25 July 2011

1st Test, Lords, Day 4

Ishant Sharma is a real Jekyll and Hyde character. You never know who is going to turn up – the fire breathing monster or the generous candy man. It adds to his charm.

It is surprising that Matt Prior hasn’t been able to cement a place in England’s ODI squad given how good an attacking batsman he is. England’s musical chair policy for their ODI keeper’s spot might have something to do with it. Or it could just be the format. Other batsmen who score at fair rates in Tests find it difficult to duplicate that success in ODIs. Sehwag and VVS come to mind.

Cometh the hour, and my confidence in our ability to force a draw threatens to recede. Must it always be this way in the first test of a series? Well if it must, at least we still have those two out there.

It is going to be very difficult to bat out 90 overs, and the day’s play holds much potential for heartbreak or relief.

I flinch at the thought of what my fingernails have in store for them.

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