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Here we go …. 1 v 3

Sorry that I have left this for so long, but seriously guys, living over in the uk “cricket” has become a bad word.

The South African’s made the English boys look like they didn’t know how the game should be played, and they revelled in it.

In all fairness the Springboks were pretty dam good, in fact are pretty dam good.

In the lead up to this series I read a lot, I read that we had a dosier (and then that we didn’t), that Punter and Hussey were the ones to steer us through, that we had the bowling line up to do the business, that we didn’t.

Over here, there is an absolute disbelief that Australia could beat the South Africans … I may have take advantage of those odds (or not – mum) … 

And yet …

One hour in, what can you say … Two things jump out – Why the F&*k did Clarke waste that first review?  The keeper was about four minutes behind the appeal, surely he was the first person to ask?

Why did Sids bowl first change? The bloke looked like he would leak wickets when he came on.

Otherwise – I pray that those watching don’t have to listen to my childhood keeping hero speak .. he make me wish I was a leg spinner!

Enjoy all … I’m back – the cricket is on!

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Sleepy ..

So, I was falling asleep last night and listening to TalkSport (the equivalent to SEN for the Australian readers), and I was feeling a little melancholic about the world of sport.

People were talking down the Olympics, because Bolt might be challenged and the roads were a nightmare, our Sally lost her first race in a while, there’s no football (soccer) going on – so 90% of the chat is about transfers (trading except with money and arguments), the English are the pre-emptive number one in all forms of the game in cricket, Mark Webber is about to be screwed over by Red Bull Racing again … it was horrible, a nightmare  …

Then I fell asleep … and woke up … and couldn’t for the life of me remember what the problem was.

In two short weeks the Olympics start … Morgan Stanley are completely over the top in their assessments of Australia’s medal prospects … for the record I am predicting 32 in total, with 9 golds (I hope I’m wrong) … but at the end of the day, who cares.  Can Phelps take another 7?  Seriously, 6, 8, then 7 would be amazing.  Will Bolt be the first bloke to ever hold onto the 100m title?  Will his buddy, his training partner, the kid he pulled from obscurity, be the one to stop him?  I don’t know, and frankly don’t care, I’m just looking forward to watching it play out.

Also been paying attention to the F1 a bit lately … Alonso looks the goods (again), and to be honest, until recently I have never liked the guy, but there is something about him this year that I am warming to.  And how good has Webber been?  If Red Bull stuff him like they did in 2010 again, I think I will have to give up Yeager!  I also feel a little sorry for Hamilton this year, he has been doing everything right, and been hit hard by errors by his team and other drivers – or more specifically Maldenado.  What the hell is his story.  If he wasn’t bringing the oil state money of his home country, I really can’t see how he could keep his “super licence” … but enough of that.

Walcott to Man U … you heard it hear first – okay the transfer talk is starting to infect me …

Talking about some real sports, how good were the Pies on Saturday, an absolute cruise fest after the first quarter.  Can’t wait for the Hawks this weekend!  The Swans look pretty good, and it is a weird ladder this late into the season.  

In terms of cricket, I feel really sorry for Mark Boucher, what a horrific crazy injury.  He deserved to finish on his own terms, but that’s not life or cricket is it?  Surprisingly, as was pointed out by my dad, this injury will possibly help SA by allowing them to play an extra batsman.  Because, given the conditions over here this year, it is an absolute bowlers paradise … and the SA bowlers will give the English boys a run for their money.  I feel that England will win the series, but can also see a 2-2 result.

The test rankings came out this week … Australia in second place?  Now I can’t wait to see the boys move back to the glory days of the 90s, but we are certainly not the second best side just now.  At a push I would accept third, but realistically we are a fair way behind England, SA … then there is Sri Lanka, Pakistan (who we actually haven’t beaten in a while) and India at home … fair hurdle if you ask me.  I’ll take second, but at the same time am really hopeful that the recent ridiculous ODI series and the Australia A tour to England will help us to be able to properly prepare for next year … otherwise, it could be a repeat of the summer of Ponting (‘s demise).

Well that’s my ramblings based on a pre-sleep dream.  Will try to write more frequently and on different topics …

Cheers,

Rusty

PS – MLB is getting interesting again … got to love a 162 game season!

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Thanks for nothing Sri Lanka …

I woke up this morning with the completely unoriginal idea of discussing England’s 4 losses on the trot (excuse the pun).  I was going to talk about the garbage that was heaped on India when last English summer, as the number one test team in the world, lost 4 matches in a row in England.  There was rampant triumphantism and a hell of a lot talk about the fact that they were an undeserving number one team.  It was unfortunate behaviour by the press and supporters alike, and unfair.  India have since continued the losing streak and fallen down the table.  It happens when your best players are mid-to-late 30-somethings.

In the meantime, this English team, the current number one ranked test cricket side have lost 4 matches in a row overseas.  And not to the next best thing, but to Pakistan.  Pakistan always have the ability to pull the mercurial effort out of the bag, but 3-0 over England, on a neutral territory it must be added, was a very long way from an possibility before the first test, let alone expected.

Then they lost to a rebuilding young Sri Lanka.

Was anyone piling on the pressure to anywhere near the same degree as India suffered last year?  Are they ****!  This is the best team on the planet, playing on unfriendly sub-continental pitches.  It’s really not their fault, they are pretty dam good, the conditions were against them, the umpires, the pitches, did I mention the conditions?

I was really hoping that they would be on the way to a fifth straight loss, and Strauss would be facing some of the criticisms thrown at Ponting.  Unfortunately they played pretty well today.  And if they get through the match and steal a win (which is highly likely), all will be forgiven.

I realise that my test watching memory only goes back to the late 80’s … 1988/89 to be exact.  I do remember being interested in the odd match before that, but that series against the Windies was when a young boy’s love affair with the national game really too root.

That said, in all that time, I really don’t recall Australia ever losing 4 test matches in a row.  3 once, I think, definitely 2, but never 4.  When they were the number one team in the world a single victory – even on the subcontinent – was usually greeted with surprise, or a least bitter disappointment.  When Ponting was leading a bunch of under performing blokes in a team rapidly descending to the depths of the abysmal, they still didn’t capitulate as often and as embarrassingly (the 52 against South Africa and loss to New Zealand notwithstanding).  But hey, what are you going to say?

Looking forward to a weekend of the “retribution” Masters tournament, test cricket, a bit of AFL and even some English Premier League, plus some chocolate.

Who could ask for more?

All I need now is for some kind of political scandal and the week would be perfect!

Rusty

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Who else goes?

What a day – hard to say if Australia were terrible or New Zealand that good.  But they are now on a par with South Africa!!

So, Punter is gone then.

At least that is the headlines are saying in all the Australian papers this morning.

I noticed that there wasn’t much of a mention of Hussey, Khawaja, Haddin or Clarke.

Hughes going back to Shield cricket is a given (or the Big Bash – whatever … nice move Cricket Australia putting first-class cricket on hold for most, if not all, of THE premier test series of the summer – real clever – but that is a discussion for another day), as far as the press goes, Ponting is the only other one with his head on the block.

He should be discussed, no doubt.  But surely it is not an absolute given.

Huss has looked very ordinary and unlikely to score.  He got a good one that kept low, but still – he should be discussed.

Clarke is obviously safe (even though he shouldn’t be).  Clarke is a real negative whenever Australia need someone to stand up.  He consistently fails when Australia really needs him.  He was rubbish all last summer and was rewarded with the Captaincy rather than being dropped as he should have been.  Even when he did actually score some runs last year, he went out at the VERY end of the day AGAIN to a stupid shot, then apologised for not walking (wanker) and exposed a massively out of form Marcus North just as we were looking like we might be able to hold on for the rain in Adelaide.

Usi shouldn’t be batting at 3, that’s for sure.  Perhaps slotting in at 5 might work for him, but I’m not convinced he is good enough just yet.

Haddin, despite the recent decent innings is a joke.  He was dropped in the slips, then proceeds to do EXACTLY THE SAME THING next ball.  His glove work, although in fairness slightly improved this series, isn’t good enough for him to keep out better keepers who have similar batting ability.  Obviously Payne should get a go, but he is injured.  Wade from Victoria has earned his shot.

Anyway, enough from me – it was a good result for New Zealand, they deserved to win this game (or Australia deserved to lose, whichever).

I hope sanity is preserved, and all the guys who have been struggling are discussed, and the easy decision to ditch Hughes and Ponting is not the only thing on their minds.

Rusty

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Hope springs youthful?

 

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.

Rusty.

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This has nothing to do with sport (but Go PIES!!)

This is one of those things, where in one sense, I don’t want to write about it because it gives the author some sort of credibility, but at the same time, he is such an ignoramous contemptuous twat.  He doesn’t even realise it either, as evidenced by his very “defence” where he confirms Justice Bromberg’s actual judgement.

Regardless as to whether you share his views or not, it cannot be (successfully) argued that Andrew Bolt is anything but a divisive character, who loves to both incite and invite controversy.

Yesterday, after a long legal battle, Justice Bromberg of the Federal Court of Australia delivered his judgement that Andrew Bolt had breached the Racial Discrimination Act 1974, which Bolt (and others – most spectacularly members of the Federal Liberal party, who have set up sites online for people to donate to his appeal fund) claim to mean freedom of speech in Australia has now died.

Professor Spencer Zifcak, a man I once studied under and whom I both respect and admire for his academic intellect, in his role as head of Liberty has surprisingly supported the decision.  Prior to it being delivered, Liberty had enunciated, numerously, their concerns about the effect of the implied right to free speech – we don’t have a “first amendment” in Australia, just interpretations made by the (High) Court over time to ensure that we have this right through the common law.  This right is not all encompassing as it appears to be in America, where just about anything can be justified by “free speech”.

Judge Bromberg perhaps deals with this most succinctly with his line about Bolt’s articles being “of public interest, rather than in the public interest.”  This rings very true with me, particularly having closely followed the “super injunction” debate (judicial and political) in my adopted land here in the UK this year.

My bet is that the Professor has actually read the entire judgement in reaching this conclusion.  Something that perhaps Bolt should do also, given his article this morning only quoting the head notes.

From Bolt’s article in today’s (tomorrow’s ??) Herald-Sun, it is clear that he just doesn’t get it.  He truly thinks he is the “conservative voice of the people” and he has been wronged.  While I have never been a fan of Andrew Bolt, in fact have despised the guy’s articles and opinions for as long as I have read them, I have never had a problem with him putting them out there (except when they are racially/religiously offensive).

My main problem with Bolt has always been his lax approach to research and facts.  I was sick of watching him on Sunday mornings on the insiders shouting down people with valid arguments with “the facts”.  Not once (admittedly when I could actually be bothered to do so) did Bolt’s “facts” actually stack up.

And this basically is what has so upset me about his response to a 175(ish) page judgement, he has taken the absolute minimum, and ridiculed those comments by His Honour in isolation, to try to make his point about how poor white male is once again a victim of the system.

I’ve spent enough time on this, there are more important things to do (such as stocking up for a long night on Friday … let’s be honest, I’m not getting up at 4am to watch my boys, I’m staying up all night), but I think this one line in Bolt’s “defence” article sums the guy up:

“I also made mistakes, Justice Bromberg said, although none seemed to me to be of consequence.”

None seemed to me to be of consequence.

Says it all really Andrew.

For those of you who want to make your own mind up, Bolt’s article can be found at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/silencing-me-impedes-unity/story-e6frfifx-1226150249249

While Justice Bromberg’s decision can be found here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2011/1103.html

Oh, and as a final aside, it is lovely to read about how he has spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” on his defense – might be a little more factual to mention that HWT (the owners of the Herald-Sun) are the ones to have ponied up the cash … oh, but I guess that is one of those inaccuracies that is inconsequential isn’t it Andrew.

Would love to hear your thoughts – especially you Farmboy!

Back to sport tomorrow!

Rusty

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Oh FFS!

I can’t be bothered …

Yay!  Australia has climbed up to fourth on the test standings …

I’ve got nothing – Michael Clarke, if you can’t be bothered trying to win the game, I can’t be bothered writing about it.

Pull your head in Clarkey and skipper like an Aussie – seriously with 35 overs to go (even 40), do you not think you might have been a chance in a twenty:20 style or ODI match up?  Was making sure we didn’t lose that important?  If Tubby and Tugga were dead, they’d be spinning in their graves.  As it stands, I expect plenty of character assignations instead.

Huss was good (again).

That’s all I’ve got – sorry.

Go Pies!!

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