Wednesday, June 01, 2011

England Cricket's Golden Age

The thing about Cardiff Test matches, is that you can safely ignore the first four days and tune in only for the final hour or so on the fifth day. That said, it was a breath-taking, unbelievable hour of cricket on Monday. England are playing with an aura around them at the moment, the batting based on solid, unspectacular, reliable and efficient run-scoring from Strauss, Cook, Trott and Bell and the bowling on pace, bounce, swing and spin from four of the best bowlers in world cricket.

I’m with Tanya Aldred though – what sort of lesson is this for the kids? My first real cricketing memory was the score from Headingley being announced over the tannoy at sports day, and a great groan arising from the watching fathers. “Australia have declared at 601 for 7, in reply England are 35 for 1”. That was my childhood. Gooch lbw bowled Alderman 0.

What do we have today? 5 out of the last 7 test matches have resulted in an innings victory. We have the world’s no.2 bowler (and the no.3). We have the world’s no.3 batsman (and the no.5). We’re the world’s no.3 Test side, and a whisker away from the no.2 slot. If we beat India, we will be the world’s no.1. If you’d told all this to my ten year old self, he’d have laughed.

I’m at Lords on Friday, and I’ll be sure to make the most of it while it lasts. Summers like this don’t last forever.

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