The eccentric shot came in a crazy afternoon session in which Australia batted without any bails on the stumps – the umpires removing the bails after they were repeatedly blown off by the wind. It took some 25 minutes for fourth umpire Rob Bailey to find some heavy bails – or rather the original bails with some screws drilled into the end of them.
The crisp wind brought further interruptions as rubbish – principally crisp packets – brought play to a shuddering halt by swirling into and out of the batsmen’s eyeline. Judging by Stuart Broad’s face, the delays got right on his nerves.
2:52 Crisps stop play! The wind played havoc with the bails and the rubbish at Old Trafford!
Did England miss a trick by not going for the jugular in the morning session? The build-up to the Test was dominated by the potential contest between Jofra Archer and Smith but, to the surprise of many of our pundits, the paceman didn’t appear to bend his back and go all out when the returning batsman came in at 28-2 – the speed gun consistently registering in the low 80mph bracket. What’s more, Archer bowled just seven balls at the man he knocked over at Lord’s, forcing him to miss the third Test at Headingley.
1:04 Steve Smith came out on top on day one as he rejoined battle with Jofra Archer
“It’s maybe the first time that Joe Root has to be a little bit tough with Archer,” said Nasser Hussain, demanding some tough love, before acknowledging that conditions were tricky. “I know you’re cold, I know you’re stiff, it has been a long summer, but crank it up!’ Make out to him that this is the most important spell.”
Nas continued: “Smith would have spent the last two weeks thinking about this comeback against Archer, who has peppered him. I fully understand he was tired by the time Smith came in and so you take him out of the attack to give him another burst before lunch, but that burst never came.”
Tweets of the day
Michael Holding: “Smith was allowed to go out there and pretty much settle in and by the time Archer got back into the attack, Smith was pretty much settled. When people get hit you can never quite work out what is going on in their mind. It was strange because Archer had not bowled his five overs at extreme pace.”
David Lloyd: “Where is Warne sat?” as the umpteenth empty crisp packet interrupts the afternoon session, blown across the ground by the wind.