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BUMBLE ON THE TEST: It's great to see Ollie Pope back in the England side against India

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BUMBLE ON THE TEST: It’s great to see Ollie Pope back in the side and Jonny Bairstow back with the gloves but the openers can’t keep getting out easily

  • Pope looked great in South Africa and played well today – but it was a poor end 
  • Umesh Yadav bowled some absolute snorters and proved his recall was right 
  • And Jonny Bairstow was justified in getting wound up by people moving around 


Great to see Ollie Pope back in the England side. He looked the real deal in South Africa not too long ago but he’s had all sorts of problems with his shoulder. 

Now he’s got the perfect opportunity to bat at five – six in this game because of the nightwatchman – and how he took it on Friday. There were some real class shots but a disappointing end….

England openers Rory Burns (pictured) and Haseeb Hameed can't keep getting out cheaply

England openers Rory Burns (pictured) and Haseeb Hameed can’t keep getting out cheaply

Went down to my local pub near York on Thursday where a cricket-mad local called Keith was watching the Test on his iPad and Yorkshire’s Championship thriller at Hampshire on his phone at the same time. 

The amount of people who came up and asked for the score – most of them more interested in Yorkshire! Good to see Thirsty Geoff in there too….

Driving around during my time off gave me the chance to listen in on Test Match Special and the commentators were unanimous that both England openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed were out to silly shots. 

The amount of times I heard ‘they won’t want to see those shots again.’ It should need the bowlers to get openers out in Test cricket….

Bowler Umesh Yadav came in for Ishant Sharma and bowled some absolute snorters on Friday

Bowler Umesh Yadav came in for Ishant Sharma and bowled some absolute snorters on Friday

We may have all been shocked by the omission of Ravichandran Ashwin for this Test but India got it absolutely right in bringing in Umesh Yadav. 

He’s bowled some absolute snorters in place of Ishant Sharma, not least the one to get Joe Root out, and took his 150th Test wicket. It’s a reminder of the strength in depth of the Indian pace resources….

I’m thrilled Surrey have recognised some recent greats in their new stand. There’s a room named after Sylvester Clarke, the most fearsome fast bowler I’ve known, and the ‘Nip Back Inn’ in honour of one of the great men of cricket in Robin Jackman.

Best of all is the Mark Butcher Room that Butch opened on Friday with his dad Alan, another great man of Surrey, in attendance. There will be some Jack Daniel’s consumed in there…

I was pleased to see Surrey open the Mark Butcher Room in honour of the iconic batter (above)

I was pleased to see Surrey open the Mark Butcher Room in honour of the iconic batter (above)

Jonny Bairstow was itching to get the gloves back and is a better player for having an all-round role. He looked right at home back behind the stumps and then carried on as he has done with the bat.

He was doing all the hard work and looking good but just not kicking on. I reckon there’s a big one round the corner and more confidence will come with keeping wicket…

But Jonny was furious when he got out and took out his frustration on the Oval stewards because someone seemed to move and distract him when he was out lbw. 

You can have a state of the art ground and wonderful facilities but still people want to wander around behind the arm. If they know anything about the game they would know not to do that…. 

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