Ashes Diary: Bollinger finds Test cricket a tiring business

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The Independent Online

Few can have expected to see Doug Bollinger back in a Baggy Green so soon after his lamentable efforts in Adelaide but he has a reasonable chance of starting in Sydney.

The owner of cricket's most amusing hairpiece, recalled in place of the injured Ryan Harris, says there was a reason for his second Test meltdown. "I had just flown all over the country," he says. "I was just coming back to cricket and had bowled 20 overs a few days before. I was just a bit cooked but I am not going to say no to a Test match, am I? I didn't give up." Bollinger is committed to ensuring the Aussies square the series. "I watched a bit in Melbourne," he says. "I must say my stomach shrunk a bit when the boys lost."

No flies on Yabba

The SCG's new Victor Trumper Stand has a statue of Yabba, he of the famous Bodyline heckle: "Leave our flies alone, Jardine. They're the only friends you've got here."

Usman drives up his popularity

Usman Khawaja comes from the same state as Michael Clarke but that's where the similarities appear to end. Khawaja is a very well-liked fellow. "He is probably the most popular bloke in the New South Wales squad," says Simon Katich. "He doesn't drink, but the boys don't hold that against him. He will still go out, socialise, and then he drives them home. He's their taxi."

Blink and you'll miss ladies' Ashes

With the men's Ashes safely secured in Melbourne, the women's team have arrived in Perth intent on a one-two to remember. The shorter forms are arguably more important in the women's game, though: they'll play three ODIs, five T20s and just one Test.