The 2013-14 series left genuine scars in the England team, but there is still a chapter to play out against Australia
It seemed too easy at the time. Three weeks ago, Australia’s cricketers lost a Test for the first time in 33 years at the Gabba – deepest, dankest dungeon of the Australian sporting soul, and a kind of mental disintegration portal for meeker, less thrillingly chosen races. So yeah, they got beaten there by India’s B team. But at the end Justin Langer was out in the celebrations looking humble and magnanimous and weirdly invulnerable – all the while wearing that familiar alpha dog, kungfu, zen master smile, the look of a man who, to quote John Updike, has just been hit over the head with a rock and thinks it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him.
Could they actually get away with this? Slowly, and then in a rush, those unscabbed wounds have begun to open in the past week. The sandwich took the early headlines. Langer himself came out in the newspapers lamenting the fact that one of Australia’s players went out to field with a sandwich in his pocket, essentially a hate crime against the baggy green.