1. At one point in the recently concluded second Test match at Trent Bridge in Nottingham the two greatest run-scorers in cricket history were batting together: Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. Between them they have accumulated 27,386 runs, over 16 and 23 years respectively, in a feat that seems unlikely to be equaled by any members of the same team. File under “Historic.”
2. Stuart Broad, bad boy of the England cricket team, was on the verge of being dropped from the squad at the start of this series. Since then, he’s scored 182 runs at an average of 60.66 and taken 15 wickets at 11.33. (His career figures are 29.02 with the bat and 33.18 with the ball.) Nothing concentrates the mind like an imminent threat to your career!
3. In the final session of third day’s play of the Nottingham Test, England progressed from 254 for three wickets to 441 for six. That’s a total of 187 in only 35 overs. England scored an astonishing 417 runs in one day—by any measure, a rate of run-scoring that would suit one-day cricket rather than the more stately pace of Test cricket.
4. England’s batting is so deep it makes the Mariana Trench look like a paddling pool. Most teams can count on the top seven (out of eleven) to be able to hit runs. India rely on Harbhajan Singh (average 18.65) at number eight to biff some runs. England currently have Tim Bresnan (average 37.85) at eight, Stuart Broad (average 29.02) at nine, and Graeme Swann (23.52) at ten, which means on an average day you can count on the lower order bringing in another hundred runs. Impressive.
5. England are currently 2-0 up against the Indian team with two games to play. If they maintain the two-game margin by the end, they will formally be the best Test team in the world—a status they haven’t had since 1979. In my (Martin) bio for Right Off the Bat, I call myself a “long-suffering fan” of the England cricket team. Therefore, premature and somewhat triumphalist though I may be, I can only say the following: scratch that adjective.