The tourists have had a very busy few days. The draw against New South Wales counts for almost nothing as at team exercise, Fletcher saw to that by playing 14 men and removing the 1st class status.
But as a collection of individual performances it made for fascinating viewing.
Jimmy Anderson, quite rightly stole most of the print for his bowling and it is indeed encouraging to see his new action allows him to swing more or less around corners.
Pieterson and Flintoff both managed good knocks with the bat, thankfully answering many of the observations made in these pages.
However, the preformance which stood out in my mind was that of G Jones. Not content with grassing a catch and missing two stumping he turned in a typically underwhelming showing at the crease.
Fletcher will no doubt turn a deaf ear to the frustrated weeping of Chris Read in the next few weeks, as he insists on fielding as many MBE’s as he can.
No doubt the most starteling event is the demise of Marcus Trescothick.
I cannot critcise this man, he is a loyal son of Albion who has given his all for years without pause and now is reaping the whirlwind of his quiet dedication.
Many in the media are speculating that he could return in time, pointing to the example of Thorpe.
The crucial difference is Thorpe missed one tour as his personal life spun out of control and his marriage ended.
Marcus is suffering from an obviously clinical problem.
Anyone who spends two hours crying on the physio’s shoulder in the dressing room having already missed two tours is not looking likely to come back.
His demise is a very sad testament to the ICC’s ruthless fixture list, allowing the best no time at home.
While he is a great personal loss to the team, the odds are that Cook will be a better opening partner for Strauss anyway, and Collingwood (quite rightly) will keep his spot.
The new news is the selection of Ed Joyce. I will not dwell on the idiocy of overlooking Ramprakash, Butcher and Benning, all of whom have much stronger claims. Rather we will pause and give thanks that it was not Owais Shah, the hapless Rob Key or God forbid, Rikki “The Muppet” Clarke.