Right. So, is anyone else a bit bored?

Was anyone else bored by large parts of today? I was, and looking at the scorecard I have absolutely no reason to be anything other than full of adrenaline. Instead, I just feel “eh” and I don’t know why.

It wasn’t without incident. The period of play when Fidel Edwards steamed in, supported by Jerome Taylor at the other end, was West Indies’ most captivating of the series. Seven wickets, nearly 300 runs and yet I was left with a feeling that nothing memorable happened.

Perhaps it was that no England batsman “went on” to a hundred. Maybe it was West Indies’ laughably awful fielding. It could even just be a form of professional detraction from the emotions of watching your country play. But I’m unsettled by it and think it has more to do with knowing that, in spite of West Indies’ improved display, tomorrow England ought to blow them away. It is utterly depressing seeing West Indies in this state; watching Corey Collymore trundle in like a baying donkey. He was frighteningly quick a few years ago but stress fractures and other nasty injuries have taken their toll. Edwards was severely sharp but, as one “staff” member of the Windies party told me, they cannot risk him bowling more than five overs at a time.

As an England fan, I thought they were distinctly poor today. West Indies did put the ball in better areas (a phrase which, someone recently told me, is absolute nonsense: you can’t put a ball in more than one area at a time! Ah the pedantry of journalism) but England looked distracted and, well, a bit bored too.

Clearly I am talking a load of nonsense. Thoughts welcome.

Changing of the West Indian guard

It was the third over of the day on a sprightly Headingley pitch. The clouds hung heavy, there was a stiff breeze hurrying across the ground, and England were facing a bearded West Indian at the end of his run-up. 10 or 15 years ago, those previous two sentences would have been code for an England collapse, several of them nursing serious injuries, but not now.

Denesh Ramdin, the wicketkeeper, received the signal from Corey Collymore to stand up to the stumps. And still they refused to take the new ball. Enough said.

West Indies and India draw first Test

The West Indies wobbled and stumbled but their last-wicket pair, Fidel Edwards and Corey Collymore, staved off the threat of Anil Kumble and Sreesanth to snatch (??) a draw. Good effort, and I’m rather chuffed – and not just because I can smirk at my Indian colleagues on messenger at work tomorrow. This could be a turning point for the West Indies; even a year ago, you wouldn’t have imagined them lasting 3 or 4 overs to save a Test. But they did it, and they should be bloody proud.

Of course, they let India back into the game thanks to Wasim Jaffer’s double hundred. But there is a new-found bite about West Indies, and I’m liking it.

Ever the optimist…