Right guys, gather round… everybody stop clapping Tendulkar. He's only poured himself a cup of tea. Yes, he has done it beautifully. But still. No need to get carried away. Why not look at Dravid there? Look at how he's put the milk in first. Absolutely textbook. Okay, fine. Never mind about him. Let's all just watch Sachin.
It has not been a great first few days. I blame myself. Actually I mainly blame the media. The jackals. But also myself.
Have we prepared thoroughly enough? Well, Laxman got to the match on time, he has all his kit, he walked out to bat when we told him. That is not insignificant. In an ideal world, maybe he would have played some cricket before the first Test, but what can you do? We are not in an ideal world. Even worse, we are in England.
I maintain that a short six-hour session listening to me talking about the forward press should be preparation enough for anybody.
Did Zaheer get himself into the proper condition for the Test matches? Again, is that for me to say? This is a vastly experienced individual; if Zaheer wants to focus on carbo-loading rather than cardio, then that is his choice. I am not here to tell these experienced professionals how to prepare, or how to bat and bowl, or field, or help them deal with questions from the media. Definitely not that. My role is to observe, to record and, if needs be, to give my views about a player 12 to 18 months later, when my book comes out. I am also here to help with tactics, and how to cope with English conditions. Like how to take care of your sunhat. This can be key.
You will notice how England put down two catches off Broad in an over. I am fairly convinced that their decision-making unit was concerned that Broad would take too many wickets, and this would interfere with his role as an enforcer. Were they attempting to manage his role by wicket-rationing? It is possible. We should keep an eye on that.
Now we face a challenge on the last day of the match, but I can reveal that I have a plan. Everybody, please give a warm welcome to the newest member of our unit: your new 12th man, Gary Pratt.
More from Fletcher, and other made-up journals, in CrickiLeaks - The Secret Ashes Diaries by Tyers and Beach