…holding the Ashes.
Yes last year and a bit have been fun, lording it over any convict…err…Australian but that all ended last night as soon as Steve Harmison ran in and bowled the first ball of the most anticipated cricket series, well probably ever.
As he came running in I asked “down the leg side or a couple of feet over his head?” it was split between the two, nobody said “straight to Fred at 2nd slip” Christ we all knew it then, thinking thank god Freddie had his wits about him and wasn’t concentrating solely the bat as some slippers do or it could have been far worse.
Did anyone really expect any better from England’s number one pace bowler? After all he’d put in his one performance for 2006 in the first innings at Old Trafford. Since which he’s gone from bad to worse when actually been bothered to bowl, another sicknote in the final warm up game.
Just watched an NFL game the other day (San Diego v Denver I think) where one of the front line guys was playing with two broken hands. Here’s a 300 pound plus guy who’s job is to block other 300lb+ guys with his hands and he manages very well with both of them broken and we have to put up with craybaby Steve’s new excuse not to do the job he’s paid to do. Has there ever been a front line bowler who has bowled so few overs in a career?
Fletcher is as much to blame for mollycoddling him insted of getting him out there bowling to get overs under his belt, get fit by bowling and get into some decent sort of rhythm, but no he accepts the latest whinge. And what have the bowling coaches done with him? On that display alone it should be enough to be sacked. Geoff’s not happy about it either.
Really the day started badly before that first ball when Fletcher chose the defensive route with Giles instead of Monty. Ah we were told if you play Monty you have to accept Hoggard is going to come in at 8, yes but if you play Giles you have to expect Harmison, Anderson & Giles to help get 20 wickets which after all you need to win. Somehow I think the former is preferable to the latter.
We can’t just rely on Freddie to get 20 wickets a game.
But we lost the first test in the last series and came on to win it, yes but the first day of the Lord’s test was a little different. England showed their intent by hitting a few Aussie batsmen, roughing them up like no one had done before, it showed what could be done and that they don’t like it up ’em. Certainly can’t say that about this first day.
Well have to bat with a bit of brains now, grind out a draw, after all they have to win one more game than us to get that little urn back.
And on the plus side…at least we didn’t put them in…