print icon
Frenemies Reunited

Australia collapsed for the sake of cricket

Or perhaps because they were mounting another clown masterclass

Tim Nielsen answers questions from the media in Adelaide, Ashes, November 30, 2010

Tim Nielsen: he engineered that fine collapse for your delight, you know  •  Getty Images

Jarrod Kimber writes When Test cricket gets boring, people need a team to lead the way, and yet again Australia have filled that breach. Adelaide is usually the most boring Test of the year, so much so that most of the fans were out the back sipping expensive alcohol in the members’, or drinking cheap alcohol in the general public. Those fans missed the show that Australia put on.
Instead of letting Adelaide drip towards a soggy draw, they did everything in their power to ensure this Test will have a result. Because for better or worse, Australia play result cricket. It’s all part of Tim Nielsen’s cunning plan. He knows England want draws, and he isn’t going to give them that option. Just writing it down makes me proud to be Australian. What a truly magnificent country we are.
Alan Tyers writes Am I surprised that the Australian public were turning to drink as the baggy green comedy troupe mounted another clown masterclass? Of course not: I have met many Australians before, and I know that turning to drink comes as naturally to them as wearing shorts at a formal event, working in a pub in West London or not reading a book. But even for a nation less determinedly dipsomaniac than our antipodean cousins, the performances of Simon “You Mean We Can Run If He Hits It?” Katich, Michael “Hit, Hope And Sob” Clarke, and Ricky “Don’t Hate Me Cos I’m Angry” Ponting would have sent patriots running for the beer tents.
Australia appear to be a team on a mission. A mission to make England the best team they possibly can be. Australia are making good English bowlers look great; they are even falling victim to run-outs by English fielders, something that simply never happens. Through a mixture of selectorial foolishness and simple cricketing incompetence, they are managing to inspire England to hitherto unscaled heights of excellence. Perhaps they’re trying to cheer us up in FIFA World Cup bid stitch-up solidarity.
Jarrod replies Adelaide Oval is a beautiful place. I wouldn't expect a Pom, who probably spends all his time in depressing Old Trafford, to understand that Australians don't just want to watch the cricket, they want to enjoy the sunshine as well. It was a beautiful day, Australia opened up the game, beer and wine flowed, and the band played Terence Trent D’Arby out on the back lawn. A score of 245 can’t bring you down off that high.
Alan replies “We were rubbish at sport, but it doesn’t matter because we all had a grand day out”? Jarrod my friend, this is surely unconstitutional and could get you locked up in Oz? Still, never mind: at least the Australian captain wasn’t having any of this “taking a bad day in good grace” nonsense. I just hope there’s enough beer in Adelaide to dull the pain if things carry on like this for the rest of the Test…