On flat pitches cricket can be hard for the fielding team. England found it hard yesterday. Australia found it hard today.
What makes cricket harder is dropping catches.
There is a cliché that you’ve heard about catches winning matches, and it’s days like yesterday and today that make old guys who know less than fuck all about cricket go all serious while they stroke their chins and say it.
I hate those guys.
There were no easy catches for Australia, but there were three catches that professional international cricketers should take.
Mitchell had the high hard one, not just from the crowd afterwards. Strauss tried a stupid shot out of the footmarks and hit it straight to Johnson who dropped in and then fell to the ground like he was doing a experimental dance performance.
Siddle took a while to see Cook’s top edge, and by the time he did his hand was just getting to the ball as it hit the ground. Then he got up limping and flexing, just what Australia needed.
Clarke dived to his left to pick up a wayward cutshot from Trott and took the catch in his fingers, but the strain of his back, failed relationship and the Australian public turning on him, combined with the fact he couldn’t really brace himself, meaning he fumbled the ball.
Australia only got one other chance for the whole day.
Cause you know, as the old man stroking his beard while he searches his brain for a fucking boring cliché would say, they call it test cricket for a reason.
If all those chances were taken, Australia might still be a touch in the shit, but the shit might only be waste high, rather than at mouth level where it is now.
Will they be able to get out of this shit pool of their own making, or will they fecally drown.
Will they “catch” up?
You will only know if you join in for tomorrow’s dramatic climax…