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Back to that 1989 field placing, the short midwicket had Gooch thinking something along the lines of “What are they doing? I don’t hit the ball in the air through there. Or do I?” The uncertainty that came with Or do I? set things up so Alderman, who, remember was supposed to be swinging the ball, could regularly clean up England’s premier bat with balls that went more or less gun barrel straight.

You can expect something along these lines from Clarke through this series if comments made here are anything to go by.

I like Rogers as opener, and, according to this article he brings a little bit more than a heap of runs and current form to the side. There’s that eternal question of how the English bowler gets the Dukes ball to swing when we don’t. Rogers, interestingly, may be part of the solution to what has been a thorny problem.

And, on that basis, I like the fact that we’ve got half a dozen fully fit bowlers on tour seemingly ready to fire.

I expect Lyon to do surprisingly well, and someone out of Hughes, Khawaja, Smith and Warner to nail down a secure place in the Australian middle order for the next couple of years, and don’t dismiss Cowan or Hughes as a potential Three if either is tried in that position.

Over the next six and a half weeks there are a lot of players in the Australian side with a lot to play for and a coach who has, I think, the potential to ensure a couple of them really deliver. That might not be enough to bring back the urn after The Oval, but time will, as they say, tell.

© Ian L Hughes 2021