He is like an itch that is driving me crazy. Always there, always on my mind, but with the salve just out of reach…
He is probably a wonderful fellow. He is, more than likely, the type of bloke that any father would be happy to see his daughter dating. In interviews, he comes across as well-mannered, if a little pre-occupied with the word “I”.
So why does he irritate me so? Here are some reasons:
Injury-prone-ness (for want of a better description). When he pulled up short in his run-up after lunch on Boxing Day, the audible groans throughout the members’ area could best be summed up as “Here we go again…another injury.” Not fit for print was what I was thinking as he ambled off the field of play.
Dawdling. He takes an age between overs to take up his place at first slip, having shuffled up from…first slip. If he were a junior player, his coach would give him a foot up the arse to get him moving (how about it, Boof?). He seems to be perpetually sulking, shoulders slumped, unenthusiastic. In a nut-shell, his body-language is poor: the antithesis of a team player.
Homework. Regardless of one’s opinion of ex-coach Mickey Arthur’s methods, it would appear to have been a no-brainer* for Watto to complete a simple homework task. That he was suspended for a Test then, upon return, was undeservedly anointed captain only made me more irritable. (Which, on reflection, probably says more about the selectors, and me, than it does him).
Self-absorption. His comical – but not overly surprising – run-out in the second innings in Perth was a snap-shot of a career in one ball: second innings domination, terrible shot, let off by a dropped catch, run out because he was too self-absorbed to complete a basic cricket principle: run, just in case the fieldsman grasses it.
I could go on. I could talk about the fact that he is averaging 25.2 first innings runs in a series in which his team is leading 4-0. I could talk about the fact that Australia’s no.3 batsman boasts a career average of 36.5. And how the media tracks his every niggle as if he were averaging 99.94.
But I would only get more irritated, and the itch so much more annoying.
*I know, it is almost an oxy-moron.