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Writing8th December 2010

Last night’s celebrations are behind us. The champagne has been drunk. The songs sung. Graham Gooch’s uncoordinated dad dancing wiped from our collective mind’s eye, if not our camera phones.

Today is a new day. A new city. But a familiar question remains. How do we replace Stuart Broad’s wickets? Both of them.

The answer, to momentarily adopt David Saker’s slurred vernacular from the previous evening’s festivities, is “a bowel off, mate”.

Now is the time to impress Andy Flower. Now is the time to make management sit up and take notice. Now is the time for Straussy to realise I’m not called Tom.

If only the Australian team were so unrecognisable. Man alive the press out here are going after them.  There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is a ‘useless’ in fucking useless bastards, as the Sydney Morning Herald so helpfully put it. And that was their chief food critic. It’s a skilful writer than can weave a damning critique of spin bowling stocks into a recipe for Crespelle alla Fiorentina.

Perhaps that was the start of the campaign to bring Shane Warne out of retirement? It’s an idea gathering momentum out here. Another chance to see the economy of his run up. Another chance to see the strength in his flick of the wrist. Another chance to see that grainy NotW hotel footage of him in his underpants trying to nail a couple of air hostesses.

Yes, Australians certainly miss the romance of Shane Warne.