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30th November 2010

Woke up to headlines that Australia’s coach has publically backed Mitchell Johnson. That’s taken the whole squad by surprise. Australia are coached?!? We assumed Tim Nielsen just drove them to nets, fitted them with safety mittens, and left them alone, in a safe, play bark covered environment, to romp around until they turn feral.

England of course, remains a well-oiled machine. Not well-oiled in the Andrew Flintoff, “standing on a table, declaring war on France with a bow and arrow” sense. More along the lines of being organised and disciplined enough to train twice a day. Also not to smirk when Goochie’s unit is listing like the Lusitania.

No training today though as we had another of the interminable internal flights that mark out an Ashes tour. Much as I love Australia, I’m sick of seeing the inside of its airports. Still, at least I’ve been able to use the country’s notoriously strict – no fauna, no flora, no dirt – customs regulations to my advantage. You see the one good thing about all this travelling is we get to fly first-class whilst the journos are back in standard. Meaning by the time they’ve disembarked I’ve already had chance to remind officials how a certain ex-England captain liked to “keep his fingers dry” back in ’94.

If there’s one thing that makes a taxi drive from the airport pass by quickly, it’s the thought that right at that moment Mike Atherton is being introduced to the business end of a set of marigolds.