Watching the current Australian cricket team has been an uncomfortable experience. Yes, I’ve enjoyed the results, but as an England cricket fan since the early 1990’s I’ve been having flashbacks to those dismal times. You see, unlike some England fans I don’t like seeing Australia be humiliated, in the same way as most people who have been waterboarded wouldn’t want it to be inflicted on anyone else. I’ve been there and it is just of painful. So in a spirit of solidarity I’ve come up with a few top tips that could help Australia turn the corner. If you’re reading this, Boof, feel free to use any with my compliments.
1 Give each player a stopwatch showing how many days, hours and minutes play are left
The game lasts five days. I know you are playing in England, but this is not a normal English summer; rain is unlikely to stop play (well, you’re in Manchester and Durham for the next two tests so I may be speaking too soon). You don’t have the openers with the skill to force the pace against this English bowling unit, so bat patiently and hope they blow themselves out.
2 Reverse the batting order
I don’t have the stats, but I’m sure the lower order have either out scored or come close to out scoring the top six. Why not let them open? It may sound a little strange, but you could encourage Shane Watson to increase his conversion rate by bringing him in at no.11, point out Agar, and tell him if he fancies that young squirt’s world record score.
3 Clone Ryan Harris
He’s the one bowler that has the English batsman worried and isn’t a vegetarian. You need a few more of him. Just remember to add extra calcium to strengthen those bones.
4 Treat the Umpires to laser eye surgery
A lot of people have moaned about DRS, or about Stuart Broad not walking, but the real problem has been the umpire team’s myopia. Us England fans felt the sting early on but there have been some howlers that have gone against you guys over the past few days. Why not treat the umps to laser eye surgery. Apparently it only costs £600 per eye – according to spam mail. It would be £5000 well spent.
5 Bring in some South Africans
It worked for us and as far as I know, your new citizenship laws are practically begging you to do so (while at the same time basically writing off the next generation of home grown talent – but what’s a disenfranchised generation compared to a chance of winning.)
6 Spike Jimmy Anderson’s and Graeme Swann‘s drinks
It’s desperate, but you can’t tell me that all those players who come down with Dehli belly on a tour of India are by accident. Admittedly we still have Onions, Tremlett and an angry Finn waiting for a chance and that Joe Root is a bit handy, but it could work.
7 Write off this Ashes and start training camps back home
It looks like this Ashes series is beyond rescuing, but you could have revenge within a few months. All you need to do is put all the toughest, spunkiest young players in a camp, feed them raw steaks coated in Vegemite, and play them tapes of ex-pro commentators who never got close to winning and Ashes series looking smug and basking in the reflected glory of their modern counterparts. Do that for six months and it could be carnage.
8 Tell Shane Watson to place his front leg so his bat can come around it
How many times is Shan Watson going to play beautifully only to be out LBW in his mid-twenties. Maybe you could wire up his box so that every time the coaching staff catch him planting his foot straight in front of the stumps to an in swinger, they could give him a little shock as a reminder to never do it again.
9 Know any Indian bookmakers?
It’s worth a try
And if all else fails
10 Remind the poms who taught them reverse swing in the first place
Yes, if none of this works, you can always remind them that if it wasn’t for Troy Cooley and David Saker, the poms would still be crying into their warm beer at yet another Ashes series lost. Just because they forgot to pass the word around back home, it doesn’t mean they aren’t responsible for England’s success. Yes, at the end of the day, Australia will still win the Ashes.
Well, an Australian.