BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Bowlers bowl short Tests, think Jack Leach… and why cricket should consider expanding the pitch!
- Sportsmail columnist David Lloyd has selected the talking points of the day
- We should reconsider the idea of four-day Tests given how well the bowlers are doing
- Poor Jack Leach might not get paid for this match – he barely touched the ball
- Hundred is good fun, but it causes a lot of problems in the English program
England closed on 97-0, 33 runs from an important win over South Africa after the penultimate day of the third and final Test at the Oval on Sunday.
A superb bowling display, spearheaded by captain Ben Stokes, saw the hosts dismiss Dean Elgar’s side for 169 before hitting most of their target without loss.
Bad light has halted play, with an easy morning forecast on Monday as Ben Stokes’ men look to win their sixth Test out of seven this summer.
After a dramatic day of thrills and spills, Sportsmail Columnist David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd picks the talking points of the day.
After a dramatic day’s cricket, Sportsmail columnist David Lloyd picks his talking points
Bowlers with storms
I said we could be in for short Tests in this series because of the quality of the bowling and that proved to be the case. The bowlers are blasting their way through matches and the batsmen are either unable to cope, or there is an unwillingness to stick.
Was it Colin Graves who suggested four-day Tests? They can’t even stand three! Maybe it’s an idea worth revisiting.
Spare a thought for Leach
What a brilliant game — there haven’t been as few overs as this for the first three innings of a Test since 1907! My mate at the pub asked me if Jack Leach was still getting paid. We have hardly seen him.
He bowled only two overs in the game. He won’t even have to come in and score the winning runs on Monday now. Or will it? Stranger things have happened…
One hundred more hurdles
We’ve now been given a taste of Sir Andrew Strauss’ high performance review and I like some of what I’m hearing.
I’m fine with an early-season 50-over cup and a three-division county championship, but Strauss still needs to spin a lot of plates because of the Hundred. It’s fun, no doubt, but it just gets in the way of everything else…
England captain Ben Stokes brings fans to the sport with his incredible style of play
Ben also brings fans
And, for all the marketing millions spent on it, it’s not just the Hundred that can bring new supporters to our game. What about good old Test cricket?
I listened carefully to Ben Stokes’ interview before this test. He almost seemed to be getting into the mind of the ECB when he said that the way England play brings in young people. He’s right, too.
Time to think better
Here’s a radical thought if bowlers continue to dominate Tests, and it’s not as silly as it sounds. How about expanding the stadium? Why does it have to be 22 yards?
Or should we just enjoy the thrill of the bowlers being in charge and England trying to counter it with their extremely positive play? I’m going with the latter. This should be better than 600 plays 600.
Thunder’s Phoebe Graham is a brilliant cricketer and a real star – and she’s a Yorkie too!
My hens don’t have it!
I started ‘The Good Life’ in my new place in rural North Yorkshire and I’ve been through all of Richard Briers.
Hens Hilda, Dot and Maud have arrived in our garden and are moving away. The problem is, the chicks next door have made their intentions known. Maud is willing, but the other two have made a small batch of them!
Graham is a superstar
I want to tell you about a really impressive character that I broadcast with in Lancashire. Phoebe Graham plays for the Thunder — and she’s a Yorkie!
She is an outstanding cricketer and broadcaster and also has her own business. Her dad, Pete, was a pace player and the scourge of Northumberland when he played. Watch out for Phoebe – she’s a star.