Friday, 20 January 2012

DTW Sydney Tour 2012

Welcome everybody to the third installment, and second interstate trip for the DTW crew.

This time we venture to picturesque Sydney as we take in the sights of lovely uptown Oxford Street and the quaint SCG facilities.

The boys arrived at my place in Greensborough right on time for a 7 o'clock departure and I took the first driving post. Selfish I know but it's my car so go suck a slips cordon.

Lefty was good enough to provide the box set of Twelfth Man so we laughed our way to Sydney. Who will ever forget the Hansie Cronje segment, which I am sure, is our favourite.

Our arrival in Sydney was seamless as was the hotel check in and we were greeted by the sight of beautiful Hyde Park and the War Memorial. We unpacked our bags and decided to pay our respects and also venture through the surroundings.

Hunger struck and it was off to Oxford Street to se what was on offer. Apart from strip clubs and closed pubs it was starting to look a bit hopeless but we found a lovely little Brazilian place, with an even lovelier waitress so we stayed to sample the culinary delights of the Latino people.

My run in with the insecticide the day before was starting to really punish me so I darted to the latrine for a salute to Huey. Someone else entered but my care was almost zero as I vomited what amounted to only bile to loud dry reach sounds. Luckily it was only Lefty.

Thankfully I was able to hold down to the food but drinking was definitely off the menu.

Back to the hotel and it was time to utilise the facilities on the roof. Pool, spa and sauna and then I was feeling much better. Laughs were had as we lounged in luxury to a spectacular view of Sydney's nighttime skyline twenty-three floors up. Magnificent.

I plummeted again as I lay in bed later and watched as the boys got well and truly lubricated. It was then time to share the bed with a very amorous Lefty. Not much sleep was had but excitement about the coming day's cricket may have had more to do with it than Lefty's hands...but they were everywhere.

And so it was up the next morning for a quick workout and swim and then it was off to the real stuff. The walk up Oxford Street punctuated by the sounds of Ghost Chips and Twelfth Man impersonations. Stoph grabbed some sly booze and we eyed the SCG for the first time. A truly lovely Members Stand the first scene.

As we entered to the news that India had won the toss and would bat all manner of predictions were bandied around and I must admit I thought we were in for a long day of watching them pile on the runs. If not for the surroundings, company and the thought of a Sachin master class I may have felt a little down.

What followed was a great day of Aussie bowling. It was so good to see the young fellas and Victorians serving it up to the seasoned veterans of India's top order. I won't bore you with all the statistics and reviews of the actual cricket, as you know them already.

Some kids behind had obviously been allowed out by their mothers and decided it would be gnarly to annoy the grown ups as they ate their packed lunches. And by kids I mean twenty and very smart mouthed. It was all I could do to not turn around and give them a serve. Not why we were there.

Stoph was on a mission and was doing fine by the time I wandered up to him with about an hour left. I greeted him and was treated to some good old-fashioned drunken gibberish. It sounded important so I smiled and nodded.

Outey decided it might be a good idea to give him a big hug but failed to notice he was nursing a cup of water so it was splashed on everyone in front of us. A member of the local constabulary of the female persuasion was forced to ask if he was drunk, or just a dickhead. Harsh, very harsh. She then proceeded to order him to sit down like she was his mother. Thankfully Outey has testicles and proceeded to ignore her. So many comebacks could have been aimed at her but getting ejected was not what any of us wanted.

And so it was time to leave with the Aussies in a commanding position in the cricket but Stoph in not such a commanding position with his faculties. Outey and I began talking and within minutes had lost Stoph and Lefty. Our hope was they knew how to get back to the hotel.

We eyed some of the finest eye candy known to man as we headed back and Outey eyed a pair of breasts from across the road. Having experienced Oxford Street before I was dubious as to "her" gender position and pointed it out. My fears were confirmed but there was no remorse from Outey. A set of big tits, is a set of big tits.

We ducked into the bottle shop with still no signs of Stoph and Lefty.

Our arrival in the hotel was met with relief as our friends were already preparing for a swim. We still have not confirmed why they felt it necessary to run 1km in order to beat us back to the room, or how Stoph managed to do it in his condition.

How good did the swim feel? Outstanding!!. Soaking up the heat from the day and replacing it with a feeling of relaxation we once again moved to laughter and shenanigans. We really are not right...

Another relaxing swim and it was downstairs to greet my mate Bernd. Introductions in the room were carried out to the sight of Stoph’s landing gear and full frontal nudity. Who doesn’t want to be introduced to a naked man?

Pizza and wine on the rooftop with some more laughs and again it was time to crawl into the bed with Lefty. Earplugs helped a little as the three of them performed a snoring sonata. Outey the rumbling bass, Stoph the rhythm and Lefty carrying the harmony quite well. Eventually fatigue got me but not before I considered sleeping in the bathtub.

Morning arrived to a relaxing swim and it was off to watch Clarke smash them to all parts on his way to a classy 200 not out. The happenings of the day were a little more subdued. Stoph kept his vow to stay off the turps.

I attempted to push through the bloated barrier and tie one on, but crashed not long before tea. The next hours spent strolling around the SCG, up and down levels to finally settle just beside the Channel 9 cameraman to watch Clarke reach his double ton. What a crowd reaction!

The days play ended and we settled in for the long stroll back to the hotel which seemed to get longer each time we did it. Eye candy aplenty was accepted with glee. Pashing lesbians greeted us at Taylor Square as all and sundry ogled them. Not uggos neither!

And so back to the room, a swim and then a search for a more suitable place to dine than the cosmopolitan that is Oxford Street. We headed towards George Street instead.

We settled on a counter attack and adjourned to an upstairs table and a view over the passing parade of lovely lasses. Sydney girls truly know how to dress.

I turned my attention to the menu and had the misfortune of raising the topic of a good steak. For our readers I will only say that Lefty should not be questioned on this matter. His rebuke still stings a little even to this day.

So the meal was had and we once again returned to the room. Some more drinks later it was time to venture to the farter only to discover that the maid had taken my earplugs. Whore! What followed was six unbroken hours of torturous insomnia. Jesus boys, see a doctor.

Morning came and breakfast was the idea. I proceeded to get the boys lost in The Rocks looking for a park so we assholed Sydney and headed home. Cheers boys for taking the driving duties. The kip was nice to the sound of Clarke teasing the Indians as 300 cam and went.

And so that was the DTW Sydney trip. Once again a champion adventure with even better blokes. We now look forward to planning our next trek to the greatest game on earth.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

As the stocks rise

With the trophy already in the cabinet Australian cricket can breathe a sigh of relief as the test summer winds down with a dead rubber in Adelaide remaining. This pitch will be the first absolute road from ball 1 for the summer and one can expect India to look forward to batting first should they win the toss. India will be without Dhoni - hopefully someone else can fill in on details with the penalty for slow overs rates. On the surface this looks to be too large a penalty but I haven't found any reports as to exactly what Dhoni has been penalised for. I am also unsure who will be India's keeper. Dravid does the job when Dhoni bowls or is off the field but as Dhoni won't start the answer is unclear.

Before getting into Australia's performance a few comments on India's abject display. Noone could have forseen such a pityful display with the bat. Sehwag is obviously the biggest issue as being 1 for within half an hour every time puts the batting side on the back foot right away. I don't care what anyone says, if your natural game is to waft outside off to a seaming, steeply bouncing ball and you either don't or can't curb that habit when you're continually getting out; you're not doing your job. Dravid has shown signs of resilience but not been able to go with it as he did in England. Tendulkar has sparkled and confused in the same innings while Laxman looks like playing his last test in Adelaide. Gambhir has improved as the tour has worn on and Kohli's stocks have risen. It's easy to assume India will relish on the Adelaide Highway but............

There's every reason to believe Aus will unleash hell with the bat too. Save Marsh every batsman has contributed in this series. Marsh will play so this will provide him a great opportunity to spend hours at the crease and get some confidence back to take to West Indies. Cowan and Warner look solid as an opening pair; Ponting, Clarke and Hussey have made big scores. Then there's Haddin. I don't hide my dislike for the guy; he seems to be an unintelligent human being and with the publicity being an elite sportsperson receives if you are stupid then it's best you don't say much. He does and then backs it up with shoddy glove work and poor batting. I actually gave him a send-off when Zaheer got him out in Perth. Poor form indeed but no poorer then him running toward the Swarmy Army after taking a regulation catch in Sydney. They are supporting their team you idiot; not targeting you! Can Watson keep?

Anyway, since my heart rate has returned to normal, onto the bowlers. It's always a great sign when you have a revolving door of quicks that can go into the side and do a job. Anyone of Cummins, Harris, Pattinson, Starc, Hilfenhaus or Siddle could get a run and you'd back them in to perform. The interesting thing for me is not that noone is saying 'I wish Johnson was available' but has anyone heard Bollinger mentioned? I bet the answer is 'no'. The youth and inexperience of the pace bowlers is no more evident than Siddle being considered the leader with Hilfenhaus and Harris seen as seniors of the attack. There are 59 test appearances between the 3 of them.

Before Perth, pundits claimed there was still big problems with Aus' top order. 2 out of the 3 have then made runs. The big question now is 'how long can Ponting and Hussey play?' They will both tour West Indies and then the next test series is next summer. Will they tour England 2013? Should they? What should be used as a gauge of their worth? There's little doubt Ponting has contributed with more than just the bat, Hussey likely the same. While we're watching the price of carrying dad's army in a test series through India, it's unlikely Aus will experience anything like that. Hussey and Ponting look fit and firing in the field while Laxman and Sehwag look tired. Personally I don't think either Hussey or Ponting should go to England in 2013. This then provides the timeframe for a transition strategy. One gets the feeling with both of these players, however, that a tap on the shoulder will be needed.