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With Andrew Flintoff and Ryan Sidebottom both having retired from international cricket last week, England run the risk of being short of "characters". Only Graeme Swann does anything to keep them afloat. How could other team members contribute more to make up for this shortfall?
Strauss could definitely make more of his "wing commander" reputation. The addition of a handlebar moustache is the absolute bare minimum he should be doing. This new quirky persona would also demand that he renounce all expressions of emotion. The open-mouthed cheering run from slip is starting to look a bit Baron Greenback these days anyway. Far better to adopt a stately walk before shaking hands with the bowler while sporting a benign yet inscrutable facial expression. Handshakes should be sufficiently evocative to express celebration, commiseration, glee, anger, disappointment and deep sadness at further allegations of match-fixing.
KP's thirst for love could be far more overt. Doing laps of the ground while waiting to bat, personally introducing himself to each and every fan is an option, but a tent offering free massages pitched on the outfield would be a better effort still.
Broad has been lazy, relying on his height to make him identifiable. Well, you can't do that now, Stuart. Steven Finn's playing the gangly bloke card and he falls over more than you do. If Broad's going to stick to expressing his individuality through physical means, perhaps he could develop an amusing walk. Fellow posh tall man John Cleese showed what can be done with the "Ministry of Silly Walks" sketch. However, that was merely acting. Broad needs to develop a comedy walk for real. Actor Timothy Olyphant's stroll-without-arm-movement might work even better delivered by a man of Broad's size. Get that man a Deadwood DVD. It might teach him some choice language for the Ashes as well.
What's your thing, Morgan? Being the Irish one? Lazy. You're worse than Broad. And don't try claiming that having an unusual vowel cluster in your first name makes you a character either. This is international cricket, son - unusual vowel clusters are ten-a-paisa. Morgan's main attributes are having a surprising amount of power for such a small man, and having crazy, bendy wrists that defy the laws of physics. This is a good starting point. Given a little work, Morgan could easily become a fully functioning superhero - some sort of cross between Mighty Mouse and Mr Tickle.
Trott may think that his elaborate guard-taking ritual makes him stand out from the crowd, but this shows a distinct lack of ambition. Jonathan Trott should work on developing full-blown obsessive compulsive disorder. We need to see Jonathan Trott striding to the crease in wet trousers that are straight out of the washing machine. We need to see him grassing catches because he refuses to use his bare hands on the cricket ball. If Jonathan Trott can set his mind towards acquiring the world's largest collection of cricket boxes, he'll be well on his way to being considered a character. If he gets timed out because James Anderson accidentally interrupted his pad-fastening ritual, he's probably made it. If he takes guard French cricket style to ensure perfect symmetry, he may have gone too far.
Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket
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