REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Stumped for answers after the incomprehensible

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by North Coast NSW editor Christian Knight.

A nation knows how you feel, Nathan Lyon.

A nation knows how you feel, Nathan Lyon.

It's largely gone unspoken, but as a nation this week, many have been weighing the cost of moral indignation.

Queue Third Test, queue the Old Enemy, queue the best motza for Aussie glory since Greg Norman teed up a ball in the fourth round of the 1996 US Masters.

Much to our collective glee, England had been skittled for 67 - and that famed British upper lip was a-quiver as Australia was in pole to retain The Ashes for the first time since 2002.

But like John Hewson and the unlosable election, someone lost the script.

Ben Stokes - New Zealand-born at that - made 135 not out to surge England to the most unlikely of victories.

On Monday morning, we woke stunned.

England's first innings scorecard. But then ... things changed.

England's first innings scorecard. But then ... things changed.

How could that of happened? Then quickly, who could we blame?

In a country adept at harvesting tall poppies - we shone the spotlight on a fumble by spinner Nathan Lyon, and on a botched use of video reviews by captain Tim Paine.

Many might have quietly mused that this would never have transpired back in the day when the Australian Test team swaggered with killer intent.

Post-sandpapergate, the swirl of arrogance is long gone - and for the most part, we were pleased with that evolution ... provided, of course, that we would still win The Ashes.

No one wants to see sandpaper return to the Aussie arsenal ... but what about an incey, wincey stick of emery board. Deployed with discretion, clearly, like when England are within cooee of passing our total.

So as we lie low this week and pretend that cricket is just a game - there's other stories to embrace.

Like Shane Stedman's new book which traces his life story of surfboard making and inventing Ugg boots.

And in Katherine, where a long-time resident recalls that a deb ball was the only 'proper' introduction to society.

Now there's a thought. Plenty of maidens at a deb ball - precious few in the score book of the English second innings.

Christian Knight

Editor, Macleay Argus

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