Almost nobody is ready for Thursday’s first Test. Not the England players, apart from Alastair Cook, Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard, who have had a month of red-ball cricket after a decent break. Not the England management who are getting their feet under the table. Not the West Indian players who had their first practice outdoors yesterday, nor their management team who were put together at a moment’s notice. And not the weather either.
The battle for the Wisden Trophy between England and West Indies used to be a highlight of the cricketing cycle. No longer it seems, and that is a real pity. I actually think that West Indies have some talented young quick bowlers coming through, but one trembles at the state of West Indies batsmanship these days. If not for the weather, a host of three-day Tests could be in the offing.