The thing about hiccups is that they almost always come as a plural. You might cough once, you can get away with a single sneeze, but hiccups arrive en masse. As such, Darren Lehmann’s description of the Cardiff Test as ‘a minor hiccup’ seems entirely fitting.
Far from being symptomatic of woefully unjustified arrogance, Lehmann was actually being very careful with his choice of words. He might equally have described the result as a ‘blip,’ referring to the sound repeatedly produced by a hospital’s heart-rate monitor, all things being well.
Hiccup, hiccup, hiccup. Blip, blip, blip.
But yet if that great seer of our times, Boof Lehmann, foresaw what was to come, it was fairly unexpected for many of us. The biggest surprise of all was English cricket’s apparent willingness to sacrifice days of cricket in favour of improved chances of victory.
Test cricket is typically played on pitches as flat as a steamrollered pancake. This year, England apparently thought: ‘Sod it. Let’s play on English pitches for once, see how that goes.’
It didn’t last long.
It does make you wonder whether they might have produced similar pitches a bit more often in the preceding decades. You know, at any point between Terry Alderman and now really.