Just in


In a day in Sydney of unparalleled  heat  (58 degrees Centigrade being recorded on the pitch and Sydney the hottest place on the planet) Australia batted on and on and only a rain storm can now save England.

To win a Test you need at least 6 convincing performers with bat and ball. The three Australian quickies have intimidated the English tail, David Warner – and above all Steve Smith – have supplied the runs and Nathan Lyon has spun wonderfully to left handers.

By contrast for England only Dawid Malan has been a source of regular runs, there has been no barrage of wicket-taking pace and Mooen Ali and Mason Crane have been expensive.

When I asked a member of the group what he thought of the day’s play, he replied “A slow death”. None of us are going to the final day. It will be a relief to avoid the crush of leaving, walking 15 minutes to the pick-up point and the generally  poor amenities I have already mentioned.

To this you can add another. You can take a bus directly outside the stadium to the city centre but you need the equivalent of an oyster card – neither cash nor credit card is accepted on the bus. Does anywhere in the stadium supply the oyster card? Of course not.

It will be interesting to see how these Aussies measure up when they tour South Africa in February.

In Steyn and Morkel they have a genuine pace threat, they have a wicket-taking spinner in Keshev Maharaj and they also have the return of AB de Villiers. Dean Edgar has been a prolific run-maker in 2017.

Home advantage has proved telling in most series these days too. Though much better than England and worthy winners of the series the Aussies are not a great side and their weaknesses may well be exposed in South Africa.


About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts