Bowler played a balletic, creative innings in the face of sure defeat – we should enjoy his peculiar skills while we still can
Welcome back, then, the England Test team. We’ve been expecting you. On a weirdly frictionless third day at Lord’s England’s cricketers simply ran out of Baz. Or rather, they met a much stronger opponent in South Africa, with a bowling attack good enough to strip away the buzzwords, the marketing schlock, the vibes power, the man-feelings, to bury the adrenal highs of the early summer. And to do so with a surgical brilliance that feels all the more peculiar because it doesn’t really lead anywhere.
South Africa didn’t look like a team that is about to give up playing Tests with any serious intent in the next four-year cycle. England didn’t look like the last guardians of the old form, more like a peculiar miscellany of the under-baked and the superannuated.