Tag Archives: Cricket

I’ve Been Blogging For 10 years Now

…And I’m Sure As Hell Neither Rich Nor Famous For It

Well, 10years is a long time. It’s been across 3 blogs.

I’m thinking maybe I should consolidate everything into 1 big blog and slap it full of google ads. Let me know what you think.

MLB Opened 2014 In Sydney

I got asked for an opinion about the MLB staging their season opener at the Sydney Cricket Ground last weekend by Pleiades. I do have a bit to say about it but it’s all tangential to what happened. What happened was that the LA Dodgers rolled into town with what we now know to be the highest payroll in baseball and beat Team Australia 4-2 in an exhibition warmup, then the Arizona Diamondbacks twice to open their season 2-0. Also in the fray was the game Team Australia won 5-0 against the D-Backs.

Some impressions of the Dodgers… Jeez they’re a bunch of freeswingers. Apart from Adrian Gonzales and Scott Van Slyke, nobody really seemed to work the count at all. And they still won. So I guess that’s talent. They did leave it to the very end when they were losing 0-2 to Team Australia before they broke open for a 4 run top of the 8th. They kept hacking at the first pitch and were  being 1-hit by that time. Of course they went on to essentially beat the D-backs swinging that way so who’s to say they’re wrong? Maybe talent doesn’t need strategem?

Team Australia acquitted themselves well. This was surprising. The 5-0 win over the D-Backs was really surprising. Until of course the D-Backs proceeded to get rolled by the Dodgers in the first two official games. This prompted great commentary from the ESPN commentators saying that more scouts will come to Australia looking for talent. John Smotlz in particular seemed incredibly keen on the idea.

The arrival of MLB, even for a glimpse should represent a threat to the cricket fraternity. If the awareness of baseball goes up, the kind o talent that goes into cricket might opt to go to baseball. The money and opportunities are certainly weighted that way. This isn’t a discussion about which sport is better. Baseball has more money than cricket right now. When you combine other markets where it is played apart form North America,  it’s clear there’s a lot of money out there.

Here’s a comparison. Once-in-a-generation wicket keeper and batsman Adam Gilchrist probably earned about AUD$10million-15million in his career, an that’s being generous. Roughly overlapping his carer was once-in-a-generation hitting catcher Mike Piazza whose lifetime earnings would be closer to US$100million. They most likely have never heard of each other, which reflects how far apart the worlds have been. Adam Gilchrist had what cricket commentators might call a ‘tidy’ career. Mike Piazza had a resplendent one. Yes, “there’s money in them thar hills”, as they say.

Of course it’s s not all about the money. Lots of Australian kids have a knee-jerk reaction of hating on” Yank sports” so it might take a while.  A very long while even; but eventually the money and interest from America is going to make its presence felt. So yeah, money does talk and bullshit does walk. It’s making me think that the whole Kerry Packer World Series cricket thing was an attempt to stave off baseball from eating his favourite game of cricket. it probably worked in the 1970s. I doubt the numbers are there today and going forward.

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The Bitter End

Ponting Retires From Captaincy

I feel like I’ve been watching Ricky Ponting for a long time. If there’s one sporting figure that makes me feel old, it’s actually Ricky Ponting. Not Derek Jeter or Roger Federer or even Tiger Woods. But then he’s always made me feel that way since he broke into the test side as a 19 year old prodigy. It’s very strange to see him at this point in his career being pushed out of his position which looked like a birthright on the way up. The vitriol poured on the man is even more remarkable given his accomplishments as a player. Everybody carries on about Don Bradman, but by all accounts he was equally obnoxious in person if not more so than Ricky Ponting. I get it that there’s some part of a professional athlete’s job description to be likeable, but I’ve always felt people are asking way too much of this guy.

Maybe I’m a bit weird that way. I can handle Barry Bonds being Bary Bonds, Canseco being Canseco, Clemens being Clemens; steroids and lies and bad attitudes and rudeness and all. I don’t expect them to be role models. I liked John McEnroe at his rudest. I liked Michael Jordan at his most disdainful, Charles Barkley at his most pugnacious and Shane Heal for standing toe to toe with Sir Charles at the Atlanta Olympics, screaming back at his face. Ricky sledges? “Why not?” I thought. Sledge away, son. He wins ugly? Sure beats losing beautifully.

Anyway, he quit the captaincy today and the obits on his captaincy are in.

The difference was as simple as Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, who played all the Waugh years, and all the Mark Taylor years before him, but only half of Ponting’s. Indubitably, a cricket captain is only as good as his team. Ponting’s was much turned over, became brittle and unstable, yet somehow was allowed to grow old and stagnant, too. It was also distracted by the Indian Premier League revolution.

It was said of Sir Donald Bradman that his unique advantage as captain was himself as batsman. It could be said of captain Ponting that he had only himself upon who to rely. Ponting batted at No. 3 throughout his tenure, indeed has batted in that keystone position exclusively for the past 10 years. It is a singular feat of shouldered responsibility; Sachin Tendulkar, for instance, has never played a Test innings at No. 3.

In his insistence to bat so high, Ponting was in the end too stubborn. The strain showed in other aspects of his captaincy, and grew. But Ponting’s fault was to care too much rather than too little. Besides, no likely usurper emerged, either as captain or No. 3, a detail that tells of Australia’s cricketing decline.

Well I’ve been saying for about 6years that we don’t have as bright a future beyond Ponting as we once thought. So it surprises me a little bit that people are so keen to consign him to the dustbin.

Can he bat any better? Very doubtful. He might strike the occasional vein of form but they will be fewer and last less time with every passing season.

And, with every match he plays on, the reinvigoration of the Australian cricket team is further delayed. How many ageing batsmen can the team carry? Already there are Simon Katich and Mike Hussey, both almost 36. Age marks the prospects of both, yet Katich and Hussey have far more to prove and therefore more reason to play on than Ponting who, despite his record as a thrice-losing Ashes captain, has achieved everything in the game that he could have ever dreamed of.

Each night Julia Gillard must stick pins in her Kevin07 doll; Tony Abbott can doubtless see the face of Malcolm Turnbull every time he pounds the heavy bag. Don’t make Michael Clarke carry the baggage of an old leader into a new future.

I don’t know about all that. Seems to me they should just let him bat and see what’s left in the tank before kicking him to the curb. It’s not as if there are better batsmen a-plenty. In its longest run, it’s only going to be another couple of summers and then he will well and truly be gone. But you might wait another lifetime to see a batsman as amazing as Ricky Ponting play for Australia. I just don’t get the vitriol. You’d think he slept with everybody’s spouse – thrice.

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Cricket Stuff – 10/01/10

C’arn Mr Roebuck!

I was at a barbecue gathering last night with some folks at Puncher And Wattman and the subject inevitably turned to cricket. It prompted a quick discussion on what people thought of this column by Peter Roebuck.

On the form shown at the SCG against Pakistan, Ricky Ponting and his team will be hard-pressed to recapture the Ashes. At present, they ought to be cast as outsiders. England have a long batting list and are managing to retain a narrow lead over a reviving South African outfit.

Admittedly, the Poms have frailties of their own: they lack a fast bowler, and need Kevin Pietersen to recapture his former powers, but they will not wilt in the heat or be cowed by Australia’s victories this season.

On paper, it looks good: four wins in five attempts and every reason to expect a clean sweep against shattered opponents in Hobart. But the tally is misleading. Australia ought not to read too much into their dramatic triumph at the SCG.

For most of the contest, Ricky Ponting and company were outplayed by the world’s sixth-ranked side. Certainly it was an extraordinary victory, but sober reflection removes it from the list of great wins likely to remain in the memory. Australia’s performance was too flawed to carry the weight assigned to it.

We just couldn’t agree with Mr. Roebuck’s position on the lesson to be drawn form the test. The way I saw it was that the pitch was diabolical, but Australia can still bat down to the tail. The Pakistanis were tentative and inexperienced and susceptible to the inevitable pressure. Ricky Ponting himself assessed that given how difficult the pitch was, he thought what the Australians were likely to do on the first day with the bat was going to be better than what the Pakistanis were likely to do on the last day.  As events panned out, Ricky Ponting was right.

You’d be hard pushed to argue the toss with a result that worked out just as planned, even if the process looked ugly. Given that part of the thinking was that the process would be ugly, it’s a bit much to argue that the ugliness of the process proves the side is deeply flawed.

But then Mr. Roebuck goes on to argue this point:

Certainly, Australia recovered from a much weaker position but even that tells a tale. Historically, turnarounds on that scale can only be achieved by incredible partnerships (Dravid and Laxman in Kolkata, Steyn and Duminy at the MCG) or momentous innings (Lara in the West Indies, Botham at Leeds) or stunning interventions with the ball. No such inspiring efforts were produced at the SCG.

None of the bowlers surpassed themselves, and Peter Siddle was downright ordinary. Nathan Hauritz invited batsmen to plunge into folly, and they obliged. The pitch did not break up, Pakistan did. Australia did take two commendable catches. Had Kamran Akmal had even a moderate match, though, the hosts would have been crushed. It was that close to calamity. Pakistan were the better side but did not believe it.

We just couldn’t come at how this was even a point. The way I see it, it’s a very well balanced side that can churn out runs with an even spread. They don’t come along very often. Ditto with the bowling. At most, it says the Australian team is not built on the ‘Stars & Scrubs’ model.

I remember those sides in the mid to late 1980s, back when the batting was Allan Border, David Boon and waiting on the potential of the Waugh twins to blossom, plus some serious scrubs. Even with Border mounting many a rescue, those sides lost a lot until the side got more balanced with the addition of the likes of Healy and Tubby Taylor, and then the Waugh twins finally did blossom.

Conversely, I wouldn’t want to count on single big partnerships and momentous innings all the time for a come back. If anything, the way the Australians did it shows the side is quite good and without an obvious weak link. But Mr. Roebuck argues this:

Nathan Hauritz’s contribution was almost as hard to pin down as Hussey’s. Clearly he has improved but he’s not suddenly Jim Laker reincarnate. Rather he is a fine cricketer and a game bowler. But batsmen won’t keep slogging catches to deep fieldsmen. All told, Pakistan lost eight wickets to skied hits.

Suddenly, Hauritz has taken five wickets in consecutive Test matches, results indicating the welcome and unexpected restoration of finger spin and flight. Yet he is no demon. He was never as bad as he seemed, and is not now as good as recent returns indicate.

The same applies to Australia. Alongside the misfiring Marcus North, the top performers seen at the SCG had been regarded as the team’s weakest links. Apart from Brad Haddin’s catch, the highlight of the match was Ponting’s decision to persist with Hauritz after lunch despite his previous over costing 12 runs. Otherwise it was a mixed bag. Did everything change? Or nothing?

Wouldn’t this suggest that the degrees to which the weakest links are considered weak, are a little over-stated? That, maybe the people they’ve selected are good at some aspects of the game enough to warrant their selection? The joke this summer has been that Hauritz has been the replacement level player, and anybody can get a 5 wicket haul once in a while, but the guy’s done it several times in quick succession lately, I think it’s possible he’s getting the hang of playing at the Test level.

Anyway, we all agreed the column was a real headscratcher from a writer we all respected, and wondered if he’s welcome in the Aussie clubhouse at all.

And One More Thing

Here’s another Roebuck column where he suggests Ponting is in decline. Judging from his age, it’s not surprising if he was, but then Allan Border and Steve Waugh played well, well into their late 30s, so I wouldn’t dismiss Ponting just yet.

Anyway, the thing I’ve noticed is the media vitriol against Ponting has been more snarky than when Kim Hughes was Captain and his side kept losing. A lot of it is criticism about his personal style, which I can live with because I don’t care if he’s a bit dismissive to journalists as long as he can play. But this business has been going on some time now and the guys at Puncher And Wattman thought it was because Ponting lost the Ashes in England twice.

It’s kind of weird to be singling out the winningest Test Captain on record and slamming him for the loss ledger. It’s like the practice of American sports journalists where they single out the best player of a team and blame them for a losing season, as if to say they should have been a super-duper star to bail out a bad team from itself all the time – which is the similar kind of analysis to Mr. Roebuck’s above. It’s just absurd.

The proper understanding should be that the Australian side is in a rebuild and it’s going to take some time to shake out the guys who are going to be there for the long haul. The task is harder all the more because Hayden, Langer and Martyn over-stayed their welcome and McGrath and Warne departing in quick succession has meant the side is starting from scratch. The Australian side hasn’t been this young since the Kim Hughes days or the 1980s Border sides before the ’89 Ashes tour. And you have to admit, Ponting has won a bit more than those guys in that era.

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Transition Phase Blues

Like It Or Lump It

Which ever way you look at it, the current summer of discontent for Australian Cricket is a function of the changing of the guard that’s been under way since the Ashes defeat in 2005. One of the things that’s amazed me during this time is not the departures of McGrath and Warne at the same time or the shock retirement of Damien Martyn or Stuart McGill, but the persistent selection of Mathew Hayden.

I have a running joke with an old school friend of mine wherein I say, ‘everybody knows Hayden’s washed up. I’ve been saying it since 1991 but he keeps proving me wrong.”lately he’s looked more like the guy who probably should go. Even some older, wiser heads are thinking the same thing.

In persevering with Hayden for the Sydney Test, Benaud said the selectors had missed a chance to introduce 20-year-old opening prodigy Phil Hughes in a dead rubber in preparation for tours of South Africa and England.

“I’m not sure how the selection for this next Test fits into the rebuilding program unless they have made a decision that Matthew Hayden is going to be there in the long term and that Nathan Hauritz is the answer to their spin-bowling problems,” he said.

“[Simon] Katich has assumed the senior opening role and I think they have missed an opportunity to use a dead Test to trial an opening batsman. It seems they are being nice to Hayden because he’s been a great player. Well, that is putting the individual ahead of the good of Australian cricket. It shows the players or the sentimentality are being put ahead of the hard-nosed approach that’s needed.

“When you have a heroic team, it is like the West Indies, people get edgy about leaving heroes out even if those heroes might be in decline. There is a sense of that about this selection panel.”

Anyway, it’s an added pisser for me because my newer Phil Hughes doesn’t get to make his Test Debut in Sydney. Certainly not this year. There’s even this bit:

Benaud was on the panel that picked Warne for an underwhelming debut in 1992 and said the current panel of Hilditch, David Boon, Hughes and Cox had been too conservative.

“Shane Warne, God bless him, came along and he took 1-150 in his first Test but we still took him to Sri Lanka,” he said. “Now Jason Krejza has been discarded for what I would call a more conservative option. You have to back yourself as a selection panel.

“How could they have been taken by surprise by MacGill’s retirement? He was as old as Warne. I think they have been tardy there. They’ve had an opportunity to be a bit more aggressive about trialling a young spinner and I don’t think anyone sees Nathan Hauritz as someone who is going to be a match-winner. Jason Krejza is head and shoulders above as a spinner and a cricketer.

“They’re in spin chaos to me.”

Greg Chappell, head coach of Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence and a former selector, was also involved with the panel that gambled on youngsters such as Boon, Geoff Marsh and Steve Waugh in the mid-’80s. He said the current selectors faced a choice. “The big difference between now and then is that in the ’80s, the next level of experienced players went to South Africa for the rebel tours so it forced their hand to go with youth and go to the next generation. I suppose that is the challenge now: Do they try and hold it together or go to the future?” Chappell said.

There’s no point holding it together for now if they can’t beat South Africa at home on the WACA and the MCG. At this point in the cycle of this team, they have no choice but to invest in the future players – and they’re certainly there. It’s often said that it’s hard to get into the Australian Test side so it should be hard to get out. To me, that’s a total non-sequiteur. The latter in no way follows on from the former.

The fact is, it’s hard to get in because the competition is fierce – an that is good. By the same token the competition should be fierce enough that an aging player should be axed as soon as they start declining. The problem is, this team’s veterans are greatly in decline and the young guys haven’t found their feet just yet. In this context, the team selectors have to wield a tougher knife.

We’re not talking about Mark Taylor hanging on for one series too long or not. We’re talking about a general mindset that isn’t engaged with what the Australian Test side is going to look like, one year, 3 years, and 5 years from now. In that sense, holding over Hayden for the 3rd test against South Africa is a terrible, terrible decision.

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Double Your Phil Hughes

Why Settle For One?

To me, an ardent Yankee fan, the name ‘Phil Hughes’ spells promise. Ever since the Yankees started drafting more high-ceiling talent since 2004, Phil Hughes has been that promise that more home-grown Yankees were on the way. He’s shown stretches of that brilliance at the MLB level, but his story is largely yet to be writ. It’s going to be interesting and exciting watching Phil Hughes come into his own, hopefully as an Ace-calibre pitcher for the Yankees.

phil-hughes-the-pitcher

He’s even got a blog!

Of course, living in Australia, my sports fandom also extends to Cricket, and this summer I’ve become aware of another Phil Hughes that is knocking on the elite level of Cricket.

PHIL HUGHES didn’t really need a coach. After school each day from age 14 to 17 he’d just drag his father, Greg, down to the oval at Macksville and have him feed the ball machine. Phil knew which shots he needed to work on. Then he’d have Greg wait while he did his fitness program. Alone. Almost every day.

“If we’d had a big weekend away he might miss the Monday, and maybe some Fridays he’d have off,” Greg Hughes says. “But apart from that it was a daily ritual. It must have worked: he’s scored 53 hundreds so far.”

Phil had reason to work hard. Despite his tender years, he knew he had a rare talent. At 12, playing in a 50-over primary schools carnival final, he hit 159 not out, commanding attention similarly to earlier child prodigies Adam Gilchrist, Dean Jones and Michael Slater.

“That’s the innings that started off all the talk about him,” Greg says. “When Cricket NSW say they knew him from when he was 12, well, that’s where that started. It was probably also about when I first realised he could play.”

After that game Phil met Merv Hughes. Greg has a photo of the moment and marvels at the coincidence of his son meeting one of the men who now can control if or when he plays for Australia.

The thought of playing for Australia was first realistically conveyed to Hughes by Neil D’Costa, his coach since arriving in Sydney. D’Costa, who mentored Michael Clarke to stardom, planted the idea in Hughes’s mind that “in a few years Matthew Hayden is going to retire and you should make that position yours”. The pair have forged a solid link and mapped out a plan for Hughes’s career.

“We looked at how he would attack his rise in cricket with a mental and technical approach,” D’Costa says. “It’s working for him – look at how many people said he would fail in his second year. But I don’t see any second-year blues.”

phil-hughes-the-opener
I started seeing his name in the last few weeks as my Google News kept spitting out this other Phil Hughes to the New York Yankee Phil Hughes. It’s a common name and I might have just ignored it; but even when I know it’s pure coincidence I want to ask what’s in a name? To top it all off The latter Phil Hughes it seems is a New South Welshman. Well damnit, I’d better be rooting for him too, especially if he starts opening for Australia. It’s not as if he’s a South African or a Kiwi or Pom! 🙂

So that’s my present for this Christmas. I get a second young Phil Hughes to root for in the coming years. I’m warning you all that if things get a litle confusing, well, you read about it here first.

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On Armistice Day

At The Eleventh Hour Of The Eleventh Day of The Eleventh Month…

I found myself supping on coffee at work, watching planes land on the third runway. I get a spectacular view of planes as they land. From the moment I see their nose cones to when they hit the tarmac sending up smoke is 15-20 seconds. But I stopped to check that moment because it was the 90th anniversary when the Great War to end them all finally finished. And we’re still warring all over the globe. In fact we’re fighting ever more than before as we sell ever more weapons to needy countries. It’s a drag but it’s worth reflecting on for a moment.

Being Gen-X, our constant gripe is that we get over-looked for the babyboomers. When you look at the Inkling-Modern generation (the JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Max Ernst & Dada generation who found themselves on the battlefields in Europe in 1914-1918), they had a good chunk wiped out through the incompetence of their generals. As for me, having shoved the word ‘Gen-X’ into the masthead above, I’m already forced to ponder how pithy, petty and insignificant my generational gripes are today. We’ve got it relatively good in the scheme of things. 

So here’s to World Peace. Honestly. 

That Action Guy Link

I’ve added a link under the cinema section on the right, to ‘That Action Guy Blog’. It’s a very active blog with lots of stuff going on all the time, so go have a look. You won’t be  bored. If you’re a budding screenwriter, drop him a line. Brian M. Logan (aka ‘Monologan’ is ) full of good advice on how not to choose an agent and how not to get shafted by your manager who is the best man at your agent’s wedding (and other conflict of interest issues that arise). 

And if you’re just interested in what it’s like to be a screenwriter, then there’s plenty of gold in thar hills at ‘That Action Guy’. I’m waiting for him to plug this blog soon when I actually get a few worthy cinema-related posts up. BTW I plead Rachel Hunter on that: “It won’t happen over night, but it will happen!” 

Hot For Teacher

i-want-to-be-your-sex-slave-boyThere are several types of strange stories I keep track of because I think our society has trouble handling the material, which makes for interesting critiques. One is the constant reports on Great White Shark attacks, and the other is the ‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me/Hot For Teacher’ phenomenon. I guess I’m interested in predators. Anyway…

Today’s story is from yahoo.

A Melbourne teacher had sex with a student while on strike and urged him to treat her like a sex slave, a court has been told.

Nazira Rafei, 26, a science teacher at a suburban high school, allegedly urged the student to pinch her nipples and disrespect her, and helped him cheat on a maths test.

But the pupil decided to contact authorities when the teacher threatened to “stuff up” his grades if he ended the relationship, the Melbourne Magistrates Court was told on Tuesday.

Rafei was committed to stand trial on one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16 whilst under her care or supervision, and four counts of an indecent act with a child.

She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The other bit gets a little warped and racy like some Frank Zappa song lyrics:

It is alleged they hugged, kissed and rubbed genitals through clothes in her car.

On the first of these meetings the teacher is claimed to have said: “Treat me like I’m your sex slave, abuse me, tell me to shut the f*** up and to pinch … my nipples.”

During their relationship the teacher also allegedly said: “Disrespect me. Say shut the f*** up to me and stuff like that. Just say it, you know, it makes me feel like – like I’m your girlfriend.”

It is also claimed the teacher took the student’s partially-completed test from another teacher’s desk and filled out answers in grey lead for the student.

The test was then put back on the teacher’s desk and the student got 98 per cent for the test.

The science teachers WalkOff-HBP, Gra-gra, and I had back in the day were nothing quite like this. I’m now thinking of all the education I have missed… Hang on, they’re the words to ‘Hot For Teacher’. Anyway, at this juncture I just want to say is that the youth of today have got it good. 🙂

I’m not so sure if I were 15 that I’d turn down the teacher above. She’s not the prettiest thing, but she’s kind of cute. So I wonder if the judge takes that into account in some way. I mean, if an ugly fat teacher forced herself on to a boy, that’s got to be somewhat different t if a cute chick teacher seduced a 15 year old boy, no?  The law says… we all know what the law says, it’s the same thing, but I get the feeling that’s pretty willfully keeping the blindfold on the justice statue. What do you all think?

Tough Cheese On Punter

Nobody likes a friggin’ loser in Oz, and yes, the public is being told to turn on the Captain responsible for the loss of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, Ricky Ponting. Peter Roebuck in particular was scathing about some of Ponting’s decisions. Now that the Aussies lost, there’s a bit of media unrest going on. Ponitng, for his part has hit back

Ponting was adamant Australia deserved to retain their No.1 ranking despite the 2-0 series loss and predicted his team would play “some of the best Test cricket we’ve seen for a while” in the upcoming home Tests against New Zealand and South Africa.

He said it was absolutely vital for the team to come out and make a positive statement after admitting India had played the more consistent cricket over the course of the four Test series.

“We have to play at a higher level than we did through the India tour, there’s no doubt about that, and there’s no excuses and there’s no reason why we can’t,” Ponting said at Sydney Airport tonight.

“Just seeing the look on some of the guys faces on the plane, there is genuine excitement about moving on from the Indian series.

“It’s important we put that series behind us as quickly as we can and we start focussing on whatever positives there were out of the Indian series and start looking ahead to New Zealand and South Africa in Australia.

Seriously, in any game, you win some and you lose some. So what if they lost a couple in India? They’re not good any more? I’m not convinced as some of these guys who are pronouncing that the current crop of Indians will supersede the Aussies. They have to do it first instead of talk about it, and by doing, they have to knock Australia over, over here.  

As for the press, I have a few things to say. After some years in which Australian team showed some dominance, the press is gleefully taking to the possibility that the Australian team is not what it once was. I don’t quite get that, but I’ve always been a fan of Ponting since he first came up as a 19 y.o.. Having watched a healthy load of 1980s cricket where Australia didn’t have stroke-makers and let’s face it, couldn’t play for shit, it’s been a good couple of decades watching some great hitters of the ball play. I just don’t get this tear-down-Ponting thing going on in the press. It’s a form of insanity.

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