England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day

Wide, but not that wide

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the opening day of the Ashes series

George Dobell and Jarrod Kimber at Trent Bridge

July 10, 2013

Comments: 21 | Text size: A | A

Aleem Dar signals a wide off the first ball of the series, England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge, 1st day, July 10, 2013
James Pattinson's first over wasn't quite like Steve Harmison's, but it was still fairly wide © Getty Images
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Telling moment of the day

The checked swipe that Jonathan Trott aimed at his stumps the moment after his dismissal spoke volumes: he knew he had squandered a golden opportunity to contribute a match defining innings and he was furious with himself. Trott had looked in superb form: there had been nine fours in his 48, several of them caressed to the boundary with beautifully sweet timing. But, drawn into driving at one well outside off stump by the deserving Peter Siddle, Trott inside-edged the ball on to his stumps. The bowler, varying his angle of delivery on the crease intelligently, undoubtedly deserved some credit, but Trott knew he had been the chief architect of his own downfall.

Ball of the day

On a day when most wickets owed more to batsman error than bowling skill, it was Michael Clarke's misfortune to receive a peach of a delivery from James Anderson. Angled in but moving away off the pitch to beat Clarke's perfectly respectable forward defensive stroke and clipping the top of off stump, it was a delivery of which Fred Trueman, the man whose Test wicket tally of 307 Anderson surpassed with this wicket, would have been proud. Now only Sir Ian Botham, with 383, and Bob Willis, with 325, have more Test wickets than Anderson among England bowlers.

First impressions of the day

Steve Harmison and Michael Slater have ensured that the first ball of the Ashes is a big deal. James Pattinson obviously agreed, and despite his hairstyle suggesting the opposite, he is an aggressive man who wants to leave his mark. Clearly he decided that one way to do it was by knocking Cook's head off first ball. Instead his masculine opening ended up sailing comfortably over the Cook's head and ended up being a wide. It wasn't a 'Harmy'. But the next few balls were almost as bad as the Harmy second slip effort.

Review of the day

Steven Finn once batted for what felt like 28 days. It only felt like that if you were watching it, but at times grass stopped growing. With Swann at the crease an innings of turgid determination from Finn was what England would want. Instead Finn wafted at his first ball like he was trying to fit in with England's top order batsmen. Then he reviewed his waft. It looked no better using the hot spot camera. Finn may have believed that he had hit the ground and indeed he had, but he had also nicked the ball. In the end, he spent far more time reviewing the ball than he did actually batting.

Bowling change of the day

Siddle had made a decidedly underwhelming start to his day when Clarke swung him around to the Radcliffe Road End. With figures of 4-0-27-0 to his name, Siddle charged in at Joe Root and produced a ball that was fast, full and bending treacherously late. It was much too good for Root, who tried to jam down it but played inside the swinging line, his off stump tilting back as Siddle charged down the wicket towards his captain. Another four wickets proved Siddle's value to Australia, but they may not have happened at all without the change of ends.

Flight of the day

Underlining the significance of this series in England in both cultural and marketing terms, the Red Arrows - the Royal Air Force's aerobatic team - staged a nine-plane 'flypast' just as Alastair Cook and Joe Root emerged from the pavilion to start the first innings of the series. Meanwhile the band of the Coldstream Guards entertained the full house crowd - a somewhat ironic choice bearing in mind Nottinghamshire's decision to stop Billy Cooper, the Barmy Army's trumpeter, from playing his instrument - while opera singer Lesley Garrett sang the national anthems.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by fernandotorres on (July 11, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

Stats will never do justice some players, Jimmy Anderson being one of those! His career can be divided into three parts: 1) Initial promise. He showed good promise early on his career. In the period between 22 May 2003 and 21 Aug 2003 he took 23 wickets @29.56 in 11 innings. 2) The waywardness. "Experts" said his action would lead to stress fractures and was forced to remodel his action. Between 21 Aug 2003 and 13 Mar 2008 he took 48 wickets @41.66 in 31 innings. 3) The revival. He came back stronger than ever, came to know his body well and has been great. Between 13 Mar 08 and 11 Jul 13 he took 250 wickets @27.64 in 114 innings. Many of us dont give him much credit due to that avg a tad below 30 but he deserves all the credit in the world for someone who had his average 39.2 at the midway of his career (in terms of years). Some point out he is not quick enough but with that wrist you dont need to be quick enough to deceive batsmen. That hard to pick wrist makes up for express pace!

Posted by AussieSam on (July 11, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

i think its impossible to bowl a delivery that is worse than the harmy wide, he only just got it on the pitch, it was ridiculous. i did laugh when patto sent down a wide again for the first ball of the ashes again though, and it was a pretty shocking bouncer, but that wouldnt have been called a wide back 15-20 years ago i dont think. it did probably still have the similar effect to what a good bouncer would have had too, cook clearly wasnt expecting a bouncer and it probably didnt help his nerves that match that it was loopy and wide of him... his whole innings he looked pretty uncomfortable against patto despite all the wides.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

Not an Anderson fan boy, but when quoting his average you have to remember he was rushed into the test setup and then had his action messed about with at the start of his career, he wasn't really ready back then and it showed.

Posted by   on (July 11, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

Anderson is a fine bowler and his delivery to Clarke was very good...although Clarkes lack of timing made it look amazing. Having said that to average a tick over 30 with the ball certainly doesn't put him in elite company irrespective of the number of wickets he has for England. With the number of tests they play these days I think the aggregates are well and truly inflated.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 11, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

I have to say that Finn's hat-trick ball to Clarke was a pearler too. A more set batsman may well have nicked that but it was just too good first up. Finn earned Watson's wicket but was gifted Cowan's as much as any Australian bowler was an English wicket. If he did manage to draw a nick with that first ball to Clarke then he'd have earned that too. When Watson hit Finn four boundaries off his first two balls, I thought that it was going to be one of those days but he certainly got his act together and looked rather dangerous, which bodes well for the series.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 11, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

@Greatest_Game on (July 11, 2013, 2:50 GMT), actually, if you bothered to listen then you'd know that it's not the same thing. When people talk about Anderson being the most skillfull they are referring to his ability to bowl both in-swing and out-swing at will with virtually no change in action. Anderson can do that better than anyone out there right now, including Dale Steyn. That doesn't necessarily mean that he is the best, mainly because he doesn't have the pace that some others have. If he could do what he does at the same pace as Steyn then he'd be almost unplayable. He doesn't though. He has the skill to make the ball talk but batsmen have that extra little bit of time to react, which is what makes all the difference.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 11, 2013, 7:18 GMT)

@Michael Gooding on (July 10, 2013, 21:58 GMT), yeah, that's a great idea. Anderson is no good as long as everyone just plays like Viv Richards. Genius. Exactly how many people do you think there are who could that even if they wanted to? If you think that it's that simple and Anderson gets the best batsmen out the world over simply because they've been hoodwinked into believing that he's good then you don't know nearly as much about cricket as you think you do. No bowler is bowling anything new. Every ball has been bowled before. It still doesn't make them easy to play when you don't know exactly what the ball is going to do and have a split second to react.

Posted by mehulmatrix on (July 11, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

Fascinating 1st day of Ashes! Really loved it, though thought Aussies could have been better placed apart from Clarke & Rogers dismissal. Horror Review from Finn. Clearly nicked it and reviews! What sportsmen spirit was that? Well isn't that misuse of technology? Shouldn't such cases be penalized?

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 11, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

He has the "reputation of the most skillful in the world" only with David Saker and a handful of myopic fans who cannot quite figure out that "most skillful" is grammatically the same as saying "best." All but Saker and Jimmy's worshipers know that he is not the best, i.e. the person most skilled at bowling.

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