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Sight Screen

Friday, December 23, 2005

Sense with Simpson

Bobby Simpson's latest column has much fodder for thought (I might fax copies to the national selectors, it'll take their minds off oh okay never mind).
On sledging:
While present-day cricketers promote the need for the spirit of cricket to be adhered to, many of them do not propose to follow in action this norm, which they publicly endorse in words. This, of course, not only includes sledging but excessive appealing, disrespecting the umpiring decisions and using their well-paid, generally ghost-written columns to bait opposition teams and players. I find all of this rather distasteful and not in the better interests of the game. In fact, public criticism of the opposition now seems to be part of the team tactics. All this reminds me of the behaviour of small children and the bravado they use to disguise their own fallibilities.

And then this bit, which brought a grin:
Australia's captain Ricky Ponting shocked me to the core in recent weeks when he declared that the Australian team is now practising as though they were in a match and presented this form of practice as the answer to the problems they had in England. Just how long this form of practice has been going on and who invented it hasn't been announced. Ricky's pronouncements caught me by surprise for when he came into the Australian team, practising what you had to do in a match was the accepted thing.

Why the grin? Was reading where Ponting, all po-faced and serious, spoke of how the Australian team was practicing in simulated match conditions. I mean, what, someone just discovered this? Teams, including our own, have been doing just that for years -- when I read that bit, I thought maybe Ponting was just bored, and playing this inner game where he challenged himself to say the most obvious things in the most suitably serious-seeming fashion without ever cracking a smile.
You mean he was serious? Seriously? NOwonder Simpson's surprised.
And on bowling at the death:
It is crazy the number of times teams score over 300. For some reason, all teams have lost the ability to bowl tight on good wickets either in Tests or ODIs. All we hear these days is that ODI bowlers must aim to pitch it in the blockhole, in other words a yorker. Don't they realise that a yorker is created when a batsman hits over a full toss? That is what it is. Trying to continuously bowl yorkers increases the margin of error and takes out the uncertainty and variety given by bowlers to lull big hitters into making mistakes. The sooner coaches and captains realise this, we will see variety in one-day cricket and that will be a welcome addition.

There's lots more in there, all good stuff -- go check it out.


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