FINN FIRES HIS ASHES WARNING
Paceman bags eight to remind selectors
To toss or not to toss? It was the talk of the County Championship in 2016 when the decision to scrap the compulsory flip of the coin was first introduced.
It was designed to address the “plight of spin bowling and concerns about some Championship pitches”; the explanation offered by ECB cricket committee chairman, Peter Wright.
This week at Lord’s the desire was, understandably, to produce a ‘result’ pitch to help Middlesex and their relegation battle. That saw the umpires reach for the coin.
The wicket; a vivid green with pronounced cracks already appearing looked like a seamer’s paradise. So Middlesex’s decision to bat first resulted in chatter throughout the Home of Cricket from the players, fans and media alike.
On what is notoriously a flat pitch the decision to ‘spice it up’ helped turn it into a memorable day for a boy from Preston, on his first visit to Lord’s.
Tom Bailey’s first ten-wicket haul came at the home of cricket, bowling with the aide of that famous slope, something he has relished to try since he was a boy.
“It’s a massive honour for me, especially for my first game at Lord’s and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Bailey, 26, added: “I’ve always looked forward to playing here especially with the slope, I think its tailor-made for my bowling. I’ve dreamt of days like these.”
“I’ve struggled to get into the team this season, I had a niggle in my side early on but I felt like I’ve bowled pretty well all season.”
“I’ve taken wickets in the second team and I’ve been waiting for that opportunity to come.”
Back to the toss, even the home captain was uncertain what to do; “My first instinct is that we wouldn’t be having a toss and we’d be batting.”
Voges added; “When we won the toss I still wasn’t sure [what to do] I took the approach that batting last would be tougher.”
Even with match figures of 10-98, Bailey feels the uncontested toss rule offers an unfair advantage for the away side, especially at this time of year.
“It’s not up to me but I’m against it to be honest. Especially in September when groundsmen struggle to prepare decent wickets then the home side have a disadvantage.”
The Lancastrian will remember his first visit to this famous old ground and his overriding emotion ahead of the opening day: “I was just thinking about the lunches to be honest.”
Pumped: Lancashire’s Tom Bailey took his first ten wicket haul for the county