Caught Behind 3/180

By Steve Ingham


On the flight home from Adelaide, I happened to peer over Ricky Ponting’s shoulder to see him seeking some devine intervention! I managed to memorise it word for word and bring it to you all, exclusively for you!

Dear Santa,

I know that in the past I may have made it on to your Naughty List,

especially with my continued slow overrates, occasional tantrum, nightclub incidents and the like, but I really hope that this year I appear on your Nice list because there is a couple of things I would really really like this year.

I have asked Andrew Hilditch, Cricket Australia, Mum & Dad and even the Centre of Excellence for a decent spinner for the last 4 years and all anyone has given me has been the kind of stuff you get at the Reject Shop! I know I’m being fussy, but could I please please please have a GOOD spinner.

Also, something else I had a few years ago but have not been able to replace is a reliable fast bowler. Just someone who can land it on the spot, ball after ball, over after over, for say, 25 overs a day. The one I had up until 4 years ago was perfect, but got tired and I would just really like a new one.

If I can be greedy, could I maybe ask for one more thing? I’d really like some friends I could play with in the middle order. Some that will play with me outside for hours and hours and we can score lots and lots of runs together. But I think, as well as maybe 2 new friends, I also need to see if you can find my form as well!

I know that’s a lot to ask, but please Santa, I have been a really really good boy this year!

Love, Ricky.

Ok, so maybe I made some (all) of that up, but if he hasn’t approached Santa yet, he should. Our sides performance in Adelaide was the worst in years, which I know is not a revolutionary statement.


What’s the solution? Beer! Michael Beer? Maybe not, but beer (Carlton Draught) definitely makes the pain go away, albeit until the next morning when it returns along with a headache!

Maybe the solution is not alcohol, but actually fast food, as in McDonald. Andrew McDonald. He was in amazing form with the bat before injuring himself, and can really strangle batsman from one end, allowing the bowler at the other end to attack. Unfortunately, it has seemed that none of our spinners are up to the task, and that’s ok. No need to pick one until there is a spinner ready. McDonald did the job against the South Africans in 4 test matches (of which we won 3 – and it was the last series we won overseas) as a number 8 batsman averaging over 20, and a more than handy 4th bowler with North the spinner, taking 9 wickets at just over 30.

His first class career record of 73 matches for a batting average of 39, and 166 wickets at 29.24 show that he is more than ready, especially his form at the beginning of this season where in the 3 matches he completed, he scored 372 runs at an average of 93 (3 centuries in that) and

Argument that Watson has the all-rounders spot is wrong, as he is now an opening batsman – a very good one who needs to learn to bat past 60! – who can offer a few overs. And really, how can too many bowling options be that bad a thing?

Why couldn’t the selectors construct a side that looks like this:

Watson, Hughes, Ponting, Clarke, M Hussey, Haddin, Smith, McDonald, Johnson, Siddle, Hilfenhaus/Harris

Smith could be the attacking spinning option, along with a fit M Clarke, the 3 quicks to do the bulk of the work, McDonald and Watson to provide support.

This would work on a lot of levels and I fear it makes far too much sense for the selectors to even consider… Oh bugger it, get me a Beer.


  1. Steve, I think we could do much worse than McDonald if Beer doesn’t work (since they seemed to have ditched Hauritz). The attack needs a containing bowler to try and build some pressure.

    And you’re right, Watson can’t be used as a true all-rounder if he opens.

    If things go badly in this test, will bad Ricky rear his head?

  2. Steve. I also think Ricky could ask for some leadership skills and footwork in the Santa sack

  3. My experience is that beer always works.

  4. After the way this test has started, it seems that Santa is definently not listening! Should be interesting to see how we bowl tonight…

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