Monday, 13 December 2010

AB for PM!

There is nothing like a weekend of working on renos with the radio on Grandstand and hearing the around the grounds to get an appreciation of what is going on in this vast land we call home.

Firstly, a big congrats to Strauss and White for endeavouring to make the 3 day tour game a match. With 'sporting declarations' de rigour the stage was set for an exciting run chase on the last day for England... alas Melbourne, i love you, but your fickle weather can be a heart breaker. Hearing the stops due to the rain was all the more frustrating when 25km away i was sweating like a bushy in bright sunshine!

The few headlines i read on line about Victoria belting the Poms should be summarily ignored as Strauss bowled himself and Morgan to the in form McKay and Herrick and gave them a strike rate over 210 and a bowlers economy of over 12 each!

Of greater interest was Beer -obviously!
All eyes were on the new baggy green hat stand as WA bowled everyone else in the side -joking- before the ball was tossed over to Beer so he could tantalise the media for 2 overs before the heavens opened so violently hearing the broadcasters was nigh on impossible.

Beer had batted well enough the afternoon of his call up, and returned the next morning to be not out at the end of the innings, but that's not what he is about, is it. What we wanted to see was how well he kept his head with the ball; by all accounts he was landing it well and only went for one in each of the 2 overs he got.

Beers appointment has stunned many, but it was interesting to hear Mark Ridgeway talk him up after coaching him at St Kilda... still, good bloke or otherwise, to put in a debutant in such a critical test leaves many a hand going on auto-pilot to scratch the head. With the 'ditch admitting it is a gamble, and Chappell adding that due to a shallow talent pool Johnson had to be handled carefully to ensure he would slot straight back in, the greater focus is even more directed on the whole selection panel.

'Ditch's contract is up after the world cup, so with an Ashes loss looming it is now time to scout around and find a solution for the dysfunctional set-up we now have... and i know where to start!

AB for chairman of selectors! Captain Cranky on the field is the only viable choice to ensure the required ruthlessness and focus is applied to the task. We can throw anyone else into the mix to pad it out, but it is imperative that the head honcho be someone with the drive, understanding and respect of the game necessary to pull us up by the boots straps and have a genuine long view.

AB for CoS!

stoph verismo
down the wicket

ps. how much fun are the Sub Ed's going to have with Beer? Most likely heading for the Herald Sun should Beer get belted- "Beer Battered!"

Who said this:
"I don't play for them any more."

...and what was he doing when he said it?


  1. Merv was on local radio on Sat talking about selection. You certainly got the impression he was at odds with the selection process and mentioned the 'revolving door policy' several times. I think he was seen as the odd one out and perhaps would have been the better to leave in from Boon, Hilditch and Cox.

    I agree that Border would be a great appointment but since he's been there before he may be reluctant. Chappell had done the rounds too though so you never know. For me Beer is the only left field call-up for the 3rd test but it's a huge one. The guys has just barely played cricket so so how can they promote him ahead of Hauritz? It's clearly a horses for courses selection based on England's middle order but you've got to get to them first!

  2. Yes, poor Hauritz at his wits end at once again being looked over, for a rookie with four 1st class games under his belt!! With a comment like "I don't play for them" as he gave away his Aussie kit he has obviously been told, or connected the dots that he is no longer up for selection. A tad unfair too. The guy is not sensational but surely he has to be preferable to such a newbie in such a pivotal test? I am starting to fear it may all be over before the DTW boys hit the G on Boxing Day as predicted by some on this site.

  3. Like Stoph has eluded to previously I don't think it's a bad thing for Aus to have their pants pulled down. You know that things will get shaken up and it would be unlikely for the reaction to be bringing in more retirees 5 years away from their pension. Still, the thought of losing the Ashes after 3 tests is shuddering. Imagine 2013 - how many of the English players here now would not be around then? Swann is a spinner so every chance he'll still be around. Morgan is on the sidelines but you'd think he would have found his way in. Collingwood may have retired but no real loss there. KP will be about 34, same with Strauss. Pace bowling lineup all have plenty of years left. But then think about Australia's team in 2013. Katich, Ponting, Hussey, North all gone. Clarke's back may have got so bad by then he retires early. The quicks may be around but at the moment who would care? Hopefully guys like Peter George and Starc can take it to the next level. It's like 1989 all over again. Let's hope for a similar result!

  4. I just can't stand the thought that the biggest day of the cricketing calendar will be a dead rubber, however it serves Australian cricket.
    If we don't put up a show in Perth and at least manage a draw (highly unlikely) the crowds will be down on Boxing Day.
    If Beer takes a bag in Perth, Swann will take two. The batsmen must fire, I'm looking at you Ricky! To you Watson, fifties are not good enough for a world class batsmen. We need to bat first and get 600 or it doesn't matter who is bowling.
    My prediction. Australia win in Perth and it's back on for Melbourne. The pitch there is gonna be a belter so a draw will be the result. All of a sudden the pressure is on in Sydney and the Poms crumble like a fifth day SCG pitch.
    Australia 2-1 and the soap dodgers go back to England a shattered mess.
    Fanciful? Yes. Likely? No.
    Surely we can't play any worse.....

  5. Yeah, dead rubber sux... but even though i'm an optimist, this is the team to create it.

    Sad to say but i almost want to be shellacked!

    if for no other reason (and there is no other reason) than to say, "Look where our bureaucracy has got us!"

    We were the greatest side ever! Not of the modern era, EVER! Tuggers (inherited) team was the most well balanced side i could ever imagine- and i was a HUGE fan of the Big Cat and Smokin' Joe's West Indians. And now, quite frankly we are a feeble mess.

    Yeah, i don't think it matters that AB has been there before, his hard-line attitude is needed now, as long as it is accompanied with a clean sweep of the committee and he is given an unfettered free rain.

    Personally, i wish Beer all the best: what an unexpected dream come true! But the reality is, he does not deserve to be there, isn't what Australia (not the Ashes contest, but the team) really need- ANOTHER LAO! When we we know that to turn the ball across the R/H the answer is a leggie, and when we keep picking LAO we show how desperate we are for the direction of the spin, not the way it is bowled!

    If you look back at all my posts, i avoid the reminiscence of Warne's retirement -to me it is just a reality and you can't lament that sort of lose, but i will say that we can't expect another wristy to be as great... by which i mean, don't wish for it, nurture and create it.

    That takes commitment, and that takes a foresighted CA... which we DON't have.

    stoph verismo

  6. It takes some courage to put faith in a bunch of young guys who will disappoint at times, thrill at others but you know in the long run will prove effective. CA always had the option to do this rather than a chop-and-change process they're using for the Ashes. Players should be under pressure thereby not taking their spot for granted but you may not bat or bowl that poorly and still find yourself out for the next game. The Johnson problem goes back well over 12 months and he gets dropped after 1 Ashes test where he bowled the same he had done for ages - crap! Similarly North has barely made tough runs for as long as he's been in the side so why give him so many chance? Now the spin position could go to any single slow bowler in the country. What happens if Beer bowls steadily, not brilliantly, in Perth, then below par in Melbourne? Does he get the axe?

    Why couldn't CA have just put faith in Hauritz OR said to Smith "we want you to be Aus' next frontline spinnner" and put every effort into that. Now they're picking Smith anyway - not as a spinner primarily perhaps - when he could have been playing County during the winter and then gone into this summer with overs under his belt. All he's had is a few shield games - one where he's done very well - so why wouldn't he do as poorly in Perth as Doherty did in Brisbane and Adelaide?

    I think Hilditch will get the arse and Chappell given the head position. I'd prefer this as Chappell is more willing to take gambles with young players. Hopefully we see a new look team for the next series - a team minus Ponting and Katich and even perhaps Hussey.

  7. I agree Lefty. The Ashes thirteen should have been picked for the entire series, regardless of form during the series. Obviously North, Johnson and Doherty were picked for two tests which is not the right outlook. Pick a team you think can win you the series. And two tests is not a series. A team needs to gel and swapping and changing makes it feel like eleven guys playing on the same field rather than one team. Had Smith been picked from the first test he may have failed like North but at least he would have two tests under his belt. As it is we drop North for him anyway. Even had North got runs, or wickets he is hardly a pick for the future. CA hardly seem to think of it anymore, unless it's to justify it's constant oversight of one B. Hodge.

  8. Agreed.

    i know it sounds sour grapes, but Ponting -as great as he has been (and he has, more often than not)- is done, and needs to go.

    We must be the only country in cricket where captaincy is a retirement position. If it wasn' for his ego and desire for the Ashes, he could have got an extra 2+ years on his batting career...maybe. But because it is a "job til the end" in Aus, Ponting is letting himself, his batting, and his country down on every level.

    6nce again i will say that Hauritz's recall riled me, but i was proven wrong (in Aus) with his astute understanding of his own ability and where he worked within a match and team; he was never great, but i think he had enough that, had he been supported by an understanding captain, he could have done a lot more home. As K, O'Keefe said, "he is an Australian bowler only, not to be toured."
    He was out of form when he was left out, but the sign of a champ is how they come back, and Nathan came back superbly, to be left out after his 5 fa, and 140+ shows CA selectors would rather have a faceless nose than win!

    Smith MUST be nurtured as a leg spinning all-rounder rather than a smash 'em up batsman that can bowl legspin if CA want a full time spinner. i've said they should hold back on him until he develops his craft, and now, a season later i've seen him bowl enough to know he can hit a legth and do the other stuff. The only thing that will fail him is a lack of practice.

    i know i bowled turd on the DTW Adelaide tour, but given i was drunk and hadn't bowled a ball in 8 months tells me that the fact i could turn and (mostly [over] flight it meant that the skill was still there, it is only the practice that was lacking. Smith MUST keep bowling, but in 5 over spells until his confidence is up, and only while he can set his own field.

    as much as i want AB, i'll take Chappell (bastard underarm...never forget!) as long as he takes total control.

    stoph verismo

  9. While we are on the subject. Is anyone going to buy a ticket for Boxing Day?

  10. Yeah, I had thought of Boxing Day tickets - let me know boys. You know better than I about sell-outs at the MCG. I'll obviously pay whoever back.

  11. Win or lose in Perth, Get your tickets at the gate at the G unless Warne gets picked.
    Hildich is persona non grata in my book.
    That is our issue, get rid of him, install a new Head of Selectors (with a stated aim) and start again. sad, but it's where we are at.
    Difficult (I think not) choices should/could have been made 18 months ago and weren't. That is the selectors fault.
    What we need is a selection team that inspires confidence in the player group.
    If you are batting and get a few peaches....fine.
    If you are a bowler, sorry, you ARE more exposed than a batsman as YOU are the protagonist and Bowlers will be dealt with in less time than a batsman....BUT remember it took Warne 2 years to get results that cemented him in the
    So, Our selection panel should be, transparently picking new players with a view to them playing Test match cricket for 5 to ten years. Then backing the players THEY have picked AND being responsible for any player's long term failure.
    If YOU pick a player who doesn't, in the long run, succeed, then YOU are GONE!

  12. I agree Outey. They threw Doherty to the wolves then dragged the carcass out of the team.

  13. i hope yu are right Sledgey, just been on line to get them and then to a tickettek office and no gen ad are available... i know they will release some on the day because it will not sell 90k, but...

    starting to fell uncomfortable about it