How are we supposed to feel about this?
Losing is fine, easy to cope with, because it has happened plenty of times before.
This is entirely different. It isn’t the not winning that is the problem. It’s the not having the chance to win and all the consequences that are so galling.
And it was there. Right in front of us. From the depths of 2-0 down, England had stirred and were on course to level the Ashes at 2-2.
Australia were on the rack. A frazzled mess of baggy green. A decider at The Oval, the greatest celebration of Test cricket this country had ever known, was so close we could taste it.
And then it was gone. Washed away, drip by drip, in the Old Trafford rain.
Think of everything we have gone through to get to this point. Moeen Ali’s finger, Ben Stokes’ knee, Harry Brook bowling to Steve Smith. Alex Carey’s stumping, Alex Carey’s haircut. Jonny Bairstow being angry with everyone. Zak Crawley batting like the second coming of…