As I sit lazily by the pool, in my hotel in down-town London, soaking up the hot August northern Sun, (yesterday we cracked 23 degrees), I can’t help but laugh at those fools they call the English, as they crawl around town begging passers by for an answer as to how to win a series that they thought they had sewn up just two and a half weeks ago. The clowns had it made in the shade not so long ago with Freddie up and firing, their skipper making tons and Stuart Broad finishing his maths homework early so he could make the team bus with the big boys, rather than having his mother drop him off at the ground. However, much like the Germans of the 1940’s, it seems as though the Poms just can’t finish the job.
As we prepare for the last test, England has thrown up every name in the book to fill the gaping holes created by the Aussies in the fourth test. Names like Ramprakash, Key, Trott, Gower, Boycott, W.G Grace, the list goes on (even Stuart Law got a mention). Much like the Ashes series of ’74-75, Colin Cowdrey was the front runner to fill the vacant number three spot, only for the selectors to be devastated by the news he died nine years ago. Even after that development, they still only moved Cowdrey back to the ‘Possibles’ list.
Even more concerning was some of the bowling names that were thrown up. Pie chuckers like Sidebottom, Harmison and Onions are all fighting for one pace spot. Somehow, that dangerously tanned freak Swann is still sneaking his name onto the team sheet, and now they’ve brought Monty Panesar back into the squad. If they wanted a short, hairy bloke who doesn’t spin it much, John Dinneen was just a phone call away. And if they needed a scorer for the match he could have brought his lovely mother Joan. Bizarrely, one C. Cowdrey also made the short list of bowlers to bring into the squad, but with test figures of 119 balls bowled for no wickets at a cost of 104 runs, and the fact he’s lost a yard of pace due to his heart and lung injury, sanity eventually prevailed and he was omitted from the squad.
On a much more positive note the Aussie camp is as happy as it’s been all tour. People are smiling, laughing, playing well and everyone’s finally learnt Graham Manou’s name and what he’s doing here (don’t let anyone ever tell you name tags aren’t a great idea). Even Mitchell ‘Don’t mention my mother and girlfriend in the same sentence. Actually don’t mention either of them at all’ Johnson managed to pick up some wickets in the last test. Some past legends have also been welcomed in by the Australians to say hello, Allan Border, Merv Hughes, Mark Taylor, Scott Muller and Paul ‘Pistol’ Reifell have all stopped in for drink or a bite to eat. Unfortunately Steve Waugh was stopped at the door by Pete Siddle who spotted Tugga carrying a John Williamson album. Waugh was escorted quietly out of the team hotel.
With the team now playing well, despite the fact that the country’s leading all rounder has been reduced to mixing drinks for most of the day, it seems a certainty that the Aussies will walk away with a series win. The only dilemma is who will fill that eleventh spot in the team for the final test. The selectors have narrowed it to three, sadly they’re all New South Welshman, in Lee Clark and Hauritz. Frankly I reckon the Aussies would be better off playing with only ten. It will of course be a sad day when the test finishes also because it must surely be Mike Hussey’s final test. Seriously, how many failures can this Galah have, before someone mentions to him that he’s washed up and should depart gracefully, as he’s only embarrassing himself and his country by continuing on? In fact I left a note with words to that effect under his hotel door the other day, but the cleaner must have picked it up before Huss had a chance to read it as he keeps on turning up to training.
Anyway lads, hope your all enjoying pre-season training and the annual ‘Who can be the first to hit Veary in the head with a bouncer’ contest. Keep reading in the next few days for my in depth, no hold bars, no beg your pardons analysis of what will surely go down as a great series win for Australia.
Until then, Keep Swingin’ Lads.
The Ginger Assassin.