the Ashes series has started (well, in 2 hours after this posting), but the war of words and tabloid BS is in full swing in Blighty and well, here too.
The centre for "quality" journalism is going flat chat tearing strips off Ponting, with headlines and copy such as: You're once, twice, three times a loser (and we love you for that, Ricky!). Bring on those saggy greens. Strauss invoked the jaw-jutting spirit of Douglas Jardine on the eve of the Ashes battle and welcomed Mitchell Johnson's threat of a bouncer war".
Under the headline "Sick Rick", The Sun said that Ponting heads into the opening Test "looking like a man about to be publicly executed".
"Out of form, ageing and with an unforgiving Australian public loading their bullets, Ponting knows he has a huge target strapped to his chest".
The Mirror was keen to keep the focus largely on the game, expecting the walls of Australia's Gabba fortress to "come crumbling down within a week".
anyway, who cares what they think- for opinion that really counts, here is mine - polemic or otherwise, but totally correct; because i am stoph verismo!
the toss of the coin is exactly that- a toss. so there is no point banging on about ifs and buts; it will be humid on a green top- win the toss BOWL! and get out for a bat in after tea.
Doherty- i don't know. He is there for KP and Trott, apart from that, he better be able to "shut down" runs. i agree with Rod Hogg and think the Rug as opener with Hilf was the way to go as Jono MUST NOT open bowl; he prefers not to, as does his record.
also while on Rodd Hogg- he and Jon Anderson gave Hilditch an honest spray in their column "Chin Music". They were good value last summer, and i predict they will be the biggest hit of the Ashes.
While mentioning Jono, i've got to say, his threats of a bouncer barrage -particularly against African Andy #2- seem pointless to me unless he can find a MUCH better line... and if ALL the quicks learn to bowl a sandshoe-crusher!
Anyway, this is the only ground i'm prepared to give Strauss after he hauled out the standard English shit stirrer response to the actual Ashes not coming here should we win, "It is too fragile and is at the home of cricket for a reason." Sorry AA, what was that reason? the home of TEST CRICKET is the MCG, and the Ashes represents Test cricket between Australia and England, not cricket on the whole! i know you are only saying this to get a rise out of us Andy, but it only makes a fool of you when you are getting the relevance wrong. Learn your history...son!
and to finish up:
my vote for the 2 best bits of media today: we've all heard of the Gabba referred to as Fortress Gabba- but Will Swanton's label of the "Gabbattoir" is the best i've heard in a while.
and as a leggie, i like Robert Craddock's: "In this country, leg spinners are the stars while offies are the road crew, harassed from all quarters, and seen as tradesman of last resort."
this has been brought to you by Stoph Verismo
down the wicket
ps. another ton to Hodge...hmmmmm