Ashes 2013-14: Sweet Adelaide delivers Jimmy and his old chums from menace of Gabba

The half-built ground was missing the sharpness of the crowd at the First Test but the match is yet to hot up

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The place was heaving. Or it would have been had the new Adelaide Oval been finished. As it was, two tiers of the newest stand on one side of the ground were empty, eight mini-cranes looking down on the cricketers and mocking them because they were not Australian Rules footballers.

When the AFL begins in March the cranes will be gone, the ground will be full. It will also be a lot noisier. Perhaps because it is Adelaide, home of the first free settlers to this country – and boy, aren’t they proud of it – there was none of the crowd menace exuded at Brisbane’s Gabba in the first Test.

The Australian contingent booed Stuart Broad, the man they love to hate, almost to order and the English supporters heckled Michael Clarke, Australia’s captain, when he came out to bat, having not forgotten his verbal assault on Jimmy Anderson at Brisbane. It did not seem to occur to them that Anderson gives more than he gets.

There were few banners of any kind and none which were menacing because there were few suitable places to hang them.

The boys in the middle seemed to be behaving themselves, though the match has not warmed up yet. It was all terribly pleasant, it was Adelaide.