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Steve Bucknor and Aleem Dar, the expected umpires for this Test, did not get their visas processed in time, so the ICC was forced to send an SOS to Rudi Koertzen and Tony Hill to make an emergency dash to Brisbane.


Tony T.

I just moved that comment over here, Nick.

I have no idea who are the best, or worst, two out of Rudi, Morgan, Aleem and Hill. It's a close run thing.

Tony T.

Rudi needs a shave. Those stupid beards make blokes look stupid.


Get Taufel in blackface. He'd be booked for every Australian Test.

Tony T.

When Dick says "That is a lot of chicken and chips" I can't help wonder whether he's ever actually eaten any.

Tony T.

Hmmmm. Already this summer is less exciting than last summer.

Tony T.

Goody. "The wonders of television are going to bring us National Nine News."

I want a replay of Straya/Windies First One-Day Final 1985.


Haven't those Ponting and Hayden catches already been used in a previous K.F.C.C.C?

Calling them classics is a bit of a stretch too.

I'll go on record now and say that the Aussie middle order (Clarke - Gilchrist) will have a big, big summer. But our bowlers will struggle, making things a little more interesting than they previously have, and leading to more draws.

Tony T.

Because the K.F.C.C.C. classic catches are now a match-to-match presentation, sometimes the pickings are decidedly slim. I'm hanging out for the day when the ONLY catch taken was a soft dolly-lob straight back to the bowler and then see how they talk it up.

I hope you're right about our middle order, and I fear you're right about our bowling.


My annoyingly intermittent 3 subscription has gone back to the 91-92 India series. It's interesting to note that the Australian team of that vintage really was as good as their results (my youthful memories are a little more friendly). When they are on a roll they were fantastic, but there is a lot of poor shot selection and loose bowling when things aren't.

For me, keeping Sideshow depends on whether Gilchrist is on form. In past Symonds incarnations Gilchrist hasn't been going well and that made the whole lower-middle order a bit brittle. If at least one makes a score then that ability to turn the game around in a session is really worthwhile.

Johnson could be a potential superstar, but like you I'll be happy if he can keep it on the spot and apply the pressure. The worry is if the opposition gets a run-on, Lee and MacGill lose their line, and Ponting has to search around for Symonds or Hussey to get the clamps on.

Sri Lanka are like that old Australian side. Good, but brittle, and Sangakarra is a massive loss. Pity we have to bat. Vaas can be a handful in these conditions. Might have to grind the runs out for the first session or two.

Tony T.

The Edgbaston Protocol: Bat first if you win the toss.

After 2005 Ponting will never bowl first again, so I'm glad we lost the toss in awkward conditions. But I would have liked the Shrees to make the same pre-considered mistake England made in Melbourne last year when they batted first on a swing/damp day.

Tony T.

Who let Uptalk Glenn Mitchell out OF PERTH?!?

Tony T.

Christ, everyone involved with that man-cans Solo ad needs a good smacking.


0 off 30 - it's Langer's reincarnation (circa pre-recall).

Tony T.

And with Chappelli and Tony doing what they do best: relentlessly, remorselessly, making sure we get the (admittedly fair) point about the Shrees allowing Hungry to get off the mark.

Tony T.

Super session, that.

Super soaker session, that is.


Sri Lanka are doing themselves in here. Fernando has seen some bounce and lost his head. Why they don't have Vaas on is beyond me?

Bowling first in Brisbane always looks like a good idea, but there has hardly been a first innings collapse in the past 20 years. All the Lankies have probably achieved is the wrecking of their ball. At least until their incessant complaining gets them another.


Wow - commercial TV is crap. Who didn't get a little worried when Haydos cracked that comment in the Ford ad, 'Maybe your fake tan will run, R..Pup.'. I cringed. And three commentators at once? Overkill. And Slats - we know you went to the 20/20 tournament.

Tony T.

Can both the telly and the rayjo curb their enthusiasm. Both were raving about Murali's catch, when in fact if he'd have put it down they would have said he dropped a sitter. Sure, he had to run a little way, but come on!


Ooooh, Tony. They are giving Murali's arm the slow-mo treatment at the moment, in between comments on how they can't pick the doosra. A bit of a throw, but he's looked worse.

Tony T.

Bugger! Missed it. Was it the full-view treatment?

And that "we can't pick the doosra" business doesn't wash with me. Even in Murali's first over, the one before lunch, TG correctly called the doosra as it was being bowled; and what's more, I picked it, too. So they must be doing it for the hype, the entertainment value or simply because they've run out of anything interesting to get excited about.

Tony T.

Drew, Mitchell:
Moo rally
Moo rully

Chappell, Greig:
Moo rally doo run
Moo rally duh ran
Moo rully doo run

Muh rilly

Mew (as in Chris Mew) rully

Dick, Slogger Slatts,

Any chance the commentators will agree on one pronunciation, or are they making an in-joke?

Tony T.

Bugger! Good stumping.

Jesus, Russ. That doosra certainly wasn't bend free.

Key phase: "Murali really went for the extra turn there."

Very dodgy.

Tony T.

Grieg: "That's out! ... No it's not!"

Chappell: "Pretty easy decision for Koertzen."

Grieg: "Yes, a big gap there."

Lucky for Hungry, Tone's not the umpire.

Tony T.

Hungry's dropped chance at 2nd slip was significantly more difficult than Murali's catch of 'Dos.

Richie: "That should have been caught."


Yes, the full arm and torso from over his left shoulder. I've never had an issue picking the doosra from behind, though perhaps the batsmen have more trouble. He bends his arm much more when he wants to, but I didn't see the arm bend on Ponting's dismissal - strictly speaking I am working so I am in and out.

Murali is always hyped. Either because they feel sorry for him, or they want to talk up the Lankies. That catch before is just another example.


Late wickets hurt. Good knock from Hungry, but an ugly dismissal

Tony T.

Crap way for Hungry to get out. He must have been listening to Slogger Slatts who said "Now he's got 100 he can relax and enjoy himself."

David Barry

Just on winning the toss - the notion of "win the toss and bat" has been out-dated since the mid-90's, probably due to better pitches. The percentage of Test wins going to the team batting first used to be high - almost 60% before World War II. But it decreased steadily after the War, and since 1995, it's down to about 42%. Even in India and Sri Lanka, since 1999 the team batting second has done better.

Captains get criticised for bowling first and conceding 450, but not for batting first, making 350 and then conceding a first innings lead of 100.


I thought Kumar was at No.42.

Not quite as brutal as previous Gabba first days but still the points are well and truly baggy green so far. The long hop outside off to Hungry while on 96 probably sums up the day for mine. Good work being undone quickly with sloppy cricket.


And Tone - I expect this place to be the usual hive of discussion now that matches have started. Perhaps a thread for each day at the very least to save the usual piling on to any old post for our cricket commentary.


http://yobbo.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/trigonometry-is-fun/ <---- This



Tony T.

Dave: Pretty fair point, but with most tracks being most dangerous towards the ends of matches, rather than at the start, it's often best to get in, get some runs, and make a side chase last on a wearing pitch. Of course, the question now is whether MacGill's up to replacing Warne for the last innings heroics.

Bruce: For this series I'm going to try something a little different. This will be the post for the whole first Test. I'll put up a small day 2, day 3, etc comment underneath what's already up there at the top, then the comments can carry on here. This is for two reasons; 1) It's quite difficult and time consuming for me to come up with day-after-day posts; and 2) It's a better way for me to cattle-dog my cricket archives.

Yob: Brilliant! You realise, of course, that I'm going to steal it for my Chucking Archive.


I don't think you need to do that much in order for us to bang on in the comments. Something like:

First Test - Day 2.

Australia resumes at 3/242 after a solid first day.

There you go - done.

Tony T.

Superb. Sorted.

Pedro the Ignorant

Concur with Tone's comment about Yobbo's pic. Outstanding.

I was squirming with embarrassment at Auntie's commentators lauding the "generous applause" for the Google Eyed One from the Brisbane crowd as I watched this alleged bowler throwing the ball at batsmen on the Channel Nein coverage.

This is beyond parody. How that "doosra" can be called a fair ball is unbelievable.

Scott Wickstein

Ah, Test cricket is back on. All's well with the world.

I still think the SL's made a mistake by not batting first. Murali would have been a real handful darting the ball in on day five. Perhaps they are really brittle with the bat- they did get rolled by Queensland, so it's possible.

Hungry would have got an arsekicking from Punter for that awful shot he got out on. What on earth was he thinking?

Well done Yobbo!


I enjoyed the first day, but was on the brink of slapping around the head the customer I had at the second the first ball was about to be bowled. By the time he'd gone, the players were walking off the field. How bad luck is it to miss that first ball?

Tony T.

Bloody Jim MAXWELL!!! Why is he getting so excited about Hussey LEAVING THE BALL!!!?

Tony T.

"I had to pinch myself! It was so exciting! When Murali was bowling it was just... ohh!"

Shut up, Drew!


Maybe Jim is warming up for the drinks cart TT? Good bowling so far today. Credit to Sri Lanka, the pacemen generally keep things tight while Murali does his stuff, though Fernando was a dead weight yesterday.

Jesus, I am sick of that backyard cricket ad.

Tony T.

Yeah the bowling is tight - 36 in an hour - and Drew and Kerry are currently doing their level best to get a wicket.


Make sure the "X axis" is correct there, sizzlechest. Doesn't quite match up with the humerus IMO.

/Murali is still a chucker.

Tony T.

The chucks axis.

Not to be confused with the Chux axis, which relates to the angle between arm and surface when wiping off spills.


Gee, that Malinga fellow would have been useful before lunch. Sri Lanka have copied Australia - but they've copied Australia and Ponting in 2005 - get their best bowler out of the side, dud their gun spinner out of bowling last, and put the opposition in. Bravo.

Clarke - don't think because you're doing one Lara, you can bat like another.


Love your work, Mr T. That gave me a chuckle.

Y'see, if I don't say it some annoying-as-fuck racist curry munching Murali apologist will say it to obfuscate and, erm, cromulate matters.

......was it Professor Bruce Elliot who once went the "optical illusion" tack?


If anything, the X-axis in my picture is doing Murali a favour. Look where his shoulder is in relation to his elbow.

Tony T.

Nick: I dispute your "their best bowler", although I concede he might have been handy, but the rest is spot on.

Biggy Shizzle: Not sure Bruce made the illusion allusions. I think that spin came mainly out of Shree Lunka.


Haven't we just all been talking about the fact that Sri Lanka's greatest wicket taker doesn't not, in fact, bowl? I suspect that even though Vaas would be unhappy at being rated below Malinga, Hungry was happier facing Vaas than the alternative.

Just saw Hungry's dismissal after reading your comments on him. Dancing with the Stars 2010?? He's in.

Tony T.

You're correct there. I wasn't referring to Murali. Chaminda is a better bowler than Laslinga.

Hungry's stupid dismissal reminded me of another NSW "batsman" - Stewey MacGill.


Quality batting this morning. The nightmare was Symonds and Gilchrist coming out to a new ball and a dominant Murali to see Straya rolled for 320-370. Am feeling much better about the situation now.

Oh, and is there a better sight in world cricket than someone coming down the pitch to Murali to hit him for six?

Tony T.


1) 3/240 at the start of play was indeed dicey. Then Gilly & Roy coming straight in would have taken it from semi-precarious to wobbly, but a wicketless 100-plus session was top work by Hussey & Clark.

2) No.

Tony T.

2) On second thoughts.

Third thoughts? Oink.

Tony T.

Shameless: 100.

Some folks have been suggesting Hussey was "out of form", or "in some kind of slump". I, on the other hand, don't confuse either with "not getting much of a bat".


Good call on all the above Tony.

This is getting ugly now. The gate is open and swinging on its hinges. Given who is in next, even a wicket doesn't necessarily help Sri Lanka.


Good to see two guys who weren't in the team during the 16 in a row taking it to the opposition. Symonds has got some life in him yet as well. Can't wait to see the bowlers.


"If you put Australia in to bat at the GABBA then you better hold on to your chances." That is a well known saying according to Mark Nicholas. Jesus Louise-us.

Here is "expert" Professor Elliot's quote.

Elliott said Muralitharan was very relaxed but adamant that he did not chuck. "He fervently believes that he doesn't extend his arm," Elliott said. "He has such rotational ability with his wrist, his strange elbow and in his shoulder that is quite possible that it is an optical illusion."

And you are quite possibly a fucktard. Here he goes again.

Professor Elliott believes Shoaib's flexibility results in an optical illusion that he is bending his arm at the point of delivery.

And from the same article.

Australian professor Bruce Elliott is confident his department can prove Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is not a 'chucker'.

WHAT. THE. EFF? Way to keep an open, scientific mind, dipshit.

(Maybe I should GMOFB?)


"If you put Australia in to bat at the GABBA then you are a fucking moron."

That's what Nicholas really means, but can't say on TV.

Andrew Flintoff

551 - that's a good declaration.



Scott Wickstein

Oh hell yeah, now let them go off for bad light. Not sure what Ricky's thinking is there. Might as well have batted on till stumps, piled up 650 and then gone after them tomorrow.

Tony T.

I hate nearly all declarations; especially with Sidey Roy and Gilly set for some carnage. Grind 'em, I say.


There is something disconcerting about declaring on 551 after Adelaide last year. Moment of truth for the new McG-Warne-less attack. Actually, probably 6 hours of truth. Here's hoping it isn't closer to 12.

Yobbo, what Nicholas really means is that trying to compete with Australia at the Gabba at all makes you a moron. It hasn't mattered much when they've batted or bowled in the past 15 years.

Tony T.

Biggy Shnizzlewhatsit: I ought to read my own blog.


Oi, that's an ugly shot an hour before stumps.

Tony T.

Not a very pretty decision, either. Although there was certainly some sort of noise simultaneous to the ball passing the swipe of the bat.

Scott Wickstein

Oh I miss Shane Warne already and MacGill has only bowled three overs.


Russ: The commentators are saying the last 6 touring captains have put Australia in at the Gabba, and they've all lost.

You'd think they'd learn.

David Barry

Yobbo: Those commentators were wrong then. Ganguly sent Australia in in 2003/4, and India drew that game.

In any case, it doesn't matter what opposition captains do, ro the Australian captain does, for that matter. Australia hasn't lost at the Gabba since 1988/9. (And Australia batted first in that game!)

The last time an opposition captain won the toss and batted, and then won the game, was in 1968/9. Australia won the toss and fielded, and lost, in 1986/7 against England.


Yobbo, easy enough to look up.

Since 88-89, Australia have won and fielded 4 times for 4 wins (3 by 10 wickets, 1 by an innings). The opposition have won and fielded 8* times for 4 losses - mostly big and 3 draws - no wins). Of Australia's decisions they had a first innings lead on the last 3 occasions, of the opposition, only two (Sri Lanka and India last time they played at the Gabba).

Australia have also won and batted 5 times for 3 wins, 2 draws. Only NZ has tried it in return (twice) and lost both by an innings. After 92-93 Australia has led on first innings when the toss winner has batted first. the leads were: 374/6 (NZ first), 359, 356, 110, 232 (NZ first) and 445.

The Aussies average 442 batting first, and 463 batting second. Obviously letting Australia bat first is a bad idea, but then the alternative isn't better. The Gabba is a pummeling stone regardless.

Tony T.

This debate sounds like too much fun to miss.

According to Yobbo the commentators said "the last 6 touring captains have put Australia in at the Gabba."

At first pass that sounds absurd, especially in light of the fuss made about Nasser Insane's 2002 decision to put Straya in.

In fact, they aren't too far off the money.

Out of the last eight touring teams to win the toss at the Gabba, SEVEN put Straya in. Only India in 2003 chose to bat. (Correction: Only New Zealand in 2004, actually.)

I hope that clears up whatever it is we're trying to clear up.

Tony T.


India led that 2003 match on the first innings, but more than a day was lost due to rain, forcing Steve Waugh to make a "sporting declaration" when Straya were 3/300-odd.

There was some criticism that a declaration which left India about 20 overs to get about 200 was too steep, but guess who was batting at the time.

Still, I don't blame Waugh; we know how hard India was to get out in 2003, given both their batting strength and our bowling weaknesses. Couple that with Waugh's over-generous sporting declaration against New Zealand at the Gabba in 2001, and you can see why he might have been reluctant to offer India too much bait.

(In both cases rain reduced play by so much that the pitch stayed in good nick and difficult batting on Day 5 was more like easy batting on Day 3.)

David Barry

Minor correction Tony: New Zealand was the lone team out of those eight to bat first. They wasted some money of mine in that game - I went to the Gabba on day four, expecting some solid batting as NZ headed for a loss. Instead they folded for 76. The only memory I have of that day now is Gillespie doing that horse riding thing when he reached his 50.

Tony T.

Sorry, you're right.

How the fuck did I get that arse-about with India?!? After all, I was looking right at the stats as I wrote it.

I'll make the appropriate correction to my comment.

Fortunately it doesn't change my overall thrust (7 out of 8)* or I would look like a bigger goose than normal.

* Notice I wrote "7 out of 8" and not "7 of 8". I'm not a dead-shit, you see.

Scott Wickstein

There's life in the old blog yet!


15 per cent my arse.

To save time, why not simply award Australia the Brisbane Test and start the series itself at another venue with the Green Caps up 1 nil.


I dunno much about this, right. But I reckon that protractor shows his arm bent at 45 degrees. And unless I'm mistaken, his arm is locked at 32 degrees. That means that if he straightens it, he's done so by no more than 13 degrees. Is it then that they should ban blokes with bent arms?

Tony T.

Surely Bill's taking the piss, but he sounded serious. To paraphrase:

Dick: "What players would you watch before all others?"

Bill: "Tony Grieg."

Richie: "Dennis Lillee, Keith Miller."

Tony T.

Stuey Clark: gun.

Tony T.

A snub? I just realised that post card wasn't addressed to Damian Martyn.


Good session, except for the 10 overs when Silva was out there swinging. Johnson needs to be more patient. MacGill too, but he is too old to learn now. Clark seems to inspire the other bowlers to keep things tight. It's good to see.

Attapattu is dangerous and the tail has a bit but you can't complain. Fair chance there'll be another round of articles on the perils of not enforcing the follow-on to appear tomorrow.

Tony T.

Can I just be the first to say...

"Hungry swallowed that."

Thank you.

Tony T.

Spot on, Russ, they're already talking follow-on tactics on the radios.

Tiredness - Check.

Crammed fixtures - check.

Headingly '81 - check.

Calcutta '01 - check.

Scott Wickstein

Wait till they're 8 down before worrying about the follow on I reckon.

Tony T.

No worrying.

You heard it here twenty-first: we won't enforce the follow-on.

Tony T.

Sidey Roy, he's our boy.

In fact, he's bowled really well and could have picked up two or three "poles" by now.

Tony T.

Gilly's been sloppy in this innings.

Wonder if Darren Berry touched wood when he wrote:

Gilly glove affair in bloom

ADAM Gilchrist has held the wicketkeeping position in the Australian team for the past 90 Test matches. After what I have witnessed recently, it may be that way for as long as he desires.

Never has his value to the team been questioned or his devastating batting come under scrutiny; he is a true matchwinner and one of the cleanest strikers of the ball to ever play the game. This column has been criticised for analysing Gilchrist's work behind the stumps in the past, when his performances purely with the gloves have been below par. However, his recent work behind the stumps has been outstanding.

His glovework throughout his career has been good but rarely has it been great. He has taken some outstanding catches standing back to the quicks but his work over the stumps — especially to Shane Warne — has never been as crisp as that of Ian Healy, his predecessor.

That said, it now must be recorded that his glovework in India during the most recent one-day series was world-class, at times brilliant. It was, ironically, in the same country during the epic Test series of 2004 that his at-times untidy keeping was exposed, especially over the stumps.

Three years on, Gilchrist looks a much improved gloveman, albeit in the shortened version of the game. His hands standing up to the stumps have softened, the stiffness in his forearms has disappeared. The leg-side stumpings off the bowling of spinner Michael Clarke and medium pacer James Hopes revealed a highly confident, experienced campaigner at the absolute top of his craft. The sweeping leg-side gathers to complete both stumpings had me glued to the television — the Sachin Tendulkar dismissal standing up to Hopes was top-class.


Who are you and what have you done with Brett Lee?
*B Lee (rf) 16.3 9 17 3

Alright, Murali's exuberance wrecked them a bit. But still, good stuff.

Scott Wickstein

Lee, 4 for 26.

Well, I'd enforce the follow on. This is Brisbane, not some exotic overseas locale.

Scott Wickstein

Hmm, Ricky agrees with me. Wise fellow. People won't go too far wrong if they agree with me.

Tony T.

I'm always nervous about the follow-on. Why enforce it here when the strip is at its best for batting?

If they get more than 100 lead, I'll be officially worried.

David Barry

I agree with Tony, though I'm not too concerned about losing the current Test.

The only reason you should enforce the follow-on is if there's a chance you'll run out of time. Teams that don't enforce the follow-on when they have the option to win a higher percentage of Tests (in the last 30 years) than those who enforce, and don't lose. And you run the risk of tiring the bowlers out for the next game.

The notion that enforcing the follow-on is somehow a more attacking option is pure psychology. Batting again doesn't give the opposition a better chance to save the game.

Tony T.

Maybe there's a concern it might rain again up there in Briz-Bane.

Still, as a fully paid up member of the Grind 'Em Club, I say never give a sucker an even break. Never give a side a chance to deploy its strongest weapon; in this case, Murali on a last day.

Thanks be to Sidey Roy and his shit-gets-wickets ball.

Scott Wickstein

You're a pack of worryworts. The only reason we lost at Calcutta and Egbastan 81 was that Sideshow Roy wasn't in the side.

Tony T.

No worries here.

Tubby just courteously invited me to enjoy the National Nine News.

Scott Wickstein

Good of him. Here in Adelaide we just saw Ricky Ponting take a good catch to get rid of Jayasuriya. Lee was well chuffed too. 2 for 65.

Still 14 minutes before we get to watch the news as well. Yippee!


My phone decided to go to a replay of the cricket show before changing its mind just before the wicket - very nice catch. Lee is on fire, reminiscent of his one-day form for the past four years.

Also, I agree with David and Tony - though you all knew that - not that it will matter even if Sri Lankans seem to have a penchant for big double tons. Might I add again, that Sangakarra is a big loss for them. He and Jayawardene carry this side.

Oh, and why do nine spell it Jayawardena and Muralidaran? Its a character set conversion so there is no right answer, but surely the convention is well set as something different?

David Barry

Russ, while I concede that the convention is well established, I really like it when names are transliterated properly, or at least as close to properly as you can get. If it makes people pronounce the name more accurately, that's good.

An Indian Tamil friend of mine tells me that it should be 'Muralidharan', but I don't know what difference the 'h' makes.

Tony T.

Is there some kind of pronounciation guide we can look up? I have no idea how we're supposed to pronounce foreign names, and I get no help from the Channel Nine commentators. Dave, I'm tipping your Indian Tamil doesn't say Murrah-Lee or Mewrallee-Doorun.

David Barry

CricketWeb seems to have pronunciations on some of its player profiles, eg, here.

Now that I've tried to Google this stuff, it looks like the 'h' isn't supposed to be in Muttiah's surname, even though it is common in 'Murali's from South India.

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