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We are without a doubt currently in a golden age for English cricket and after taking a 20 lead at Lords, England are set to take home the little urn for the third series in a row. In fact so much is our superiority over our colonial brethren that unthinkably, a 5-0 whitewash was touted before the series began and to this I say, why not ten?
I read an article last week written by the Telegraph’s Dan Hodges, stating that every “true” Englishman should be praying for an Australian victory in the second test, as if being the underdog is part of our natural identity.
I for one found this ludicrous, why would anybody want to return to the “glory” days of English cricket where we were steamrollered every series by a far superior Australian side? Can I point anybody in the general direction of our fantastically disappointing football team and ask if this is what the public wants? No? Thought not.
Yes, this is the worst Australian team in donkeys years and their batting line up does have more 0’s in it than a string of binary code but why should that detract from England’s brilliance?
We have the number one swing bowler in the world, a world class spinner and a captain who has over 7000 test runs at the age of 28. Not so long ago trouncing the Aussies by 347 runs would have been but a whimsical fantasy, but this England side have done it without getting out of second gear.
There has been some fear that the Australian’s inability to match this England side will detract from the Ashes, an idea that if Australian cricket does not climb out of its abyss then the Ashes will cease to be the pinnacle of sporting clashes that it is now. This is where being English stops being fun.
Complaining constantly that the contest will be derailed in the future because we’re getting too good, we must be the only nation that does this. The Aussies could not give a flying Cook about the state of English cricket when McGrath and Warne ripped through our lineups, they just enjoyed the carnage, and so should we.
For arguments sake though I’ll clarify a few things. Australia only lost the first test by fourteen runs, if they were better at reviewing they might have won it. Imagine that. Won it.
Although completely outclassed in the batting line-up, Australia retain a very promising young bowling attack that has proved it is capable of taking twenty English wickets.
Plus despite the in-fighting, paper-thin top order and useless use of reviewing, this is still an Australian side and they do not give up. You try telling Peter Siddle that this Ashes is over already.
This is a special English side, a very good one, probably one of the best ever. Please do not waste them by wishing they were worse. If you want to see them have a game, stick around until we next play South Africa.
As for the Aussies, they will be back eventually I promise, but for now sit back and enjoy the carnage.