survives a couple of strangled shouts for LBW from Broad, who realised there was an inside edge on each occasion.
5th over: India 9-1 (Rahul 8, Pujara 1) Anderson beats Pujara with another stunning outswinger. Pujara then gets off the mark with a single before Rahul tucks an attempted magic ball off his pads for four. There is plenty of dirty work for India’s batsmen to do out there. England would sell their souls to get Kohli to the crease in these conditions.
“Am idly wondering what might be the fewest number of deliveries bowled in an entire game that’s finished up abandoned as a rain-affected draw?” says Kim Thonger. “If you feel like organising a sweepstake put me down for a blind stab at 23, (and I bet Old Trafford was the venue).”
4th over: India 4-1 (Rahul 4, Pujara 0) Rahul gets the first runs of the innings, clattering a cover drive for four off Broad. Cracking shot. England shouldn’t mind that; they want India to be driving when the ball is doing this much.
3rd over: India 0-1 (Rahul 0, Pujara 0) England’s new second slip, since you asked, is Jos Buttler. Anderson tries another magic ball to Pujara, who adjusts smartly to defend towards mid-off. Pujara has been in awful form; that, and the conditions, will surely mean survival is his only aim this morning. Anderson almost gets rid of him with a gorgeous delivery from wide on the crease that straightens sharply past the edge. Three maidens in a row.
2nd over: India 0-1 (Rahul 0, Pujara 0) Stuart Broad shares the new ball. He’s in no hurry, but perhaps he should be: the clouds are already starting to gather and England should be looking to get as many overs in as possible in these conditions. There’s some seam movement for Broad, though his radar is a bit off and Rahul is able to leave most deliveries outside off stump. The last delivery is a beauty and beats the outside edge.
Here’s our man Romeo with the TMS link for those of you who live overseas.
1st over: India 0-1 (Rahul 0, Pujara 0) There was extravagant movement for Anderson in that over, both in the air and off the pitch.
“A month ago I’d never heard of Ollie Pope,” says Luke Dealtry. “Now I’m expecting a century on debut and in a month I’ll be an expert on his weakness outside off stump.”
Jimmy Anderson strikes with the fifth ball of the Test. It was the swing bowler’s magic ball: it angled in towards Murali Vijay before curving away to batter into the off stump. That was reminiscent of those famous Anderson stump-busters against New Zealand in 2008.
The England players are waiting by the boundary edge, enjoying the craic. They are joined by the Indian openers, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. We’re actually going to get some cricket.
The wicket is pretty green, and should offer plenty to England’s seamers in the first session. The forecast is still for the apocalypse around lunchtime, though at the moment it’s a pleasant morning in North West London. Who ya gonna believe?
England prefer Chris Woakes to Moeen Ali as the replacement for Ben Stokes, while Ollie Pope is in for Dawid Malan. India also make two changes: Cheteshwar Pujara is in for Shikhar Dhawan, who is yet again dropped during an overseas series, and the mystery spinner Kuldeep Yadav replaces Umesh Yadav.
England Cook, Jennings, Root (c), Pope, Bairstow (wk), Buttler, Woakes, Curran, Rashid, Broad, Anderson.
“It’s a fresh wicket,” says Joe Root. “We feel that with the weather around it gives us a chance to take some wickets this morning.”
Virat Kohli says he would have bowled too. “You’ve just got to bat well. The wicket looks good and the guys are feeling confident. We have to be up for doing the dirty work.”
Alec Stewart has presented Ollie Pope with his Test cap. He’s the fourth 20-year-old to make his Test debut for England in 2018. England have never previously given a debut to two under-21s in the same year, never mind four.
An email! “As I type this, it’s 17 degrees and clear in Sydney, in the middle of winter, and 17 degrees and cloudy in London,” says Max Bonnell. “You English really have no idea how to do a heatwave.”
I’m usually loath to defend English people, but I don’t think anybody is claiming this is a heatwave.
Morning folks. Let’s try that one again, shall we. The first day of the Lord’s Test was a washout, and it gives me precisely 0.00 per cent pleasure to tell you today’s forecast isn’t much better. The weather is fine at the moment, so we should start on time - but the Met Office predicts rain, lots of rain, around lunchtime. Darn, blast and ach.
If the forecast is accurate - and why wouldn’t it be - the captains will have a really tricky decision at the toss. Bowling conditions should be favourable today, but there might only be an hour or two of play. I suppose a shorter game reduces the risk of bowling first though.
Related: Ed Smith aims to widen England’s options after Dawid Malan’s omissionContinue reading...