The retirement of Paul Collingwood from England’s test team was beautifully timed, leaving the selectors with the dilemma of who to replace the versatile batsman but with a long time to contemplate the decision and from a pretty lofty perch.
England moved closer to bringing the Ashes back from Australia for the first time in 24 years on Tuesday as they reduced the battered hosts to 169-6 at stumps on day three of the fourth test, needing just four more wickets to wrap up victory and still with a lead of 246.
Did somebody call for a doctor? A psychiatrist more like! A serious amount of surgery is needed on the Australian cricket team to help them turn around their fortunes in the third Ashes test starting on Thursday.
The ticking sound that could be heard at the Adelaide Oval during the final day of the second Ashes test earlier this month was not the sound of time ebbing away for Australia’s war weary batsmen, but literally that of the clock at the back of the main stand.
“Bowling, Shane” are not words English batsmen would want to hear ever again, but how would the Australians react to Shane Warne making an astonishing return to answer his nation’s plea for help in the wake of the second test defeat to the ‘Poms’?
England have been in far worse positions at the end of a first Ashes test in Brisbane. Although being bowled out for 260 is far from ideal Andrew Strauss’s team should believe they are still in this contest.
With Australia’s current cricket team seemingly keen on proving they can be just as hopeless as any cricket team England produced circa 1990-2000, what better time to go Down Under and watch England defend the Ashes?