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29th November 2010

Batsmen are a superstitious lot. “I’ve got to put the left pad on first.” ”I always kiss my bat before walking out to the middle.” “Stop pinning me to the floor when I need a piss, Brez.” That sort of thing.

Some are worse than others. Jonathan Trott insists on trying to punch an opposition bowler before the match starts. While Ian Bell licks a picture of Kelly Brook whenever…well, we’ve never really worked out the reason, but it keeps him quiet for ten minutes, so no one interferes.

Kevin Pietersen of course, is well known for always ending the county season with his clothes scattered on the ground beneath the players’ balcony. He’s also one of the ‘don’t move when you’re in next’ brigade. Bit of a pain when a partnership lasts over six hours. Even more so when it’s unbroken at end of play and the coaching staff insist you stay in your seat overnight. Harsh, but it worked. Not only did Cooky and Trott put on another 208 today but KP’s hotel suite made a fantastic games room for the night. Hopefully when he sees what we’ve done with his clothes it’ll remind him of all those happy times on the county circuit.

Alistair and Jonathan proved what a gifted pair they are today. There’s not many batsman who could score at four an over for half the day and still make it seem tedious. But fair play, they managed it. There was some real skill on display during that stand too. Trotty came out with his, now classic, ‘digging a rescue tunnel for the Chilean miners’ routine, but doubled up the usual annoyance by having the side screens moved round like a Geisha using a fan to tout for business. While Cooky stuck to his main strength, and continued to subject Australia to the kind of sustained blandness it hasn’t witnessed since the last Coldplay tour. You’ve got to admire them for that. If you can stay awake long enough.

Now the whole circus moves on to Adelaide, where we’re expecting another flat deck. Cricket Australia, it seems, have decided the best way to win back the Ashes is to draw all five games. It’ll be interesting to see when they spot the flaw in that plan. I’ve got “half way through the fifth Test” in the squad sweep.

That’s thirty-five quid if the Australian selectors turn out to be idiots. It’s money in the bank, Brezzie lad, money in the bank…