- Prior to the Test, all the talk was of whether England would pick one spinner or two. In the end they went with 'Plan C' - no spinners - which was certainly a surprise; but I think it actually made sense. Word behind the scenes was that once England decided to play six batsmen, it came down to a straight toss-up between Odedra and Hazell; and they just concluded that the former was more likely to take wickets in conditions which were certainly not unfriendly to a bit of swing and seam.
- Where England got it all wrong however was the batting order. You obviously don't open with your two best batsmen; but not opening with your two best openers is all kinds of crazy, and they paid for it big-time. It was a bad toss to lose, in the only Test of the summer, so the pressure was on and England needed level heads to deal with that. In other words, what they needed was Edwards' experience at the top of the order. What they got was Winfield and Beaumont batting together far too early in the day - feeding off each others nerves and discomfort, and inducing a collective wobble that saw the team get bowled out for a score they'd have been ashamed of in a T20!
- I felt really sorry for Sonia Odedra, because while she can bat a bit-and-a-half at county level, she wasn't picked as a batsman here, and having to make her international début walking out at 79/8 was not ideal to say the least! That she hung around for half an hour and made "a" run was actually a massive positive then - it showed the world the character and fight which some of us have long know she has! When it came to her bowling, I thought she looked pretty solid, and although she didn't take a wicket, I'm sure there's one coming - hopefully first thing tomorrow!
- A couple of other minor points:
- Three slips (plus gully) was one slip too many for England. Third slip never looked like taking anything, and with runs at a premium the man would have been better-off deployed in the outfield, where Winfield and co were having to run their socks off. (To be honest, it looked a bit over-premeditated: "This is our plan, and we're sticking to it no matter what!")
- Jenny Gunn was obviously England's hero; but I thought she bowled maybe two overs too many towards the end. With Goswami and Niranjana looking reasonably comfortable, obviously playing for the close, England should have changed things up a little sooner and given Nat Sciver more than 3 overs.
Thursday, 14 August 2014
England Women v India Day 1
Random thoughts on where it all went wrong at Wormsley -