Who said test cricket was boring? With 16 wickets in a day the crowd at the GABBA certainly have got value for money. Except if they'd turned up to see some of the best batsmen in the world play their shots!
the normally uber cool Mike Hussey showed why umpires are rapidly making themselves redundant (and genuinely hated!). While I'm a dedicated traditionalist, it surely can't be long before the umpires become nothing more than message boys for directing the players in what has been deemed the correct decision by the 3rd umpire. To those that think this is not the way to go, and that decisions are "swings and round-abouts", whatever happened to the benefit of the doubt going with the batsman?
That being said, it is nice to see a match where the ball is dominating... or is it the pitch/conditions? with thunderstorms each night and sunny mornings, the groundskeepers have done a great job at providing entertaining conditions, even if it is over in 3 or 3 1/2 days with the loss of 40 wickets!
Anyway, enough of the platitudes, now for the axe!
with another failure, I'm sad to say that for mine Hayden is finished; if he isn't dropped, i hope he goes on to some really hefty knocks in Perth and Adelaide, but at his age, with this form, it is unfair to the young guns (Marsh, D. Hussey etc) waiting in the wings to hold onto him. He has been awesome, but if Australia is to seriously rebuild, it has to start at the top of the list.
And while we are at the top, when is Ponting going to lift?
123, 17, 5, 2, 87 ,24, 8, 4, 17, is not much of a scorecard for the season so far from such a prolific scorer. If he isn't to be dropped, then why not have a "rest" from the captaincy? Just to allow him time to think about his batting. Tony Jones from WWOS.com cricket seems to think it is only tall poppy syndrome... that must be a euphemism for unaccountability! Why should Ponting be untouchable when his decision making is... dubious at best. Jones also states that Allan Border's criticisms are unfair and that he should be more sympathetic as he was captain during another rebuilding phase. What rubbish! Australia aren't rebuilding, we are continuing on with this stupid "stop-gap" policy. That is, only blooding new players when we need to fill a position, not when players aren't fulfilling the duties of their position.
While having a go at WWOS.com, how is their heading "Black caps on top despite Katich...". No wonder no one put a name under that title, it is bordering on ridiculous! In such a low scoring match, how can the Kiwis be on top when they fell short by 58 runs in the first innings (their top scorer was still 18 runs less than the deficit -Taylor with 40). Even with Australia at 6 for 131 with the pitch getting better for batting, it is hard to see the Kiwis making the 189 they need now, let alone more than that.
It looks like Lee has found his rhythm, Johnson has continued his good form, and Watson and Clark are right in there too.
With zero hope of this being a 5 dayer, the best result would be to see Katich and Haddin put in a good knock, NZ to bat for the last session tomorrow with no wickets lost, and then a grinder on day 4... i hope!