Ball One – Interesting decision for England to take the batting powerplay as the new ball arrives after 34 overs. With the harder ball, captains tend to go to their quicker bowlers, so runs can flow more easily with the batsmen not having to make the pace. If this tactic works in early World Cup matches, we may see it used often and it’ll be a welcome break from milking accumulation in the middle overs.
Ball Two – Jonathan Trott has not looked in the best of health from very early in his innings, which makes his wonderful knock even more impressive. Notwithstanding such praise, he really should not have been given a runner – such should not be allowed in one day cricket. As if to prove my point, shortly after arriving late for fielding duties, Trott was fit enough to take a spectacular catch round the corner to dismiss Haddin.
Ball Three – There is a case for the calling of the bouncer over shoulder height to apply only to the fully blown bumper, rather than the relatively recent innovation of the slower bouncer. Surely the umpires can apply some discretion as the slower bouncer is very hittable – if the batsmen can time it. Limiting bowlers to two such per over seems unnecessarily picky in a game already complicated enough.
Ball Four – Carnage as Watson and Haddin take advantage of some wayward English bowling to the Australian openers who were keen to hit anything off line or short. Orthodox thinking does not suggest spin in first ten overs, but pace off the ball wouldn’t suit Watson in this mood and Strauss soon whistled up Yardy for exactly that reason. Look out for slow stuff early on in the World Cup.
Ball Five – As a clean hitter with quick bat-speed, Mitchell Johnson may be a good option on the slow pitches of the sub-continent. As a trial in a dead rubber, 50-odd at about a run-a-ball, passes the test. Whether delaying Michael Clarke’s arrival until the innings is past the halfway mark, is a good thing, is another matter.
Ball Six – England have learned how to win T20I matches, as their world crown proves, but, after losing matches through weak batting, England lost this match through weak bowling, suggesting that England have also learned how to lose ODI matches. Chief culprits were Anderson and Woakes, who have shown themselves to be wicket-takers, but were just the pace required for Australia to cart sufficiently to pressure them into bowling wide and short – that’s what they did. Australia cashed in for a deserved victory.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.