Cow Corner

Rain fails to save character-less Aussies

Cow Corner

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At 2.05 local time in Adelaide, a biblical rainstorm hit the Adelaide Oval answering Australian cricket fans' prayers. Unfortunately, two and a half hours previously their side left the field almost as swiftly.

In under an hour and a half, six wickets fell for 66 runs on Tuesday morning - seven if you include Kevin Pietersen's wicket of Michael Clarke with Monday's last ball.

Graeme Swann cleaned up the tail but James Anderson's two wickets in as many deliveries may have been the most memorable moments. Ryan Harris's padding up to receive a king pair suggests that while he marginally improves their bowling stocks, he probably lessens the collective IQ, even when replacing Mitchell Johnson.

One-nil down with three Tests to go is not insurmountable, though the last time Australia came from behind to win at home was in 1936-37 when they had a pretty decent batsman and captain who went by the name of The Don.

Most worrying for Australia must be the lack of character in the side.

The current Baggy Green seem to have the softness among Australian sportsmen was once the exclusive preserve of  their football players.

With this situation it's easy to see why the loss of fair-dinkum Aussie tough guy Simon Katich is mourned by Ricky Ponting, if not purveyors of stylish cricket.

As the rain fell down and journalists cowered in the press box, through the mist from the hill it was possible to see a figure from the dressing room race on to the field and slide in the temporary rivers near the middle. Paul Collingwood was the rumoured offender, but in the darkened skies even Colly himself might not have been sure.

Aussies may take heart from the absence of Stuart Broad for the last three Tests, though it is fair to say that England would have been able to get to their current position without his two wickets at 80.5 and golden duck in Brisbane.

Amazingly, the most even contest of the Test came after the fourth day when Ian Botham and Ian Chappell, like a scene out of Anchorman, had to be separated in the car park by their respective Sky Sports and Channel Nine colleagues after 55-year-old Beefy apparently reacted to a snipe from Chapelli, 67.

The two have had a 33-year feud to rival Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin after an incident where Botham claims he punched Ian Chappell off his bar stool. The former Australian skipper says he slipped after being pushed. Hardly Sugar Ray Robinson-Jake La Motta as rivalries go, but tell me you don't wish you were there to see it.

Shot of the day: A myriad of contenders there were not. Brad Haddin's cover drive from James Anderson was only shot of note that comes to mind.

Stat of the day: 1888 was the last time an Australian captain lost three Ashes series. As if things weren't hard enough for this guy, his name was Percy McDonnell.

Quote of the day: KP on his bowling success, late on day four: "I'm the original pie chucker."  

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