England have attempted to make amends for their collapse in the first test against Sri Lanka by utilising the novel idea of not letting the ball hit the wicket or batting it into the hands of Sri Lanka’s fielders.
Pretty simple, huh? Well, we’ll see if they manage to keep this new tactic up or go to pieces and make it their fifth test defeat in a row. Another defeat would see England lose their place as the top test side in the world (England being top of anything just doesn’t sound right…), but thanks to a positive opening from Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook England’s score of 154-1 puts them in a strong position after Sri Lanka were dismissed for 275.
Strauss’s score of 61 has eased the pressure on him slightly after doubts were raised about his captaincy following the defeat in the first test. Strauss has said that he has no intention of stepping down, and England batting coach Graham Gooch backed up Strauss by saying: “I don’t see a guy who’s thinking of retirement. I see a guy who’s determined and disciplined in making himself a better opening batsman.”
I once saw Graham Gooch jogging outside the Essex County Cricket ground in a shiny purple tracksuit – it’s difficult to put much value in his opinion once you’ve seen that.
We’ll see how the rest of the second test pans out.
By Peter Simpson