Well we know what the travel plans are but where is it going in cricketing terms?
The standard of performances to date has been good in parts, excellent on occasions but also unspeakably bad on others. Given the circumstances of being 2-0 down and needing to repeat history to retain the Ashes, surely it’s all hands to the pumps and every endeavour being made to retrieve something if not the full glory but…silliness and laddishness seem to be the order of the day and general tenor of the tour. This strikes me as a management and cultural issue which no one seems willing or able to tackle and, ok, 40% of the way through the tour is not the time to tackle it.
Excellent bowlers that they are Anderson and Broad have egos the size of planets and possibly everything else is subservient to their approach. Yes they are the best bowlers we have but they’re two of a team of 11. Root is probably finding them difficult to captain as Cook and Strauss found before and whilst they’re performing well and the batting is reasonable with victory following victory then all is well?
Or is it?
Clearly not and I’m not apportioning blame on any specific players but if players need to be treated like children when they represent their country and be told how to behave because it’s great to be ‘one of the lads’, then something is wrong somewhere!
Even the media are not without fault – commentators larking about on TV, making anodyne laddish comments in the spoken media to try and portray how wonderful it is to be part of this culture then it’s not surprising that some of the more junior squad members act as they do. What’s equally worrying is the effect this culture is having on the raw recruits just setting out on their careers.
I think the players and support staff are in such a cosseted bubble that they’ve lost perspective- they need a dose of reality and could start by engaging with fans and followers more. I don’t mean just heaping praise and thanks onto the Barmies but with the rank and file cricket followers and supporters.
So what’s to be done? Nothing immediately since there are three tests to be done but someone within the hierarchy of the ECB needs to do something before the whole game is brought into disrepute and English cricket becomes a laughingstock or are they so thick that (to quote an Australian phrase I heard the other day and its best said in an Aussie accent) ‘they won’t know their a**e was on fire until the fire tender arrived to put it out’
But back to the here and now and reality and Perth beckons with the last ever test at the WACA and a pitch so fast….