If ever proof were needed that Australia are now well and truely back in the pack with the rest of us, it came today in the form of Marcus North.
In scoring a century while ‘drinking in last chance saloon’, North achieved the ultimate accolade usually reserved solely for English batsmen. In doing so he showed that either Australia are now as bad as the rest of us, or North is really a pom in disguise.
In the past only English batsmen are usually given such a long stay of execution due to the lack of quality back-up in the county game. Australia usually have a vast array of young hungry batsmen waiting for a sniff of a chance and in a not-so-long-ago time, surely North would have been long gone by now.
Is Australia’s reluctance to drop North, down to not having enough talent coming through? Or do the selectors see something in him worth sticking with?
Recent members of this exclusive club include Alastair Cook, who in scoring a century at the Oval against Pakistan last summer guaranteed his place in England’s batting for another 12-18 months judging by the selectors past history.
Previous drinkers in this saloon are Paul Collingwood before Edgbaston in 2008 and Andrew Strauss before the Napier test in March, 2008.
Another regular visitor to this particular establishment is Ian Bell. Belly wasn’t in the bar at the time, but he fell and broke his foot and as a result is currently hoping to be welcomed back in Australia.
One person who couldn’t handle his beers and had to be evicted from this bar was Ravi Bopara in 2009. This was the second time he has been asked to leave by the management after having similar problems in Sri Lanka at the back end of 2007, where he could only manage a mere 8.4 units a visit.
At the moment the Jagermeister’s are currently being lined up for hapless Paul Collingwood, yet again. For the third English summer in a row Colly has been swaying around the bar spilling his drink, but he seems to always manage to save himself.
Colly had a decent tour of Australia four years ago, I think he would be the first to admit that he currently owes England a few runs.