But surely they won’t fold like cheap suits again like they did at the Gabba in the first Test. 

Here are some of the top headlines doing the Ashes rounds as we head into the second Test at the Adelaide Oval starting Wednesday night UK time. And here’s a treat, some of them are even about cricket and not just talking about it … not this first one though.  

Anderson chirps up and admits he’s a sledger and proud

After all and sundry condemned the Aussies extra yappy approach to the first Test at the Gabba, particularly Michael Clarke who got fined for warning James Anderson of the inherent risks of batting against Mitchell Johnson, the bowler wrote a column in the Daily Mail.

He said: “Certainly in the past few years I’ve developed [sledging] as a skill and it has helped me take the wickets I have.”

“I have absolutely no problem about any of what the Australians were doing on the field, I probably dish it out more than most in the field, so I generally get it back more than most. I expect it and accept it.”

Hallelujah! Someone from the other side finally said it, after Johnson, Lehmann, Rogers and others said something similar. 

Now if only they’d all shut up and get on with it.



Rankin and Finn bowl themselves out of Adelaide 

Boyd Rankin, the Irishman playing for England and Wales, and Steven Finn were given a shot at impressing against a modest Chairman’s XI in Alice Springs but bowled so well England are considering a second spinner for the second Test. 

The drop-in pitch will be much harder graft for the bowlers than lively Brisbane, meaning the ACB should get maximum five days ticket sales but also have the potential of a bore draw. 

Bowling all-rounder Ben Stokes is the smokey for England, with the red-headed paceman a chance to come in at No 6, Joe Root moving up to No 5 and Ian Bell facing a newer ball at No 3 to replace Jonathan Trott. Stokes can handle a bat OK, maybe even at No 7 after Matt Prior, but would be there for extra pace option would be why he’s there. Or batsman Gary Ballance, who got 55 in Alice, could come in as a straight batting replacement. 


Faulkner in the frame for Aussies

England has Stokes, Australia has James Faulkner. If it was an ODI both would be walk-up starters, but Darren Lehmann’s said the bowling all-rounder’s left-arm seamers could come in handy as they take on a pitch that won’t offer much help.


Uh oh! Clarke rolls ankle training in Adelaide

Other than some sort of natural disaster or the entire England top order learning how to leave Mitchell Johnson’s bouncers, the worst possible news for an Australian this week is Michael Clarke doing anything to harm himself. 

Te first Test centurian scared the bejesus out of his team’s staff when he rolled his ankle running on Adelaide Oval while we slept. 

He left the field and reports say he wasn’t 100 per cent when he came back. But he did bat in the nets in the afternoon. Phew. 

PA man says he likes Monty so silly accent’s OK 

David Nixon was named as the announcer sacked on the spot during the Alice Springs tour match after calling Monty Panesar’s name with an Indian accent. 

It’s all a bit idiotic. Panesar is from Luton and the way he speaks has little resemblance to India – the South African accent of Kevin Pietersen on the other hand…

How Nixon thought this was appropriate though is the real worry and Cricket Australia rightly gave him the flick. 

A CA spokesperson said: “Cricket Australia deemed the conduct of the PA announcer as inappropriate and as such he will take no further part in the match.”

“There will be no further comment from CA until a review of events has been completed.”

Nixon took to his Twitter account to explain that his ‘style’ did not work with the broadcaster.
He wrote: “Really? I love Monty P – cult hero. He should bat 3. My style didn’t fit theirs. That’s all.

Images via Getty