...if Xavier doesn't take any wickets, then Hilfenhaus certainly won't.
Last month I made some considered and well-thought out predictions on the likely result of the Ashes test match series based on a lifetime following the game and my embarrassingly vast knowledge of cricket statistics. I was so utterly wrong I don’t know why I bothered, other than to prove once again why I actually like the game. Few sports can match test cricket for its ability to make fools out of armchair pundits.
I predicted Cook would fail miserably again as he doesn't deserve the title of FEC (Future England Captain) that he had foisted on him from the moment it was discovered he could speak properly and he was called Alastair (always a good cricketing name). Accordingly, Cook set a new record by batting for longer in a series than any cricketer in history at around a day and a half. This is even longer than Boycott batted in 1970-71 and slightly longer than all the Australian batsmen put together.
I predicted that Anderson would fail in the unhelpful conditions down under. Accordingly, Anderson took the most wickets in the helpful conditions down under.
I reckoned Pietersen would be a prima donna again. He hit his first double hundred. And I didn't expect anything from Bell, and he was sublime.
On the other hand I thought our only possibility of winning would come from Swann bowling everyone out, but he had his worst ever series. And I thought Collingwood might save us from ignominy with his robust batting, except he was so bad he wouldn’t get in the Australian team and he's now faced with the decision of whether to retire or to wait for the selectors to retire him.
Ah well! But anyhow, a big well done to the players for keeping the Ashes in England until 2013. I might do the sprinkler dance later (don’t ask) to celebrate, or then again I might settle for getting some sleep.