On the Front Foot: Sledging row may be start of slippery slope to all-out war

There has been a sledging row.Or at least there has been some sledging to which Australia took exception (poor lambs) and the watching media, in search of a story, were only too prepared to sense the ingredients of a full-blown, old-fashioned bust-up. Next thing you know, cables will be exchanged and diplomatic relations will break down.

What actually happened nobody knows because the protagonists ain't saying, but suffice to say it is the sort of spat which Douglas Jardine and Ray Illingworth might have had before breakfast. It seems there was an altercation on the first day of the Second Test at Adelaide, between Jimmy Anderson and Brad Haddin. At the close, after England had faced one over, first Haddin and then Ricky Ponting upbraided the England captain, Andrew Strauss.

England dismissed the episode as inconsequential. They are playing an extremely cute game. On the one hand, they decline every invitation to comment on the opposition. Their only concern, says every player, is England. On other hand, it is clear they are letting the opposition know of their presence. Anderson is perpetually growling and on the batsman's case and Matt Prior, the wicketkeeper, is not noticeably quiet. It is part of the overall strategy: act as models of decorum where the opposition are concerned off the field, let 'em have it on it. It may be remembered that at Adelaide four years ago, Paul Collingwood sledged Shane Warne, who responded by compiling a significant innings of 43. But Collingwood was far from contrite and later confided that he wished he had upped the ante. There will be no quietening down from England this time. Before long there might even be a proper row. Somebody will say, as the Australia captain, Bill Woodfull, did to the England manager, Pelham Warner, at Adelaide at the height of Bodyline in 1933: "There are two sides out there and one of them is trying to play cricket and one isn't." Now that would be a story.



No ducking it, Ricky

Ricky Ponting is, astonishingly, the second Australia captain to be dismissed first ball in his 150th Test match. The first was Steve Waugh, out for a golden duck to Saqlain Mushtaq in a Test which his team won by an innings and 98 runs. Ponting's dismissal on the first day in Adelaide was his fifth golden duck. No England player has been dismissed for nought or any other score in his 150th Test match because none has played that many.

Trott blew it once

There may or may not be a second chance for Jonathan Trott to become the first England player to score hundreds in his first three Ashes matches. He fell 22 short yesterday. Only Greg Blewett of Australia has scored centuries in his first three Ashes matches, though Benedict Bermange, Sky's indefatigable scorer, reminds us that Herbert Sutcliffe of England scored three hundreds in his first two matches. Sutcliffe began his career against Australia with scores of 59, 115, 176 and 127. Trott's career average is now 60.74, a hundredth of a run better than Sutcliffe's 60.73. So far, of course.

Dress to impress

The Adelaide Test is much more than a sporting occasion – it is a social event. South Australians do posh very well, although these matters are relative. Their idea of a dress code in the members' area is no T-shirts and no flip-flops. MCC be warned.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence