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Sight Screen

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Urn -- Times

1. An interesting graphic, here -- Anatomy of an Aussie cricketer.
2. Geoffrey Dean examines the Old Trafford track, and figures it should help the home attack.
Peter Marron, the Lancashire groundsman, has prepared a rock-hard surface that he does not expect to turn significantly before the fourth or fifth days. “You take one look at that pitch and bat,” Marron said, predicting that whoever wins the toss will not hesitate. If Warne and MacGill — assuming both are selected — will relish the extra bounce, so will the England pace quartet.

3. Simon Barnes examines England's decade-long drive to pattern itself on Australian cricket; you will see in it curious parallels with what India has begun to try.
Turning into Australia has been the England masterplan. Why not? Every painter wants to be Vincent van Gogh without the sad bits, so England cricket has tried to be like Australia without the sad bits.

In context of much that has been said, more written, about India's lack of self-confidence, this bit stands out:
But above all, it is the Australian attitude that England have sought to steal, the notion that nothing is compromised in the pursuit of excellence and that when it comes to matchplay, you play with your guts on show and you play to win. Above all — and this is the really difficult bit — you expect to win.
This business of expecting to win was at the heart of Australia’s extraordinary fightback from a situation in which all was apparently lost. Even when it was absurd to continue, they believed that they could win. And they near as damn it did.

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