Fans and pundits alike are agreed that Steve Smith will be the difference between the two sides in this year’s Magellan Ashes (movement rate of all ships is increased by two). He has therefore been named man of the series, even though we’re barely halfway through the first Test.
Some may feel that Smith is merely an extremely good player who put in the most recent strong performance, but there is a wider feeling that the future is known and the Poms might as well pack up now and go home for a nice Christmas with their families.
Australia fan Mitchell Frappuccino, who attended the third day in Brisbane, summed up the feelings of many when he put Smith’s clear superiority down to his innately Australian attacking mentality.
“You know you see these Pommy batsmen and they just prod and poke and leave it half the time. They’re happy to score at about three an over. It’s almost like they don’t want to win.
“But Smudge, you know, he just has this aggressive watchfulness about his play. His strike-rate was 43.25 today. That’s over 43 runs per 100 balls. I think their bowlers were just intimidated.
“That’s the way we go about our cricket over here. We play to win. If our batters can intimidate the opposition with some well-judged leaves, well that’s all part of the game isn’t it? It’s mental disintegration; bullying them with patience, restraint and a certain amount of caution.
“These Poms just don’t know how to handle it. And wait until we get to Melbourne. It’ll be even slower and lower there.”
When it was put to Frappuccino that 43.25 was pretty low as strike-rates go, he countered: “Well that’s down to the Poms’ defensive fields, isn’t it? There’s only one team playing to win here.”
For his part, Smith (quite genuinely) said that his hundred “meant everything”. This presumably means he’ll now be utterly devoid of motivation for the rest of the Magellan Ashes (movement rate of all ships is increased by two), which could prove an issue.