Special Guest Post: 7 Reasons I’m Backing Us To Win The Ashes
Hello! It’s Wednesday, and regular 7 Reasons (.org) readers might be surprised to find a guest post here. But today is special. Because today is the day that The Ashes begins, and I can’t begin to tell you how excited the 7 Reasons team are by this. Well, I could begin, but I’d never be able to stop myself and we’d all miss the cricket while I babbled on and on. So, joining us on the 7 Reasons sofa today is Sir Straussy who has taken time out from his busy cricketing and tweeting schedule to explain why he’s backing us to win The Ashes. And by us, I sincerely hope he isn’t referring to the 7 Reasons team; that would be a disaster.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the England Captain are entirely his own and do not represent those of 7 Reasons (.org)*
1. It’s In The Toss. This is nothing new, but Ricky Ponting and I are tossers. We have to be. It’s in the contract. To be a captain you must be a tosser. And I am very proud to be both. So is Ricky. The difference between us is that, while I’m a good tosser, he’s a useless tosser. The stats don’t lie. Using the motto ‘tails never fails’ I have won 59% of tosses as England captain, Ricky has won a mere 49% in his role as an Australian tosser. And with the toss being so crucial these days, that 10% will give us the edge. But, I hear you ask, what happens if tails fails? Is that it? Shall we give up? Forget about this Test? No, certainly not. Again, let’s examine the stats, in the 41% of matches in which tails never fails has gone tits down, I have led England to victories 64% of the time. And as for Punter? Well, under his tossership, Australia have won just 30% of the Tests in which he has lost the toss. So, just remember, if my tossing goes wonky, don’t worry, I still produce results.
2. Younger, Fitter, Stronger. Assuming we go into the first Test with the team I want and Australia go into the first Test with the team I want, the average age of the England team is going to be twenty years lower than that of our counterparts. And even if Australia don’t go with Dame Edna Everage and Bill Lawry, our boys will still be younger on average. If the probable teams that have been bandied about in the papers for the last few days are to be believed, we’ll step onto the field with the average age of 28 years and six months. Australia will wheel themselves onto the field averaging 31 years. That age difference means we’re much fitter. Just take a look at our bodies. No one can tell me Dougy Bollinger is fitter than pin-up sensation Stuart Broad. Or Simon Katich is fitter than Brighton favourite Jimmy Anderson. Or podge-face Punter is fitter than the hairy-armed version of myself.
3. The Hair Apparent. According to the internet, the American writer, actor and comedian Larry David once said, ‘Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair, but a confident bald man – there’s your diamond in the rough’. He was talking about Matt Prior. The one player in world cricket whose surname inexplicably can’t be used with an O or Y to form a nickname.
4. Names. And talking of nicknames, should you wish to use ours on the Scrabble board we will score you an average of 9.5 points per player. That’s a staggering 0.9 points more than the Aussies. When you also throw into the equation that this includes the nickname-less Prior, it almost defies belief. How is this going to help us win the Ashes though? Well, it’s not directly, it was more an observation I made playing online scrabble with Lady Straussy. But it did get me thinking. Us English and South African-English just whack a Y on the end of a surname and be done with it. We then get on with the cricket. The Aussies though, well judging by some of the nicknames for their players, I imagine they spend a great deal of time in the middle trying to think of something wondrous. That must be why Haddin is called BJ, Bollinger is called Eagle, North is called Snorks and the 27 year-old new boy, Xavier Doherty, is called X. You need to concentrate on the game in this game, not faff around thinking of schoolboy nicknames. In some ways this is why I hope Usman Khawaja plays. Though I suspect he’s called Koala.
5. The KP Factor. With his Movember challenge nearly at an end – a contest Monty has dominated from an early stage – and his blindfold cricket ‘viral’ video for Brylcreem out of the way, KP now has the chance to concentrate on what he loves. And, talking about love, the other day the lads saw that the fat lad Warney had said KP needed loving again. So that’s exactly what we have given him. Lots of it. Aussie, watch out.
6. Midge. That’s the nickname of Mitchell Johnson, presumably because like a midge he has no sense of co-ordination. Anyway, he has vowed to make me crumble. Which is lovely. I’m looking forward to it at tea. But Midge has also vowed to make me suffer under a bouncer barrage. This goes back to the 2006/7 Ashes where I fully admit I got out hooking twice. Midge wants to exploit this perceived weakness. Given that I was caught behind four times in the same series, one could be forgiven to think I am far more susceptible to the one that pitches in the corridor of uncertainty and moves a fraction away off the seam. Mind you, Midge’s corridor of uncertainty is only slightly smaller than Steve Harmison’s, so perhaps that’s what he means anyway.
7. We Are England! To paraphrase Hugh Grant, ‘We may be an England cricket team, but we are a South African one too. A country of Allan Lamb, Basil D’Oliveira, Tony Greig, Robin Smith, Robin Smith’s brother. Nasser Hussain’s index finger. Nasser Hussain’s middle finger come to that. And a friend who bullies us is a Commonwealth country that wants to become a Republic. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward, I will be prepared to whip out my guns more often. And the whole of Australia should be prepared for that.’ Actually, it sounds much better like this.
*Unless he makes fun of Ricky Ponting or the French.