Big Bash

We don’t really get the thrill of the Big Bash.  It has neither the domineering megabucks of the IPL, nor the quaint charm of the English T20.  In the IPL, anything can happen because all the players are brilliant.  In English domestic T20, there are far more players and anything can happen due to someone doing something particularly awful or a young unknown having the day of his life.

So what is the point of the Big Bash?  Journeymen overseas players match wits with old hasbeens, and all the while young Australians that could be developing their game get a few weeks in the middle of the season off first class cricket. 

Where is the next Australian spinner going to come from if almost half the teams are picking spinners that retired YEARS ago?  Hogg, Warne and Macgill didn’t retire a few months ago and have come back because they fancy a crack.  When Stuart MacGill retired, Steve Smith was still a year away from his first class debut.  Now, 4 years on, he finds himself behind MacGill in the bowling order in the Sydney Sixers team.

Either that, or cricket is turning a full circle and in 2020 we will be watching 54-year-old, 18-stone players.  In which case, we are all for it.


Sharpen the pitchforks

We get it, people just don’t really like Jonathan Trott.

He missed a couple of Tests in the summer, and England won.  Ian Bell looked good at number 3 for two innings.  So people have forgotten what a shower the number 3 spot was before Trott came along.

Now England may want to play 2 spinners, so people (including the otherwise excellent Mike Holmans) are suggesting that Trott is the obvious man to miss out because he can’t play spinners as well as everyone else.  These people are completely, unequivocally, wrong.

And for once, I am going to back up my assertion with facts.

Jonathan Trott has been out the grand total of 5 times to a spinner in 23 Test matches.  In doing this, he has averaged more than 70 against them.  It should also be added that Pakistan are a bit more than Saeed Ajmal, they also have three other blokes known as “international seamers”.  Is that enough to debunk a myth?

If not, consider this – Kevin Pietersen (who shouldnt be dropped either) has been out to spin 46 times in 78 matches, and averages 47.

My second article is now up at Cricinfo for all to see.  I knew I was right to mention Sachin in the first one – this on has no mention of India and has already been panned by 66% of critics for not doing so.

Click http://www.cricinfo.com/page2/content/story/525789.html for literally seconds of entertainment.

1) MS Dhoni has selective thought processes.  Yes, it was unfortunate that he lost his best bowler on the Day 1.  Chopping and changing your order doesn’t help when you are trying to save a Test match.  But there is one glaring hole in the argument that it cost India the game – Day 3.  India had a full batting line up on traditionally the best day for batting at Lord’s, and England blew them away.  Working out why that happened would be more helpful than blaming misfortune.

2) Stuart Broad is good.  One day he could be really good.  What he isn’t is consistent – this is why the words “Ashes 2009” follow him around like a bad smell.  It isn’t because he was really good that day that this happens, otherwise we would be saying “Durban 2009” every time someone mentioned Graeme Swann.  The reason that is stuck to Stuart Broad is because he has been very “meh” since then.  Lord’s has to be the start of a consistent run now – he is too old to be promising now,  and Tim Bresnan is far too good to be left hanging around if we need to wait another 18 months for a performance like that.

3) Rahul Dravid will never, ever, get the praise that he deserves.

4) If Matt Prior being labelled as some sort of hero who would swallow asbestos just to earn the team an extra run is getting tiresome.  I love him, but he is just doing his job.  Really well.  Scoring a hundred from 60/5 is not “unselfish”, it is just “being good”.  Slapping it about to get to a hundred is not “unselfish”, it is “getting on with it so the captain doesn’t declare with you on 85*”.  Pietersen did something very similar in the first innings, but “unselfish” doesn’t really sit with how we like to view him so we gloss over it.

Anthony Martin, the new West Indian legspinner, seems like great fun.  Having just bowled his side to an admittedly futile victory over India, his press conference was a wonder to behold. 

“No-one comes here and destroys me on my pitch. This is my pitch. I don’t care who they are. I am here to destroy whoever I play against.”

“I am not married. I might not ever. I may also.”

“I have played against Sehwag one time before. I took a catch off him and he didn’t want to move. He stood on the pitch, leaning on his bat and I was celebrating. I went all around the park.”

“”I took a wicket of Rahul Dravid, caught at slip. I took another left-hander bat, don’t remember his name.”

“”I don’t like losing. That ‘L” word is not in my vocabulary. Only Love and Lord. Not Losing.”

For a man with 5 ODI caps to his name, that is magnificent.  We will be keeping our beady eye on him.

Muddled Thinking

It comes to something when an Australian crisis stops being funny.  Now it is just sad.

Good on Simon Katich for speaking his mind.  Cricket Australia have caught the same disease that plagued the ECB in the 90’s, namely making the right decisions in entirely the wrong way.

“Youth is the way forward”.  An oft-repeated phrase that accompanies any chastening defeat, it can cover up a multitude of sins.  Instead of actually looking at the system in-depth, real deficiencies can be brushed under the carpet by bringing in someone young, fresh and flashy. 

 The problems with this are twofold. 

Youth is ALWAYS the way forward unless you find a way of making players immortal (which India seem to have admittedly managed).  Why wasn’t youth the way forward three years ago?  Just because the old guys are rubbish, it does not mean the younger ones are any better.

Second is who you drop, and Australia have just dropped their best batsman.  Katich averages more than anyone in recent times.  His Ashes series involved a 50 in the first dig at Brisbane, a low score in the pointless last innings, being run out for a duck by Shane Watson and making 43 despite the fact he could barely stand up at Adelaide.

His trench-warfare batting style is exactly what Australia need.  Maybe he is past it, but no more so than Ponting.  It is going to be tough for a little while for Australia, and an opening partnership of Watson and Katich would at least give them a strong start more often than not.

As it is, Phil Hughes will now be opening the batting.  Who would you rather bowl at?

Search Engine Terms

This website has a nifty little function where you can see what was typed into a search engine to direct people to this page.

To the person who was directed here after typing “women taking somethingin hole between thier legs” into Google, I can only apologise.  Still, saves you having to delete your internet browsing history.

And now I have made a post about it, even more people looking for nondescript filth who struggle to spell “their” will find themselves reading about Brian Close.  Excellent.