After Jofra Archer’s dynamic display, Australia should resist the urge to fight fire with fire and instead play the same steady attack in the third Test at Headingley – a ground which historically rewards accuracy over raw pace.
Are you celebrating the end of Australia’s gravely uninspiring home summer?
I personally enjoyed the whole wretched thing, and all it required was a simultaneous three-month root canal.
On the surface, the summer of 2018-19 looks like a string of failures and the bullying of a crippled island nation, all played before the backdrop of a century-free epidemic and inescapably smooshed into our faces across a record number of media platforms.
It seemed like the schedule was dreadful, the batting was worse and Australia’s all-encompassing flux had resulted in mid-pitch conversations used not for tactical talk, but as an introduction agency.
But don’t let your perception fool you. Despite this seemingly unbearable period of sub-200 totals and Michael Vaughan, there is plenty to be gained. You just have to lower your standards to unprecedented subterranean lows.
1. The series loss to South Africa is void by the statute of limitations
Three Prime Ministers ago back in November, Australia apparently clashed with South Africa in an ODI series. Some archaeologists claim this even may have been played on our shores after discovering remains buried deep under a paywall.
But luckily for us Aussies, this event has exceeded the maximum time allowed under modern law in which outrage can be initiated. So we can take solace in legalities, and that at least there’s a World Cup approaching we both won’t be winning.
2. We tied a T20 series through valiant weather
Australia’s weather is a bastard. Fuelled by reckless carbon use and awkward teenage boys drowning in Lynx, this supposed tourism drawcard causes mass inconvenience for the population through its polar extremes. It is climate’s version of the Marsh brothers.
In light of this, it is pleasing to see our weather finally harness its potential and help secure a draw in a series of feckless consequence.
3. We drew level in the Test series
Tim Paine’s side levelled the Test series against India with a rousing triumph on a bouncy Perth track. Everything else afterwards is considered null because the tourists chickened-out of the Gabba. And for further confirmation we were the real winners, England were thrashed by the West Indies almost five weeks later.
4. England sucked
Even though this has been mentioned in the previous paragraph, Australia’s crumpled self-esteem dictates it be pettily mentioned at least one more time. And if you are reading this and are English, you are obligated to read it 15 more times, preferably out loud in the street.
And the best part of England’s denuding in the Caribbean? Their humiliation was inflicted with the Dukes, meaning that will now be two nations applying to play the Ashes without a ball.
5. We momentarily led an ODI series
After winning the opening match against a powerful Indian side, Australia enjoyed a euphoric week on the right side of the ledger before the panic of unfamiliar surroundings became too much to bear. But what a week it was.
With our noses in front, the country came to a standstill as it wildly celebrated. Even the government marked the historic occasion by sending school kids on holidays, an offer also immediately accepted by the players.
6. We’re undefeated in Big Bash
This is not a reference to any particular team, but the season. It seriously cannot be killed.
Historians now say the 2018-19 BBL season apparently survived through Chernobyl, and possibly even kicked off two months beforehand.
7. We reconnected with Mum in Canberra
Sure, this Sri Lankan side was arguably the worst to tour Australia since their side for the first Test. Sure, conditions for batting were so agreeable that our batsmen should’ve humbly celebrated milestones by lifting a single finger like two drivers passing each other on a country road. Sure, we still stuffed this up by being three-down for chicken feed.
But that doesn’t change the fact Manuka Oval was like Australia’s mum – a warm and welcoming boomer living among retired public servants, welcoming back her tired boys for home comforts.
Like any return back to the oldies’ joint, Australia was greeted by the reassuring hug of a friendly wicket and the warm homely soup of cheap runs against tired tourists.
Thanks to Mum, Mitchell Starc and Usman Khawaja are no longer under pressure for their spots from fresh air. Now if she could somehow just stop us from having cheated in Cape Town, then everything will really be alright again.