The moment, when it came, was hugely exciting. Connoisseurs of booing had spent quite some time nervously anticipating it. A full series build-up and then a full day’s play where the prospect of a home win grew ever more likely. Just what would it sound like when Megatron finally turned up to spoil the party?
Before the sunset
After four days sitting in a comfortable armchair, sipping tea and watching repeats of Morse, England finally flung off their cardigan, kicked off their slippers and played some cricket on day five of the Oval Test. It was infuriating for the implication of what might have been.
Kevin Pietersen in particular showed that he is a better player when he moves quite some way towards the foolish end of the responsibility spectrum. Dead-batting his way to 100-and-odd ball fifties is no good to anyone. In contrast, when he calls on his full range of strokes, playing them only according to the field and bowling, you see why he’s so good and you also remember how he hands over a malleable bowling attack to the batsmen who follow him.
A 3-0 Ashes win is an excellent result, but England have been a reactive side. Australia have been proactive. It is wrong to cite the result as being justification for England’s approach, because a proactive England is not the same as a proactive Australia. Combine Australia’s approach with England’s ability to actually win and you’d have a decent cricket team.