16 July 2015
Lord’s Preview: Thoughts from Phil Tufnell
Draws usually sound boring but I dont think this will be…….plenty of runs and both teams will be in with a chance to win but I just think the pitch will be so good that too many batsman will fill their boots so there won’t be time for either team to take 20 wickets….
I played at Lord’s for nearly 20 years and when we had Summers like we have had so far this year (which wasnt often!) then the track at Lord’s nearly always turned into a real belter to bat on. There should be a bit of help for the twirlers like me come the 4th and 5th days but I don’t think either team has a spinner good enough to exploit the conditions. Swanny took 9 wickets last time round but lets be honest he is different class to Lyons and Ali……
The captaincy debate will no doubt rumble on……….is Cooky up to the task against Clarke the best captain in the world…..well based on Cardiff it is also 1-0 to Cooky!! Clarke on his performance with the bat and in the field was poor. Just like McCullum did with NZ at Lord’s he got a bit sucked in by the must-play attacking cricket psychy and ended up handing England about an extra 100 runs in the first innings! Yes we want to see attacking cricket played but dont do it for the sake of it and give the oppo an easy way out of a difficult situation! That is what happened at Cardiff…..Root as well as he played was given the freedom to keep hitting 4s when if he had been put under pressure it could have been a different outcome.
Talking about Cooky he needs to lead from the front with a big score as we cant keep relying on Root and the middle order. Him and Lyth need to set the team up for a big first innings score. If nothing else this will keep the hacks off Cooky’s back for the rest of the series about his form which always seems to be the easy option for discussion……despite him being our leading / best Test batsman of all time….strange really?!
Away from the cricket on the pitch, off the pitch the one thing I do know is that the crowd will have a fantastic day out! You can’t beat Lord’s as a spectator for an Ashes Test. Great seats, beer flowing, sun cream at the ready…..what a day out! That said for those ‘lucky’ enough to be invited for a corporate day out who go along for the Lord’s experience, unless you are in a private box which of course is the ultimate, the other hospitality options are not the best. Why? Because other than the private boxes you dont get any other hospitality at Lord’s that overlooks the pitch. I know this will be different in years to come with the new stands being built but for many years this has been the case and it’s a great shame.
For those that are looking to experience the ultimate corporate experience for the Ashes you need to jump across the river to the Oval! Now as a Middlesex man through and through that hurts me to say go to Surrey but…….the fact is you do get the best hospitality facilities at the Oval. Now I also have to fess up that I have an ulterior motive to say this as well because what do you know I (my company Paragon) have our own facility at the Oval; The Phil Tufnell VIP Club, which has pitch views, seats right outside and even its own private terrace…..now that is how you do it!!
And if as I am thinking it is 1-0 to England after Lord’s, perhaps a win each at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge, it will be just like 2005 and 2009 all over again with all to play for at the Oval for the 5th Test…
So apologies for a bit of shameless promotion but I am telling you the truth…….check it out for yourselves by watching our video and enjoy watching England win the Ashes in the 5th Test with me as your host!!
All the best