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Daniel Brigham: Australia's comedy attack

December 11th, 2009 by Daniel Brigham in International

The Australians, as a nation, like a drink and a joke and most people love them for it. It’s far more fun to sit with the Aussie Fanatics than the Barmy Army. Trust me, I’ve done both.

Yet, over the last 15 years, their cricket team has failed to reproduce this spirit. Aside from the snarling comedy of Shane Warne, we’ve had to deal with the humourless Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden, Damien Martyn, Justin Langer, Glenn McGrath … this list could end up longer than Tiger Woods’ little black book.

Yet, there is hope. Once, the Australian pace attack of McGrath, Michael Kaprowicz, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie inspired as much frivolity as snapping your Achilles. Now, Australia say the future is the comedy threesome of Peter Siddle, Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson, plus the straight man Ben Hilfenhaus.

Siddle and Bollinger could well form the angriest, loudest, stroppiest opening attack known to cricket. When Siddle, esteemed TWC blogger and lovely man, gets his warpaint on he turns into a growling, howling cartoon monster. Bollinger has described himself as “loud and obnoxious” and, given recent evidence, who are we to disagree? He looks like a man who when not playing cricket is drinking and talking about manly sport in dusty, dingy bars. He’s even the shape of a bottle of beer, although perhaps less so than he did when he was bald.

Then there’s Johnson, who, as has been stated on this blog before, turns into Derek Zoolander when he does his ‘fearsome’ stare at the batsman after he’s just sent a bouncer hurtling down the leg-side. It’s not fearsome, but it is funny.

You have to feel sorry for Hilfenhaus. He’s played only nine Tests yet already looks world-weary, and who can blame him? He’s also their best bowler – the one who makes the attack tick and work as a unit.

This new-found comedy nature of the Australian attack is great. It will make watching them a far more painless experience than in the past. Batsmen will also suffer: they’ll be laughing so much at the bowlers’ absurdity that they might just lose their wicket.

Daniel Brigham is assistant editor of The Wisden Cricketer

Posted in International | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Daniel Brigham: Australia's comedy attack”

  1.   steve says:

    It’s certainly hard to take Sozzle and co. that seriously, but if Mitch can get back into hand-smashing mode again, I’m sure it’ll be smiles all round.

    (There is some suggestion amongst poms that Beauty queen Broad is more fearsome than Mitch … yeah, like, sure)

  2.   Gumbo says:

    Broad would definitely have Mitch in a fight.

  3.   Winsome says:

    Pillow fight maybe.

  4.   Daniel Brigham says:

    Man fight.

  5.   Winsome says:

    But which man are they fighting over?

    Broady would definitely do some eye-scratching for Jimmy.

    And if Mitch dared to steal his blonde highlights bottle, his life wouldn’t be worth living. So yes, Stewy probably would win.

  6.   Vim says:

    It would have looked even funnier with Steve Smith in there.

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