One swallow doesn’t make a summer, one innings doesn’t create a career, and one decision doesn’t determine the outcome of a Test match.
Let’s turn our attention to that last point while everybody’s rhapsodising over Ashton Agar’s rather remarkable debut innings, shall we?
Umpiring decisions determine the direction in which things will develop, and while English supporters can complain all they like about the third umpire’s decision that allowed Agar’s innings to continue, I’ll respond with inconclusive and benefit of the doubt. The English commentators on the radio were quite outspoken about on the line being out, but I reckon there was a smidgen of doubt and the batsman’s entitled to it.
Maybe that one balanced up the Rogers LBW, which was one of the things that had landed us in that little nine-for predicament.
Predictably, there’s a degree of controversy about the Trott LBW, and rightly so, because it’s something that’s happening off the field affecting what goes down on it, but TV broadcasters have been fiddling with things to suit themselves for yonks, Hot Spot is their technology, anyway, and something like this was always likely to happen, so Murphy’s Law kicks in about here.
You know Murphy’s Law: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and when it does go wrong it will go wrong at the worst possible moment.
And if anyone’s going to argue about that one, I’ll have a go at the rather remarkable passage of play about half an hour into the day when the ball, which had been going gun barrel straight, started reversing.
Now, I’m not going to use the word cheating here, and I’m not necessarily suggesting the dark art of bringing reverse swing into play equates to ball tampering, but there’s something very sus about this from where I’m sitting.
Yes, Anderson and company are very good at getting the ball into the state where it will reverse, and it’s quite possible the means through which this is achieved is totally legitimate. The interesting thing, at least as far as I can see, is that this ability to reverse is a temporary thing, and it seems to be something that can be countered by affecting the state of the ball through the agencies of willow and concrete.
With Australia having lost 5 for 9 in about half an hour, the reverse seemed to remove itself from the equation. Strange.
But all that, of course, is secondary to the big issue here, and that’s the fact that Agar’s 98 and the 163 run tenth wicket partnership have set things up for an interesting Day Three.