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Mr Z

Well that's it then. Another insipid display by a team clearly out of their depth and obviously wishing they were somewhere else.

But enough about the umpires.


A flogging. We've had the breaks, but England were really bad.


The leg before decisions were getting to the point of ludicrous. Even the other half, who wouldn't recognise the red pill if it smacked her between the peepers, saw a couple from both sides and was calling it out from the kitchen.
As for Hawkeye, Tubby and Slatts would talk straight over the replay, and the doyen was taking no notice of it whatsoever. Am a fan of the IR cam however, that's finally some smart shit to give to the third eye in the sky.
As woeful a performance as the unwashed gave, our troops were in a worse position at the same point. If not for some committed performances from the over-rated Hayden and the over-excitable Symmo, Oz would have been well and truly in the shitter as well. Ironic to see SKWarne get a higher score than some of our alleged "batsmen".
Fifth Test: Langer out. No form. Lee out. Too expensive and a halfwit to boot. McGill and Tait in. Read MClark the riot act and let Hussey listen in.


I'm no fan of Larry Tait. His action is too messy to work consistently at Test level.

Lee will stay. So will Gnome. But I don't see Gnome playing next season.

They might ask Sideshow Roy to roll his offies in Sydney. It's hard to see who they would dump for Magilla.

This arvo Hawk showed a ball hitting leg stump but Ian Chappell just ignored it and pointedly pronounced "it would have missed leg".

Mr Z

Since there's no test match until October next year, I can't see the point in not giving the old timer's one more test.



You wouldn't happen to be a South Australian, would you?


Since there's no test match until October next year, I can't see the point of not making several key changes to blood some new talent in a dead rubber. To keep the dead wood in is selfish and wastes 12 months for future replacements.

Either way, the Poms would rather be somewhere else right now. Like 2005 in the UK.

Mr Z

The risk is that someone like Johnston may get smacked around a bit in Sydney so there will be a near years worth of anxiety.

But hey, I am a sentimental sort - that's why I hate the Windies, English, NZers and Indians so much.


I'm not into trialing anyone in Sydney. Let these blokes do their thing one last time then start next summer's matches with the new blood.

The Accountant

Russell Allen

Not fair TT! You're already whoopin us and you want to play 3 players at No 10...

You know we were diabolical when Monty was one of the top scorers...again


Murph. Only early on, have been a nana bender for just on 17 years. God help me.


OFFS! Hayden's overrated? Which one of the 27 centuries should I have ignored?


Heh. All of them?


I certainly ignore his first one in Adelaide back in 1997. A very sloppy affair. Dropped at least 23 times.

Hayden, powered by determination rather than rare talent, reached a maiden Test century - in six hours - with a square cut to the fence. The son of a peanut farmer, he is not yet the full packet but his shell is mighty tough.


Ok. Ignore that one.

The dude's averages tell the story:-

2001 - 60+
2002 - 70+
2003 - 75+
2004 - 40+
2005 - 50+
2006 - 35+


Well, to be perfectly frank, Murph, there is a downward trend there.

Still, Flatty can bat, alright, but he's gotten himself out silly too often for my liking. This time around he's obviously decided not to play too many "big" shots.

I love the way the Poms have wasted a stupid short mid-on on him.

Mr Z

Once upon a time 35+ was a commendable average, now it's just meh.

Brett Pee

Sorry- did i miss something ? You mean the England bowlers had a PLAN ? Are you sure it was not of the cunning 'Blackadder' variety ?

I reckon this series has proved who the real deal is when it comes to Test cricket-in every department. I'm not the greatest fan of Andrew Symonds, but even i have to (reluctantly) admit he had his finest hour yesterday-i'm not sure he will top it. Stuart Clark is showing there is life after Pigeon, and the batting is in pretty good shape shown by blokes like Phil Jacques who isn't close to the set-up at present. McGillers is a vastly underrated bowler by many- but he turns the ball alot and,if hungry enough, should step in and take a load of wickets in the next couple of years. The stage is now his.

Tony- am i wrong but was this the worst showing by Umpires since neutrality was introduced ? Ruddy Koetzen looks like a shop window dummy.


Graeme Wood probably has an average around there somewhere. Fat Cat Ritchie, too. But probably not Peter McIntyre.


Brett, I would rather the umps give an out not out, than a not out out.


ok. fat cat averaged 35, wood averaged 31.

for obvious reasons, fat cat was shit in the field, haydos is near perfect

fat cat was a middle order batsman, haydos is an opener. there is a big difference in expectation

Mr Z

And I would rather the umpires gave an out, out and a not out, not out. But that's just me.

Hey, does anyone else think the infra red is pretty good? I admit I had a low expectation for it, but it seems to be working quite nicely in giving a new point of view.


Well, once again our back up bowling is proven to be utter shit. Fred and Hoggy gets us into a good position, get the pressure building, and then step forward the radar-less Harmy and Saj. Cue gradual re-entrenchment, followed by demolition. Last year at 84 for 5 we were bringing on Fred and Simon Jones. This year, the Marx Brothers.

Hayden is well past it. How many lives did Rudi give him? Two? Three? Jacques must have been well pleased with that performance.

Langer's is bizarre. Clearly thinks he's playing 20/20.

Agree with you about Symonds, Tone. But think you're a bit harsh with KP. The ball nipped back a fair bit, and it was one of the few times a good ball has done him this series. Usually he's been run out or been caught blasting due to shortage of partners. On this pitch your seam attack were awesome.

Once again, however, the real damage was done by the blonde, this time in the first innings. McGrath was excellent, too.

Fred couldn't set a field to save his life. A mixture of last year's out of date settings combined with a conservative approach, resulting in us looking like we're fielding with nine men. He did bowl well, mind.

I wouldn't be too harsh on the English boys; this current Aussie team is well clear of the pack. Sad it only has one more test before dismantling.

Scott Wickstein

Ahhhh Victory!

No changes for Sydney. After Sydney, there's no more Tests for a year, and a year in cricket is as long as it is in politics.

We HAVE to go for 5-0 though because it's all downhill after this. Let's enjoy it while it lasts.

Yes England have played poorly, but from what I can tell watching India vs South Africa, and New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, they are still the second best outfit going around in Tests.

By this time next year we'll be wondering how to buy a wicket, though.


The Boony and Beefy have been chatting away this morning (slave to fashion that I am) Pity there's nothing on the teev.

Flatty and the Gnome look like they are trying to increase their bank balance averages rather than anything else. Ticket to ride, anyone?


The Aussies worked out the Pommy batsmen pretty well. Cook basically hasn't got an off/cover drive so just bowl it there and wait.Bell and Collingwood haven't got any shots so bring the field in and dry them up.Pietersen has a lousy technique,it is a wonder he isn't bowled through the gate every game.And when you see freddy you know that once you get him it is just rabbits and ferrets.

Mr Z

Ok, so what would happen to world cricket if Australia pull off the seemingly impossible and manage to seamlessly slot in replacements for McGrath/Warne/Hayden/Langer such that the new combination stays at No 1?


I don't care but I'd be happy.

IMHO, we're only short a Warne.

Clark is not a McGrath c.1996 but he's pretty damn good. Watson, Johnson etc will improve with time. There's always Dizzie to fill a gap somewhere.

Batting's not a problem.

Scott Wickstein

Yeah what Murph said.

We're short a Warne, and that's a big loss... but we're so far in front of the rest that it will result in less walkovers and more tight finishes in favour of Australia.

Mr Z

I meant world cricket.

If Australia wasn't brought back to the pack, what would be the result - more 20/20 or one dayers and less tests?


Erm..if Clark replaces Pigeon, who replaces Clark? Will Mitchell Johnson/Tait/A.N.Other bowl long miserly spells at one end while Clark does the same at the other? Will Clark and Lee be the same when they look around the field and see no Warne or McGrath, just the Aussie team looking at them with pleading eyes.

Will Big Stuey break down a la Flintoff after a few years heavy pounding(he's a big unit, and has played a lot less cricket than most 31 year old bowlers); will Punter work him like a dog as he did Warney in 2005?

Will Tait and Lee be comparing stress fractures in 18 months time?

Who knows?

Should be more interesting than this current turkey shoot.

By the way, being short of a Warne is like being short of a...er, once in a century, gargantaun wicket gobbling, pom-destroying type thing. Should be another along in a minute, don't you think?

Pakistan/Australia/England to be the new Crassus/Caesar/Pompey. A 21st century cricketing triumvirate.



Yes. Nobody knows what the future holds.

I'm sure Australian cricket have plans and contigency in place.

Pakistan? Um...where does India figure?


Bracken is the obvious choice to replace Clark when Clark replaces McGrath. It' a travesty he didn't play in the England series (along with Hussey and McGill).

McGill will fill the Warne gap pretty well but probably only for a year or two.

Of course after that we could just go back to an all pace attack and prepare bouncier pitches. At least we'd never lose a series at home.


Some things:

Yes, I would rather the umps got it right, but if they're gonna make errors, make 'em in favour of the batsmen. However, I predict electronic assistance is only just around the corner.

Warne will be missed. Now there's a thing!

I wish someone else other than McGrath had removed Cook in Perth. It would have been a good omen had one of the new boys been able to make the crucial breakthrough.

Maybe I was a little hard on Pietersen, he has talent to burn. Trouble is, he's the one most likely to burn it. The way he has been unable to martial the tail smacks of recklessness, laziness and/or selfishness; take your pick. He's copping an hiding in today's papers. This month's Rent-a-Quote, Nasser I'msayin, has been leading the charge.

I wonder when will be the next time either an Aussie or English captain wins the toss and bowls. Around 2035, give or take a year, would be my tip.

Bracken should have played last year, he's better than Tait who's action lacks repeatability. Maybe McGill could have played despite his lack of a run while the Ashes were going - I would have picked him in the fifth Test. But if Hussey had played, we would have at least retained the Ashes.

Next summer will be ... gulp ... interesting.


Three questions, Woody. Who's Crassus? Who's Pompey? Who's Caesar?

Pakistan is the most likely to lose it's head through mismanagement, so they have to be Pompey. Australia is the most likely to lose it's head through hubris, so we have to be Crassus. (Coincidentally.) And England are the most likely to be stabbed in the back by former players, and stabbed in the back, front, top and bottom by the tabloids, so you have to be Caesar. Et tu, Timesus?

India is Cleopatra: mysterious, glamorous, alluring, ambitious, and likely to be bitten on the asp.


Bathing in the milk of sacred cows, now Tone?


O/T a little but my son is watching a ODI in NZ being played in Christchurch.I just happened to walk past as the Sri Lanka opening bowler was in action,not sure of his name but cop the action,looks very dodgy to me.
Are the kiwi's just more tolerant than us or is Sri lanker taking the piss fielding these guys?


I have real, hard-won cred there, CB, I was almost born in India.

Do you mean Malinga, Mike? His action is funny, yes, but it's not illegal. Lords - yes, that Lords - even replied to my question about another bowler with a similar action, the Windies' Fidel Edwards:

Dear Tony,

Thank you for your inquiry relating to the position of the arm as the bowler releases the ball.

The Laws of Cricket and the ICC playing regulations both prohibit the bowling of underarm deliveries.

The level of the ball in hand in relation to the bowler's shoulder is the critical issue in determining underarm/overarm bowling. The bowling arm must swing over shoulder height during the delivery action for the ball to be considered to be delivered over-arm. Several international bowlers have displayed noticeably lower, or 'round-arm' actions, similar to Fidel Edwards, but still complied well within the Law in this sense.

Yours in cricket,

Tony Dodemaide
Head of Cricket


Thanks Tony


That would make a baseball pitch legal then.


You don't say!!



RE: Triumvirate. Good work. Strangely enough, the last few years are a perfect mirror of Hannibal's War on Rome. Dominant power (Oz) gets complacent and innovative field settings by Hannibal/Vaughan and clever use of elite troops(Numidians/Simon Jones)results in temporary dominance. Rome/Oz then regroup, Hannibal loses Numidians/Jones and ass is handed to him on a plate.

Anyway, now that we've driven sports fans from your blog, I've just seen the highlights of the Sydney test last time round. Very interesting: McGill, Lee, Dizzy and Bichel - pretty ineffective. Obviously gonna be a bloodbath this time but still an interesting sign of things to come.

By the way, old slinga Malinga might be legal but he looks a fucking mess. The sooner he's traded to the Red Sox the better. Are there any coaches in Sri Lanka who know what they're doing???


"Lion-hearted opening batsman Justin Langer has become the fourth Australian veteran in as many weeks to announce his retirement from international cricket, joining bowling greats Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath in hanging up the boots after the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney. The 36-year-old's announcement on Monday ended days of speculation, and also follows that of fellow West Australian Damien Martyn, who quit the game suddenly after the second Test."

Gnome. Gooone. Flatty next as he's out of openers. Next opening pair for Australia, Clarke#1, Hussey#2, Ponting#3, Watson#4?

Clem Snide

Speaking of dodgy actions, one commenter raised the question of what would happen if a white bowler stood at the crease and let go an undisguised baseball pitch to exploit the ludicrous chucking regulations. Answer here:

Shortly after lunch there was a surreal five-over period where Warne and others deliberately offered up a series of ridiculous deliveries in an apparent protest. Warne himself sent down a succession of bouncers and was no-balled for throwing the ball from a standing start.

What, no ICC committee to investigate his action beforehand? No UWA analysis proving his arm was really straight? Shane obviously needs to brush up on his Al Jolson impersonation if he wants to get away with that sort of thing.


Clem Snide

Ask Johan Botha...



1Hayden will try and hang in there
2It would be insane to move Hussey from the middle order

New lineup:-


Why would you put Watson in here? What's he good at?

Batting? Nope
Bowling? Nope
Fielding? Nope

Symonds if nothing else is the best fielder in the world.

I reckon he's a better bowler than Watson too. An extra 5km/h is nothing if you can't move the ball around, and Watson can't move the ball, even the extra-swingy one-day balls.

Symonds seams and swings the ball, and can also bowl spin if the track demands it.

As for batting, neither sets the world on fire, but I'd have Symonds in my side every day of the week before Watson.

Not that we need an "all-rounder" to begin with, especially when you consider that our 3,4,5 are quite capable bowlers.

If we really need an all-rounder it should be someone like Mark Cosgrove, who is first and foremost a batsman but can also bowl some handy, if non-threatening medium pace to give the other bowlers a rest.

But like I said, Hussey can do that already. Why not just pick another batsman and give Hussey a bowl?


I like the call on Cosgrove. The bugger could use the exercise.



Has Watson been given a proper go at Test level? No.

He's had 4 Test innings and bowled a grand total of 31 overs.


He doesn't have to bowl 400 overs to be able to see that he can't move the ball Murph.


Let's just see, Yob.

My assessment is that not giving Watson a serious chance and time to develop is a far greater risk.

The Australian selectors stuck with Langer and Marto when everybody was poo-hooing them.

I recall McGrath wasn't everybodys favourite either when he was first selected.


yupe, thanks Tony

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