All Guns blazing
Bumble blogs from Perth where he's surrounded by rock stars and the home fans aren't happy.
Last Updated: 15/12/10 1:42pm
We've been in Perth since Saturday and let me tell you, rock and roll is here to stay.
Guns 'n' Roses are in the same hotel as us. We've seen Axl Rose hanging around and it's not hard to spot the other members of the band. They're all very heavily tattooed and there was one chap sat at the bar with a top hat on.
I must admit, I've never cared much for their music. Sweet Child 'O Mine was okay, I suppose, but it's not really my thing.
U2 are coming to town this weekend as well. They're not for me either, although I quite like the famous Edge guitar line at the start of When the Streets Have No Name.
After getting here, I met up with three mates from Manchester, who insisted that we went for a drink in the Barmy Army Perth HQ, the aptly named Lucky Shag.
I agreed to go along, but warned them we might get 'Barmy Army-ed'. In the end I put a pair of dark glasses on to avoid detection.
Regular readers will know I have a theory about people wearing dark glasses indoors, but this place had no windows so I think I got away with it!
It looks like a u-turn rather than a U2 for Australia in the third Test match.
They've made some extraordinary selections and the talk is that they're going to play four pace bowlers with Michael Beer being left out. They've got Steven Smith to provide a bit of spin, but I think they'll need Simon Smith and his amazing dancing bear to beat England!
There's a programme called Inside Cricket on Fox Sport out here, and the panel have been getting really stuck in to the Australian players. Of Xavier Doherty, Mark Waugh said: "He bowled that many pies he should have opened a bakery."
Ricky Ponting says they deserve all the stick they're getting after playing some pretty ordinary cricket. He's not hiding and I admire him for that. As usual people are talking about sacking the captain, but if you take a step back you wonder who else could do the job. He's only as good as the team he's got.
In my opinion, the best bowlers are in the side, but the problem is they're all coming back from injury. It was pretty clear they were unfit in the first two Tests and maybe 10 days off will have helped.
They need a spark and everybody here is saying that Mitchell Johnson has to perform. This bloke was International Cricketer of the Year in 2009, but as I've written in this blog before, we in England have never seen anything like that. I don't think it's unfair to say he's been dreadful every time I've watched him.
I thought they might send him away to play some cricket, but he has stayed with the group and just netted. Well, there's a time when those nets are going to get taken away.
And if he was that great, why did he get left out in the first place?
A final word on Australia. You could say that their cricket is a bit of a laugh at the moment. Well, I've just been watching a one-day game on TV and a fellow called Tommy Cooper has taken two catches!
The groundsman says it's going to be a four-day pitch at the WACA - and that sounds like 2-0 to England.
I think we have enough strength in depth to cover Stuart Broad and our ace card is Graeme Swann's ability to bowl into the wind. Australia have brought in Ben Hilfenhaus to do that, but Swann's slow balls will be tailor-made for the conditions. He'll love it here.
However, James Anderson's trans-Atlantic flight to witness the birth of his child will be an issue. He's back here now and they're expecting him to slot straight back into the team.
It took me 10 days to get over the jet lag when I arrived on Australia. Of course, I'm 63 and he's 28 and much fitter than I am but I'd have though he'll need a bit of time to recover.
Not as much as Mrs Anderson will, mind you!
There has been a little bit of sporting success for Australia. They managed to win the Ashes Ryder Cup, held between Team Sky Sports and the local wine-makers.
As usual, there were one or two discrepancies over the handicaps of the home players. One chap declared in the bar afterwards that he usually plays off +1, but he'd not played at that course so he'd decided to play off played off +3. Another fellow said he played off +12, but he hadn't played for a while so he thought he'd play off +15.
Absolutely fine lads...
Of course, they took the full 100 per cent handicap difference where we'd usually play three-quarters. No wonder they win every time.
Unfortunately I only managed half a day of play alongside Paul Allott before my tennis elbow got the better of me.
We also drafted in Michael Vaughan to play alongside Sir Beefy and he later Tweeted that Botham was the worst golfer he'd ever played with.
That was a brave effort from Vaughan, especially when you bear in mind that Botham isn't on Twitter and will never see it...