Ball One 1.26pm – There’s much criticism of England’s late decision to open with KP in this World Cup, but the left / right combo looks good, as does the man sitting on his back foot (Strauss) in partnership with the man advancing down the track (KP). It’s not easy for a bowler to settle into a line or a length, particularly on a subcontinental track which offers little margin for error.
Ball Two 1.30m – “That’s out,” says I, as ZK induces Strauss to edge the ball to Dhoni. Inexplicably, nobody appeals. With reviews, especially Hotspot and the tight camera on the bat, it’s become clear that players are not good at spotting the inside-edge on to the pad, however, the outside edge is usually heard and seen. It’s a bit unedifying to see a big appeal for a ball that misses the edge with clear daylight visible, but it’s better to ask the question than stay silent, especially with noise bouncing around the stadium.
Ball Three 1.45pm – David Barry has commented on this very blog that KP is the fastest runner in the England side. Backing up a quick single, I counted eight strides for him to make his ground. Usain Bolt – eat your heart out.
Ball Four 2.01pm – Like Ricky Ponting, KP is finding interesting ways to get out – never a good sign. Munaf Patel did well to parry the ball, but, sitting down on the wicket, the ball had to drop perfectly into the palm of his hand and it did. KP won’t hit many straight drives as hard as that and be caught by the bowler, but that’s how it’s going in ODIs for KP at the moment.
Ball Five 2.34pm – Piyush Chawla suddenly looks, if not unplayable, then certainly unreadable. Whether the video analysts haven’t been able to do their work and brief the batsmen or it may be that the googly is particularly well-disguised. Dhoni has a tricky choice now, since, if Chawla is deceiving top order batsmen, there is no way that the lower order will cope. Should he hold him back to dismiss Bresnan, Swann and Shahzad, all of whom will fancy hitting the seamers for a few in a frantic last chase.
Ball Six 3.05pm – So will the 2.5m mark on a Hawkeye replay give batsmen a free pass when the projection shows a plumb LBW? Billy Bowden gave Bell not out for that reason, so surely it must apply to all such reviews? Or only Billy’s? Or only spinners? Or only top order batsmen? Or only in ODIs? And if it’s 2.5m on the subcontinent, what’s the mark at the WACA? If Hawkeye is used for referrals, it should be used – and within strict, not arbitrary, parameters. This needs thinking through because a repeat of that call against India in the semi-final or final will provoke rather more crowd reaction than today’s decision.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999