Right then, good work England.
I have already said all I need to about this match over the past couple of days.
Although, I must give a special shout out to Siddle and Haddin for making England wait slightly longer than they expected to, for showing some grit and some fight and for making the hour and a half quite entertaining.
I was not at all impressed with the English team’s en mass sprinkler dance after the match. There was an element of Shane Warne doing that weird “we won the Ashes – ner-ne-ner-ner” gyrating boogie with a stump on the balcony at Trent Bridge in 1997 about the sprinkler dance. At the time, Warne was quite rightly, condemned by media from England and Australia alike. I doubt that will happen to this English team. We are too annoyed at our team, and they are too busy gloating.
The sprinkler dance is a silly team bonding type thing that Swann has been making a YouTube video diary about (and admittedly the original video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnvevEUzWvs) was amusing, but that was more down to the music, to the old fella and Finn confusing the sprinkler with the “giddy up”). Here, it was an unnecessary arrogance, that rubbed salt into the open wound that is Australian cricket.
Don’t those prima donnas know that Victoria is in the middle of a drought? Such mindless sprinkler usage is a breach of the water restrictions – they should all be fined.
Although I could just be bitter about seeing Australia go down by an innings-plus two out of the last three tests.
It seems pretty clear that the selectors won’t change the team for Sydney – well much. Hughes will retain his place – to be honest after Watson tried to ruin his career, I am tempted to give him another shot, but I won’t. The selectors will probably stick with Siddle, Hilfy and Johnson and bring in Beer. They may swap Haddin and Smith in the batting order and will only include Khawaja if Ponting is unfit. Clarke will be the captain if Ponting doesn’t play.
That is what I think the selectors will do – because they are mindless, and boring.
This is what I would do:
If Ponting is fit:
- Shane Watson
- Phil Hughes *
- Ricky Ponting (c)
- Usman Khawaja
- Michael Hussey
- Shaun Marsh
- Brad Haddin
- Nathan Hauritz
- Peter Siddle
- Luke Butterworth
- Chris Swan
- Smith (12th)
* I am only selecting Hughes because I feel bad for him that Watson ran him out – I know this is ridiculous and almost as stupid as the behaviour of selectors, but hey, if they can do it …
If Ponting is not fit, I would either move everyone up one slot and put Smith in at 7, or pick someone else to replace him directly, I don’t know – maybe Cosgrove, because it is nice to think a tubby lad can still play the ultimate form of the game.
I would also give the captaincy to Haddin or Hussey as a one-off.
To quickly explain the quicks/medium-fasts – Johnson is just killing me with his turn up one week, don’t for the next three months thing that he is doing at the moment, so he is gone. Hilfy, who I quite like, is just not looking like taking top order wickets. Butterworth and Swan have been doing well in Shield cricket, and one is a Tasmanian to keep Boonie and Punter happy.
The batting speaks for itself. Personally, I would probably drop Punter down to number 4 or 5, but he just won’t do that, so he gets to stay at 3 in my make-believe team.
What do you think?