Australia v New Zealand – Gabba Test, Day 1: I should be at the Gabba

I should be at the Gabba but like many cricket fans I am stranded at Tullamarine. It’s not the first time Aunty Q has let me down. Oh for a virgin.

As expected the Australians left out the only Victorian in the team. Just what has Peter Siddle got to do to get a Test match? Like his compatriot James Pattinson the Big V seems to miss out . Like me both men will probably sit out today thinking of what could have been. Pattinson is apparently furious that he is not playing cricket at all. Such is the want of the Australian selectors that they have decreed that he must be “rested”. RESTED! Henry Lawson will be livid.

Is there no credence in the Shield competition anymore? There are many supporters out there who are passionate about their State competition and the rivalry it produces

The NSW centric team has taken the field. No doubt the selectors will hope that youth will carry the day (remember England games 1, 3, 4 and 5?). I’m Victorian (with a touch of Crow) and we should have people in the Test team.

Unfortunately for the Australians this is a New Zealand team that is strong in mind, spirit and body and they will not give in easily to a team led by the obnoxious Warner. What’s with that guy? Obviously he is getting a fair whack from The Hun to write such dribble.

Smith won the toss and batted on a wicket tinged with green but there was not much help for the bowlers. A good toss to win.

The first session as seen from 32000 feet was not an exciting period of play with both Burns and Warner very circumspect with their shot making (these notes came via my spies at the ground)

At 0/100 at lunch it was a fine start by the new opening pair.

I pondered the last time I was at the Gabba and reflected that it was the day before the Crows played the Lions. It was the last time I spoke with Phil Walsh. It was a poignant moment for me. Walsh was one of the most likable football people that you would wish to meet.

Burns (71) dabbles at one from Southee and is taken by Watling. A century was in the offing . Its Burns’ highest test score to date.

Warner’s century followed and despite his talk he does match it with strokes of superiority and strength.

Like Joe Burns Usman Khawaja is playing for his place in the team and is confident right from the staff. The Kiwi’s kept bowling to both players strength and were paying the price.

Khawaja’s fifty came up in 87 minutes with 5 fours and 2 sixes. He is right for three matches now unless the selectors need to rest him. Like Burns this is his highest Test score to date.

Just when it looked like the Australians were set for the night Taylor brilliantly catches Warner (163) of Neesham. The ball moved slightly and Warner went for it. 2/311. There were 21 fours and one six in Warner’s score.

Australia are well in command and Smith continues the onslaught on the bowlers. It is hard to see this attack troubling the home side. If Australia continue in this vein tomorrow a score of 650 looks likely well before stumps.

The Kiwis take the new ball late in the afternoon in fading light but Southee and Boult were spraying the ball like Travis Cloke at his best and causing the batsmen no problems at all.

Usman’s first test century comes up in fine style with a lofted shot to fine leg of Boult. His 101 included 12 fours and 2 sixes with shots all around the wicket. A great return to test cricket.

Light curtailed play after 88 overs with Australia 2/389. Khawaja 102 and Smith 41 in complete command. None of the bowlers stood out and it looks like they are in for a very long day tomorrow.

Crowds in Brisbane are renowned for dropping off as the match progresses and the weekend crowds could be the worst ever if Australia’s dominance continues.

About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    According to the story in today’s Age, Pattinson is quite happy to be rested. Of course.

  2. CITRUS BOB says

    Of course he is Swish! That’s part of the mantra of Australian cricket – do as you are told not what the passionate cricket fan wants. Can’t wait for that boy Dean to make the team without treading foot in an Academy. That will be a kick in the backside.

  3. Solid points, well made Citrus.
    This NSW-centric business becomes self-fulfilling, of course, with NSW youngsters necessarily exposed to more teammates with Test experience at State level. And lots of former Test players are on hand to praise the new talent. Who then get selected. And on it goes.
    Ponting aside, recent captains Smith, (Watson!), Clarke, S Waugh, Taylor all out of the neighbourhood.

    Really, anyone intent on playing Test cricket should move to Sydney.

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