It’s time for a change of pace. So here’s Peter Jackson Eastwood, operating right arm over the top from the literary end. Eat your heart out, Dylan Thomas …

Now as a Test Cricket purest,

I don’t care much for the Big Bash,

And as England prepare for the greatest of series,

I fear they could be burned to Ash.

 

And yet I still cling to that morsel of hope,

For we Englishman never despair,

I light a candle for a Bell cover drive,

And pray to Ryan Sidebottom’s hair.

 

Pundits lament our worst team in years,

And predict by how much we shall lose,

But still, those three lions may have a chance,

If we can just steer away from the booze.

 

The eruption of our fiery volcano,

Put the stopper on Skipper Root’s plans,

Though it’s now beyond any refuting,

That Ben Stokes really does have fast hands.

 

Our squad does seem somewhat unBallanced,

And reliant on sketchy James Vince,

If that top order begins to crumble,

Then the rest may be shredded to mince.

 

Starc and Cummins and Hazlewood,

Will be vicious, aggressive and beastly,

Too bad the selectors didn’t turn their attention,

In a direction more Sam Northeastly.

 

The openers must lay down a base,

As solid and strong as a Stone,

For no matter how talented our dear chef is, 

He can’t run the kitchen alone.

 

Flowing shots and skilful batting,

Should help turn the natives to mute,

But the English rose surely will wilt,

If the Aussies cut it out at the Root.

 

With one ginger warrior fallen,

England’s challenge has clearly got steeper,

But let’s not forget the ace in our hand,

Our carrot-topped world-class wicket-keeper.

 

When your opposite number’s a Lyon,

You’d be forgiven for feeling quite low,

But he’s not a bearded spin wizard,

So come on, give me some Mo.

 

And every time Cummins says ‘bouncers’,

I just feel incredibly bored,

For he could but dream of an 8 for 15,

Like our own king of seam Stuart Broad.

 

Yes, it could be a hammering,

We could lose by five to zero,

But I know in my bones that Mason or Craig,

Will make themselves an Ashes hero.

 

So sing and shout all of you Aussies,

And tell us of ‘war’ and of fears,

For when Joe brings the Ashes back home on the plane,

We’ll savour the taste of your tears. 

Peter Jackson Eastwood