England v the Mr Men

Patrick has uncovered the reason behind England’s winter woes. We’ve been playing the Mr Men!:

Ricky Ponting could be Mr Strong; Shane Warne is Mr Impossible; Justin Langer really should be Mr Bump rather than Mr Respect; Brett Lee is Mr Bounce; Steve Waugh clearly used to be Mr Chatterbox; perhaps Michael Clarke is Mr Tickle-down-to-third-man-for-a-single.

Superb. As was the Mr Men series.

England’s resident Ashes poet

I’ve forgotten all about England’s resident Ashes poet, David Fine, who was despatched by the Arts Council to cover England’s tour. Rod reminds me, and here’s David’s entry from Boxing Day

I saw England collapse again,
Collapse again, collapse again,
I saw England collapse again,
On Boxing Day in Melbourne.

Warnie got 5 for 39,
5 for 39, 5 for 39,
Warnie got 5 for 39,
On Boxing Day in Melbourne.

It gets better.

Grump, grump, grump I’m Glen McGrath,
Grump, grump, galumph, galgrumpalumph, I’m Glen McGrath,
I’ll bend your ear from here to the dressing room
And back again, over after over till you edge or miss
The point of my delivery

I’m not sure what to make of it, especially the first one, but I never quite got my head around stanzas and all that malarky. Your thoughts and submissions, please.

[tags]david fine, poetry, ashes poet, england in australia, ashes, the ashes[/tags]

Meanwhile, some photos from Devon.

Stormy scene on Slapton Sands

Sunny winter scene at Slapton Ley

Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 3rd day

The third day from Melbourne, and possibly the last. It’s all gone horribly Percy Sonn for England. But who knows? Two spectacular double hundreds from Flintoff and Pietersen, 600 runs in a day to give England a lead of 300ish. It could happen…but only if England have a peek at John Buchanan’s bowling plans…

Chat away

England’s leaked bowling plans

UPDATE: thief exposed in video shocker

Aside from England’s noses being ground into the dirt like a pumice stone, the big(ish) news from yesterday was the leaked England bowling plans.

(Via Sydney Morning Herald)

A slight storm in a tea-cup; the plans themselves are hardly revolutionary, and Australia’s batsmen have prospered so far without seeing the plans. It is the theft which will worry and depress England, but it does raise a wonderful who’dunnit. Maybe a particularly pissed off member of the England side let it slip to spite, well, someone. Or not.

[tags]england in australia, england, australia, bowling plans, leak, document[/tags]

Video of Shane Warne’s 700th Test wicket

Here’s the video of Warne’s marvellous milestone

It’s not the best, so if you see any on Youtube or Google – post a comment with the link and I’ll update it. Here’s a great photo courtesy of Yahoo! News:

Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne

Posted massively in advance. By the time you read this, you’ll all be bursting to the seams with turkey, bread sauce and stuffing – and enough wine to sink a battleship. I’ll be heaving my way from the kitchen to the sitting room to cover the Test, so if you too are a sad loser with nothing better to do on Christmas Day than watch England get a roasting (HONK) or a stuffing (HO HO) or a basting (I’ll stop now), do join us at Cricinfo for full, live, uninterrupted, groundbreaking, turkey-laden coverage!

Should Geraint Jones retire?

Well someone had to ask. Should Geraint Jones retire? Even by his own disappointing standards, his performance in this Test verged on the comical, culminating in a ridiculous, careless dismissal today when he was run out by Ponting at silly mid-off (I think that’s where he was, anyway).

Time to go? He’s on the selection panel for this series and, seeing as Duncan Fletcher won’t sack/drop anyone who helped win the Ashes in 2005, perhaps it’s time Jones did it for him. Desperate times call for outlandish remarks…

Cricket’s coming home!

Ahhh, Victory!

To be honest, 3-0 after 3 is no reflection of the tightness of the contests, or the gap between the teams. I have a lot of respect for the power of this English team, and especially its batting potential. Even this morning I pondered the odds of an English victory, because in my view, Pietersen is good enough a batsman to orchestrate it. He just needed someone to stay there at the other end. He was unbeaten at the end as well.

How much harder Australia would have had to work if Hoggard, a tough defensive batsman, had been able to hold an end up with him, I leave to your imagination.

But how do I feel? This picture sums up my feelings. I’m having a Bundy Rum and coke, and lapping it up!

The Ashes at the Herald on Sunday
(Via Tony the Teacher)

Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 5th day

I’ve a feeling England won’t last until lunch. Andrew Flintoff has forgotten how gifted he is in simply hitting the ball; Geraint Jones is far too desperate to impress anyone and there begins the tail. Kevin Pietersen’s still in though, the freak, so how about he gets his fourth score of 158 and puts on 220 with Monty Panesar, who ends up 121*?

Yeah, ok. Chat away.