Adelaide Test – Day 4: One For the True Believers

England 172 and 6 for 247 (Root 87, Pietersen 53, Prior 31*, Broad 22*) need another 284 runs to beat Australia 9 for 570 dec and 3 for 132 dec

Maybe I still had last week’s final Keating interview ringing in my ears but I couldn’t help but think that Day 4 of the Adelaide Test was one for the ‘true believers’.

It was the sort of day’s play that a radio commentator would call ‘engrossing’ or ‘riveting’, when, really, to the un-initiated, it must have been quite the opposite.

With the batting side showing an inclination to score runs on only a few occasions, this became a matter of watching 540 balls with the hope that, at the very least, 1.852% of them would produce a wicket.

No one with an Australian bent wanted to be there on Day 5, least of all Drew Morphett who was all over the dodgy Monday weather forecast, clearly in the vain hope that he could tip in more than his usual quota of Barossa reds that night.

It must be said that the Australian bowling wasn’t as good as it had been and their use of reviews were a throwback to the winter series. Surely if Clarke can hardly summon the energy to make the ‘T’ signal than that’s possibly a pointer to how the review might pan out.

What gave Australia almost all of their wickets and their advantage was some very sharp catching. The grasped chances of Harris and Lyon at fine leg, the diving effort by Haddin and another from Johnson could end up being the difference if England are able to fight into the 5th day, especially when you consider the ones they fluffed earlier in the match.

Aside from the catching, Joe Root’s innings was a highlight. Up until now his contribution to this series has been to dramatically shorten the distance to Shane Warne’s next pun, but on this day he batted simply yet forcefully. He showed the steel expected from a man from Sheffield yet with a calmness usually only seen from a 22 year old private schoolboy when his parents are placing the auction bid on his first home.

Root’s exchanges with Johnson were admirable. He was clearly enjoying the scrap and said as much at the end of the day. ‘I’m not sure how he (Johnson) felt about it, but I enjoyed it’. I think I like him.

As the day wore on, the verbals increased. Of course, this led to commentators bemoaning the ‘state of the game’ and how cricket should be a ‘gentlemen’s game’.

At what stage are we going to move past this line of thinking?

There is simply too much at stake. There are livelihoods, there is money and, in Mitchell Johnson’s case, there is crowd abuse and wounded pride. It’s incredible that these gents who get paid to watch and discuss the show, then go to sumptuous dinners that they spend the whole next day talking about, can expect the players to be cordial when they’ve been pitted against each other so often in such a short space of time.

It’s another thread for another time, but with 3 tests, some one dayers and some 20/20s to come, I think there will be plenty of opportunities to chat about it.

Roll on Day 5.

4 balls out of 540.

About Andrew Else

Andrew has self-reported to this site as a lifetime Essendon supporter. He also played local footy for Lara and Melbourne Uni Blacks.

Comments

  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great summary , Andrew love the private schoolboy house parents line . Totally agree with you re the sledging and totally correct how often and close together the sides have played . I have no doubt that it is a outcome from the, UK series that it was decided it was time to stand up and be counted just as it is a plan to bounce the crap out of there tail and intimidate . In the end the all nations dropped catches and our catching was the difference . Thanks Andrew .

  2. Well summed up Andrew. When the end comes in elite sport, it doesn’t come gradually. It is like falling off a cliff. Swann looks to have taken the jump for good, and Anderson and Prior are not far behind. Cook just looks to be putting too much pressure on himself, but he’ll come back.
    Having said that I reckon Haddin has bought a job lot of left over AOD 9604 and Thymosin Beta 4 from somewhere???

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