Sod it. I count my chickens. England have just had their best Test day in cricket in living memory. In 2010, our sheer dominance even eclipsed Melbourne. Of course we won the Ashes.
Everything, absolutely everything, was as we wanted it to be. The toss was crucial – I thought wrong at first – but the Australians contributed more to their own downfall. She hits the ball naively and has poor judgment.
In British conditions, you can’t hit the ball hard with a stiff hand. what you want
Bowling in England is great. Mark Wood rushed in and quickly put the new ball in, and Steve Finn also made a good throw.
But the star of the show is clearly Stuart Broad. I can play my Arcana at this point, but why bother? 8-15 tell their own story. He is irresistible.
Once a series of Broad casts a game-winning spell. He’s done it many times now. And today is the perfect time to do so. Who is Jimmy?
Today is a perfect day. Bowling Australia in just under 19 overs with half an hour left before lunch was something special beyond words.
Our harvest is also top notch. I can’t stress enough how important that is. Stokes’ catch, in particular, is out of this world.
Michael Clarke must have thought the cricket gods had abandoned him. He struck out with a loose shot and then the sun came out, just as his opponent, Alastair Cook, went to the wicket.
Many of us never thought we’d see this day. When I was a kid, Helena Christensen and I slept more often than England won the Ashes. People like McDermott and Fleming and then McGrath and Warne humiliated us on a regular basis.
Deadly Aussies run through our percussion set – usually made up of the likes of Kim Barnett, John Stephenson and Mark Lasswell – and then Steve or Mark Waugh will Get one hundred points for refreshments. Australians back then had more good batsmen in one family than our entire country.
But the most frustrating experience for me was when Australian openers Mark Taylor and Geoff Marsh struggled all day without getting fired. It was the first day of the Bridge of Trent trials in 1989.
Twenty-six years later, things are very different. If someone told me we were going to wipe out their entire team in less time than a football game, I’d choke on my custard.
It was always England who made stupid choices back then. We’ll hit the edge because our middle order is thin and forget about the depth of the bowling. Now it’s the Australians’ turn to shoot themselves in the foot with an RPG.
Giving up on a decision of one Marsh over another doesn’t make sense. If all your bowlers are capable of bowling for long periods, choosing a four-man offense is the only viable option. Don’t the Australians know that Mitchell Johnson is best used as an impact bowler? He is not a bowler.
Once our hitters dug in, Clark had nowhere to go. Lyon is under too much pressure. Meanwhile, Hazlewood and Starc were blowing the series up and down. It’s a stupid strategy. Dafter could be Ted Dexter, who names his secret weapons “Malcolm Devon” and “Martin McCaddick”.
Before I say goodbye, I just want to send some love to our hitters. Although Jonny Bairstow had a rocky start and I still don’t fully trust him (only 13 offsides in his first 50 games), he eventually settled down and hit some good shots. Good for him.
Joe Root, on the other hand, is an absolute superstar. That might be excitement, but he’s probably the best batsman we’ve had since I started watching cricket. He makes hitting look easy.
The roots are world class. Unlike Steve Smith, who only really feels comfortable on this lord’s featherbed, his technique looks completely impeccable. I doubt there are better Test hitters on the planet right now.
Root’s temperament is also very special. He was absolutely poised and handled situations well, scoring from around the wicket without the slightest hint of arrogance. I try to find a weakness. I fell in love with cricket.