If there was one thing that was highly awful about Test cricket in the early 2000s, it was having to endure Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer opening the batting for Australia. Then they retired and how we rejoiced. Only now Test cricket is even worse because they’re still around and now they’re audible.
Matthew Hayden’s idiosyncratic verbal stylings have been documented on this website many a time. Hayden routinely starts one sentence only to finish an entirely different one, while his ability to add superfluous words to otherwise quite straightforward utterances is quite simply unparalleled.
Justin Langer, meanwhile, has an inexplicable attachment to the word ‘elite’ that is surpassed only by his inexpliable attachment to Matthew Hayden.
The World Test Championship final currently has both these men on commentary. (It also has another member of The Platinum Club, Ricky Ponting – who proves that it is actually entirely possible to be competent at both batting and speaking.)
Our commentary highlight so far came early and from Langer. Analysing Usman Khawaja’s 10-ball duck, he questioned the opener’s decision to walk out in a long-sleeved sweater.
Sleeves restrict your movement, you see. No physical feat has ever been achieved in sleeves.
If you’d come to this game after hearing it was a showcase for Test cricket, you could be forgiven for thinking that, in this respect at least, the format would be better left unshowcased.
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