One single camera shot from the morning's play sums up where this series is heading. It wasn't the sight of Alastair Cook celebrating his double century or Jonathon Trott his single. It wasn't the sight of Ricky Ponting in endlessly repeated conferences with his bowler and the sound of commentators and crowd alike demanding he stop wasting time. It wasn't even the vision of Michael Clarke flooring the easiest slips catch imaginable.
No, it was a picture of the players area in the stand. In the middle ground, the next two men in - Pietersen and Collingwood - were reclining in apparent ease and comfort in their chairs, grins firmly fixed. In the background, Andrew Strauss and batting coach, English legend and former captain Graham Gooch were laughing loudly over some point or other. In the foreground and to the bottom right of screen, a forlorn, well dressed gentleman sat with his head in his hands, his shaking head wagging an earpiece presumably feeding him commentary. For nearly sixty seconds between overs that scene remained the same until the distressed man sat up and dropped his hands.
Andrew Hilditch has never looked worse.
From The Cricket Tragics