It was absolutely fantastic to see the Gabba in full swing last night, and a pretty damn good crowd in for a Thursday against New Zealand!
Things we learnt:
- Never EVER go gambling with Michael Clarke – yet to win a toss as test skipper.
- Clarke should take himself out of the slips and return to point/cover, or even mid-off given the talent in those areas.
- Clarke can actually be innovative with field placings (even if there was an element of chasing the shot, and some guys being sort of in the right position, but not quite right) and bowling changes.
- The second hour was ALL about the debutants.
- I would not like to open the batting against Dandenong just now.
- Siddle is under-rated.
- All three quicks have the ability to bowl seriously fast, and with movement (in these conditions at least).
- The “new” Mitch can bowl. Too early to say, but his first couple of spells reminded me of a young Wasim with more bounce.
- Pattinson has the right attitude, even though some good balls were finding their way to the fence.
- David Warner is exciting to watch in the field – yes, fielding can be exciting.
- McMillan is fun to watch.
- Vettori on the other hand is not – in fact he is almost as painful to watch batting as Alistair Cook.
- Lyon has put in a transfer request to move to Queensland.
- Khawaja has never fielded at short-leg before today (and if he has, he hasn’t worked out the right place to stand against the quicks – even if he did do a pretty reasonable job overall).
- The Channel 9 commentary team, especially Nicholas, Slater, Healy, Greig and Chappelli, are single-handedly engaging in open warfare against cricket and Australia – if they don’t kill test cricket and tourism, nothing will (although for Nicholas, this may actually be on purpose).
- Richie Benaud still has it.
Things we didn’t learn:
- Can this bowling attack keep it up all day, in the heat, in conditions more favourable to batting against better opposition.
- When Australia will stop dropping catches that should be held – takes me back to the first day against the Windies at the Gabba in 1988/89 when we dropped 9 catches for the day (13 for the innings) and got smashed … the cliché about catches is a cliché for a reason.
Anyway, overall it was an enjoyable night, even if I am knackered today – looking forward to a few more sleepless nights.