S.N. Don's blog
What a series that was!
Hands up time. Whereas I was very critical of the ECB with their selection of Adil Rashid for the summer tests, he has certainly proved his worth in very spin friendly conditions in Sri Lanka. That said, I still wouldn’t play him as the number one spinner in the team. There is little doubt that the performances of Leach and Ali have really helped Rashid do so well. I also doubt that there has ever been a series where spin has dominated to the extent that it has.
Another highlight has to be the performances of Ben Foakes. To come into the side at the expense of Johnny Bairstow, Foakes has been outstanding. Very clean and tidy behind the stumps and an excellent batting technique to boot. I was particularly pleased to see him keep his spot once Bairstow had proved his fitness. However, there is a but. There is always a but! The top order is still not reliable enough. Sure, there have been some fine individual innings but the top 4 have struggled to consistently score runs. I really do hope that it all clicks by the time the sandpaper mob get here next summer.
Talking of which, what was the nonsense that came out of Australia suggesting that Bancroft, Smith and Warner could have their bans overturned? Thankfully, common sense prevailed and the bans stay in place. I wonder what the chances are that Bunnings sponsor next year’s Ashes.
So what next? Windies in the Caribbean which is always a popular tour for those with both the time and money to spare. More of the same in this series would be more than welcome. If there was one thing I could change it would be the radio coverage. Talksport are doing their best but their coverage is all a little bit too shouty. IS there any truth in the rumour that the BBC were happy to lose the rights as Graeme Swann has been more than preoccupied by showing his dancing skills every Saturday night? And it would be remiss of me not to highlight that Swanny progressed further in Strictly than fellow TMS summarisers Phil Tufnell and Michael Vaughan.