Ten balanced and reasoned thoughts on the current state of Australian cricket by two utterly impartial commentators

Yeah, as if.*

  • We’ve got to say, we agree with the general consensus that Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke’s handling of Presentationgate (which is what we assume it’s been named, if not, it’s now Copyright TGECF 2013) was a mite on the draconian side. That said, it’s well worth reading Brydon Coverdale’s article, which tries to set the context in which this decision was taken and, suddenly, it makes more sense. Even so, there were perhaps better, albeit less hilarious, ways of resolving it internally without reducing the assembled mass of the cricketing world to either Force 12 rage (if Australian) or giggling little girls (if everyone else).

  • Shane Watson has understandably been a bit miffed at being ditched by his skipper Clarke for want of a bullet point. Although, as the Australian¬†Daily Telegraph has scurrilously pointed out, their relationship may not be all sweetness and light. Perhaps when Watson returns to the squad, they should get hotel rooms next to each other, because, as they say, that’s when good neighbours become good friends!
  • Until recently, on his Cricinfo player profile, Steven Smith was described as “the most promising Australian spinner since Shane Warne emerged.” It was, admittedly, nearly 3 years out of date, but it’s one of the funniest things we’ve read this week. Since Smith’s bowling efforts in the current Test, which involved flinging pastry products with all the vim and skill of a little old lady of the sort usually seen making, not chucking pies, the Cricinfo staff have clearly decided to eat the humble variety of the aforementioned baked delicacy and withdraw those badly chosen words. They replaced them instead with the comment that “his legspin has taken a definite back seat.” The back seat, that is, of a stretch Humvee, in other words about as far from the driving seat as it is possible to get.
  • No sooner had Brad Haddin been flown in from Australia as cover for the injured Matthew Wade (why would you go on an overseas tour with just the one keeper, by the way?) than he found himself captaining the side by default when Michael Clarke had to go off injured, presumably because this is the first time that most of the rest of the Australian team have actually set foot on a cricket field.
  • Poor Glenn Maxwell** must be feeling a bit left out. A quarter of the original 16-man squad gets dropped in disgrace and he’s the one man left who misses out. It must be pretty lonely, seeing as the others have presumably been sent to sit on the team naughty step and think about what they’ve done. Chin up, though, Glenn, you’ve probably not got much time to feel dejected, what with all those drinks and spare gloves to carry.
  • Speaking of which, here’s one that slipped under our radar – such is the current state of Australian spin bowling that 19 year-old Ashton Agar (as in the jelly), a man who had a sum-total of two first class matches under his belt, had a serious look-in at playing Test cricket after turning out against India A in the Test warm-up. Although expensive, he didn’t exactly get outbowled by Nathan Lyon or Xavier Doherty in that game.
  • Finally on spin, some stats for you (we love a good stat, especially when it makes Australians look bad), Australia have used six spin bowlers in this series who have sent down a combined 201.4 overs, taking 13 wickets at 64.15 and an economy rate of 4.13. Strewth!
  • What a shame it is that Australia are having to resort to foreign players such as Portuguese-born Moises Henriques to fill up their team. Yes, we know he moved to Australia at the age of one, but he’s not really… (THIS SENTENCE WAS UNABLE TO BE FINISHED DUE TO GROSS HYPOCRISY)
  • Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? Michael Clarke’s lightbulb moment was to move himself up to Number 3 to shore up a batting line-up shorn of Watson and Khwaja (we’re well aware of the ridiculousness of the second part of that sentence). Very sensible, you might think. Let’s just say all didn’t quite go according to plan
  • And finally, the piece of commentary we’re most looking forward to come the summer: “Thanks, Aggers, and from the Nursery End it’s going to be Simon Katich returning for his third spell”…

*To those who think we’re gloating, we haven’t forgotten the 1990s, you know.

**We had thought, incorrectly, that the one left over was Mitchell Johnson. Thanks to awbraee for putting us right.

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  1. Erm, sorry, but Mitch was one of the 4 left out due to not doing his lines. Minor point though. I’m not sure what he is doing in the squad either, if you are going to take a fast bowler and not play them, why not a young gun?

    • Ah, good point. I thought the other one was Glenn Maxwell – I’ll update that. He must be feeling pretty hacked off though.

      Can’t understand why they keep picking Johnson. It’s a toss of a coin whether you’re going to get inspired or all over the place.

      • With Maxwell, I think they aren’t picking him because he is a terrible test prospect. Johnson may as well get a game.

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