Greetings intrepid OBOers, wherever you are, whenever it happens to be. If this Ashes series wasn’t already wreaking havoc with your circadian rhythm the first day-night contest in a men’s series between England and Australia will surely nudge it out of kilter.
Yes, that’s right, a day-night Ashes Test at Adelaide Oval (mental note, sure fire way to enrage a local is calling the spectacular arena THE Adelaide Oval). That means pink balls, floodlights, and God only knows what in the stands as patrons are given a four-hour warm-up on the turps.
Australia arrive on the crest of a wave after eventually breaking free from the three-day long arm-wrestle that opened proceedings in Brisbane. Steve Smith’s brilliance allowed his bowlers and opening batsmen to then give England an unceremonious touch up, all rounded off with a press conference equivalent of the hosts holding thumbs to their noses, wiggling their fingers and shouting ‘ner ner na ner ner’.
The presser featuring Cameron Bancroft’s deadpan comic timing and Smith’s uncontrollable giggles precipitated one of those weeks that makes me want to crawl into a cave and hide until the inevitable tit-for-tat responses have blown through. We can now look forward to the the remaining four Tests being played with unnecessary rancour.
Regarding the cricket itself there is plenty of speculation but little certainty about what to expect. Australia’s XI looks likely to be unchanged while England are considering swapping Jake Ball for Craig Overton.
The day-night experience remains an experiment in its early stages so the nature of the pitch, the behaviour of the balls and the general unfolding of the contest remains a mystery. The prevailing wisdom is that this will be England’s best chance of victory all tour and failure would extinguish any hope of the Ashes remaining a contest.
Play begins at 2pm in Adelaide, 2.30pm AET, which is 3.30am in the UK. That leaves plenty of time to catch up with all the news and views of recent days before the first ball is bowled.
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