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.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

fantasy cricket

is anyone interested in another round of fantasy cricket?
i got the email yesterday, we can go with the same set up as the Ashes.

priorities, people, public profile

while it may seem "un-Victorian", i can't help but wonder how the media work sometimes; this is purely a rhetorical question as i do understand the nature of media, but am still confused as to why in the week of the first test of the summer the sports segments of commercial news programs start with 3 AFL stories- including one about the Magpies annual pre xmas training and sight-seeing trip to Arizona! If it is annual, it is hardly news!

Then, after a story about some teenage draft picks anticipation about moving to Melbourne, we get something on the NATIONAL team of the seasons most popular sport! How does THAT work?

Sure, the Windies are a team in disarray, and many tout the series as bordering on a waste of time, but it IS a TEST, and IS being played here in Australia, so surely it should precede magpies on burro's going down a big ditch!

...i feel better now!

So what have we got to look at 2 days out from Brisvegas?

Firstly, it appears everyone that has ever (briefly) pulled on a baggy green is lining up everyone that currently gets use out of one to give career advice.

Rodney Hogg has sent down a short one at Lee telling him to give up Test and concentrate on ODI; probably sound advice, but Lee values Test above all so if he could, i think he'd do it the other way around. Still, in his press conference, Lee looked as if he had reconciled not playing for his country again.

Ian Chappell has written of P.Hughes chances of getting a spot... for a while.

Ian Healy must be worried about his public profile at the moment, as he has started up a new discussion. He believes M.Clarke is not durable enough to take the captaincy due to his recurring back problem. And that Ponting MUST lead Australia back to England for the next Ashes. Sure, why not Heals. As a batsman, it would be Punters best chance at getting a hat-trick...of defeats!
Others to weigh into the captaincy debate are Kim- don't cry for me-Hughes, and Steve -i've got a great mo, so i must be a sports star- Rixon. Rixon wants a change in the next 12 months, Hughes wants Ponting to stay on because of his great leadership... i don't need to touch that one, any remark Kim makes on leadership speaks volumes!

And then there is Shane: Windies lift or get torn apart. Oldies lift or get out of the AusXI.
I don't know if he is trying to improve the contest, or playing mind games with Windies, but it wouldn't be the start of a series without some brash comments from the greatest EVER player of the game.
Certainly he is correct in identifying the continued use of the excuses- rebuilding and transition, and has given up a list of young players that need to be given experience as soon as possible:

Henriques, Hughes and wristy Steven Smith are names Warne wants in.

Interesting too, that he has backed Hauritz's inclusion in the first test, interesting in that he obviously has a lot of faith in Krezja as he gave him the new nut on winning the toss in the all stars game. Another point regarding these two bowlers is the speculation that Haury will finally unveil his much worked on doosra, and that Krazy let one go in the state game when the result was already a certainty.

stoph verismo
down the wicket

Monday, 23 November 2009

when is a leggie an opener?

we had another win on the weekend- 3 in a row and up from 10th to 5th.

we won the toss and batted and so much for me being a leg spinning #9/10, back in at 3 (in the 1st over due to an opener going for a 3rd ball duck).
happy with a couple of 4's and an all mighty 6 out of the middle i lost concentration and foot work on 29 to be bowled.

we saw out our 36 overs at 6 for 194, and felt right in it. one of the opposition got rude (called us a team of cunts!) about our square leg ump being in his way for a catch- the ball was hit high and hung over the spot so if he moved he could have actually moved into the way.
a few overs in the tension was full on as said op was batting and being just as obnoxious.
after being sent off we got down to playing good cricket and got the last wicket run out with a few overs remaining and about 5 minutes before the heavens opened!

so it looks like i'm up the order and not bowling a lot this season - i didn't bowl this match again- in the first 3 games my batting average was 6.4 (thanks to a 12 not out), in the last 3 games it is now about 24.4, so i'm happy, although i'm hanging to get another rip of the wrist bowling.

more to come about the test team and the windies... unless someone is ready with some.