27 January 2012

Way ahead of themselves on TMS

Blofeld and Boycott's commentary is verging on the ridiculous. Pakistan are only 4 down and have 2 specialist batsmen in....they only need a lead of 100 to have a reasonable chance. As they're professional commentators they've watched England implode against spin in the sub-continent before, but they seem to have conveniently forgotten England's past history. This match isn't the foregone conclusion Blofeld and Boycott would have you believe.

England are doing brilliantly but there's a long way to go yet. Fingers crossed.

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26 January 2012

Why do we say that ?

Yesterday Stuart Broad executed a perfect long barrier at mid on to field the ball. The commentator said what we'd possibly all say - " he got everything behind that".
But surely what he did was get everything in front of it !

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22 January 2012

Playing cricket with a hangover

It's rare that I do these days, but back in the day one of the things I've always liked about cricket is that it's much easier to play with a hangover (compared with say, rugby)! And I've never found it's impacted on my performance....in fact it feels like it's the other way round, particularly when batting, but that might be wishful thinking.

So I enjoyed reading about Gary Sobers hundred at Lords made when hungover and after no sleep in 1973. That takes it to another level, the no sleep thing. A pretty super-human effort.

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Aussie pitches

I've watched a fair bit of Australian cricket this English winter as I've been up loads in the early hours. There's no doubt that Australia have some quality seam bowlers coming up the ranks. James Pattinson has a touch of the Stuart Broad's about him (i.e. a good bowler, but unpleasant on the field), Pat Cummins was man-of-the-match on debut before his injury, Ben Hilfenhaus is back to near his best as he was before the last Ashes, Ryan Harris is as good as ever when fit, Siddle has proven he can move the ball as well as just being a good honest trier, and Mitchell Starc is, for my money, the most scatter-gun of them all, but he's proven against India he can bowl viscious wicket taking balls a la Mitchell Johnson (occassionally).

So the bowlers are definitely on the up, but there's also been another contributor to all the seam-bowling success - the wickets. There was something a little substandard about the wickets in Perth for the last Test against India and in Hobart where Australia lost by 7 runs to New Zealand. Strange - normally Australian wickets are up there with the very best in the world - pretty flat, but with enough in them for the quality bowler.

In Perth the match started with largish cracks in the wicket and on day 1 the ball was moving off the seam when it hit the cracks at the angle you'd expect the ball to deviate from a leg-spinner. So it's not surprising that there was a bit of concern at the "pitch party" on the WACA strip just 12 hours before the start of play, primarily from the visiting Indians.

I can't imagine there was any damage done - the wicket was going to be dodgy anyway - but why did anyone think it was ok to have so many people wandering around and sitting on the Perth wicket just before the game, with beer in hand? The groundsman has been quick to defend it, but it seems very strange behaviour to me....but more importantly, the groundsman needs to defend the big cracks that were evident.

Hopefully Cricket Australia is on the case to ensure the wickets in Australia get back to normal, whether there's a pitch party involved or not!

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18 January 2012

What do they know of cricket, who only cricket know?

" For much of my life I have rushed about in a great whirl of activity, feeling very busy but not always making much progress. There is a certain comfort in frantic activity. When in doubt, do something that looks important, even if it's only the manic use of a mobile telephone which has, for millions, become a comfort blanket".
John Barclay from Life beyond the Airing Cupboard.
How true! Think I'll have a gentle day today.

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Effective alarm clock

In bed, half past six in the morning earphones in, hoping that I haven't woken my wife and listening to England's bowlers toiling. Just one more over..................
Oh! Henry Blofeld - might as well get up, now.

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17 January 2012

Nice to hear.......

.......... that Messrs. Gower and Willis agree with me about elbows and doosras and also agree that the logic that says that if other countries have players who do it we should teach it to our own kids is horrifying.
And this is not about the 15 degrees 'law'. Try bending your elbow at right angles i.e. 90 degrees then reduce that angle by 50% and the reduce that to a third and your arm is practically straight - not the angle that produces doosras.

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11 January 2012