1. The most noteworthy thing about the Saffies two recent victories has been that, on each occasion, they've conceded nearly 400 in the first innings - the figure most well regarded brains around the game consider is a 'safe' first innings score.
2. Just think - if Monty Panesar had been as good as everyone thought he should have been last summer, we'd have probably beaten South Africa.
3. There have been a few comments in the press about the 'vile abuse' that Matthew Hayden has been dishing out to Graeme Smith this series. Obviously Smithy is well capable of taking care of himself, but let's hope we'll get the chance this summer to raise this with Hayden - with specific reference to how this denigration and disrespect for opponents and the game fits in with his much-trumpeted 'born again Christianity'.
4. What odds KP walking out to toss up at Cardiff in July with Michael Clarke?
5. And this summer's series is starting to look like a 'battle for third place'.
6. Is Ryan Sidebottom actually fit?
7. One possible solution to the central contract farce - incentivise the contracts so that players get a basic wage just above that which they'd get on the county circuit based on their experience and skill - and then they earn the rest through appearances and performance.
8. Did anyone else notice how insanely close Neil Mackenzie was fielding at silly point to Ricky Ponting at one stage. I mean, we're talking so close that Ponting seemed to think Mackenzie had come up to 'have a chat' - or maybe pick his pocket. Presumably somewhere Brian Close was nodding in approval -whilst Mrs Mackenzie was rifling through the drawers for the insurance policies. Better still, he was wearing precisely NO protection - some sort of forfeit for his miserable run of scores with the bat. Ian Bell take note...
9. Talking of Bell- his batting averages by position in the order are -
No. 3 - 32
No. 5 - 47
No. 6 - 54
So England are going to bat him at 3.