Jim Lyon - Whingeing Aussies have no stomach for the Ashes battle

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
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So they have criticised our stubborness, our refusal to back down, our ‘cheating’, our over-the-top celebrations, our pragmatic captain and now our meticulous dietary plans.

Anyone think Australia might be running scared a little?

There are so many echoes of days gone by when the batting boots were on the other foot.

When year upon year of Ashes hammering was being endured by us Poms we would constantly seek some kind of justification for being beaten.

The Aussies, we felt, were hard-nosed and ungracious who would sell their own family for a victory where as we remained thoroughly decent chaps.

Now, having taken a long, hard look at how we ‘do’ cricket in this country, there has been a complete and successful overhaul of the way we carry things out both on and off the field.

Those wearing the Baggy Green, however, seem to lurch from disaster to disaster.

These things are cyclical and it will be all too soon that they have restored their fortunes and are back on top again.

But, in the meantime, it is nice to see them squirm a little.

Their latest complaint seems to be the 82-page ‘ECB Chef’s Guide’ which is distributed to the caterers at each ground England will play at.

The Aussies do not appear to agree that lamb and pea koftas, grilled aubergine sandwiches and almond and cinnamon flapjacks could ever be considered ‘essential’.

However, as they would no doubt have exclaimed during their years of dominance, if it works, who cares?

Lack of talent has never been the major issue in English cricket. It was the mental and physical approach that held us back.

In 1993 England were stuffed 4-1 in the Ashes series with a top order of Gooch, Atherton, Gatting, Smith, Hick, Stewart.

In 2013 they triumphed 3-0 with Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow.

Man for man talentwise? Well, you decide.

Much as I loathe the current management speak it is off the pitch that the difference lies.

Despite the need to refer to skill-sets, processes and pathways, the practical side of these things is working.

Perhaps its because the players have been empowered to take ownership by management facilitation - but I hope not.

No matter. For as long as the Three Lions keep winning Ashes series I don’t believe there will be a single Englishmen who cares unduly.

Much as there was very little tear-shedding in Wollongong, Wagga Wagga or Warrnambool when we were getting thumped.

From that point of if our boys want to munch on quinoa with roasted butternut squash and it helps them bring the urn back again, that is just fine by me.