Is this still going?
The tour from Hell rumbles on towards its inevitable end: having lost the Test series 5-0 England are now going to lose the ODI series by the same scoreline. Only 51allout’s law of T20 cricket (that a two game series will always finish 1-1, while a three game series will always be 2-1, never 3-0) stands in the way of an unprecedented three format mega-whitewash.
As if to rub salt into the wounds (with said wounds basically being all that’s left of Team England now), it’s time for another trip to the WACA where the slushie machine never works, the ball bounces funny and England routinely get thrashed.
In a desperate attempt to try and provide some interest to the TV audience, Australia have rested half of their first XI for this game, saving them not only from the arduous flight across the country but also from the indignity of not being allowed into the casino in the aftermath of their victory. Into the places vacated by Dave Warner and Brad Haddin come one Steven Peter Devereux Smith and, er, one Matthew Scott Wade, giving the team a total of eight all-rounders. Meanwhile George Bailey returns from injury to replace Michael Clarke as batsman and as captain…
…and in a similar move the in-form Big Bash star Luke Wright comes in to replace Alastair Cook as batsman and captain. Oh don’t be daft. England will just tinker with their XI, possibly pick six seamers and no spinner, and look confused when the team are bowled out before Eoin Morgan works up a sweat. Seriously, what could go wrong with Bopara and Stokes and Broad and Bresnan and Woakes and Jordan all playing?
The best hope for England to manage to avoid a whitewash is to suddenly find an administrative cock-up has left them with visas about to expire. Considering this tour has been characterised by Dirk Diggler-sized cock-ups, we suspect this is not an impossibility.