An 18,000-strong crowd descended on Edgbaston for the first day of England’s second Test match against New Zealand.
Rory Burns managed an impressive 81 runs as the hosts finished on 258-7. But England’s batsmen looked fearful, despite talk of ‘no-fear cricket’.
Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD offers his views and insights on the first day of the Second Test.
England finished on 258-7 on the first day of the second Test against New Zealand
TALENT PARKING A STICKY ISSUE
The young lads checking the cars into the compound at Edgbaston were excellent, efficient and courteous.
On to the next check: ‘Park there next to the Rang Rover.’ I said: ‘I think I need to be down at the end car park.’ ‘I’ve told you to park there.’ ‘But I’ve been told the end car park.’ ‘That’s reserved for the talent.’ ‘That’s me, I think.’
‘Not without a sticker, you’re not.’ I got there in the end, but does anyone have that sticker, please?
CALVERT THE TOP TRUMP
Billy Cooper has retired as trumpeter for the Barmy Army, so we had the first rendition from his replacement, a fella named Simon Finch.
He got a rousing reception from his fellow Barmies, but I have to say he looked a bit nervous. Bring back Eddie Calvert!
Mind you, rumour has it Simon plays for jive, swing and jazz combo Jivin’ Miss Daisy. I hear Sportsmail’s Paul Newman is a big fan…
CROWD RETURN MUSIC TO EARS
It was terrific to see a crowd of 18,000 in to Edgbaston, but I have to say I’m still a bit nervous.
The Delta variant of Covid is quite prevalent, and with the best will in the world it’s hard to see how 18,000 people can social-distance.
Nevertheless, it was great to hear the crowd in good voice throughout the morning session, even though it was very sedate. It’s fair to say they didn’t get any quieter as the day wore on.
It was great to hear the 18,000-strong crowd in good voice throughout the morning session
NO-FEAR CRICKET, EH?
There was lots of talk not so long ago about England playing a no-fear brand of cricket, but some of them looked full of fear out there.
This is a great chance for some of the youngsters to make it hard for the selectors to drop them, but it’s apparent that a lot of them are getting very square on, which makes it hard for the bat to come down straight.
Zak Crawley in particular looks woefully out of form. On this evidence, England will want to go back to the big guns as soon as possible.
Zak Crawley in particular looks woefully out of form. On this evidence, England will want to go back to the big guns as soon as possible
RORY’S BURNING A TRAIL
That said, Rory Burns seems to be finding a way to get the bat coming down in the right position – despite the idiosyncrasies with the position of his head, his closed bat face and his stance, he seems to be finding a way.
He made an excellent hundred at Lord’s, and backed it up here with 81. But there’s too much hesitancy in this line-up. Not impressed. Not impressed at all.
MIDLANDS TUNNEL TOIL
I drove down to this game the night before, and I have to say the M6 is what it is. It was all very pleasant – I was listening to The Beach Boys, The Who, ELO… But the mood changed as I approached Birmingham, specifically the A38(M), known to its mates as the Aston Expressway.
That’s if it has any mates: one false step in those tunnels at Queensway, and I feared emerging up on the wrong slip road.
I reckon I’d have had to start all over again back in Manchester.
Rory Burns seems to be finding a way to get the bat coming down in the right position
NASSERCOIN NOT A WISE BET!
Spotted in the crowd were two placards advertising Nassercoin and Bumblecoin, and I must confess I have dipped my toe in the water of Bitcoin.
I know absolutely nothing about how it works, or what it is, or even why I’ve done it. But I hear it’s not doing very well at the minute.
Mind you, I’ve heard Nassercoin doesn’t give you much of a return on your investment. I’d be asking for my money back… if I knew where it was.