And now for something completely different…

Posted: September 20, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

This is my first blog about cricket for a long time now. Ages ago I switched cricket posts to another blog which has been allowed to go dormant. However last night I saw some an example of decision making by the Australian hierarchy that is simply nothing short of nonsensical so this week’s primary Rant returns to the cricket field.

If you know anything about Australian cricket, you will be well aware that one of our most dangerous players in the short versions of the game is David Hussey. He can come in during the second half of an innings and drop a very heavy foot onto the accelerator. In the 20-20 version of the game, this ability is even more valuable and he can brutalise a bowling attack. Yet Hussey, D is more or less out of the current line-up, being pushed into a position of rotation for an available slot. And why? Because of the appointment of the captain.

The current captain is George Bailey. I am aware of Bailey’s existence but not much else. Yet, rather inexplicably, he has scored the captaincy ahead of much more experienced players. His appointment as captain gives him an assured place in the batting order. And if that place is in the middle of said batting line-up, then someone else has to go. Hence Hussey, D onto a rotation list of players hoping to get at least an occasional slot.

The only acceptable justification for this situation is if Bailey is justifying his place there ahead of Hussey, D. So let us look at some statistics.


BAILEY
HUSSEY
Matches
8
Matches
38
Highest Score
42
Highest Score
88
Total runs
125
Total runs
756
Centuries
0
Centuries
0
Fifties
0
Fifties
3
Ducks
0
Ducks
3
Balls faced
110
Balls faced
621
Total innings
8
Total innings
35
Average
25
Average
23.63
Strike rate
113.6
Strike rate
121.74

  

Here is a reality check. A far less experienced player has been made captain out of the blue and despite his lack of results behind him, his presence has seen one of the real destroyers shoved onto the outer, despite the latter’s average being much the same as Bailey’s but with a noticeably higher strike rate and stronger proven record.

I know virtually nothing about George Bailey. For I know, he is a male equivalent of reincarnated Mother Theresa in which case I would sincerely apologise to him. But regardless of how good a bloke he may or may not be, his position in this team is simply not justified ahead of David Hussey yet the ability of the Australian team to lift its current ranking from a very dismal tenth position in the world rankings depends on the team’s overall strength. And more than any other version of the game, the 20-20 game is more a batters game than any other. Yet one of our strongest middle-order batsmen has had his effective career put pretty much on hold for a captaincy appointment that defies any of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

Did we win our first game by defeating Ireland? Yes. But, with all respect to my distant Irish kindred, so what? And please don’t go getting excited and point out that Ireland defeated Pakistan in a World Cup match. When the Pakistani’s have an off game (and despite their continuing stream of talented players, they have a lot more off days than ones when they’re on) the local pub’s eleven could beat them. After the beer has been flowing for a while. And don’t forget that, rightly or wrongly, the spectre of match fixing and throwing games etc still hangs heavily over the collective heads of the Pakistani team. So we can pretty much take that Irish win out of consideration for beating Australia. Don’t get me wrong Ireland possibly has more fight in them, shot for shot, ball for ball, than anyone else in international cricket. The extent of their improvement in only a few short years is nothing short of remarkable. But they still should not have a realistic chance against Australia at this tiem. The captaincy of the Australian team played no meaningful role. I could have come out of my decade’s retirement from low-level club cricket and captained that Australian team to a win in those circumstances. So George Bailey is yet to be actually tested. And meanwhile David Hussey must wondering just whose toes he trod on to be treated as he has been.

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