Scott Boland has had no trouble adjusting to Test cricket in England, claiming his first wicket outside Australia after just 10 balls and before conceding a single run.
The wicket itself was a serious case of misjudgment, it cannot even be termed a “bad shot” as Shubman Gill offered no shot.
The Indian opener dropped the ball, which crashed into his middle stump, and Boland was offside.
Few in England would have heard of the seam bowler before he made his impressive debut in the last Ashes series at the MCG, winning 4-6 as the tourists were impressed and Australia reclaimed the urn.
Boland finished a dismal Ashes from an England perspective with 18 wickets in three matches and from the looks of it, it looks like a match made in heaven along with the Dukes’ red ball.
Having never played for a Dukes (Australia uses the slightly smaller Kookaburra for its Test matches), Boland was introduced to Test cricket in England and never looked out of place.
The talk throughout his debut, Ashes, had been about what a style of English bowler he is, and combined with a ball from Dukes, he looks like a serious threat with movement and pace. It was always likely to be a good match, but it has been a perfect transition for Boland.
“My first experience with a red ball here and I felt it went well personally,” Boland told Test Match Special.
“Hopefully we can get into that tomorrow and take them down.
“It’s like two mini series for us – one against India and five against England after this. We’ve all started running. The preparation has been fantastic.”
“Nothing changes in my game plan. I’m trying to land the ball in a small box and not get too far away from it.”
It was a day of Australian dominance on the second day of the World Test Championship at The Oval in London, as India finished the day 151-5, 317 runs behind Australia’s mammoth first-innings total of 469.
There were already some warning signs from England’s perspective ahead of next week’s Ashes series when Steve Smith scored 121 and Travis Head a quick shot of 163. But the one thing England won’t do is leave deliveries they should have played.
Pat Cummins, one of the biggest threats in world cricket with the new ball, also took a wicket for 36 runs from nine overs.
Despite the efforts of the majority of the flag-waving and cheering supportive India crowd, the World Test Championship final looks a lot like an Ashes warm-up, at least from an Australian perspective.
Every cap was cheered, there was a stunned silence as Mitchell Starc claimed Virat Kohli’s crucial wicket, but there was also a long Mexican wave, generally suggesting a crowd looking for something more entertainment than the contest they’ve paid to see.