Tuesday, January 2

5th Test

It's not gone horribly wrong yet. Not wonderfully great either, though. Still no great opening partnership, Bell has got another 50 but not converted it into a good score, and we're now down to the last two proper batsmen. While we don't have Jones the duck in the team anymore, I'm not expecting great achievements from Read with the willow (although getting 50 would be nice, particularly to shut up a certain Guardian journalist who kept supporting Jones after it had become clear his batting was going backwards), so it's up to Flintoff and Collingwood to establish a decent score. And dare I say it, a good score from Read might reduce the tendency for people to start getting over-excited by Steve Davis, who's averaging 36 in First Class games. He's not 21 until this year, and frankly it's too soon, I'd want him to have at least a couple of seasons before we consider making him face the press, who'll turn on him in an instant if he fails (as they did with Read seven years ago).

I'd be more confident if England had put up more of a fight in the earlier matches, as at least that would have tired out the Aussies who are even older than me. Instead - well, we'll need heroics from Panesar, it seems.

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