The second test of the series at the Adelaide Oval is set to make history as the first day/night pink ball Ashes test as well as expected to have the largest crowd ever at the Adelaide Oval- so much so that SACA members are not guaranteed a seat – they need to turn up and queue! (Now where have I seen that before?).
So what of the game? The hype continues, perhaps even more excitedly and excessively, often losing sight of the overall objectives each side – England to at least draw the series and Australia to win more games than they lose! Simple!
Specifically for England the need to bounce back after the 4th/5th day debacle at the Gabba is essential. As before losing is a part of sport but how you lose is in your control. England just caved in. Now the hype has been about BS traveling to NZ and perhaps appearing later in the series to rescue England from the jaws of a series loss. I doubt if that will happen- the due process of law in the UK needs to take its course and then the employers HR processes start. So hyping things up to almost screaming fever pitch to draft him into the squad is just ludicrous- there can be no exceptions to the due process.
England claiming intimidatory bowling and lack of intervention from the umpires is also clutching at straws – yes, the end of the evening session on Day 3 at the Gabba was as severe a test of batsmanship and courage as I’ve seen for many a year – Holding at the Oval v Edrich/Close, Atherton v Donald at Trent Bridge – but let’s remember the batsmen were in England’s top order and not the 9, 10, jack.
Australia are winning the mind games – Bairstow is a prime example of making a mountain out of a molehill and letting the ball do the rest! And now the British press trying to make out that Steve Smith was laughing at the head banging at the press conference rather than at Bancroft is just rubbish – trying to make something out of nothing but then the press have never let the truth get in the way of a good story,
Incidentally I’ve come across the only cow racing in Australia – Mount Compass about an hour south of Adelaide- yes cow racing where bareback riders compete to get their cow over the finish line with the help of up to 4 others but the cow goes wherever she wants to! Absolute mayhem but there’s also the cowpat throwing contest at the same time. I would say that the whole country is crazy but then we do roll cheese downhill…so who am I to judge! And as far as I’m aware no English victory there either.
But back to the match…the weather has been hot (36) but not oppressive since I arrived in Adelaide but in the last 24 hours has dropped to 19 degrees, overcast, cloudy and rain – the sky this evening reminded me of the cold overcast April starts to the county championship and it was similarly warm! If England with the pink ball can get into swing and seam mode – irrespective of the lights – then anything is possible as this is probably the best chance of a win England will have but we shall see!
So, the main questions are:
1. Will it seam and swing?
2. Will it last more than three days?
3. Which is the best cow racer in Australia come January 2018?
4. What’s the result likely to be?
5. Will the Barmy be outdone by the Richies again?
6. What’s the record for throwing a cowpat either wet or dry?
Some of these will be answered by the middle of next week, some will take longer but history will be made nonetheless.