NEXT week on Channel 4, you can marvel at Drawers Off as amateur artists compete for a cash prize by creating nude portraits of each other.
If that sounds humiliating and cringe-worthy, you obviously weren’t watching Channel 4 this week, as England took on India on an Ahmedabad bunsen-burner with one true spinner and four No 11 batsmen.
England were embarrassed by India within two days – but the game was lost in the team selectionCredit: Sportzpics – BCCI
As a means for attracting the youthful instant-thrill generation to Test cricket on terrestrial TV, this was effective – a two-day Test seemingly played out on amphetamine.
But the starting point for the selection of any Test team ought to be ‘let’s pick 11 men who have a decent chance of actually joining in’.
Poor old Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson were never likely to do that, however tasty a seam attack they might be outside Asia.
Twenty-eight of the 30 wickets which fell in the Third Test were claimed by spinners.
Joe Root’s part-time off-spin even harvested an extraordinary 5-8 as India’s batsmen made a game of it by collapsing.
Root is becoming not just a genuine all-rounder but something close to a one-man team.
This year he has two double centuries and is averaging 76 with the bat and 13 with the ball.
Yet he will not be proud of his part in one of England’s worst ever selection fiascos.
India would have been laughing after seeing England pick just one spinner and four No11sCredit: Sportzpics – BCCI
Jack Leach – the Mole from the Wind In The Willows lookalike who is England’s main spinner – bowled decently but was burdened with intolerable expectations.
An ‘eight, nine, ten, Jack’ of Archer, Leach, Broad and Anderson was a tail to compare to the classic 1999 sitting-duck line-up of Andy Caddick, Alan Mullally, Phil Tufnell and Ed Giddins.
Archer has a Test batting average of 7.2, yet was somehow only rated the fourth-worst batsman.
England’s rest-and- rotate policy, understandable in principle during biosecure bubble living, has been botched.
Moeen Ali went home after a decent showing with bat and ball in the previous Test, while poor Jonny Bairstow looked cooked after a torturous return journey and quarantine period.
Root isn’t only becoming a genuine all-rounder, but a one-man team at presentCredit: Sportzpics – BCCI
England’s No 3 bagged a pair, with his second knock quite possibly the worst Test innings of all time.
Bairstow faced two deliveries. From the first he was lbw playing a horrible sweep before a weird DRS reprieve and from the second he was bowled, leaving England 0-2 from three balls.
A kindly Indian commentator told us it had been a ‘forgettable match’ for Bairstow. Let’s hope his memory really is so selective.
India skipper Virat Kohli claimed the pitch had been fine, despite the shortest completed Test since 1935.
His nation possesses a wonderfully talented cricket team, as well as an extraordinary gift for talking b******s.
Anyway, here’s our suggested team for the Fourth Test: J E Root; J E Root: J E Root; J E Root (capt); J E Root; J E Root; J E Root (wkt); J E Root; J E Root; J E Root; J E Root.