The Ashes, First Test, Day Five: Mitchell's Misery

With honours even on a dead pitch, we move onto Adelaide. Will Ponting drop Johnson? is Alistair Cook really that good? And what will Boycott have to say about it?
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So there we are then, the cat is out of the bag and the die is cast. England and Australia are two closely matched teams with batting line-ups that can prosper on flat pitches and two bowling attacks that, as I type, are probably daubing war paint on each others faces, forgetting ex-colonial hatred and xenophobia and going after the groundsmen.

They’re called curators in Australia and, in that sense, whoever is responsible for the dead surface at the Gabba should have their artistic license revoked, torn up, coated in glass and shoved up their arse. Showing less life than Shane Warne’s heavily-botoxed forehead, the pitch offered nothing in the way of assistance for the Australian bowlers who were taken to the cleaners by Cook and Trott. Both are good, solid batsmen. But at times over the previous seven hours they batted like Lara and Tendulkar.

This is also bad news for trees. Such is the time lapse; the sports pages of English newspapers are rendered useless when it comes to reporting in a timely fashion. But will it stop them? Will they just heavily market their online reporting and save a rainforest? Will they buggery. The correspondents based out in Oz for the duration will just spend an extra day writing, trying to delve deeper and deeper into stats to flesh out the four to six pages devoted to something that, by the time it comes out, has already been wrapped around some hypothetical cod and a couple of King Edwards.

By day five, Test Pitches should resemble Louis Walsh’s arse after a weekend on the GHB with his cabal of oirish rent boys.

Barring illness or injury, 21 of the players on show here will definitely play in Adelaide. The one who should miss out is Mitchell Johnson. At one point, Nasser Hussain was so incensed by his bowling that he had this to say.

“That is filth by Johnson. Absolute filth.”

Yesterday, I compared him to a thieving alcoholic chubby chaser so Hussain might have been reading. Today, his fingers got caught in the till, he dropped his bottle of meths and, within seconds of pulling out his, er, Johnson, ejaculated miserably on the inner thigh of his colossal conquest before catching his foreskin in his zip while she loudly questioned his sexuality and parentage. It was a bad day.

Test cricket gets a lot of flak from people who don’t understand it. I’ll argue for its merits all day long but if pitches continue to be offered up that are totally batsman friendly then the game has no chance. By day five, Test Pitches should resemble Louis Walsh’s arse after a weekend on the GHB with his cabal of oirish rent boys. Scuffed, cracked and dirty, the pitch should at least provide assistance to the spinners.

Apparently, Adelaide should offer more pace and bounce as it has in the past, but you only have to look at the state of once great pitches in the Caribbean to know that this may not happen.

Three nights of good kip before it starts all over again. I’ve decided I’m going to turn the volume down and listen to Boycott on TMS instead. See you Friday morning.

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