Striking the first Ashes blows

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With 11 Ashes series in the next three years, this one-day series between England and Australia is the only real hors d’oeuvre. It’s just steak and duck breast after this, albeit with slightly more potatoes than you’d probably want in an ideal world.

As everyone knows, hors d’oeuvres aren’t for enjoying; they’re for getting a few early punches in, putting doubt in your opponent’s mind. Or maybe we’re going to the wrong restaurants. Either way, we’re going to try and pick the meaningful Ashes scuffles out of this dish and then we’re going to apply meaning to them where there blatantly isn’t any.

All good early blows come before the bell and the mumbling, blond behemoth of surprising physical fragility, Shane Watson, has always got something to say.

“Pat Cummins is a very highly skilled young man. No doubt he will be a handful, especially for the English who haven’t seen him much. That will be a nice little wildcard for us.”

Yeah, it’ll be a nice little wildcard for you THIS TIME. At the end of this interminable one-day series, England’s batsmen will have seen plenty of him, so the joke’s on you, Watto and Cummo.

‘Cummo’ is definitely his nickname. Don’t let him tell you otherwise.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Slighly off topic, but I havea colleague who used to run a parachute school in the States. He assures me that a body does in fact bounce when it hits the ground.

  2. He’s right though. Not being known to your opponents is the only characteristic required of a test bowler. Recall how bewildered the Aussies were when the then unknown Mark Ilott was picked in that heady summer of ’93. Helpless they were, as Ilott plundered 8 wickets at 51 in his three matches. And conversely, when the West Indies came here in ’84, the extensive knowledge that the English batsmen had built up of Marshall, Garner and Holding meant that they could handle them with ease.

    Of course, all that might change if ever someone invents a way of recording a bowler in action.

  3. Confucius say “Bowler no good if no one know him first test, bowler good if no one know him last test”.

  4. Just had a random thought (finally) occur to me today, Swann is the ICC top ranked T20I bowler in the world, 6th in ODI and 8th in Test.
    Why has he been seemingly rejected twice in consecutive years by the IPL? It seems to make little sense.

    Anyway, Brett Lee yorkers woo!

  5. Please don’t tell us that we face “11 Ashes SERIES in the next three years”.

    That really would be too much.

    1. That wasn’t a typo. We were just exaggerating. We should probably have picked a larger number.

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