Dissecting ‘momentum’ for the millionth time

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Hashim Amla's face and cricket bat

Ahead of the third Test between South Africa and Australia, Hashim Amla has said:

“There’s a lot riding on the last Test and fortunately we’ve got a bit of momentum.”

Let’s very quickly examine how ‘momentum‘ has influenced the series thus far.

Australia won the first Test and thus gained momentum. They then lost the second Test. South Africa lost the first Test, but won the second despite not having momentum.

So basically ‘momentum’ has had precisely zero impact on performances and results thus far.


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  1. I thought of you when hash used the ‘m’ word.
    On another note, Warner has shown again why he should not be allowed to speak unless he checks with a responsible adult first.
    “We were actually questioning whether or not AB de Villiers would get the ball in his hand and with his glove wipe the rough side every ball. That’s another thing we have to try and bring up with the umpires.”

    1. amazing. i thought they had had words with him to stop him talking to the press? especially now that he has found some good (albeit lucky) batting form, one might think he would try and keep his mouth shut – or if not, that boof would gag him… journos meanwhile must be queueing up to talk to him, knowing that a winning soundbite will surely be forthcoming…

  2. This is anti-momentum if anything. If you are doing well, you are “due” to fail. If you are doing badly, you are “due” to perform.

    1. That’s the span of the positivity spectrum.

      You’ve played badly = due to play well

      You’ve played well = you’ve got momentum and will continue to play well

  3. Just what have you got against Hashim Amla’s arms that they get ignored so?

    Anyway, a post that includes the words “Impact” and “Momentum” is only one word away from a genuine A-Level maths topic, that word being “Impulse”. As everyone knows, Impulse is the change in Momentum, so clearly this series must have been chock full of Impulse. Also, as everyone from the 80s knows, men just can’t help acting on Impulse. Expect to see Shane Watson turning up at the crease with a hastily-purchased bunch of flowers.

  4. Momentum is not a binary quantity you know. Australia won the first test and had a LOT of momentum. SA won the second test, and gained SOME momentum. This has led to the interesting situation where both teams have net positive momentum. This means that the next test match is going to be unbelievably awesome because it is momentum vs momentum.

    It’s science, bitches.

    1. It’ll be like a Newton’s cradle when you give it too much of a start and the balls get all tangled up.

  5. The band at Port Elizabeth gave SA the vital much needed momentum. They may need a full orchestra at Newlands.

  6. It could be argued that Mitchell Johnston had momentum going into the first test and helped the Aussies to win that one. Or maybe the correct word is “confidence”. Never mind, carry on.

  7. 1. It is said that all matter in the universe must have its antimatter partner.
    2. As momentum is derived from mass, it therefore follows that antimomentum must exist.
    3. It also follows that antimomentum must be in equal measures to momentum.
    4. momentum exists largely where matter does. antimomentum where antimatter exists.
    5. Warner is largely comprised of Antimatter.

  8. My England team for our next Test, Trescothick, Cook, Compton, Trott, Bell. Pietersen, Stokes, Prior, Swann, Broad, Andersen with Botham as 12th man to carry the drinks

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