Anyone sitting down, a week out from the resumption of hostilities in the Two Part Ashes Series, scratching the noggin and pondering the absence of lengthy dispatches from The Little House of Concrete Sports Desk can relax.
We know there's someone out there since a glance at the Blogger stats reveals around twenty hits on the blog page on 12 November, around the time the side was named.
We’re back, but we’re not sure how long it’ll last because we’re not sure how much we’ll have to talk about.
I’m inclined to see the whole two part exercise as something like a football match, played in two halves. We’ve spent the first half running players on and off the field as we try to establish the right combination. We’d sort of got things right by the time we got to The Oval and a couple of players who needed to put their hands up, then headed off at half time for a break with most of the selection issues settles.
That’s most selection issues, but not all of the buggers. We have the predictable questions about who’s fit in the bowling department and one can’t help suspecting Faulkner got his guernsey in a sort of What if Watto can’t bowl scenario, which meant there was still a possible gap at Six.
White ball form had established Bailey as the most likely contender at Six, and when you look at matters like The Captain’s Back and the lack of alternative leaders in the side most likely contender probably got transformed into lay down misere.
Ain’t hindsight wonderful?
Actually, when you look at it, after all the tinkering this six at the top of the order is probably as good as we’re likely to get for the next six months. Messrs Cowan, Hughes and Khawaja haven’t done enough to upset the applecart. Doolan doesn’t quite seem to have come on as expected. Queenslanders seem to be ineligible by origin. End of story.
Which is fine, in a way, because there are longevity issues with Rogers and Clarke, Watson is a game by game proposition, so there are spots up for grabs in the medium term. All we need is a few contenders coming to the fore.
The batting may not be fine, but for the next six weeks this lot is probably as good as it gets and could do very well indeed.
The bowling ain’t too shabby either, with Johnson having hit some white ball form. He’ll deliver the shock attack (or shocking, you can never tell). Harris and Siddle will work their guts out, and Lyon continues to come along nicely. He’s a work in progress, and I think progress is being made.