If England are playing cricket, we’re supporting them. That’s the rule. However, if it came down to it, we’re wondering whether a Pakistan win in the third Test might not be the worst thing in the world. Why? Because of the Ashes.
It’s almost Monday
We know someone who sometimes starts getting miserable about going back to work halfway through Saturday. You can look too far ahead and miss what’s happening today.
Cricket only has a handful of sides. Every time your team is playing one of them, it’s a special occasion. We’re currently midway through a Test series against Pakistan and half anyone says is about a series that hasn’t even started yet. What about now?
But Pakistan are shit
No, Pakistan aren’t shit. It’s easy to say that Pakistan are shit when they keep getting bowled out for double figures, but what happens when the ball stops swinging and the momentum of an unfolding batting collapse wanes? They put on 200 with their last four wickets even though one of those batsmen is injured. Imagine if specialist batsmen had been in then.
Similarly, their catching.
So they put down 426 chances at Edgbaston. They still bowled England out for 251 in their first innings. That’s actually terrifying.
Maybe Pakistan will fold again, but it’s worth watching and it’s worth paying attention in order to find out. The first two Tests have been hugely absorbing and have probably featured more excitement than the first three Ashes Tests will later in the year.
People in England only care about the Ashes
No, no, no, no, no. Shut up. Get out. We don’t care what the public think. The public are idiots. The public lap up Chris Moyles and Coldplay. You could put a lump of human excrement in front of them and they’d find it entertaining as soon as it became familiar.
Don’t pay attention to what the public want because you end up in Idiocracy where you can only remember a time when
“… people wrote books and movies – movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting.”
You actually have to point out good stuff to the public because they’re too stupid to identify it themselves.
So what’s good?
Variety is good. Different opponents are good. Different match situations are good. Not knowing what’s going to happen is good.
Pakistan are not Australia and that is actually a good thing. There is no cricket team in the world less predictable than Pakistan and that too is a good thing. Despite the success of the Premier League, sport isn’t actually about watching groups of players go through the motions when you know what’s going to happen in the end. It’s about watching a match develop and occasionally being surprised. Pakistan will give you that.
To talk about Alastair Cook’s form in terms of the first Test at Brisbane is disrespectful to Pakistan and also misguided. To talk about James Anderson’s swing bowling in terms of Kookaburra balls and less helpful conditions in Australia is missing the point.
And to ask England’s players what they think about Ricky Ponting saying it’s ‘possible’ for Australia to win the Ashes 5-0? Well, that’s even more mindless than asking the Australian cricket captain whether his team are capable of winning cricket matches, because if you can win one, you can win five.
So why would a Pakistan win not be so bad?
Because then people might realise that something significant is happening right now.