August 2009
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Jrod: Australia suffering India déjà vu

August 3rd, 2009 by Jrod in England, Test cricket, The Ashes


Australia came up with a plan to beat South Africa, choke them (not a World Cup joke). It worked. South Africa lost two Tests at home without ever scoring at better than three an over.  They were completely suffocated.

Then Australia came to England and threw that plan out the window. It appears their new plan is to ball so many hittable balls that the English will be tired and eventually play a stupid shot.

It is a variant on the rope-a-dope boxing tactic. It could work if a) the Australian batsmen make 600 b) they English batsmen don’t work it out c) if the planet starts rotating around the moon and not the sun.

England have scored at better than four an over in every innings except the one they played for a draw. This Test they managed to do it without KP, and with Ian Bell.

Andrew McDonald has not played a Test in this series and yet he was the major cog of the defensive strategy that beat South Africa. Stuart Clark has also not played a Test yet and he is Australia’s best defensive bowler.

Instead Australia have persisted with their two South Africa destroyers, one of which has taken two-and-a-half Tests to find his radar and the other who has lost his luck and his ability to slow down the scoring (A curse of writing for TWC perhaps?).

This tour is much more representative of their tour of India. Bringing in players to plug gaps and ignoring players who could make a difference.

Even though it has appeared successful in this match, Shane Watson’s selection as an opening batsman was as sensible as picking Cameron White as a frontline spinner. Neither player had ever really had first class experience in the jobs.  It came from a mid-tour freak out.

Watson could easily bat at four, replacing a man who remembers what runs are, but not exactly what they look like. Hussey has hit less Test centuries in the last 18 months than Hughes has in his five Tests.

Whether the panic brought on the high run-rates or vice versa is still unknown, but one thing is for sure, Australia need England to lose a Test, as they look unable to win one on their own.

Jrod is an Australian blogger, and now author. His book The Year Of The Balls 2008: A Disrespective is available now

Posted in England, Test cricket, The Ashes | No Comments »

Jrod: Edgbaston doesn’t need cricket

August 3rd, 2009 by Jrod in Test cricket, The Ashes


I grew up in Melbourne, so I know what a party ground looks like. At a one-day match one day Mark Ealham tried to pull McGrath and top edged it for six. The crowd of 75,000 didn’t notice. They were too busy watching people get thrown out and trying to start a Mexican wave. Edgbaston is something else though.

When I got to Edgbaston on Saturday there was never very much chance of play. At Melbourne everyone would filter out to pubs outside the ground. At Edgbaston there was about 35 games of wet cricket being played.  People found shelter and beer ensuring a good day.

The best game I saw was at the end of the day, a combination of weird French chefs, scary assed clowns and Dame Ednas. The pitch kept a bit low, and the standard of cricket suffered accordingly but it was the closest thing to a cricket match people got to see.  People definitely wanted to watch it. Hundreds. It was almost impossible to walk past and not watch.  One of the clowns had a beautiful cover drive.

The drunks, even the non-playing ones, provided even more entertainment. One guy who appeared to have one of Stuart Broad’s shirts on was stumbling around for 30 minutes while a whole tents worth of people watched and cheered on.

At one stage I drank a pint poured by Mike Gatting as part of some sort of promotion.  That is something I will tell my grandkids about, and they won’t care.

There was also vomit, lots of vomit. After hearing from TWC’s Gideon Haigh about a 10-minute vomit episode he saw (and couldn’t walk away from), I had my own.  In the toilets a middle aged man stormed in, wearing a nice suit and stripey shirt combination and then vomited all the way up and down the cubicle door before going in to finish off.

Even 90 minutes after the day was called off people were still hanging around, even though the bars were closed. Super heroes, cartoon characters, women with huge fake breasts and adam’s apples, and pirates.  I doubt I have ever been anywhere with as many bad costumes as this ground had.

As far as days go with no cricket, this was a great one, beer, comedy, and vomit.  It was worth me getting up before 7am.

Jrod is an Australian blogger, and now author. His book The Year Of The Balls 2008: A Disrespective is available now

Posted in Test cricket, The Ashes | No Comments »

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