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.

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…

Australia v West Indies – the battle resumes

So, just a few hours to go until Australia play the West Indies and the latter unleash their “battery” of fast bowlers. It remains to be seen whether the battery is fully charged (geddit?) or a cheap, supermarket-branded throwaway which only lasts a day, at best. But, as Peter English says in his excellent preview, an Australia-West Indies encounter is always exciting and does, indeed, raise expectations. This is the start of the Aussie summer, after all, and is their first challenge since being humbled by the English.

For Australia, tonight’s game sees a debut for Mike Hussey who so impressed in England during the one-dayers in the summer. He looks a very fine prospect, and will add a much-needed spark to the fielding of Australia, quite aside from his obvious talent as a batsman. These are interesting times for Australia. I wouldn’t say desperate, or subscribe to some of the media’s feeling that this inexperienced side could slip up easily against the Windies – it’s just interesting. Hussey in; Kasper out; Gillespie out; Langer injured (“it hurts,” he said today).

And for the West Indies, Mr Walsh is quietly confident that the young battery of fast bowlers can trouble Australia’s run machines. Fidel “Castro” Edwards told Peter English: ‘I don’t bowl to hit people, I bowl to get wickets,’ which is surely comfort for all West Indians, not to mention the Australian batsmen.

Ryan will no doubt be posting his thoughts, so keep an eye on his blog. And if you have any comments about the game, you can leave them in a post which will “appear” magically at about 23.00 GMT/UTC. Perhaps someone can explain to me, again, why Stu MacGill has been excluded. Yes, I know Nathan Bracken’s a good bowler and yes I know the pitch is likely to assist seamers. But MacGill + Warne v West Indies would surely equal carnage?