Sunday, January 24, 2010

Off to the SCG today

And I'm going to be doing my patriotic duty by cheering against Ponting, as usual. However, Pakistan better turn up, because I will be very, very pissed off if I have to pay $85 to watch Australia win. Especially if the win is orchestrated by Ricky himself, or the world's biggest bogan Cameron White.

I'm off to pack the sandwiches and organise the water. Hopefully it doesn't rain.

Friday, January 15, 2010

REVEALED: England players are Nelson's men in disguise

I've been aware of this since the 2005 Ashes and my first view of the lad who claims his name is Ian Bell (fake name if I ever saw one, by a lazy imposter who can't be bothered with more letters) but I've kept it a secret. Until now. The England cricket team has been infiltrated by Napoleonic British officers and crew, in an attempt to channel some of the glory of the Battle of Trafalgar into a series win worthy of an open-top bus parade to Trafalgar Square.

Here it is, for the first time - Nelson's men in whites. Or at least Forester's Nelson's men in whites:


Just like Bell can't score a century without someone else in the team doing it first, the sweet-natured Kennedy doesn't do well in battle unless Hornblower's around to save the day. When Midshipman Simpson bullies the young Kennedy, he suffers from fits, echoing Bell's averse reaction to hearing the name Shane Warne.


One scruffy, frizzy-haired, rat-chewing Yorkshireman. One scruffy, frizzy-haired Yorkshireman who may or may not chew rats (I don't know, but I should keep an eye out). If Sidebottom is anything like Styles, he's loyal, a bit of a rogue and slightly useless.


Despite their being a slight age difference in these photos, Matthews and Colly have a lot in common. Gritty, always willing to take one for the team and yet forever keeping a low profile when the cameras are around, you can imagine that Matthews favourite stroke with the oar was definitely the nurdle.


Both Bush and Vaughan were men who showed attention to detail and kept a cool head in battle, while their more brash colleagues took centre stage (not always in a positive way). They both had receding hairlines and semi-mullets, and spent time campaigning in the West Indies, but somehow I can't imagine Bush toting a designer manbag, although that might have been because he couldn't afford one after paying for silver shoe-buckles.


Excessive dark locks, thick black eyebrows, facial structure, ears, nose, mascara... there is no doubt that Alastair Cook is Hornblower in whites. As it seems that the English cricket team are determined to shape this young man as a captain, I think that England fans can relax in the knowledge that the team is in competent hands. As long as he doesn't get seasick, that is.


I spy Andy Flower in need of a hair transplant, and Luke Wright. Or is it Freddie?

Never leave out the onions!

Graham Onions really is like onions. That wonderful bulb is almost always on hand to rescue a lacklustre recipe from tasting like wet sawdust, and likewise Onions is usually there for England, rescuing them from lacklustre performances that leave them floundering in the dust. However, Onions (of any kind) was left out of this game, and consequently England were out for 180 and a barely-fit Sidebottom really isn't looking threatening at all.

Never leave out the Onions. And if England live to fight another day, they must remember that Onions can provide much more flattering headlines for them than a hairy Yorkshireman whose name suggests that he has his anatomy all mixed up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No I was not clobbered to death by my irate countrymen...

They just seem to have reduced my internet speed to prevent my anti-Australian-cricket blogging. It is currently running about as fast as Inzamam-ul-Haq but should be back to usual speeds when the match starts.

Kamran Akmal has been dropped. Now he knows how the ball feels.

Friday, January 8, 2010

England, my dear England

Could you please stop doing this to me? I know you're trying to keep Test cricket alive, and you're doing a great job of it, but you'll run out of fans pretty quickly because we'll all be dead from heart attacks. Does it have to be nine down and Onions or Monty in every time? Can't you keep these performances for special occasions, rather than making them part of your repertoire?

By the way, if I was going to back any man to face the most balls in the innings in trying to eke out a draw, the last man I would have said would be Bell. I would have said Onions over Bell. Even Prior. But Belly it was - 218 balls for 76 runs and he proved that he's not always a completely useless bunny. Collingwood I expected to stick around, it's his role to rescue England from final innings collapses.

And Steyn. WAG. His bowling yesterday was proof that he is indeed the best quick bowler in the world.

Now, off to the Wanderers, and hoping for a nice, comfortable England win or draw. Even a nice, comfortable South African win. Anything but a final day stress-a-thon, please...

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I really can't say what I'm thinking, or I'll put the mockers on England. Any real blogging will be done after the match - I'm still feeling the trauma of Sydney.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Get some close fielders in, Radley

Strauss thinks that he'll somehow get the South Africans out by boring them into mad batting. He obviously has never watched a Jacques Kallis innings. Stop giving them easy singles, Straussy - England need wickets, and fast.

My man AB de Villiers is in at the moment, but I hope he gets out for nothing. England comes first.

My plan for today

After two days of very tight cricket between England and South Africa, the English bowlers did what we've been kinda expecting them to do all series and completely forgot what a good area was. They should ask Shamone Jardin - Kallis showed her exactly where it was down in Melbourne and while she may not have given the impression of being fascinated, she surely would have retained the information better than Jimmy, Broady and the Onions. Thankfully my man Swanny was a threat throughout the day and claimed both South African wickets to fall.

Anyway, where it all leaves us is with South Africa having a massive lead of 330 with only two wickets in the shed, Graeme Smith with an unbeaten century and Jacques Kallis cruising along as he has all series. However, they haven't banked on my powers upsetting their day today because they are foolish enough to not know who I am. I am proposing eight quick wickets in the first hour or so, England coming in to bat on what is a road as soon as the first half of the morning session is over, the South African bowlers all mysteriously coming down with food poisoning during the lunch break and Strauss and Pietersen working their way to getting England a resounding victory on day five.

Sounds like a plan to me.


If you want to read about who won the SCG Test, go find some other blog.

I'm off to smash windows. If I meet Jesse Ryder, I'll get his autograph.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Andrew Strauss, get a third man in

Right now.

Wow, he did it - just as I wrote it. Says a lot for demands over requests. Therefore I might also say, "England bowlers, get some wickets NOW!"

Let's see if that works...

This better bloody go as expected!

On the page, it all looks rosy. Australia are leading Pakistan by a piddly margin of 80 runs on a pitch that is slowing by the hour with only two wickets in hand. I should be guaranteed a sound night's sleep (once I've finished with the match in South Africa at least).

Except for one thing. Michael Hussey. After spending the first part of his career looking like the new Bradman and the second looking like the new Hughes (Philip), Muss seems to have found some balance. He no longer makes bowlers cower at his invincibility, but neither is he the walking wicket of the past few seasons. I am still scarred by his late-wicket partnerships with Stuart Clark and Glenn McGrath, both who defended rather less competently than Siddle can. We must not - I repeat must not - have that kind of thing happen again, or I will cry. Nobody wants me to cry, do they?

Mike Hussey does.


PS. Meanwhile, Daryl Harper has done something completely expected and made a dreadful decision over at Sahara Park. Actually, had it not been for the UDRS (and a successful appeal by Prince) that decision might have sat alongside Steve Bucknor's not-out verdict in Sydney as a decision that sparked a diplomatic incident. Only I don't really think South Africans go in for diplomatic incidents these days. The ball was about as close to the bat as David Warner is to Test cricket.

The bell tolls...

Yes, such a predictable title. Sorry. But it's past 1 in the morning here, and Ian Bell has just missed another opportunity to prove that his box isn't empty. Now it's down to the questionable batting skills of Matt Prior and Stuart Broad, and that result of a mating between awesomeness and hilarity, Graeme Swann (who I'm backing to get a century here and save England's blushes). Good to see Steyn and Morkel bowling well though.

As for the other match happening. Firstly, 127. No more needs to be said about the Australian first innings, aside from "Mohammad Asif is bloody brilliant". Secondly, Pakistan are two hundred runs ahead. I just hope that in a few days time I'm not saying "but they were two hundred runs ahead!"

The joys of listening to TMS

Test Match Sofa, that is. Much as I love listening to the old wobblies on the BBC, these guys are bloody good. Not only that, they have some pretty awesome guests, like Jrod and SarahCanterbury. Seriously, for the younger generation of Real Cricket supporters, Test Match Sofa is like a lifetime supply of alcohol to Jesse Ryder. I'm seriously afraid of overindulging in their awesomeness. When they read my tweet, I couldn't have been more excited if Tolkien was declared returned from the dead.

Not only that, they seem to be fellow Swann fans. Very wise of them.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Oh my goodness...

Oh my sainted aunt's blessed cotton socks. Australia are 6/52, with Watto, Clarke, Hussey and North having joined Punter and Pip in the dressing rooms. Asif is on a hattrick, Johnson nearly timed-out and I can hear Ponting's tears dropping onto the dressing-room floor from here. I can gloat a little longer.

A quick update

Ponting won the toss on a pretty green pitch (for the SCG anyway) and decided to bat. Philip Hughes was dropped on a duck, but it didn't cost Pakistan anything, as he got out two overs later (still on a duck after a swish outside off and almost a crazy single) nicking to the slips. Well, it was expected, but it's nice to see my predictions come true.

Then, Ricky was out for a golden duck. A golden duck! Fell right into the trap had been set by hooking a short ball to square leg. Sami on a hattrick. Then, Watto was nearly out LBW on the hattrick ball - not given after a referral by Pakistan.

I just decided I'd record the glee I'm currently feeling, because I'm sure it won't last long.

Simon Katich can't smell

I imagine this would come in handy in the Australian dressing rooms.

I explain myself

Ok, a few comments on here have led me to understand that not everyone understands my vendetta against the current Australian captain. Frankly, I can't see how anyone could like him, unless they were a one-eyed Aussie, but maybe it's not that obvious to people who don't have to share a country with the bastard. Therefore I have decided to list ten reasons why Ricky Ponting does not have me on his fan list (I could have written a thousand, but I'm trying to clean the house at the moment).

  1. He's a pretty dreadful captain. Despite being the "most successful" captain of all time, for about half of his current captaincy career, he was carried by Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist, a bunch of guys who could have pulled a win out of anything. Since the retirement of The Three, Ponting has been hardly successful as a captain, losing Test series' in India, England and at home to South Africa. Many of these losses can also be contributed to his lack of captaincy skills, as in the final overs in Cardiff, not picking Hauritz at the Oval, bowling his part-timers in India when the team needed to grasp the momentum and generally setting defensive fields in both Perth and Melbourne against the Saffers.
  2. He's arrogant. I could get you quotes, I could get you voice clips, but I don't think I need to. Ponting barely acknowledges the opposition, you can always hear a sneer in his voice and, according to Kerry O'Keefe, his team doesn't acknowledge the fans enough, especially while on tour.
  3. He has Small Man Syndrome. From punch-ups to talking big, (P)Ricky likes to impose himself on the opposition and anyone else who gets in his way. Unfortunately for him, he's about the size of a midget and just comes across as rather silly.
  4. He throws tantrums. Think that only girls like Shane Watson throw tantrums? Think again. Stretch your mind back a few years to Trent Bridge, when he was run out by Gary Pratt (who really deserved an OBE for that). Then again, he was in good company in that series, as that determinedly masculine teammate Simon Katich also spat the dummy.
  5. His appealing is appalling. He appeals for everything, and he's not even the bowler or wicketkeeper. He appeals for bump balls, non-existent nicks, LBWs pitching outside leg. I wouldn't be surprised if he appealed for a four, just in case. Not only that, but he looks repulsive while he does it.
  6. He's the biggest bloody hypocrite around. Forget certain politicians and religious leaders, Ricky has this well-covered. For a man who has done more than any captain in recent memory to encourage his team to play contrary to the spirit of cricket, he is a great advocate of the philosophy and loves accusing opposition captains of not playing within the spirit. Thankfully no one listens to a word he says on this matter anymore.
  7. He gets away with pretty much anything. In recent times, the only charge Ponting has been in risk of suspension for is slow over rates. However, this does not indicate a sanctimonious nature, but a bias on some part or another to let him get away with shoving opponents, abusing crowds, not controlling his players, celebrating Gayle's wicket just like Watson did, claiming catches that weren't, interrogating umpires, being plain rude on the podium at the presentation of the 2006 Champions Trophy and various other misdemeanours. Maybe they think, like a foolishly indulgent grandmother, that when Ponting does it it's cute?
  8. He tarnishes the reputation of the men that went before him by projecting this kind of behaviour as a traditional Australian way of playing cricket. Steve Waugh played hard, but you never smelled arrogance in the air. Mark Taylor was a captain that any Australian would be proud to name as a countryman. Sadly, many young overseas fans will be thinking that all Australian teams are like our current one, and many young Australian fans will look to these "role-models" as a guide on how to conduct themselves on the field, when they represent their school, club and perhaps one day their country.
  9. His minions ape him. A number of the newer members of the Australian line-up have had no indication given to them by him that boorish behaviour is unacceptable. Thankfully Hussey seems to be able to conduct himself with decorum, despite seeming slightly manic in all his actions. But Ponting's legacy will sadly take quite a few years to breed out.
  10. He just is.
As for my dislike of Midge, that has a slightly different and less logical basis. It involves a Men of Cricket calendar, a crush, and someone I know rating him above AB de Villiers in sex appeal. I mean, the guy has hedges for eyebrows. How could you possibly be attracted to him over AB?