There seems to be a music theme running around in the minds of people writing about cricket. Whether it is the guys at Being Outside Cricket, George Dobell’s take on Imagine or Vithushan Ehantharajah tweeting about creating a playlist for Ollie Pope from the 90’s as it was before he was born I still remember most of the 90’s. I really do not know whether that is a good or bad thing, therefore, I decided to go a few years earlier and go for the song “You Spin Me Right Round.” I went directly for the cheesy English original and not the whitewashed cleaned up version by FLO RIDA.
This song encapsulates what I believe are what the two teams are going through. Their minds are spinning faster than a record (does Ollie Pope or Sam Curran know what a record is?) At the time of writing this; England has announced that they are going to be playing young Ollie Pope at four and would decide on Woakes or Moeen in the morning.
India has yet to reveal whether they will play Rahul and Dhawan or bring in Pujara. Then there is the issue of playing Pandya or Kuldeep Yadav. What about Umesh Yadav? How long will he hold on to his spot?
It has been sweltering in London. I cannot remember the last time it was this hot. We do not do the weather well. The tubes get delayed because the tracks expanded due to the heat. The city comes to a standstill when there is snow. We complain when it rains and we complain when it does not. God only knows what we would be talking about if it was not for the Football, Weather and Ed Smith. In true cricketing tradition, the sun has started to calm down and a nice gentle breeze has started to come in that will make good Old Father Time swivel nicely.
I have not seen pictures of the pitch but I am sure that this pitch will be misread. One of the team will get their combination wrong. Both the teams are seriously considering playing both spinners otherwise they would have come out with their team. I would be tempted to play Ali instead of Woakes and play Jadeja instead of Pandya. In all probability, Woakes will play instead of Ali and India may drop Pandya and go with Kuldeep Yadav instead of Jadeja. It will fascinating if Kuldeep or Jadeja will come in instead of Umesh Yadav.
I am not sure what would interest me more. The side that waits to hear the sounds of Jerusalem echo in the stadium would like to see a hundred run partnership for the openers while the cricket lover in me would like to see Ashwin bowl within the first ten overs again. I do not think England will do it irrespective whether they pick two spinners or not. I was going through the South Africa and Sri Lanka Test series and essentially Sri Lanka went in with one fast bowler. I would love to see something like that happen. Adil Rashid bowling the first over to India in Lords. Now that will ruffle quite a few feathers.
The reason why we are talking about these changes from England’s side is that Malan was given a good run. The drop catch off Kohli was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Then there is the affray case. It is these minute changes that win matches. Flintoff will always be associated with the 2005 Ashes. I do question what would have happened if McGrath had not injured himself. India or England do not need a ball of a century to win the game. All they need is 20 balls that can get the other side out.