The reverse ferret is a 1990s adaptation of Orwell's famous notion of Doublethink - the art of being able to hold two apparently contradictory opinions as true. It was invented specifically for journalists by Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, and used whenever an overnight volte face was required. As the cameras scanned the press boxes during the day's play, hacks of both hues - Australian and English - wore the looks of me who were about to reverse ferret on two of their favourite and previously immutable subjects, Mitchell Johnson and the destination of the Ashes.
Of course, the true art of the Reverse Ferret is to allow just enough wriggle room to reverse it once more...
Too good to be true: 'A mythical God. He grabbed the world and his own fate and forced it to roll his way' - Peter Lalor on Mitch [The Australian]
Not us, mate: 'They [the selectors] were pilloried by any number of former players mystified as to why Johnson was not sent back to State cricket' - Malcolm Conn [The Australian]
All down to you now, buddy: 'When Johnson is good, Australia is good. When he loses his way it seems to drag down the entire show. Australia pins its mojo to his mast' - Robert Craddock, Courier Mail
As you were: 'Mitchell sets off the Collapsometer! England had batted so sublimely in this a series that we had almost forgotten how our "collapsometer" worked.' - Vic Marks, Guardian
Tweet Reason: 'Just hold fire for a day or so ... It's not over yet.. We could chase 350' - Michael Vaughan
Double Reverse Room For Manouvre Man Of The Day: 'Australia will be forced to revive its Ashes hopes without Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke after the leaders failed again' - Malcolm Conn [The Australian]
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow: 'It's a long game, Test cricket, and there is time for decisions and revisions which, as Alfred Prufrock says, a minute will reverse. Harold Pinter was a keen cricket fan and wrote a poem about Len Hutton that went "I saw Len Hutton in his prime/Another time/another time". He sent the three-line poem to his friend, the playwright Simon Gray, and when he hadn't heard anything from him for a week or so rang to ask what he thought of it.Gray replied that he hadn't finished it yet. The same could be said of the Ashes and some of its key protagonists' - Peter Lalor
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