Readers, we have been here before. One thinks of Alfred, Harold, the Armada, Dunkirk. Actually, scrub Harold, as his second test proved fatal. But you catch my drift: darkest, as you will have witnessed, before dawn.
And I would respectfully ask those who haven't got a clue what I'm on about to count their blessings, move on and not intrude on this legitimate grief-limitation activity. Because Adelaide has its consolations. It is something, surely, to have posted the highest declaration in history before losing? It argues, does it not, a thrilling approach? Sport that is predictable is no sport; the greatest is the glorious, heady triumph against the run of play and form; and to achieve that, you need to lose a lot, very badly.
This, of course, is the very ethos of the Barmy Army, and explains all those banners at Perth teasing Shane Warne which some observers thought not such a good idea. It is why, contrary to mutterings, Kevin Pietersen is such an essentially English batsman. Did you see that sweep?
It is also important to keep a sense of proportion, at least between Tests, and to seek solace in other arenas. I myself was cheered by the easing of restrictions on loft conversions; elsewhere, there was free parking in Tewkesbury, Jordan is pregnant and the Plain English campaign has had the nerve to criticise a sentence written by Germaine Greer.
Finally, while noting that the weather in Perth looks like being fine, I will return to history and remind you of the name of the man who reversed fortunes in the western desert in 1942, after late selection.Reuse content