While silicone-gate and bouncerpiss-gate have dominated the build up to the Durham Test, Australia look set to turn to a rusty gate to solve their opening woes. That’s right, 46 runs across two innings in Manchester means Dave Warner is the front-runner to nick Shane Watson’s spot at the top. A spot Watto himself, of course, nicked from Ed Cowan about three weeks ago. But never mind that: Australia are back!
Having heroically avoided their seventh straight Test defeat, Australia have turned the tide. Despite not winning an international match in any format since early February, the style and panache with which they drew a rain-affected game means the rag-tag band of no-hopers have disappeared. In their stead come a well-oiled winning machine. With not much experience of winning, admittedly, but that’s not the point, because Australia are back!
They may have failed to win an Ashes series for the third consecutive time, Michael Clarke and Matt Wade (yes, really) may be their only century-makers in 2013 and their best bowler may be made out of balsa wood, but Australia are back!
Or so some people would have us believe.
As for their opponents; er, who are they again? Rubbish, arrogant, lucky to have won a session, 2-0 up, ah, England! That’s the one. Well they’ve mostly been out on the piss this week, in every possible sense of the word. They may or may not have got over their hangovers by Friday; if they haven’t it might give Australia the rare chance to actually win a game. If that wasn’t enough, there’s talk of them resting Jimmy Anderson, who must be completely exhausted having bowled five more overs than Peter Siddle in the series. If only he too feasted solely on Brussels sprouts and fruit smoothies this might never have happened.
Graham Onions is the front-runner should England need a replacement; his selection could mean they field a seam attack who all bowl quite tidily without taking any wickets, as part of a grand plan to see just how mundane a side they can pick and still win.
A Test match played even norther than the last one? Five days of monsoon rain. Draw. Shane Warne to predict Australia to win the series.