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17 July 2017 National Sport


Cricket Expert & Columnist

“There was a knight in Nottingham but it wasn’t me…”

Last Updated: 17/07/17 7:16pm

Does the mystery knight in the crowd look familiar to you? Bumble insists it wasn’t him…

David Lloyd wonders why South Africa omitted the “menacing” Chris Morris from the first Test after he helped slay England in the second; ponders whether the hosts will swap one Hampshire spinner for another at The Oval; and insists he did not don any armour in Nottingham…

One of the heaviest defeats ever for England. The sixth biggest, in terms of runs. It was an absolute shocker!

An abject performance. You’ve got to summon up all the will, all the fight, all the scrap and say ‘you’ve got to get me out’. We didn’t see that. They subsided so quickly on day four.

Liam Dawson and James Anderson trudge off after England's defeat

Liam Dawson and James Anderson trudge off after England’s defeat

You need to show the steel of a knight. Speaking of which… I don’t know where all this talk of me dressed as a knight is coming from?

I haven’t been in the crowd. I haven’t been dressed as a knight, yet it’s all over the papers. Must just be a bloke who looks a bit like me, either that or one with a very convincing mask!

As for England, sadly it’s the same story that is emerging; they’re so reliant on their experienced players and they are very flaky at the top of the order, particularly at No 1 and No 3.

It was no surprise that it was the two best deliveries of the second innings that did it for Alastair Cook and Joe Root. It takes something special to get rid of those boys, and so it was from Chris Morris.

South Africa seamers Chris Morris and Morne Morkel reflect on their side’s big win in Nottingham

How did South Africa leave him out in the first Test? They must be mad! He is the quickest bowler on both sides and has the most menace.

Duane Olivier also came in for this Test, or Laurence as I like to call him, and didn’t quite fare so well though he did at least take the last two wickets – Kagiso Rabada will come back in for him at The Oval.

The rest of the England batsmen fell far too easily. A slight silver lining, though, is that it all pocketed me £50 in the commentary sweepstake. Easiest money I’ve ever made.

But as an England supporter, it was a poor effort. The team would dispute this, but it looked uncaring. If you were grading it, it would be a big ‘E’.

I studied the form, and this England team just seems to be so inconsistent at the moment – they win at Lord’s but then lose badly here. Also, their recent Test record is poor, losing seven out of their last 10. They need to have a real sit down, and assess things ahead of The Oval.

England coach Trevor Bayliss says he will review the make-up of the side after their Trent Bridge hammering

As well as those questions over the No 1 and No 3 positions, England need to provide more support for James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Left-arm spinner Liam Dawson was a surprise when he came into the team, but I don’t think it will be as surprising when he goes out of the team.

Mark Wood was meant to be England’s speedster but he hasn’t got a wicket in this Test and looks to be carrying a niggle of some sort.

The Oval always spins into day four, day five, so England might still want to stick with two spinners and I just think they’ll be keeping a real close eye on the leg-spinner Mason Crane.

Could England hand Mason Crane a Test debut at The Oval?

Could England hand Mason Crane a Test debut at The Oval?

Could England hand Mason Crane a Test debut at The Oval?

At the end of the day, it’s 1-1, two to play. I’m looking forward to The Oval, it’s their 100th Test there.

We’ll be on our brand-spanking new cricket channel by then. Wall-to-wall cricket. Marvellous!


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