Middlesex v Derbyshire at Lord’s, Clydesdale Bank 40

I chose the above match because yesterday I neglected to mention how I was a little bummed that there won’t be another test at Lord’s until May of next year when the West Indies visit.  You have to feel a little sad for the old ground, hallowed as it is.  It gets all gussied up and its rafters are packed for two tests each summer, and then they are over, and then it is just county cricket and MCC exhibition matches.

Don’t get me wrong, I love county cricket, but on Monday there were 28,500 people at Lord’s screaming on their countrymen (be they English or Indian).  Today, at the above match, they will be lucky if they get 10% of that number.  Lord’s, after a big test, is like Home Depot on a Sunday afternoon: quiet, used up, satisfied.

And, yeah, there will be an England v India ODI in September, but it just won’t be the same.

Well, onward to Trent Bridge, I guess.

Yesterday, I promised a proper match preview, which here at LimitedOvers means some talk about the ground, a little bit about my plans for viewing the match, and probably a little chit-chat about the weather.  And, yes, we will get to all that in a minute.

First, though, some team news:  For India, Zaheer and Sehwag are out for sure, and Gambhir is doubtful.  The first two are real blows not just for India, but for the cricket loving world.  The test will be missing that little something it needs to make it magical, and it is really unfortunate for everyone involved, but especially for India, as I really doubt they can win without Zaheer.

For England, Tremlett is out, another huge loss both for England and world cricket.  I guess they bring in Bresnan, but do you pair him with Jimmy Anderson? Or does Broad get the new ball again?  England’s attack was humming at Lord’s, but this changes everything, and really gives India some hope going into the match.

Prediction?  Sachin gets his 100th 100 and the match ends in a draw.

The game is of course at the lovely and incomparable Trent Bridge in Nottinghamshire:

I wrote about the ground already here.

The weather: with the exception of a 40% chance of showers tomorrow, looks, goodness me: DRY.  For Saturday, Sunday, Monday, AND Tuesday. Unbelievable.

Finally: I hope to be able to watch at least small chunks of the match via Willow.tv.  Up early tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday morning with my Stats homework…etc.  I read a great article about test cricket matches’ and their relation to time over on Cricinfo, and this passage stuck with me:

“Test cricket junkies are more than just quantifiable “consumers” of cricket; they are emotional participants in an unscripted drama that becomes days of their lives.

They need not even watch every moment of play, but when a series begins, they switch to Test Match Time (TMT). The day before the game, the more addicted go to bed thinking about what could possibly happen when the players walk out. Every day after that, like the protagonists they too work the calculations of how many should be scored or prevented, who needs to be contemptuously dispatched to dressing room or boundary, who could crack the game open. The Test becomes part of the commute to work, the house to be tidied, the appointments to be kept, the kids’ homework to be soldiered over, the bills to be paid. In a twister of a Test match, the game never leaves us. Naturally, we cannot leave it. “

I may not be a test cricket junkie, I may not be a member of the “more addicted”, but I totally get it:  A test is always with you.

Until tomorrow.


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