England’s innings victories in Australia

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There will be younger England fans who have seen their team win two of the last three Ashes series who really won’t get the significance of a win like this.

For England, Ashes series down under aren’t ordinarily cricket. They’re more like visits to a lab where they can carry out a range of experiments that will help them identify every last one of their flaws. Disorganised, weak-willed, lacking pace in their seam bowling, lacking skill and guile in their spin bowling – the boxes were methodically ticked. Then they came home in sad, stained lab coats.

This is different. We’ve been getting up at 5am on the grounds that we see more cricket that way and also don’t get fired from the day job. So far, this has meant a ‘Christmas morning aged eight’ feeling pretty much every day.

This morning we got to watch the whole day’s play, not knowing the score, and it was like getting the Millennium Falcon AND Dirge.

That, funnily enough, is what England’s players deserve to be rewarded with. At least.


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  1. Part (*) of the problem for Australia is the manner of this defeat. If you really want to mentally disturb someone, you give them a hint of promise before cruelly dashing their hopes. If I can borrow the great man’s theme for a moment, imagine telling the eight year old boy that he is going to get a Millennium Falcon for Christmas, and a Dirge, and also hinting that he might get an AstroWars as well, and then letting him wake up on Christmas morning to a Cabbage Patch Doll. Australia have done this to themselves with their evening optimism – all this talk of possible rain and a rearguard action by Mike Hussey and holding out for a famous draw just meant that whole swathes of Australians went to bed thinking they’d be 1-0 up after Perth. A better approach would have been:


    Channel 9 – So Ricky, how do you think it’s going to go tomorrow?

    RP – Badly mate, very badly. Mike Hussey has had his good innings for the series, Marcus North is just rubbish, and after that we’re into the tail, and the best you can say about them is that their batting is at least as good as their bowling.

    C9 – So you don’t hold out much hope for the draw then?

    RP – Nah. The best thing we can do is get out of here as early as we can tomorrow, then move on to Perth.

    C9 – With the intention of rebuilding and coming back hard at the Poms in the 3rd test?

    RP – Yep, if you can find me a quick and a spinner who are at least competent at test level. Otherwise no. We’ll just be hoping that the kicking we get won’t be as big as this one.

    C9 – So do you have a tactic now for the rest of the series?

    RP – Absolutely. Change half the team for the next test so as to spread the embarrassment around a bit. Use 7 – 2 fields and instruct the bowlers to bowl a combination of leave-balls outside off and leg-stump half volleys. Take the pressure off Mike Hussey by letting him watch everyone else get out cheaply. Carefully assess the Poms’ batting strengths and weaknesses, then feed their stock shots at least twice an over. Oh, and finding a spinner who has never played a serious game of cricket before.

    C9 – Sticking with the same approach, then?


    (*) – Together with appalling bowling, weak batting, bad captaincy, low confidence and an opponent who is better in every conceivable regard.

  2. Cook should be dropped. Now that Broad is out, Morgan can take his place. England should play with ten men, not including Prior.

  3. I got a text from my one and only Australian friend which said he was praying for rain. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the role reversals of mentallity from the 1990’s.

    Why would you only want Dirge? If you’re going for a Decepticon I’d want Starscream.

  4. Meanwhile, a generation of England fans sits, waiting for the inevitable collapse around the corner….

  5. I’m technically part of the older generation but, having got into cricket at a late stage (2003), I was somewhat insulated from the full horror of the 90s.

    That’s not to say that I’ll not be awaiting the inevitable collapse.

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