Friday, 13 November 2009

...but first, the news

interesting week in world cricket we've had.

Australia retain top ICC ODI pozzy, with the series win over India. If i was in doubt as to whether i was remiss in my writing about these games, the lack of comments from all tells me a contribution was not required.
That said, from the nothing i actually saw and the news reports/scores etc it appeared to have had a lot going on in a well fought contest.

Obviously the first point was the Australian attrition rate: while calls of 'too much cricket for the players' are bandied about, i take the other point- players WANT to opportunity to play, and earn.
It could be said that players will not self-enforce a rest for fear of losing their place, and while this argument has some substance, i can't see how an in-form player that needs to miss a game will not be re-included... then again, we are talking about CA selectors, so anything is possible!

Best of all was the new inclusions lifting and the team pulling together for the result, and credit where it is due, CA did the right thing by both giving new players a run, and bringing in some experienced but little used blokes. Big congrats to Doug the rug on his successful return, what a great way to get ahead of the pack for the upcoming summer.

As a post script on the series, does Daniel Brettig really believe that 50 over cricket has come "Roaring back"? I think not!
Just because a player says it, doesn't mean people want to watch it! With many venues in India holding less than 50,000 people, a full house is not a massive achievement in a country with such a population and purports to be "cricket mad!"

Back. Back, and not going any where.

Good to see one of my favourite players -big Dan Vettori- back after a knock to the bonce by M. Aamer in a match against Pakistan brought on the release of several lawn tigers and a general feeling of poorliness! It must have been a bit of a wack as it hit the grill and concussed the match winning eastern islander!

Roy - i was just watching the rugby and somehow ended up drinking- Symonds is back to prop up the Bulls for the upcoming one day game against SA. Lefty, if he gets a bowl (he is in to replace paceman C.Swann) can i suggest getting down to the ground and attempting to handicap the wayward champ with the offer of a cold one or 20 from over the fence. That is poor of me given my previous supportive remarks of Symonds... sorry, but given he sees the rest of his career as a T20 player, if he gets a slog on or his gear going with the ball or in the field, the croweaters may need to do a Phar Lap and poison the strapping workhorse!

Punter has assured us (again!) that he is not entertaining the thought of retirement yet. This comes in the wake of Hilditch burying his tongue up the Taswegians blurter with the remark that Ponting going would leave a gulf as wide as that left by the retiring S.K.Warne! Without a doubt the apple islander is an incredible batsman and strangely enough not a terrible ODI captain, but in the wash up how did he change the game of cricket? He didn't! If anything, he has hindered his chance of being a greater batsman by digging in his talons to a captaincy
that as the 'best batsman' he received by default. When CA realize that being a great batsman is not the best credential for holding the position of captain, then we may see better cricketing brains running the show out in the field.
With this in mind i will give Ricky one compliment, at least holding the position hasn't had an major adverse effect on his batting, like many better captains before him; still, how much better could he have been without the chore he is not equipped for? well as.

It looks like the Poms will get Ashes cricket back on free-to-air tv now that it is considered a "crown jewel". Up yours Murdoch!

...and some thoughts.
Watson has expressed an desire to stay at the top of the order, clearly he is effective there, but with Marsh a hard-nut specialist back and batting way down the list, and Ponting having moved himself out of #3 to open (who'd have thought he would budge from that spot?) do Australia need to re-evaluate the order a little? I propose keep Watson opening, Marsh at 3 and Ponting at 4.

Is Lee's latest break down the last at an international level? Hilditch appears set to pursue a bowling squad without the quick.

Fidel Edwards from WI looks to have strained more than his injury prone body by playing truant on his remedial program designed to get him right for the Australian tour and playing Champion League cricket only to pick up a further injury. The action has forced WICB to withhold a contract for Edwards and now has me posing the question, will T20 competitions be filled with recalcitrant, retired and raw players only?

The 'Master Blaster' King Viv has given Gayle a verbal touch up about his attitude. As someone that is a HUUUGGGEE fan of Viv and struggling to cop Gayles anti test opinions i couldn't love this more! Not just content to tell Gayle to get his head right, Viv has even offered up an alternative for the captaincy during the Australian tour in the captain for Trinidad and Tobago. Smokin' Joe must still be a bit mad-for-it as his mans name is Ganga!

...and one i forgot, and a fresh one this morning.

What about the ICC proposal for a play-off test series every other year for the top of the ranking teams. i presume this is by way of an alternative to having a test world cup. The logic being that people from other countries (regions) will be more interested in the results of tests and series that their country is not involved in as everyone jockies for the top positions.

And as if Sachin wasn't already the greatest, he confirmed it overnight by taking a press conferance to talk about his 20th anniverary in the game at international level, and graciously let the 2 hour event go for 6 hours so he could answer all questions in many languages even if they were repeats from another language. This in itself is not great (generous, patient and articulate), what is great was the Master letting it be known his desire for more tests to be played, even pointing the finger at the goliath of the BCCI!
Go Sachin!


  1. I would much rather the players get rested for one and get back than injuring themselves and falling off the radar. It happens so often.
    Ponting should bat at 4 in the pyjama party but he is number 3 every time in the real stuff. I would go so far as to drop him from the coloured clothing all together. He is not in the top 5 one day batsmen in the country anymore and it's not as if he is a great leader. Give the one day leadership to Mr Cricket, thank him for his test service and give him a bunch of young guys to build for the World Cup.
    West Indies cricket is dead and buried, they just don't know it yet.

  2. Viv should not have spoken about Ganga when Gayle is the captain. Being a west indian, Viv should have reserved his comments for a post-series review.

  3. so where should Marsh bat at Nospmas?

    thanks for coming on Shrawan; it is great to get opinions from around the world.

    for the sake of stability i agree with you that Viv could have waited until after the series, but with the ongoing turmoil and cricket being an all year round venture, i can understand Vivs frustration and desire to do something about Gayle who is- let's face it- hardly committed to improving the WI situation.

    do you agree with the first comment from Nospmas about WI cricket being dead?

  4. @stoph - you're welcome.

    I think West Indies cricket is very much alive, the way Trinidad and Tobago performed in the CLT20 showed how much potential there is if you look past Sarwan, Gayle, Chanderpaul and others.

    West Indies cricket suffered the loss of Walsh and Ambrose at the same time at the end of the last decade and that's when the jolt occured.

    They were two front line bowlers who were responsible for many a windies victory. Since then, there hasn't been one consistent WI fast bowler. I think it is only a matter of time before we see T&T players filtering into the squad.

  5. Very comprehensive, Stoph!

    Shrawan, pardon my ignorance but what is the ‘blend’ of West Indies cricketers? Is it fairly even from across the islands or is it a predominance of one or two islands? Fair call on the bowling stocks but WI has had trouble with building totals at times as well. This goes back a while as Lara was almost a sole campaigner at times and this certainly damaged him in both captaincy and his batting; poor bloke. On the flip side when Aus toured there last WI were quite competitive, albeit at home, so I’m hopeful of a good series here this summer. Dismantling England for bugger all speaks wonders of what WI are capable of too.

    Re players resting. I don’t think there is an easy answer to this. Aus will always play as many tests as any other country so balancing coloured-clothing cricket demands is paramount now. I agree that Ponting may as well just drop out altogether but this will not happen. As he is a batsman the demands are different; it will be his mind that struggles with captaincy demands more so than his body. The 50 over format can be a breeding ground for young players (why wasn’t Hughes in India!?!) – exposing them to different nations in different conditions. Let a few older heads lead the team and get the youngsters battle it out. Aus can ill-afford Johnson or Siddle to play in every bloody limited over game! The issue to me is not so much how much is played – it’s the training around the competition. Just because you only bowl 10 overs doesn’t mean you’re limited to that amount of bowling on a tour.

    Qld played SA in the Alice, Stoph! I note Roy made 4 and got out. Apparently he bowled well but what is most interesting is how Simpson (Qld captain) went out of his way to praise Roy for all the things he brings to the Bulls. I reckon Qld are trying to bring Roy back into the fold.

    I am a huge fan of Watson and admire his commitment despite more setbacks than most players have experienced. But, he is not an opener in test cricket. I don’t even think he would be best used there anyway – even if he was (what allrounders open the batting in 5 day cricket?). Imagine North coming in at 5 (goodbye Hussey) and then Waston at 6, Haddin at 7 and Johnson at 8. Marsh really needs runs for WA as last season was not too flash for him and injury has curtailed his progression.