The general air of nonchalant indifference surrounding the Tour game tomorrow has been magnified by the weather forecast – rain. It’s fine enough today – more training – but there’s doubt about the start of the game tomorrow.
“So, is is Nor-Thampton, or North-ampton?” asked The Prof as we sat in the shade after our net sessions.
“Low care factor,” I said.
“As compared to your care factor about playing, which is . . .?”
“Not sure about care factor. Anxiety factor is high. If I score some runs this weekend, they could draft me into the team for The Oval, so history will record that I contributed to this sad and sorry series loss. I may as well have “Loser” tattooed on my arm.”
“Funny you should say that. I’ve heard that there are some interesting . . .”
At this point I stuck my fingers in my ears and said “La La LA LA” very loudly until he stopped talking.
“I can’t lay a bat on this damn swinging Duke in any case,” I said looking at my bat. Must go and clean the edges after I’ve finished this.
“You might get a Test though. If you score a few you might even be well placed to play against New Zealand. Imagine it. Walking out onto the Brisbane Cricket Ground, 5 November.”
“You haven’t actually read the schedule, have you?”
I’m not sure it’s ever happened before, but clearly I’d stumped him. He blinked a few times.
“We’ve got two Tests away against Bangladesh in October. That’s what I’m playing for.”
“Man up. All you’ll have to do is adjust from a green seamer at The Oval to a couple of dust-bowls in Chittagong and Mirpur, then a bouncy green top in Brisbane,” said The Prof.
“Not sure about that last one. They won’t be wanting to give Boult and Southee too much to work with.”
“True. But we’d better get the team sorted out before then, or the summer might commence with more embarrassment.”
Our musings were interupted by Darren, team psychologist.
“Are you alright, boys?”
“Yes, Darren,” we said in schoolboy unison. Whoever sent Darren on a training course for the treatment of PTSD deserves to be on the receiving end.
“The bus is ready…”
We picked ourselves and our gear up and headed to the car park with one eye on the gathering clouds.
On the good news front, The Southern Stars are ripping into England in their multi-format Ashes series, and look poised for a win on Day 4 tomorrow. They’re 4/90, 190 in front. They’ll press on quickly tomorrow and try to bowl Engalnd out. Lucky to have the chance to do that on the last day of a Test, really.