A few (twisted) words about the Ashes

Isn’t social media a wonderful (terrible) thing? Just last week Facebook reminded me of a piece I posted in November 2011, looking ahead to the Brisbane Test through the prism of anagrams and awful puns. You can READ IT HERE if you dare.


The piece foreshadowed the debuts of Dave Warner, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson, questioned Usman Khawaja’s ability against short-pitched bowling and anagrammed the sadly departed Phillip Hughes.


Six years on, and the calls for another anagrammatic cricket piece (with a sprinkling of other bad puns) from me have become deafening.* Here then, is my look at Australia’s First and Second Test wins over England.


Back in 2011 we were uncertain about whether Dave Warner could make the transition from hit-and-giggle cricket to Tests. We need never have worried, although he had a only a limited impact in Adelaide this time around. If there’s one thing we know about DAVE WARNER‘s approach to Test cricket, though, it’s that he plays to win or lose. As for a A DRAW – NEVER!


Warner’s partner CAMERON BANCROFT barely troubled the scorers in Adelaide, but he’s shown in both Tests that he’s prepared to conform to all team protocols, and his 82 not out in the second dig in Brisbane clearly demonstrated that the CONFORMER CAN BAT. He failed with the bat in Adelaide, but Warner did leave him high and dry with a bad call in the first innings so legitimately he CAN SOB, “RAN ME OUT! FARC!”


CAPTAIN STEVE SMITH took all before him in Brisbane, and lifted his 10 teammates to greatness almost single-handedly. No wonder he’s an anagram of ASHES MVP; TITANIC TEN.


PETER HANDSCOMB is perhaps one Australian whose place in the team might be in doubt. He tries hard, but his footwork is all awry at the moment and he might need to go back and play some Sheffield Shield until he COMPREHENDS BAT-ting again.


On the other hand, SHAUN MARSH has defied all the RASH HUMANS who said he was undeserving of a place in the team. He was one of the few who looked comfortable in creaming England’s bowlers to all parts the the first innings at Adelaide, and you could almost hear him say “AH… RUN SMASH” as he did.


After years away from the Test team with injury, TIM PAINE has settled back in and looked good behind the stumps, although he suffered a bit more PAIN TIME when he got hit in his troublesome finger when batting in Adelaide. If he can stay injury free, expect him to become A MINE PIT of catches, stumpings and runs over time.


As for the bowlers, when Steve Smith needs someone who can implement his ‘MR. HELL’ TACTICS, he of course calls on MITCHELL STARC.


PAT CUMMINS seems a man of relatively few words, preferring to let the ball do the talking. For him it’s case of “STUMP MIC? NA”. He would rather just watch replays of the wickets he’s taken via the CAM IN STUMP.


NATHAN LYON has proven to be a far better bowler than most of us could have imagined. Not content with that, he opened his batting account in Adelaide with a six, and played an important nightwatchman role in the second innings, clearly keen to demonstrate he is now more THAN ONLY AN off-spinner.


Meanwhile, when the Adelaide Test was there to be won on Day 5, we knew that if anybody would get Joe Root out, Josh Hazlewood.


But enough of the Aussies. Let’s have a look at how some of the English team have gone.


We’ve been pleased to see STUART BROAD has been happy to reprise the role of TOUR BASTARD that he’s played on previous visits to our shores.


Batting-wise England, to be honest, is looking a little Cooked. (Yeah, I know, an obvious one.) MARK STONEMAN did well in the first Test with 53 and 27, but let’s face it Mark, England needs TON MAKERS, MAN!


James Vince has been okay, but I think he’d be more reassuring if he changed his first name to Con.


MOEEN ALI has been struggling, especially against Lyon, but I reckon all it would take is ONE EMAIL from a top-flight batsman to sort his issues out.


OVERTON, brought into the team as a bowler, has strengthened England’s batting lower order and he will help ensure their innings are NOT OVER ’til they’re over in future. When it comes to bowling, though, a bad over or two from CRAIG OVERTON could just about see his captain Joe ROOT CRAVE GIN – especially if ANDERSON has SNARED NO wickets.


All-rounder CHRIS WOAKES has been pretty good, and in Adelaide he certainly didn’t put in the SHOCKER I SAW him play once before.^


All in all, the Australians have made England look second rate. Where has it gone wrong for the visitors? I think they need to look at their captain to uncover the Root cause of their problems.†



*And by deafening calls I mean I myself thought it might be fun (for me at least) to have another go at twisting some Test names.

^ No, I’ve never actually seen him play a shocker.

† Hey, at least I didn’t make the usual ‘Root’ pun.


About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. Loved it, well done Andrew .

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great work Gigs.
    Chris Woakes so apt. Seems to be the Bob Cunis or ‘Bubonics’ of England so far in this series.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant Gigs, as always

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Too good Gigs. This England team reminds me of 1974/75, a bit MIKE DENNESSY. Perhaps the Aussie sledging is the SNIDE MENS KEY to victory.

  5. Peter Warrington says


    Phil, I am being harangued elsewhere for suggesting Woakes have a Watto and try and open the batting. He averages 35 in FC and has a solid technique. The value of a guy ekeing out 30 at #8 slowly doesn’t seem immediately clear to me, seems ridiculously attritional.

    Woakes to open and Cook to have a crack at SMarshing it at 6. A reverse Stackpole, if you like.

  6. Thanks for the kind words, all.

    Phil, I remember learning about Cunis when I was given “Chappelli Has the Last Laugh” when I was about 12. I don’t think my parents would have given me the book had they understood the story of Cunis’s batting – and his name – being neither one nor the other.

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