Chris Woakes is on Sky looking extremely slick. He’s surely a shoo-in for a telly role when he stops playing, and has just let us know that there’s no worse feeling than dropping a catch. More news as I get it.
I enjoyed this – and thought Moeen handled the awkwardness very well.
There’s something disquietingly familiar about this, isn’t there? England, under the pump, end a day in decent shape … then collapse in short order and hilarious style at the start of the next. Just when you thought they were in, they drag themselves back out.
It’s so easy to make the case, too. Alex Lees is already expert at getting in and getting out, Ollie Pope your classic architect of pretty but insubstantial knocks, and if those two topple early doors, we’ll be down to Stuart Broad biffing sixes in no time. I can’t lie: it’s an invigorating prospect.
On the other hand, though, today’s conditions should be friendly, the best for batting of the match, and England are well set to take advantage. Lees is doughty, Pope imbued by management with the confidence he needs to fulfil his potential, and behind them are Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes. Which is to say that disaster is eminently avoidable, so today will tell us more about the Brendon McCullum effect than did Root’s heroics on the final day at Lord’s. As Ian Ward mused so perceptively at stumps last evening, “the first hour could be crucial”. Here we go!
Play: 11am BST