Ball One 11.50pm – Why is Usman Khawaja wearing white pads in a white ball game? In limited overs cricket, white pads should not be allowed and neither should white gloves. Umpires’ jobs are hard enough as it is without having to distinguish white on white in bright sunshine. Callum Ferguson, at three, is similarly attired – not good enough gentlemen.
Ball Two 11.57pm – Just three balls are sufficient to show that Ajmal Shahzad is another fine technician generating swing and pace from a strong wrist and energy through the crease. At the other end, Chris Woakes has a pleasing action that allows the new ball to swing late and skid on. Woakes’ margin for error is significantly less than his opening bowling partner, since he has neither the bounce of England’s tall cadre of first choice seamers nor the pace Shahzad uses to hurry up the best. It’s a lot to expect these bowlers to hit lines and lengths immediately in their first spells for weeks and there’s plenty of loose stuff among the jaffas.
Ball Three 12.05am – Tim Paine drives and, on the bounce, almost takes out Chris Woakes’ teeth and then… apologises! Okay, it’s a non-international match, but England have made it clear that there are no warm-up matches on this Tour, just matches that need to be won. So, on the one hand, it’s highly commendable that Tim Paine is as polite as he appears to be, but on the other, what would Ian Chappell have done?
Ball Four 12.25pm – Kasper on the mic. He spent a lot of time in England, where he is much admired with nobody having a bad word for him. He seems engaging and has plenty of technical knowledge of pace bowling around the world to call upon. It’s an anomaly that so much bowling is done by seamers, but so few quick men get a seat in the commentary box (possibly because bowlers aren’t captains). If the men who produced reverse swing had more opportunity to talk about it, its mysteries may be better understood. Perhaps Kasper might be next to step up to Channel 9’s or Sky’s first team.
Ball Five 1.08am – The young and inexperienced batsmen on show here appear to have rather more about them than the young and inexperienced batsmen chosen for the Test XI. There’s a pleasing absence of ticks and quirks at the crease – perhaps Smith and Hughes have Australia’s complete allocation for this generation.
Ball Six 1.15am – At the time of writing, Michael Yardy has 5 – 0 – 10 – 2. He’s a smart cricketer who knows his limitations and plays within them. He has the air of captaincy about him – something I’d like to see when Colly hangs up his pyjamas next to his whites. That Yardy has played at Sussex in the company of the likes of Mushtaq Ahmed, Chris Adams and Murray Goodwin, shows in his play and reflects well on the ever-rising stock of English county cricket.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.