Australia v South Africa – Hobart Test, Day 2: A great day for Australia as the heavens open at Blundstone Arena
One of the most interesting features of a non-cricket day, if there can be one, are the discussions that take place within the inner sanctum (media box), social media and general dogsbodies on the street.
Fortunately there is plenty to talk about given the parlous state of the game in Australia at the moment. Some of the most interesting are coming from the general public who know little of the insight of Australian cricket management other than being rabid supporters.
Before I write anything more praise must be given to the lone groundsman who has spent the last 3 hours patrolling the covers. We have estimated that he must have walked at least 20 kilometres in his duties. Well done!
The most contentious of points that have been observed in the last few hours are listed below followed by some of the comments. Of course Knackers correspondence can be seen on the reports of the game as seen by yours truly and Mark Duffett.
- Team selection – most want to see change in the batting line-up in particular. The results in Sri Lanka and South Africa (be it limited overs) have hastened the opinions of many. Particularly the introduction of younger players.
- T20 is ruining the longer game because of money and anger that we play a T20 game one day before the first Test against India.
- No respect at all for the Sheffield Shield competition.
- The scheduling of the various competitions.
- It is all about money.
- Many players have been given Australian caps (all formats) who don’t deserve them.
- Too many chiefs and not enough good Indians.
- The “pathway to the top” does not include players with natural ability flair etc. etc. We are breeding a team of automatons or robots.
Most people would recognise these themes and most would agree 100% but it seems that Cricket Australia is not interested in listening to the majority; instead relying on the “knowledge” of the people in their own little bat cave (pardon the pun).
Here are just some of the comments that have been found.
Glen (Manilda Central School) “There is obviously a problem with the way CA looks for talent. It appears that it is more who they see in their local park and not who is playing in Newcastle…… or Dubbo or Molong or Cobar or anywhere in Australia. ……. Get of your backsides CA and look.”
Vince (Charles Darwin Uni) “It’s all about that 20/20 rubbish………..learning to bat for a day is a lost art. We will never be a good side again while the BB dominates the summer.”
Colin (QUT) “Cricket in Australia has become a joke as the chase for money, money, money has become all it is about.”
Kim Hughes (former Australian captain on radio) “ we need our players playing Shield cricket. The scheduling is a disgrace.”
Shane Warne (TV) “Our players are becoming robots.”
Simon Katich (ABC) “The devaluation of the Sheffield Shield competition is a big factor. There is no respect for the competition at all.”
These are just some of the comments that have been observed in the last couple of hours and pretty well sums up the feelings of most people.
I would suggest that the selection panel at the moment should be axed and replaced with a completely new entity. Rod Marsh will leave in June but perhaps that should be done before the series against Pakistan commences.
AS for the make-up of the 3rd Test against South Africa commencing in Adelaide in a couple of weeks here goes.
Steve Smith (Capt) – should not have received the criticism he was given. Once again the hierarchy made the decision to bring him home. Some of his on field decisions have come from on high.
David Warner (VC) – despite the shot he played yesterday is the one batsman who will take it up to and give it to the opposition.
Usman Khawaja – open with Warner. Better technique than other possible openers. Not a great field.
Nick Maddison – time to give youth a go.
Callum Ferguson – must get another chance despite not being a great fieldsman
George Bailey – continues to make runs for Tasmania and despite the criticism this selection will receive he will stiffen up the middle order.
Peter Nevill – is a fine keeper despite missing out yesterday when anther good innings would have stopped all criticism. Don’t fall for Wade he is not a good keeper.
Mitchell Starc – the best bowler by far.
Josh Hazlewood – working up to his best and a great partner for Starc.
Adam Zampa – on his home wicket could help turn the game.
Peter Siddle – must come back in to the team as he can dry up the runs of this formidable Proteas attack.
Possible selections for Siddle and Bailey – Peter Handscomb and Steve O’Keefe.