Friday, 10 December 2010

R's holes and opinions

CD (career death) Day today!

every man with a keyboard and his dog with an iphone is writing about the impending Australian team selection today.
for mine the best comments are coming from those associated with the England team and the WA coach.

"If you're chopping and changing a lot, people can play for their individual spots instead of playing for the team," said England keeper Prior.

i have an opinion on this, IT IS ABSOLUTE CRAP! short of deliberately running out a team mate that may be in consideration over you- which is stupid, because you are already in the side- how does this statement even work?. if people are playing their best (for whatever reason) then we are getting what we need from them. So thanks for trying to be helpful Prior, helpful like a hangnail!

Former RSA coach Arthur added something too, "Right now is the time to calm everything down, it's not the time to start putting players under the microscope," said Arthur, now coach of Western Australia. I'd say he doesn't want North back!
What a stupid thing to say, now is EXACTLY the time to be getting the critical eye going.

Ponting too came up with a good one on a radio sound bite, claiming North should still be in the side. Ok Punter, if you really think so, he can have your spot!

As all eyes look towards the SA and NSW match it appears Smith, Ferguson and Hauritz are all doing enough there to go to the head of the class come next week... we'll see!

yeah! i'm PO'd at the moment!
stoph verismo
down the wicket

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Something Old...

I don't know if you guys have been listening to the radio today but there has been a LOT of talk about one S.K Warne making a comeback. Of course it is just conjecture but it does raise the questions....

If Warne did put his hand up could the selectors ignore him?

Should he be picked if he does put his hand up?

Would he perform better than the spinner that would be selected otherwise?

Should he put his hand up?

All interesting questions. Picking him is a very short term solution if it was successful but really who cares? The Poms go back empty handed and we have two more years to develop a team that can keep the urn on foreign soil. How much of a learning experience would it be for the likes of Doherty or Smith to be twelfth man to a side that has Warne. How valuable would he be to Ponting when he is out of ideas after the first hour?
I for one hate the man as a person but I think even retired he remains one of Australia's best bowlers.
The rest might just have energised him enough to go on for a few more years and if we have to throw the captaincy at him to do it I think it is worth it.

how it is.... and how it SHOULD be for CA

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

What A Weekend It Was

And so it is that such an anticipated event is over leaving more then just a tinge of regret and disappointment. Not at the weekend that was the Inaugural DTW Adelaide Pilgrimage but the fact that it had to end.
Friends were confirmed, food and beverages were consumed and legends were made. Not least of all Tony's steak on the second night. I still have some tingling in the toilet area when I think of it.
What began slowly with a somewhat late Stoph Verismo soon turned into a drunken dash for the border as my shift ended at the wheel and Outside Sledge took over the driving duties. We were treated to the hospitality of the lovely citizens of Beaufort and possibly the longest wait ever for a vegetable filo. Our collective parting wish was that Beaufort might wash away in the downpour that Outey was treated to no sooner had he started the engine. He perhaps might have experienced it less had he bothered to put the transmission into drive rather than third so we revved all the way to the border.
Another driving change was in order as we replenished our beer supplies and Stoph pulled on his driving gloves and prepared for what would be countless urination stops on some of South Australia's most mundane roads. I was treated to a tap on the shoulder every five minutes to pass a stubbie by Outey determined to make up for lost time spent sober behind the wheel.
The roads sped by and the hills appeared and we slowly wound our way down to the lovely village of Adelaide. Suburban streets gave way to oceanic views and we were finally greeted with the welcome "C.U.N.T welcomes DTW" and what would be awesome South Australian hospitality.
The beers ensued and the banter quickly flowed into the gutter. The early hours were soon upon us as we retired in readiness for the real stuff.
Dawn greeted us to yet more beer and foulness as we lubricated the psyche for what lay ahead. Donning the kiltage felt somewhat alien for about five seconds but I soon warmed to idea of a breeze between my legs. It was time for the cricket!
Never before have I experienced the willingness of so many to see so much as I did on that walk to the ground. It seemed everyone, old, young, male and female was keen to see what was under our kilts and it was hilarious.
The day panned out the same as the cricket took second row to the boys in kilts. The Barmy Army even delighted in our antics as the heat of the day and shoddy mid strength pus took it's toll. I couldn't have even told you the score as we left the ground and began the trek back to Henley Beach. A welcome swim and some eye candy at the local beach refreshed us for the evening to come.
What followed can only be described as culinary excellence as our senses were treated to the food of the gods...steak. And not just any steak. The juiciest, tenderest Angus you could ever wish for. I actually had some growth and Stoph, a devout vegetarian even had a crack but was not impressed. Red wine was poured and I am sad to say wasted as the day took it's toll on my drunk and ageing body. The last I remember was the comfort of the outdoor couch and a sip of a magnificent Shiraz before I was waking to a dark and lonely backyard. I sauntered inside and abruptly passed out on the bed.
Dawn and a swim and it was time for day two of the yawn fest that was the cricket. My solemn promise of no more XXXX Gold lasted all of five minutes as Stoph set about proving the theory "You can get trashed on the mid stuff?". The cricket followed a similar path but was set apart by the awesome performance of KP as he treated our bowlers with disdain.
Stumps saw a very drunken but very satisfied Stoph as he left the ground wet, but vindicated. We set about the task of getting back to the restaurant and the courtesy of Tony as he graciously gave us a lift home. Food and drinks flowed. It wasn't long before the talk turned to a net session and we trundled off to the nets.
What followed was a mixture of pure genius and hack ability. I won't elaborate except to say each of us added to the mix in both ways. My body is still sore.
Early night brought a sad goodbye to Lefty and Tony but solidified memories that would last until I say we do it all again next year.
Thank you all guys for a truly memorable weekend of all that I love. Good friends, good cricket, good food and drink.

It's A Great Start When You Have To Eat & Run

Tony Greig must now be considered an honourary Victorian after calling on the selectors to reinstate Brad Hodge to the Test team after Australia's thrashing in Adelaide. While he's at it, maybe he should check to see if Dennis Lillee is available!

The Hodge I admired as a cricketer would laugh in their two faces.

a great day for Australian cricket.

no, my title isn't sarcasm... it is hope.

i have been saying since first predictions on the Ashes results that we will be done by this confident and supremely organised England team, and while they only have one win on the board... well, you all saw what happened!

So why am i so optimistic? Well, actually at the moment i'm a little flat; maybe it is the result, or the demands i put on my liver over the last 3 days (can't be lack of sleep- sorry about being a full tummied couch kipper Lefty!), but i AM GLAD we have been comprehensively MUNTED!

Everyone can point a finger- and we all will (and should), but the reality is we can take little from the last 2 results and the last one really must force to the fore what the hell is going to change before we get change?

in simple terms it is glaringly obvious: we can't get wickets and the same "repeat offenders" keep offering too little with the bat.

for several seasons now we've asked for(and been told that we are getting) rebuilding of the side, so my positive spin on our shellacking is due to the fact that SOMETHING now must happen.

of course, with Katich's injury we will get an extra change that wasn't desired, but at least there can be no excuses as inepts squirm under the very magnified microscope.

So what would be worse: continuing shuffling around a few positions, or wholesale change as half the bums get kicked and my preferred option of blooding youth with the assurance, "we don't expect you to win, we expect you to learn, get experience and try to win. you won't be pilloried for trying, just show some grit. do you want that?"

Self belief is everything in sport, and some may say that my approach above could damage that in a young'un, maybe, maybe not, it is a bit of a blank card when told the only expectations is to develop from the experience.
And any of the "old guard" that lived through this Adelaide loss and pain will not be there to use it as fuel in the future much like Englands senior players have after Warne's mugging last time.

Roebuck made the point on the radio that he doesn't believe in the "cyclical nature" of sport, and i would partly agree with him on that; but i didn't agree on his explanation why. he said that you didn't win because it was "your turn", you won because you were organised, commit ed, believe and practice, and that part is right.

But i think he missed the point when people use the cyclical term; sides coalesce (which could be used against my performance contracts argument to a degree), as they gel their self belief grows and winning becomes easier, more so as everybody knows every other member better, and this DOES happen in cycles.

A few great players form the nucleus of a side and others find greatness in themselves while around them... but as we know, it can't last.

Obvious comparisons to the great West Indies side that held dominance for so long have been made, and now we compare the demise of the two. But i'm not so pessimistic as to believe we will be in the wilderness indefinitely as the WI side has been. The fact we are a country and they a confederated region makes ALL the difference. Despite state rivalry and state governing bodies jockeying for power/representation/whatever, we will still "Come together..." maybe not "Right now," as Australians.

Now i started this blog to rip into slack, narrow-minded, political and just plain stupid governing bodies and bureaucrats within the game, and i'm not pumping out this rosy message and letting them off the hook. CA must cop a rigorous bollocking over where our team sits (on its arse while CA sits on its hands) in world cricket at the moment, so i encourage everyone to email them and have a say.
But while it is dark days at the moment... you know the rest!

stoph verismo
down the wickt

Monday, 6 December 2010

...and some suss actions!

the first of many- Adelaide Test

DTW net session results

And the results are in from the Adelaide leg of DTW net sessions.

Outside Sledge - 6/215
Stoph - 2/76 (in quickly fading light)
Tony - absent
Nospmas - 4/546
Leftriteout - 9/342 (in 189 overs)

Thanks for making the pilgrimage to our fair village boys. Henley Beach will never be the same again!

20 days til Boxing Day, doo dah, doo dah