Cricketing Eccentrics’ Commentary on the TEST at Trent Bridge

Errol the Fernando to Gavin, 6 August 2021

Jimmy Anderson’s reactions on taking a wicket are quite fascinating, Gavin,  because they are so different.  When he dismissed Captain Kohli for a first ball duck he was far more than over the top and off the planet. He was a combination of hysterical, delirious, deranged, bonkers and nuts.  He was  then completely different when he dismissed Rahul. He was not at all happy about it. Instead he was furious, apoplectic, foaming at the mouth and ready to cause death and destruction. Whom was he so angry with? His bloody slip fielders, of course ! He had to dismiss Rahul THREE times before someone finally took a catch.  I can quite understand that he wanted to wipe them off  the face of the earth! The kindest thing that can be said about them is that they are pathetic, hopeless, atrocious and completely useless. Jimmy will say a lot more than that!

  The slip cordon of Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley, Rory Burns and Joe Root can’t quite believe that yet another chance has gone down  Getty Images

Before the game I predicted an English victory. With all modesty may I say that it was a brilliant prediction. All my predictions are brilliant but I have never met a single human being who has agreed with me. Not One. Not even you, Gavin, and not even my grandchildren. When I made the prediction I was aware that England’s batting was ‘dodgy’ – –  a word I use to mean unreliable and pretty hopeless. However, I had no idea that their fielding was so abominable. What a contrast to New Zealand!  Apart from their slips they also missed some vital run outs.  With better fielding England would have had a first innings lead instead of a deficit of nearly a hundred. I am even more furious than Jimmy because these blokes make my predictions look bad. I keep getting let down by my batsmen and fielders.

Sadly, the winner of this match will be the English weather  – rain and bad light. Looking back, I was most disappointed that Gill was injured. I absolutely love watching him bat.  However, may I applaud Rahul for his batting as a replacement opener. He was excellent especially in difficult conditions. He was also lucky to be so generously treated by the English slips. Not many batsmen get THREE chances!  Hats off also to Jadeja for his batting. However, I do not want him as a permanent replacement for Ashwin. Omitting Ashwin was more than a criminal offence and a travesty. He must never ever be dropped again.

Before I give you my prediction for the Second Test, Gavin, please give me a list of all those who will be fielding in the slips!

Happy watching and all the best,


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Danny the Byrne to the World-at-Large, 6 August 2021: “Rahul and Jadeja combine to give India a healthy first innings lead: Day 3 at Trent Bridge.”

The search for a decent cup of coffee continued and the little outlet behind the Parr Stand produced a reasonable flat white for £3.50 and is clearly ahead in the ratings so far. Unfortunately, I’m not likely to get much assistance in this quest and by the look of most of the people at 5 pm yesterday afternoon the other 19,999 are probably better qualified to report on the quality and prices of the various products available in the bars. Anderson started his fourteenth over of the match for the fourth time with a dirty black cloud ominously positioned overhead. Pant came down the wicket and attacked from the outset to try to put the fast bowler off his rhythm and a powerful off drive flew to the extra cover boundary just before the rain arrived for the first time at 11.07 am. Only 11 balls had been bowled and another 58 minutes were lost before play was able to resume.

The contest betwen Anderson and Pant continued and the rain returned after only three deliveries. The umpires decided to play on, Rahul started to walk off and Anderson appeared to intervene to tell him to return to the crease. Pant edged Robinson wide of Burns in the gully and the next ball was top edged for a six into the Radcliffe Road Lower Terrace. Pant was going after every ball and it was unfortunate for the Indian supporters that he hit the next delivery straight to Bairstow at short extra cover ( 145 – 5 ). His entertaining knock of 25 had required only 20 balls and the Bharat Army were making a lot more noise than the Barmy equivalent.

The wind had picked up all of the sudden and a noticeable breeze was blowing perpendicular to the line of the stumps. Broad replaced Anderson at the Radcliffe Road End and the Bharat Army came up with a funny song that ended with “that’s six for the over Stuart Broad.” Broad duly conceded the requisite number of runs before Robinson produced six excellent deliveries to Jadeja. With Stone and Archer injured and Stokes unavailable, England are lucky to have discovered a new tall fast bowler who can combine a reliable level of accuracy with some unexpected extra bounce from time to time.

Broad inevitably wasted England’s final review thinking the ball had hit Rahul’s glove on the way through to Buttler, but unfortunately for England, the TV replay clearly showed daylight between the glove and the ball. Jadeja completed 2,000 runs in Tests when his score reached 15 and he joined an elite group of players to have reached this milestone along with having taken 200 wickets. More dark clouds were encroaching from the Loughborough direction and the lights were switched on at 1.17pm with the late Lunch scheduled for 1.30. The score was 191 – 5 from 67 overs when the interval arrived with the Indians 8 runs ahead overall.

Rahul was dropped on 77 by Root in the first over after the break, the ball coming quickly slightly above head height to his left. Anderson was clearly not impressed. The 50 partnership between Jadeja and Rahul was completed from 104 balls and when Jadeja hit Broad to the square leg boundary the Indian supporters serenaded him with another rousing version of their favourite song. Anderson finally removed Rahul for 84 caught comfortably by Buttler off the edge attempting a drive ( 205 – 6 ). It brought his tally of Test wickets to 620, overtaking Anil Kumble’s mark of 619 to become the third highest wicket taker of all time. In his next over he had Thakur caught low at first slip by Root and his figures at this stage were 21 – 8 – 40 – 4.

England should have wrapped things up quickly from here as the last three batsmen would find themselves comfortably positioned at Number 11 in most half decent cricket sides. Instead, 73 runs were added to give the Indians a very healthy first innings lead of 95. Shami came in first and Jadeja somehow hit Anderson for a six over backward square leg, the ball getting lost somewhere along Fox Road in the process. A box of old balls was brought out and Michael Gough quickly selected one. Robinson replaced Anderson and his first delivery was smashed through the covers by Jadeja to bring up his half century from 81 balls. He celebrated with his traditional bat twirling trick and the crowd stood and cheered. The next ball was thumped back over mid-on for another boundary. As with Pant he was attempting to score boundaries off every delivery now and his recklessness was to lead to his downfall. He attempted to hit the next delivery towards Mansfield and it came off the top edge and was caught by Broad running around from mid-off ( 232 – 8 ).

Anderson of all people dropped a chance in front of the Pavilion when Shami skied a delivery from Curran. The ball appeared to be in his hands initially but was released as he fell while trying to retain his balance. It was the fifth time this year that England had dropped three or more chances in an innings. The new ball was taken immediately it became available with the score 245 – 8 and Shami was bowled by a delivery from Robinson that appeared to keep low. Bumrah hit Curran for 4,6,4 in successive deliveries and made a nonsense of his Test batting average of 2 in the process. He was finally caught by Broad at deep fine leg having easily recorded his best Test score by reaching 28. Robinson had picked up 5 wickets in an innings for the first time and India was all out for 278.

Burns and Sibley survived the 6 overs that were possible before Tea was taken at 4.25 pm. Shami replaced Bumrah after the interval and Burns edged his first ball just short of gully. Light rain started falling at 5.09 pm and just as the grounds staff were preparing to remove the covers at 5.45pm a significant shower arrived. Play was called off at 6.11 pm with England 25 – 0 from 11 overs. The forecast for tomorrow is for more rain with the more generous of the three websites I have consulted suggesting we might get an hour of cricket in the morning and a couple of hours in the early afternoon if we are lucky.


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