In typical fashion, after I suggested in my last blog post that England should consider leaving Jimmy Anderson out of the 50 over team, he goes and produces a Man of the Match performance with figures of 4/18 from just the 5 overs.
It just sums Jimmy up though, he is unplayable when the conditions suit him at home, but on tour and on flat pitches with no help, he tends to struggle - which was my reasons for saving him for the test team.
It was also more like it with today's team selection. Mainly with a return for Ian Bell, after the disgraceful decision to leave him out of the T20 team. For the life of me, I still can't work out the logic behind that decision.
As a Warwickshire fan, I may be a touch biased with it comes to Bell. But I think the view of just about every fan or correspondent I've heard or read since has backed up this opinion.
With just the 8 players capable of bowling playing in the game, I think it's fair to say that Stuart Broad had a base too many covered. He also didn't need to pack the team with big hitters at the expense of stroke players. Lumb, Kieswetter, Pietersen and Morgan are all capable of clearing the ropes, so why the need for Luke Wright as well, with Ravi and Patel also in the team?
In the aftermatch interviews, when Mahela Jayawardene was describing himself, he said he wasn't a rope clearing batsman. I couldn't help at the time thinking 'if you were English we wouldn't pick you, as you're not a big enough hitter.'
That's why we picked Luke Wright ahead of Ian Bell, Wright rarely bowls these days either, which makes the decision look all the more baffling. There was simply no justifying the decision.
Back onto today and I'm still not convinced by Cook's place in the side as captain or batsman just yet, but I was impressed with the selection of the team which had a balanced look to it with orthodox players picked to simply bat or bowl, as opposed to bits and pieces cricketers.
It was right to leave Chris Woakes out, Jade Dernbach looks the better prospect at the moment and Tim Bresnan is a first choice pick for the 50 over side when fit.
I thought Sri Lanka should have been overwhelming favourites at the start of this series - the bookies disagreed and made England favourites. Tonight was a good start, not just because of the win, but as I stated earlier, the make up of the team. It was a more solid looking compact England.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of this series goes now. I expect Sri Lanka to come back strong on Friday, they made England struggle with the bat at the end of our innings, and they were probably undone mainly because of the conditions when they batted.
They shouldn't be underestimated.
I was slightly surprised to see Chris Tremlett overlooked for both squads, maybe his age worked against him with the 50 over team and also his similarity to Stuart Broad, although Steven Finn was included, who is in the same mould.
Strange one really, Tremlett strikes me as a man who has to do a bit more than the others to get recognised by England. Hence Stuart Broad generally getting the new ball ahead of him.
Luke Wright should be finished for time being in my view, he's very lucky to still be in the T20 squad. What has he done with his many chances over past few years? I don't think he could have complained if he had completely lost out.
Samit Patel's recent inclusion in the Lions Teams showed he was back in favour with the England management and I expected him to get the nod as one of the all-rounders. Patel seems to have packed up the Kebabs at last and is a decent batsman and a handy spin bowler, who we could have well done with in the recent World Cup.
I really thought he was finished when he didn't make the World Cup squad, his inclusion just goes to show how highly England rate him, he certainly won't weaken either of the sides.
It now looks like Paul Collingwood can kiss good bye to his England career. I didn't see where he could fit in, and if he had been selected it would surely have been for nostalgia reasons - and Andy Flower doesn't strike me as a man who deals in nostalgia.
Great servant to England, but Colly's time has come and England need to move on. Despite Geoff Miller's words of encouragement to Collingwood, I firmly believe this is the end of his England career.
We couldn't pick him ahead of Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Morgan and even good old Ravi for the 50 over side. With Alastair Cook and probably Craig Kieswetter opening, that leaves just 4 more batting slots - and I've listed 5 players above all miles ahead of Colly.
Still no Jimmy Anderson in the T20 side, totally agree with this as he doesn't seem to handle it too well when a team gets after him and he can be very expensive.
He's also lucky to keep his place in the 50 over squad, there is a case for saving him just for the test team in my opinion. He looks far more at home at test level, and getting a good hammering in ODI cricket can't do his confidence any good. The World Cup was a prime example of that as he seemed to fall apart.
It's also good to see Michael Lumb back in the T20 squad, he was an integral part of the World T20 success and he can now resume his partnership with Craig Kieswetter at the top of the order.
Also good to see Chris Woakes included, along with Jade Dernbach, they are both getting their chance to impress, while Ajmal Shahzad seems to be the victim of their selections.
I had the pleasure of listening to him at the lunch break on Test Match Special today and Gile$ didn't disappoint.
As is usually the case, Gile$ decided to insult the intelligence of the listeners and all cricket followers with his pathetic explanations for the 2 proposed T20 matches with West Indies at the end of the English summer.
"No", Gile$ said, before claiming that the games are not being played to just satisfy Sky and prevent the ECB having to repay some £7Million to compensate the TV company for the loss of the Stanford T20 matches (another of Gile$' great achievements).
They are being played to help save West Indies cricket from financial meltdown, they are being played to try and bring back all the West Indies fans that used to watch cricket in England, as this will in some way help WICB.
It gets better, ECB are also paying the flights for the West Indies team to come here, even though they are apparently in transit to their tour of Bangladesh at the time.
So there we have it, by paying for the first leg of the West Indies teams flight to Bangladesh, the ECB are saving their board from a Greek style financial disaster.
Lets say £100,000 for the flights, maybe more I don't know, but no where near the £7 Million, Gile$ and his ECB chums won't have to pay back to Sky if the games go ahead.
At the age of just 22, Rory McIlroy is already well on his way to achieving that status. Not just for his golf, but for his personality and presence also.
His golf was out of this world over the 4 days - and I think he left 2 or 3 shots out on the course as well, as he eased off over the last 5 to 6 holes.
The emotion in his voice after he won and was asked about Augusta showed just how hard that experience must have hit him. He clearly must have learnt a lot from that day and the way he has put it behind him so quickly is amazing and testament to his remarkable character.
A score of -16 suggests the tournament organisers at the Congressional Country Club didn't set the course up in the difficult way we are used to seeing (in the US Open they normally aim for the winner to be around the par mark), but to win by 8 shots shows just how dominant McIlroy was.
The margin of victory and quality of performance also drew comparisons with the victories achieved by Tiger Woods, when he won the 1997 Masters by 12 shots and the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach by 15 shots.
They were two outstanding wins that most thought we might never see the likes off again, McIlroy has now dispelled that myth.
Hopefully that will put the last 9 holes nightmare at Augusta to bed for McIlroy, I always thought he would come good and win a major, but after Augusta I thought it might be another year or so before he finally got there - I also never thought he would win one in such a manner as this.
Well played Rory, and let's hope for many more.
This test match has further underlined just what an important part of this England side Tremlett has now become. Hopefully now Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower will see sense and finally install him as the new ball partner for James Anderson, as he certainly deserves that status.
It's remarkable to think that he was only taken to the Ashes as cover - and if the reports were true, it was a bit touch and go if he was to even make that squad.
Tremlett now looks like he's almost the finished article. He seems to know where his game is going now and 'touch wood,' all his injury problems are also well behind him.
On the flip side, Stuart Broad look like what he is. A man short of match practise who is still finding his way after injuries, that's not a criticism, just an observation.
I'm not suggesting England drop him, but it must be harder to find your form and fitness playing for England, rather than Nottinghamshire. As he is the T20 captain and part of the 50 over side, I can't see him playing county cricket for Notts anytime soon either, something I believe he would benefit from.
At the moment Broad must be classed as England's third seamer, although I'm not convinced the selectors rank him that low. A marker of how strong England are in this position is that when Tim Bresnan is fit again, he probably won't get a look in - not even after his Ashes' performances.
Having said all that, there is plenty of room for improvement in England's bowling. Lord's wasn't great and they've had their moments here as well. I'm not convinced that they have all got back into their top rhythm yet, hopefully by the time India arrive they will be firing on all cylinders again.
They did do well to fight back from 22/3 on first morning, but the bowling was poor, there was some sloppy moments in the field and did they really push that hard for the win on Day 5?
I don't want to sound like I'm criticising them, as I'm not. But if I am comparing England to the Australia team of 5 years ago, then I'd have to say that Australia would have put the runs on the board needed by lunch and would have really pressurised Sri Lanka in the afternoon.
What a run of form Alastair Cook is now in. I find it hard to believe that this is the same player I thought should have been dropped about 9 months ago. With regard to pushing for the victory, could he have hurried up a bit on the fifth morning? Probably yes.
Also is he trying to become the new KP with that shot he attempted to bring up his hundred in the 1st innings?
The bowling wasn't great either, Steven Finn will probably be the one too make way for the return of Jimmy Amderson, and I believe that's fair enough. Finn was no worse than Tremlett and Broad, but he is the fill in man and while his performance was ok, it didn't demand he be picked for the next test.
I'm not one for Umpire bashing, but I have to comment on Billy Doctrove and Rod Tucker. The cricketing authorites can issue all the guidelines surrounding the implementation of the bad light rule that they want. But if they employ idiots to implement the guidelines, you have no chance.
What were Doctrove and Tucker doing on Monday afternoon? It was a joke. Doctrove's performance didn't improve much either when he failed to call for a TV replay for Ian Bell's runout. How can Aleem Dar be sat in the 3rd Umpire's chair, with those two out in the middle? It doesn't seem right too me.
The England and Wales Cricket Board have a vacancy for an experienced Public Relations expert.
The successful applicant will be expected to demonstrate an ability to divert public attention away from any potentially embarrassing incidents involving the ECB and any of it's bat throwing employees by understating any potential incidents with sensible, accurate sounding, prompt statements, that don't insult the publics intelligence.
The successful applicant will also be expected to not have to withdraw one ridiculous sounding statement, only to replace it with another one that sounds just as stupid and only serve to bring more attention to the potentially embarrassing incident which it will be your job to try and divert any potential attention away from.
Failing to find such a person, the ECB will happily consider employing anyone who has previously held manual labouring posts at Everest, Safestyle, etc, etc.
Please enclose CV and make applications in writing to
The England and Wales Cricket Board
Lord's Cricket Ground
London NW8 8QZ
Ok, so no one is undroppable and if he is still struggling after another 6 or 7 tests then there could be good reason for dropping him. But talk of dropping him for the 3rd test against Sri Lanka is just madness.
There are a number of reasons why he shouldn't be dropped,
1) After carrying Englnd's batting for years, we owe him.
2) It was only 6 tests ago he scored a double hundred, before succumbing to his (so called) weakness of slow left hand bowlers - 227 runs later.
3) He averaged the small matter of 60 in the Ashes.
4) He scares the opposition, both Sri Lanka and India would rather not face him.
5) The opposition keep picking crappy left arm slow bowlers that the rest of England's batsmen cash in on.
6) Consistency of selection - Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood didn't get dropped for far worse form.
Apart from all that he is a world class batsman, England need to back him, not drop him. Also, on the matter of slow left arm bowlers, Mike Atherton struggled against Glenn McGrath, Gooch against Alderman, etc - did we call for them to be dropped every time we played Australia? No, because they were our best batsmen and we rightly backed them.
Onto the TV coverage of Day 1 of the 2nd test and didn't Ian Botham have a stinker. First he claimed the ball that got Andrew Strauss out LBW was too high and should be reviewed by England, before then seeing the replay show that it was hitting three quarters of the way up the stump.
Would Botham have slaughtered England for wasting a review had they done as he suggested? By the end of the days play, I believe he probably would have.
It didn't get much better as he claimed that Sri Lanka wasted a review on Eoin Morgan's wicket as the ball was (according to him) going down the leg side, before getting shown up again as the replay showed the ball hitting middle and leg.
As I haven't been around for a while on here, I have another issue I wish to go back too and give my opinion on. I totally disagree with the criticism levelled at Andrew Strauss for allowing Ian Bell to complete his century on Monday.
I choose to look at this in the greater scheme of things and there are a number of factors why I think this was the correct thing too do. At the time an England victory was highly unlikely, so why not let Ian Bell further boost his confidence with another century?
England have invested a lot of time in Bell, centuries are only going to further build up Bell's self belief and make him feel like he belongs in the England side. That's why I think it was the correct call from Strauss, to criticise and say that England let Bell put a personal milestone ahead of the good of the team, is in my view, a short sighted theory.
For example look at the difference in Matt Prior's performances last year against Pakistan when he finally felt part of the set-up. Bell seems like one of the more fragile players that needs to be built up like Prior was, this can only serve to help him.
It was a totally different set of circumstances from Mike Atherton's decision to declare on Graeme Hick (98no) in Sydney back in 1995, but from what I can remember that proved to do England no favours at all in the long run.