31 March 2010

••• Bye Bye New Sheepland...

Every time a NZ tour ends it leaves you down and depressed. The sacral tranquillity, only interrupted by crazy bird noises or filthy laughs from the background of the comment box, the lush green everywhere, the relaxed audience with their funny banners and displays, and the entirely turd-free hosting team provide for such an inviting and relaxing atmosphere, that the end of a tour always feels like having to depart from paradise.

Australia will leave with good memories, they have not only won both tests and retained the two big trophies, but in the course of the tour some of their key players have soared to new heights as well: Clarke arose strengthened after solving his private issues, Kato justified his cultic worship, North has left a disastrous season behind, and Mitch has mutated into an ember-eyed demon in cricket pants.

Nevertheless it was New Zealand who ended Australia's unbeaten summer by inflicting two defeats on them; the nailbiting finish of the second T20 is still fresh in my mind, and they also beat Oz in the last ODI of the Chappell-Helmet Trophy. Alas, they couldn't win an a series.

That's a pretty sad outcome, even more so as New Zealand's final results punish those who sparkled. To be honest I haven't watched the last match day yet but the scorecard is telling. Southee, unfairly the last wicket, fell on 45, while Chris Martin stood unbeaten. Only Guptill and McCullum reached the 50s. The rest succumbed cheaply to the Yellow Forces, in particular to the above mentioned Mitch Demon, who has apparently started to practise the black art of feasting upon negative vibes. It might also have aided his cause that he bowls scalpels instead of cricket balls. If he maintains this form until the Ashes England will die in a blender.
Har har.

However, I've enjoyed most of Australia's stay in NZ, there was certainly more to see than during the Australian summer. I'd like to conclude this post with a handful of screens from the "sickened tist":

The helmetitis continues!
This time it's Michael Clarke who takes a blow on the noggin.
During that moment he did not only hear the bells ringing in
his head, but also got madly yelled at from all directions for
caught behind.

Can you see the embers glowing? ^^
Mitch did clearly not feel much love for Mat Sinclair, after
only just missing his off stump with the last ball of day 1.


LRPL dominated the Aussie bowlers
during that innings, but got let down
by his comrades. What a sad fate.

Run-Out-Ricky in his element.

Just hatched from the incubator: Watto's army
of remote-controlled supporter kids.
The chip inside their heads can be activated to
make them hold up displays with silly slogans.



Lou said...

Nice pics, Wes.

I'm glad the Aussies are finally not playing for a while.

Butters said...

But you have to see the last day if you love TIMMY TIME(i do! :D). He raped Bollinger in one over. It was hilarious: Timmy with his little giggle-grin face and Dougie looking like his ass hurt from all the Timmy Pounding. And Chris Martin hit a 4. Yeah, mean. WATCH IT :D

Wes said...

Hell I was about to download it! Welcome aboard Butters, keep posting! Great to see someone else being nutheaded like that B)

Lou, no one is playing for a while. :/
I can already see myself making posts about idiotic PCB decisions that get taken back again on the next day >_>... or... the greatness of Sachin *shoots self*

Rishabh said...

Hah! The PCB wants players to apologize formally! Does that mean they haven't done it yet?

Suhas said...

Great post Wes, you're right about the feeling of 'departing from paradise'.

While I've never been to NZ, for all the talk about only three-men-and-a-dog attending test matches, the place strikes me as one of the better places in the world to watch test cricket. The idyllic surroundings, the quirky banners and good-humoured spectators..quite different from what we get back here in India (though the experience can be great here too).

Suhas said...

Must say I'm happy for Kato, he'll be a key during the Ashes defence. I wonder if guys like Philip Hughes, Shaun Marsh and Steve Smith need a bit more matchplay over this year, in case they need to step in. Australia's top six did well in NZ but I have a feeling England won't mind seeing the same lineup in Novemeber.

Butters said...

Hehe the PCB are funny XD

Ya Suhas, being a Kiwi i can definately confirm the awesomeness of watching a test match in the Sheepland. The setting and the ever-so-slightly-cynical-but-in-an-awesome-and-not-lame-way crowd make it very entertaining. Too bad we don't get treated to a decent win that often(pokes hole in soul)...

What's it like being in a cricket crowd in India O_o ?

Sidthegnomenator said...

My only feeling on departing from NZ is "about time". I have no interest in little people with funny feet. Or sheep. It's not my idea of paradise.

But I'm supposed to feel like that, I'm an Aussie.

Wes said...

Suhas you are from India! Commiserations :(


Seriously I imagine this completely different. Indian cricket also has to consider picking representatives from all territories or so, no? At least I think I read something like that.
It seemed to me you were a Kiwi residing in the US!

I don't think that the second string players will get a lot of practice simply because there are only 2 tests left and Aus feels the current lineup should play together some more. I am closely watching England and calling for carefulness, all Aussies seem to be very confident say they will easily beat them 4:0 or even 5:0. I think it is not impossible... the rumour goes that England has an absolutely shitty history on Oz pitches so I think Aus will be fairly safe.

Butters yeah I already wrote jubilant anticipation posts weeks before the tour started*lol* It was high time after the dreary Aussie summer... which was like watching a man with a stick virtually beating a dead horse. For months.

Sid in cricket terms it made way more sense than the endless and pointless tours of Pak/Windies. So you should actually have enjoyed Australia facing some actual opposition. The previous two tours cannot really have made you proud?

Suhas said...

@Wes: Can understand the confusion! I'm an Indian who happens to support the kiwis. I did study for a couple of yeas in the US, but still managed to keep track of cricket goings-on.

@Butters: The best places to watch test cricket in India are probably Mumbai, Chennai and of course Eden Gardens. The stadiums tend to be located in the bustling city centres and aren't really 'picturesque' like Adelaide or Napier, and people generally don't come there to picnic or laze about, but the (usually) electric atmosphere totally makes up for it - check out videos of the recent Kolkota test against South Africa for an example. You'll find all kinds of people...students, old tragics who reminisce about Gavaskar and Sobers, and sections of the crowd hurling abuses in Hindi if Pakistan happen to be visiting!

Sidthegnomenator said...

Seriously, Wes? An unbeated summer? How could that not make me proud? Especially after losing the ashes.

Wes said...

Suhas: Ah! *lightbulb*

Sid, nahhh. It was like Geelong beating Melbourne. Over and over and over and over and over and over(.....) again. Lame and annoying. If they had been unbeaten by India and England, that would have been something completely different. That would have been as cool as it gets. But they did not even remain unbeaten against NZ. Had to take two defeats. So it is basically only the home summer against the two currently suckiest teams in the world. The whole point of following a spectator sport went down the drain: there was nothing to spectate. No excitement, no thrill, no nailbiting. It was only good for Bolly and Harris to emerge. And a little bit of Klint. But everything else was Snoozefest galore. If you compare it to the Ashes, where the tension stayed on the highest possible level from the first to the last day, and the stress totally wrecked you up, even (and especially) on the days between the matches, when you felt that the only reason to keep living was the start of the next test. I love that, that's cricket to me :D

Sorry that's just how I feel.

Sidthegnomenator said...

You realise that NZ haven't beaten Australia in a test in about 16 years - so, taking your point about Pakistan and W.I not being much competition, how is playing NZ any better? They aren't the most thrilling team in the world, are they? I'd much rather watch Chris Gayle, cute as Dan Vettori is.

You are welcome to feel as you do, but I'm a cricket fan. I could never be unhappy with my team's unbeaten season, no matter who it was against.