The Prof strolled into breakfast this morning as if nothing had happened – even though he’d been absent for days, and the Test and possibly the series was on the verge of going down the proverbial gurgler before our eyes.
“Don’t ask, I can’t tell you yet,” he said before I even had a chance to open my mouth and ask. It was probably for the best, the said mouth was full of bacon.
“Can we get out of this mess?” he asked.
“Are you referring to breakfast, England in general, or this particular Test Match?” I asked.
“The match of course. Can we do it?”
“It is not impossible,” I said before inserting more bacon.
Once at the ground, the lower order built a small lead of 120. If only it was a little more. If only England were just that little bit more fragile. If only we hadn’t bowled Bell into form with a bunch of overpitched pies in the first dig.
“Oh, my kingdom for another 100 runs,” said Hollywood, dreaming of a successful DRS challenge or something. Given the rather slim contribution to our runs total this test from Sir Captain and heir apparent Trapper Smith, it’s not hard to see where the runs did and didn’t come from. Without UnLucky and Puff at the top of the order, things would be pretty grim. [Ed. Grim? This isn’t grim? I’d say it would be catastrophic.]
The crowd certainly were exhibiting signs of memory loss, conveniently forgetting the walloping their team received at Lord’s. It’s OK to be buoyant when your team is going well, but slagging off at Tatts after the cherries he wiped out Bairstow and Stokes with in the first dig was just a bit much. Still, he didn’t repeat those killer blows, and so England were able to escape their uncertain start to rattle off the runs in fairly short order. Our bowling, like the batting and indeed the fielding, was consistently inconsistent.
Those of us watching the events unfold from the dressing room did so with no sense of enjoyment, even though some of those present may have an increased chance of a call up into the Team for Trent Bridge after this omni-shambles. Coach2.0 was too unhappy to offer any crumbs of encouragement to us wannabies, although The Freak thinks he’s a dead cert to take control with a banana-led recovery. I don’t think he’s thinking straight.
A full training session has been called to tomorrow. “No excuses,” said the coach through clenched teeth, looking at The Prof. There is a story here and I need to find out what’s been going on.
Australia 136 & 265, England 281 & 2/124. England by 8 wickets and take a 2-1 lead.