Ball One – Is Craig Kieswetter the best option as keeper-batsman for his country? There’s an argument that says he’s not the option as best keeper-batsman for his county – young Jos Buttler has turned plenty of heads this season at Taunton. Though England’s Test keeper slot is finally unequivocally settled, the limited overs place has yet to be secured, though England will certainly show loyalty to the man in possession until the end of the season.
Ball Two – With England 36-2, new batsmen at the crease, a healthy 280 runs in the bank and only Ravi Bopara standing between him and Ben Stokes and the all-rounders (probably not including Stuart Broad, off injured), MS Dhoni has not a single slip in place, despite being obliged to have two men catching in powerplay cricket. He has won a World Cup though, and I haven’t.
Ball Three – One of the pleasing aspects of Lord’s these days, is an old-fashioned square extending from about one third of the way across the outfield to two thirds. Most grounds are, well, disfigured is too strong a word, but not improved by practice strips twenty yards in from the boundaries either side of the wicket. To be able to range an eye around a continuous expanse of green from long on all the way round to long off, is a rare delight these days. The Nursery Ground has much to commend it.
Ball Four – On first viewing, RP Singh made a very poor attempt to catch Ravi Bopara at long on, in the end failing even to get a hand to the ball. One might have a little sympathy with him however, since three floodlights were fully on, but the fourth (in the corner of the ground from which the ball was travelling) was not yet fired up. Does that kind of imbalance of light make a difference in sighting the ball? Well, it certainly can’t help.
Ball Five – Ben Stokes is a young player earmarked for great things, but his dismissal at Lord’s was as poor as his dismissal at The Oval. Having hit a four from the first ball of the over, he should have been looking for a easy single next up to rotate the strike to the batsman who was in (Ravi on 61). Advancing down the track to lob a simple leading edge back to Ashwin made him look very naive. The Durham man has learned two hard lessons in the big school.
Ball Six – Every top side needs a finisher down the order who can get their side to the win – Australia had Michael Bevan, India have Yuvraj Singh (when fit), South Africa had Lance Klusener. England have two – Profs Duckworth and Lewis whose par score is displayed on the board in a chase guiding the batsmen’s calculation of risk and reward. It’s a handy bonus for the side that bats second.