What a dream start for our new England Captain Joe Root.
Seriously to get a massive knock, win in that manner and make some proper calls in the field and have the team behind you perform in the way they did. Absolutely perfect for him.
Cookie was complimentary which is really good to see in support of him and Joe got some huge efforts from the lads. It’s probably a matter of just containing that bubble now to go 2-0 up at Trent Bridge with two to play.
The pitch at Lords was like being back in the good old days, it spun and England going in with two spinners was clearly the right move. Moeen getting 10-for was a great achievement and being tagged as a batsman who can bowl a bit seems to suit him, he can do more than that and is a mighty big game player for this side.
South Africa were riddled with mistakes during the match. It was an old school pitch so there was life there first up but when you keep giving the other side chances, like they did with Root early on, then the best teams will make you pay. Dropped catches, miss fields and more to be honest they were a bit shoddy all round the park.
They need to correct that but it’s a further blow losing Rabada from the attack as he is one of their proper go to men.
He was caught on the stump mic giving Ben Stokes an unwelcome send off – it’s not like he didn’t know where he was at with this type of thing. He had racked up a few points on the system and was one away from a suspension. He may well be upset about it but he has to learn to keep his mouth shut as the rules are there.
It’s probably a good thing the same thing didn’t apply to me and the lads when I was in action to be honest, but these days it’s there in black and white for the players in the rules.
Trent Bridge will likely suit the seam and swing bowlers in both teams so that will add to Rabada’s woes no doubt when he clocks a look at the pitch and South Africa are missing a few already so will find this tough to find a suitable balance.
I think you can rely on Cook to get his quota again with the bat for England, a ton or two this series looks likely and it might be here but Bairstow is also bubbling along nicely and has a prime spot in the batting order to put on a good score. He might be the one for this test if you looking for the top run maker with a bit of value.
With the ball Trent Bridge is a place Stuart Broad always excels. You don’t have to go back far to find his 8-15 in an Ashes series on this track and I think he will lead the way for England here once again.
Can South Africa bounce back? I don’t think it will be in this match but let’s hope it’s something like the first Test which was a proper game, just what you want to see in Test Cricket and that will be super viewing.
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