Friday, 20 March 2009

Ouch, what just happened?

Let this be a lesson to selection of overseas touring parties: ALWAYS pick backups for each area of your team. This means: batsman (middle order), keeper, pace bowler and spin bowler. Obviously this depends on the depth to choose from; for instance if the spinner you're talking about couldn't turn the ball to save their life don't bother. I know that David Boon used to take the gloves on occasions but with the tendency for keepers now to be more than half-decent batsmen too, I think there's even more reason to include Wade or Manou. When a pace bowler breaks down obviously there needs to be someone to take their place; same goes for a batsman. It begs the question; what were the selectors going to do if Katich or Clarke broke down. With the latter this was certainly going to be a risk. What if it occurred two days before the start of a test (which it has)? Contingency plans are indicative of good preparation. No doubt if North had not eaten some rancid wild boar there would be nothing to say on the issue. But because Aus danced with the culinary devil the great debutant is lying in a hospital bed and the first 11 is missing a number six.

It must also be acknowledged that day one of the third test highlighted how close South Africa and Australia are. If one team is not quite on the ball this is exploited ferociously by their opposition. I would ask, however, if Macdonald is picked as an allrounder then why would he bat at seven while Haddin is put up to six. That being said your top order is picked to do a job (ie take the shine off the new ball and make runs!) and your number eight should be getting bonus runs: not required runs. Whereas it appears RSA has made good changes; at least with their opening batsmen so far, Aus has looked short with the bat and no options that could have prevented such an event .

RSA came out with more purpose and fire than in the previous two tests and the Aus batsmen were not up to the task (save Katich, Haddin and Johnson). This was to be expected as pride is on the line for RSA. Hughes will hopefully have learnt another lesson about intent and respecting the bowling, the selectors will hopefully have learnt a lesson about picking a touring party for England. And Hussey will ideally have learnt a lesson about one's place in the team before the first test of the Ashes when he is dropped.


  1. it certainly once again shows why the 15 man limit set on the touring squad by CA is crazy in the extreme.

    might teach touring squads the value of getting in the media and lamenting a lack of Aussie baked beans! you can't trust a RSA brai!

    stoph verismo
    down the wicket

  2. It's the curse, the curse of the dead rubber. Australia had this problem even when we were dominating and it used to make Steve Waugh fume.
    Things could have looked a hell of a lot worse had RSA held their catches. Katich was out twice before double figures. Take 50 off our score and it starts to look very embarrassing.
    The game is by no means over but I agree, we need to bring more specialist batsmen on these tours. We have enough for god's sake.

  3. yeah, teams just drop the ball in dead rubbers... i thought it was our curse, but i think it is a mind set of teams relieved to have achieved their primary goal.

    On another subject, after last night, Johnson looks to be a bit tired... he does have a tendency to come back after a break a bit soft. I hope he gets a better rest in the shed during the 2nd innings with the side batting a LOT(!) better. The reality is, we don't need to burn him out now, the Ashes are far more important than this game. Siddle too should be a bit rested through the rest of this game, as he is prone to injury.

    Ponting wasted a lot of time last night (our time) before get McGain to bowl. If they want him tuned up, he needs to bowl a lot of overs! Get the part timers bowling them too.

    There has been a lot of talk that we are 3-2 for the summer against RSA, but the reality is, we are one series each and this game has no bearing; why grind down our two best bowlers just to say we won the summer when that is not the case.

    Play for a win, give everyone a go, have the 2 strike bowlers just trundle 5 over spells per session, and start planning for the future.

  4. There is no reason that any team should lose dead rubbers.
    That the team have already won a series is an excuse and a cop out. (a curse?)
    Especially with the Australian team at the moment: EVERY player has something to prove, something to show or someone to impress.
    Setting personal reasons aside, is playing for your country not motivation enough???
    I think it's not just the players that have dropped the ball in this test but the selectors as well. Was there not a better time to drop Hussey? We had won the series, had the chance to blood someone else and at a stretch they could have covered their arses if they lost the 3rd test by saying they were experimenting...
    As it stands teams Do drop dead rubbers, so maybe there is a curse, but that does not mean there is a reason...... maybe just a bunch of excuses.
    Hell even warnie didn't throw away dead rubbers, he just turned them inside out and shook them.