The 2015 Ashes started with a hail of bouncers. Double-bouncers, triple-bouncers and a few outright grub-hunters. It was intimidating stuff from the perspective of an ankle – although the puddingness of the pitch did at least simplify things for the bowlers, allowing them to both pitch it short and hit the top of off stump.
It could have been worse however. Michael Clarke could have opened with Mitchell Johnson in addition to Mitchell Starc, which would have resulted in two left-armers bowling to two left-handed batsmen. Confronted with this, we would have employed a mirror to make the game normal again.
After three early wickets, Joe Root emerged and he was due a failure. He is now overdue a failure. Quite what the rules are now that he’s entered such territory, we’re unsure. Perhaps we just reset everything and he’s due neither a hundred nor a failure and will score entirely according to how well he plays on the day.
Arguably, it was Brad Haddin who sent the rules of duedayism all out of kilter by shelling one like a gnarl-faced gifford with non-stick pans for hands. The outside edge came off Root’s second ball after he’d inside-edged the first. Duly calibrated, he then proceeded to score 134 off the middle.