...series? England have convincingly won the first test match of their last two series only to roll over and capitulate, after their 169 run victory in the Ashes opener can they stop the Aussies at Lord's?
...bowling. Ex-Aussie paceman Glenn McGrath knows a bit or too about cricket, about bowling, about being damn good at it and about having a little dig at England before an Ashes, sledging for want of a better word.
...New Zealand. The recent two Test match “series” between England and New Zealand finished all-square with both sides getting what they deserved but the punters missing out on what should have been a deciding third game.
...departure. And excuse me if I'm not shocked at it either, it seems a surprise to some that history has repeated itself and Kevin Pietersen has been told to sling his hook.
...he's the problem. OK so he's not the only problem with the current England set-up that led to the 5-0 whitewash thumping handed out to them by Australia in this Ashes series. But he's the start of it all.
...troubles. The media have been all out over the last 24 hours looking for someone to blame over Jonathan Trott's decision to come home from the Ashes tour with stress/depression related issues.
...chips. We were told what a courageous and innovative captain Australia had in Michael Clarke when he made his declaration at tea on Sunday. Courage was lost when England were about to win and was replaced by a hissy fit.
...respect. Throughout the whole of this last Ashes test match the pundits told us Onions should have been picked instead of Tim Bresnan. What would have happened if they got their wish.
...in Manchester, what are the chances? England sit here on Tuesday morning still holding the Ashes but they could quite easily be sitting there looking down the wrong end of a 2-1 deficit to the worst Aussie side since crying Kim's.
...seen? The only way to improve this Aussie touring side is to get all the old blokes in the crowd and media boxes to don the baggy green cap and get back out on the pitch.
...Ian Bell scoring a match winning ton. Never mind losing, that was somewhat expected, never mind the batting collapse, letting the arch bottler top score when it really mattered is something not many teams have ever done.
...there? Wasn't this meant to be the summer of Australian humiliation? The cricket team in the Ashes, the rugby team against the Lions all while various others were beaten in various other arenas.
...Root. Yet again another England bowler stood on the podium collecting the man of the match award after skittling New Zealand out when they would have been in that position if Joe root hadn't saved England from a batting collapse.
...as it started. With a Kevin Pietersen orchestrated mess. Though in classic Andrew Strauss style as he quit cricket completely he played down the chance to stick the knife in.
...doesn't matter. Females or no females I've said it before and I'll say it again. There's only one winner. Cav. The Manx Missile. Mark Cavendish.