You’ll be pleased to know that The Leg Glance will be giving his insight into the first test in the next couple of days. So I’m not going to do too much, except for a couple of observations.
I’m not some all-seeing, believe my own place is the only place type of person, and you lot, I think, know that. But I find myself repeating the same old mesaages again and again. We’ve been here before…. Grenada and Lord’s in the very recent past. Now this is a totally different scale against a totally different kind of foe. But it is crucial that the players and the support in this country keep their feet on the ground. I used to nickname the Australians as the cockroaches. I don’t mean it in a horrible way…. when I used to live in a council flat in my early days, the flat was infested with cockroaches. The council regularly came in to clean them out, but one would always survive, and they would always come back. So when this country got so up its own arse after three successive series wins, by taunting and goading them, by laughing at them, and in some pathetic banter, dismissing them by people who should know better, we all knew they would come back. Didn’t we? I know I did.
I want England to be successful, believe it or not. I know some don’t believe e – jeez, I’m borderline obsessed by it that people actually think that I don’t – but the way to do so is to act like we’ve been there before. The thing is, we have been. In 2009 we won a brilliant game at Lord’s and two games later played an shocker. The 2013 series we won despite not playing our best and I think absolutely fair and square, but we allowed the fact we did so despite playing attritional cricket to dismiss the opposition. No-one expected 5-0.
I don’t think this Australia team will lose 5-0. Not a bloody chance. Come back and tell me I’m wrong if we do, but there is no way they’ll play this badly again. At least, I’d be shocked if they did. England hit them hard. Very, very hard. That was impressive. Now it’s refocus, re-position and get the heads down for the next game. Act like we’ve been there before.
Sadly, I don’t think we will. I think there will be too much gloating, and instead we should push out the negative factors in the Aussie team. I actually think the Dad’s Army thing is eating away. We’ve got the Aussie press and media already having a right go at Watson and Haddin. I’m not sure how much it hits home, but it’s more effective to question them, then it is to take the piss. I respect this team we are playing against, a lot. I’ve always admired the performances of the Australian test cricket team, and while yes, I’ve not been a fan of some of their antics, I stayed up all hours to watch them. The Waugh teams dominated you, played aggressive, attacking cricket. The sort of cricket I’d love to see us play. The sort of cricket we could never sustain. We aren’t in the position to take the mickey.
We need to take a leaf out of their book. Grind the opposition into the dirt. Don’t let them off the leash. Keep them down.
Oh, and of course, Alastair Cook is now a great captain. He had a very good game as a captain. It would be ridiculous, churlish even to question that. But hey. Let’s act like we’ve been there before eh?
Finally, there’s a lot of debate on here about the pitch. I have zero problem with it. I know. People disagree. But that’s life. To me it looked like a typical test match wicket in the UK. Don’t fall for that nonsense. Losers find comfort in excuses. I know, because we are damn good at it.
Have a great evening.