Australia v South Africa – Perth Test Day 3: The constipation of over-thinking and the lunacy of under-thinking

Statement 1 (from a player):


“But when the ball is reversing, it’s a tough one. You want to bowl the spin, but the way he (Lyon) holds the ball it can soften that side down and stop the ball from reversing.”  Steve Smith 5 Nov, 2016, after Australia spent the day in the field.


This statement is characteristic of a lot of elite sport.

The statement is wrought with over-thinking.

This statement places the cart before the horse.

We are all lost in the cosmos, but some are more lost than others.


Statement 2 (from numerous media commentators):


“It was so incredibly hot out there.”


To the point of it being unbearable and unplayable.

Cricket is consistently played in hot conditions all around Australia.

This is a classic case of a theme emerging in media coverage – and everyone following. Classic herd reporting.





About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo11, Anna9, Evie8. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Same line of thought explains why SPD Smith played with his pad in the 1st innings.
    Keeps his bat in terrific nick.

  2. John Butler says

    Nailed it on both counts JTH.

    If Smith is going to think like that,why even play a spinner?

    And it was hot in Perth. Who’d of thought?

    Despite this idiocy, yesterday felt like the first time a real test match had started, at least to my eyes. But i’m starting to wonder if what I look for in test cricket is what the market still wants.

  3. they should have picked a leggie then. who would have held it on the other side? or one of each. just in case.

    wtf do they feed these kids in the SHire? too many of Farmer Magott’s mushrooms?

    (Cam White would have bowled Lyon…)

  4. JTH agree. Critical thinking is the new gold such is its rarity. The Aussies are a 100/1 chance if they freely chase the 500 runs and a 10,000/1 chance if they don’t.

  5. after that little piece of genius in the covers they

    but with the team guaranteed for Hobart, why would they even care? the Shark may have just been jumped : (

  6. For a number of years there has been an obsession with “reverse swing” within Australian cricket.
    But rarely has there been an exponent of it.
    The growth in this reverse obsession has been concurrent with sports science, an increasing number of injuries to fast bowlers, and a total lack of understanding on how to encourage spinners, select spinners, captain spin, set fields to spin, nurture spinners, and of course bat against spinners.
    Flat lifeless decks are also a key ingredient in the reverse obsession.

  7. Spot on every single word,Smokie

  8. In terms of over thinking,and /or underthinking, where do we situate the decision of the selectors to pick the same 12 for the opening two tests?


  9. Dave Brown says

    Smith is getting to “Ponting post-Warne” levels of not using the spinner that has been selected for him with much less justification. You wonder what support he is getting to develop flexibility within his leadership – one trick pony atm.

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