It's just a step to the left ... and a blast through extra cover! From Rocky Horror Show writer to Neil Finn, by way of Walt Whitman and the Bard, the Ashes has inspired some great soundbites. Here are a selection of the finest courtesy of Gary Naylor
"Whose batting will make the difference in the series? Whose captaincy will give their side an advantage? Whose media skills will work best? Whose relationship with the coach will prove most effective? Root's Root's Root's Root's"
"Ensuring pitches are well prepared and that hold-ups in play are minimised, will be important in protecting the credibility of Test Cricket. So much depends upon a red wheelbarrow filled with rain water beside the super-sopper"
William Carlos Williams
"Toby Roland-Jones, Toby Roland-Jones, furnish'd and burnish'd by St John's Wood sun, what strenuous spells you bowled after tea, but you're out of the Ashes,- oh woe is me!"
"How does a right bastard, ginger, son of a Kiwi and a Brit, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in Bristol by Stella Artois and anger, miss out on a chance to be a hero and a roo-basher?"
"To bat, or not to bat: that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler at the crease to suffer the slings and arrows of Cummins and Starc on the body and shoulder arms against the wider ones, and by tiring them, end the day 175-3 off 90 overs?"
"A Swann, a Swann – my kingdom for a Swann [2010-11 version, duh, obvs]."
"For a long time, I shall be going to bed late"
"Experience is simply the name Geoffrey gives his successes."
"Friends, Aussies, Countrymen – lend Kim Hughes your tears."
"Hope is the thing of leather that perches in the hand and reaches the bat without movement and never swings at all."
"I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of gold and green bogans boozing."
"Storm'd at with ball and bat, badly they played and then into the jaws of Death, into the mouth of Hell, strode the 18 picked last time we were there."
Alfred Lord Tennyson
"Dear Mr Renshaw. If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of expletives, yours is The Urn and everything that's in it, and – which is more – you'll be an Aussie my son!"
"England? They'll howl."
"O Rooty! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done. The team has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won. At least I hope so. But I doubt it."
"The fielders sledge with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still. And their tune is heard on the Sydney Hill. For the Aus team sings of freedom to say what we like mate, as long as it stays on the field – or it's Sarwan or Harbhajan saying it."
"It's just a jump to the left and then a step to the right. With their hands on the bat, they bring their knees in tight. But it's the Stuart Broad flinch that really drives me insane. Let's do the Lillee and Thomson Timewarp again!"
"Hey now, hey now – don't dream it's over. Until the umpire calls it or Warner might run you out."
"Pace. Pace changes everything. And we haven't got any."
"Kevin Pietersen should replace Joe Root. My friend, Donald Trump, agrees."
This article first appeared on 99.94 and is reproduced with permisssion.