A two match Test series that was a success on every level

Posted by
< 1 minute read

Johnson and Cummins - there's a really, really disgusting joke in there somewhere

Australian defeats, South African defeats, brilliant fast bowling, feisty batting, 47 all out and everyone feeling profoundly irritated at being massively short-changed by there only being two matches – this was the perfect Test series.

It was better than anything. It was better than turning up at a restaurant and only being allowed to have a starter. “Lamb shanks? Get out. You’ve already had four scallops, you greedy bastard.”

It was better than going to the pub at 7pm and only having time to get one round in before they inexplicably close. “Quarter past seven, mate. I’m not hanging round here to pull you pints all night. What do you think I am?”

It was better than going to a theme park and sitting on a rollercoaster on the initial steep climb only to find there is no more track and so having to get off and walk back down again.

It was better than reading the first 42 pages of a brilliant book only to find that they’ve recycled the rest of the paper to manufacture the junk mail that you threw away that morning.

It was better than being sliced open for much-needed surgery and then being totally neglected and left to bleed to death.

Great times.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. It was better than sitting on the toilet thinking it is going to be a rough ride, only to have your bowels pleasantly surprise you because of all the broccoli you ate last night.

  2. A 2-match series of this calibre brings to mind Oscar Wilde’s homage to smoking – “the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?”

  3. It was a cracker of a mini-series. Maybe the respective boards are currently shuffling about embarrassedly, as their phones won’t stop ringing with calls from people wanting to be associated with what would have been a huge TV event (the rest of the series).

    And when I say “maybe”, I mean “I fervently hope”.

    And when I say “shuffling about embarrassedly”, I mean “having their entrails slowly pulled out of their mouths while being forced to watch the third, fourth and fifth matches of the 2005 Ashes.”

    I’m not sure about your headline though, because it does imply that this series was a success on Level 42. Given their consistent record of Top 40 tunes like Running In The Family and Lessons In Love, that isn’t something I can agree with.

    1. You may even be hard pressed to suggest that it was a success on Another Level. For this not even to be a success when defined at Dane Bowers levels speaks volumes, I think.

    2. For the sake of my (limited) credibility I should probably make it clear that my previous comment was written with copious amounts of help from Wikipedia.

  4. It is bloody frustrating, though. At this stage in the Ashes 2005 we‘d had ONE good test match. Here we have already had TWO. This series is better than 2005 SO FAR! And just like 2005, it has a whole set of sub-plots and personalities that could have enthralled us for weeks:

    New fast bowlers, Philander and Cummins – How will they develop during the series? Will they continue to amaze, of will test cricket stand up to them and make it tough, in the shape of Jacque Kallis and Michael Hussey? And if it does, how will they react?
    Answer – Who the fuck knows.

    Ricky Ponting – Can the old stager continue his apparent return to form, or was it a last hurrah? If the latter, would they consider dropping him in the middle of a series?
    Answer – Who the fuck knows.

    Players under pressure, Hughes, Watson, Haddin and Rudolph – How will these players react to this pressure? Can they, as Hughes and Haddin have just hinted at doing, establish a decent innings?
    Answer – Who the fuck knows.

    Resurgence – Can SA do as Australia has just done, and turn round a bad loss into a tremendous victory?
    Answer – Who the fuck knows.

    Spin – If the wickets dry up for the quick bowlers, can Tahir or Lyon step up?
    Answer – Who the fuck knows.

    Mitchell Johnson – Can he build on his batting success and become a leading bowler for the series, exciting all with his pace, his guile, and above all, his relentless accuracy?
    Answer – No.

  5. Bert – saw it coming a mile off. Still laughed. Sign of a classic punchline.

    If we may be serious for a moment, has anyone actually bothered to ask the ICC what the creeping Jesus they’re playing at. Maybe jot down their response and publish it in some sort of newspaper or online forum?

    Just a thought.

  6. With a little bit of disrespect to Sri Lanka, I’d have found it slightly easier to understand them being fobbed off with a 2 test series in SA.

    SA v Oz is one of cricket’s great rivalries – this decision always took the piss. I’m glad the quality of the contest has ensured the ICC look particularly silly.

Comments are closed.