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Sight Screen

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Urn -- Guardian

1. It was natural that Ashley Giles, having copped so much stick for his sudden implosion, would make a point or two in his post-Edgbaston column -- so here it is, with a headline reminiscent of Martin Johnson's famous Can't bat, can't bowl, can't field jibe at Mike Gatting's team. Inter alia, this bit amused me, as indicative of what happens when captains follow the ball, rather than set fields to bowlers and their lines:
Nobody says too much in such circumstances. Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz batted really well and their edges and mishits were falling safely. Vaughanie moved me twice at slip. I was at fourth slip and he switched me to fine gully - the ball flew through fourth, a simple catch, chest high. He moved me back and the ball went straight through fine gully, again exactly where I had been standing. I glanced at Vaughanie and he smiled. Talk all you like about captains' hunches. Sometimes it is just a toss of the coin.

2. Gideon Haigh, in a thoughtful piece, examines the changing face of the Australia-England cricket dynamic
Nonetheless, even before the second Test, watching Australia on this tour has been, at times, a slightly puzzling experience. England's summer mission statement has been pretty clear and simple: "Win the Ashes". Australia's seems to have been more ambiguous: "Yeah, yeah, let's retain the Ashes and all that. But let's become the Chicago Bulls too."
Defeat in a Test by England, as a result, is no longer felt viscerally, which is why Ricky Ponting can talk about the "positives" to emerge from one: all very up-beat and commendably analytical but smacking slightly of psycho-babble. Defeat registers instead as a minor check on the spread of Australianism, a doctrine whose manifest destiny is to rule the earth.

3. Mike Selvey looks at what Kevin Pietersen brings to the England table -- in a word, fearlessness when confronted with the big stage, as exemplified by his batting against Warne in the second innings of the Edgbaston Test.
So he has brought to the England side his flair, an unshakeable belief in his own skills, a considerable team ethic and, just like Andrew Flintoff, chalk to his cheese, an overriding impression that life in the hottest cauldron cricket has to offer is simply a hoot. Two Tests into his career and if people knew no better they would swear he was running the show, be it batting, bounding in at cover, crouching close to wicket or patrolling the boundary. The ball follows him as if trained to do so, and he loves it and the attention it brings.

4. David Hopps looks at two interesting fast bowlers who might win a call up for a Lee-less Australia; Shaun Tait, who was a disaster for Durham, famously going on one occasion 113 in 12 overs; and Shaun Tait, the destroyer of good batting lineups in the last Pura Cup season. Darren Lehmann, whose insightful interventions have added an extra dimension to the Ashes television coverage, sums up Tait's potential this way:
"Shaun's the most exciting quick in Australia," he said. "To take 65 wickets for South Australia is unheard of. He might not have had a great time in Durham but I wouldn't read anything into that. He is a country boy who runs in hard and lets the ball go. He is like Jeff Thomson in that he has a slingy action and you don't get a great sight of the ball. He's up there around Thommo's pace but he doesn't get as much lift off the pitch. And he doesn't know where the ball is going.
"At Old Trafford the old ball can scuff up because the surface is rough and he has the ability to reverse the old ball. If he plays, it won't be boring, that's for sure."

1 Comments:

  • Help me Dude, I think I'm lost..... I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him in a car lot yesterday, which is really strange because the last time I saw him was in the supermarket. No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender". He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a San Diego cosmetic surgery doctor ,to fit into those blue suede shoes of yours. But Elvis said in the Ghetto nobody can afford a San Diego plastic surgery doctor. Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger. Then I'm gonna go round and see Michael Jackson and we're gonna watch a waaaay cool make-over show featuring some Tijuana dentists on the TV in the back of my Hummer. And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . . "You give me love and consolation,
    You give me strength to carry on " Strange day or what? :-)

    By Blogger Hoodia, at 02:20  

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