First Test review: I looked out over the Gabba, and what did I see? (This is what you want, this is what you get)

Ok, First Test down, a surprising result both in terms of actually winning and also the scope and nature of the win.

When I look back at what I wriote that I looked forward to pre-match, how did I go (with a slight sting in the tail)?

Warner

What I’d love to see: another slashing 180 vs India Perth, Jan 2012

What I’d be happy to see: another patient 123* vs NZ, Dec 2011

What I don’t want to see: Him letting his emotion get the better of him early on

What I’m scared I’ll see:  A slashing but futile run-a-ball 30

What did I see: A combination of the batting styles above, both excellent. Warner scores deceptively quickly, which sounds strange, but even when not belting boundaries, he turns over the strike with singles, got the left hand/right hand combination going well with Clarke and learned from his first innings dismissal. More test hundreds than Watson, already.

Rogers

What I’d love to see: Stumps Day 1, not out 101

What I’d be happy to see: a patient, anchor role that sees him to at least tea

What I don’t want to see: Another dismissal to Swann

What I’m scared I’ll see: Calls for changes to the side too quickly if he has a bad test

What did I see: He was the first but definitely not last to fall to a rising fast ball across his body in the first dig, but his second innings dismissal was incredibly un-Rogers like, when he had ages to build an innings.  Better in the field than I expected.

Watson

What I’d love to see: No dodgy DRS referrals

What I’d be happy to see: His economical bowling that restricts scoring

What I don’t want to see: his front pad plonked down the pitch and playing across the line

What I’m scared I’ll see: Pulling up with a hammy in his second over

What did I see: two shocking dismissals. Wasting a start in first dig wafting aimlessly at a delivery just on lunch, exposing his skipper and then after becoming frustrated that he hadn’t played a one-day slog for 20 minutes in the second innings, fell to a shocking shot that reeked of selfishness. At least he couldn’t refer it.

Clarke

What I’d love to see: His stunning 2012 form return

What I’d be happy to see: being interviewed as a winner late Day 5

What I don’t want to see: too much head in hands when things go wrong

What I’m scared I’ll see: another Anderson jaffa that leans to leg and takes the off bail

What did I see: Copped his medicine in round one, dished it out in round two. Aggressive captaincy, faith in his bowlers, excellent fielding decisions, brilliant batting. Wanted to crush his opposition. Frustration got the better of him, but after the year he’s had, no more Mr Nice Guy maybe?

Smith

What I’d love to see: if you are only as good as your last test

What I’d be happy to see: his infectious and enthusiastic fielding

What I don’t want to see: too much bottom hand on those lofted drives

What I’m scared I’ll see: lots of overs when Watson is injured

What did I see: Will be challenged in Adelaide, both to see if he can make runs on that good pitch but also if his bowling is still an option when the Poms possibly make hay. Valuable fielding option like Warner.

Bailey

What I’d love to see: a fairytale

What I’d be happy to see: doubters proved wrong

What I don’t want to see: him coming in to bat after lunch at 4 for less than 100

What I’m scared I’ll see: articles claiming his was the best 9 runs on debut since Rob Quiney

What did I see: not the first debutant to show first dig nerves, copped a verbal barrage from Anderson, seemed to relish giving it back. Like all newbies, sent to short leg, hope he proves his worth with the bat. Will regret missing a straight one from Swann.

Haddin

What I’d love to see: no questions about his glovework

What I’d be happy to see: him part of a solid partnership with Bailey

What I don’t want to see: him sell his wicket cheaply

What I’m scared I’ll see: debates over including Hughes as a batsmen and reserve keeper

What did I see: Wade picked a bad weekend to get suspended with Haddin tightening his grip on the job. Clean hands, in the face of deliveries going high, fast and wide. Brilliant batting, no selling his wicket cheap here.

Johnson

What I’d love to see: these 160Km balls everyone is crowing about

What I’d be happy to see: him staying under 4 runs an over

What I don’t want to see: giving away easy runs from angling the ball onto Cook’s pads

What I’m scared I’ll see: the Johnson we all fear is really there turning up

What did I see: Whilst statistically, one of the great all-round performances, figures alone don’t show his impact with bat and ball. Angry man, really quick. Like the main man in Coward of the County, years of copping it spilled out into knocking the block off anyone nearby. Batted superbly.

Siddle

What I’d love to see: lightning strike twice and another Ashes hat trick

What I’d be happy to see: The workload not always fall to him

What I don’t want to see: his hard work to contain batsmen stuffed up at the other end

What I’m scared I’ll see: this workhorse run into the ground and ‘rested’ from a later test

What did I see: The workload didn’t fall to him, the bowlers at the other end supported him, hasn’t been over-bowled. Check, check, check.

Harris

What I’d love to see: his great form from the last series continue

What I’d be happy to see: him staying injury free

What I don’t want to see: an Australian batting collapse meaning he doesn’t get a suitable break between spells

What I’m scared I’ll see: not playing consecutive tests

What did I see: Again, check, check, check.

Lyon

What I’d love to see: him leading the song after a first Test win

What I’d be happy to see: putting speculation over his spot to rest for a while

What I don’t want to see: Clarke not showing faith in him if he comes in for some tap

What I’m scared I’ll see: the ball disappearing over his head from KP

What did I see: Nobody told me there’d be days like this. Strange days indeed! A genuinely nice bloke in a team full of many who I find, despite their great efforts, very hard to like.

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.

Comments

  1. Great review Sean,spot on. I like Smith a tad more though. Didn’t have a great game with the bat although got a start in the first dig, he bowled 4 overs of pies in the second dig, as a bowler,he’s a better version of Cameron White,bowls more top spinners than leggies. As a bat he has huge potential
    George Bailey made one of the scratchiest 34′s i’ve seen, and looks to be playing late and down the wrong line, reckon if he can’t make a better fist of things on the tarmac in Adelaide, will have a very brief test career

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    A politician would kill to get that many things write , Sean . I too am a little more bullish re , Smith jury is out re , Bailey. Watsons dismissals were yet again terrible he so often plays brain dead shots . The batters should cash in next test on the excuse of a wicket in , Adelaide . Haddin batted smart until running himself out . Johnson was brilliant ,
    Harris and , Lyon v good So after a great game we enter test match two with serious questions re , Trott . Priors batting and the penetration of there attack !
    Cmon Aussies . Thanks , Sean

  3. Peter Schumacher says:

    A great review all round, agree about Bailey particularly, would love do see him do well but have huge doubts about his ability with the red ball. Watto played as scripted of course, is Rogers past it? Hope not. Smith was OK in the first dig.

    Overall I still feel a bit nervous about the team, could have done without that final sledge, even if deserved, and I wouldn’t have a clue as to if it was or not, there are “mikes” everywhere, surely a no brainer to be careful.

  4. Paul Daffey says:

    Very entertaining, Sean.

    And prescient.

  5. Peter, Agreed. That sledge at, what was it, 9 wickets down? Ridiculous stuff. The game is over, enjoy the win.

  6. Peter Flynn says:

    Bailey is a good bloke.

    Bailey is also a knicker because of indecisive feet movement.

    I’m happy for him to be part of (carried) a stable 3-7 line up of right-handers.

    Play right-handers and Swann’s influence is neutralised. Problem fixed.

    Cricket looks a complex game and if your heads not right can be a complex game.

    Cricket is a simple game. I think the Australians have come back into alignment with this.

    Micky Arthur, Mark Neeld and Robbie Deans. Spot the difference.

  7. Mark Neeld is Australian?

  8. How good is Mitchell Johnson? I always knew he could play.

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