BUMBLE AT THE TEST: England were potty not to pick Matthew Potts but Gus Atkinson showed he’s the future with stunning Lord’s display, while West Indies badly miss the presence of the great Viv Richards

Gus Atkinson (left) stole the show on Wednesday by taking seven wickets on debut

  • England took control of the first Test against the West Indies on Wednesday
  • Matthew Potts was unlucky to miss out, but Gus Atkinson took his chance 
  • West Indies only made 121, and lack the presence of their greatest teams 

England enjoyed a dominant opening day of the first Test as they bowled West Indies out for 121 and then reached 189-3 by the close of play.

In Jimmy Anderson’s farewell Test, it was Gus Atkinson who stole the show as he took seven wickets on his debut, while Anderson, Chris Woakes and captain Ben Stokes all picked up one apiece.

Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope then set about putting England in control as they hit 76 and 57 respectively after Ben Duckett fell early.

Once Crawley and Pope had been dismissed, Joe Root and Harry Brook saw England through to the close with no further scares.

Here, Mail Sport columnist David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd takes you through some of the stories you may have missed from day one at the home of cricket.

Gus Atkinson (left) stole the show on Wednesday by taking seven wickets on debut

Gus Atkinson (left) stole the show on Wednesday by taking seven wickets on debut

Jimmy Anderson (right) took one wicket in the first innings of his farewell Test

Jimmy Anderson (right) took one wicket in the first innings of his farewell Test

Potty not to pick Potts 

England’s team selection caused some intrigue. Jimmy Anderson is being pushed aside with an eye on next year’s Ashes. 

Yet he was bowling more quickly than his new-ball partner Chris Woakes. So why have they persevered with Woakes? The answer is he’s been picked as a batter at No 8. 

But Matt Potts is 10 years his junior and won’t get any better with the ball sat on his a***.

England's decision to not pick Matthew Potts (pictured) was difficult to understand

England’s decision to not pick Matthew Potts (pictured) was difficult to understand

Jamie is living the dream 

Another old chestnut for England has been picking a wicketkeeper who does not keep wicket for Surrey. 

So why has Jamie Smith got the nod? Well, he’s a fine batter and adequate donning the gloves. 

Where he’s concerned, think of that D:Ream track Things Can Only Get Better. In the build-up to this Test, it was the remix ‘Things can only get wetter’ that was stuck in my head.

Jamie Smith does not keep wicket for Surrey but got the nod to get the gloves for England

Jamie Smith does not keep wicket for Surrey but got the nod to get the gloves for England

Sending love to Boycs

Have you seen Kraigg Brathwaite’s bat? The West Indies captain is an old-school blocker who reminds me of Geoffrey Boycott. 

Boycs isn’t well again, following the return of throat cancer. He came through the first innings unscathed, but the second will be trickier. 

One thing is certain, though — they’ll never get him out. Sending much love, Geoffrey.

Shoeless Nasser has got no sole

My Mail Sport colleague Nasser Hussain was wandering round Lord’s barefoot on day one. 

Apparently, his new wheels were doing a Gus Atkinson and nipping a bit. I’d say the shoes were company issue. 

Our very own Shoeless Joe Jackson reminded me of coach Justin Langer encouraging his Australia players to feel the grass on the soles of their feet during the 2019 Ashes — and look what happened to him!

Nasser Hussain was wandering around without any shoes on at one point on Wednesday

Nasser Hussain was wandering around without any shoes on at one point on Wednesday

Windies lack Viv’s presence

West Indies’ batsmen looked determined and resilient, but their set-ups at the crease were slightly mechanical. 

Cast your mind back to greats like Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. 

Each had a real presence in the middle, but we only saw a glimpse of this on Wednesday when Alzarri Joseph was out there. Viv was on his feet, clapping in response. You have to find a way to score. In the past, West Indies were masters of it.

Viv Richards (second right) was at Lord's on Wednesday but West Indies missed his presence in the middle

Viv Richards (second right) was at Lord’s on Wednesday but West Indies missed his presence in the middle

Why Gus is like garlic bread 

Two years ago, England bowling hero Gus Atkinson was playing for Desert Vipers in the International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates. 

His first outing got a stellar commentary group of Ian Bishop, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Simon Doull asking: Who’s this? As garlic bread was to comedian Peter Kay, Atkinson is to this England team. 

He’s the future. Pace, accuracy, movement. What a lethal combination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *