This time yesterday three futures were possible for the Adelaide Test. Now, just two remain.
Third Man had an inkling about one of these futures. In tune with his imagination, Michael Clarke skipped down the wicket to his first ball on Day Two, didn’t quite get there and sliced high towards the covers … the ball fell to safety behind the ring.
The score was a delicately poised 277 for 5. An Englishman might have reconsidered tactics. Lehmanized batsmen do not. As TM reported from Brisbane, the Australian’s first instruction to his crew (on the outfield at Trent Bridge) was, “See a spinner: smash him.”
Clarke 148runs: 348 mins: 245 balls: 17 fours
Swan 36: 4: 151: 2
Panesar 44: 7: 157: 1
Lehmann has reconnected his side with their folk memory. Thanks to him they are batting, bowling and fielding with the same sense of injustice their forebears felt. There is vengeance in their work.
Either 50,000 spectators may see another day of wonderful batting; Carberry scoring his maiden test century at international level – great balance. Root coming good at 3 – mind over matter. Pietersen making significant progress towards a double hundred – the stuff of memory.
Or England will bat last in this match.
Three or four clear minds will deliver the first future. Mindfcuk will deliver the second.
Although reverse swing at 95 m.p.h. pulls reputations as quickly as an outback dentist removes rotten teeth, the choice of futures is the batsmen’s alone.
[N.B. is 50,000 now the minimum capacity required for an amphitheatre in which to create this kind of cricketing drama? Answer – Yes. Please note ECB and the MCC Estates Committee.]