Ball One 12.17am – In the midst of a manic start, Australia missed the chance of a run out when Xavier Doherty failed to hit the one stump of which he had sight. At point, Michael Clarke (I think) ran in towards the stumps and stopped – to back up the throw. Had he continued up to the stumps, he may well have collected the throw and removed the bails to run Trott out by yards. Fielding has improved beyond recognition, but not all throws hit the stumps and the modern trend for fielders not getting into the stumps to gather throws is costing easy wickets all over the world.
Ball Two 12.44am – Nobody will ever convince me of the justice in allowing overthrows when the thrown ball hits the stumps. What can the wicketkeeper do about that? How can the field prepare itself for the ricochet? It doesn’t happen often, but it shouldn’t happen at all.
Ball Three 1.15am – What has happened to Shane Watson’s bowling? Against Pakistan and India recently, he looked a genuine fifth bowler, but he looks stiff, unenthusiastic and (dangerous though it is to say at this stage) rubbish. Colly is pretty ordinary these days, but not as ordinary as Watson on this showing. Surely Marcus North is a better option? .
Ball Four 3.00am – Rather like the economists and politicians who believed they had abolished boom and bust, there were advocates of the Australian system who believed that Grade and Shield structure had immunised their cricket from the ebb and flow of talent production. It’s only a day and a half into the Second Test after a drawn First, but the evidence is clear that the best eleven cricketers Australia can field are short of the talent required to win Test matches consistently. Notwithstanding the result of this series, it might be time for Aus to skip a generation and invest in Steve Smith, Tim Paine (as batsman / captain?) and Peter George. Are they good enough? The current lot certainly aren’t.
Ball Five 3.40am – Englishmen in their forties will remember Stephen Waugh just batting and batting in 1989 and thinking “Where did that form come from?” Alastair Cook will be baffling Australians in the same way now. Whatever happened to that Waugh chap?
Ball Six 3.50am – Why isn’t Marcus North bowling? He has the loop that Doherty lacks and has something a little different. If Clarke is incapacitated by his back, surely Katich is worth a try? Ponting has little to work with, but needs to show some imagination with what he has.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.