66th over: India 147-3 (Kohli 44, Rahane 30) The giant Jamieson eats up the grass as he lollops into the crease. He bowls wide and wider, but Rahane isn’t tempted. He picks up a single. And in the commentary box they have spotted a little brightness in the sky.
65th over: India 146-3 (Kohli 44, Rahane 29) Boult polishes off his over from yesterday: Kohli tips the first behind along the ground towards gully and plays the second immaculately back.
The television cameras have panned back to Southampton, where Kohli and Rahane are walk-jogging-shadow-batting onto the field.
Twenty-two years ago today, England held another final. The World Cup final at Lord’s between Pakistan and Australia. After what was, until 2019, considered the greatest world cup game ever between Australia and South Africa in the semi-final, the final was a disappointment – a walkover for Australia. If I close my eyes, though, I can still hear the Pakistani fans blowing their horns at Lord’s.
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A toe-crushing yorker to start the day from Shakir:
Pant! shouts my son from the sofa, but let’s ignore the impetuosity of youth for now. It comes down to whether you prefer your food impetuously but immaculately hot or mild but cooked with great skill. Forced to split them, I’d plump for Virat.
Though we must acknowledge that Steve Smith’s Test average soars above all three of them at 61.
Good news to digest with your coffee, as the television shows Rishabh Pant, in a thick India anorak (made specially for the occassion?) and silver chain practising his batting on the outfield.
Expect a delayed, but not too delayed, start. In the meantime, do email me any lazy Sunday morning thoughts.
Good morning! The World Test Championship limps into its third day, soggy hems to its trousers, umbrella at the ready. There were 64.4 overs in yesterday’s weather- interrupted day: time for India to reach 146-3, with Virat Kohli on the brink of a half century. New Zealand’s seamers have impressed in the same way that they have all tour, with disciplined aggression, the titanic Kyle Jamieson the pick of the bowlers.
The weather forecast is for scattered showers, so expect play to be in more than three acts. It will be, more than anything, a test of the players’ powers of concentration and patience. As the longest day of the year fast approaches in the northern hemisphere, cricket can consider itself unlucky. And if the ICC had only held the match at rain-plagued Old Trafford, they would be onto their third full day of cricket. Oh capricious June.
In other news, much sympathy for young England fast bowler Olly Stone, who has just been diagnosed with the third stress-fracture of his young career.
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