I know there has been a lot of time and effort ploughed into the creation of The Hundred but I reckon there’s a genuine case for all limited overs cricket being replaced by competitive Sweet Carolining.
5.13pm GMT: The good news: Umpires say we’ll start a 30-overs-a-side game at 5.35pm GMT.
5.14pm GMT: The immediate bad news: it begins raining again and the covers come back on.
So it’s as you were.
Another Good Thing: the covers are coming off. Though they’ve been hokey-cokeying for much of the day so let’s not get our hopes up too much.
Hello all. Well, this has been a bit rubbish hasn’t it? No prospect of any play for at least half an hour. Best case scenario is a game of 25-or-so overs a side I reckon. So to balance out the bad here are some things that are good:
- Tea (both cups of and the meal)
- Those early Wallace and Gromit animations before it all got a bit much
- Late Super Furry Animals
- Early REM
- Train journeys where you get a table for four all to yourself.
- The NHS
Feel free to send me yours and let’s see if we can lift the mood.
Not a ball has been bowled, but hope remains for some play in Grenada. John Ashdown is here to guide you through the rest of the day. Thanks for all your emails and tweets. Enjoy!
“Although there’s no cricket at present, Grenada does feature one of the best webcam views in the world courtesy of Phil and Helen at Dive Grenada (I’ve been there four times and they are nice enough to deserve the view!). Try the link. Hoping for play later but doesn’t look too promising to me.”
That’s from Jeff Chapman. That webcam link has had over 1.6m views and is loosely helpful for showing the state of the skies.
Just had to pull the blinds down at Guardian HQ in London, because THE SUN IS TOO BRIGHT. The world is a cruel place, sometimes.
Update on today’s play: the covers have come off and gone back on again. We’ll have an update from officials at the ground at 4.30pm GMT, which is 12.30pm local time.
A couple more suggestions …
“The best celebration has to be Phil Edmonds,” emails Dave Brown. “If I remember correctly it was one of nonchalant indifference.”
“Has to be Freddie Flintoff’s down on one knee arms spread, or the alternate standing arms spread both in 2009,” emails Darren Howells. “Classic and indulgent.”
“I quite like the Merv Hughes full on lick of the cricket ball,” emails Chris Moore. “Can’t remember who was on at the other end, but they may have wished for a sanitiser spray.”
That, and more, is nicely covered in this fine article.
It also has some fine info below the line, although I can’t say for sure how much of it is true. Good fun, though.
Jack Russell’s multiply-used teabag — he dranks 20 cups a day too — was the least of his eccentricities, which included wearing the same floppy hat, even though it was falling apart (he also would heat it in an oven, for what purposes I forget), blindfolding teammates before driving them to his house (because he didn’t want them to know where he lived) — he always drove wearing a sleeping bag with the bottom cut out too — living off baked beans for an entire tour, requiring that his lunchtime wheetabix be soaked for exactly eight minutes, and self-flagellation if he’d had a bad day behind the stumps.
The covers are coming off … the covers are going back on. More action than a laundromat in Grenada, but we’re no closer to seeing any cricket. Soz.
As we’re on the subject of Cottrell, what is your favourite signature move/celebration in cricket? Billy Bowden had a few, Imran Tahir just runs around (my colleague Nick Miller refers to him as the Filippo Inzaghi of cricket) and then there’s the Brett Lee lawnmower. What are your favourites, and why? Email me, tweet me. Please.
Will be interesting to see how England combat Cottrell today. The left-arm quickie was unlucky not to be given man of the match in the second ODI after taking five wickets – owing to young Hetmyer’s century – and he will be full of confidence going into today’s play.
Couple of interesting stats for England batsman since January 2017: their average to right-hand seamers is 39.95, but just 25.28 against the lefties. That is a significant difference, and much more than other sides, who tend to see a three-four run difference between right and left.
It’s not. The covers are back on. We will only have light in Grenada until 6pm local time (10pm GMT) because there aren’t any floodlights at Queen’s Park. I’m sure that they will reduce the interval between the innings, but as this delay goes on, we will lose further overs.
So play will start at 3.20pm, with each side playing 45 overs. Let’s hope that’s the last of the rain.
“Afternoon Michael,” writes Brian Withington. “Welcome to the OBO. Can I gushingly share my man love for Rob Keys as a very welcome addition to the Sky team. I think he and Nasser are excellent individually and quite entertaining together. Long overdue time to pension off the Gower, Botham and Willis tribute act methinks.”
Have to agree with you Brian. And Tymal Mills was also very interesting to listen to in the Sky Studio, particularly talking about his run-up and the seam position.
Gary Naylor, in defence of Bairstow.
Fielding, or the lack of it, has been hugely influential in this series. West Indies have dropped seven chances to England’s two, although that drop of Gayle on nine in the first ODI nearly proved very costly.
“Good afternoon Michael, and welcome,” writes Ben Powell. “Dismayed to read that the line-ups are about to “drop” (I’ll hazard a guess that most OBOers aren’t millennials). The only thing that drops around here is the once dependable Jos Buttler. Honk!”
And with that, here we are.
I’ve got some bad news. The covers are back on, which means we’re going to start losing overs.
“Hello Michael, I’m not sure you should be debarring all doubt about Jonny Bairstow’s talent,” writes Geoff Wignall. “That he has talent is obvious but I’d certainly question whether it’s equal to his reputation. The weaknesses in his technique remain unaddressed in his thirtieth year. I suspect his ability is very much in line with his record – good but not great and in recent times generally quite moderate.”
It will be interesting to see how England adapt to losing Stokes from their bowling attack. Just five out-and-out bowlers in the side, so do not be surprised to see Root taking a few middle overs alongside Plunkett.
England have won the toss and chosen to field
It seems like a smart play with the moisture in the air and on the track. Morgan also confirms that Alex Hales is going to come in at No 3 in place of Ben Stokes, who rolled his ankle yesterday in training. He insists it’s just a precaution, I wonder if that was another footy injury. The other change is a fit again Chris Woakes coming in for Tom Curran.
Jason Holder says he would have done the same thing, but is still optimistic of victory. The West Indies are unchanged from the side that beat England on Friday.
Abhijato Sensarma has sent in a proposal.
“I had an idea looking at the different bats smack the ball to all parts of the ground during the series so far.” As long as the bats meet certain regulations, they can be personalised by the batsmen. So, why can’t the bowlers have personalised balls as well? All of them shall be submitted to the officials for checks and be with the umpire during the matches – but the players can chose which of them to bowl with during the match and shuffle between them throughout (there will be a limit of five)! As long as the ball is spherical, not hollow from inside, and meeting a logical standard when it comes to the shine, they should be allowed to use their own balls and have their own touches on it (shine, not overtly picked seams, and coatings assisting spinners). It will clear the air about ball tampering, obtaining reverse swing, and bringing back into prominence the finger spinners like the ones from yesteryears, while restoring the balance to the limited overs games we so desperately need in these times of savage hitting. What do you think?”
It’s certainly a novel idea, but wouldn’t work, IMHO, because of two main factors. The degradation of the ball is such a sacred thing and there’s no need to redress that in the interests of ‘fairness’ between bat and ball. There’s no doubt that the batters have an advantage in the short forms of the game these days, but the last thing that cricket needs is another overhaul. The product is fine as it is.
Bumble is out on the pitch and seems to think it will be a better wicket to bat on second. The covers have been on there all night and all morning and could be a bit more unpredictable for the first innings.
The covers are coming off! Hopefully we’ll have the toss and team news with you imminently.
While we’ve been waiting, Mark Wood has been describing – in that fine north-east lilt – how he has recently adjusted his run up to extend it by around about a third. For somebody that throws them down at 90mph+, the short run up was doing a lot of wear and tear to his body. He also revealed that the reason he originally had a short run up was because he used to zig-zag his way to the crease, and keeping it short was a way to minimise that.
You can read Ali Martin’s preview of today’s game right here.
There also some news on the West Indies side of things. Andre Russell won’t be involved today, but will be available for the fourth and fifth ODIs.
Andre Russell has been added to the West Indies squad for the last two matches of the one-day series against England. The 30-year-old played the last of 52 ODIs seven months ago but now has the chance to make a late push for World Cup selection.
Russell, who has recently completed a stint in the Pakistan Super League, will be available for the fourth game in Grenada on Wednesday and the concluding fixture in St Lucia.
Some news, courtesy of Press Association.
Former South Africa international AB De Villiers has signed to play for Middlesex in this season’s Vitality T20 Blast.
De Villiers, who retired from all forms of international cricket last May, will be available for Middlesex’s first seven T20 Blast matches and, if they qualify, could return for the latter stages of the competition.
The 35-year-old averaged 50.66 from 114 Tests, added to a remarkable one-day international average of 53.50 from his 228 matches. De Villiers boasts the record for the fastest ODI century, from just 31 balls against West Indies in 2015.
“I have always wanted to play county cricket, and I am very much looking forward to joining Middlesex for the Vitality Blast, said De Villiers. “Playing at Lord’s is always a wonderful privilege, and I’m looking forward to the match at Richmond, a beautiful ground in south-west London. That will be a great experience.”
The South African’s devastating domestic T20 strike rate of 148.85 will make him an exciting addition to a Middlesex squad who have struggled in the Blast. They finished bottom of the South Group last season and have named former West Indies coach Stuart Law as their head coach in all formats – meaning Daniel Vettori leaves his role at the helm of the T20 side.
Our first email, from John Starbuck.
“Michael, I don’t think you’ve done the OBO very often, so welcome from all us readers. If Hales plays, I suspect Jonny Bairstow will the be the one to luck out as not sufficiently disciplined for an opener, but you could say that of plenty of people in recent years.”
Thanks for the welcome John. I’m not sure that Hales and discipline go hand in hand but yes, Bairstow is one of the names that could miss out here. I’d like to see him continue in the side. He’s been poor for maybe the last 10 innings, but nobody doubts the man’s talent, and he needs some time in the middle before the World Cup.
I would persevere and if you need to drop Hales into the team during the ODI series against Pakistan in a home series before the home World Cup, so be it.
The pitch looks like an absolute belter. There’s some grass on the surface, which was not the case in Barbados and should slow the pace a little here. The rain might slow the outfield, so I doubt if we’ll see scores of 350/360.
Looks like we’re going to see a delay on the start time, it’s spitting a little in Grenada’s capital. Sky’s Rob Key and Nick Knight are huddled under an umbrella on the outfield, speculating on the team news for England. They seem to think that Chris Woakes will play and are speculating that Alex Hales might be given a game today. Nothing confirmed though, we’ll have the confirmed line-ups as soon as they drop.
The irony of course being that in Grenada there are some light showers, although we’re not sure if that will knock back the first ball. The covers are on and the toss has been delayed.
Still these are the pictures from the nets session yesterday. Looks alright, doesn’t it?
These pictures also. From last night.
As somebody that spent yesterday’s glorious afternoon in London lying on the sofa watching Manchester United v Liverpool and the Carabao Cup final with the curtains drawn, I am counting this ODI as my outdoor time. I’ve got suncream and a hat on and am ready to take any of your email and tweets: [email protected] or @michaelbutler18.
The English don’t wear the favourites tag particularly lightly. It’s much better to be the chaser, the underdog, to expect little and then revel in genuine surprise and joy if anything comes of it. Just look at Olivia Coleman, her rise from Numberwang and being buried in a ball-pit by Mark to global acclaim is exactly the sort of feel-good story that 2019 needs. If only her husband could cry. Please cry, husband!
The opening two lines of her Oscar acceptance speech was just about how every England cricket fan felt watching the second ODI on Friday. But whilst there were some poor performances for the best one-day side in the world, the overriding feeling was one of triumph for the West Indies. The atmosphere at the Kensington Oval in Barbados was electric, and few could argue that the Windies didn’t deserve the win.
The star of the show was Sheldon Cottrell and his 5-46 – his saluting celebration (a nod to his time as a private in the Jamaican Defence Force) and body-juddering joy a perfect mixture of choreographed timing and raw emotion and a good metaphor for the Windies’ performance in general.
If that was a raucous Friday night in Barbados, it is unlikely that we will see the same ambiance on a Monday morning in Grenada, but let’s hope the cricket is as good. We’ve got an earlier start time today on account of there being no floodlights at the Queen’s Parkground.
First ball at 1.30pm GMT or if you’re lucky enough to be in Grenada: 9.30am.
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2019/feb/25/west-indies-v-england-third-odi-live
Publish date : 2019-02-25 17:14:00