England v Bangladesh Report Card
Featuring upper-class journalists, beastly collapses, mad clay moves and ironic tiger nicknames
Before the match began, there was much fretting from England journalists about the state of the Dharamsala outfield. “Look at that horrid surface,” they tut-tutted, in a stereotypical upper-class accent that is comical to non-British ears. “Dreadfully unsafe for an Englishman to run on,” they went on to complain, peering through a monocle and preparing for a fox hunt.
“And can’t we do something about those mountains in the background? Some poor chap might run into one of them. You, BCCI. Do something about this.”
But even after the lords and ladies of the English press pack retired to their quarters for cigars and whiskey, England captain Jos Buttler still had his say.
“I’m disappointed by the outfield,” said Buttler. “And it’s probably the word I don’t like: I want our batters to be in, so I don’t like the word ‘out’.”
Which is why it was such a surprise when the first potential for any kind of injury for a fielder came not from the lethal outfield, but from the one place safe from its misbegotten terrors, the pitch. With Bangladesh bowler Mustafizur Rahman running in to bowl, Joe Root pulled out at the last moment, and Mustafizur’s aborted follow-through saw him stumble and injure his knee.
Brutal stuff from Root, the old pro whose gamesmanship knows no bounds.
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