Tuesday, August 4, 2009

DiVenuto and Harmison in fine form - but for Durham

Yes...Michael DiVenuto scored 254 this week...and Harmie took a few wickets. And a test was played at Edgebaston in between the rain periods. Harmison looks like his form is on the wane though, and this probably means that he'll come into contention for the Oval test match - a flat batting track where underperforming bowlers get hammered. The selectors will wait until he achieves Mitchell Johnson-like accuracy and then pick him - dropping Broad who is starting to look like a test match bowler.

But on to the test match.

Phillip Hughes was dropped and then whinged about it on Twitter. He's looking like future captain material. Watson came in and looked like an opening batsman, before playing Freddie Flintoff into form with some pop-gun bowling. Haddin was awarded the Glen McGrath medal for injuring himself in the warm-up and allowing Graham Manou to make his test debut.

Johnson once again bowled some surprise straight balls, although I must admit that he did find a few more than usual scattered between his randomly directed thunderbolts. Hilfenhaus once again shouldered the burden of bowling England out - surely he's now running classes on swinging the ball for other Australian bowlers. Siddle

I also noted the return of sledging to the game. Or perhaps they were just passing the time of day during the dull parts of this match. Maybe Broad was explaining to Johnson about bowling and the art of getting it to go straight? Who knows, but Swann was certainly doing that and it paid dividends when his coaching finally paid-off when Johnson got his wicket. This is what all coaches live for. I'm sure Swann felt a warm feeling of satisfaction as he walked off. He may also need to coach Captain Pout on playing off-spin too - judging by the large gap between bat and pad that Punter obligingly left for him to exploit in the second innings. Memories of Harbajan Singh must have come flooding back.
The Edgebaston pitch become a bit lively with the rain, but then realised its reputation was at stake and settled down in the last two days to become the featherbed we all know it is. Once this happened there was no danger of either side winning.
The return of Ian Bell caused no waves whatsoever - I was hoping this well known whinger would compete with Captain Pout, but alas he kept quiet, obviously content with the amount of whinging he'd already done about being dropped from the team in the first place. With his colouring he reminds me of a mimime Boris Becker - but without the power, the sense of humour, charisma, or physique or the tennis racket (boom boom).
Michael Hussey showed that he is master of leaving the straight delivery...few other batsmen can have shown such a skill as he. Michael Clarke showed that he is possibly the best batsman on either side and ruined a good match by stubbornly batting through the last day. Surely the crowd derserved a batting collapse or two...but it was not to be.
And one point to raise. I have noticed that Captain Pout reached a milestone to be remembered. I'm not talking about him becoming Australia's highest scoring batsmen by passing the gritty and far grumpier Allan Border (although Border did have good reason to be Captain Grumpy given the sides he had to captain and frequency with which he found himself facing the might of the West Indies and watching a spectacular batting collapses while he himself stoically batted on).

I am infact referring to Captain Pout becoming the greatest ever spitter. It is a little known fact that no cricketer has ever directed so much sputum onto his hands in the history of test cricket. He has kept up a steady stream of spit into his palms and during this test reached the milestone of 100 gallons. He is to be commended and it seems unlikley that anyone will pass this record. Well done Captain Pout.

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