Michael Clarke is yet to bat in the second Ashes Test, but he’s already helped steer Australia to a position of absolute dominance.
Clarke always calls tails at the toss, but on Thursday decided to change things up at Lord’s.
When the coin fell heads, Australia’s skipper couldn’t get the words “we’ll have a bat” out quick enough.
The tourists amassed a total of 1-337, leaving England paceman Jimmy Anderson a little miffed about the lack of life in the wicket.
“You don’t want the toss to make such an impact in a game,” Anderson said.
“It’s a good wicket. Yep.
“Quite slow, not much pace there. Very little seam movement.
“But both teams haven’t batted on the pitch yet, so we’ll hold off on judging it too much before we’ve batted.”
Anderson noted his side’s bowlers only had themselves to blame for letting Australia take control of the contest.
“It’s the sort of wicket where you’ve got to bowl consistently and accurately, and we didn’t do it for long enough periods,” he said.
“We didn’t bowl well enough.
“When you don’t do that against world-class opposition, you get punished like we did.”
Chris Rogers, who finished 159 not out, captains Middlesex and admitted it was more docile than most decks at his adopted home.
“I don’t think it’s a typical county wicket at all, there’s usually a bit more in it,” Rogers said.
“We’re in a great position and we’re going to put a lot of pressure on England.
“You’ve got to win on every surface.
“I’m hopeful it’s drier than usual and will start to play tricks.
“Spin will be crucial as well.”
Rogers suggested Lord’s curator Mick Hunt had prepared a reasonable pitch given how much it rained in London during the past week.
“Leading into the game it was pretty ordinary weather,” he said.