Caught Behind 2/100

By Steve Ingham

An opinion piece on Australia’s favourite summer sport

WHERE HAVE ALL THE PERSONALITIES GONE???

No doubt we live in a world much more sanitised than decades before. No Australian Cricketer will attempt a beer can drinking record on a flight to England, I mean Andrew Symonds was sent home and never wore the national colours again after drinking after curfew whilst in England, imagine if he attempted Boony’s record!

Despite times having changed though, where are all the personalities for our cricket team? Think of much loved players of the last 30 or so years – Lillee, Thompson, Hogg, Boon, Hughes, Warne, Gilchrist – not many of today’s players will be remembered in the same vein as players who fans just loved. Siddle & Bollinger are both seem to be knock-about kind of guys, but we hear far too little from such players.

AFL has changed a lot over the same period as well, but we are still exposed to players like Fevola, Jono Brown, Hodge, Akermanis, Hall through the various TV shows dedicated to footy. Now, maybe a footy show style program for cricket would expose some more personalities and allow us as a viewing public to get to know the players a bit more, and perhaps the more the public were to see of these players, the more love we could find for the wearers of the baggy green.

A Cricket Show hosted by Brayshaw, Warne & Merv Hughes with rotating guests from state & national teams relaxing and having a laugh, especially in the non ratings period, surely couldn’t do any harm for our great sport.

NO CHANGE

A quick look at the team that surrendered the Ashes to the filthy Poms at The Oval 15 months ago revealed a very similar team to that will walk out tomorrow morning, a very very similar team actually. Watson, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, North, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle & Hilfenhaus will all back up, with Doherty for Hauritz the only change if you believe the XI in the papers today. Since we lost that series, the Test side have beaten a very weak West Indies (home), flogged a Pakistan who may or may not have wanted to win (home), drew with the same Pakis (in England) and lost to India (away).

Now I am not one calling for wholesale changes at the beginning of what is basically our grand final. However, I do believe that the selectors have dropped the ball by not trying more things in the 4 test series we’ve played since that match at the Oval. But wait, we have – in the bowling department. Bollinger, Harris, Smith & George have all had a chance (primarily through injuries), but with the exception of Phil Hughes (again, injuries), there has been no life breathed in to the batting line up that hasn’t consistently performed for 2 years. Now, maybe that is more of a sign or nobody to take their spot?

And, for what its worth, First Test at the Gabba, I’m tipping Australia to win, with Ricky Ponting to score a ton and Hilfenhaus to be leading wicket taker.

Comments

  1. Steve – interesting point about a lack of personalities. Just this morning I was asking my 11 year old if he wants to go to the MCG and watch some cricket during the Boxing Day test. I reminded him that last time we went we saw Andrew Symonds hit a ton and Shane Warne rattle the Poms out (2005).

    He said to “Yeah I’ll go but there’s no one exciting to watch in the team at the moment”. Interesting observation from an 11 year old.

    For the record I’m tipping the Poms to win in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. The other 2 will be a draw. Aussies to be humbled 3 nil. Horrible thought.

  2. John Butler says:

    Steve, I fancy you may be onto something with Hilfy. If Mitch Johnson doesn’t fire, much will depend on him to take the wickets.

    You would be certain Punter will be fired up. Has he still got it?

    Good stuff

  3. Phil Dimitriadis says:

    You know Australian cricket is askew when the WAGS seem more interesting than the players.

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