Nothing Unusual (but still great)

For all the talk of Kolpaks and the damage (or otherwise) they're doing to the English game, a day at the county cricket can still throw up some real pleasures.

Friday at Taunton, was one such day. A typically dead track, to be sure, and Somerset intent on batting all day to make up for a meagre first innings effort against a threadbare Hampshire bowling attack.

There was one good sign, though: Marcus Trescothick and Justin Langer were together at the start of the day, and, by the time they were parted in mid-afternoon, they had taken their team's score from a distinctly rocky 83 for 1 to 355 for 2. Neither of them did anything unusual, or, for them exceptional; Trescothick was dominant, muscular and powerful, Langer controlled, determined and acquisitive, but it was great to watch two Test players of the past (it still feels uncomfortable to say that about Marcus but there's no getting away from the truth of it) toying with an attack of tyros.

One shot sticks in the mind. Late in Trescothick's innings, James Tomlinson, with eight first innings wickets behind him, dropped one short, just outside off stump. Marcus swivelled and pulled it for four to the furthest boundary on the ground, bisecting two boundary fielders and sending a clear message to Tomlinson: I've done that to some of the finest and fastest bowlers in the world. Don't bowl there to me and expect to get away with it.

Of course, Marcus, never the confrontational or arrogant sort, wouldn't have put it like that (or even thought it), but that's how it appeared.

I look forward to a few more moments like that over the coming months.

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