Monday, 31 January 2011

Return of the living dead!

As SS (or M&M, if you like) said, "I'm back!"
Sorry about my absence in the middle of 'cricket' season, the Apple Isle called and it was grand. Did a tour of Bellerive oval and museum, was able to keep Watto's fast ball out on the bowling speed simulator, and was planning to go to the ODI on the Friday but was informed there were only 1,000 tickets left and just for the hill and could see my boys terrorising the other patrons there worse than me and my animal undies did for Japanese tourists!

We all know Bellerive is right on the river, but what i didn't know was that there is a nice beach just outside the door (i'm talking only meters!); note to self, "Go to a Hobart Test, if it is hot take the opportunity to go for a swim at lunch!" Next test there, look out for interviews from Nicho with the river in the window behind him, it is a spectacular location and i believe the most scenic stadium in the country; not that i'd want to play there, as i'd be caught out daydreaming and looking up at the mountain and river WHILE in the field!

I will post a few pictures of the tour tonight.

Anyway, time for cricket.
So with all of my, "ODI is redundant and should be binned like 80 over old ball," it would seem that many in the cricket world think the sins of the summer can be forgiven with Australia's series win in the ODI and the close nature of most of the games so far. I must admit, i have been sucked into watching a couple of games (2nd innings) and eagerly checking the results when i've missed the matches.

To get result within the last couple of overs certainly makes for better competition so maybe i'm wrong about the 50 over format. What stands out to me is the effect t20 has had on the batting here too, as it has to the batting in Tests. Players stepping back and going WOOSH! Paddles around the corner to fine leg and more swats back over the bowlers head with a horizontal bat than you could...flash a bat at!
If this more gung ho style reinvigorates ODI, then maybe it IS a good thing, but i wonder if the lines across the 3 formats are then getting too blurred... at the detriment of technique.

A tight comp in the world cup could revitalise the format like a zombie on a feast of brains, but for how long? As a 40 something cricket fan, i grew up as the ODI version found its feet and attracted a fun loving following that was accessible for people that wanted a result in a day, but with an ADHD version filling this prescription even more succinctly, it still looks like time to accept the diagnosis.

Rule revamps are a sign of ongoing development and commitment to improvement, or are just another swing of the crop to try and get a few more miles from a flagging nag! Certainly the 'free hit' rule fits this bill; an irony not lost on Binga last night as he set his traps only to get the desired result (a skied catch)on the free hit.

While on Lee, i'd like to add how impressed i've been with him over this series. As the senior bowler he has really led by example and shown he still has most facets of his craft in place... including his consistently blistering pace. Not bad for an 'old bloke', more so because he is obviously a lot more thoughtful about his bowling now instead of forceful. Someone please remind me who is leading the bowling squad in the Test team again please?

stoph verismo
back at the crease

down the wicket


  1. I too must admit to watching some of the ODI's. Some of the batting was none too shabby. Watson's 160 odd in the first one was a joy to watch. Clarke's fifty will hide a multitude of sins which is not right but as he said "I don't need to make runs if the team is winning", or words to that effect.

    Is he smoking crack? The World Cup is just around the corner and the Australian captain is leisurely dismissing his woeful form with the bat. Just once I would like some honesty with the media.

    "Yes, I am crap and if I wasn't the chosen one I probably wouldn't get a game for NSW"

    I see Shaun Marsh is having scans on his hammy and could miss a fair bit of cricket. The selectors must now search high and low for a replacement while conveniently overlooking the obvious. What's that saying about the last man on earth. I think it applies here.

    Has anyone been paying any attention to the new domestic one day format? I find it interesting but would still like to see specialist batting and bowling teams. Imagine the spectacle of watching 11 of the best batsmen for both teams going at it for 50 overs each.

  2. Marsh is a real worry as he's had major hamstring problems previously. Hughes got dropped from NSW 20/20 side which is telling also.

    Clarke seems to just let whatever he's thinking come out of his mouth at the time. I do think he's astute as a captain though; but nothing can overshadow how poor he is with the bat at the moment.

    Watson's dig was awesome. He won't ever leave the opening spot now. I'm starting to think he shouldn't either. His bowling has been too useful for mine but if he's meant to be a part-time bowler then there's no reason he can't bat at the top. Kallis has batted at 3 for eons and bowled as many overs as Watson does' sometimes more. It's only now that Kallis obviously can't do both to the same extent he used to.

    I haven't watched any new version ODI in state cricket but the word has been players have been getting used to it and seem to like it. The quality of state cricket has been criticised heavily lately I've noticed. As such I'm not sure batting and bowling teams would work per se as I don't think there'd be enough quality of both disciplines for many of the states; especially Qld, WA, SA and Tas.

  3. Marsh does look very brittle, but so did Watto 4 years ago. Does anyone else think we are seeing more/serious injuries now? Sure there is more at stake, so it plausible that more effort is exhurted, but maybe it is a conditioning issue. Or, over use?

    Clarkes reflex mouth syndrome probably reflects his westie made good upbringing..oh Stoph, so bitchey and class based a comment!

    In regard to the batting and bowling teams; i would like to see a competition like this, but just as a novelty 3 match comp, not an ongoing league.

    Thinking about it, how would you organise the bowling team? 10 bowlers getting 5 overs each? Maximum 7 overs? It certainly would be exciting watching a team bat to 11 and i'd expect you would (as a batsman) have no right to ask your team mates to allow you an over to get your eye in with a full card below you... interesting.

    Coming soon, extra players introduced to 1st class cricket with the 8 city based big bash teams; could this thrust into the lime light latent talent if somewhere like Geelong ends up with a team? Or will it just spread the talent pool further and thinner and confuse issues when state captains end up playing for interstate cities?

  4. The quality of cricket will suffer but as long as a broader comp is limited to 20/20 I don't mind. There will be some new talent emerge but so what if they can clear the fence? One issue may prove to be more options for up and coming players to receive exposure via 20/20 and really worry about IPL and the like; especially if they don't really look like snatching a baggy green.