Two days left, Australia will not lose at the Gerddi Soffia. They might win. I'm backing the Welsh weather gods (if they have any).
It was a day that saw Simon Katich become the first player to score a Test hundred in Cymru. Ricky Ponting notched his 38th Test hundred, and inflatable kangaroos were held aloft everywhere when he passed 11,000 Test career runs. (Except, of course, that exactly 100 of those runs were scored against the ICC World XI in that ghastly Super Series aberration of October 2005.)
Your team is 241 for 4, twenty overs till stumps on the first day. You are one of the senior players in your team. You are 69 not out. The opposition bowler pitches a slow ball short and about two metres wide of off stump. Do you:
- Leave it alone?
- Take two steps down to the pitch of the ball and smash it to the cover fence for four?
- Keep your feet still, stretch as far as you can to pull the ball off the cue-end of the bat lofting it to the on-side?
It's about to start. The cricketing rivalry that matters more than any other. Do we call the First Test England versus Australia or Australia versus England? How can the Poms claim a match staged in the neighbouring country of Cymru as a home game?
Michael Jackson is dead, long live the Ashes! With eight hours till the start of the first-ever England v Australia Test to be played on neutral soil, allow me to be pessimistic as well as distasteful:
What an incredible, hilarious waste of time this week has been in the House of Representatives. Has there a more ridiculous non-scandal than Utegate - a stupid, absurdly Australian moniker that befits the stupidity of the whole saga. Here's my Player Ratings on the winners and losers among the Utegate Dramatis Personae:
Aussie Pim Verbeek gets in some important practice before the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals.
Australians all, let us re-juice...
Violence in suburban Australia towards Asian immigrants and students, notably from India, is disturbing. Sadly, it's not a new issue, not confined to Sydney and Melbourne, and by no means targeted at Indians. It's a bigger problem, and one that is being misreported in the Indian media and underreported by their Australian counterparts.