“DAB ready, check. Headphones ready, check. Peanuts, check. Beer ready, check. Ginger wine and long bendy straw ready, check. Catheter ready, check. Right, let the hunkering down begin,” says Damian Clarke. That sounds like the full hunkering-down kit. Plus ginger wine. I’m not sure where ginger wine fits in.
“Looks like a crucial first three sessions of the day,” suggests Gary Naylor. That’s pretty much where we’re at, though I’d say the first session is the most crucial – and that will continue to be the case until it ends.
Test One, Day Four, and if England were at all right in their reading of this pitch this is the day when the surface will deteriorate, a couple of decent spinners would come in handy and batting will become bothersome. There was little sign of that yesterday, though, as for the 10th time in the history of Test cricket – and after a lunatic 18 wickets had fallen on day two – an entire day was played in which 300 runs were scored and not a single wicket was taken.
England really should have taken a few yesterday only for their fielding to flibber at vital moments, but clearly this is a pitch on which batsmen can hunker down, stay in and score runs. Another 572, England’s victory target, remains an outlandishly unlikely prospect, but where there’s life there’s hope – and there is rain forecast for tomorrow…
Here’s Vic Marks on yesterday’s action:
And here’s Jos Buttler’s take on the action so far:
So welcome! Let’s hunker down and see what happens, shall we?