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The Ashes: Third Test preview (of sorts)

Mitchell Johnson: one of the highlights of the last three years. (AFP, Ian Kington)
Roar Guru
28th July, 2015
24
1806 Reads

I am usually loathe to produce anything in written form that vaguely resembles a match preview. Primarily because history tends to judge them as rather inaccurate.

However, given the series equilibrium after Lord’s, it is incumbent on keyboard warriors and those just below that status (like me) to crack in and share our hopelessly ill-informed opinion with the 57 people who stumbled on this article via a google search typo.

Current Series Score – 1-1
No late winner was able to make it past the keeper last week, so it’s into extra time we go. Well, there’s still a possible 15 days left in the series. It’s likely someone will score in that time.

Pitch:
Yes, there will be one. Based on recent history, expect it to have less grass on it than Nathan Lyon’s head. Expect Mark Nicholas to describe it as “flat and appearing to have inconsistent bounce” by the second James Anderson over.

The teams:
One is called England. However, this is rather misleading as like the West Indies, it is actually a representation of many nations. Well, formally only two. England and Wales. Informally, it will also represent the best of New Zealand. Under certain circumstances, it can also represent Zimbabwe, South Africa and Jamaica.

The ICC is debating whether to rename them the Barbarians.

Australia is the other team. They represent the great state of New South Wales.

Mitches:
Expect Australia to go in with three of them.

Fun Fact: These three also lead the ICC Mitch Rankings.

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England are yet to try a Mitch this Ashes series. Some experts are suggesting that this is a schoolboy error.

Weather:
Given it is England and also summer, it will probably be 8 degrees and rain.

These are ideal conditions for a sport that requires dryness if your nation likes opportunities to complain. Expect the term “miserable conditions” to be used frequently.

Of the Test somehow remains to stay rain-free, expect the term “Mitcherable conditions” to be used frequently.

Crucial first hours:
The ICC have released the playing conditions for Edgbaston. The following first hours have been deemed “crucial” :

The first hours of all sessions on Days 1, 2, 3 and 4. The first hour of all Day 5 sessions have not been deemed crucial given the result will be well known by then.

Are there any tickets left?
I have called Chris Rogers and asked him. He hung up on me, so I reckon probably not.

Players to watch out for
Monty Panesar is known to be active on the Edgbaston Tinder circuit. That will please some ladies.

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Kevin Pietersen is likely to appear on Day 3 sitting next to Piers Morgan. He typically disguises himself in a Nena and Pasadena baseball cap, bad tattoos and cloaks that in a high pitched South African accent.

Shane Watson is keen to be noticed by selectors, so look out for him warming the bench in an orange vest.

Likely Shane Warne topics of conversation
“Are you thirsty mate?”

“Just how thirsty are you?”

“Gonna have a beer after this cobber?”

“I love pineapple on my pizza”

Likely shape of the oval?

It’s more of a drunk rectangle, in that it will have 5 or 6 corners. This may even be that ground with a tree on it, or the one with the eight-foot slope. I can’t remember.

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For more cricket irreverency, check out Dennis’ cricket website.