|Hobart, day 4|
Coming to Hobart New Zealand found familiar conditions and exploited them to maximum benefit. A fair while ago, when thinking about my favourite grounds, Hobart seamed (haha pun!) to me like a natural extension to the row of New Zealand cricket grounds, not just for its picturesque seasidishness but also for providing conditions that more often than not guarantee a high degree of entertainment for the fast bowling fetishist, no matter in which format of the game. New Zealand's young talents were given a more than condign frame to show off their skills, and boy they did. What a historical triumph for new skipper Ross Taylor and a side in the midst of renewal. Young Doug Bracewell, who routinely finished the job for the Kiwis, Dean Brownlie the middle order batsman, 22 year old Trent Boult, and Chris Martin, the Benjamin Button of Kiwi cricket, seized the chance to stomp their feet down and tear the Australian batting line-up apart. Daniel Vettori tragically had to watch the thriller from the sidelines but The Man will be more than pleased with the result.
On the Australians, you have to mention the Vics. Man Of The Series James Pattinson delivered some amazing goods, and with both him and Cummins two extraordinary fast bowling talents have been unearthed for future apocalyptic crusades against the enemy. Even though ahead of the Test I had not got tired of mentioning that in Hobart also Peter George gets 10 wickets. On a side note, the loud howls of the warcry "Vics do it better" are based on the assumption that only Pattinson and Siddle had been able to reap the Kiwi wickets. A bizarre misconception. The wickets would also have fallen, if the selectors had picked a bunch of Indians for the attack.
Oh. I'm beginning to see my mistake here. ^^
David Warner shoved his big fat bat up his critics' digestive channels, and certain people who had been backing him to deliver were hopefully running around in their backyards in the middle of the night with the Australian flag in hand (true story, the latter). It still makes me laugh like a maniac to look at the scorecard and see the highest score of the match, an unbeaten century, stencilled behind David Warner's name, in a game played on a minefield in the lushest of greenhouse vegetation. It's been a long hard battle for Pitbull to reach Baggy Green honours, and unlike any other First Class batsmen complaisantly nodded through, Warner successfully defeated the windmills in the shape of the ever-doubting ignoramuses. Long may his rise continue.
Nathan Lyon showed again his remarkable character, coming in at 11 with a respectable number of runs to get he was determined to finish the job, just like when he helped Australia to double their score in the now legendary Saffa Test. And in my opinion the goal was absolutely within reach. But I am wondering a bit why he basically was on strike all the time. Perhaps Warner should have stepped up here. I'm not saying Pitbull was concerned about the well-being of the asterisk behind his score. But surely he has taken an important lesson from this match: when you are batting with the tailenders, you carry an additional load of responsibility.
An extra word on David Warner and Nathan Lyon. Until the start of the second innings a number of people who you'd expect to know matters better were doubting Warner's maturity as a player of the long format. The same applied to some opinions about Nathan Lyon even after he had proven his value in Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. Views were presented which obviously stemmed from fallacies such as "I and the majority of my readers and listeners only know Warner from the T20, thus he is not suitable for the longer format and will fail" or "Neither me nor my audience have heard of Lyon before, therefore he is a ridiculous pick for the Australian Test side and I feel fairly safe mocking him". Not only does this thinking expose severe flaws in the respective person's logic, but you have to be wondering why people who are paid to write and talk about Australian cricket have no idea of Warner's evolution or have seemingly never heard of Lyon, not even of his leading position in the Big Bash table of wicket takers. But wasn't there also a selector who preferred to walk his dog while Australia were playing Test cricket... I do honestly expect from a professional or semi-professional cricket writer or a panel show of cricket experts to present the facts to their audience and not to simply mirror their readers' or listeners' uninformedness to an extent that makes the average follower of Australian cricket sink into the ground with embarrassment. /rant
Picking a video to round off this post has not been an easy task but eventually I settled for a Peter Siddle press conference, which reminded me of the reasons why I used to collect his interviews :D
That's about all the scrambled egg inside my head can come up with for today. I'm looking forward to the clash with India. Some Indians are already celebrating the victories before the matches have actually taken place. Let's just wait and see what happens.
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