Would the National Selection Panel Group Unit have rotated Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath out of the Perth Test? Is the Bear Catholic? If Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus had managed to run through South Africa on Monday like Warne and McGrath used to so regularly do to most every team, they would not have been left out of the Perth Test. One: they would have shown themselves to be more penetrative than they displayed in Adelaide. And because of one, two: they would not be knackered. In Siddle's case you can conclude the NSP took a wholistic approach and considered form and fitness; he may be unlucky to miss Perth, he tried hard, but he never looked like ripping SA apart. Hilfenhaus was ordinary and was probably lucky to keep his spot after Brisbane. Bad Ben is back after a year away. Nope, "rotation" is a diplomatic way of spinning their exclusions. Simply put, the NSP considers Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Shane Watson to be better options than Mitchell Starc, Siddle and Hilfenhaus. It is a big call. They will have their fingers crossed Good Mitchell turns up, Mitchell Starc can deliver with the red ball and Josh Hazlewood, well, is he any good? Apart from one Ryobi against Victoria in dream conditions at the SCG, he's never shown me he is up to Test standard. If Bad Mitchell turns up and Young Mitchell and Hazlewood distribute pies, the NSP will cop a Hilditch-like pounding. Anyway, ixnay on the rotationay.
PS: I miss the days I would turn on the television a couple of overs into day five and Warne or McGrath had already pinched a wicket or two. It might have only happened rarely, but it seemed to happen all the time. They spoiled us.
Mr Subby at The Sunday Age. A word in your shell-like. If Rob Quiney was dismissed in both innings via "regulation edges," as it says in the article beside your captioned picture, it is unlikely he also got out bowled.
From the little play I have watched so far of the First Test I watched 99% on mute. So would you rate the Channel Nine commentary as highly as Spiro Zavos rates the Channel Nine commentary?
I followed the Test mainly on Channel Nine. And I would assert the coverage was, in a word often used by Richie Benaud, “splendid!”
The only Nine commentary I listened to was the last half hour last night on GEM, when Ian Healy was busy making up stories about running onto the Gabba when Keith Stackpole made 200 in 1970. 42 years ago Heals was 6. I call bullshit.
Spiro then appears to commit publicity when he writes about a "(deserved) tribute to Benaud" and how WSC changed the game forever and for better so that it is now better to watch, and how the extra cameras, snicko, coloured clothing, super slo-mo, and the rest, are the bee's knees. I mean, come on. How often do we need to be told that Nine saved cricket? Even if it's true it's not new; Nine has been bragging about the WSC innovations since, well, WSC.
He also reckons Glenn McGrath delivered "informed commentary" and will fit in well with a team that is "strong on analysis and information." That flies in the face of the majority of comments I have heard and read, which amounted to "tell us something we haven't just seen for ourselves" and a Rocky to Bullwinkle-style "not that old joke".
Coincidentally, the SMH also profiled Richie Benaud last week. Looks like the Nine publicity department has been, ahem, up and about.
Since marriage, fatherhood and an assiduously abstemious Protestant work ethic have caused me to become The Australian Cricket Blogging Group Unit's most solid citizen, I must scale back my valuable contributions this summer. In lieu of any rapier insights here is a picture of a wildebeest driving a car:
Australia has leaked another dossier to the press:
- Leak dossier to press
The long version:
In an explosive development on Gabba Test eve, The Courier-Mail can reveal the entire Australian game plan for each South African player.
Sumptuous makes "memorable exchanges" sound like a good thing:
Greig has played devil's advocate in the Channel 9 commentary box for as long as anyone cares to remember, taunting his great friend Bill Lawry, in particular, to a catalogue of memorable exchanges that have built the folklore of Channel 9's coverage of the game. It is a part he relishes. But Australia is home. He neither forgets this nor is anything but grateful for it. Indeed, he would not swap the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney for the world. There may be an element of love/hate to his on-screen relationship with Australian audiences but, in truth, the suggestion of hate is more vaudeville than fact. Greigy is a much-loved part of the landscape.
David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade (wk), Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon