Looks like Symonds and Hayden are safe for the time being. Not so Justin Langer. Gnome B. N. better start getting his affairs in order because he's not long for international cricket. His batting since Brisbane has been dodgy at best, slap happy in the main. He seems to be trying to hit his way into touch. That was a wasteful out the other evening. He only needs to look at Flatty to see a bloke who has his head down and his game together. Hussey better watch it, too. I mean, seven? What a scrubber. His average is in freefall.
The way Sideshow Roy got out is a tidy pointer as to why he'll continue to sit on the edge selection-wise. Still, the selectors and the rest of the team love him and he's got oodles of talent, so his century will have earned him some serious collateral.
No sooner does KP move to No. 4 than the big yarpie gets bundled for bugger all. Good ball, but. KP is a bit like Roy - a dominant bottom hand which in any other era would see them as dodgy selections, but with better pitches, both these talented hitters can swing through the line to great effect.
It is good to see cricket on a proper sized ground, not a postage stamp. During last year's Ashes Flinty and KP only had to close their eyes and take a swipe for their rank mis-hit tonks to go for six.
Most of the commentators have been binning Flinty's crap fields. Rightly so. What are England on? Tony Greig even went as far to say "Flintoff is off the field. Good. Now we'll see some proper positions." That's as critical as I can remember any Channel Nine commentator ever being. Seriously critical, anyway, as opposed to stagey-critical. It's been fun watching England set a short covers and especially that stupid short mid off to rock-all effect, while their batsmen can't help but put the ball straight down the throats of Straya's short cover.
Speaking of the commentators, it's refreshing to hear them dissing Hawk-Eye. Not so long ago they would routinely defer to Hawk's accuracy. Now they barely take any notice. A big tick for them. Is it possible Hawk will soon get the flick?
Not that it's all good for the Channel Nine team. At the ground on Boxing Day the bar had two tellies showing different feeds. One showed the Nine picture delayed by a good two seconds, but the other was very much live. If anyone ever tells you The Delay is a technological glitch, or some such bullshit, tell 'em to get rooted. There can be no doubt Nine are doing it so as to stop punters listening to the ABC radio feed.
The radio commentary. What is the point of radio replays? Have you ever heard anything so ludicrous? You watch a replay to see what happened. What sort of cretin wants to listen to a spoken "highlight" hours later? Pure filler.
Read is certainly a better keeper than Hack Jones, but I hope no one starts rabbiting on about how good he kept to take six catches here. Let's face it, even Jones would have caught them. I think. Gilly better sharpen up his act, too. That missed stumping off Pietersen was worthy of the Grate Geraint.
How about England losing their bowling plans? Funny, yes, but do they contain anything out of the ordinary? No. It's all about line-and-length and defending strengths. Just the way all cricket should be; especially at Test level. Not that it's worked so far. While the English bowlers refuse to consistently put the agate in the right spot, either through bad management or bad skills, no plan is going to work. They only need to look as far as Stuey Clark for a role model. And what of Hoggy's response? "When we find him we'll string him up by the head." You string 'em up by the balls, the toes or the fingers, not the head. What sort of tedious run of the mill punishment is that?
England are a batsman short. They might think it's a great idea to have a so-called four pronged pace attack, but it's not strong enough to support their dodgy top order. Leave KP at five, drop Flinty to seven and bring in another proper batsman between them.
Have the umpires made a considered decision not to pay ElBees for righties to lefties, lefties to righties and bowlers coming around the wicket? The way the umps have staunchly turned down plumb ElBees - Cook off Warne in Perth and here Flatty off Hoggard, Cook off McGrath, Sideshow Roy off Flinty - it won't be long before the ICC start sending ElBee appeals to the third umpire. Hell, why don't the umps just look to the big screen? Everyone else is doing it.
The beach cricket ads with AB, Courtney Waltch and Goochey. It's probably too easy to shit can them.