Talking of the phoney war, it was great to listen to Michael Vaughan, Gladstone Small and Allan Lamb reminiscing about past Ashes series on the radio during the week.
The fact that, prior to their triumphant Test series in 1986-87, Mike Gatting's side only had three things wrong with them* has passed into English cricket folklore. So it was great to hear from Small that there were reasons for this. From the sound of it the side spent most of the first few weeks of the tour enjoying themselves, only putting their minds to the main objective of the trip the night before the Brisbane Test, which they went on to win handsomely. The clear implication was that the odd alcoholic drink was consumed.
This time, unlike the last time they were in Australia, England have the opportunity to prepare properly. But I suspect their methods of refreshment might be a little different.
Such is the passing of time and the change of eras.
* According to Martin Johnson, writing in The Independent, England's only faults at the time were that 'they can't bat, they can't bowl and they can't field'.
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