Cricket Australia Items/Blogs/dean-wilson/2013/8/5/dr-who

Dean Wilson

Dr Who and the cricket

05 August 2013

Cricket Correspondent for the UK's Daily Mirror newspaper Dean Wilson says he feels for Michael Clarke and the situation he finds himself in after an early finish to day four of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

SO THE big news out of the UK on Sunday is that Peter Capaldi is the new Dr Who.

For those unsure of who Capaldi is, his most famous role to date is that of Malcolm Tucker in the satirical comedy series about British politics called 'The Thick of It'.

His character is an exaggerated extremely sweary version of a political spin doctor, and in each episode I end up doffing my cap to the writers who have taken profanity and made it an art form.

It means that any time I see someone getting angry and gesticulating, but cannot hear them, I imagine they are invoking the spirit of Malcolm Tucker.

For a moment towards the end of the day's play in Manchester I imagined Michael Clarke to be in that boat as he railed against the umpire's decision to go off for bad light.

He was visibly disappointed at being taken off while he was in search of the perfect time to declare before setting his bowlers on the England batsmen to take the 10 wickets they need for victory.

He was denied that chance by the safety conscious umpires who had a job to do.

As he walked towards the dressing room, muttering under his helmet I just imagined what delicious phrases he must have come out with as the frustration of the situation engulfed him.

Moments later it was raining and his annoyance at the heavens would have been complete. Where was this rain when Australia were trying to save a game?!

It just added to the sense that this is not Clarke's summer. Even when he bats like a king and his team play good, tough, competitive cricket, the gods still smile on England.

Clarke had every right to feel aggrieved as he trudged off, but his anger I suspect stems not from that one decision, but from the situation he finds himself in.

This Test match has been do or die for him and his team, yet even with a fine performance it may not prove to be enough and that must hurt.

The game itself was all about setting up the final day.

England passed the follow on target with ease in the end thanks to Stuart Broad and Matt Prior before Australia took the final wickets to get themselves back in.

At which point it was about setting a total to declare on.

David Warner's promotion back up the order to give Shane Watson a break before having to bowl worked on many levels, but best of all it allowed Joe Root to catch him out on the boundary in perfect style.

The crowd loved it and even Warner himself could see the funny side. The pair of them will forever be linked, and I think it will make for an entertaining few years.

Especially because Warner is big enough to not only take the punishment he's had, and the abuse he's getting from the crowd, but also to be able to laugh at himself.

His post day comments were right on the money for humility, honesty, and good humour.

As I've said before in these blogs, I'm really enjoying watching him go about his work and I hope he is around for a long while to come yet.

He could have gone earlier than his 41 when he appeared to top edge one to the keeper, but the technology didn't pick up anything and he survived.

I could go on about the technology and the umpires and the DRS again, but I suspect you, like me are all a bit bored of it.

Lets hope it gets ironed out very soon for all our sakes, and especially the players'.

The lead sits at 331 overnight and with more rain expected on day five, the Ashes will more than likely be retained by a draw.

At least Clarke will have the chance to sleep on that and appreciate there is nothing anyone can do about the Manchester weather.

If it turns out that the weather plays the biggest part on the final day and England only have a minimal amount of time to bat out the day it won't be the most entertaining way for things to be resolved for sure.

But unless the Aussies have got Dr Who up their sleeves there isn't a great deal they can do about it.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia. 

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.
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