LEGEND has it that Steve Waugh once told Herschelle Gibbs he’d just dropped the World Cup after a simple catch off the batsman slipped from his grasp as he attempted to throw it skyward in celebration.
That neither player can remember anything of the sort hasn’t stopped the tale being told repeatedly in the 16 years since.
Whether something similar went through Brad Haddin’s mind when he shelled an equally significant chance off Joe Root with the batsman yet to score in Cardiff is doubtful.
But the wicket-keeper, who sadly misses out here, is likely to have been reminded of doing something similar against Root at Lord’s two summers ago.
On that occasion the batsman went on to score 180 in England’s second innings total of 349, as they set Australia a target of which they would fall 347 runs short. Root is ripe for another big one. In his last 10 innings in St John’s Wood he’s passed 50 on six occasions, including two sizeable hundreds.
He is plenty short enough now at 8/11 with Betway to be top series runscorer for England. But I like the look of the 11/8 on offer about a second Test first innings 50.
Unlike Root, David Warner is a difficult man to love, particularly if you’re an England supporter or a Yorkshireman trying to enjoy a quiet night out in Birmingham.
But, for a player who once described Jonathan Trott’s illness as “pretty weak”, expecting sympathy after admitting he’s short of confidence and struggling in English conditions beggars belief. Assuming he’s able to shrug off his self-pity and drag himself down from the away changing rooms over the next few days, he looks like one to take on at Lord’s.
In the sun-baked surroundings of home he averages 52 and loves nothing more than flailing bowlers to all parts as they wilt in the heat.
In England, India and the West Indies his stats read a rather more prosaic 25, 24, and 26. At 83 with Sporting Index, his match runs look a sell to me.
And as they say in his part of New South Wales: it couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke.
Joe Root to score a first innings 50 at 11/8 general
Sell David Warner match runs at 83 with Sporting Index