Every time Kevin Pietersen miscues a sweep way outside off, every time Mitchell Johnson bowls a perfect line and length to the feet of second slip, every time Ricky Ponting chops the ball onto his stumps when Australia is in trouble, is a time to remember that cricket is a game for human beings.
Umpires are human, umpires make mistakes, more mistakes than we care to notice. And just as umpires who make the odd mistake continue to be chosen, so it is with the players themselves. So it is in life. Goodness, a lady who confused shallots for onions won Masterchef Australia last night!
That is why I have nothing to say about any one of the five Australian wickets that fell at the Home of Archery on Sunday. Never mind the sound of bat on pad that sounds too much like bat on ball, never mind the low catch that no slip fieldsman could honestly tell whether it touched the ground or not, never mind the stumps that Ian Chappell's favourite groundsman Mike Hunt maliciously positioned so that they would get in the way of Ricky Ponting's french cut. Never mind the way I contradict myself between those last two sentences.
And never mind the squillions of no-balls and wides that have been missed over the past 132 years because the umpires haven't spotted them, let alone the ones that were claimed as dismissals. Has anyone bothered to recalculate the scores of every Test match in (televised) history to see how many results would have been different if no-balls and wides had been called accurately? Has anyone called for Shane Warne to be retrospectively awarded a Test century against New Zealand in the Perth Test of 2001? No? Then stop being so bloody selective about the ball that got Simon Katich out yesterday.
Having said that, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that will make me happier than seeing Australia make the 522 required to win the Second Test. Especially if Michael Clarke continues with his outstanding captain's knock, with Mighty Mitchell Johnson at the other end.
Midwinter-Midwinter points for Day Four: Michael Clarke 3 pts, Brad Haddin 2 pts, Andrew Flintoff 1 pt.
Deep breath. Altogether now:
One Stuart Clark,
There's only one Stuart Clark,
One Stuart Clar-kie,
There's only one Stuart Clar-keeee....