Friday, 27 November 2009

Day 1 (or Where is Little Phil?)

A new Test series for a grand trophy which although lost for a spell after the Windies relinquished ownership of it in the mid 1990's, still bears the name of one of cricket's finest gentlemen and the first to weld together the disparate elements of nations who constitute the West Indies cricket team. Oh, if only a Frank Worrell could be found today or even his lanky left-handed ghost, the bespectacled Clive Lloyd. Alas, it is a giant showpony with designer affectations - possibly the love child of Brian Lara and Viv Richards - who tosses the coin. I apologise but I can't bring myself to say he leads.

Today was Australia's, with five of the top order scoring runs and all of them upset at not scoring more. Katich was the best of them and Ponting showed enough superb strokes to indicate he'll score heavily against this opponent but with the sort of worrying moments in between as happens to an aging champion. Clarke should be chief among the disappointed.

Hussey is back and he'll have easy pickings to ensure his further daliance, although truth be known, his characteristic fighting century at the last gasp against England was what the selectors had been hanging out for in much the same way as they had sweated blood over Mark Taylor ten years earlier. He was studied poise today and it was a surprise he left earlier than he needed.

North will score a century tomorrow as long as the tail lives up to its ability. This West Australian has an insatiable appetite for runs and an even greater hunger to "be involved" in every minute of every Test day. Have you known a Sandgroper who didn't? they are rugged manly men these collections of testosterone from beyond the Nullarbor. His is the new blood which will invigourate this aging side.

Shane Watson was trapped in front again. That's nine times in eighteen Test innings or every second dismissal. In his last eight innings since the first Test against the Kiwis at this same ground twelve months ago, he's been lbw six times in the process of scoring 246 at 30.75. Now, I may be wrong but wouldn't that indicate a flaw in his technique?

Isn't Phillip Hughes, that bright shining star of someone else's future, back playing Shield cricket and but still scoring runs like a fat banker has lunches. Isn't he excluded from this level because of a flawed technique, in his case, against the short ball - a flawed technique that has bought 472 at 52.44 and centuries in each innings at Kingsmead which helped Austraia to a stunning series win. A flawed technique which caused only three of his nine walks back to the sheds in the Baggy Green. Isn't he the same little bloke who went to the land of the Saturday bath and flogged county bowlers to every point a wagon wheel pencil could draw, only to be discarded after three innings in a series which has become renowned for the quality of the Australian selection policy?

You know, I think he is!

So why then is S Watson still opening for ducks and standing caught in the lbw crossfire by bowlers from three different Test playing states?

Clearly, he has a better bum when seen naked and in black and white. My wife says so and she has as much creedence as Andrew Hilditch. More actually, because she's never wrong!

Ah, I remember when double standards we vague accusations you threw when you had no facts. Andrew and the rest of the beer stained mumblers have put an end to that. They've made double standards an art form and so they should. After all, the Chairman is a solicitor.

As much as could be made out, the West Indies toiled today. A lovely word which really means we think you are crap but at least you didn't wave the white flag. Several of them were actually impressive and if placed on a deck which doesn't resemble the Gold Coast Freeway, they may prove difficult and at least make the Australians work for their runs and perhaps even fight for their wickets. Roach was very good and Bravo, Rampaul and Benn each had moments, although Benn holds the most danger as he's a left arm Greek orthodox bowler and Australians traditionally find their type difficult. Bring back Ray Bright I say and let him be a specialist coach. If we can have a Coolie coach the China dolls in our bowling lineup, Mr Perpetual Tourist should be a special to teach our batsmen how to play left arm spinners. Perhaps then we might determine how Brad Hodge first caught Bright's disease.

On a responsive wicket, these Windies "toilers" could roll the Aussies for sub 300.

As in most Tests, we won't know how the wicket is playing until both sides have bowled.

For today, both sides worked hard but Australia's better skills and more experience have them in control.


  1. great wrap up Lango... nice turn of phrase too.

    how did a 10 foot tall 100 pounder end up rolling off the finger tips? is he a little too brittle to bend the back?

    what an interesting day of cricket it was: sessions with 1/2/2 wickets.
    a total that adds up to about 100 runs a session (not as it happened- just as an estimate).

    chances, parnerships, a good looking (read result) track.

    ooooh, i've just drooled on the keyboard....

  2. I think the scoreboard flattered the Aussies. Once again our inability to put sides to the sword has reared it's ugly head. If a couple of catches had stuck and Ponting was given, which would not have been a terrible decision we could easily have been 5/220 odd and struggling. England snatched The Ashes because they created chances and took them. We offer too many these days and against good sides we will not get away with it. Hussey was lucky once again to pass 50 just as he was against England in his last 100. It will probably guarantee him his place for the summer knowing the selectors mindsets. I agree fully with you Lango. Watson has a flaw in his technique and is simply not a long term test player. You just know that eventually he will break down and leave us a man short for 3 or 4 days when it matters most. Hughes showed some discomfort to the shorter ones but when he modifies his selection process to duck or sway away from those it will not be an issue. As a man that is also vertically challenged I am prone to play at the short ones because lets face it, just short to me is up around the auditory area. I too have to reel it in when they put fine leg back after the first few go sailing over his head.
    The unfortunate thing is Ponting will lavish in a summer of easy victories with little or no difficult decisions and his captaincy will seem more adequate than it actually is. That will set him up for next summer when the soap dodgers return for another spanking on Australian decks. Having done that who would deny him the chance to visit the old dart for another tilt? Then the cycle starts all over again. We better watch he doesn't neck himself after watching the no tubbers take our urn once again on another dark July day in 2013...

  3. Good points by all. Considering WI lost Sarwan before the game and don’t have Taylor’s new ball partner (Edwards), Aus should be disappointed to a degree.

    I am getting very sick of Watson opening; if you are getting done lbw all the bloody time by anyone bowling to you, you should not be opening. What opening bowler is not going to bowl full and straight trying to extract some movement? When I discussed the issue last night one of the blokes said ‘but who do you drop?’ – like someone would have to go. Granted I don’t think Hussey should have been in the side for the last 6 months anyway but if you’re not going to drop anyone; bloody open with Hussey! As our AWOL friend, Sledgie, remarked often – this is where he batted for a long time for WA. Watson on the other hand has now batted more in the opening spot for Aus than he ever has for his state(s).

    The Hughes issue is so ridiculous it’s comical. Leave a guy in who can’t handle full and straight balls but drop a guy who has trouble with the short ball. Which is more likely to hit the stumps? Hughes can adopt a get out of the way approach and risk nothing. Watson’s technique gets him ducks. No brainer surely.

    As I write Aus are 7 for 421 and grinding out a big score (well North is). With Benn getting some turn Hauritz (who is batting) will be looking forward to bowling and further shutting up critics like myself.

    Gotta love this game.

  4. 480 dec. what do you think?
    i like 520 (normally) but i think this is a good tactic- was Warne advising Ponting in the dressing room?

    while they have just got through the 25 minutes to tea, and made a good bang of it (0-41), it is good that they'll have to start again.

    agree with the "to the sword" comment Nospmas, and the batsman know it! if they'd been more forceful, this dec could have been done 25 min before lunch for a similar effect and an extra session to try and finish the day at an innings each.

    the cracks are really opening up now to as the ball from Siddle showed- jagging back in a bats width wider than was expected by Gayle.

    Gayles attacking batting is clearly a short form style, but it stumps me as to why he can't see the value of test... ($) but who says you can't bat like this in test as an opener when it makes such headway into the score at such a rapid rate- 8 an over.

  5. 3 more overs as before the break, then bring on Haury to see if he can land on one of these cracks.

  6. 2/49... oh dear!

    Gayle made a mockery of the revision decision, derision, debate thing.. he knew he was plumb!

  7. Batsmen NEVER think they are out...

  8. Disappointed that the Windies had to follow on, the timing was perfect for our bats to get some more time out in the middle and allow the game to go for 5 days so that I can listen all day whilst chasing the mower.
    Watson is shit: Someone should give him a corky in the thigh, should put him out for 3 - 4 years.
    Barath was a highlight: 19yo opener facing Aussie quicks in Brisbane "well done son"
    Good Declaration by Ponting
    I think I like the new referral's obviously geared to, wherever possible, not embarrass umpires and consequently its hard for a decision to be reversed but its a good start.
    Tony Grieg is a twat (I know BIG revelation)
    I cant remember which WI batsmen they were reviewing but it was an LBW decision and TG thought he had heard 2 noises..."Hot spot doesn't lie" he potificated to the viewers when a white mark appeared on the inside edge of the bat. What he either chose not to see or just missed was the white mark that appeared on the inside edge of his front pad at the same time. Tony did hear two noises but neither of them was bat on ball.