Cow Corner

The view from Down Under: Do the English… slowly

Australians were, understandably, upbeat ahead of the start of the second Ashes Test against England at the Adelaide Oval.

Having trounced England in Brisbane in the series opener, some of Australia's most respected columnists could barely conceal their delight at the thought of turning the screw on England.

Peter FitzSimons, a columnist in the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote:

With Australia so overwhelmingly on top in that first Test; with our batsmen so much stronger than theirs; with our bowlers terrorising theirs with every second ball; with our campaign on a roll and theirs in disarray; with our handle-bar moustache bristling and their wispy bum-fluff still showing signs of milk atop the bottom lip … I'd rather there be no easy execution, if there is to be one.

No easy execution for them, Mitchell. No thunderbolts right at the stumps early, for we want them to stay for at least a while in your firing line. We want more of those ashen-faced performances! There's got to be some sport in this for all of us, even beyond the cricket! We want you to push them, prod them, send it past their ears at 155km/h; we want them hung down, strung down, brung down; toke them, poke them, roll them up and smoke them with another zinger past the chin that whistles Waltzing Matilda as it goes … and THEN the thunderbolt straight at the stumps.

You get the drift. If it is to be that Australia's hour has at last come, I vote we make it … TWO hours. I vote … we do them … slowly.

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Upbeat, and also pretty aggressive. Ben Dorries in the Brisbane-based Courier-Mail (the paper that banned Stuart Broad) reacted strongly to reports that some members of the England and Wales Cricket Board were so outraged by Gabba fan chants of "Stuart Broad is a w****r" that they complained to Cricket Australia.

The whingeing Poms appear guilty of blatant hypocrisy after making veiled threats to boycott future Gabba Tests over the behaviour of Brisbane fans.

The country whose unruly cricket supporters viciously abused fast bowler Mitchell Johnson when he was suffering a personal meltdown during the 2009 Ashes in England has now leapt on its high horse.

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Former Test spinner and outspoken pundit Shane Warne had some revealing news before the match started.

Warne told SEN radio that he had heard England had ordered extra protective clothing.

I've got a scoop for you guys, I've just heard this morning... that England bought nine of them yesterday - extra chest guards and arms guards. So I think they are expecting more of the same.

I thought we played some pretty aggressive cricket in [Brisbane], and I think it's in the DNA of all Australians to be aggressive and bring out that mongrel in us.

I think we showed that in the first Test and England and haven't liked it. So we need more of that.

I think that caught them on the hop. I think the way it turned out in Brisbane, we bullied them. I think we upset them, and they didn't like it.

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Meanwhile, another SMH columnist Malcolm Knox, wrote:

The Ashes balance of power was reversed in Brisbane. How much was, for want of a better word, real - due to Australia's rising confidence and skill, and England's decline? How much owed to the one-off conditions of the Gabba's fast, bouncy wicket and bullring atmosphere?

Adelaide will minimise the second of those variables. Of all the Australian wickets, the Adelaide Oval's drop-in pitch is expected to most closely resemble the low, slow, abrasive surfaces that were cooked up in India - pardon, England - during the winter. There will be spin for Graeme Swann and reverse swing for James Anderson and company. Adelaide's genteel crowds will be as close to English as can be found here. If England cannot take this chance - the type of hospitality Australia never received - they will be unable to keep telling themselves Brisbane was some kind of rogue happening.

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