Errol Fernando in an Email Note to his Bosom Pal, Gavin, early December 2022
Perhaps once or twice in a lifetime there could be a ‘speechless’ Test match. I actually watched it and am totally speechless.
One person who was NOT speechless was Kumar Sangakkara and, as always, I greatly enjoyed his observations. He is amazingly perceptive, eloquent and succinct. Covers everything and yet remains ‘short and sweet’. No excess words.
Jimmy’s 5 wickets in the match gave me enormous joy. Enormous. He has completely accepted the McCullum/Stokes approach and seems to be revelling in it. Bowling magnificently. I withdraw my comment that he must go back and celebrate Christmas in Lancashire. No, he must go to Multan on Thursday.
What has me speechless, Gavin, is the CAPTAINCY of Stokes. There is so much to say about it that it leaves me speechless. If that sounds like a contradiction then I have made my point. An analysis of his captaincy from the moment he won the toss is a rewarding exercise. There is a wealth of detail to study. Five full days of ‘captaincy style’ NEVER before seen on a cricket field. The closest to have reached it was possibly Richie Benaud.
My main point is that If England had lost the match I would STILL have been awestuck by the captaincy of Stokes. England happening to WIN the match was an unimportant detail. England happened to win and Pakistan happened to lose. This result made no difference to the phenomenal and stupendous captaincy of Stokes.Let’s wait a hundred years for a repeat!
Every good wish, ………… Errol
ALSO SEE the Scorecard and the Match Reports at …………… https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/england-in-pakistan-2022-23-1330866/pakistan-vs-england-1st-test-1330871/full-scorecard