Orchestration and delusion

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After losing the first Test to Pakistan, South Africa captain Graeme Smith said:

“It should hurt. But this team has too much ability to make this a habit.”

We immediately thought about the distinction between confidence and delusion and how the only real difference is what happens afterwards. These seemed hubristic words, but apparently this South Africa side isn’t ready to segue into cocky self-deception just yet.

Or maybe they’re just playing Pakistan. Believing you have any impact whatsoever on the outcome of a match against Pakistan could be considered delusional.

Pakistan coach, Dav Whatmore, said of his team’s 99 all out in the first innings of this second Test:

“We expected the opposition to come back strong, but I don’t think they did. We orchestrated most of our dismissals ourselves.”

It’s worth noting that last year, at the same venue, Pakistan were bowled out for 99 by England and won the Test by 71 runs. Pakistan never do the same thing twice, so they’ll definitely lose this one.


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  1. It’s a British thing, expecting our top sportsmen and sportswomen not to be constantly teetering on the edge of arrogance. It’s right that they should be modest about the past, but they should also be hugely confident about the future, and about their own ability to win in that future. Without this they handicap themselves.

    There’s an interesting counterpoint to the saffers’ confidence on Cricinfo today, with Cricket Australia setting out James Sutherland’s position “even if we lose the Ashes 5-0”. It doesn’t matter that it’s a throwaway line. Just by saying it, they inform their players they consider it a possibility.


    We can all hope he gets to test this level of support. And let’s also hope that the David Boon in the comments section is who he says he is.

    1. If you try to reverse double-jinx, I think there is a significant danger that you disappear up your own backside.

      On no account should you attempt to do this yourselves at home, children.

  2. Smith to break the 400.

    You heard it here first, people.

    Unless he doesn’t do it.

    In which case, you never heard nothing.

  3. well, nice to see the pak-saf test looking finely-balanced 🙂

    as for this piece of news… that sutherland guy clearly some has some very good friends in very high places. or something.

    “I don’t know where the stories are coming from but they’re not real in our world”, says the cricket oz chairman. indeed, and what a warm and cosy world that must be…

    1. As an Australian the only small amount of comfort I can take is that Wally didn’t say what would happen if we lost 5-0 to England AND 3-0 to South Africa immediately after.

  4. I’ve decided to quit making fun of these cricketing personalities and learn something from them. “Deep Cower, why are you scratching your private parts during an important research discussion?” “Well, it’s a management process. I’ve upped my skills in the last week, and am getting physically prepared”.

    Not perfect, I know. I am still searching for the right combination of words.

  5. You’d think anyone involved in Pakistan cricket would be a little more cautious using a phrase like “we orchestrated most of our dismissals ourselves”

    1. Google provides the following dictionary definition for “orchestrate”:

      2. plan or coordinate the elements of (a situation) to produce a desired effect, especially surreptitiously.

      “the situation has been orchestrated by a tiny minority”

      Synonyms: organize, arrange, put together, plan, set up, …, stage-manage, mastermind, choreograph, coordinate, direct, engineer

      Hopefully they merely meant “orchestrate” in Sense 1, a musical arrangement was undertaken, and none of that choreography was sinister.

      I’d pay seriously good money to see Pakistan! The Musical.

    2. A musical about Pakistani cricketers. I assume the hairspray budget alone would make it a non-starter unfortunately. Otherwise I’m sure it would be amazing though, what could possibly go wrong combining two such notoriously reasonable and level-headed enterprises.

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