When they manufacture a girl band or a boy band, they often work on a simple principle: put enough reasonably attractive people in one place and it’s hard to assess the visual merits of any one individual.
When it comes to girl bands, we subconsciously take the best features of each of the talentless no-marks, blending them together to form a Frankenstein’s pop star of rare beauty who exists only in our mind. After a year of struggling to keep up with the rapid editing of their music videos in a bid to identify the good-looking one, we will eventually realise that they’re all munters. But it takes a year.
We feel similarly about today’s South Africa v Australia dismissathon. So many wickets. Can any truly stand out?
Well, yes, actually. One wicket does stand out. Brad Haddin’s. On a day when great bowling met mindless batting, this was an absolute beauty.
It’s all about context. 17 wickets have fallen in the day and your team is 18-5. What do you do? Do you amble down the pitch to a short pitched ball and try and flap it into the air on the off side for no real reason? HELL YES, YOU DO!
Imagine you’re standing atop the white cliffs of Dover. A strong wind is blowing, causing people to lose their footing. So far you’ve seen 17 people slide over the edge and if you peer over, you can make out their spattered remains on the rocks below.
Most of us would back away from the edge in that situation. Brad Haddin would take a ruddy great run-up in the belief that he could jump to France.