The Ashes is a battle both on and off the field. On the field you know what to do. Off it, you can rely on this handy cheat sheet. These three phrases will ensure that you sound like a team that is going to win the Ashes.
"Hit the ground running"
In the wake of the 2006-07 Ashes debacle, we commissioned a report into our use of propaganda during the series. It was found that the English players failed to project a confident, positive image while in Australia. After extensive testing we have now developed the perfect phrase, one that expresses confidence and professionalism and also hints at extensive preparation. If you ever find yourself stuck for words, simply indicate that you are going to "hit the ground running" at some point soon.
It should be noted that "hit the ground running" trumps "momentum". Interviews with cricketers have revealed that momentum is now incredibly easy to gain and lose, frequently shifting from one ball to the next. The momentum pendulum swings back and forth so rapidly, the only way to gain any kind of advantage is to ensure you are possessed of it even before you begin. In short, you need to hit the ground running. When and where you come into contact with the ground is largely up to you.
"I don't care if I don't score any runs as long as we win"
Our post-2006-07 studies also revealed that many cricket followers saw a lack of togetherness in the England team. While Australians embrace the concept of "mateship", the English have no natural equivalent. Our experts have thus devised the "I don't care if I don't score any runs as long as we win" statement so that English batsmen may emphasise their commitment to the team cause.
You may be wondering where the runs will come from if you all embrace this philosophy. It doesn't matter. We have devised a support phrase to cover that eventuality: "We as a batting unit know that the bowling unit will win us matches however many runs we score." Note the use of the word "unit". You are one entity. Together, the batting unit, bowling unit and wicketkeeping unit constitute the England unit.
"I know he'll come good when it matters. He is too talented not to"
This phrase is to be used when a batsman experiences a poor run of form. It plays on the old idea that a batsman is "due" a big score after a run of failures.
If you are unfamiliar with the "due a big score" concept, it works like this: rather than walking to the crease hoping to make as many runs as possible, batsmen are actually allocated a finite number of runs for their entire Test career. Batsmen may apportion these runs as they see fit.
A run of single-figure scores, far from indicating poor form, in fact shows that a batsman has been sensibly stockpiling runs for when they are really necessary. The batsman in question will clearly reveal this to be the case in the fifth Test, when he will hit a "big hundred".