Half time is nearly over: What I hope to see in the First Test (and am scared I might see)

We are now at the end of what seems like the longest half-time break in history. Unlike other Ashes series, the gap has been too short and the sense of anticipation has been less of ‘bring it on’ and more of ‘oh no, not you again’.

The personnel are virtually the same, especially with the tourists, and it feels a bit more like the same stuff in a different country, rather than a brand new series. Like those World Cup qualifiers played over two legs in opposing countries, the participants are going at round 2 already.

So, the Auskick kids depart the ground, Hunters and Collectors sing their final note, and we are ready for the second half.

There’s been so much chat, so many predications, and so much speculation. Only fair I add to it therefore. Below is a list of my thoughts and hopes on each Australian player.

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 frustrating run-a-ball 30

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

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

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 his hands when things go wrong

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

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

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

Haddin

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

What I’d be happy to see: 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

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

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

Harris

What I’d love to see: his great form from England continue

What I’d be happy to see: 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

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

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. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Sean v accurate and summary of each player and spot on this has lacked the usual
    Ashes build up and stupidity that the tests are so close together yet again a shocking illogical piece of programming

  2. John Butler says:

    That’s a list Santa would be proud of Sean.

    Worth keeping a scorecard of pros and cons to compere after Brisbane.

  3. Big pros and cons Sean.
    Crossroads for so many – especially us on the couch if we can be honest.
    I’ve been a massive NO to Warner as an opener. Since when did a 4 and 5 agree that it is great if an opener has a swing and occasionally comes off? Loved his Hobart knock. Wish they were playing at Nth Sydney. Maybe he could release at 5 or 6.
    I’d rather the left and right opening team. mine’s Watson. If I batted 3 or 4 I just want a bloke to be there for a little while, upset the new ball sheen and field and rarely go out until 20+ is on the board. None of this 1/0 or 1/100 stuff. Middle order players require what Watto’s always been bagged for – a 30 or 40.
    I reckoned Smith a total spud. still q his technique (and rubbish bowling) but he has ticker. I hope he joins the long queue that’s proven me a bad judge.
    Bailey is gold. Strong character…but outside the off stump is a big worry. Come on Georgie Boy. Good guys can win.
    I’ve bagged Haddin for years. Worst gloveman for a long, long time. I actually thought he looked better than ever in India. Go figure!
    Johnson. Flog. So many shocking deliveries release the valve. Fantastic in phases with the white nut in India.
    It is that sort of team. A lot of players that I’ve never really warmed to – yet if they have matured the chance is of a famous victory.
    The Poms are not that great. Australia has the ball in its court. I’m prepared to revisit my player profiles if the right path is chosen at the crossroads.

  4. Luke Reynolds says:

    Great summary on every player Sean, loved it.
    The pitches in India and England suited Smith perfectly. If he can perform here in an Ashes series on our pitches I might be convinced. Really hoping Bailey does well and Harris’ body holds up. Bring it on.

  5. Sean, i’d like to see far less comment from Warner. To say the “Poms’ are afraid of us, to make barbed comments re proven test players such as Pietersen and Broad, does not indicate Warner is putting much thought process into his build up. For a fellow who has not made a test ton for 22 ninings he needs to let his bat play the primary role, not his mouth. Smith had a bit to say as well, though he has a recent test ton next to his name.

    Glen!

  6. Well, so far, not two sessions in:

    Warner – mostly flashy, somewhat patient, ultimately frustrating
    Rogers – well, clearly not an anchor role or a 101*. Swann involved, at least not bowling
    Watson – do I get to feel relieved it wasn’t a front pad LBW or a referral matter?
    Clarke – aaaarrrggghhh!
    Bailey – what did i say about him having to go in at 4 for not much!!!!

    Yup, Broad is really put off by all that booing

  7. I despair at how sections of the Australian public/media vilify Broad. The nadir of this behaviour is the Brisbane daily which was not going to publish his name during the course of this Test. For crying out loud, grow up.

    Broad plays the way Australia used to play. The object is to win the match, not to obtain votes in a popularity contest. i will be happy if Broad has a good series, and day one @ the Gabba provides him with a good springboard.

    Glen!

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