Yup, going over. The bounce at OT makes that a poor call from the umpire, as noted by Nasser.
Looking at a replay, I think Roy may get away with this…
WICKET! Roy lbw b Starc 0 (England 0-1)
This was a good ball, swinging and seaming into the batsman, but maybe a little high….
“It’s brilliant,” tweets Jamie Clarke of Sky’s coverage. “Interesting how it has such a focus on coaching and helping cricketers improve. You just don’t get this with any football coverage.”
Sky’s cricket is maybe the best any sports coverage has ever been and way better than the football, but we do need to be fair. Cricket is a repetitive and technical game, whereas football is intuitive and dynamic, so it’s trickier to offer guidance.
“Re Plunkett’s discarding,” says Matt McGillen, “it’s not that anyone thinks either of the Currans are better than Liam Plunkett right now, it’s that the Currans need experience so they are better by the time the World Cup rolls around.”
Sure, but that’s not for four years, and England places should be won, not donated. By all means phase Plunkett out, but not when he’s shown no signs of deteriorating form, and not when no one’s done enough to tax his place from him.
Another nugget from Broad: he wears a sweatband to give him a visual indicator of what his front arm is doing. I’d happily postpone the game by half an hour to get more of him talking cricket.
Cricket Auatralia have given us more gen on Smith: “Steve passed both assessments, but we have decided to rest him as an extra precaution in line with our high level of focus on duty of care to all players”.
“Could Eoin Morgan and Josh Hazlewood swap sides, then we could have a proper J v M game!” returns Richard Hirst.
I’d not noticed that. Friday’s game, which featured Moeen and Mark Wood, might’ve been contested by the fewest different forename first-letters ever.
“Feel we can’t start the day without a Bobness tribute,” says Richard Hirst, “so picking up the sun reference, rather than cricket, ‘The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken’.”
And money doesn’t talk, it swears.
This new feature where kids send in their action is so good. It’s got Broad talking about yorkers, and how the slingier the action the easier the skill, and how when he’s tired, he focuses on keeping his arm high and straight.
“I’m lying on the settee with the Tour de France on the telly, the Guardian OBO on my phone, recording the Tuscan GP and the NFL starts at six,” says @TAFKAAB. “It’s going to be one hell of a day.”
You’re lucky/unlucky not to like football.
On which point, what a pleasure it is to have Stuart Broad in commentary. One of the joys of venerable old men is that they can speak honestly and fearlessly, because they’ve earned the political capital and everyone knows that whatever they say comes from a good place.
“I see Finn (who I queried on a previous OBO for his lack of pace only to be informed he was bowling reduced-pace cutters and can still hit the high 80s) is the leading wicket taker in the T20 Blast this season,” emails Tom van der Gucht. “It would be a great story if he got a white-ball England recall (in both T20 and ODIs) in a similar role to Plunkett, to make things happen during the middle overs. Older, wilier, still (hopefully) possessing disconcerting pace and bounce to enforce a few wickets.”
I love Finn, who’s sort of the reverse-Buttler: someone with the ability to be a superstar, but from whom it got away after a brilliant start. Graeme Smith is frequently noted as the man who retired England captains, but – in mine – his biggest impact of that ilk was undermining Finn’s confidence during the stump-kneeing incident. Finn is, incidentally, a brilliant talker about the game in both technical and mental aspect, and seems an absolute gent.
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (captain), 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Sam Billings, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Jofra Archer.
Australia: 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch (captain), 3 Marcus Stoinis, 4 Marnus Labuschagne, 5 Mitchell Marsh, 6 Alex Carey (wk), 7 Glenn Maxwell, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Adam Zampa, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
I still can’t quite grasp how easily Plunkett was discarded. I can sort of see why a contract wasn’t forthcoming, though he’d indisputably earned one, but I can’t fathom why he wasn’t kept about. When the aforementioned matchwinning partnership was under construction, who wouldn’t have fancied him having a shy?
A question: is Tom Curran even close to as good as Liam Plunkett is good?
Australia are unchanged, as might be expected after an excellent performance last time out. Mitchell Starc looked in discomfort on Friday and this morning, but stays in the side, and Aaron Finch was particularly impressed with how Mitch Marsh and Glenn Maxwell built what proved to be the matchwinning partnership. Steve Smith is still absent.
England win the toss and will bat.
It’s the same track as the other day, which “had no demons in it”, but might wear a little later on. England were surprised there wasn’t more spin on Friday, and leave out Mark Wood, who hasn’t recovered as well as they’d like, and Moeen Ali for tactical reasons; they’re replaced by the brothers Cuzza.
If I wasn’t so ill with middle-aged nostalgia, I’d mock myself for the recency bias implicit in my feeling that 50-over cricket has never been so thrillingly compelling. It’s true that we don’t have Richards, Sehwag, Ponting, Murali or Warne, but it’s not really about the individuals – though we have more devastating ones than ever before – rather the format. As skills, thought and knowhow have developed, the game have done likewise, its phases, nuances and contours now far more likely to deliver a refreshing, complex and profound narrative than ever before.
Friday’s ODI was a prime example of this new world. It would’ve been hard to conceive of such a match even 10 years ago not just because Old Trafford was being redeveloped, and we’ve every reason to expect more of the same today. Because both sides have ridiculous firepower with bat and ball, neither can expect to silence all of the opposition’s champions, and as a consequence, we can legitimately anticipate another belter. So draw the curtains, pull down the blinds, and make the most of the September sun.