Daubing England’s batsmen with emulsion

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Today’s grim moment of clarity came courtesy of Mark Butcher midway through the highlights which show immediately after the day’s play. “Michael Clarke made good decisions throughout this match,” he said.

Note ‘made’ not ‘has made’. Australia had won then? The rest of the highlights were a joy, particularly when they told us about long rain delays which constricted the time in which England had to lose all of their remaining wickets.

England’s batting

It’s hard to pinpoint what went wrong in this match. However, that’s only because a pin is an entirely inappropriate tool for the job. What you instead need is a nine-inch paint roller with which to daub a great big cross.

England batted like idiots. The bowlers did a great, if not flawless, job in the first innings and actually performed creditably in the second innings given that the pitch was true and they’d only had about nine minutes’ break since bowling in the first innings. The batsmen, however, failed twice.

Yesterday, we identified Jonathan Trott’s dismissal as being among the worst of recent times. Today, we’d like to nominate Matt Prior’s. It probably wasn’t as bad as Trott’s, in all honesty, but playing at a ball you needn’t play at when it is only likely to go to one of two fielders positioned behind you on the leg-side? That would be pretty stupid even if you didn’t get out doing exactly the same thing off the only ball you faced in the first innings – a dismissal which itself happened one ball after another batsman had been dismissed in identical fashion.

Australia’s speaking

Towards the end of the match, a stump microphone picked up Michael Clarke saying to Jimmy Anderson:

“Get ready for a fucking broken arm.”

Clarke later described it as ‘banter’ which is further proof that you would never want to spend time with anyone who ever uses that word.

Not that we’re necessarily getting on our high horse about the comment itself. Say what you like. We actually think it might work. Jimmy fights a perpetual battle to keep the rage that fuels him from devouring the control which allows him to do his job. There may well come a point at which he hates Clarke so much, he’ll lose control. That’s fine for a fast bowler, but control is basically Jimmy’s weapon.


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  1. Say what you like? Not sure about that. Within reason, surely.

    As that wise old sage Freddie Flintoff once said: “This game’s got a funny way of coming back and biting you on the arse, mate.”

    Warner and Clarke are having their moment in the sun. But this is a long series. Let’s just wait and see.

    1. And the standard of sledging is declining.

      Remember “At least I’m the best cricketer in my family” and “‘You got an MBE, right? For scoring seven at the Oval?”.

  2. From what I understand, Jimmy’s a completely obnoxious gobshite with what he says on the field.

    That’s not to say I think Clarke & Warner should be lowering themselves to that level – not that they haven’t done so regularly in the past. Clarke should stop acting like white trash from the Western Suburbs.

  3. I remember Mitchell Johnson running his mouth at Jimmy, and Haddin’s stumps went cartwheeling the very next ball. I’m going to pray that England turn up next match, not Essex in disguise.

    1. Oh that was brilliant, I may just watch that YouTube video on loop for the next couple of hours until I forget everything about this match.

  4. Let me take a moment to gloat, it’s been a bloody painful 3 years that I’ve had to live with Australian cricket, the last 12 months especially horrible.

    Our batting still isn’t that flash, Watson isn’t a good fit at #3.

    Adelaide should be a batsman’s paradise, I can’t see us out batting your lot if the pitch is flat. It’ll be as good as a win for us if we can play out a draw.

    1. It’s also tough to get cocky when I have this little voice in the back of my head reminding how atrocious our batting has been. We can collapse without even realising it.

      Also waiting to see what out rotation policy & our “momentum” before unleashing the full Aussie cockiness… (ummm that last it sounds a bit homoerotic, sorry)

  5. I have no dog in this fight, so let me just point out that it was fascinating to see a fast bowler actually bowling fast and demolishing the batsmen. I hope the trend continues.

    1. Some part of us enjoyed it. It’s the cold, dispassionate part of us that ordinarily prevents us from enjoying anything. We probably shouldn’t cultivate it.

    2. Alas, I am not pretentious enough. I am merely just another cyborg searching for love and true happiness.

      Unless you were asking KC. That’d be a valid question – I mean, who goes around calling himself king?

  6. I keep expecting to wake up and realise that it was all just a horrible dream and that the first test is in fact still due to start shortly.

  7. it shows just how far fast-bowling stocks have fallen (and how rarely international cricketers have to face genuine pace these days) that everyone is getting all excited about johnson slinging it down “at 90mph”. surely some of the current england batsman have faced shoaib akhtar..? are they really that out of practice? or did boof just do a diamond job on teaching the aussies how to sledge properly, and harness their aggression? whatever they did, it obviously worked… we won’t know how well until later in the rubber of course…

    1. Boof and co are doing a diamond job of getting into a few English heads. They’ll not stop now. Count how often the word “weak” crops up over the next 10 days.

  8. He was going over 90 mph from time to time and he kept those speeds up, they weren’t a rare effort ball. Hardly anyone is bowling that fast in test cricket mores the pity.

    The Gabba was bouncy as. Perfect for him. He won’t be able to do it in Adelaide.

  9. I was wondering if Clarke would get a fine, especially in light of Steyn being fined 10% of his match fee for saying a bad word after being hit for 6 on the same day. Sure enough today I hear he’s facing charges.
    Wonder if the action against Clarke originated from the ICC rather than the match referee?

    1. We still maintain that his biggest crime is having a shrill, whiny voice which is easily picked up by a microphone.

    2. I find it hard to understand why Clarke is fined in this circumstance and Warner isn’t banned.

      Clarke’s crime, as KC has just said, was having his remark picked up by the stump mike, which feels like no crime at all on his part. Perhaps Channel 9 should be fined.

      But Warner’s ill chosen remarks about Trott were a direct breach of the ICC code, making public remarks about indivviduals who participated in the match, outside the match. You might or might not agree with that code, but Warner broke it. Only a few months after throwing a punch at a player in a public place. It seems extraordinary to me that Warner isn’t picking up a ban.

    3. Isn’t threatening to break someone’s arm a criminal offence? If I said that to someone I’d be arrested, but apparently it’s ok if you’re a sportsman.

    4. it is, but he didn’t. when clarke said “get ready for a fucking broken arm” he wasn’t suggesting that HE was going to be doing it

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