For months now the Ashes debate has focused on how England's bowling is missing an X-factor. Well, it might just have rolled into town in the form of a once-in-a-decade weather pattern.
La Nina, the lesser-known, counterpart of El Nino, is a climate fluctuation of cooler than average sea temperatures and trade winds in the Pacific which contributes to moderate, wetter summers in Australia.
Those searching for good omens in the tourists' camp on Tuesday only needed to look outside at the teeming rain that prevented a ball being bowled on the first day of a four-day practice match at the Ian Healy Oval.
La Nina prevented a single ball from being bowled in England's intra-squad practice match
The last time the weather was this bad was during England's win Down Under in 2010-11
On one hand, Joe Root's team lack meaningful preparation heading to the Gabba. On the other, there's a growing