Posts Tagged ‘Ed Cowan’

Leadership rumours extend to Aussie cricket team

As the race for the leadership of the country heats up very quickly, then dies just as quickly, rumours were circulating about Mitchell Starc making an eleventh hour stand for Labor leader. Similarly, Simon Crean stood for the captaincy of the Australian cricket XI and for the key role in the latest Milo and Weet-bix ads, thereby ensuring his position as the most powerful person in Australia.

Granted, most of these rumours were started by me, but my job as a blogger is to simply report the facts, no matter how self interested or untrue.

But we have seen a bigger explosion of captaincy candidates in the wake of Michael Clarke maybe possibly (definitely) being out for the fourth Test match than there were Spartacus’s at the great Roman slave’s sentencing.

We’ve seen Ed Cowan, little Ed, the acclaimed scribe of the side, throw up his hand as leadership and captaincy material. Ed says that the more balls he faces the more runs he will score (thus his upcoming autobiography, his fourth, More Balls). But as well as showing off his mathematical skills, he also deigned to say that if he does the little things right, packs his bags on time, wears his sponsors cap at a jaunty angle and complains at the right times to big Uncle Mickey he might have a shade of a shot at having the little ‘c’ next to his name. Just to clarify, though, you don’t need a ‘c’ next to your name to be a leader, says Ed.

Spoken like a true usurper. Remember one week after the ides of March, Pup.

Little Davie Warner, too, a bladesman of some repute, not just due to how he waves it about but also because he’s just as likely to slay 100 foes as fell himself. What precisely David Warner could offer his teammates that Phil Gould couldn’t I have no idea. He could probably tell them that it’s mate versus mate, Commonwealth State versus former Commonwealth State, but beyond that I imagine his tactical nous and off-field diplomacy and speechmaking doesn’t compare to his opening batting partner. Importantly, however, his batting average does, and in a country where all that seems to matter is averages of batting score and tattoos, that might be enough to see Davey get the gig. In fact, it might be worth giving him the job to justify the millions spent on all that media training.

“Look how far we’ve come! Even Dave can present well to the media.”

I kid, of course. Compared to Ed Cowan anyone is made to look like a bumbling baboon, including myself.

And moving right on to the next of the baboons in the queue, scratching their noodles in the hope it will impress someone around the joint. Of course I speak of Shane Watson, the golden-haired, golden-armed, golden-batted golden boy of Australian cricket. It’s a pity his whole body is made of gold and is in constant need of buffing and rebuffing (pun) because otherwise he might be able to do simple things required of a professional sportsman these days like not get injured and be able to scribble ‘three things Shane can do better’ on a piece of napkin.

Then again Shane just had a baby, and that was the sole reason he was in Australia. I’d probably go back home to see my baby be born. After all, your baby’s going to be alive much longer than your cricket career. Unless you’re Sachin Tendulkar of course, who’s been playing cricket for literally as long as I’ve been alive. Scary and weird, scary and weird. Time to give it away Sachin.

It really doesn’t matter who skippers this Test match, does it? We’ve already confirmed that we’ve been flogged in India. Why even play this dead rubber? It can only lead to further humiliation of our boys, and I’m sure the Indians wouldn’t want to see that. They are, after all, humble, loving folks who welcome strange looking Australians to their shores with endless hugs, plates of vegetarian spiced stew and admiration for their captain. And who wouldn’t admire an Australian team captained by Shane Watson. Or Ed Cowan. Or Dave Warner.

All fine people and fine players whose spot in the side is completely and utterly guaranteed by virtue of their indispensable run-making of late.

In fact, let’s go all Port Adelaide on this biz-naz.

11 captains to take the field for the Aussies. You heard it here first.

When cricketers are just happy to be there

Overnight, Aussie opener Ed Cowan defended himself and his fellow batsmen by saying that scores in the West Indies are pretty hard to come by, and that the scores they’ve posted would, in different conditions, be worth a whole lot more. He specifically cited the prolific turn and bounce some of the Windies spinners are extracting from the decks over there, and that from ball one having to deal with spitting, turning, and generally abusive deliveries is hard. Yes, it is hard Ed. And my God all the batsmen over there have made damn sure it’s looked hard.

I wrote an article last week for online sports opinion site The Roar (link below) about the state of the wickets in the West Indies, and how they’ve made the cricket being played over there just so… boring. I said in this piece that it looks like, to me, someone who has attempted to be an owl for the past few weeks, Ed might be right. It is damn hard to score runs over in the Windies.

I refer you to this: http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/561855.html, the basic thrust of which is that run rates in the West Indies over the past twenty years have been deteriorating, from an average of over 3 runs per over in the 1980’s to this series which has cantered along at a lively 2.61. Since 2000, the West Indies also has the lowest average run rates of all Test playing nations, coming in at 2.98 runs per over. Remember too that run rates in the 1980’s were lower across the board than they are now (thank you Twenty20 and Kerry Packer).

I suppose I’m not giving you much reason to stay up and watch the game, am I? Well, too be fair, that’s not really my job. The cricketers are the ones that are supposed to be scoring the runs and taking the wickets. And they are. It’s just taking them a few more deliveries than usual to do both.

The conditions are making it hard for batsmen to score runs. The flat decks make it hard for quicks to extract venom from their deliveries, despite the effort they put in. It’s a different brand of cricket folks. I find it enjoyable. Others may not.

So don’t think Ed Cowan’s spitting the dummy or being a bit precious when he says that his battling half century may be worth a century back home. The guy faced 123 balls to get there. Shivnarine Chanderpaul faced 164 balls for his 68 in the first innings, which I can tell you was worth close to a century anywhere else in the world. Runs have pretty much been a byproduct of surviving for this entire tour.

End cricket piece without a laboured simile.

Check out my piece in The Roar: http://www.theroar.com.au/2012/04/21/lifeless-pitches-will-be-the-death-of-test-cricket/

Stand, spray and deliver.

Critiques from the arm chair