Cow Corner

You can’t shift the Shiv

Cow Corner

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Stuart Broad and James Anderson, who was deservedly named England's Player of the Year on Monday, again excelled as the pacemen got the summer off to a fine start with West Indies put to the sword.

It was a very tough, frustrating day at times for England's bowlers as Shivnarine Chanderpaul - the world's top-ranked Test batsman - set up camp at the crease and stubbornly refused to even entertain the prospect of leaving.

Chanderpaul defied the hosts as he battled on and on with just Broad and Anderson able to make breakthroughs, but the potency of the pair with the ball swinging was again very evident.

Quite simply, as Nasser Hussain remarked, "you can't shift the Shiv".

Particularly in the morning session, Anderson again showed his quality and class on a placid pitch and rivals South Africa's talisman Dale Steyn as the leading pace bowler in the world.

It will be an intriguing head-to-head between Steyn and Anderson later in the summer.

Indeed, if he remains fit, the 29-year-old should go on to eclipse Ian Botham's England record of 383 Test wickets, and he added to his incredible tally again at Lord's.

West Indies may have a rather flaky top order, but Anderson was unplayable at times in the morning session as he exploited conditions conducive to swing bowling with pace, accuracy and guile.

Anderson passed Brian Statham - the great Lancashire and England fast bowler - in moving beyond 252 Test wickets in Sri Lanka, and he continues to march on.

Anderson remains third in the ICC Test rankings - behind Steyn and Saeed Ajmal - but a highly-anticipated series with South Africa later in the summer should provide a good marker as to where the England paceman stands in the world game.

Over the last five years, Anderson averages 25.90 in Tests in English conditions and, still only 29 years of age, the Lancastrian will be the leader of the pace attack for a few years to come.

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But it was Broad who took the plaudits at the end of day one, finishing with six wickets after a flurry of late strikes.

The Nottinghamshire seamer deservedly led his side off the field at the end of a day in which England's finely-drilled attack bundled out the tourists, who were batting on a relatively flat Lord's deck.

Broad has matured immeasurably in terms of his craft and made a mockery of the West Indies batsmen - with the exception of Chanderpaul - on a perfectly good wicket to finish with astoundingly good figures.

With previous best figures of six for 46, Broad could well make it seven with the gloriously named Shannon 'walking wicket' Gabriel to open the batting with the 37-year-old from the outset on day two.

The only tourist to really compete, Chanderpaul may have been left pretty high and dry by his team-mates, but he may yet reach a deserved century on day two to cap another remarkable individual performance.

The only problem for the immovable batsman is that Broad and Anderson may well make their mark first.

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Anderson clean bowls Kieran Powell


Jonny Bairstow, the 22-year-old Yorkshire batsman, was handed his first Test cap by his mentor Geoffrey Boycott before the start of play at Lord's as he became the 652nd man to represent England.

Bairstow, who follows his late father David into Test cricket, will bat at number six for England with captain Andrew Strauss giving him a ringing endorsement.

"He's a really exciting talent," Strauss said. "It's been great having him around, because it just reminds us all how special it is to be representing your country when a guy is in line to possibly make his debut and you can see the excitement on his face.

"He is young and enthusiastic. It has been lovely to have him involved. It has come a little bit from left-field for him, but I'm sure if he gets the chance he will make a really good fist of it.

"No player knows until they have played Test cricket - how you will deal with the pressure of it - but he has given every indication so far that it will not be a problem for him. He can play the game at a number of different paces as well. For a guy batting at number six, that is a great attribute to have."

Do you think Bairstow was the right selection for England in the absence of the sidelined Ravi Bopara?

STAT/TRIVIA OF THE DAY: Bairstow becomes the 13th father-son combination to play Tests for England. Can you name the other 12?

USER COMMENT OF THE DAY: If Steven Finn had been picked we would be debating why Tim Bresnan wasn't. For me I'd agree with the earlier comment that Bresnan knows which end of the bat to hold in a match that could need batting power if it's delayed by inclement weather. (Telaw)

TWEET OF THE DAY: "Kevin Pietersen has just nipped off the field" #OverusedSentences." (@51AllOut)

DEBATE OF THE DAY: Do you think Bresnan should have been selected ahead of Graham Onions and Finn? Post your views below...

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Members at Lord's struggle to get into the Calypso spirit

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