Friday, November 09, 2012

Cricket season 2012: Aus vs SAF, 1st Test. This headline does not contain a joke

And just like *that*, we’re back to the cricket season.  That makes a lot more sense if you haven’t been  checking this blog every day since the end of the NRL season in the hope that I’ve updated it, regardless of how often I’ve promised that “I’m totally about to post something really good about something that isn’t sport.”  You should know by now that I don’t (a) keep promises, and (b) nothing I write is ‘really good.’ 

At time of writing, it’s the eve of the first Test between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba.  At time of writing, captain Michael Clarke is delaying naming his team for the match, claiming that it is dependent on the weather, the pitch, who is injured, what his Tarot card reader recommends and what people on Twitter have to say about it.  

Of course, this means that Michael Clarke has no idea who is actually in his team to start with, because he was too busy getting his nails done when the squad was announced.  I’m pretty sure his first instinct is to bowl first, and give the new ball to Dennis Lillee, with Wasim Akram to share the duties from the Paddington end. 

With 19-year old pace ace Pat Cummins facing his second consecutive year on the sidelines after injuring an eyelash in the warm-up for a trial match against a touring junior Eskimo fourth-XI team last month.  This makes Cummins the most useless person on the Cricket Australia contract list, giving Mitchell Johnson and Cameron White their highest ranks since 2007.  Here’s hoping that Cummins is using his latest time away from playing cricket to find a career that won’t disappoint anyone regardless of how shit he is at it, like cleaning the food trays at McDonalds, or writing film scripts for Jennifer Aniston.         

Australia’s “secret plan” on howto defeat the South Africans was “accidentally” released this week,  which included Steven Hawking-worthy ideas such as “bowl short to Hashim Amla” and “bowl short to Jaques Kallis” as well as “attack the bowling of Morne Morkel” and  “attack the bowling of Imran Tahir.”  This story has of course been rejected by the Australian brains trust, of course, who would never admit to having a plan to defeat an opposition since Steve Waugh retired.  Obviously this has nothing to do with the fact that Australia has not successfully attacked a bowler since Steve Waugh retired, nor have they had any other tactic against quality batting except short-pitched bowling since Steve Waugh retired.  Let’s be honest, the only good thing about the Aussie bowling is seeing how sweaty the armpits of the umpires are getting every time they raise their arms above their heads when a six is hit.  Because that’s the signal for a six.  Because they do that a lot.  Because the Australian bowling is a bit shit.  I’m pretty sure I over-explained that.

Due to Shane Watson also being injured following a hair-gel mishap, Victorian Rob Quiney gets his first shot at playing for Australia.  Quiney is about to fall victim to what I like to call the “Aussie Usman Khawaja Syndrome” which is named after “Aussie” Usman Khawaja (I think I over-explained that too), which is the latest Australian trend to destroy young batsmen’s dreams by making them bat against the world’s best bowlers in the most important position in the batting line-up.  I know Ricky Ponting is geriatric and highly forgetful now, but surely he can remember his first season in the baggy green, walking into bat at position 6.  All he had to do was prove that he could keep a hold of the bat and try his darndest to hit the little red thing that was being piffed at his head.  Somehow, he made a career out of that and knocked up about 11,000 runs.  If Ponting or Clarke had any balls at all, they would protect Mr Q and face up to Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and that Philandererer bloke (details are my life) to prove that they are, in fact, worthy of wearing the Australian cap, being leaders of their country, and being on Rexona commercials.    

My opinion:  Australia need to go into the match with the best four bowlers they have, regardless of conditions.  This basically means that it should be a four-pronged pace attack, seeing as the only other option they have is Nathan Lyon, who bowls slow deliveries with an off-spinner’s action that reminds people of a spin bowler who achieved mild success for South Australia in the 1970s.  With all due respect to Lyon, Hauritz, Doherty, Beer, Krezja and every other bloke who rolls their fingers over the ball in their delivery stride, they should not play for Australia just because they are desperate for a spin bowler.  Unless they can actually move the ball off the pitch, they should be helping Phil Hughes wash windows at traffic lights, or find themselves a new cricket skill.

My prediction:  Australia will battle for two days.  Unfortunately, the game goes for five days and South Africa will battle harder and will get their first win at the Gabba since the dawn of man by over 100 runs.  Warner and Quiney to go cheaply, Morkel to take a shit-tin of wickets.  Third ball duck to Wade.  Duminy will be dropped twice as the Australian fielders make sure he gets enough time to bat himself back into form.  Clarke to get out just before lunch/tea/end of play and Hussey to be removed shortly after the resumption following lunch/tea/start of play.  Plenty of good sorts in the crowd, awkwardness from the Channel 9 commentary team discussing the new series of Big Bang Theory and Hugh Jackman to make a guest appearance at some stage.    

Making sure the camera picks up his latest bat sponsor just before he gets out like the massive girl that he is.


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