Well, astonishing news from the Rose Bowl - which sounds like they play actually inside an enormous trophy, much like the two flies playing soccer in a saucer - practicing for the cup. After being written off well and truly at Trent Bridge and Lords, the MCC rises shakily from the dead. Well Alistair Cookie actually is dead, and even had some of his bones nicked after he stopped writing his Letter from America, which I believe started in 1776. But he will presumably not now lose the captaincy to someone actually breathing.

The "3 B's" were mentioned yesterday as instrumental - a desperate imitation of the West Indies' 3 W's of blessed memory, mainly Gary Ballance.

Sensible name, sensible guy! I'm sure Messrs Boycott, Botham, Benaud and sundry other superannuated pundits coined this concept, for obvious egotistical reasons. Anyway, it appears rufty-tufty Geordie boy Jimmy "Barger" Anderson got man of the match, for his 5-54. I rather like a bit of killer instinct in my cricketers, particularly from t'North - H Larwood q.v. But what of Moeen Ali's 6 wickets wrapping up the Indian innings? Superb stuff, I could easily have seen the requisite number of wickets stubbornly refusing to fall. Can we go on to square the series? I seriously doubt, though Stuart Binnie seems remarkably easy to get out. He doesn't even sound Indian! But at least we put up a scrap and made some sensible declarations - nice for the crowd too, captains are getting much more conscious of having to provide entertainment than say 40 years ago.

Though W G Grace was always a player to the crowd, for one.

If nothing else, it hastens the day when everyone has forgotten Kevin "The Ego Has Landed" Petersen ever existed. "I've met the king of China and a working Yorkshire miner. But I've never met a nice South African!" (c) Spitting Image 1988. (A blatant lie - what about Archbishop Desmond Tutu, eh?) Speaking of South Africans, I was watching African news at some unearthly hour on a TV version of the World Service, the young lady SA presenter hilariously asked as one of those cute items at the end of the news "Have you ever considered a hedgehog as a pit?" No, can't say I ever, ever have, madam!

Something that is definitely new, though, is the number of top-flight cricketers cracking up mentally, despite the fact that the expectations of winning are seriously less unrealistic than for the national soccer team. Are footballers just too thick (skinned) (or actually not the skinned bit) to feel this pressure and do likewise?

Trescothick is however back in county cricket and apparently enjoying it. Sports fans have little sympathy to spare for sensitive souls. I beg to differ - it scares the hell out of me. Never mind the high price of fame - is becoming a world-class anything really worth it? Why would kids actually want to achieve in a field we assume is the sort of job everyone would love to have, getting paid for playing a game - if it wrecks your mental health? Where I fall out with Tory hard-liners and social Darwinists is on the question of mental health, which they seem all too ready to assume is merely an excuse for malingering (like in Patton Lust for Glory). Me, it's always "there but for the grace of God (and the NHS) go I."