Long Test series and dry retching

This piece by Ed Cowan is well worth a read, especially if you judge Test cricketers swiftly or dissect techniques, finding fault with minor details.

Cowan puts things in perspective. Being a Test cricketer is not so much about being gifted as having the ability to stand still without spontaneously vomiting. A high front elbow’s all well and good, but if you’ve only had five minutes’ sleep in the last fortnight, you’re going to struggle with 90mph out-swingers.

He also gets a bit Gideon Haigh, waxing lyrical about longer Test series and how they offer opportunities for riposte and redemption. The sentiments are nothing new, but it’s fascinating to hear similar views coming from someone who spends their time on the other side of the rope.

It would be nice if people could read this article and instantly understand the attraction of Test cricket, but sadly it doesn’t work like that. Cowan’s is the position most of us eventually get to after we’ve invested time in the sport. It’s not easy to get there, but it’s worth it.

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14 Appeals

  1. I did appreciate the fact that Cowan took time to pen his feelings, though his overly dramatized prose doesn’t quite appeal to me. Having said that, I do feel that plucking the “retching” line and use it in your headline is doing a disservice to the man.

  2. Michael Clarke became “a legend made from the series rather than just a solitary record-breaking innings”. And the order of the brown nose goes to… E Cowan.

  3. I wonder how many years of my life I would give to experience what Cowan did, just once. I’m tempted to suggest the answer might differ a bit between the time when I got the phone call from Geoff Miller and when the reaper turned up to collect the debt, but certainly a few.

  4. don’t trust this guy. don’t trust his face. not that I trust other people but him less than others.

  5. It feels a little early in a career for such a flowery analysis of exactly what test cricket is and isn’t. One home series against a poor Indian team and bam – he’s the chap to tell us all about it.

    “I knew Zaheer, with all his skill of wrist, would attempt to get me out lbw on the slower wickets of Sydney and Adelaide, having dragged me across my stumps before unleashing a wicked inswinger…”

    “…and he hadn’t a clue who I was, beyond being the latest result of an increasingly desperate search for an Australian who could play test cricket properly.”

    I’m not suggesting that he won’t be a great of the game. Maybe he will. I quite like his batting. But to borrow his analogy, this feels like being told the whole story of love by an 18 year old who just got laid.

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