To be honest, I've had a bit of a horror run myself these past few days with real sickness and flu and all. Let me tell you, swine flu has got nothing on the ordinary flu strains going around this winter. This is the first time I've been able to get up for any extended period of time in days to do something productive. But what was I saying? Oh, right:
Shane Watson missed training on Monday because he was "a little stiff". The poor thing, he was just too stiff to spread his butter on his toast, let alone bowl a few overs in the nets. And word has also come in the past few days that he is injured.
We are talking about and international cricketer here. Let the injuries begin. If all goes according to plan Watson and his glorious English counterpart should bow out first. But if you let your mind run away from you a little, consider the possibilities. A freak accident taking out Hughesy and leaving Australia with no other option but to bring Clarke in as opener.
And if Clarke is opening, then everytime he wanders down the pitch to have a chat to Kato, he's in danger of losing his life, or rather, having it beaten out of him by a cricket bat-turned-club. So when Michael Clarke dies and Ricky walks in, The Wing Commander slips a few cricket balls down the skipper's way, and Ponting is too busy wondering why spitting on his gloves isn't giving him extra grip so of course he falls right into the trap and twists his ankle.
At this stage, Hussey walks in and England don't even try to sabotage his efforts, they just bowl at the stumps and Mike is gone for a golden duck. Brad Haddin thinks he can do it but he's Brad Haddin, so he can't do it. Jimmy Anderson sends in a bouncer which takes out Haddin and indeed, one of his eyes too. It is a horrific sight, blood is gushing everywhere, but England just laugh it off.
In this situation, Australia are fucked because Shane Watson is injured and Marcus North came down with another case of gastro, so they had to put Andrew McDonald's name down. They never thought it would eventuate to this, but it has and McDonald is their only real batting hope because Mitch hasn't yet declared himself an all-rounder so technically they only bat down to 7.
Needless to say, having his hair enclosed in a helmet with only his eyes for company was never a good idea, and Andrew is blinded by his own hair as the marvellous red colour is reflected around the inside of his helmet in a freak act of nature. He is also out injured.
Then Mitch walks in. He thinks he can bat, he knows he can bat, but he slips on some Haddin blood that is flooding the pitch because nobody bothered to remove Brad's body from the field and he's gushing torrents of blood from his eye socket. As Mitch slips on the blood, his arm flails and hits the stumps. Hit wicket. He walks off dejected because he has failed his country, the sorry bastard.
Hauritz walks in after Brett Lee dies of shock after hearing his own singing voice while listening to his song to motivate himself before the game. And just as England are congratulating themselves on the best victory ever, having injured half the Australian team and bowled them out in half a day for the lowest Test innings score ever, you suckers realise that I've been misleading you all along. Because at the other end of the pitch is Simon Katich, and Simon Katich is currently one pissed off motherfucker. He wants blood, preferably of the English variety, having swum in Haddin's blood for a good hour or so.
In a miraculous turnaround Australia rally, with Katich and Hauritz stacking on the runs with apparent ease. A force field has sprung around Hauritz and despite his mediocre spin bowling skills, he is suddenly the second best batsman on the pitch, after only Kato. Nothing can hit them and you are sitting here thinking, "Amy, you bitch. What a set-up. What a goddamn set-up, I hope you die." Well, I don't. And neither do the heroes of this story.
So in the most unlikely event possible, Hauritz and Katich get the runs in the next hour, working to rectify the damage caused by England's sneaky tactics and hopefully bat for the next 5 sessions. It is a big ask, but that force field is doing the job and Katich is no longer opening the batting, he is lower down where he likes to be and should be, so that's lucky. He has scored his first run when Australia are 7 wickets down and the feeling is great.
Then, in the good old English way, the players stop and they go to lunch. The best kind of sport involves regular meal breaks, including one for tea. Bloodshed has no place in cricket, not when it's time for high tea.
Brad Haddin's blood-soaked body remains on the pitch.
The state of the cricketing nation
32 minutes ago