Saturday, 10 January 2009

Henry on Alfie on Unit

Interesting to hear J.Langer on Grandstand today (sat 10/01/09).
It was commendable to hear how much support he has for his "great mate" M.Hayden. Unfortunately his support clearly blurred his common sense!

Langer voiced that Hayden should be able to leave the test arena on his own terms; and that his batting did its job in the SCG test. Also, that dropping Hayden from the T20 and ODI sides was premature and that Langer was disappointed with the selectors choice. Of interest was G.Lawson later in the show contradict these points stated by Langer!

It has been said that I'm 'after' Hayden, and not respecting his contribution to Australian cricket (not in this forum- elsewhere), this is clearly not true given he opens in my greatest Australian side. I certainly don't feel like I'm targeting him for any other reason other than his failures and inability to move on them; i have the utmost respect for this many fine innings and brilliant fielding (and leading) in the past... and that is my point; his best is obviously behind him.

I think after mounting pressure, much of it aimed directly at the selectors, the right choice has been made and Hayden can now try and regain some form in the longer game for QLD. If he fails there, then there is no reason or excuses for taking him to Blighty!

As Lawson said, "you are judged on runs and wickets."

stoph verismo

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Twist & turns

As has been the trend for the series the last day of the last test twisted and turned. Amla gave the Springboks a sniff of victory then it was snatched away. Australia dominated for the next hour but could not deliver the death blow. It has developed into a real concernt that our frontline bowlers have been unable to dismiss the tail enders. For the life of me I cannot understand why in the absence of any real threat of a run chase Australia's bowlers didn't target the stumps and only the stumps. How hard is it? They hit. And they missed a hell of a lot. The problem was the ball was outside off stump, or too short. I don't care who the team is, the last two batsmen in the line up SHOULD NOT be able to face that many balls. Hayden dropped one, so too did Ronald McDonald. Australia must go away now and practice their catching until their hands bleed or risk a head long slide down the rankings. Without the freakish talents of Warne and McGrath to make chances they must make the most of the ones that come their way. It was the difference in the first two tests. In the third it cost South Africa dearly. How Ponting must lament his drop on day three now having taken the last test. In the end it may have cost us the series.
On a more positive note I thought Bollinger was incredibly unlucky, toiled really hard. Siddle was great in bursts but the standout is Johnson. Any bowler that can bowl as fast in the last hour of day five as his first ball is a hero in my book.
I can't help but think Smith as man of the series was because he batted injured in the last overs. He missed the whole test. Clarke for mine.

a result is on

I'll take it that the lack of posts this morning is because everyone is glued to their radio/tv.
Australia are providing the goods; McDonald's catch, a blinder- more to come about the sportsmanship from this incident.

Pontings bowling choices and aggressive field placements are supporting his declaration. And what of the declaration? As per my previous post, i thought more runs were needed... but i like the faith Ponting has shown in this new-look line up; and the fact it should have drawn SA into the match.
The radio broadcasters dismissed an SA win and said that a Aus win most likely, a draw next most likely- but that the declaration total was good... hard not to agree now at 4 for!

Apart from the attitude of the Australian players, the other thing that stands out to me is the fielding; the shots at the stumps have been exceptional, adding to the pressure on the SA batsman.

The umpiring has been overall quite good too, and even with the odd wrong call, nothing has been a match changer. De Silva can tour again for mine.

Lets hope it goes to the last session and we win (obviously)... with more Vic wickets, right Leftriteout?

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

smells like team spirit

has anyone else notice the obvious increase in esprit de corp shown by the Aussies in this test?

clearly the players are making a greater effort to support each other: Clarke when batting with the lower order, although he always does.
everyone around the bowlers as they succeed.

it is more like the team of the past in this respect, and i think it will lift a mediocre team out of ruts if they continue with this approach.

certainly in the other 2 tests this was missing, and maybe a reason why we failed to go in for the kill when SA were on the ropes... we looked beaten when we were beating them... now- hopefully- we will drive home the advantage with self belief and internal support, not dropped shoulders!

stoph- you can tell i'm at home on leave- verismo!


the numbers game

What is a total that will give SA the drive to chase, and yet allow us a chance at bowling them out?

i think about a 450-480 lead and try and get them to bat for 15-18 overs tonight.

what do you think will give us a desperately needed win?

494 is the biggest single day score at the SCG (1910/11)!

stoph verismo

Monday, 5 January 2009


just started knocking in/oiling my new bat.
new pads and gloves... not related to DTW, but ooooohhhh.
off to the nets in a few days .

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Day two today.

Good day of cricket.

Johnson now at 8 looks like an all-rounder with defence and a swag of shots; might need to move up to 6!

The future captain once again saved the day... no wonder he earns more than Ponting in match fees and endorsements! Congrats Pup.

Smith gone with a hand (thanks Mitch) but really he will only miss 3 days of cricket given he was to rest his wonky elbow.

Siddle the only wicket so far with Amla and Kallis out to play a knock.

Not for the first time this series has it been unclear at stumps on days 1,2 or 3 what the result could be... intriguing test cricket.

stoph verismo