“Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Jacob Oram – this is the cleaners. The washing powder’s over there. It’s a quid for a full cycle and 20p for the dryers.”
Mashrafe Mortaza’s 4-44 today set up Bangladesh’s win. Mashrafe now has 116 ODI (one-day international) wickets at 31.78. He’s very important to Bangladesh’s continuing bid not to be laughed at.
We don’t laugh, but that’s more to do with our relentlessly pessimistic outlook on life rather than anything to do with our belief that Bangladesh will one day become ‘a force’.
To be more specific, we believe that one day Bangladesh will become ‘friction’.8 Appeals
The thing people often fail to understand about batting averages is that they only describe what’s already happened. Ricky Ponting’s average in India was famously bad, but yet he hit a hundred. That’s the thing about historical precedents – they only tell you about the past.
The Australians came up with some innovative tactics to help address Ponting’s record. He’s previously been vulnerable to Harbhajan’s spin early in his innings, so the Aussies hit upon the idea of having Matthew Hayden get himself out to the third ball of the day. Ponting was thus ensured a few overs of pace bowling and could therefore play himself in. It worked a treat.
Rumours that coach, Tim Nielsen, has given Ponting a voucher allowing the latter an hour’s one-on-one time with Pat Farhart as a reward for hitting a hundred are currently unsubstantiated.5 Appeals
We know that there are a number of English readers out there who are having trouble picking sides for this series, so we thought we’d help you out.
Normally this would be an easy one. You never want to support Australia, whoever they’re playing, because they’re the best. You usually want to support India because they’ve got Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.
However, there’s more to it these days. India aren’t just India any more – they’re market-led commercialism as well. If a Test team can stand for big business, then it’s India. Big silent boo at big business, everybody.
So what to do? It’s a quandary and no mistake.
Well here’s what we’re doing. We’re supporting India when they play Tests against Australia, but supporting Australia in other forms of the game.
Test cricket can only benefit from everyone in India thinking its ace. Test cricket may well suffer if India loses interest in it because they prefer the shorter forms. Although Twenty20’s fun and one-day cricket can be half-decent, Test cricket’s actually mankind’s finest creation and that’s where our priorities lie.
It goes without saying that who we’re thinking we want to win inside our mind will have an enormous bearing on the future of the game as a whole.8 Appeals
“I’ve had [physio] Pat Farhart weave some of his magic and the groin has responded really well.”
We move that from now on Pat Farhart should be crow-barred into any conversation about Australia – whether it’s justified or not.
As far as Australian physiotherapists who take advantage of young spin bowlers go, Pat Farhart is our favourite.3 Appeals
The eagerly awaited official switching-on of our new floodlights.
Not enough rain to get rained off (unfortunately, given the eventual result) but enough to turn the match into a mutant spawn ThirtyFive25.
I arrived at half time (sorry, came over all 5Live there) and marvelled at the way that the sun setting behind the Fox Road stand made Trent Bridge look like Centurion Park. Our new floodlights are damned lovely and a darned sight sexier than those at both the nearby Forest and County grounds.
I sat in the New Stand (still unnamed due to the lack of a willing sponsor) to get the best view of the floodlights, which in retrospect was a mistake as my chips got wet during the downpour in the second innings.
The rain looked pretty spectacular when backlit by the lovely new floodlights. These are going to be six columns of perpetual electric joy and wonder.
Harmison S. signed a lot of autographs for the hoards of munchkins.
Harmison B. seemed to be on ball retrieving duty on the cover boundary and was conspicuously indifferent to no-one wanting his autograph.11 Appeals
No-one ever slinks out the back door, do they? They give you four Tests’ notice so that they can be lauded to the high heavens for a month.
Some players don’t even get four Tests in their careers, but now there are retirement articles about players who’ve still got that many to play. A lot can happen in eight innings.
We’ll probably do something on old Sourav before he retires, but in the meantime, here’s a thought. Did all of Sourav Ganguly’s best innings take place when he had that weaselly spiv moustache?4 Appeals
“I think we will go after him.”
Run, Jason. Run!
There’s nothing left for you in India. Grab your passport and enough rupees to get you to the airport and just flee. You’re a marked man.
Virender Sehwag doesn’t do milking the spinners. If he wants spin-milk, he’s going right up to the cow of off-spin with a huge great sword and he’s getting it all out in one go. Then he’s going to roll around in the spin-milk, giggling.
We were reading an extract from Shane Warne’s Top 100 Cricketers today. In his entry about Virender Sehwag (number 35), he describes what Sehwag does when he’s struggling.
Sehwag was batting with Jeremy Snape for Leicestershire and Abdul Razzaq, who was playing for Middlesex, started to reverse swing the ball, creating all sorts of problems.
“I have a plan,” said Sehwag and promptly hit the ball out of the ground so that it had to be replaced.
That’s what he does when he’s struggling. He deliberately loses the ball by hitting a monstrous six. So what does ‘getting after the bowler’ entail?4 Appeals
You can tell he’s the kind of person that does that just by looking at his face.
It’s okay, we’ve looked at his face to bring you that information, so you don’t need to subject yourself to the same torment.
He was saying something about Harbhajan Singh at the time. It’s not entirely clear what.
“In a lot of ways, to me off-field, if that’s affecting him that’s a good thing for Hayden because I don’t feel like I’m harbouring any massive resentment.”
He doesn’t feel like he’s harbouring any massive resentment. If he’s not totally certain, we can let him know about some of the symptoms of harbouring a massive resentment.
One of the main symptoms is that you devote entire pages on your website to things that you never bothered writing about when a former England captain did them, because you thought it was boring when he did it, yet you find yourself BURNING UP WITH THE HATRED when this other person does the exact same thing.3 Appeals
“So I curl up behind him like this and then you give him a shove.”
India’s clown tactics were all well and good in theory, but when it came to carrying them out with an actual batsman present, everyone got confused and Sourav Ganguly ended up with a black eye.4 Appeals
There’s a fine tradition of Indian batsmen being introduced to opposing spinners, shaking their hand before punching said spinner squarely in the face without warning. And then doing it again. And again. This usually happens before the spinner even appears in a Test.
Sachin Tendulkar instantly decided that Shane Warne was going to go and in a warm-up match the leg-spinner went for 111 runs in just 16 overs. Before that, Navjot Sidhu systematically dismantled John Emburey’s confidence with a barrage of sixes.
Jason Krejza hasn’t really got a reputation worth savaging, but the Indian Board President’s XI have set about his bowling with contempt anyway. Krejza took 0-123 off 20 overs in the first innings of the tour match and in the second Yuvraj Singh set about him to give him figures of 0-76 off 11 overs.
Whether we were intending on adopting Krejza or not is looking moot at present.3 Appeals