No, it’s not Phil Tufnell – it’s the Australian cricket team. But I do an injustice to the Englishmen. It’s not that Australia are totally hopeless. Not totally. Credit where credit is due. England are simply a superior team in all respects. They have brought better players and they are better prepared.
I’m sure we are all aware but I must record the details for posterity. The details that in just one and a half tests, Cook has scored 438 runs for once out. In their last two innings, or partially completed innings, England have scored 834 runs at the paltry cost of 3 wickets. During that time, Australia has dropped six catches.
Australia cannot get the basics right. In the first 3 overs of Australia’s innings, England held two slips catches and effected a run out – a direct hit from side on. Quite early in the England innings, Australia squandered an almost identical run out opportunity. And not long after, Hussey grassed a hot but regulation gully chance. In fairness to Doherty, you would expect even an international cricketer to hit the target no more than one in five from side on, and he did have to run around onto his left hand, but his effort was wild and rushed. By comparison, Trott steadied himself and hit the base of the middle peg, on the full.
And that Watson was even offering a run out opportunity in the first over of a Test match says something.
Australia is making basic mistakes. That indicates not handling pressure, lack of confidence and a deficiency in leadership and preparation. The sooner that get rid of that idiot, Tim Nielsen and bring back Bobby Simpson, the better for Australia.
Meanwhile, I expect England to rack up at least 600. Perhaps Australia can regroup and hold on for a draw. The pitch is easy. But it would seem only a matter of time in this series before they crack. We saw the axe fall on the bowlers after the first Test. It’s early yet but I will be interested to see if the batsmen a treated similarly, should it come to that.
The Barmy Army is in heaven. “Where do we come from…”