Second Test – Day 3
Who will win the Second Test?
Will we get a result in this Test or will it peter out to a draw? Should the Federal Government’s Infrastructure Fund hire the curators at Brisbane and the Adelaide Oval to oversee the nation’s key road projects?
Does Michael Clarke regret any of his tattoo choices? Lara Bingle? Will Lara Bingle find credibility1? In terms of credibility is a past relationship with the Australian Test Captain cancelled by a past fling with Brendan Fevola? Should I stop asking questions about sportsmen’s relationships, or do I run the risk of this piece reading like a Nathan Brown monologue on the Sunday Football Show?
How important is ‘spirit’ in leadership? Does history remember John F. Kennedy too fondly? Does it remember Mike Brearley not fondly enough? Do you find it interesting that Michael Slater doesn’t look any more stupid when he has a Vodafone watermelon helmet on his head? If you were a watermelon grower, would you be happy your product is being used for idiotic headwear? Would you be happy the Vodafone cardboard version saved more watermelons for the use in which they were intended?
Do you connect with Peter Siddle? Did you connect with Dennis Lillee when you were a kid and cricketers didn’t have Twitter accounts? Does Dennis Lillee have a Twitter account? Do you follow any cricketers on Facebook? Why do cricketers and baseballers wear more jewellery than any other sportsmen? Will South Africa avoid the follow-on? Would Australia enforce it? Do cricket groupies rate on ability or aesthetics? Where does Nathan Lyon rate on either scale? If Anna Kournikova played cricket, would she be right-hand Eastern Orthodox?
Is there a better name in cricket than Sir I.V.A Richards? Given it’s a name not easy to forget, should I have heard of Faf Du Plessis before now? When did McDonalds stop producing posters featuring Australia and the two touring teams? Friends of the Earth in Smith Street, Collingwood have a poster in their window saying “We Voted No for a McDonalds in Tecoma” – is it right that an inner-suburban vote skews the overall vote of what is essentially a local issue? Bimbo Deluxe in Brunswick Street is ten years old this week – do you miss The Punters Club? If so, what do you miss more, The Punters Club or The Continental? Did you miss Hilfenhaus’ wickets because you were watching the Boston Celtics host the Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN?
Has the singer-songwriter Paul Kelly been able to answer how many cabs in New York City or how many angels on a pin? Have you ever made gravy using the recipe from a Paul Kelly song?
Was some of the best cake you’ve ever eaten enjoyed during a lunch break at a club cricket game2? When did you stop enjoying Channel Nine’s commentary? Who at Channel Nine decided to place an advertisement for the Heart Foundation in the same break that included a giveaway for a year’s supply of KFC? Is Ian Healy’s knowledge of the wide array of painkilling drugs impressive or concerning? Is the Bupa Distance Tracker instructive or a nothing more than a way of including paid advertising as content? Is there a worse commentator than Brett Lee? How does he maintain the illusion of being a carbon-based life form? Does he encourage you to switch channels? Did you turn over to ESPN and see Jason Terry’s dagger three with 36 seconds to play to win the game for the Celtics?
If you had to choose someone to bat for your life, would you choose a healthy Shane Watson or Jacques Kallis on one leg? If Michael Clarke were bowling at one end and Rob Quiney the other, would it matter who you chose? Who buys Channel Nine’s sporting memorabilia? Does a healthy Shane Watson exist? If you answered Shane Watson to my earlier question, are you feeling happy about your choice? Should Jacques Kallis have walked?
How does Cricket Australia feel that all it’s best stadiums have been, or are being, upgraded on the back of the success of the AFL? Are there more AFL writers working in November than cricket reporters? Do you think Kurt Tippet is at the cricket or is he persona non grata in Adelaide?
If Nathan Lyon plastered his forehead with sunscreen, would it make a sightscreen redundant? Can Imran Tahir bat? If Peter Siddle was bowling nothing but short and wide, would this influence your answer? Why is it that fast bowlers can now bowl yorkers at will in Twenty20 cricket, but still try and bounce out a number 11 in a Test Match?
Does it annoy you that the Channel Nine visuals are not in line with the ABC radio commentary? Does it annoy you more when it’s 34o and you’re trying to watch the television at a distance from the patio? Are you keeping the water up to your tomatoes? Do Bunnings sales assistants talk more on the television commercials than they do in store? Would you rather be at the Fitzroy Pool? Do you regret being short with your girlfriend when she interrupted cricket training to borrow your car keys? Do you think things would have been different if you were a more attentive boyfriend?
Is it right to assume that Nine will break into their cricket coverage if Bert Newton doesn’t pull through? When sports television ventures into variety, is this a nod to the great pioneers of Australian variety television, or a slap in the face? Would you know who Demis Roussos was if Bert Newton hadn’t parodied him on The Don Lane Show? Was the 1980s the golden age for cricket as entertainment? Does it try too hard now? Did you hear that Larry Hagman died (again)? Do you remember who shot JR?
Would you rather wear a cricket shirt with Castle Lager on the breast or Vodafone? If you chose the latter, could you care to explain your choice in the comments section below? Does Duncan Fearnley still make cricket bats? Is one of Ricky Ponting’s greatest contributions to the game of cricket the three-quarter sleeve? Or did a West Indian invent that? Are you pleased that both Australian openers use Gray Nicolls bats? When did they stop making the scoop bats? Do you think the scoop served a function or was it purely for aesthetics? Are you the sort of person happy to sacrifice function for fashion? If you were running the ABC Wardrobe Department, would you strike Gideon Haigh from your Christmas card list? Was the brand of bat you used at club cricket influenced by the first branded bat you received for Christmas? Did you leave the ‘cherries’ on your bat or did you clean it regularly? Is there more money to be made buy selling extra batting grips, or from producing premium bats with thicker handles? Is Morne Morkel’s nickname ‘Tuna’ or is that too obvious?
Does Dave Warner’s batting excite you, make you nervous or both? Is Dale Steyn bowling to a leg-side theory that his captain is unaware of? Why is South Africa’s white floppy hat ratio so much higher than Australia’s? Can you still buy a Greg Chappell signature white floppy hat? Do you laugh when you walk into the menswear section at David Jones and see what is in affect simply a fancy-branded cricket sweater retailing for more than $300? Are you the sort of person who can wear white? Did your grandparents have a lawn ornament that consisted of tyre parts shaped to configure a swan, and then like every other ornament in the garden, doused with white paint?
If Michael Holding’s in the country, why is he not commentating? Given that Apple has just released the iPad Mini, why is Channel Nine using a tablet the size of a coffee table? Has Dale Steyn ever bowled a ball at 100 miles an hour? Have you ever faced a bowling machine at 100 miles an hour? Have you heard the story of James Packer refusing to do so, so his father Kerry stepped into the nets in his place and given it was wet, the ball slipped out of the bowling machine and hit him just below the heart, leading James to think for a moment that his father was dead? Had Kerry Packer have been killed in front of his son by a bowling machine, do you think the effect it had on James been enough for him to drop cricket from the network when he was involved at Nine? Did you ever alter your natural bowling action to mimic your favourite cricketer? Would you find it odd if I told you that I once modelled my action around Fanie De Villiers? Is there a better book about pornography and cricket than Malcolm Knox’s A Private Man?
If you were to build a cricket ground west of a church, would you be tempted to change the orientation of the pitch from north-south to east-west so you could have a ‘cathedral end’? Would Imran Tahir more likely get a wicket if the batsman had the sun in his eyes? Could the Vodafone Viewer’s Verdict be put to better use, such as the Israel-Gaza dispute? What is Brett Lee’s first language? When should Australia declare? Should it be based on runs made or the amount of time left in the game?
If you were picking a cricket team in the schoolyard, would you put the last guy you picked in at first drop? Has all the press around Rob Quiney being ‘a good guy’ led you to the assumption that the rest of the Australian cricket team must be a bunch of arseholes? What is the lowest recorded Test batting average? If you were in the Australian dressing room, what would you say to Rob Quiney? Or would you try to avoid eye contact and say nothing? What is Michael Clarke’s batting average since he became the Australian captain? What is Ricky Ponting’s average since he became a Swisse Vitamins Ambassador?
Do you believe that fewer driveways are being used for cricket today than there were twenty years ago? Does a diet of driveway cricket instill the good habit of playing straight or is there more money to be made by learning to slog across your body? Are you a subscriber of the rational behind employing a night watchman? If so, has Peter Siddle given you cause to reflect?
Could South Africa win this Test?
1. The feature story in today’s Good Weekend magazine: “The Number-One Thing I Want is Credibility” Lara Bingle talks to Jane Cadzow about her longing to be taken seriously.
2. A big shout-out to Trudy Kelly, wife of CBC-South Warrnambool opening bowler Andrew Kelly, whose cakes were among the Western District’s finest.
For more original cricket reporting CLICK HERE
Facing Michael Kasprowicz: John Harms has faced a Test bowler at a Test venue, and lived to tell the tale. Just. (This was written some time ago, when he felt he had done enough to realise the dream theme he established in Confessions of a Thirteenth Man)
AFL Grand Final – The Pride of the North London Lions: It is AFL Grand Final eve and Peter Flynn arrives at the North London Lions presentation night.