Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mickey gets the chop

Wow, so much for consistency. I'm truly shocked that Mickey (and bowling coach Vincent Barnes) have been given the boot, with the team just days away from leaving on a tough tour to India.

It seems Mickey has fallen out with some of the senior players, mostly notably Smith, and when you add that to world cup failures and fluffing our lines once we reached the top of the test rankings...well, maybe its not THAT surprising.

On the bright side, my humanitarian nature was already getting ready to offer some Pakistan players a chance to join my backyard cricket league. Now maybe I can get a coach as well.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

JP Duminy - Bowler who can bat a bit

JP Duminy now has a test bowling average of 29.4. That's better than Paul Harris. That's better than Graeme Swann. Better than Flintoff, Kumble, Singh, Lee, Afridi...

That's better than Ajantha F***ing Mendis.

Look out, India, Duminy is coming for you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


On Monday Mickey Arthur said the following:

[quote]"We probably have to gamble because we have to win. So our style of play will be important, our brand will have to be more positive and maybe we'll gamble with the pitch as well."[/quote]

But then today Smith said this:

[quote]"I disagree with people saying we have to gamble. Precision will be the key, we have to get our basics right."[/quote]

Right, got that lads?

Personally, I hope we do gamble. And not just by asking for a grassy pitch or, gasp, going in without a spinner (although recently we've been effectively doing that anyway). No, I want to see some real risk taking.

If we lose the toss, I want Smith to offer Strauss double or nothing if we can toss again. If we bat first I want to see Smith striding in the general direction of the wicket with a blindfold on. When we bowl I want us to start with the same field we had at the end of the first test.

We can do this!

I think I'm suffering from heatstroke.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Graham Onions

Why can we never get that sonofabitch out when it matters? Bah, you know what? As disappointing as that was for a South African fan, the cricket fan in me absolutely loved it. Test cricket at its very best.

Well played, England.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Referral system saves the day

Actually, it might have just saved Daryl Harper's life. Harper's finger went up after a half assed edge down the legside appeal against Ashwell Prince. Prince quickly asked for a referral and was so sure he wasn't out he was actually grinning as he did so.

Replays showed his bat was nowhere near the ball and the decision was overturned. What the replays also showed was that Prince was kinda walking in the direction of the changing rooms directly after the appeal and Harper must have assumed he was walking.

The scary thing is that while it was clearly a misunderstanding, I can't imagine Prince could have talked his way out of it if there wasn't the system in place. In fact, trying to do so would probably have resulted in a huge fine.

I was completely behind the new referral system before this incident but it probably needed a real ridiculous decision to be corrected in order for some of the on-the-fence-ers to see the benefits of the system.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What went wrong?

A year ago things were so bright on the test front. Having beaten Australia and England away. Not to mention a very unlucky drawn series in India. Finally top of the world. Only, it seems we didn't know what to do once there. Being so focused on getting to number 1, its as if once we achieved that lofty goal we said to ourselves "job done".

Say what you want about the Aussies but they ruthlessly pressed their foot down on the rest of the cricketing world for over a decade. They never seemed to think to themselves that they could now ease up.

The word "consistency" was heralded as a big reason why we did so well in 2008. But I wonder now if its that same consistency of selection that is partly to blame for players being too complacent. I mean, Ntini is averaging 57 this year and its clear that he just doesn't have that zip anymore. Yet, Mickey still seems to be behind him - saying today that one should give "iconic players longer to perform because they have earned it and deserve it".

Can you imagine and Aussie selector saying that? Those guys are ruthless. If you perform poorly, cheers buddy.

Thankfully, we're now in a position where we're "chasers" again. It's going to make for an interesting Newlands test match, that's for sure.

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