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Tony T

Queensland: cyclones one day, leaf blowers the next.

Tony T

Action stations!

Mike Hussey is miked up and nervous about the anthem.

Tony T

No wonder he is nervous about the anthem. He has to join in with the poppet who is singing it.

Since when did AAF become a lightweight pop song?

"Hairs up on the back of the neck stuff" according to the Dick. He psyched himself up to bat for Hamps with The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

Nick

At least we get to bat first!

Nick

Haydos takes another step toward retirement...

Tony T.

Katich following in Haydos' footsteps.

Russ

The Kat gone. Lovely nut.

Funny watching Southee. His action reminds me of Kaspa, same laboring up the wicket, and heavy ball.

2/22 and Richie Benaud retires from the commentary box. Conspiracy of enunciation?

Tony T.

Is Tim Southee this year's version of Lou Vincent?

Tony T.

Ponting gawn!! 3/23.

Tim Southee, the new Shane Bond.

Tony T.

So much for Heals' "good toss to lose".

Russ

Ponting gone. Lucky we played all those all-rounders, hey?

Tony T.

Mutton To the Slaughter.

Reminds me of the first Test against England in 1978. (Test # 834)

Nick

What a pity this debacle of a morning won't make the NZ papers. For the last 10-15 years it has been a joy to wander the world, confident in the ability to look down the nose at inferior cricket playing nations. Now, I'm off to NZ in 2 weeks and they're rolling us at home. Crap.

Tony T.

Nick, your timing is unpecable.

Nick

Essential viewing prior to NZ trip (and better than the cricket at the moment)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdVHZwI8pcA

Russ

There's a one big difference though Tony, in 1978 we were an inexperienced, young and unsettled side. This team is experienced, old and unchanging.

Tony T.

Nuck, choice, bro.

Tony T.

Russ: hence the mutton, not the lamb.

Russ

Clarke you lucky muppet, that's twice you've edged through the slips.

Tony, ah, very good, sometimes I miss the subtlety of your puns.

Nick

Clarke just looks destined to follow in the footsteps of Mark rather than Steve.

m0nty

Thank god I watched the soccer last night and slept in today (nice Route 1 goal to win in the 94th minute, btw). We're already looking fourth-rate.

Tony T.

Been doing some research. In depth. Rigourous. Comprehensive.

After putting my data through a 351 Ford catalytic converter, I have discovered that Straya lead the world by a figure of 13.56 to 1 for dismissals the next ball after a four.

Exhibit A.

3.5 Southee to Hayden, FOUR, overpitches outside the offstump and Hayden gets forward and drives square, maintains good balance and beats the gap between gully and point, the ball races past the practice pitches

3.6 Southee to Hayden, OUT, lazy waft by Hayden and he pays the price, Southee lands it on a good length on offstump and the ball holds its line importantly, Hayden hangs his bat out half heartedly (probably expecting it to move away) and the outside edge travels quickly to Taylor at first slip, he falls to his right and takes it easily.

Exhibit B.

5.5 Southee to Katich, FOUR, gets very late inward movement but unfortunately for the bowler it's a half volley, he nonchalantly tucks it away with a good use of the wrists and beats mid-on comfortably

5.6 Southee to Katich, OUT, Southee has struck again and Australia have lost their openers, he lands it on a good length outside the off stump and the seam really rotates, Katich pokes at it away from the body and the thick edge is taken by McCullum

Feedback?

Nick

Maintaining aggression in the face of declining eye, skill and form will produce the above results. A complete disregard for opponents' skill and the conditions on the day will also help.

Russ

Clark has played 40 tests. We can start to judge him for what he is, not what he might become. And I think he is soft. The smallest total Australia has made when he's got a hundred is 474. 474! That might be bad luck, but he is no Mark Waugh. He has never shown anything even remotely as impressive as M.Waugh did in Port Elizabeth, or Adelaide (against the best attack going around), or Sabina Park for that matter.

Clarke needs to start scoring runs when we really need them - that is, when noone else is.

Tony T.

For his first ten minutes batting (before I went out), Clarke looked about as convincing against these Kiwi boys as Dead-Rubber Deano did against Richard Hadlee.

Russ

We talked about them the year before last. They are sucker balls, angling away instead of in. And you said then Tony: "by definition, anyone who gets out to sucker ball is a sucker".

It was Hayden two years ago too.

Tony T.

Repeated dismissals after fours reeks of heads in the wrong place. Not enough balls played on merit; too many "I'm going to show this pie chucker" shots.

Tony T.

Indeed: suckers.

Tony T.

Six overs for nine runs.

O'Brien, the new Ewan Chatfield.

Newen. Nyuk. Nyuk.

m0nty

This game is beached as, bro. Beached as.

Nick

Clowns on Cricinfo :

'Australia have claimed the honours so far. New Zealand need something to perk them up. The body language isn't as good as the first hour today.'

Clowns on Channel Nine...just too much drivel to quote.

We need a synchronised AGB/radio and picture telecast!

m0nty

I see Vettori has already decided to bowl for a draw. 20 overs in the first session is execrable. Do captains not like playing Test cricket any more? They're doing a good job of killing it off at this rate.

m0nty

Oh dear, that was really not a good decision to leave by Mr Cricket. He does have some brain fades at times, for all his admirable qualities.

Not a good situation for Roy.

Nick

20 overs in an hour and a half is better than what India bowled - simple solution - take a man off the field each session that the bowling team can't bowl 15 overs an hour. Add some modifying factors for batsmen out etc, and get rid of the drinks breaks. Drinks at the fall of a wicket only. Put some drinks in the little box on the field, and they can have a drink between overs.

Nick

Southee and Sharma...we seem to have contracted Spanky's weakness against young men.

Tony T.

The AGB simulcast has stalled trying to digest Bill's "250 is a good score on this pitch."

Nick

That was when my BS detector exploded.

Nick

Perhaps Bill meant an indvidual score of 250?

m0nty

One wonders how Spanky will be able to resist an elegiac analogy with the state of the Gabba roof to the state of the Australian cricket team. The temptation will be too great.

Tony T.

Stupid Roy!!!

5/132

250 might be a very good score from here.

Tony T.

Is getting out the ball after a four the same as getting out two balls after an eight?

m0nty

I think Croquetinfo is having conniptions:

45.3 O'Brien to Symonds, 7 runs, Now Symonds clubs another short ball from outside off, the ball just falls short of the rope at deep midwicket and they run four, worse for N there are four overthrows as well as the ball beats the keeper. Due to scoring issues the ball is being scored as 7 runs for the moment. It's complicated and I really can't explain why
Nick

No, it's twice as stupid. Roy's psychologist will no doubt have some excuse.

Tony T.

Saw that. Was so intrigued, I took a screen shot.

Can't believe they didn't twig when Roy was still on strike after an odd number of runs.

Tony T.

Paper Cut gawn!!

6/139.

Rubbish waft.

Tony T.

Gotta be said. The Kiwis are using the conditions beautifully and bowling very well.

Nice shape, some good bounce, plenty of tidy variations.

Nick

The worst thing is that they're making Bill Lawry sound knowledgeable.

Nick

NZ over rate not too bad in that session - with the medium pacers on, and 3 wickets, and umpiring confusion over the 8. Maybe Punter should ask Daniel for some advice?

Tony T.

Make that 4 wickets.

7/152.

Whaddaya know! Last ball before the break. There's a shock. Brad Haddin, the new Dyer.

Jesse Ryder, the new Jack?

Tony T.

Australia, the new Bangladesh.

Bruce

FFS! We serve them up a greentop and they take full advantage. The Aussies had better bowl well for the last 90mins today.

Deepak

Wow! What a shock to read the scores! Theres no thunder down under :( Can we say the aussie bats aren't suited to the conditions yet after the long tour of India? Or are NZ really playing well?

I'm grossly disappointed with Watson. He's not Test match class anyone?

Tony T.

Wave goodbye to the TT trophy.

We won't move the ball an inch off the straight.

We'll drop three crucial chances.

NZ will cruise along to 400+.

They will win chasing under 100.

The second Test will be washed out.

Ponting will be told that unless he wins the SA series he will be sacked, gets the shits, pulls the pin, punches Stakeholders Sutherland, and moves to India.

Adsy

That's a slight on the poor Bangers Tone.

Russ

3/60 wasn't a bad score, given we were sent in on a green pitch. Seven down at tea is a disaster. Lucky we mozzed Clarke earlier.

m0nty

It would help if we could get a captain who could win a toss.

The Don has risen

Aussies feet go to concrete when the ball does something.

Why is it that no commentator on 9 understands the difference between a ball that swings ( hint fellahs it curves) and the ball that cuts ( hint fellahs it jags off the pitch).

Our bowlers will love this pitch particularly as it gets quicker tomorrow.
Clark will bowl with a new arm!

Nick

Lee out - hopefully it fires him up 8-(

Tony T.

The first time we win a toss - at this rate, sometime around the 4th Ashes Test - Ponting will bat on a minefield.

Tony T.

Have we set a record for edges yet?

Tony T.

Studs gone.

9/183.

Amanda

Already heartily sick of Punter's quackery vitamins ads.

Tony T.

Hope Stuey Clark goes the tonk, gets a few, gets out, and we have enough time to get stuck into them before stumps.

I concede you shouldn't make predictions until both sides have batted.

NZ will be 0/23 at stumps, one dropped catch, 16 runs edged through the vacant fourth slip.

Tony T.

I'm sick of Hussey in the plastic ball.

m0nty

Hmm, plastic balls might be a better analogy.

Tony T.

Plastic bats, too.

Polyarmour, anyone?

OR - terryarmour?

Tony T.

Sick of the Solo midget shot-putter.

m0nty

Actually the one that's grating the most is the one with the four Test players, where the premise is that they're off to clean up in park cricket. The problem is that they'd probably lose at the moment. Especially if Bluey from two streets up comes off the long run, with Doggo's mum catching everything in slips.

Tony T.

Parallax Error?

This Test and this Test.

We get rolled for a mediocre score, roll the opposition for less, knock up a big lead, win.

All we need do is find a bowler to run through this opposition.

Tony T.

I've never seen so many cricketers having a laugh in the one place. Clarke hasn't stopped chortling all day. What's more, he patted Ryder on the back two ball before Ryder got rid of Stupid Haddin.

Nick

It's the Spirit of Cricket! Johnnies all round at the drinks break.

m0nty

Yeah Tone, now all we need to do is bowl McGrath and Warne. Oh wait, where are they again?

Tony T.

Damn. I knew there was a flaw somewhere in my parallel.

Great news!

Tubby will soon say "Melbourne viewers now leave us for the News."

Bewdy.

Clark will strand Clarke now that he didn't take that second run.

Outrageously bad cricket by the Kiwis to give Clarke that single.

Massive outrageous.

Michael Clarke, you goose.

Pressure bunny.

Nick

A 98 full of arse ends appropriately.

Tony T.

He might have actually gotten a century when the going was tough, but the way he got out seemed to fit.

Russ

Great day for New Zealand. Their bowlers may struggle on flat decks, but they got plenty out of the deck and bowled pretty well. Some ordinary decision making by the Australian bats, and the Vettoris took their chances well. Surprisingly too, they did it without their captain doing terribly much (though he rotated the bowlers well - saw something, brought Ryder on, two wickets, are you watching Ricky?).

We are shit right now though.

Or rather, the flat track hacks that constitute our batting lineup aren't near as good as they think they are.

Russ

Fascinating statistic of the day. Since 2000, Australia has made less than 300 36 times (or been 7 down for less than 300 declared). For 15 wins, 12 losses, and 3 draws. Which is about what you'd expect. This has ramped up significantly in the past few years, with 2008 being particularly horrid given we still have another seven shots at it.

2000	3
2001	3
2002	2
2003	3
2004	9
2005	5
2006	4
2008	7

But what I was really interested in, given the discussion earlier today, was who scores runs when Australia doesn't. The results are below, listed by number of times they've played in a sub-300 performance, number of times they top scored, 50s, 100s, and not outs. They are quite surprising, not least because Australia's arguably two best batsmen of the past decade are absolute bottom: Waugh.S and Ponting.

Now, this is by no means a great analysis, not least because I don't have a database of scores to do a real one. It is possible that some batsmen, when they get going, drag their team past 300 with their own mountain of runs. While others get a bit of a start then give it away; hence their inclusion in this list. Conversely, it is an odd statistic that of Ponting's 31 test 50s in the 2000s, only 2 were scored when Australia really needed them.

		Number	Top Sc.	50s	100s	NO
Symonds.A	10	3 30.0%	3 30.0%	-	-
Lehmann.D	8	2 25.0%	3 32.5%	-	-
Waugh.M		8	2 25.0%	2 25.0%	-	1
Hayden.M	31	7 22.6%	5 19.4%	1	-
Watson.S	5	1 20.0%	1 20.0%	-	-
Martyn.D	23	4 17.4%	2 13.0%	1	1
Hussey.M	12	2 16.7%	3 25.0%	-	1
Gilchrist.A	30	5 16.7%	5 20.0%	1	-
Clarke.M	16	2 12.5%	2 12.5%	-	-
Langer.J	27	3 11.1%	1  3.7%	-	-
Waugh.S		11	1  9.1%	-	-	-
Ponting.R	28	1  3.6%	2 10.7%	-	-
The Don has risen

hmm,

comments deleted.

well 9 commentators unlike ABC do not understand the difference between swing and cut and they all played test cricket well almost all of them!

Clarke does seem to lack concentration in batting towards the end of the day.

That pitch is made for Lee and Clarke so I still favour the Aussies.

This is a cricket wicket unlike most in India

Soulberry

Morning all, how's the weather at Gabba? Play on time?

Russ

Play just started. 1 ball, 1 wicket. Great start.

Soulberry

Gone! First ball!

Soulberry

Edgy morning for NZ..two more after that wicket. Not going to be easy getting ahead of Austalian score

Soulberry

Dropped! Hayden could have taken that.

Russ

Exciting morning and only two overs in, a wicket, edges, appeals, balls to the groin, and Haddin spoiling catches heading straight to first slip... if he keeps going the way he is, how much longer will he last?

David Barry

Russ, interesting stats there. Charles Davis introduced a "pressure average" in his book The Best of the Best, but he made a similar remark to you, namely that some players often bat and take their team out of a pressure situation. But still, it threw up some interesting results, perhaps most notably that Victor Trumper had one of the all-time top averages under pressure. (I think. I don't have the book on hand at the moment.)

Tony T

Haddin's got very little time left to prove he has what it takes to be a Test keeper. Regularly gets out slogging, regularly drops catches, throws his glove at the ball.

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

Tony T

How. Gawn.

Now, if Ryder and the bottom hand slapper Taylor gets runs, I will be upset.

Especially with Crab Haddin.

Tony T

Russ, the cricket fan in me likes your pressure bunny table; while superficial me likes how you got your tables to look nice and neat and aligned.

Russ

Lovely nut from Lee to bowl How, just as things were drifting a little.

David, I recall your post on the subject, though I am not sure if there aren't strange distortions from your measurement scheme, depending on where a player bats in the order. I'll have to try and find a copy of Best of the Best. The easiest way to adjust what I gave above, would be to look at the averages of players when the total of every other player in the side was less than 200 (or where the remainder of the top 7 made less than 150). But I don't have a database of scores to do that sort of query.

Russ

<pre> tags and an external editor Tony. Incidentally, I should fix up that comment issue for you. It is slightly complex, because some data was missing.

Paper Cut on. Mitch Johnson in Ponting's bad books?

Tony T

"Lovely nut from Lee to bowl How, just as things were drifting a little."

I was about half a second away from pressing "post" on a comment that called for the introduction of Studsy's world's best practice SGW.

Tony T

Sean Jack Jesse Ryder gawn!

Thank fark for that! I was beginning to dread him smacking his way to a big score.

Russ

What are you doing Jesse Ryder? The game was slowly going your way, as long as you stayed there, and then you give Paper Cut a wicket so soft, even Johnson would be embarrassed to get it.

David Barry

Yeah Russ, that post of mine was a mix of really simple with barely relevant complex stuff. I should really look at it again.

Tony T

McCullum gawn.

Studsy and his deadly wide straight one does the trick.

Just think... if only Crabbin had not bungled his earlier chance off Ryder.

PS: Apparently Studsy's ball was better than I first heard/read.

Russ

Excellent decision by Rudi on Symonds last ball. Umpiring has been good this test. Symonds is getting loads of movement off the pitch. Almost unplayable.

Tony T

Wonder if we would have got the same level of precision from Morgan Bucknor.

Russ

Only 25 overs in the session. Not terribly good given there was no need to change the field.

Tony T

Will Hussey get the make-up duties again?

m0nty

Given the clatter of wickets the over rate sould be stretched out to make it five days.

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