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March 30 – Fourth Test Day 1

The new Captain was keen to make his mark on the game today, and also to try and draw some kind of a line – even a feint one –  under the omni-shambles that Australian cricket has become. We sat down with him this morning with the obligatory whiteboard and came up with some ideas for “How to Start the Day Well.”

Eventually the innovative idea of shaking hands before play came to light, and with two-time ball tampering perpetrator Faf in no position to object [Ed. Which is all he ever seems to actually do] it was agreed to show this sign of unity to the world.  And to Michael Vaughan, whose piety is only matched by his short memory.

It was no cut and paste from the last team card, that’s for sure, and the Coach and Captain sharpened their crayons to put in Rickshaw and Third Degree Burns at the top of the order, Handsome at No 4 and Say-You, Say-Me coming in “on debut” to replace Mr Darcy whose legs have given up on him. Again.

Faf won the toss and pretended to be unsure about a strip that will be up and down or take spin or both later in the game, before agreeing to have a bat. Bit of a bummer, but with our openers fresh off the plane, it might be for the best. Soon enough, we shoed the Eleven out of the dressing room and into the mild Joburg autumn air.

The Prof and I looked around to see an unusually tidy dressing room, save for a light dusting of hot crossed bun crumbs and a groggy looking Big Show. Not sure if it was the flight, the vast number of buns he’d ingested or the disappointment of not getting picked in the team, but he’s clearly not himself.

“There are other issues at play,” said The Prof sagely. My bullshit detector was instantly twitching. “His finger nails are driving him mad, and they’re not allowed to bring nail files or emery boards in the dressing room any more. Team rules.”

I didn’t question that any further.

We spent the day reading the press, so there was much head-shaking and tsk-ing as pieces as good as good as Jim Maxwell’s and Ross Gittins’ were hard to find. We instantly dismissed anything by a pious ex-Captain as rubbish – they seem to forget they are running down the value of the current game off which they live their parasitic existence. They seem oblivious to the shift in negotiating power over broadcast rights, and Ch9 are not going easy on the scandal in a high stakes game of double bluff.

Oh.  A bright day of cricket from SA. Late fightback by the boys. Lets hope the thunderstorms forecast are frequent and torrential….

SA 6/313.





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