Second Test – Day 2: Real Time Cricket

Taking a work phone call on the morning of any leave day is a bit of downer, but on the day of a visit to the MCG test, it’s downright un-Australian. Although it was for only 5 minutes, I may as well have done a half day, such was the change in my mindset.

With a follow up email to respond to post-call, I noted that technology could allow me to follow the Test Series around the country without taking any leave. Hell, I’m sure if I sat on the hill at Bellerive, there wouldn’t be any surrounding sounds that would give me away.

This thinking reminded me that in 2013 my workplace will be moving to ‘real time’ working. There will be no set desks in the office. You just rock up with your laptop, find a spot in a designated area and start tapping away. You could be in the café, the lounge, the stairwell, the Gents, whatever, as long as you get the job done.

Frankly, I’m looking forward to it. But I don’t think Shane Watson could cope with it.

Watto seems like the sort of bloke who would have one partition covered in family photos, the other in company values and a designated place for his mug and all forms of stationery. Needless to say that ergonomics would be important. If someone borrowed his chair and adjusted it, the whole building would know about it. And if he rocked up and something was out of place, I could see him pretty much calling it a day.

Michael Clarke, however, would probably show up to work grinning, give all the blokes a high five, all the ladies a squeeze on the bum, ask the oldies about their kids, laugh at the nerd’s jokes then sit down in the corner, legs crossed and punch out a day’s work while whistling and giggling whenever Watto adjusted his chair.

The first session of Day Two involved the above pairing doing their best Arjuna Ranatunga impersonation by smashing fours or walking singles. The fact that they were doing it against a bunch of no-names (let’s face it) robbed the game of any intensity. Whilst Clarke did have the occasional moment of grace and Watson a dabble of grunt, it was clear that the Aussies just wanted to channel their inner Keating and do Sri Lanka slowly. The predictability of the match was confirmed when Clarke made a ton and Watson did not.

While this was going on, a curious bit of by-play was going in the ABC commentary box. Bryce McGain has been drafted in for this test, and he seems to be making a good account of himself. Unfortunately for him though, he has often been paired with Drew ‘Jimminy Gee Jillikers’ Morphett and I get the feeling that Drew is less than impressed with having the share the box with a newbie. I reckon that although Drew recognises the ‘jockocracy’ and that past players often fill the roles of 40 year veterans, he’s not really OK with that past player having a test career of 1 match for 0/149

Consider this exchange from yesterday:

B McGain: “What a performance. Has there been another captain in the history of Test Cricket who has had a start to his captaincy like Michael Clarke?” (Not an unreasonable thing to say)

D Morphett: “Well a bloke called Bradman wasn’t bad” (translation: shut up Bryce)

BM: “Well, yes that’s a good point” (translation: no worries old man. Sorry to be here)

I’d like to think that Ric Findlay then tapped Bryce on the shoulder with the following stats…

M Clarke Pre-Captaincy – 112 innings @ 46.97

M Clarke During Captaincy – 34 innings @ 71.38 (increase of 51.9%)

D Bradman Pre-Captaincy – 42 innings @ 98.69

D Bradman During Captaincy – 38 innings @ 101.51 (increase of 2.8%)

So sorry Drew, Clarke’s start to his captaincy has been around 18 times better than DG Bradman.

And incidentally, the very early stages of Bradman’s captaincy coincided with one of the worst slumps of his career. His first 5 innings at the helm yielded 38, 0, 0, 82 and 13. Of course he sharpened up pretty quickly with scores of 270, 26, 212, 169, 51, 144*, 18, 102*, 103 and 16 before WW2, but there aren’t any triple hundreds in there….

The remaining points of interest in the day were to be found in watching Bay 13 ejections, ground invaders and Mitchell Johnson continuing his career fightback. If Mitch were to be subjected to ‘real time working’ I’d think he’d deal with it effectively. He never lands in the same spot regularly anyway.

About Andrew Else

Andrew has self-reported to this site as a lifetime Essendon supporter. He also played local footy for Lara and Melbourne Uni Blacks.


  1. D Morphett continues to be a blight on the ABC cricket coverage.

  2. I disagree with several – Morphett is good

  3. WE were there, too, Andrew and by mid-afternoon the sight of a “ground invader” was a welcome diversion.
    Geez, it was slow in the middle Mitch Johnson or no Mitch J. A huge mid-strength beer container snake was underway just below us, and yep, they were getting busy in the old Bay 13 area. The security blokes and the rozzers, that is.

    But the “ground invader” was good value. Right below us he whizzed around three would-be tacklers and as K. O’Keeffe opined (on radio) he had a plan.
    An exit plan, no less. He got to the fence was halfway up scaling it before being pulled back by the legs by the irate, failed tacklers !

    Thanks for letting us know the name of one very ordinary special comments man. Bryce McGain. What a doozy. As a radio bloke he makes an excellent slow bowler.

    Where’s Flem Fleming ??

    Cookie: too much time in the northern Vic. sun. Drewsel M. is Jiminy Cricket personified. Footy season too. Maybe worse in winter.
    At one stage yesterday he even gave us the run-down on the Russell Morris duet sung at a “significant birthday”. Purrleese !!
    We know, little Drewsel. It was your 60th, wasn’t it.

  4. Gold! I’ve got images of Watto getting out of his chair too quickly and doing a ‘string going for his 2nd coffee in the morning. Interesting to hear the friction between Drew and McGain. Great piece. Any more Melbourne FC players arrested today?

  5. David Downer says

    Good one, Andrew. Very entertaining read on what was a dull day’s play (where one had adjourned to the bar at 12:15 for the duration)

  6. Great yarn, Andrew.

    Come tea on Day 2, I was looking for a distraction…

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