The gamesmanship has reached a new pitch (pun intended) as supporters of both sides urge on their teams and the more level headed to appraise each side's strengths and weaknesses.
Of the English media Scyld Berry and Mark Nicholas (both writing in UK Telegraph) have some strong words of encouragement and advice for England, whereas in The Times Christopher Martin-Jenkins is more circumspect, speculating about the possible England lineup and offering a succinct form guide. His final paragraph has echoes of a bygone world, but one of which some vestiges remain (particularly as several of the SA players have played in England with and against their opponents in this match):
Before they left the beautiful Adelaide Oval, the England players joined their opponents and their families in a game of bowls and a barbecue on the perfectly manicured lawns behind the cricket ground. The calm before the storm.
FOOTNOTE: Sajjad's six
In another report of the SA- England match the prolific CM-J discusses Sajjad Mahmood's six on Sunday:
The best striking yesterday came from Sajid Mahmood, who hit three magnificent lofted straight drives off Bailey, two of them carrying for six and one, carrying more than 110 yards, described by Greg Blewett, the veteran South Australia all-rounder, as one of the biggest hits he had ever seen over the longest straight boundary anywhere.
Both Blewett and Martin-Jenkins would have been on the upper deck of the Bradman stand at the time and so couldn't have seen exactly where the ball landed. I was sitting in the third to back row of the lower level when the ball landed in the same row perhaps 30 metres away (there was hardly anyone in between as the sightboard obscured spectators' views. As I said in a previous post it was a substantial hit, and particularly impressive because it was so straight.