5 October 2010

Not what the doctor had ordered for Oz

Hilfy massively facepalming  (c) Getty Images
The loss of the Test is not what is gutting me, both teams have shown their best in the departments in which they were successful, and the Australian attack sparkled a lot more than I had expected. But what worries me so much is the batting. It seems to have deteriorated steadily since the tour of New Zealand, or maybe it's just me but it looks entirely hopeless. Apart from Watto there is one other batter usually chipping in -if you are lucky-, and then you have a partnership in the lower order, whether it's Paine, Smith, Johnson or whoever. But that can't have been it already?

I have heard the opinion "But India batted crap as well", hell, does it matter? They aren't playing the Ashes next up are they? Hussey is looking absolutely dreadful, he hasn't produced anything remarkable since last summer with the exception of Sydney, and that was when Kamran was apparently paid per Muss run, Clarke has joined him in the basement, North ah feck, and Kato has only just krabbed his way back into his game after a tiny little dent, and I think we might see more of him in the second match; but generally Oz have sunk so low that now they have to rely on Punter. I am deeply concerned imagining this desolate pile against the likes of Swann, Broad, and Anderson, and they haven't faced Finn yet either.

This is especially bitter for the bowlers who bowled their backsides off in these extremely tough conditions at Mohali. I am utterly delighted to see that Mitch has his game under control, confidence in the heart, and no infection in the elbow (he's hopefully smart enough not to reward himself with another tattoo before the Ashes) and Hilfy is just adorable full stop. Has always been, will always be. Absolutely fantastic to see him back in action, I hope he stays fit and steamrolls the English.

Bolly the Bollinger puffed and panted his way through his overs like a workhorse, took good wickets and injured his abdomen. We can now only hope that he'll be ok for the mother of all battles because on home soil he's the Grim Reaper. If he can't play the second Test I assume Klint will jump in for him and get some much needed Test practice, he'll make the odd appearances in Oz I guess, given the rather high likeliness of a pacer getting injured. Not sure if Siddle has played anything except T20 since his return from rehab.

Ritz has not looked particularly threatening so far, bowled some nice balls though and could have added quite some scalps to his tally had he not been let down by his teammates so much. But I attribute the lack of sharpness in the field to the heat, the graveyard atmosphere and general drainedness and dullness in the head. I think in the Ashes everybody will be alert like a squirrel with a nut! I still think it is NOT too late to drop North, draft Steven Smith in and see what happens. Batting-wise it can only get better, and he may be a bit more expensive but has always grabbed wickets.

Moaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!!! (c) AFP
Ah well. Yes this is the paragraph for the inevitable Laxman praise. Oh you good and great Vivious, who pulled off a Colly and batted with a back migraine from hell; so heroically and invincibly that you, following the nomen est omen principle, did not only annoy the shit out of every Oz fan, but even won the match for your buddies! Sure, half of the work was done by Suresh Raina, while you were standing there screaming your head off, but nevertheless this collaboration yielded the desired result, hats off lax man!

*goes washes mouth with soap*

Ishant Sharma! The only Indian player I will ever like, probably because he gets torn to shreds on every occasion, because he is a little fail bear, because his fellow countrymates despise him, and because he has great potential on his day. Oh yes and the hair ^^  Ishant played a funny parallel universe game with Mitch: was erratic as fork, produced an astronomically high number of no-balls, suddenly started to cut through the opposition at a crucial time and batted in the obligatorily slightly awkward manner like the lower order batting god, and thus provided 50% of the Indian victory.

*should on Indian request wash mouth with soap again but can't be bothered*

So... here's hoping and praying for better luck at Test No. 2. Another defeat seems not unlikely but is totally not needed at the moment.



sixsixeight said...

I like that idea of 'doing a Colly'. And hey we could start the Ishant Sharma fan club?

I'm really hoping Hilf and Mitch stay fit for the Ashes - I shall cry if they are injured. I am surprised you seem to rate our bowlers so highly - although I have to remember that Finn seems to raise his game for England - cos every time I have seen him for the Middle he has been rubbish...

But really - Test Cricket - can it get any better? Even India is producing some top notch stuff - shame it is such a short series!

Mudassar @ CricketVibe said...

ah, what a match! shame I can only see highlights but it still was very satisfying and after watching day 4 i didn't found myself watching earlier days highlights to not ruin the mood and than came day 5.

It was a long time India played something eye catching and they won it too.

Australians biggest problem is failure of Punter and Pup and than North is waste of a place these days for me. I think they seriously need to think to replace him with someone like Usman and they got chances in 2 matches against Pakistan and now against India but they are probably more keen on wasting them on North. Only time will tell if North can turn his and Aussies fortune back in Oz Land.

Wes ~PFCNFS~ said...

Hello sixsixeight, I do rate the English much ... but have never seen them in Oz (too new to the matter) so it will be interesting to see how they cope with the conditions, and for the bowlers in particular this should all be a brand new experience, so of course I hope Oz can make the best of the home factor, but they look really depleted even compared to last summer.

However, England have exposed a couple of holes in the batting line-up as well... we shall see. Finny is absolutely valuable in first class cricket, hence the Test call, but I admit he is a bit impractical in T20 etc. But that's okay, I hope he will do well in Oz and not get slaughtered, but I think his workhorse attitude will help him in Adelaide etc (but my clue leaves me here)

Ahh Maddy.... they should have dropped North after the Pak tour to Oz and not have given him the opportunity to make that bloody century in NZ (I think) which made him undroppable again... Let's not talk about it haha. It is too late for Usman now, I also think he's an opener, the only guy with Test experience, who could fill the role, is the Legsmith... of course B)

Thanks guys for your comments!

Venkata Pendyala said...

Really; the day a cricket team gets nervous abt the shit that England dishes out on cricket in general that team has a hope in hell. England is a team that even allowed Agarkar a century, Fuckin Ajit Agarkar. Even the Crappy Indian Ranji teams cannot go down to that level of incompetence.

greyblazer said...

And the Indian team even allowed Malinga to get a fifty and Blignaut as well as Boje to take lots of wickets lol.

This is England's best chance to beat OZ in OZ as the team looks good on paper but every-time England play in OZ most players seem to visit the hospital. It got so bad in 94 that Craig White came in as a replacement for some other injured player but went back home in one-day as he got injured haha.

Shridhar Jaju said...

I guess Hilfy will have to play a huge role if Australia are to win back the Ashes. Given the attack on display at Mohali, I could never trust Mitch enough for 5 Tests in a row and Bollinger's fitness will remain a question through the long tournament.

I think Steve Smith should replace North at Bangalore. Test Nathan Hauritz and Steve Smith together in the same conditions and then you'll know who is your best bet for the Ashes. And given the way North is batting right now, I am sure Smith can do better.

crownish said...

let Ishant have praise when he deserves it.

Eye Jay said...

North out, Cosgrove in!

Wes ~PFCNFS~ said...

Cheers guys, thank you for your opinions! I always respect the English team. Shridhar it won't happen as the Indian Tests are definitely played by the Ashes line-up, which is Hauritz and North. The last opportunity for a change was after the English summer.

Hey Jay by the looks of it Tassie won't let him go again hehe. Top-scored in the first split innings match!

greyblazer said...


Are you getting 404 error when you're logging out from your main page? I can't even log out of your blog lol.

Sidthegnomenator said...

Grey, did you ever sort that 404 issue out?

Maybe it's something Wes did to keep us all here against our will ...

This is going to be a tough Ashes series, but beating Australia in Australia is always tough so I think we might just get that little urn back. Don't pay too much attention to how Hauritz is playing in India - he does fine on home ground. Hilfy will be a key player and so long as he and Hauritz are feeling confident, Johnson won't be carrying the pressure he was last time and should do well.

Our batting may need work, but I am hoping home ground advantage (and the fact that England will rely too much on Swann) will sort that out.

Wes ~PFCNFS~ said...

Should probably look at the highlights... starting with day 1
Shame on me
No prognosis on the Ashes from me. Cricinfo writes a lot of shit when the day is long, especially in the previews. At the moment I find it largely unpredictable. No Siddle in sight, no clue about Harris/Klint, and these smithophob "selectors" are still twitching.