There have obviously been a couple of really interesting debates thrown up from the second Test at Lord’s, and I can see both sides of the argument on each one.

I stand by the fact that England’s style of play has been a pretty incredible thing for the spectacle of this Ashes series and the game in general, and it’s bringing some new fans to the game. But I can see that some modes of dismissal will make some England supporters quite angry.

When they kept getting out to that bumper barrage at Lord’s, for example, it looked pretty ugly. To be fair to England, Australia didn’t cope with it that well either.

Australia have largely played good, solid cricket, and it’s been very successful. It helps that we have the likes of Smith, Head, Khawaja and Labuschagne, who are really well suited to that style.

Jonny Bairstow. Out or Not Out? Again, I can see both sides.

I saw something online that I kind of agreed with. It said, ‘Why does a wicket have to reach a certain level of artistry? If it’s within the rules, it doesn’t matter how it looks’.

But I can understand the spirit of cricket side of it, which is a bit of intangible thing isn’t it. \

Jonny Bairstow

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images. Jonny Bairstow.

The Headingley Test will see Todd Murphy come into the Australian team as a replacement for the injured Nathan Lyon, and I think he’s going to do pretty well.

Todd was in the same Sydney Sixers squad as me for a few years, and there are plenty of good judges there who believe he can very much match Lyon as an off-spin bowler.

He has a lot of subtle variations in his game, and I know for one that (Sixers captain) Moises Henriques is a huge fan. He’s touted him as being even better than Lyon.

Todd’s pretty sure of his ability, and I don’t think this will take him by surprise. He won’t be over-awed by the situation at all. He took seven-for on debut in India only a few months back. He’s going to be the natural progression when Lyon steps aside anyway in a few years, so he’ll get that taste of it now.

There’s a few of us going to Headingley on Sunday, and I’m hoping there’s not going to be a repeat of what happened in 2019.

I have a few mates in the Australian team – Mitchell Starc is a neighbour of mine in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, for one – but I’m not sure I’ll be meeting up with them. Given they will have all the stress of a Test Match to prepare for, I think I might leave them alone.

I am supposed to be catching up with the Australian team’s strength and conditioning coach, who used to be the S&C at New South Wales as well. But, given I’m an Englishman now, I don’t want to be meeting up with too many Australians, anyway!

My recovery from my plantar fascia injury has been a tricky one and very frustrating. There’s been quite a lot of progress in some weeks but in others it plateaus completely. The problem is that the blood supply to where the injury is – in my heel – isn’t very good at all.

I’m able to bowl, but I just can’t do anything else that comes along with it. Changing direction that comes with batting and fielding is an issue.

I saw a specialist a couple of days ago, and he’s given us a couple of options. If I can get back for the One-Day Cup in August, I’d be very happy with that.

Running drinks for the guys during the Gloucestershire Championship game last week, I thought there were a lot of good signs in terms of our performance. There were three hundreds for the young boys, and I thought Mark Steketee bowled quite nicely without getting into the wickets.

I just wonder what might have happened had we had a Dukes ball instead of the Kookaburra.

There wasn’t much life in the pitch, and the Kookaburra didn’t really help things.

Personally, the Kookaburra feels more comfortable to me, and I feel like I can trust it a bit more. The Dukes, I feel like it has a mind of its own. But, if you can control it, it’s certainly more beneficial to bowl with.

They don’t swing conventionally too much back home. We all play for reverse swing on abrasive wickets back home.

It seems they may do a bit more over here, but it will have been a bit of a rude shock for people who haven’t bowled with it before. Still, it will do them some good for the future and they’ll be better for the challenge.

Stek has had a bit of time away off cricket, so I’m sure he was just finding his way in that first game.

He’s been a stalwart of Queensland Cricket for a long time now. He’s someone who hits the pitch hard and bowls at good pace. I’d say he’s a seamer more than a swing bowler.

He’s got a really good action, and a few of the New South Wales boys have tried to replicate his action because it’s nice and simple. I really like him as a bowler.

Mark Steketee

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Mark Steketee.

He’s grown up playing at the Gabba, a fast and bouncy wicket. So he will know how to adapt his length to bowl that bit fuller when there’s a bit more pace and bounce in pitch like there will be at Scarborough in a couple of weeks.

When you’re not used to that sort of wicket, it’s very tempting to bowl back of a length and just watch it go through hip height and the keeper takes it above the head. You have to go the other way on those sorts of pitches – you have to go a lot fuller.

I’ve spent a bit of my time off the field up in the commentary box with Jonathan Doidge and the BBC Radio guys, which has been good fun.

I’ve done five minute slots here and there before, but never an hour and a half. They make it sound really easy, but it’s hard to do having to know everything that’s been going on, all the stats and such.

I’m an ok watcher of the game. I do enjoy it, but like anyone I’ll switch off at times. The one thing I really enjoy is watching the game from a fast bowler’s point of view, assessing tactics and such.

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