The Press Tent daily: The Langer curse

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Langer’s Curse

It’s easy to forget given the way they like to talk about England being scared, and how they’re going to end careers, and open old scars, but Australia have won only two of the last seven Ashes series.

That run goes back to the now little-remembered 2005 series in England, with the only exceptions a couple of narrow 5-0 wins for the Baggy Greens on home soil. And now it has been exclusively revealed what, precisely, led to that dramatic change in fortunes following eight successive Aussie series wins.

It all changed in the aftermath of the first Test in 2005. While England had done better than in some previous Ashes openers, they had still ultimately been duffed up by over 200 runs.

But little did anyone know that Australia were about to do something that would seal their Ashes fate for a decade or more. Justin Langer, keeper of the team song, decided it would be sung in the England dressing room rather than their own.

Adam Gilchrist spilled the beans on the singing that shames a nation, to the clear and genuine surprise of Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen, while the subject is also discussed in an upcoming Ashes documentary for Australian television.

Australia have lost every series they’ve played in England since, including at least one and arguably two series where England weren’t even any good. Will the curse of Langer’s Hubris ever be lifted?

Bore War

It’s not been a vintage Test for Brisbane Courier-Mail nonsense, although it was of course always going to be tough to match the insane standards they set during England’s last visit here.

But faced with an opening day when England had done okay, they knew the pressure was on to produce something. “BORE-ME ARMY” was the Courier-Mail verdict on the “STODGY POMS” that had somehow managed to withstand the ferocious heat of the famed Aussie Pace Cartel, yet had done so at an insufficiently entertaining pace for the highbrow Queensland paper.

With England’s first innings clocking in at 2.58 runs per over, we eagerly await the official Courier-Mail verdict on the 89-run partnership at 2.39 per over that dragged Australia back into the game on day two.

Pop the question

A successful marriage proposal from a shirtless man, with green-and-gold face paint, in a swimming pool, at an Ashes Test must surely go down as the most Australian event of all time.

An approving “He’s done well” from Michael Vaughan must be the icing on the cake (or should that be shrimp on the barbie?) for the happy couple.