Well, well, now it gets interesting. England find themselves defending themselves against a hostile press – whether it be over the WAGs, over their double batting failure, over Finn leaking runs, over Bell’s position in the line up, over Anderson’s trip home – and subsequent “tired” performance and ensuing side strain, Strauss’s captaincy. You name it, and you will find that it is probably being thrown at the English cricket team by someone somewhere.
The MCG curator is getting blasted over favourable ground preparations for the home side. Two things strike me about this – first that Cook confirmed a long-held Australian belief that the English requested that the Oval pitch be doctored in 2009, and that it was (this doesn’t change the fact that Australia went into that match with the wrong line up, a mistake that they seem to be repeating in Melbourne). Secondly, the pitch is five days away from being played on. Perhaps it might be wise to wait, at least until a little closer to the match, before casting aspersions on the MCG ground staff? It would also be wise to just play the dam conditions as they are when you play them. Does anyone go to India and complain that the pitch is too dusty and takes too much spin?
So, with an English team that may be worried about the wicket (although Flower doesn’t seem to be that fazed), their top bowler looking unlikely, Finn looking tired, the possibility of three Ashes debutants (the two new bowlers and Morgan for Collingwood), basically a team with a few difficulties and potentially facing some low morale coming into Christmas … what happens?
Watson decides to be Watson, opens his mouth, and confirms he is a fool and gives the English team a kick up the backside and some inspiration to stick on the MCG dressing rooms.
Anyone who saw the final two balls of the third day knows what happened. They know that Anderson stuffed up in his role as night-watchman. Anyone who watched the first day knows that Anderson tried to be the tough guy and failed, and that Mitchell Johnson took exception (who can really say if this is what fired him up though, that is something that no one will ever know for sure).
But that wasn’t enough for Watson. When Australia need to win the last two tests (or one and a draw), he decides to gloat, to rub salt into an open wound, to mock. I hope Ponting belts him. Kattich would have.
Watson carries himself like a man who considers himself to be a gift to the world, a man without peers, a FIGJAM if you will, and he can’t leave well enough alone.
Chris Gayle was right about Watson last year – “I didn’t expect anything better … that’s typically Shane Watson.” I can’t say it better than the great laid-back one.
Enjoy the win, focus on the next match, and try to score a dam hundred you tool (OK I tried).
This is why I will never like or respect Shane Watson.