Elite chips, cold toasties and oat milk – a review of series two of The Test on Amazon Prime

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Respected member of the King Cricket community, Sam Blackledge, has watched the second series of The Test – the Amazon documentary about the Australian men’s cricket team – so that you don’t have to. Here’s his review…

Alex Carey and Travis Head are in a restaurant near their home, drinking beer with Carey’s young son. (The child has lemonade.)

A waitress brings over a small bowl of chips.

“Mate, this looks elite,” says Carey. And we’re off. 

Food and drink is a key feature of sporting documentaries. Whether it’s the dodgy pizza which supposedly made Michael Jordan sick on the eve of the Chicago Bulls’ clash with Utah Jazz in 1997; chef Hannah Grant’s meticulous meal prep for the Orica-Scott Tour de France team; or Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White having a tender heart-to-heart over a hotel breakfast. Two things are certain – we all need to refuel, and sportspeople are weird. 

So we come to season two of ‘The Test’, behind the scenes with the Australian men’s cricket team. You know the story by now – sandpaper, saucy texts, Paine and Langer out, Cummins in, Ashes retained, what a lovely bunch of blokes. But they don’t half go on about food.

Here is a menu on a dressing room door. What in the name of Hayden is ‘pilaf rice’? (I googled it and apparently it’s another name for pilau rice). 

This is Marnus Labuschagne making a cheese and ham toastie before a net session. Nothing wrong with that, right? Wrong. Toasting complete, he pops it in the fridge for later because he likes it cold.

Justin Langer, pre-ousting, is holding this thing and angrily grinding it. Is it a coffee thing? A pepper thing? Who cares. Whatever it is, Langer is not happy about it.

In the build-up to the MCG Test, David Warner says his favourite bit is when they all sit down together on Christmas Day to ‘have some ham and a beer’. 

Certain squad members are, inevitably, obsessed with coffee. They have a top of the range coffee machine delivered to their hotel in Pakistan. One of them shows another one how it works. “You get your cup, and put it under here.”

Usman Khawaja shares a meal with his parents. That scene is quite moving. His dad talking about how nobody thought Usman would ever make it as an Australian cricketer with Pakistani heritage. The chicken curry looks good too.

While he was banned after sandpaper-gate, Steve Smith started his own oat milk company, which he describes as ‘really exciting’. We see him talking to some businesspeople about it. This is definitely the face of a cricketer listening to some other people talking about oat milk.

In summary, The Test is an interesting watch and there is a lot of food and drink.

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  1. Elite reviewship there Sam. Respect.

    In other news, Monty Panesar trending again, and again it could be for far worse reasons. A very short stay at the Workers Party crease. Elite reverse-ferretship.

    1. We all suspected he was unsuited to the world of politics. The ability to admit a mistake and change his mind about something in light of new information rather proves this.

      1. Qoute from Mr Monty…

        “So today I am withdrawing as a General Election candidate for The Workers Party. I realise I need more time to listen, learn and find my political home, one that aligns with my personal and political values.”

        So we may see which team he’ll play for once he’s taken his time. Let us hope it’s not far worse than his previous dabble, as there are a lot of seriously bad teams out there. Thinking about it, I’m not sure there are any that would be any better, and that is not a statement of approval, more an indictment.

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