The Ashes series, to hopefully draw upon every cliché possible, is finely poised after the first three Tests. England have been imperious in the almost-lost art of lurching from the sublime to the rubbish, while Australia have been the Mount Vesuvius of world cricket – farcical and anonymous, before belching hell fire on unwitting and – on this occasion – wretched subjects.
The pattern of the series is not that dissimilar to the previous one. But it depends on how hard you want to look. The inability of Ravi Bopara to hit a cow’s arse with a banjo (there’s a cliché!) and the sight of Marcus North’s mobile pie van rocking up at Cardiff have been forced from my memory with five things I’ve learnt from The Ashes – Winter 2010-11 revision.
1. Paul Collingwood is currently England’s most scrutinised performer with a batting average lower than his shoe size (probably). Alistair Cook has decided to come out in his favour. I say the opposite, but stay with me – I am a fan of Colly. Tell him that his bags are on the plane and the airport taxi’s on the way. Tell him that Geoff Miller has failed three times to get through to Mark Ramprakash. The point being – force him utterly right against the wall and he’ll come out and hit 178 not out and take 6-28 at the MCG. This is scientific fact. Although there is no real evidence for it…
2. Mitchell Johnson was dropped after the 1st Test before coming back with a bang at the WACA. It is pretty apparent that he went away and did some serious work while in that brief wilderness. However, that work appears to have mainly consisted of drawing on his arm with black marker pen. The ability to aim at the three stumps has occurred somewhat coincidentally.
3. The lack of a quality spinner has troubled Australia to the point at which they have deployed three unorthodox techniques. The first is to jettison the only one they do have (contrived), who now can be found at various garage sales. Second is the recruitment of any Tom, Dick or Shane that selectors happen to encounter serving them petrol somewhere in the outback. And third is to simply put Shane Warne‘s gurning, nugget-filled face behind the batsman’s shoulder. He would be there in person, but he’s hiding in Happy Meals at McDonalds in Sudbury.
4. Donald Trump won’t shut up dot com.
5. Michael Hussey could earn himself an appointment at Buckingham Palace in the New Year’s Honours List if he did the decent thing and stepped on a stray cricket ball before Melbourne. This is also called ‘Doing A Glen’. It went out of fashion four years ago but everything is cyclical. Just think though Mike… how does arise Sir Michael Hussey of Tornligamentshire sound…
[tweetmeme source=”petehayman” only_single=false] That’s five, I appreciate. But one more if I may. Because it seems that beloved players are still getting to grips with Twitter. The fact that Andrew Flintoff now requires a new number… you join the dots.