Australia’s tour picks up

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A great result for Australia today with the first day’s play being a complete washout. It didn’t stop them making the one decision needed for them to commit to a playing eleven though.

“We went with what we perceive to be our two specialist spinners.”

Does that mean that they aren’t specialist spinners? Is Mickey Arthur saying that they’re actually zookeepers, but that he and Michael Clarke are choosing to perceive them as spinners?

Surely you trust your own perception? To use the phrase ‘what we perceive to be’ indicates an odd tinge of self doubt. If we said that we were currently drinking ‘what we perceive to be a cup of tea’ you’d stop us and say: “Hang on a minute. What are you really saying here, King Cricket? What are you really drinking?”

If we then looked down into our mug and answered: “We perceive it to be tea,” you’d probably look at us weirdly for using the first-person plural, but it would also pique your interest still further. You’d want answers. If there’s an element of doubt as to whether this substance is tea or not, then what are the other possibilities?

But it’s more than that. What triggered this uncertainty? How on earth does someone come to question the accuracy of their own perception of the world around them? What has to happen before a person looks at something perfectly commonplace and suspects it might not be quite what it appears. Furthermore, what are the ramifications with regards to the nature of everything else that surrounds them?

If you can’t identify tea with complete confidence, how can you be sure that you can correctly identify coffee? How can you be sure of anything?


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  1. More worryingly, if you can’t identify tea with complete confidence, you might end up drinking it.

  2. So we’ll go with Lyon and Doherty then. That sounds about right, although…

    Although what? You sound like you’re not so sure about something, Pup.

    Well it’s just that… no, it’s probably nothing.

    No come on, out with it. We have to get this right you know.

    Well, you know that plan we’ve been working to for the past six years, to use the selection policy to completely destroy any confidence that any of our spinners might have, just in case they get too cocky and overshadow the batsmen and allow the fans to conclude that they were the reason for our success instead of the high-class middle order?

    Project Not-Another-Warne, yes. I think we applied it quite well after the first test.

    Well I saw Lyon smiling the other day when discussing his chances for this match, and Doherty was working on a new technique in the nets that he has high hopes for.

    Oh my god!

    Quite. And you saw how fast they both got their scrotal inspection feedack forms in. But I guess we have no choice but pick them.

    If only there were a way of picking them into an Australian test team while at the same time showing them and the entire world that we still think they’re completely incompetent and useless tossers.

    That would work. Do you have anything in mind, Mickey?

  3. Arthur’s uncertainty principle: You cannot measure the pace and spin of a ball accurately at the same time.

    Hence he refuses to characterize a bowler as a specialist anything. Rumor has it that he got into a bar fight in Barbados once for suggesting there is a bit of a spinner in Joel Garner.

  4. At some point in his coaching career, Arthur was forced to look at people in the eye and tell them that Paul Harris was a spinner. Can’t blame him for struggling to percieve what a spinner is at all after that.

    But then again, if anyone had to use the word “best” in the same sentence with any of Doherty, Lyon, Beer, hauritz, Maxwell or Krezja, you cant blame them for having self doubt.

    1. Hauritz and Lyons test figures are almost identical, but at least Hauritz could bat…
      Our hopes of a specialist spinner sit firmly with the immigration minister now. We should try for some South African batsmen while we are there.

  5. Whatever you do, don’t write off the Aussies for the forthcoming four day contest in Mohali.

    You might be in for a surprise.

    Just think about the conditions for a few moments.

    A day of rain. The comparatively lively pitches you get in the Chandigarh area, especially given the early starts after a rained off day.

    Ideal conditions for James Pattinson to…


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