Posts Tagged ‘Test Match cricket’

Good thing Rob Quiney did all that net bowling

The last thing Rob Quiney thought he would be doing was bowling on the first day of a Gabba Test match was bowling six overs to give his highly fancied quicks a barely earned spell.

As it turned out I woke up to see the last ten overs bowled out by the Huss and the debutant, a disappointing way to start off my watching of evening sessions in the morning. Due to logistics, you understand, I haven’t yet been able to commence my morning session viewing in the dead of night.

Had the two most obstinate of batsmen, Kallis and Amla, broken the proverbial camel’s back?

As far as I know, camels are supposed to thrive in Australian conditions, so much so that I remember a guide telling me in a tour of Alice Springs’ surroundings that we had to export camels back to where they came from, such was their success in our climate.

Hopefully cricketers take inspiration from the tales of wild.

Our pace battery is desperately in need of a recharging (hyuck hyuck hyuck), their minds in need of a refocusing. I read that they need to bowl fuller, a strategy that worked ever-so-well against India last year in the series sweep. Why stray from a successful plan?

Well, when batsmen are in horrid form and don’t want to be there, it’s much easier to take wickets. Unlike the Indian batsmen, however, I saw a glint in the eyes of Kallis and Amla as I quaffed my muesli this morning. A glint that said: ‘Sledge me, bounce me, do whatever you want, but I’m still going to be there.’ These two are in the habit of making bowlers and captains stray from their plans.

Many have criticised Kallis for this exact approach over the entirety of his career, bitching about his slow scoring and unwillingness to be Brian Lara. Maybe he just isn’t as naturally gifted in strokeplay as Tendulkar, Lara and Ponting, but the fact that his average is higher than all of them speaks to a steely, gritty, ugly resolve that leads to him not getting out. Ultimately, not getting out also means he accrues runs.

Some have even said run-getting is an incidental side effect of staying at the crease, which I do not believe to be quite fair.

Kallis’ strike rate was above 60 in his innings of 84* today, not bad considering that’s above the career average of Tendulkar and co. Amla went at a comparatively steady (read: boring) 43.47 in his 90* off 207 deliveries. Sometimes not watching every delivery of a Hashim Amla innings and only seeing the end result is just as rewarding, in the same way one doesn’t have to see every metre of the Zambezi River to appreciate Victoria Falls.

It was in this situation that Quiney found himself, practically giving centre wicket practice to two of the most affluent run-makers of the past few circumnavigations of the sun. I could imagine that when Allan Border gave Rob his cap this morning this wasn’t what he had in mind.

Sure, he has delivered 756 rocks in his first class career before this game, but most of these would have been in the second session of the second day of a shield game at the MCG with the score on 4/4-squillion and his bowlers knackered to the point of giving up the game entirely. The G’s drop-in wicket has broken many a fast bowler’s, or for the purpose of this article, camel’s, back.

The more ideal scenario for Rob would have been coming in at 1/150 with the shine having been tonked off the pill by a David Warner onslaught. Quiney’s job from there would have been to mash the par-boiled souls of the Saffa quicks with a slowly compiled debut century.

Twasn’t to be.

Is there hope for the Aussies to save this game with the score as it is now, 2/255?

Possibly. Bowl full and straight tomorrow morning and dismiss the two keystones (that’s right, TWO keystones) of the Proteas’ batting lineup and who knows what can happen.

I wouldn’t count on it though. Looks like my prediction from yesterday is already up shit creek.

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Stand, spray and deliver.

Critiques from the arm chair