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Jimmy’s brain freeze

Did the unusual sight of Australians doing what they’re supposed to get to Mr Anderson?

Ryan Harris leaps for joy as James Anderson looks on at Paul Collingwood's dismissal, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 3rd day, December 18, 2010

Jimmy A: the only thing sharp about him is his dress sense then  •  Getty Images

Jarrod Kimber has won the toss and will write first, on the subject of James “Nightwatchman, What?” Anderson
Jarrod Kimber writes I’ve never really understood the use of a nightwatchman. Why any country would use them is beyond me. I’m pretty sure they are officially unAustralian, even when used by Australians. However, if you do use them, if I’m understanding this correctly, isn’t their job to face the bowling rather than sit at the other end and watch wickets go down? This is the sort of limp, lifeless, wimpy cricket that Australians have been expecting from the English. It wasn’t just Anderson not taking a run to protect one of the batsmen he was sent out to protect, it was the true English spirit coming out. The Australians, being the excellent chaps they are, pointed out Jimmy’s mistake.
The real shame of this is that now England will have to cancel all the preparations they have made for winning the Ashes this week. There is a global financial crisis, so the cost of flying a few open-top buses out to Australia was not cheap.
Alan Tyers writes Jimmy Anderson is a great chap in many ways, but I doubt that even his nearest and dearest would claim him as brilliant mind. When Paul Collingwood called for a single off the penultimate ball of the day, and as it turned out, Paul’s innings, I think Jimmy’s brain must have frozen.
The sight of all these Australians bowling on target, actually catching the ball, playing as a team and generally not looking like they might start fighting each other at any moment was too much for the modest processing power of the iBurnleyExpress. In short, he couldn’t compute how Australia were suddenly not useless, and Jimmy crashed. Only when Australia started gloating and behaving like a bunch of yobs did his brain reboot, reassured by familiarity.
Jarrod replies In summary, I think Alan means that England were put off by Australia playing well. You’d think they’d have employed an opposition form analyst to inform the players of what to do when this happens.
Alan replies England prepared well, but nobody could possibly have expected Australia to improve this much, this quickly. I am very confident that this is a dead-cat bounce, and that even though England will surely lose this Test, lightning will not strike twice. There’s no way Mitch can be this good two Tests in a row.
Ashes, 1896 style, in Alan’s W.G. Grace Ate My Pedalo
Ashes, 2009 style, in Jarrod’s When Freddie Became Jesus