Monday, July 15, 2013

Ashes First Test Review

Firstly, well played Australia. Not many of us predicted that the boys would get within a cheating Pom and a blind umpire of pulling off a miraculous victory. Rogers and Watson look a solid opening partnership in the short term. Hughes came through with some first innings runs, though still looks to have a few issues to sort out. Smith surprised by actually contributing something to Australian cricket, a tidy first innings saved us from complete disaster. Pattinson, Starc and Siddle all showed plenty of purpose with the ball. And you just couldn't help but feel sorry for Haddin, a valiant effort to get us within a cheating Pom and a blind umpire of glorious victory, justifying his selection as vice-captain fully. Such bravery, yet ultimate defeat, one wonders how I survived this Test without alcohol (visiting the in-laws)...

And now to one Ashton Agar. Three weeks ago, I'd never been less excited about an Ashes series. A bit of interest started to creep back in after the appointment of Boof Lehmann, but still, we were surely up against it, and my patience had been worn thin over the last couple of years. My interest in Test cricket had indeed waned somewhat with each retirement of Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, Hussey etc etc. And at Trent Bridge, I realised why I hadn't been enjoying the game that much... I didn't have a hero any more. A guy capable of coming up with the unthinkable. A guy who doesn't know when to quit. A guy who isn't afraid of the moment. A guy who can conjure up some magic when all seems lost. A guy who can guts it out when the going is tough. Because it wasn't just the 98 he put on in the 163 run last wicket stand with Hughes in the first innings. It wasn't just the 2/82 (should have been 3-for if not for a cheating Pom and a blind umpire). But the 14 off 71 in the second innings, after all he'd done on debut to that point, those figures really epitomise the young man for me. At the time, we were pretty much beaten, but that gutsy 14 off 71 actually kept us in the game. So yeah, we lost the Test Match, and it left a bad taste in our mouths, even more so for those of us who butchered a 3 foot birdie putt on the Par 4 18th at Coffs Harbour Golf Course earlier that day, but I just think that as Aussie cricket fans, we've found ourselves so much more; a reason to get excited about Test Cricket once again. Another Ashes hero.

Now to England. Firstly, I would just like to say that I think James Anderson is a fantastic bowler. But beyond that, the guy just gives me the shits with his off-to-the-races cockbaggery when he takes a wicket. Pump your fist and high five by all means. Just quit running around all over the place like a young woman who's seen a cock for the first time. Alastair Cook...he seems all for this Anderson behaviour so that certainly leaves a question mark over the England captain...And he also seems okay with that c-word of a man Stuart Broad cheating his fucking ass off, so yeah I have a big query on his character, that's for sure. The mark of a man for me; would I have a beer with the guy? Out of this England side, I seriously would find it hard to sit through a pint with any of them. Particularly Mr Cheating His Ass Off Broad. Hopefully team management have sent Dave Warner out on the turps on a seek and destroy mission, and hopefully he doesn't mistake Joe Root for Broad this time...

And the umpires for the First Test can just fuck right off. They were an absolute disgrace. Bumbling fuckwits... 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


With Mickey Arthur's penchant for the unorthodox and retarded, so came his downfall, and we here at WHAB are pleased that the reign of Boof has begun. That's certainly not to say that all our worries are over but at least things seem to be heading in a direction that isn't a 10-0 trainwreck. With both sides as yet unnamed, Australia's in particular being a bit up in the air, let's just have a look at some key points for Trent Bridge.

First Test Points Of Note

*  As yet, Mitchell Johnson has not been considered for selection.

* As yet, Steve Smith has not been considered for selection.

* Neither Mitchell Johnson or Steve Smith have been considered for selection at this stage.

* Alastair Cook averages a paltry 19 at Trent Bridge. While that sounds like good news for Australia, in racing parlance, he's due.

* Graeme Swann has just 3 wickets at 65 at Trent Bridge. While that sounds like good news for Australia, in racing parlance, he's due.

* Australia need to bowl like this:

* And this:

THE VERDICT: Pattinson is rightly a lock on opening the bowling and England's recent form against left-armers warrants Starc's selection. The concern with Starc is his lack of ticker when things aren't going our way and a tendency to leak quick runs. Jackson Bird may well turn out to be the closest thing to the great T. Alderman that we'll ever have but it doesn't appear that he'll get a start here. It baffled me how a guy can have such a brilliant start to his Test career, as Bird did, then got put back on the shelf, maybe Mickey Arthur can enlighten us when he pens his memoirs. Anyway, looks as if they'll go for Siddle because of his willingness to bust a gut and bowl long spells. Watson will supply some tight overs and hopefully come through without another injury. Lyon is yet to prove he is up to Test cricket. His wickets come when the team is well placed in a match. The unthreatening nature of his 4th and 5th day bowling is a massive concern given the calibre of batsmen we need to roll twice to win an Ashes Test. He needs to fire when it matters or that will be the end of that. Johnson and Smith are not in considerations at this point, England fans will be bitterly disappointed there. 

Batting wise, Australia are thin. Cowan and Hughes have been given a fair go in the last year or so and haven't inspired any trust in fans. I would be playing Khawaja before either of them. Rogers' selection stabilises the top order given his form in English conditions and one has to remember, that while I prefer Watson down the order, his form opening with Katich was solid indeed. In fact, we haven't had any stability at the top since the Kat was stabbed in the back and the selectors/Clarke broke up a perfectly decent opening pair. Clarke is the rock in the batting order but we cannot rely on him to the shocking extent we have in recent times, more contributions are needed. Warner, well I wouldn't pick him for this personally, not until he proves he can go a lengthy period of time without being a total cockspanker. 

England have quality with bat and ball, there are some weaknesses there no doubt, but Australia is going to have to play very well to expose those and get a good result here. Given their appalling recent form, it's hard to imagine Boof turning it all around in the space of a couple of weeks, but at least it looks like he's got things going in the right direction. I'm expecting a competitive start to the series, or series', and as for 10-0, you can blow that out your arse England!   

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Channel 7 Just Don't Get Sport

The first thing I want to say here on my return from long service leave is that I absolutely fucking loathe having to change channels during a TV program. It's just one of those little things in life that I can't get past. Can't let go. Can't fathom. Free to air sports programs seem to be the most affected by this abhorrence. And sure, you might say well it's only the click of a button, it's not such a big deal, but quite frankly, it is a big fucking deal and that's one fucking button too many for me. When Channel 7 think that it's okay to make viewers switch channels during a Men's Wimbledon Final, well that just takes the fucking cake. Disrespect and half-assedness of the highest order. A great big slap in the face from the kings of butchering tennis coverage. When Inspector Morse "Endeavour" is deemed immovable by 7, one wonders why the fuck they bother with some piss-ant Wimbledon Final between a World Number 1 and Britain's great hope...