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Cam

Tony the order you have the season organised in is a top idea. T20'S and ODI's are best served as an entrée.

What's with the two tests for this tour? We always play 3 home and away against the kiwis.

Colin Campbell

Totally agree, but I too find two test series unsatisfying.

Jonathan

In most cases, I'd say 3 ODIs, 3 Tests.

Cam, by always, you mean everything except one-off matches and series in Australia this century, right?

Cam

Jonathan I stand corrected. The past two series in Australia being 2 test 'series' had escaped me. Plus the one off's in 89-90.

Tony

Curse that time zone. NZ already 8/115.

Russ

Good bowling effort, but Bond and Vettori are wrecking our reply. And what exactly was the point of sending Studs out there, when the target is less than a run-a-ball?

Russ

HA!

To Tait: "How's the body feeling after the home series, pretty long summer for you guys?"

Tait, in reply: "well, my workload was fairly light this summer"

Understatement of the year.

Tony

Tidy start, then 1-38, 2-38, 3-39, now 3/98. Healthy reco work from Hussey & Clarke, who can now nurdle it home.

Russ

Only having to face 4 overs (3 actually, until a second ago) from Bond helps. You've mozzed Huss though Tony.

Incidentally, I like the (6?) test part of your schedule, but I'd like to see it tightened to squeeze the 8 or so ODI/T20 games into the December-January window as well. Get the players to play 6 tests in 6 weeks, then go back to the money-spinning domestic T20 comps.

Tony

Speaking of rationalising "the international schedule so as to provide a balance between time spent playing, resting and travelling." I'm tipping your eyebrows raised when you saw the Windies would play in Sydney on Tuesday, then play the Zims on Sunday... in Port of Spain.

Tony

More HA!

Taylor copped a shocker LB from the Billster. Ball hit him flush on the foot, but he'd skipped across outside off and the ball was clearly missing. Later he was interviewed by Bruce Doull.

Doull: "D'ja hit it?"

Taylor: "Nope."

Doull [Probably expecting a "Well, some go your way, others don't" kind of response.]: "Whad'ja think?"

Taylor: "Plumb... wasn't it?"

Everyone seemed surprised that Taylor thought he was out.

Russ

I hadn't noticed that, though to be fair, crossing the dateline means they can get to Port of Spain by Thursday morning. Somewhat bedraggled perhaps, but its only the Zims.

Just about every player who complains about lack of rest talk about the lack of long breaks between tours, not that the 2-3 days between games should be longer. Hence my call for rationalisation. Play all the international cricket in a big block, then stop for 6 weeks (rest, play t20, etc.).

ThiruCumaran

IMO, it would be better to have 3 tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is in a tour.

You could increase the number of tests, but I'd keep the limited overs segment of the tour to just 3 each!

2T20Is are pointless because there's a high chance that the trophy will be shared...

Hangover Black

"Everyone seemed surprised that Taylor thought he was out."

I saw that and thought he was being facetious. You didn't?

I've posted before how chasing down a target of 120 was the perfect situation for Clarke, and that was certainly the case last night. That was a fine 18 off 26 worth of nurdling. Now if only the bowlers can restrict every team to 120, he'll be invaluable.

A point on Clarke's technique - his pull shot for four was nice, with a full extension of the arms, but that is about the first time this season I've seen him do it. The rest of the time he plays the shot with his hands in close to his chest, just trying to paddle it around the corner. When he first came into the team, he never used to do it, but I've noticed it has become his stock pull shot, not just the one you use when the ball gets onto you a bit quick. The slower bouncer that he nicked behind but dropped short of the keeper was the same (short arm paddle).

What does the collective cricket intelligence of AGB think?

Adsy

I think that now he's a more senior player that if he plays the full blooded pull or hook and skies it to the man out deep that it will look bad to the rest of the team, hence he uses the paddle to control it. A younger Clarke would have swung for the fences. "Youthful Exuberance" and all that.

I too don't mind Clarke in the 20/20 setup, but more as a swing player. I've said before too that he shouldn't be a set-in-concrete number 4, but moved depending on circumstances. Chasing 118? Perfect nurdler as HB has said. But batting first and 2/100 from 10 overs? Let your Haddin's, White's, Hussey's and even Johnson's come in and belt the cover off it before Clarke gets a look in.

They pad up five bats at the start of each innings already, but how many times is the order really changed that you've seen? Maybe a batsmen might go up one spot, but there's no real innovative thinking from what I've seen so far. It will probably evolve as the game does.

Lou

Hangover, you are right about Michael 'I'm protecting my wicket' Clarke. You always get the feeling that he is playing for draws in short formats these days as he so rarely uses anything like a proper swing or much back-lift. Even his fours are well-placed nurdles (not that there are many of them.)

In other words, he is playing very risk-free cricket. Nice for him but tough for everyone else. It was amusing to see MJ come out at 4. It was an open avowal that Clarke was not going to go after Vettori at all and was depending on a tail-ender to do it. This, from our supposedly best player of spin. We'll come a cropper in a big chase unless he is out early.

Hangover Black

Adsy,

Ponting and Hussey,M both play a proper pull shot, without skying them that often. I just think he's taken to playing this little paddle pull for reasons unknown.

m0nty

Tait and Nannes getting carted in the second game. I think I spied Wild Thing flipping the bird at McCullum after his first wicket. The Kiwis are swinging like rusty gates and it's mostly coming off so far.

m0nty

Haddin has now given up chances to both McCullum and Taylor, and it's only the eighth over.

nick

Awesome innings by McCullum - incredible effort to hit those two sixes off Tait while laying on the ground. I note, in the Oz reply, that Clarke has come in at 3, when they're chasing 214. Given Watto and Johnson are out, this must be a practice game because how Clarke gets more balls than White and Haddin...well you do the math.

nick

What could Gilly have done if he didn't have to keep wicket - just look at Sangakara and McCullum.

Russ

3 to win, Clarke on strike...

Russ

and he nurdles 2... is that a success or failure?

Cam

Clarke should have stayed in with White in the OT as he had his eye in. Decision to bowl Tait odd, I guess they reasoned he might take a coule of wickets. Top match, though I actually cared about the result at the end.

m0nty

Clarke throws the ball to Tait for the Super Over, who bowls two wides in his first five balls and then offers a short and wide pie outside off stump for the winning four. Clarke is not a good captain.

Tony

Amazing the things you miss over a busy weekend - a close match? I see McCullum was dropped when he was about 10. Why were Watson and Johnson missing?

Adsy

Awesome match, Kiwi's rode on the back of one of the great innings (admittedly on a postage stamp of a ground) whilst doing all they could to throw it away when they bowled. Southee's bowling at the death and in the extra over was pretty special too.

In terms of Watson/Johnson, the word "rotation" was bandied about but denied by Clarke, who tried to have the home audience believe that Birt/Harris forced their way into the side.

nick

Harris has played well in the 5050 - so reasonable to have him in the 2020 - at least for a meaningless game like this one - sadly we've learnt nothing about Birt at all. Watto needs a rest - can't expect him to be Superman 24/7 - not with that history of being a bit of a Kent.

Hangover Black

Clarke's batting was surprising. I didn't know he had it in him to score at a strike rate of 130+, and previously thought him a liability chasing anything above 160. He cetainly proved me wrong there*.

In hindsight, Hussey was underbowled, as was Smith, and even Clarke himself. The quicks were all going for plenty because their attempted yorkers were all going for 4/6 over the keepers head with McCullum's scoop.

Tait was woeful in the "super" over. Southee bowled 3 nearly perfect overs at the end. Great match - good to see a contest again. Nearly forgot what they looked like.

*There - small boundary ground with a quick outfield.

Yobbo

I think it's hard to blame the captain or bowlers when a batsman goes out there and plays the best innings in the history of the format on a ground the size of your average suburban backyard.

Tony T

I hate small grounds and the way talented sloggers (Kalu, Jaya, McCullum, etc) can exploit short boundaries. (Hate tatts, too, but that's another story.)

Australia will want to watch out that when they go to the WC the organisers don't bring the ropes in a mile. Our game is better suited to bigger grounds than most, but small grounds negate that advantage. It's why we brought the ropes into Aussie grounds after the 1996 WC.

David Barry

It's why we brought the ropes into Aussie grounds after the 1996 WC.
Wasn't this a player safety issue? Every season there was someone who'd slide into the fence.

Tony T

Dave, just to clarify my point. Yes, the ropes came in for player safety. Those ropes were about four metres in from the fence. Later on, though, they bought the ropes right in - around thirty metres on the square boundaries at the MCG, about ten on the square at the WANCA, fifteen on the straight at Adelaide. Those large boundary changes are the ones I was referring to.

Lou

The ropes being just behind square leg's shoulder in twenty/20 really annoys me. They don't let the bowlers bowl from 20 yards so why do the batsmen get to look like they can all put it out of the park when they can't?

You can't blame the bowlers, but you can suggest that Harris learn to catch. But McCallum will now do stuff all in the ODI's. He's good for about one really massive innnings every 18 months so he'll be toast from now on.

Tony

The thing that amazed me is that nearly every one of those "ramp shots" came off exactly right.

The next one is likely to smash him in the face. Or clean bowl him.

Hangover Black

How you can move across the crease (finishing on your back), angle the bat, and pick up low fullies/yorkers/half volleys and send them over very fine-fine leg has got me stumped too. Being successful nearly every attempt was mind boggling. He was in some sort of zone in that dig.

I know you posted that Clarke didn't keep his personal run rate at the level required to meet the target, but it is a team game. More questions would have been asked of him had White's dig not come off the way it did. But you have to acknowledge that Clarke batted for a significant period on the way to Australia making 214, and at least had a few swipes (attempts to hit a boundary) to go with his nurdles.

Could White/Clarke have refused to run the single off the penulitmate ball so that White was still on strike with 4 to win? Probably not. Clarke made a pretty decent fist of trying to hit that boundary, but I think it was to the only long one on the field.

Tony T

McCullum got 57 runs behind square; just about half his runs.

If Clarke was a tailended it would have been wise to give White the strike, but since he's the captain, key bat and designated nurdler he would have copped it big time for squibbing the challenge.

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