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Alan has won the toss and will write first, on the match result in Adelaide
Alan Tyers writes I had to admit, I am struggling to be professional here. I know I ought to write about England’s controlled excellence in all three disciplines of the game, admit that I was wrong to believe Andrew Strauss overcautious for batting into day four, commiserate with Stuart Broad and pontificate about whom Australia should select for Perth.
But all I can really express is sheer joy, and relief, that England can now begin to forget that Test in Adelaide four years ago, and the recurring nightmares it begat. Now, when our minds turn to that lovely ground in Australia, we will think not about Shane Warne rampant, or Colly’s wasted greatest hour, or England sleepwalking to shot-less disaster in the third innings. But rather of Ryan Harris’ king pair, Marcus North’s sad inadequacy, the last Test sighting of Xavier Doherty and Mr Cricket’s brainless pull on the fifth morning.
Andrew Strauss and company: thank you. You have given us so much more than a 1-0 Ashes lead. You have given us the gift of untroubled sleep once again.
Jarrod Kimber writes I can understand Alan’s optimism and misplaced faith: England fans don’t know what to do when being 1-0 up on Australian soil. Of course, Australia were 1-0 up in the 2005 Ashes and a tall bowler got injured, things changed after that. Now I’m not suggesting that Broad is like McGrath in any way, the last time I was in the UK, Broad was being lubed up for a photo shoot. Nobody lubes up McGrath. I’m just saying that this perfect professionalism pod that England are in may just fall apart without the bowling team’s key on-field strategic analyst.
My taxi driver (I was lucky enough to get a car that could go under water) taking me from Adelaide Oval to the airport seemed pretty confident in this current Australian team. He told me a story about a loudmouth getting hit in the head with a bike pump. While it had no direct correlation with anything that we were talking about before, I think he meant it in relation to English supporters crowing too early.
With a bowling attack of Harris, Bollinger and Siddle, Australia might not have Miller, Lindwall, Spofforth and Lillee, but I bet all three men are capable of knocking someone out with a bike pump. With Broad gone, one swift blow to the head of England might be enough.
Alan replies No doubt losing Stuart Broad: The Brand is a blow, but we can choose from other fit bowlers. (This is not a complimentary reference to Stuart’s photo-shoot). Who will Australia bring in for their knackered/rubbish attack? The selectors are clearly selecting people with a pin already and, after all, Australia isn’t that populous a country. How many more cricketers can they have? I hope Glenn McGrath, and possibly Dennis Lillee, have still got their whites; they might get the call any day now. The reanimated corpse of The Demon Spofforth could probably do a job, as well.
Jarrod replies Australia is, and has always been, a place of quality not quantity. I think the fact Xavier Doherty’s bowling average is higher than his father’s age shows how hard Shield cricket is. It isn’t the old-aged home of county cricket. The selectors, learned men that they clearly are, will go back to this fierce competition and find the man who will represent Australia like any Aussie battler would, with Aussie spirit. As that great Australian said, we will fight them on the beautiful white sand beaches.
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