In the glorious violence of boxing, there is an oft used expression: when a boxer enters the ring he doesn’t want to come in cold; he will want to enter the ring having broken a light sweat in the training room, this way his limbs will be loose to throw bombs and his face ready to be battered by several hundred punches over a weird-as-hell 40-odd minutes.
Yeah, it’s strange that boxing is still a multi-billion dollar industry really.
Now I consider myself to be a decent guy who can admit when he’s wrong; I also consider myself as a rather less than typical cricket fan, in that I primarily enjoy the spectacle of the sport than the performance of my ‘team’.
When I tweeted a few days before this series that Australia didn’t stand a chance and that their defeat was guaranteed, I felt slightly dirty: I’m not used to making such popular statements. I mean Christ, me and Sir Beefy Botham were in agreement. I knew then that I had fucked up.
As we stand here, at the end of the first three days of play at Brisbane, Australia seem nailed on certainties to take a one-nil lead in this Ashes series. England have two days to bat out with eight wickets in hand; the way they’ve been batting and Australia bowling, I can’t see them lasting tomorrow.
Australia over days two and three, have performed as close to perfect as I think they can manage. Michael Clarke’s captaincy has been superb; the fielding electric; most bowlers and batsman have kept things going, always moving forward; David Warner went and clicked and Mitchell Johnson has seemingly resurrected the venom of Jeff Thomson whilst bearing the moustache of a prostitute murdering trucker. Australia have been exciting and deserve to be lauded: they’ve defied expectations and deserve to win this first Test.
England have been insipid in the face of Australia’s verve and energy. Like the boxer who comes in cold, England have been knocked down by a fierce counter, thrown by the lithe Australians in response to a limp lunge. Have England come in stiff and unprepared or are Australia performing to their maximum?
Either way, I wish to apologise to all of my Aussie friends for joining the English rabble-rousers.
An Australian victory, and the way they’ve performed in this Test so far in trying to achieve this feat, is important for cricket. Let’s hope this carries on and we have a fierce Ashes series.