Ashes Diary: Adelaide icon Gillespie takes big bronzed Aussie image to heart

There was one great Aussie paceman in Adelaide yesterday but, sadly for home fans, Jason Gillespie's glory days are some way behind him. Gillespie, in town for the unveiling of a statue of himself beside the nets at Adelaide Oval, was impressed by England's batting but pointed out that the Australian selectors had erred by dropping Mitchell Johnson, the home side's only real strike bowler.

"I probably wouldn't have dropped him in the first place. He does take time to get into a cricket summer," he said. "He is a wonderful player with a wonderful record and has had to carry the attack for the past few years. It was probably a bit harsh to leave him out. You don't lose your skill overnight and it will only be a matter of time before he is back in the Australian side."

The Aussie bowlers' lack of consistency and patience has let them down at Adelaide Oval, Gillespie said. "You've just got to have a very clear and simple plan and execute it," he said.

"At Adelaide Oval, as a general rule, you bowl a fourth-stump line for the most part. Then on days three and four you straighten up your lines, you split your field a little and you look to hit the stumps."

Gillespie was rather more pleased with his bronze likeness. "Yeah, it's a nice touch. To be right bang in the middle of the nets, I think, is wonderful," he said. "To be honoured in this way... I was gobsmacked. It's captured everything, even down to the brand of boot I wore."

Crunching numbers

This has been perhaps the most statistical Ashes of all-time, and very few of them make good reading for the hosts. For example, how about this beauty: after the third day of the Adelaide Test, four English batsmen are averaging over 100 for the series – and two of them are averaging over 200. That's Kevin Pietersen (256), Alastair Cook (225), Jonathan Trott (121) and Ian Bell (117). For the 'Saggy' Greens, Mike Hussey is averaging 144 – and Xavier Doherty 134. That's his bowling average, though.

Beware revenge of the redbacks

Those England fans soaking up the sun on the hill at Adelaide are feeling pretty pleased about themselves but they'd be well advised not to get too comfortable. The famous old scoreboard that stands behind that grassy knoll looks harmless but, according to locals in the know, it's home to some pretty deadly spiders. Well, at least not all Aussies have lost their bite.

England's secret weapon: a trumpet

And I thought we were supposed to be the whingers, part 346. Aussie fans are reportedly upset that while the Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper has been given carte blanche to play the Neighbours theme tune at all five of this winter's Test matches, no home blower is being allowed to do likewise at the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. "The Barmy Army will be handed an unfair advantage," squealed the Melbourne Herald Sun. Here's an idea for any locals hoping to strike up a tune at the MCG: how about learning one in the first place? And Aussie, Aussie, Aussie (Oy Oy Oy) doesn't count.

Outsiders? More like no-hopers

When England played here in the 1998-99 series, one waggish local produced a banner claiming, quite correctly as it turned out, that "England don't have a prayer in the City of Churches" – Adelaide being as well known for its places of worship as for its wine and high boredom levels. This time, though, it's the Aussies who are looking for a miracle, and those who know about this sort of thing – bookies – don't give them much of a chance. Local turf accountants TAB Sportsbet now have the hosts out at 67-1. "That's basically unheard of," said TAB spokesman Glenn Munsie.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power