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Tony Tea

Guess what? Ponting lost the toss.

There's a shock.

NZ are batting.

Russ

Great start Brett, two balls way down leg. Really sets the tone.

I don't get the Hauritz selection at all. In a settled side, bringing in a stop-gap because of injury makes a certain sense. But right now, in one of those rare opportunities to play a game against limited opposition, with a pressing need to blood new players, and in the last test before the series against South Africa and England?

Adelaide isn't that great a place for spinners, and there are three part-timers in the squad already. Once Krejza was injured - if not before, given they could have rested Clark - I just don't understand why they didn't play Siddle.

Hangover Black

Stop gap indeed. The last spinner to come into the side got dropped after taking a 12-fer. He wouldn't have high ambitions of holding his place.

Tony Tea

Idea!

If you win the toss, but you lose the match, you automatically lose the toss for the next match.

Tony Tea

Poll.

Do you like the new comments facility?

1. Yes.
2. No.
3. Yes.

Adsy

What's Beau Casson done wrong? He's seen about 6 ordinary spinners jump ahead of him after the Windies tour, wouldn't be happy.

Anyway, prediction time:

NZ make 300 due to a good innings by someone in form (R.Taylor) Australia make 400 due to a good innings by someone out of form (Ponting, Hayden)

NZ collapses to be all out for 200 second innings. Studsy to wreck them.

Australia lose a couple of early wickets but pass NZ 4 down to win by 6 wickets.

Adsy

Re: Comments

Its a toss up between 1 and 3. A toss up even Ponting might be able to work out.

Tony Tea

Comprehensive stuff.

NZ 350, Fulton 101

Aus 470, Ponting 123

NZ 156, Studsy 5/63

Aus 1/37, Haydos a duck.

Russ

Good start for the Vettoris. Pitch is actually playing quite low, but evenly, with no movement to speak of. 370 would be a seriously sub-par score on this deck.

m0nty

I predicted 1-0 before the series started. Wish I'd had a few sovereigns on that scoreline now.

Russ

Hauritz is getting a right flogging by Redmond right now. Ponting has gone for a chat, so we'll be half a dozen overs behind schedule by lunch.

Of course, if the Kiwis keep trying to take him at 10 per over, he'll probably do a Krazy and pick up 6 or 7.

m0nty

3-0-29-0. Onya Merv, Boonie and Ditchy.

Tony Tea

27 overs in the sesh.

101 runs.

1 SGW.

1 ball from Hauritz that almost turned.

Tony Tea

An intriguing search request:

"why is bill lawry not commentating on second aus nz test at adelaide ?"

The Don has risen

Doesn't everyone turn off the volume of 9 and listen to the ABC.

Lawry speaks pidgeon english!!

Tony Tea

I flick between both ABC and Nine.

In answer to the search request - Nine rotate their commentators. They started doing it about the same time they temporarily dumped Nicholas.

m0nty

Our front-line bowlers have fallen away shockingly. Lee and Clark are just not getting bags of wickets any more. More than anything else, this is the reason for Australia's demise.

Tony T.

Lee is dreadful. Later, when I'm back home, I will tell you exactly what is wrong with his bowling.

At least the Kiwis are doing the right thing by our bowlers and getting themselves out.

m0nty

Ooh ooh, can you at least give us a hint Tone?

m0nty

Obviously the Aussies have discovered the secret to dismissing Enzed: pies, long hops and half trackers.

The Don has risen

Kiwis are just bad batsmen.
No bowler has got a batsman out. They have all got themselves out.

will the Kiwis get anyone out.

Lee has a 'new 'shortened bad 'runup and is no longer fast.
Reverse swing needs pace. He ain't no Lillee.

I would like to bat against either team on this pitch.
Ball is not swinging or seaming or spinning

m0nty

Oh dear, now Hauritz has buggered his knee.

m0nty

No, it's his left ankle. Looks like a sprain at best.

Russ

That was a very unlikely attempt at fielding a ball from Hauritz. He is walking alright, though it may swell up badly once he cools down.

This has been a fairly tedious day of cricket. Except for a brief period of stylish slogging from Redmond, it's been easy batting peppered with silly mistakes to give Australia the edge.

Tony T.

Glad Fulton is out. Stupid Flatty.

Just after lunch Damien Fleming said something like "Aussies are great fieldsmen who will catch it 99% of the time."

Not sure what "it" is, but surely the commentators, both at Nine and the ABC, need to acknowledge the Aussie catching is well below 99%.

Or maybe it's just when we play India.

Or the Windies.

Russ

Beautiful over by Lee, to get Flynn. But you have to wonder why, if he can do that, he felt the need to bowl 13 overs of inconsistent trash before tea.

Tony T.

My take on Lee.

Flem was wondering whether Lee at 32 could develop akin to Lillee and Hadlee at 32 to 35. He also mentioned an article by Crash citing opinions from various Aussie quicks, Reid, Hoggy, etc.

I reckon Lee is still conscious of chucking, and has overcompensated by making sure his arm is dead straight almost all the way through his delivery. Watching him on SSMo earlier today, you could see his arm was too straight too soon. He has a high-maintenance compromise between front-on swinger and side-on slinger.

If it works, as it sometimes does, it works well. But if it doesn't work - bearing in mind there is less margin for error than in a naturally repeatable classic action - he sprays it.

Also, he seems to be getting through the crease too low. Or maybe he always has.

m0nty

At this rate maybe you should start an A-League sub-blog, TT. It would be more interesting than the cricket being played.

Tony T.

Indeed. A tedious day's play.

The only good parts were the stupid Kiwi dismissals, Lee getting a wicket off a no ball, Flatty dropping Fulton and Horry Hauritz rolling his ankle.

m0nty

Gene Wilder: If you're Boon, or Merv or Drew, where to go to, why don't you pick the one who slips...
Peter Boyle: 'UTTIN' ON HAURIIIIITZ.

Tony T.

Jimmy, Harry, Al and Nathan: The 'Ritz Brothers.

m0nty

That's a terrible implied nickname.

Tony Tea

Tip for tomorrow (or the PSD): someone will pick up Ben Cousins.

Professor Rosseforp

I noticed the Australian XI wearing gaffer-tape black armbands again. Without wishing to disrespect the person they were commemorating, I think it's time to put a stop to the habit. With a group of 11 guys, someone will always know someone who knew someone who just died, and I can't see the relevance of black armbands every game.
Either that, or get a special shirt made up that has a black stripe on the sleeve, so they look tidy.
On a different tack, I didn't see Hauritz' (should that be Hauritz's?) ankle-twisting move, but it would have pleased Tim May to see another inoffensive off-spinner continuing his tradition of ankle injuries.

Russ

Morning all. Ugly shot from McCullum to let us onto the tail. Hopefully Vettori will go next so we can see Southee swing the bat.

Tony Tea

I missed Southee swinging the bat. And O'Brien and McCullum, for that matter. I was in the bathroom listening to Damian Fleming rabbiting on to Martin Crowe.

Crowe goes alright.

Except when he is talking about beach cricket. It should be illegal for commentators to talk about beach cricket during the proper cricket. Bad apples, spoiled bunches, etc.

Tony Tea

Haddin's catch to get rid of O'Brien could turn around his career.

According to Heals.

Tony Tea

Dead Man Watching

Ex-Test bat Paul Hibbert dead

Former Victorian and Australian batsman Paul Hibbert was found dead in his Essendon flat yesterday.

Hibbert, 56, was found by police in his loungeroom in front of the television after a relative raised concerns having not heard from him for more than a week.

Idle supposition + uneducated guesswork = pure speculation...

There is no mention of how he died.

He died five days previously.

The Gabba Test was on TV five days previously.

He played his one Test at the Gabba.

You do the meth.

Russ

Southee plays sensibly while his captain is at the other end. Not sure why, he isn't terribly good at it. He'd have done better to swing at the bouncer aimed at his head, than the ungainly panicked thrust of his glove and bat that got him caught.

Tony Tea

Well, that was quick.

There are sub-par scores, and then there are sub-par scores.

Clarification: In golf a sub-par score is low; in cricket a sub-par score is too low.

Thank you.

Perhaps I should revisit my prediction from yesterday:

NZ 270, Fulton 29

Tick. VG.

Tony Tea

Hey hey!

Tubby bowls like Murali.

"14 1/2 degrees", apparently.

Tony Tea

This just in!

A not unexpected corollary from yesterday's boring cricket: today's cricket articles were boring, too.

Tony Tea

One: the commentators talk up Hayden's hundred in his hundredth and Katich batting all day.

Two: Hayden gets out to a shit run-out.

Three: Katich follows soon after.

Was there even the slightest doubt that three would follow two would follow one?

Russ

Getting back to Lee, yesterday he bowled 7 no balls in the morning, so his problems can probably be put down to run-up issues.

More generally though, I am not sure whether I agree with you, Tony. Looking at old footage, he has always had come low through the crease, and he's always been erratic of length. The two differences that strike me, are that:

1) The young Lee was more uninhibited. His back was bending more, and earlier, sometimes well before the arm came through. He was getting more power from his body, and less from his arm. He is more balanced, but probably tires faster, which explains the reduced pace.

2) He gets closer to the stumps these days. Previously he would glide out, opening his chest to the batsman, which probably had something to do with his chucking (the arm just won't go through on that angle). Now he gets closer and seems to pivot a little around his front foot. I suspect this is an issue. It makes it harder to maintain a consistent line, and may take away from his natural outswing.

But I don't know what this means for his future career. If we were being honest, outside the first couple of years, and the last year or so, he has always struggled.

Russ

Tony, never a doubt at all.

Good session for us though, despite the daft runout and Katich getting out.

Tony Tea

Lee being "uninhibited" in his early days but now having a stiff arm is what I was driving at. He is too conscious of an action that has been constructed and not come naturally to him.

neoprene68@gmail.com

Real captain's out. The break strikes.

nick

Real captain's out. The break strikes.

Professor Rosseforp

Any chance that Murali's action could be similarly re-constructed?

Tony Tea

Got home just in time to see the News and Ponting's dismissal.

My first reaction upon hearing it in the car was to be dead-set pissed off Ponting had chucked away a ton.

My second, upon seeing it, was "Fvck off, Ponting!"

What's with Aussie batsmen biting back at a send offs? Ricky, mate, you look like a dick.

The Mongrel

I'm with you Tone.

Whenever an Aussie goes the sulk about a send-off I have to think - they can dish it out but they can't take it.

Tony Tea

Stupid, stupid, STUPID Hussey!!!

Tony Tea

Stupid, stupid, STUPID Rudy!!! For not picking up the crossed batsmen.

Stupid, stupid, STUPID Hussey!!! Again!!! For starting a rot with a stupid shot.

Stupid, stupid, STUPID Doctrove!!! (Pending Hot Spot.)

Tony Tea

The Haddin appeal.

Tubby: "the New Zealanders were extremely confident".

The Symonds appeal.

Tubby: "the New Zealanders were extremely confident".

I blame Hussey.

Tony Tea

Geez, the couch umpire in me had Clarke plump LB off Southee for 61.

Billy is evening up for dudding Roy.

Tony Tea

Healy is still going on about Haddin's "turning point" catch yesterday.

Give it a break, Heals. It was a stock keeper's reach & roll.

Tony Tea

Good sesh by the Aussies, despite the shenanigans in the first 20 minutes.

Haddin & Clarke have done it easy.

Now Haddin is on the O'Donnell Show.

"Turning points" and (my brother's prediction) "breakthroughs" galore.

These people need to be reminded of the old maxim: "Sometimes all you need is a shit opposition and a road to cream them on".

m0nty

I had a glorious footy-filled day yesterday, didn't even remember there was cricket on. Today, it's as if I never left.

Tony Tea

International incident!

Brian Waddle didn't know Trent Croad was born in NZ. He had never even heard of him.

Tony Tea

What come around, goes to ground. This time it's not Haddin bungling catches:

110.3 Vettori to Haddin, no run, Dropped That's a real sitter, Clarke steps down the track and scoops it straight to Flynn at mid-on, he grabs at the ball and puts down one of the simplest of catches

Out like Flynn.

m0nty

That is unlike Flunn.

m0nty

Nine showing stats on double hundreds... they're trying their best to make this a contest.

Tony Tea

And Rudi is trying to kill the contest by giving Haddin another life. I think:

Vettori to Haddin, no run, Appeal! Very good shout indeed, he lunges forward to defend and the ball lobs up off his pads and appears to clip something on the way, Vettori and Ryder at forward short-leg appeal confidently for the catch, we can't be absolutely sure of the ball clipped the glove or not but it was awfully close
m0nty

The Croquetinfo bloke is gilding the lily there somewhat. It didn't look anywhere near that confident from the Kiwis. The replay showed it did hit the glove but it was impossible to tell in real time.

Haddin is a lucky chap, nevertheless.

m0nty

Although I suppose the phrase should be "silvering the fern".

Tony Tea

Agreed. Ironically, the Kiwis seemed less "extremely confident" than they did earlier for Roy's pad and Haddin's shoulder.

Tony Tea

Clarke out edging a wide drive to gully. Jesse... ahem, swallowed it.

Tony Tea

Hope that wicket doesn't presage a flurry. Batting last I want a lot more runs.

Adsy

Apparently Horry is down to come in next according to the commentators. Pretty good for a bloke that can't even get a game for his state.

Tony Tea

If Horry is better than Johnston, he must be alright. Studsy can bat, and is my smokey for an all-rounder in a few years.

Yee! Oww! Howler drop by Vettori:

134.3 Vettori to Lee, no run, Dropped The bug has hit the captain now, Lee steps down and slams it hard back at the bowler but Vettori's reflexes aren't sharp enough
Tony Tea

Slatts is suddenly addicted to "amp up". He has said it three times in the last ten minutes for three different things.

m0nty

I can excuse Vettori's bug. As he would say, thut wus a bug hut.

m0nty

Vettori's not afraid to bowl himself, is he? 25 overs on the trot as part of 53 overs out of 139 at this stage. Not that I blame him.

Tony Tea

The Croquet bloke:

140.6 Vettori to Lee, SIX, that's the first of the innings, Vettori flights it on middle and leg, he gets down the track and launches him downtown over long-on, he must have said to himself 'Man, that's six' and he was right.

If Lee said to himself 'Man, that's six' he must be dropped.

Tony Tea

Snick. Stick.

Nice catch by Taylor to get rid of Lee... straight after Slatts said Lee and Haddin will still be batting at stumps.

That's the sort of catch that starts a rush of wickets. Expect all-out well before stumps.

m0nty

I don't think you need to worry any more, Tone. This is NZ we're playing. It will be over by tea tomorrow.

They've played us back into something resembling form. Which is nice of them, seeing as we've got a much sterner job in front of us with home & away series against the South Africans.

Unfortunately, the Boks have been tuning up for us by spifflicating the other basket case Test side, the Banglas, in which their three best bats averaged 90+, Ntini got 11 wickets at 10, and Morkel and Steyn got 8 each at 23 and 25.

That's who we've got to start worrying about now.

Russ

Fascinating session to date. Suited both sides to a degree. Australia got to attack, quick runs, and a chance at the Kiwis before stumps. New Zealand's dibbly-dobbly hacks got the innings to end; if they bat (really) well, they can make a game of it.

Ripping start to the innings too. Lee still having run-up issues I note.

Tony Tea

NZ, if they bat well, and if Brett Lee keeps bowling like his first over (not a completely unreasonable prospect), can certainly make a game of it. Should they score 400 in this innings, we will have to bat very well to win.

Tony Tea

Channelling the ghost of Les Favell...


Funny things happen on day five in Adelaide.

the don has risen

the Kiwis wil be all out today.

Quite a few of them are not test players yet.

A pity Marshall, Bond etc are not playing.

This pitch favourd bastsman far too much.
A good pitch s where each side get about 200-250.

Batsman really have an easy time. Fair go for bowlers.

Russ

Great catch by Ponting to get How. That was somewhere behind him by the time he got the hand on it.

Add the three SGWs and its been a good morning.

Tony Tea

Ummmm... errrr.... yeah.

Just turned on the computer.

Spent ten minutes navigating the cyber-maze that is the ABC 774 website.

Kiwis 4/63.

Lee 10-2-39-4 despite conceding 17 off his first over. That's, for the intellectuals among you, 9-2-22-4.

Tony Tea

Oops.

Haddin just dropped one.

He was due his Test quota.

Tick that box.

Russ

And a dropped catch to top it off... should have been 10-3-22-5

Adsy

Where has this come from?

Tony Tea

Where has what come from?

Tony Tea

Cue Nelson Muntz: Haa Haa.

"South Australian listeners now leave us for the Country Hour."

Tony Tea

Flynn LB to Studsy for 9.

5/76.

Tony Tea

Getting back to Haddin's drop.

I can't see a telly, so I can't hear the commentary.

But I assume Heals has been talking about "turning points" again.

Or more correctly, "re-turning points".

Someone call Darren Berry. We need a robust, fulsome and detailed debate on wicketkeeper returns. Which is, over the course of a career, more costly, a wicky drop or a wicky failure with the bat?

Adsy

Brett Lee has bowled pies now for a good couple of series, and he comes out on a pretty good deck and destroys the Vettori's. I know its not much, but did someone give him a rocket I wonder?

Russ

The tele is onto Flynn's dismissal, and discussing how his front foot was too far across, forcing him to to trying and play around his leg. I'd think the real question is why was he trying to flick the ball through mid-wicket.

Haddin's drop was pretty ugly. Off balance, he thrust the glove at the ball very late, then followed it by a strange swan dive pivoted on where the ball had passed him. A spectacular attempted cover-up for being so poorly positioned. Watching him to Hauritz now, he stands up very early, as the ball is pitching, rather than as it rises. He might count himself fortunate that, to date, he hasn't kept to a spinner who turns the ball.

Tony Tea

"A spectacular attempted cover-up for being so poorly positioned."

That being the case, Haddin has obviously been taking lessons from Rod Marsh. Ole Fe Gloves used to dive for pretty much everything that didn't come straight to him. If he ever dropped one, it looked like he had been unlucky to grass a difficult chance, and maybe, if he was lucky, a half-chance.

Tony Tea

Fulton poled Studsy 7.

NZ 6/84.

Tony Tea

Do you think Glenn Mitchell knows how fvcken irritating he is?

Apart from the fact that he seems to be commentating all day today, he is ruining my work environment.

Here I am, plugging away, streaming the commentary, but every couple of minutes Mitchell's voice explodes from my laptop.

He is, without a shred of a doubt, Great Uncle Bulgaria, the very worst commentator to listen to at work.

Tony Tea

Vettori caught Flatty, bowled Horry, 13

NZ 7/105.

Four words: Kiwi, Ig, No, Miny.

Tony Tea

Fair comment from JR:

Haddin was in the news again.

Slater talked about how well he has been keeping since he got back to Australia, completely ignoring his drop in Brisbane.

Now he has a better drop to show for himself.

It was spectacularly shithouse.

In the end he was mid air to one he didn’t have to jump to, and looked as if he was slapping it to the ground.

The ball went quick, but there is no doubt he lost the plot.

His 160 was fucking nice, but if he can’t catch, he is not of much use to Australia, later in the session he missed a couple from Hauritz as well.

Recently Chris Hartley from Queensland was saying Australia might need to go back to a proper keeper since the bowlers aren’t as good, and less chances will be coming.

I thought he just wanted his name to be mentioned, but with Haddin regularly missing chances, he may have a point, and only Hartley and Crosthwaite can really keep, but neither can bat at 7 in this test team.

Tony Tea

Southee caught Ponting, bowled Horry, 11

NZ 8/131.

O'Brien now, then Martin. Is there any point?

Hangover Black

I wouldn't want Cheatsthwaite wearing a baggy green. You don't need to be a walker like Gilly, but FFS, don't go claiming catches that bounce a yard in front of you.

Tony Tea

That's the thing.

Haddin's not about to be replaced, but there's no one to replace him, anyway.

Hangover Black

Ronchi could do an adequate job in the shorter versions (as he showed against the admittedly lacklustre West Indians), but I'm not sure about his 1st class batting. I shudder to think how he might have gone coming in at 7 in India for example. Not that Haddin covered himself in glory over there either.

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