Caught Behind 2/150

by Steve Ingham

An opinion piece on Australia’s favourite summer sport


When Peter Siddle charges in, with the whole country behind him, there is little doubt he could be the next Aussie Bowling Hero. The former woodchopper with the southern cross tattooed on his back can captivate the entire country and have us cheering like never before.

His bowling efforts on Day 1 of the 1st Ashes Test were nothing short of sensational. He picked up a hat trick amongst his 6 wickets (and had a 7th in the keeper’s glove that Haddin grassed) and he had cricket fans across the nation declaring Thursday 25th of November Peter Siddle Appreciation Day.

I stopped watching the Test after the 1st day and can only assume Australia posted a score in the vicinity of 450, knocked the Poms over for 300 or so on Days 3 & 4 and cruised to an easy 8 wicket victory. No? Strauss Hundred? Trott Hunded? Cook DOUBLE HUNDRED? 1/517? $%^% #$% $%^^$ #%% !!!!!

Ok, so no I didn’t stop watching, although other than Hussey & Haddin’s batting, I do wish I had have. Was it the pitch? Was it the bowling? Was it the captaincy? Was it a combination of the lot? Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes. But that is always the way. Whenever in sport that you don’t win, there is always someone somewhere that can point a finger at why you didn’t win. But I think the key for the Aussies if I close one eye and become completely parochial, is that we didn’t lose. Sure we played badly with only 1 bowler taking more than 2 wickets and the top 4 batsman all looking shaky at times, but these guys are all brilliant cricketers, their records show that. If the Poms don’t take the advantage to win a test when out playing us, they are in real strife when they don’t outplay us.

For me, I hope that starts tomorrow in Adelaide as I am travelling back 20 years in leaving Victoria for South Australia and my first visit to the Adelaide Oval. While face paint, watermelons, West End Lager (or Bitter?) and what pub we end up at afterwards are all topics of conversation amongst our travelling group at the moment, I have no doubt tomorrow there will be only one thing on everyone’s mind – Smashing the Poms!

So for whatever team we put in (I’m tipping 2 changes with Johnson and Hilfenhausen to make way for Doug the Rug and Harris. North must be needing some runs though…) I know myself and the rest of the crowd at the beautiful Adelaide Oval will be cheering for a change in fortune and a stronger result from the boys in baggy greens.

2nd Test Prediction – Most Runs – Michael Clarke – Most Wickets – Graeme Swann

Result – Draw meaning the series starts again in Perth where Mitch comes back for X and we blast the Poms out in 3 days. Oh how I miss the 1990’s…

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