Enduring a throat ritual-scraped by Jonathan Trott then sprayed with Deep Heat is a small price to pay in whatever deal has been made with the cricketing gods. It's been an astonishing day for England at the MCG as Australia were rolled over for 98, their twenty-fifth lowest ever score in Ashes tests (a stat dug up by Rob Smyth at the always tremendous and, today, tremulous, Guardian over-by-over report). It's also the third lowest first innings total in Melbourne and only the fourth time ever a team has been dismissed for under 100 batting first there (and the first time for 78 years). As an English cricket fan in my early thirties I only get the abacus out when the eggs are boxed and on the shelf, but if anyone does want to start counting chickens you can also consider the fact that a team has scored fewer than 100 batting first and gone on to win only five times in history, the last being England in 1907. A draw has been salvaged on ten occasions.
Here's some reaction to the day from the SMH, Adelaide Now and (Aussie national broadcaster) ABC. It's fair to say they're not happy.