All the chat today is going to be about James Pattinson (and possibly Phil Hughes). I’m not entirely sure that it should be. He makes this test cricket look pretty easy does Pattinson – two five-fors in his first three test innings. The first bloke to take successive five-fors in his first two test matches for Australia since Rodney Hogg.
I guess if he ends up with 123 wickets at 28ish he will be happy (I would be, but then I bowl very slow trundlers at a pinch and will be lucky to pick up 123 wickets before I finish playing at the age of 70), but probably not. And I sincerely hope that he doesn’t crack the sads after being no-balled, bowl a beam ball at the Indians, kick down the stumps and storm off the field! Although, I kind of do, just to see if Clarke can handle that as well as Kim Hughes did.
Pattinson bowled well, very well. On a hat-trick going into the second dig, twice taking two wickets in an over. Young guy who hasn’t broken down yet (I’ll get to you Billy), but he isn’t the story.
Peter Siddle is the story.
I’ve always liked Sids, as is obvious from some previous posts on this blog.
In the first session he was metronomic, it was awesome to watch. The kind of awesome that wakes you up and makes you howl for more test cricket (for a brilliant take on cricket administration and the ridiculous proliferation of the shorter forms of the game at the expense of the best and most important form – talking to you South Africa (among others), this piece is a MUST read http://cricketwithballs.com/2011/12/02/occupy-lords/). Haddin dropped another catch of Sids, he just turned around and did it all again and again.
Clarke was probably unwise to only give him 6 overs in the morning session – but then, when you only bowl 24 (what a disgrace) there aren’t too many more to give.
It seemed to me, that every time the camera panned out, Sids was doing what all kids are taught to do, he was making some noise, clapping his hands, getting excited and just generally being intense. He also spent a heap of time with the two young kids. He was referred to as the “nominal leader of the attack” regularly by the Channel 9 guys* (I can’t believe that I would actually prefer to be listening to the Sky commentators). Baloney. He is leading the attack with aplomb, style, VB and menace … and at a very tidy pace (yeah, I’m talking to you farmboy).
It was great, he was great, Australia were great.
Okay, I’m getting Bill Lawrie carried away here, Australia were far from great, they were good and I enjoyed watching them – but it was a big day for me yesterday. I got to watch Virender Sehwag make a double ton in a ODI … a DOUBLE f****** TON – with time to spare. It was effortless, it was beautiful, it was glorious, it was exciting, it was UNBELIEVABLE, it was Sehwag.
It was so good, I grabbed random people off the street, non-cricket people, people who had never heard of cricket. And I sat them on my couch, pulled out some brews and forced them to watch it.
They were grateful.
Back to Hobart – New Zealand all out, Hughes back in the shed, rain and a green deck, this should be fun!
On an aside, how silly did Billy McDermott sound coming back at Steve Waugh the other day. It had the feeling of a kid who was caught spooning Milo into his mouth under the table’s protestations of innocence. “Nah, I didn’t. They do bowl enough in the nets, they do! So Ner Steve, you don’t know stuff because I used to be a better than average bowler, and you don’t know anything!”
This isn’t really worth discussing in detail. Waugh is right. Anyone watching the game can see that.
Seriously, one of them is a failed property/pension scammer, the other spends his spare time helping to feed poor kids in India.
The latter was also one of the best cricketers to pull on the baggy green ever. How about taking on board the message, seeing whether there is anything that can be taken on board and implemented rather than having a strop? Kind of explains why Border got so annoyed with him in the ’93 Ashes series (although I do accept that the whole twisted bowel thing probably contributed to his a-hole-ness then … what’s the excuse now?).
* This is getting dull, it is dull for me to write it, so it must be for anyone silly enough to be reading this – but I have to say it. Mark Nicholas is a complete tool. Why does he keep getting invied back to commentate on Australian TV? Is it because we can’t afford someone with actual talent, or who actually watches the game? Is it his accent? Does the posh preppy English school boy sound somehow add legitimacy to the whining drawl of Healy and Chappel? Last week, Ricky Ponting got a touch and go LBW (to be fair, I thought it was out immediately, so I have no complaints about the umpire giving it out). It turned out that the ball was just clipping leg stump on review. As the umpire had said it was out, it stayed out (weirdly, if the umpire had said not out, it would have stayed as not out as well – a strange anomaly of this DRS system – surely it is either hitting or it isn’t?) – okay, no complaints there – other than I would have loved to see Punter smash a ton, rather than Mr 4 chances. No complaints from Mr Nicholas either, more criticism about Ponting falling over his front pad as I recall. Last night, Ross Taylor had a similar decision which Nicholas dismissingly stated was an incorrect decision that “stayed with the umpire, or with Australia in Australia really, depending how you look at it.” His voice is annoying, his inaccuracies are annoying, that he is watching a different match to everyone else is annoying, but his hypocrisy is just plain outrageous.