The Light Roller: I don't like cricket, oh no, I hate it

I don't like cricket, oh no, I hate it

Enough of these early-morning missives of despair

It honestly does not bear talking about does it? Two thumping defeats, more careless dismissals than Mike Gatting's had hot dinners, and about as many threatening balls as a randy rottweiler - which at least is better than none.

My brother, a fellow cricket addict, said he felt as if he never wanted to wake up. That wasn't quite the drastic statement it might appear but there is definitely a sense of trepidation at what one might find as the alarm heralds yet another shambolic report from down under.

Before this series began, I had envisaged that the dulcet tones of Aggers, Vic Marks, Michael Vaughan and yes, even the Katy Perry-obsessed Boycs, would be the soundtrack to a slightly sleep-deprived but generally happy, half-dreamed few months. Now, the only saving grace of the TMS coverage is that there are none of the gruesome images which must make Sky subscribers wonder why they are paying to watch such torture.


The difference between the teams is spirit, not skill

There are occasions when one team is so manifestly and intrinsically better than the other that you can shrug your shoulders and just hope for the occasional glimmer of light in the form of an exceptional spell of bowling or a gutsy eighty-odd.

But this is surely not the case in this series.  The current Australia team will go down in history (and I'm tempting fate deliberately here) as the winners of the 2012/13 Ashes but they are not a great side – not yet anyway.

Most of the batsmen would have struggled to get anywhere near the starting XI a decade ago. And as for the bowlers, while they are working tremendously well as a unit and are riding the crest of Mitchell Johnson's surprise second coming as a tsunami, there are no obvious reasons why England - on fairly flat pitches after all - should keep being bundled out for such paltry totals. 

Australia have made considerable strides to create the spirit that breeds success after a thoroughly wretched ten months. But the notion that their players are inherently better than England's is not borne out by anything other than the last two matches. And that is galling.


Add some Yorkshire grit

The recent appearances of Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes have been a reminder of how rare it is for genuine all-rounders to make it at test level. Stokes has got something about him and ought not to be a new recruit to the one-test wonder club.  Yet the vagaries of England's squad selection and the likely nature of the WACA pitch mean that he may have to wait a while for a second cap, despite a reasonable personal showing in Adelaide.

The squad’s lanky lads have been a thorough let-down so far but Finn or Rankin will have to be brought in to add some firepower to a seriously undercooked attack. Bresnan may be required too. As for the spinners, even though it will be one hell of a tough call, Swann should step back. 

Bairstow needs to be given a chance at six. His most compelling test performance came against the seriously speedy Steyn and Morkel at Lord’s in 2012 and, if his technique occasionally looks a mite ambivalent towards MCC handbooks, he can do no worse than Cook, Prior, Broad and co against the short ball barrage.


South Africa are head and shoulders above the rest

After fascinating back-to-back series against Pakistan, South Africa absolutely mangled India in the opening contests of their home one-day series this week. Having lost the soul of their nation last Thursday, the South Africans seem inspired by his memory.

India meanwhile, after their boisterous but largely tedious, run-soaked games against Australia, have also lost a great leader, following Sachin Tendulkar's retirement in November.  He hadn't, of course, been part of the ODI scene for a while but the hullabaloo around his drawn-out departure from the game has left India looking somewhat spent.

All in all, South Africa are looking good value for their position as the world's best team. Their talents would surely be a match for Australia's newly-discovered winning streak.  And fortunately, with a test series between the countries due in February,  it won’t be long until we find out.

peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
New Articles
i100... with this review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam