July 2009
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King Cricket: Beware the cricketer you can't recognise

July 31st, 2009 by Alex Bowden in England, Test cricket, The Ashes

It’s like they always say: beware the Australian cricketer you don’t actually recognise and the other one who you’d pretty much forgotten about because you didn’t pay that much attention to him in the first place because he was injured about 95 percent of the time. Yes, they do say that and they say it for a reason.

Shane Watson’s come into the Australia Test team with something of a reputation as an opening batsman - a reputation as a crap opening batsman - but he’s already made some runs. Graham Manou is so anonymous we only found out our first fact about him yesterday: he’s a better keeper than Haddin. Shortly afterwards, we found out our second: he goes out with Aussie middle-distance runner, Tamsyn Lewis. These pair (Watson and Manou, not Manou and Lewis) have been largely overlooked by the British cricket media, but you might be surprised and alarmed to hear that this doesn’t in any way ensure that they won’t perform.

Measured purely in column inches, Australia’s danger men are Phil Hughes and Mitchell Johnson. One’s been dropped and the other’s so short of rhythm he makes a scratched Enya CD sound like Funkadelic. Media attention does not necessarily tally with the level of threat. For the record, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke can all bat reasonably well. There is an outside chance that they will put together some decent scores. They aren’t quite so exciting, because we know what to expect from them. We know to expect quite a few runs. Watson and Manou might chip in too.

King Cricket blogs at www.kingcricket.co.uk. He is a cult figure in the world of cricket blogs and was TWC’s first Best-of-blogs winner in April 2008.

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