17th December 2010
Australia might do a passable impression, but there’s still no one, NO ONE, who can imitate mid-90’s era England quite like current era England.
Take today: 78/0, looking likely to glide past Australia’s first innings with ease, then bam! Out of nowhere all out for just 109 runs more. You can’t collapse like that without years of practice. It was so gloriously unexpected. Like a sudden mid-afternoon erection in the queue at the Post Office. But there’s no place to hide in Test cricket. No DVLA road tax application form you can use to cover your embarrassment. No way to act nonchalant, adopting body language that says, “Hey, I’m not a pervert, I’m just waiting to buy a first day cover and some second-class stamps”. Instead you’re left exposed. Open to criticism. Fingers pointed at you. The slow walk back to the pavilion. Knowing the media are waiting there to spank you with the open palm of sporting indignation and opinion pieces about your mental fragility.
At least this means an increased chance I get to play in the next Test. Well, you know the old adage: England’s bowling attack fails, the selectors panic and drop a bowler; England’s batting line-up fails, the selectors panic and drop a bowler.
I’m sorry Steve Finn, it’s nice that you’re the leading wicket-taker in the series but someone must pay the price for our middle-order losing bowel control at the sight of the Kookaburra bouncing over stump height, and that someone is going to be you.