Call me un-Australian if you like, John McDonald, but this is not the result I wanted. Not yet, anyway. Having booked my tickets for the Boxing Day test months ago, I was hoping that it would still be a live rubber.
The fourth day of the 3rd test in Perth would have to rank as a classic as far as test cricket goes. Yes, England were staring down the barrel of defeat. They had to bat for two days against one of the best attacks in the world to save the game. And they managed to defy the bowlers for the good part of a day.
But this was not dour, boring, Geoffrey Boycott-style batting. The tension was there in every ball. For the entire day, they were on a knifes-edge. Ball after ball going that close to turning the game back in Australia’s favour. Do you get excitement like that in the middle overs of yet another one-dayer? I think not!
You see, “hating” England is a bit like hating Collingwood. As the old joke goes:
Q. What’s better than beating Collingwood by 10 goals?
A. Beating them by a point!
So what I wanted was a classical, close contest in the spirit of 2005 in England. But then, for a 2-1 scoreline coming into Sydney, a defiant 9th wicket stand by the pommies that were this close to victory, and only then to be defeated.
Such victories are ever so sweeter!