Some thoughts on the Australia ODI series

England 4, Australia 0. Aside from the fact we couldn’t get bored of looking at that scoreline for hours (England 4 – 0 Australia! It really happened! Hah!), we thought we’d better do a proper piece, albeit a fairly brief one.

So, without too much further gloating (can we gloat too much here? No, obviously not, although we really hope this doesn’t come back to bite us next year) here goes:

1. The weather is near-apocalyptic isn’t it? Not just a little bit of mizzle or wind, but really horrible. In the circumstances it’s a minor miracle we got four games in and all credit must go to the ground staff everywhere – thanks chaps, without you we’d have missed the chance to laugh at Peter Forrest, who made the gloriously entertaining total of 15 runs from his three innings. More like him please.

2. We’ve said this before, but England are quite good. No actually we’re understating things here. They are superb and these are truly golden days for England. The women are untouchable, despite a brief wobble in the opening two games of their series against India (eventually won 3-2 though) and the men were only denied the frankly laughable achievement, in the context of England’s cricketing history of shame, disgrace and farce, of being the best team across all three formats of the game, by the washout at Edgbaston. While the Golden Age will forever mean one of the old county grounds on an Edwardian afternoon this is undoubtedly a golden age for English cricket.

3. England’s fielding was a bit ropey. Back on to the serious stuff very briefly – England haven’t been anywhere near as ruthless this summer as they have been at times. When we remember how vicious they were in the field in Australia in 2010-11 and the intensity they played with there, we’d just like them to watch that video and remember and do just do that again. Not just against South Africa, but it could be hugely valuable in India too.

4. Australia are crap aren’t they? We’ve written this partly just because it sounds good and we can get away with it for the moment. The moment where John Inverarity was forced to admit that the batting lineup was ‘the best we’ve got) (i.e. ‘we’re scraping the barrel’) was hilarious. Or it was if you’ve ever endured such cricketing international greats as Sajid Mahmood or Owais Shah (six Test caps! Six!). God only knows what they’re going to do next summer, other than patch together Mike Hussey and the shambling remains of Ricky Ponting’s international career but we’re going to enjoy the boot being on the other foot for now.

5. The mentally unstable Mitchell Johnson had another shocker. Despite his desperate comments about how he was taking the crowd’s jeering in good humour, he was still shocking. Australia would presumably like to drop him, but none of the replacements have the staying power of blu-tack. Cummins is crocked again, Harris is essentially held together with string and though Siddle and Hilfenhaus have looked ok, they may need helpful conditions to get the ball to swing next summer.

6. Yes, we’ve enjoyed the series – far more than we were expecting actually – but we’re still bitter about the South Africa series only being three matches. Imagine for a moment, a rain affected draw at Lords, with South Africa nine down as the rain starts on the final afternoon, with the series level at 1-1. Exactly. If that happens, we’ll feel both really clever and deeply, deeply annoyed.

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