There are times when it would definitely be interesting to be a fly on the wall.
Take the report here that contains this little quote re. Siddle’s no ball non-dismissal of Bairstow:
Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann was furious that Siddle's carelessness - for at least the third time - cost the team so dearly on the opening day of the Lord's Test, berating him in the changeroom at tea.
If there’s any justice in the world, Watson and Rogers should have received a blast that would have left the walls in the change room in need of a repaint. According to this report the whole team got read the riot act, but, for good or ill, it was the Watson referral that set things up so the wheels could fall off the vehicle.
You can read the details of the rest of the debacle as we lost 10-86 here but these things are always about momentum, ad once you’re in a tail spin there’s usually no way out.
Consider the possibilities if the Watson decision hadn’t been referred.
First, any blast that was delivered to both batsmen during the lunch break wouldn’t have happened. I’m not sure whether anything that was actually said behind closed doors affected Rogers’ failure to refer his dismissal, but you’d have to assume there’s a sequential equation that reads something like:
No Watson referral = No lunchtime blast = Rogers refers the full toss LBW = Referral upheld = Still two referrals left = Score line still reads 1-50 = Hughes does not arrive at the crease = No referral to his dismissal, which left us at 3-53.
More significantly, at 1-50 we might just have had Rogers and Khawaja batting to secure their long term places in the side. That’s not to say they would have succeeded, but the possibility would have been there.
It might have meant the same sort of scenario for Hughes when he eventually arrived at the crease, a change to cement the slot at Four that might allow Clarke to bat in his preferred spot at Five.
There’s a school of thought going around that suggests the problem is that we can’t actually bat, and the evidence for the proposition is reasonably strong as far as the stats go. We’ve picked a side on potential, but they’ve got to be judged by results and at the moment the results are dismal.
There is, however, a hint of a way out at the end of that Cricinfo article cited above. Lehmann on Bell, the man with centuries in three successive Ashes Tests:
"He just stays within his limitations doesn't he," Lehmann said. "That's Test matching batting at its best."
Since we’ve come to the point where players are starting to be dropped because of poor form, it might be time to drop the bloke whose frequent waste of referrals denies others the chance to use the things, if necessary, to prolong their own stay at the crease.
Speaking of points arrived at, we’ve got to a significant one as far as day by day updates at The LHoC Sports Desk are concerned. With nine days to go until we head off to Townsville to collect visitors from Japan there’s a swag of work that needs to be done around the yard, and I’m disinclined to devote the whole of the morning walk and the hour and a half thereafter to a lengthy analysis of what’s gone down in the Test arena. I do have other projects that need time devoted to them.
Sunday morning is an opportunity for two to two-and-a-half hours in the garden, so a lengthy analysis of tonight’s play, which may well wrap up proceedings at Lords (granted, things may go into Day Four, but the result has already become as close to definite as you’re going to get) may not be forthcoming on the morrow.
Monday? Who knows? There’ll probably need to be another hour and a half outside, so I don’t like the chances.
The visitors’ stay will take us through Old Trafford, and the associated social itinerary will mean limited opportunities for late night viewing, and I’m disinclined to risk the possibility of offending polite people by cursing and throwing things at TV sets, so the viewing will be further curtailed, to the point where it might not happen at all.
Silence at this end, in other words, can’t be totally interpreted as a dummy spit, though I must admit, visitors or no visitors, the pacifier is rather delicately poised at the moment.