Cricket! Yeah!

After nearly two days of cricket, I think it’s safe to say that our batting ‘replacements’ have solidified Australia’s position as the best batting line-up of all cricketing nations. Michael Clarke has certainly stepped up to the plate in this match, Mike Hussey has found his form again, and Phil Jaques was superb. Of course, Ricky Ponting looked like a real champion except for that silly mistake. And Matthew Hayden was Mathew Hayden.

But it’s the batting of the middle order today – Hussey and Clarke – which has just blown everyone away. They squared off with the current best spin bowler and won. They have weathered some real tight fielding and threaded the needle dozens of times to get boundaries. And there’s been no way for the Sri Lankans to stop them. It’s only going to be because of a lapse in concentration by Clarke and Hussey that either of them get out.

The big questions, however, are going to be answered when we bowl. The now ‘veteran’ of the team, Brett Lee, will have a lot on his shoulders, as will Stuart Clark. But the pressure is on Mitchell Johnson to prove that he is better than the other bowlers that do deserve a spot in the current squad (Hilfenhaus, Braken, Tait – though injured). Stuart MacGill doesn’t have to prove anything – he’s Australia’s best spinner right now, and has been the second best the whole time Warne has been around. So all MacGill has to do is go out and bowl – because that’s what he does best.

I’ll do a bigger and better post about the cricket when this first match is over and done with. But let me say: Michael Slater is the best thing to ever happen to the commentary team since Mark Nicholas.



2 thoughts on “Cricket! Yeah!

  1. Australian batting strength is obvious. As you rightly point out, it is the bowling that is a cause for anxiety.

    Brett Lee has to be more consistent.

  2. Brett Lee has matured, in terms of bowling, over the past year. It’s a shame that the rest of the world didn’t get to see evidence of this in the World Cup. He used to have a problem of being erratic, but he has calmed down over the past year and some and is some consistent. He has a little further to go to be on McGrath’s level (consistency, not style), but as he is now the ‘veteran’ of the team (with years on his side) I expect to see that level of consistency soon.

    I think what helps what I’ve said is that he has got the first two wickets for the Sri Lankans. I wouldn’t expect MacGill to have got any with such a new ball and green pitch, nor Johnson who is debuting. I think these two will get lower middle to tail wickets. Stuart Clark is going to be the one to keep the tight end and let the others get the wickets – maybe even snag a couple of his own.

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