Strauss has gone to tea on 49, an innings which has so far included a magnificent pull for six and (in my opinion) and even better shot – the straightest of straight drives for four. Cook has accumulated and shouldered arms at the other end, playing a steady second fiddle to Strauss’ flamboyance (never really thought I’d describe his batting as flamboyant).
However, the highlight of the day for me, so far, is when Paul Collingwood cleaned up Hussey’s stumps (admittedly off the bat and the pad). My favourite ginger cricketer just looked so happy, and I’m hoping he gets a hundred here so that if he retires, it will be on a high – or it could rescue his Test career!
There are a few lowlights. Firstly, the partnership between Johnson and Hilfenhaus was allowed to build through Strauss playing to Johnson’s ‘farm-the-strike’ game and Bresnan and Tremlett bowling a few feet too short to induce edges. Second, the woman directing vehicle traffic at the entrance was incredibly rude and in need of a strong sedative (and muffler). Third, the food on offer was so dreadful I couldn’t bring myself to buy any and therefore went without lunch. I also generally get very pissed off with the SCG groundstaff – they take forever, prepare a pretty poor pitch and get all precious over their ground. Also, I’m about as far away from the Barmy Army as possible – although thankfully surrounded by jubiland England fans.