What a stupid STUPID waste

Posted: December 2, 2012 in Ranting
Tags: , , ,

Australian cricket lovers have been given a real treat so far this summer. At the start of the Third Day of the Third Test against South Africa, the Australian team are really up against it. The first two Tests were draws. The draw at Brisbane in the First Test was largely the result of rain but we got to see some wonderful cricket. The Second Test went right down to the wire in Adelaide with excellent play by both sides.

Come the Third Test in Perth, things were nicely balanced. But the marathon efforts in the Second Test by Australian bowlers Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus saw them unable to fully recover in the just three days until the start of play at the WACA leading to a largely rookie Australian attack despite the return of Mitchell Johnson.

A fighting comeback by the South African batters saw some respectability in a total of 228 but which should not have meant much of a challenge to an Australian lineup. But their bowlers, particularly Dale Steyn smashed the Australian line-up. Steyn’s delivery to remove the incredibly dominant Michael Clark was as close to perfect a delivery as you are going to get as a combination of line, length, pace and just the right amount of movement in the air. Clarke didn’t do anything wrong except possibly in that his form was too good – other players would probably have missed it entirely but Clarke was batting well enough to still get an edge. Then with the pitch flattening out a little, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla accelerated the pace putting the South African team in a dominant position after only two days play. Matters are more finely balanced than the match figures may otherwise suggest but as things currently stand, it is hard to see the Springboks losing from here.

I have to pause before the main rant in order to give some major credit to Amla. He dominated at the crease from almost the moment he arrived. 3340His footwork against the quicks was quite remarkable. At one point, against a sharply paced ball that was very wide, he didn’t have to reach for it to crack it to the boundary, he had moved all the way across in a remarkably relaxed manner  that you just don’t see against the quicks, to then belt it. His anticipation of where a ball is going to be bowled is quite remarkable. And as I type, play has just recommenced and Amla has made the single to bring up 100 off only a ridiculously low 89 balls. Aggressive, hard batting but without going the slog and while being bloody hard to bowl to. In a way, it was a pity that he did not bring up that 100 yesterday in Doug Walters 100-in-a-session style as he was batting well enough to do so.

So now we come to the really stupid thing, the ugly thing. This is only a three Test series. It features the number one team against the number three team on number three’s home grounds. This was always going to be a cracker of a series. And ever since South Africa was readmitted to international cricket status, all clashes between the two sides have been crackers, full of top cricket and serious competiveness. But we still only have a three Test series. This is insanity. It is ridiculous. It is a bloody insult to the players and the cricketing public. And it is an incredible waste of an opportunity.

Let us assume that South Africa win this Third Test. If it were a five Test series or even a six Test series, the stage would have been set for an incredible remainder. The players would have been pumped. The crowds would have been pushing through the gates in venues like Melbourne and Sydney in droves.

But none of that is going to happen because we only have a pissy little three Test series. Here it is only early December but this summer’s series against South Africa is just under two days short of completion.

Why?

Why only allow three Tests for what was ALWAYS going to a real rip-snorter?

While I am sure there will still be some good cricket yet to come in the upcomingThree Test series against Sri Lanka, why on earth would the cricketing authorities purely and simply waste this brilliant opportunity for a real series that goes a damned sight longer than being all over by early December?

This is not the first time we have all, including the players, been insulted by stupidly short series between Australia and South Africa and here we are, doing it again.

Bloody pathetic and a brutally wasted opportunity.

Can anyone think of a decent reason why the cricketing authorities would have bothered with this stupid programming? No, I didn’t think so.

What a stupid STUPID waste.

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