What with Ricky Ponting finally succumbing to his broken finger (a handy excuse besides the run of shite form and desperate captaincy), the reins have been left in the hands of Michael Clarke for the final Ashes Test. Some of the reactions to this reminded me of events which happened a little closer to home (Kent, before you ask).
After popularity in the early days, the recent luckless runs following the retirement of all the Oz greats, support for Ricky Ponting’s captaincy became as thin as it seemed to for Tony Blair back when he was busy taking us to whatever war the USA were going to. It looks like these parallels are set to continue, with Michael Clarke being a slightly more aesthetically pleasing Gordon Brown of some sort.
Not that I don’t think that Gordon Brown got an unfair rap as PM, but he just couldn’t get people to like him, and I’m currently aware of more people hating Michael Clarke than having favourable things to say about him.
I wasn’t entirely sure if I could stretch this analogy any further, but then after hearing that Andrew Hilditch reckoned their seamers had bowled well recently, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Australia having two captains taking the field in the near future.
It would seem that we have officially entered bizarro world, folks. England are a Test up after two matches in the series, and bar one injury, have a pretty stable lineup, while Australia have a batting line up which is pretty much made of filo pastry held together with saliva, and a bowling attack likely to change again when the Perth Test starts.
- Shane Watson and Simon Katich’s comedy running which left Katich heading back to the shed without facing. Neither of them had appeared to call, comical.
- James Anderson bowling like he can cope with Aussie conditions, on the contrary to what a lot of people suggested.
- Michael Hussey displaying something which might resemble what you call ‘form’. Usually he follows up career saving innings with very little, so this was a pleasant surprise.
- Kevin Pietersen doing a Steve Harmison and getting a well set Michael Clarke out with the last ball of the fourth day. Clarke was probably too busy thinking about what film he was watching that evening (Sleepless in Seattle).
- The general vibe about Australia at the moment is doing my nut in. Yes, they’re not as good as they used to be. All great teams have this problem when the good players go, get with the times.
- Kevin Pietersen’s revival has been the main story to come from England’s performance in this Test. He’d been threatening to make a big score for a while, and what better time to finally do it?
- Graeme Swann looked more at ease with the Australian conditions, taking the crucial wicket of Hussey in the first innings before claiming a five wicket haul to wrap up the game in the second.
- Now face a trilemma over which of the three reserve seamers is to replace Stuart Broad, now out for the series.
- A shout out to Alastair Cook, who has transformed into Optimus Prime crossed with Batman, or so it seems.
- Ryan Harris bowled better than Mitchell Johnson.
- No one else was of much use though.
- It still took England five days to win the Test.
- Maybe the batsman coming in for a knobbled Simon Katich will be super awesome?
- Erm, at least things have become so bad now, that anything Australia manage might be better than this shower. Poor Xavier Doherty, I’m not sure this is how he imagined his career panning out.
So the ghosts of 2006 have been put to rest at the Adelaide Oval, nice going folks. There’s a bit of a gap between now and Perth, so plenty of time for speculation and other Ashes related crap until then.
Or is he?
Word out on the street is that that forever troublesome back of his is playing up to the extent that he might not even take to the field at the Gabba this week.
Things are looking so bleak for Australia that it’ll either give everyone an excuse for failure in the Ashes, or set England up for a colossal fall.
Given how nicely everything seems to be falling into place, I could probably be forgiven for feeling this way, as Australia are looking almost too shite for it to be true at the moment.