Saturday, 18 December 2010

Out, Not Out

The umpire review system has been fully utilised in today's play and has highlighted an issue that will raise it's head more and more until it is addressed. Should technology be used in umpiring?

Run outs, unless by half the pitch are seldom adjudicated by the on field umpires. That transition was almost seamless. As soon as the technology was available it became almost common practise for the call to be made upstairs. The review system was brought into the game to eliminate the howlers but is more and more used to decide the close calls.

For me the decision must be taken away from the players altogether.

The umpire should be the only ones to ask for a review. If he is uncertain if the batsmen hit the ball or it pitched outside leg then he should be able to call upstairs for confirmation. The way it is at the moment is almost a joke. The umpires should not be proven wrong rather they should ask for assistance.

At the moment the umpires confidence is being shot with every wrong call. How difficult must it be to detect a faint edge that Hotspot shows up so glaringly? That is not a mistake. Don't even get me started on Eagle Eye.

The technology should only be there so the umpire can confirm that what he saw was correct. Not for reversals due to a technicality and definitely not so a batsmen can clutch at straws.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Apropos Whoa

Great 1st day of the Perth Test... for Pom spectators!
10 Aussie wickets and the Aussie bowlers wearing themselves out doing the work the upper order should have done; perfect!

I love the Perth Test, because it starts 1/2 hour before i gt home from work and goes into the evening, TOPS! But on the down side, i tend to watch more of it than listen on the radio so i am subjected to the "commentary" of the ex-caps and uber brats more than the excellent Grandstand call of the game.

So what did i see?
I saw the best "Perth" track I've seen in years. Lively but consist ant, who'd have thought that waving your bat at lifting balls outside of off was going to get you caught by those blokes standing way back there!
Maybe it is because of the mundane nature of our production line pitches that had batsman confused as to how to face up on a pitch that was wished for by our team, but in reality proved too much and just what the 6 foot 20 Poms wanted too!

I'll let you guys comment on Hughes, hmmmmffff!
Watson, good ball.
Ponting- more about you later, great catch- but you take them when you believe in yourself.
Hussey, thank you so much...again.
Smith- what did i say about outside off?
Haddin, as per Hussey.
Johnson, well done! i hope the self beliefs continues with your bowling- the 2 overs looked good, keep it up.
Harris, 3x better than your last 2 knocks!
Siddle, it's not your responsibility, but thank funk you did that.
Hilf, same goes to you.

A bit has been said about the need to get a wicket before the close of play, and about Australia's lack of penetration for not getting one, but over all i think that was a good display of tight and thoughtful bowling, apart from Harris going a bit dearly.

part 2

I've made no effort to watch Warnie, but due to it being straight after the days play i left the box on to see what it was all about and to see if the local lad had to say to Ponting.
Warne was adequate in the roll of interviewer; his 6 spinning questions was quite contrived, and it was obvious that Clarkson knew his craft better than Warne, but the real interest was the dynamic between Warne and Ponting.
For mine it was clear Warne was determined to come across as not just out and out ripping into Ponting, but someone that was prepared to ask the hard question, respectfully. Except it was clear that Punter was uncomfortable, and that Warne was toying with him as he did that hapless South African batsman.

To be fair, i liked several of Ponting answers, namely about nurturing people and being a mate to all- but i liked them only on humanitarian grounds. As a captain, he showed why he is going to lose this 3rd Ashes. You are not there to be a "friend of the people" Punter, you are there to be sporting but ruthless, and WIN!

While Warn stated at th start of the show that he was honoured to be considered viable to play in this series, but that he was bowling double bouncers and that he was not going to play, after his interview with Ponting, i wonder if he could be lured back if he was give the number one cap? It was easy to see who was the boss!

stoph verismo

down the wicket

Thursday, 16 December 2010


This just in.

SEN - Ponting says captaincy is out of his hands but does admit that he might not see this Ashes series out as skipper...

Lose this test and I tend to agree with you Ricky. Perhaps you should have fallen on your sword before the series?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Put Up, Or Shut Up.

The time has come gents to put your testes on the line and make a bold prediction for the third test in Perth. My prediction for Brisbane was spot on…..for the first three days then went Down Syndrome. Will Australia pull themselves out of the mire or will the Poms finish it all after three tests? Can Beer take wickets or will he crash and burn. Will Smith get some runs, or Ponting, or Hughes? Step right up and put your reputation on the line. I’m not just after a result, I mean a day by day account. A six pack to the man who is the closest…

Day 1 – England bat – 3/285
Day 2 – England 10/488, Australia 1/84
Day 3 – Australia 7/366
Day 4 – Australia 10/445, England 4/201
Day 5 – England 8/308dec, Australia 6/255

Bell 165, Hussey 155, Swann 2/85 & 4/66

Match drawn. Hopeful yes.

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?