Thursday, 2 May 2013

What Shane Really Means is.....

Shane Warne, most helpfully, has written an article for The Telegraph detailing how brilliant the Australian selectors have been in their choices for the Ashes 2013. 

You will notice that in bolded brackets, NWG has added in her own two cents. And these are probably not worth their weight in gold, but still, they might be revealing what's really going on.

'The selectors have copped a lot of criticism in recent times [mainly from Shane, let's be honest] and rightly so because they picked some ordinary teams
[you have to work with what you've got, Shane] but they have done well with this one [really?].

They have chosen experience and bringing back Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin adds players with old-fashioned Australian cricket principals of hard work and aggression [read: the only blokes left who said yes when they got the phone call and hadn't been offered Dancing With The Stars]. They are two tough cookies. Haddin is a class player and Rogers will fight tooth and nail.
The big players will still be Shane Watson [has he done his homework though?], Michael Clarke [new nickname: grumpy] and David Warner. If they score 400 plus in the first innings [dream on] then this Australian fast bowling attack can win the series for Australia [was that a joke?].
India and the homework nonsense has been and gone [he wishes. NWG will never let that one go]. Australia will have a spring in their step again [new catchphrase: the spring of doom]. Look at the core of the team. I think Australia have picked cricketers who can think properly [congratulations Australia. You have players who can use their brain. Surely a prerequisite to being a human being not playing international cricket] and hang in when it is hard [and not fly off home when they're given detention].
A couple of squads they have picked recently would have had no chance in England. But this one has the ability to win and surprise England.
It is a big [stupid] decision to make Haddin vice-captain. They are not picking him to sit on the bench as a keeper [since when could keepers sit on a bench whilst playing? He's not that old, surely]. Wade is still good enough to play as a batter and will feature in the top six and field [well what else would he be doing?]. I feel for Wade but when Watson stood down [that's a polite way of putting it] the selectors had little alternative. The only other candidates would have been David Warner or Peter Siddle and the selectors were reluctant to give it to either of those guys [NWG wonders why...], so I can understand why they have gone for Haddin [ie there is no one else].
I am sure there will be a few headlines about Dad’s Army because Australia have picked a 35-year-old Rogers but I can see the logic behind it. He has been a bit like Mark Ramprakash in making thousands of runs in domestic cricket in the latter part of his career [Look how well that turned out. And also, does he not remember Mark's foray in to international cricket?]. By picking him the selectors are acknowledging that Ed Cowan and Phil Hughes could be vulnerable against the English new-ball bowlers.
Obviously it is not a long-term choice. He might only play for 6-12 months and then Hughes and Cowan can step back up [Funniest sentence so far. Hughes stepping up, NWG can't pick herself up from the floor she's laughing so hard]. There is a sense in the selection. He will bat in the top three, and Australia have plenty of options. Warner could bat further down and be destructive at six if Rogers opens with Watson.
I have taken Faulkner under my wing [Kiss of death. What has Shane suggested? Get botox?]. His nickname should be ‘Future because that is what he is as far as Australian cricket is concerned [catchy]. He can be a genuine all-rounder [note the word 'can' and not is]. He has the ticker for it [because his heart beats? Surely everyone's does that]. He is a left-armer who bowls around 140 kph and moves it both ways. He wants the ball in his hand and never shies from a situation [That means he always hands his homework in on time and his handwriting is really neat]. He always wants to be batting up the order. He is not the prettiest guy to watch but he has nous and a good cricket brain at a young age [no, Shane, he's obviously hasn't spent as much money as you on cosmetic surgery].
A lot will depend on the conditions. I will be interested to see what pitches England prepare and see whether they back their bowlers to out-bowl Australia’s. That would be a risk. Australia would fancy their chances and on seaming pitches it could go either way. With Pattinson, Ryan Harris, Siddle, Faulkner and Jackson Bird, Australia could [ten years ago 'could' would never enter in to his vocabulary. It would be will] knock England over.
England’s strength is bowling too and the more seaming conditions they prepare the harder the contest will be to call. Siddle, Harris, Faulkner and Pattinson are four guys who you know will be running in just as hard at the end of the day as they did in the morning. They are all quick too.
I believe England should prepare absolute flat wickets that turn and pick Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann [don't listen to him England. NWG can smell a trick a mile off]. It will guarantee lots of runs but on turning pitches you would back England spinners to prevail. Flat pitches would also promote reverse swing and England’s quick bowlers are probably more adept at making that happen [NWG thinks what he is saying is that England will win regardless of what the pitch will be like].
Obviously if we have a wet summer, preparing flat, turning pitches will be impossible. It is a long time, probably 20 years, since England have had the option of preparing turning wickets for a series against Australia.
This is not going to be a walkover for England. This Australian side will fight to get the urn back.'

Friday, 18 January 2013

And On She Goes

NWG knows she goes on about Australia a lot. She appreciates that sometimes it must get a bit mundane.

But being bowled out for 74 just makes NWG happy.

She can't help it.

And yes, she knows it will one day come and bite her.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Snakes In A Pool

At least one thing is for certain. The England team are a bunch of wimps.

Stuart Meaker was the first to spot the (harmless) sea snake in their (most likely) luxury hotel pool.

"Eeek," he screamed (NWG imagines). "There's something wiggly in the pool. Help me."

Eoin Morgan declared he's safer in the bath.

NWG thinks they all need to be a bit braver.

NWG imagines this was the actual size of the offending creature.

And you know what they say: they are more frightened of you than you are of it.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

India v England ODI

Samit Patel seems to NWG an underrated England player. Always on the fringe. First to be dropped. Angers the naughty Stuart Broad if he dare drop a catch.

But yesterday he showed that he should be considered. 44 off 20 in a finish with Kieswetter impressed NWG, not least because she loves a late flourish.

England have "rested" Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and James Anderson because of what awaits this year and it seems, in this instance, that that is just fine by James Tredwell and Jade Dernbach.

Stuart think, 'maybe I'm not as good as I think I am....'

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

All Is Forgiven?

Now, NWG is a truthful person. She doesn't like liars. She doesn't like cheaters.

She likes to know where she stands.

She likes to think that people want to be truthful. That they want to be good. That they mean what they say.

And then KP came along.

Now NWG likes to think that people want to change for the better, but she can't quite believe in KP.

England have handed him a (nother) central contract now that he remembers how to score runs and play nice.

But for how long will it stay like this?

NWG gives it till January 2014, just till after the Ashes and he decides to start texting again...

KP - NWG has her eye on you.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Shane Warne and the Exclamation Mark

Now you are all aware that NWG is not one to judge. She doesn't sit on some cushioned pedestal and look down on others.

She certainly has no opinion on Shane Warne's little outburst on the field against Marlon Samuels last night (Shane - remember it's only a game, and the Big Bash at that - does it really matter that much? Oh wait, that's an opinion. Turns out NWG can't keep quiet).

But what NWG really can't handle is annoying punctuation.

Can anyone explain these exclamation marks?

"I have decided to accept my penalty of a 1 match ban!" He tweets.

"I went to far in trying to stand up for the team !"

 "I'm disappointed at some of my actions last night as captain & as a player, but I'm also very disappointed at the severe penalty I received!"

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Last Week of My Cricketing Life by Michael Hussey

Monday - Six days to go.
Tuesday - Five days to go.
Wednesday - Four days to go.
Thursday - Three days to go.
Friday - Two days to go.
Saturday - Tomorrow.
Sunday - Finally.

It's a burden being called Mr Cricket. I'd much rather be known as the more successful Hussey brother. Or the guy that can bat. But they're not as catchy.

I feel a bit bad leaving Australia with someone like Philip Hughes, who for all his batting skill, holds as much charisma as a dehydrated lizard. It's not his fault that he's so serious. Or boring.

But when you've played as many Tests as I have, and travelled the cricket-playing world for as long as me, you'd understand that it can get a little samey-samey. When I suggested that we try and change things up a bit - you know, like have Mitchell Johnson bowl at the wicket instead of second/third slip, or Ricky Ponting crack a smile every once in a while - they knocked me back, saying why change things that work? I also put forward the proposal of swapping the baggy green for a yellow jester hat - folks, that really didn't go down well and sort of spelled the end for me.

My heart is heavy leaving behind a once successful team that now, well, let's face it, isn't really that good. If they had only given me the captaincy (after all, I'm called Mr Cricket for a reason), instead of Pup, I would have considered sticking around for a bit longer.

But Dancing With the Stars calls. I reckon I've got a good Fox Trot in me and I've been practising my jive for months. If that doesn't work, I'm off to Celebrity Masterchef where I'm sure I can squeeze out a celebrity cook book in the following months like some of my predecessors.

Listen though folks, don't worry about me. I'll be fine. To be honest, I'm glad to be out of the whole thing.

It's the team I worry about.