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26th November 2010

Our team statistician’s prediction formula has failed us. After confidently extrapolating yesterday’s play into an anticipated 7-0 series victory for ‘Team England’, today’s unbeaten half century from Mike Hussey has introduced the same mathematical impossibility that makes computers blue screen when trying to divide by zero. The problem is our records simply don’t go back far enough to take into account instances of Hussey making a significant contribution. Fair enough I suppose, cricket is a game of infinite variety and you can’t expect a system to cover the more outlandish variables.

Still, I blame Swanny, who seems to have bowled Hussey back into the Australia side for the foreseeable. In terms of resurrecting a career, that’s on a par with what Tarantino did for Travolta. Meaning in some bizarro alternate universe, Graeme is partly responsible for Battlefield Earth and therefore has had to be humanely destroyed for his crimes. It’s a comforting thought.

Australia’s openers are an odd pair, aren’t they? Katich’s batting stance reminds you of Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques and his smile could reduce Mike Tyson to tears. While Watson has the kind of intense, slightly cross-eyed, thousand yard stare that makes it look like he’s furious with someone standing about 20 yards behind you. He seems to have a lot of pointless, misdirected rage inside him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he shits bees and punches lollipop ladies just for the hell of it.

His was the first of two wickets for Jimmy, who bowled well for a man whose previous record against Australia could be used as a fairy tale to scare naughty children. He had a bit of a nightmare out here on our last tour. There’s still a slight twitch whenever you mention Ponting’s 196 from that match; like someone recalling a repressed childhood memory of being touched up on the night bus by an old guy who smells of liquorice. That was four years ago of course, a lot’s changed since then. Jimmy’s a better bowler and Ponting’s no longer balding, for a start. Hard to say which is the more unlikely turn of events…

Oh well, off for bad light and rain. It’s like Headingley during April, but without the informal head count amongst the members to see who pegged it during the winter cold snap.

New ball tomorrow. Another chance to “take ownership of key performance indicators” and “redirect hot-button topics to key stakeholders”. Have Hussey caught in the slips to the layman.

Ye Gods, management buzzwords are ingrained in me now.