Trevor Bayliss is one of those rare breed of New South Wales cricketers - one who never seriously threatened for Australian selection! A consistent batsman in Sheffield Shield cricket over a number of years while the Waughs, Taylors and Bevans were spending much of their time away on Test or one-day duty.
It's called the ultimate challenge in world cricket. Not the ultimate fighting challenge, but the ultimate challenge nonetheless. Australia playing England in a five-game series of cricket matches that last a maximum of five days each. The trophy, a fragile and minute 125 year-old artifact - The Ashes - securely and permanently stored and displayed in London.
Ravi Bopara has been an absolute batting genius for England against the West Indies. Three Test innings for three hundreds (104, 143, 108). Now take those three innings out of his career record, and what are left with?
Captain-in-waiting Michael Clarke and Mister-Cricket-in-waiting Marcus North saved Australia's bacon in the Third Test at Edgbaston yesterday. With, it should be noted, the assistance of Mr Cricket himself, county-cricketer-in-waiting Mike Hussey, and chronic injury-in-waiting Shane Watson.
Think of Saturday's day of inaction at Edgbaston not so much as a washout as a pause for half-time at the two-and-a-half Test point of the 2009 Ashes. It hasn't been a series of great science, but it's not dull. And we still don't really know how it's going to finish up.