Ashes Diary: Pommie-basher-in-chief turns on 'shambolic' home attack

You know things are not quite right Down Under when Jeff Thomson, Pommie-basher-in-chief, starts talking up England's chances. The scourge of the tourists' batting on the infamous 1974-75 tour says that the current Australia attack is the worst in 30 years. "The fact is the Poms are more disciplined, their bowlers are better," he said.

"I believe their bowlers bowl tighter than our blokes and we don't have the patience that they do. They're just better organised than we are. To me, we look like we're a shambles."

Thomson (who once claimed that "I enjoy hitting a batsman more than getting him out. It doesn't worry me in the least to see a batsman hurt, rolling around screaming and blood on the pitch") is dismayed by the current attack's lack of bloodlust. "They don't even bruise anyone, they wouldn't bruise a peach," Thommo told a Sydney radio station. "I don't even know why they [English batsmen] go out with protective gear on."

The England coach, Andy Flower, is the difference between the sides, Thomson believes. "Andy Flower is a mate of mine, he's a very smart guy and a tough bloke," he said. "He would have Australia worked out. He's a great thinker and he'd be passing that on to the players."

No sour grapes from losers of the other Ashes

Adelaide might not be the most exciting city in Australia, but the City of Churches has got the rest of the country whipped when it comes to grog. It's home to the best major brewery Down Under and surrounded by wine-growing regions, chief among them the Barossa Valley, where you'll find Château Tanunda, a winery that occasionally hosts cricket matches. In 2006 England, led by Mike Gatting, crushed Australia, led by Kim Hughes. Ian Botham and David Gower, meanwhile, provided the commentary: presumably they were too busy sampling the produce to don their whites.

Bollinger may have rug pulled from under him

Growing hair on his upper lip didn't appear to help Mitchell Johnson in the first Test, so Doug Bollinger is the logical choice to replace him. This is the man who responded to male pattern baldness by acquiring what is cricket's most unconvincing toupee, in the process earning himself the nickname "Doug the Rug". Unfortunately, his bald head shows up when "Hot Spot" technology is used.

Hilfenhaus is shown no Lee-way

England fans pining for the return of Brett Lee? Given his Ashes average hovered around 40, perhaps not that surprising, but that's not why the Barmy Army want him back. The Army's Paul Winslow says it's his ability to banter with the crowd – in stark contrast to Ben Hilfenhaus – that they miss. "If you're going to field in front of the Barmy Army with no sense of humour and the ill grace to not sign a young kid's bat, you're in for a long tour," Winslow said of Hilfenhaus's behaviour during the first Test in Brisbane. "We even offered to help him with the spelling of his name, but to no avail."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform