Ashes 2021-22 – Short Third Man: Pre-series thoughts from Citrus Bob

The hype as presented by the media has been interesting and I wonder whether it will see big crowds at The Gabba on Wednesday. Initially England were seen as having no hope but the introduction of their knight in sauce bottles Ben Stokes has thrown up a different perception of the series. I have never known Australians to be so paranoid of a cricketer as they are of Stokes. Not even Lord Botham or Freddie Flintoff caused this much angst.


Who will win the series? I still expect Australia to win 2 – 0 although the Fifth Test, if it is held in Hobart, could see the visitors making it 2 – 1. Drawn tests seem the favourite to me. Players who hold the key? The two Ollies for England (Robinson and Pope) and for Australia, Cummins (of course).


Speaking of Hobart I hope that CA puts money aside and goes for a game in Van Diemen’s land. CA have been disappointing with their attitude towards games in Hobart in the past but the final match there would certainly draw a crowd.


When are we going to see our first Indian-born Test player for Australia? New Zealand could thank their lucky stars that Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra held out for the first test at Kanpur against India with a fighting display in the last 10 overs and of course Patel’s 10 wickets in the recent test in Mumbai.


Must have been some sort of cricket record in the first Test when the Kiwis were staving off defeat. 11 Indians in the field, two with Indian backgrounds batting and three reserve umpires!


The meaningless Big Bash got of to a terrible start for Victorians (if you follow the game) last night. I think I know a bit about cricket but I knew so little about these nameless men who were representing the Stars. I predict they will not win a game this series not that it matters.


The racial vilification that is occurring in English cricket and in particular Yorkshire still has away to go but the fallout will continue with further resignations and sackings occurring.


Unfortunately Covid has meant I cannot be at The Gabba to cover the game but armchair daily reports will ensure that ‘knackers read a report on our website before they do in any other written media. A big boast but has been the same in recent years.




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About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. I was hoping for all 5 Tests in Perth and a 5-0 Aussie victory (only safe place in the country/world/universe don’t you know). Now I’ve got to barrack for the poms. Stokes man of the series.
    Low and slow in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide plays into their hands.
    I’d play the 5th Test at Lake Cullulleraine. Best surface in the country.
    Cummins breaks down & resigns in tears. Flogging a willing horse. Cricket Australia “we will learn from this”.
    ScoMo crowns Aaron Finch “Australian of the Year” – “a man after my own heart – does bugger all and gets all the credit”.

  2. CITRUS BOB says

    PB – I never gave Lake Cullulleraine a thought when picking the 5th Test venue. Wonderful surface and cabins for all English players and their families to hibernate in. Stokes will not be man of the series and one of the Ollies (not Hardy) will be man of the series.

    Good to see that your attitude to life has not changed PB and that WA is still the heart of Australia

  3. citrus bob says

    PB – apologies for missingout that the Englishmen and families can also sail on the Lake something they cannot do in the Yarra Valley.

    We both missed out on the obvious choice of an Indian player for Australia Tanveer Sangha. Even the Westrailans would probably nickname him “Snag”!

  4. Daryl Schramm says

    A couple of items piqued my interest CBU.

    Australians paranoid of a cricketer? Are you referring to the general public or the players?

    Good get on the final moments of the Kanpur Test.

    I do confess to having some interest in the BBL this year after reading some previews of the comp. Alex Ross last night must have been eye-opening for some viewers. Have seen similar displays of bating from him locally for a while now.

    PB. Another pearler of a comment. Have driven past LC a few times but never stopped. Will check out the facilities the next time I pass through.

  5. citrus bob says

    Daryl – I was referring to the players and the media. Methinks the general public love the Kiwi!. Everyone should stop at Lake Cullulleraine.
    Have watched Alex Ross for a long time now as there is a bit of a family interest there and am glad he is been given a chance to bat up the order to show his ability. His Dad and 35’s mum (Janette) are good mates from Uni.

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