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Writing10th December 2010

The third test at Perth is fast approaching and with it a chance to bowl on a pitch with more bounce than Matt Prior’s wife sitting on a Texan Billionaire’s lap.

Now, we all know the deal. After bowling almost 120 overs of just short of a length, foot outside off, devastation, Stuart Broad’s finely tuned athlete’s torso finally broke down attempting the Pete Townshend powerslide whilst playing Guitar Hero. That means myself and the two other reserve seamers – who followed official tour guidelines and restricted ourselves to windmills and duck walks – are left to fight it out for his test place during the game against Victoria.

At least that’s the way it seemed, right up to the point Matt Prior dropped a sitter at third slip in Tremblers first over. It was the broad smirk and theatrical cry of “whoops!” that tipped me off instructions had been given to our fielders that management didn’t want their hands forcing over next week’s selection. The vice like grip I had on Matt’s left nipple at the end of the over soon squeezed out confirmation, as well as agreement I should have the window seat on all future internal flights.

Having read Machiavelli’s The Prince for my local book group, I had at my disposal a number of perfidiously underhand techniques to persuade the slips cordon a greater effort should be taken when it was my turn to bowl. Although being a good Yorkshire lad and a tad short on time I settled for the imminent threat of a good hard kick to the bollocks. A tactic which worked a treat about half an hour later when I had one of the openers neatly caught behind.

Job done.

A victory for common sense, one of the oppressed bowlers of world cricket, and those of us who think Southern players need to be physically intimidated into a decent performance.

What good any of this will do for upcoming team selection is debatable. As by the end of play our entire backroom staff were in a compete tizzy over Australia’s surprise selection of Michael Beer. Nobody had heard of him and a quick Google search for “Australia cricket Beer” returned over two and a half million hits. There’s no time to study video of my immaculate off-cutters when you’ve got all that to wade through.

Reluctantly I left them to it and joined the rest of the players in the hotel bar for a drink and a quick discussion with Trembler about the days play in general, the catch he dropped off me late on in particular, and just how he planned to bowl at Perth with a couple of bruised testicles.