In January we said that Andrew Symonds had disproved our feeling that he wasn’t the man you wanted at the crease if you’d lost early wickets and everyone rounded on us for not thinking he was the mutt’s nuts even sooner.
So we’re a bit uncertain what to say about his invaluable, counter-punching 79 yesterday. We’ve a vague suspicion that the title of the update has more bearing than the content itself, so we’ll test that.
Australia were 18-5 when he came in and if that’s not being in trouble, then what is? It was a fantastic knock, wresting back momentum from a West Indian bowling attack that rather pleasingly thought it was of a Seventies or Eighties vintage, rather than the inspid modern equivalent.
And this annoys us.
When people are throwing huge money around, there’s nothing quite like watching them make a right balls of it. Andrew Symonds sold for $1.35 million and we’d have quite liked him to be a colossal failure. Unfortunately, he’s been okay and even if Deccan Chargers lost the match, 117 off 53 balls is more than tidy.
The other downside is that this will reinforce Symonds’ self confidence and if there’s one thing we hate more than people who are self-confident, it’s people who are justifiably self-confident. What’s so wrong with constantly questioning your own worth and then giving yourself massively unflattering answers, eh?
Faith in your own abilities? Pah. Let’s see you do it the hard way, when you know you’re a huge imposter who’s merely been tricking people into thinking you’re in any way competent at anything. That’s a true test.
At least he’s gone for 101 runs from the 6.5 overs he’s bowled.
As many of you have gathered, we were away last week. We did say something somewhere, but we always get lots of ‘why aren’t you covering this?’ emails and comments even if we do make an ‘official’ announcement.
Anyway, it seems the big news was STILL Harbhajan Singh calling Andrew Symonds a monkey. We’re glad we missed it really. It’s never fun when ‘he said, she said’ matters are dissected in the media to no great effect. It was an unprovable issue from the start, but one that couldn’t be ignored. Expedient justice ensues.
We’re not going to get into a debate about whether being a racist is even a good thing any more. We’re not going to discuss exactly how clever it is. We’re not even going to put up an online poll as to whether racism or xenophobia is the best kind of bigotry.
But we will say this: If you’re going to get yourself banned for several matches for saying something stupid and clearly offensive, you’d at least want to say something remotely interesting or unusual.
And it is clearly offensive. If there’d been a big racism to-do about an opponent of yours being called ‘a monkey’ by the crowd during a match in which you yourself were playing, you’d know that you shouldn’t call them THAT EXACT SAME THING.
We’re still not sure about Andrew Symonds as a Test player. We’re sure he is one. Don’t get us wrong. We don’t doubt our own eyes – that would be madness. Just who do you trust, if you don’t trust your eyes? Your ears? Unlikely. Ears are devious.
Anyway: Symonds. We’re certain that Australia have got better batsmen and his bowling’s misshapen. Today, in partnership with first Brad Hogg and then Brett Lee, he hit 137 not out after Australia had been 134-6.
One of the main reasons we’re unsure about Symonds is that we reckon he’s okay when Australia are on top, but maybe he’s not the man you want at the crease if you’ve lost early wickets. Today’s performance seems to have disproved that.
On the other hand, he got a couple of lucky decisions – a big one on 30 and a close one on 48. Even if we don’t think he’s all that, it’s only borderline. He’s definitely good enough to hit hundreds given three lives.
So’s Brett Lee for that matter. Forced to unfairly bat at nine for the last few years to save Shane Warne‘s ego, he’s back there again thanks to Brad Hogg. Lee’s better than three Test fifties. He’s ranked eighth in the ICC’s list of top all-rounders, in fact. Although it’s fairly common knowledge that there aren’t eight all-rounders in world cricket right now.
Suave thinks he’s spotted something: