Posted by: nestaquin | October 7, 2009

Champions Trophy 2009: The Last Word

tim paine

Before turning attention from South Africa to India for the Champions League a few final thoughts on the 2009 Champions Trophy from an Australian, or more precisely, a Tasmanian perspective.

SHANE WATSON

A double hundred in a Shield final, World Cup winner, IPL Player of the Tournament, twice Man of the Match in Champions Trophy finals, twin unbeaten centuries in the semi-final and final of the latest tournament and still Australia’s most famous phasmophobic gay icon is yet to become an established selection in the national XI in all forms of the game.

If he stays fit that will surely change over the next 12 months as he is poised to fill the belligerent boots of a man that few thought could be replaced, Matthew Hayden. By batting in the same style as his former Queensland team-mate Watson will allow Australia the luxury of continuing to play an aggressive brand of cricket that was the bedrock of their decade of domination. He will, however, need to turn half-centuries into three figures regularly if he is to keep the likes of Jaques, Hughes, Klinger and Rogers at bay in the Test arena.

TIM PAINE

The kid from Hobart’s Eastern Shore has been living his dream the last few months and he has shown that there is still a place for outstanding gloveman in the limited over formats. His work behind the stumps has been a joy to watch, as has his sportsmanship, and he has contributed to Australia’s great run this last month by stumping as many batsmen in six weeks as Haddin has in his whole international ODI career.

All Tasmanians are very proud indeed of Tim’s and Hilfy’s behaviour during this winter and they, with their skipper, have represented our little island with dignity and respect. Being a small, community orientated, sports obsessed culture many children see them as role models and as a parent I am grateful to all three for setting a fine example for the kids of Tassie to follow.

RICKY PONTING

Completely in charge, Ricky led from the front and demanded nothing but excellence from his men. With the bat he was menacing and in the field threatening. His field settings were intuitive and ahead of the game and he was deservedly named Player of the Tournament. Even at 34 his appetite for cricket is voracious and he is determined to leave Australian cricket in better shape than when he debuted as skipper. That will be some feat but if 17 years of following Ricky’s career has taught me anything it is that he is a determined little bugger and that he should never, ever be underestimated.

BRETT LEE

When fit, flowing and ferocious Binga is literally athletic poetry in motion. Injury, ruthless Australian cricket philosophy and some excellent performances from the younger generation of quicks has meant that his reputation stood for little and like a true champion he has worked hard and taken his opportunities to reestablish himself as Australia’s premier fast bowler.

Whether bowling line and length, conventional and reverse swing, frightening bouncers or stump seeking yorkers he had opposition batsman all at sea and now that he understands that his place at the pinnacle of Australian cricket is by no means granted, it is expected that he put ego aside and not only stretch sinew and soul in every match but also teach and advise the younger bowlers who will eventually supercede him.

NATHAN HAURITZ

Bowled well beyond expectation and is forming a combination with Paine that is creating wickets from thin air. His use of flight and line has been impressive, as has Ponting’s fields, and his success has shown that given ample opportunity and the confidence of his captain he has what it takes to become Australia’s best finger spinner since Ashley Mallet.

The competition for the long-term spinning spot is still undecided but for now Hauritz has one foot in the door and an excellent summer should see that door shut on his competitors until well after the 2011 World Cup.

PETER SIDDLE

The man with the Southern Cross permanently emblazoned on his freckly back is guts personified.  At 24, with only a handful of international ODIs under his belt he was as heroic as he was miserly in the final. Clearly ill he gave everything for captain and country and there is no doubt that he has won the hearts of many in Australian cricket circles with his dedication and sacrifice this winter. It is hard to fathom that he has played less ODIs and is the same age as Tim Paine but I guess they build them tougher and decidedly rougher in rural Victoria than the leafy riparian suburbs of Hobart.

PRIZEMONEY

Although Australian cricket is flush with funds the $US2million will still buy plenty of bats, balls, shirts, caps, teaching aids and other equipment for the thousands and thousands of kids who begin their Milo Cricket Academy Programs all over the continent in the next few weeks. When Ricky and The Rollers win we all do one way or another.

DAVID LLOYD

Bumble is an affable chap. Amusing and generally entertaining but when it comes to cricketing knowledge outside of England he is a lightweight of hydrogenic proportions. I lost count of the number of times in Australia’s matches where he would pontificate about how hard Shane Warne is to replace. I understand that he is a Twitterer so could another Twitterer please do him and the rest of us a favour and inform him that Shane Warne hasn’t played one-day cricket for Australia since 2002 and that Brad Hogg was the spinner during their last two undefeated World Cup triumphs. So, David if you are reading this, repeat after me.

In limited overs cricket Shane Warne was replaced as easily as one changes socks. He was never missed. In fact, Australia excelled like no other limited overs cricket team in history without him.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. All excellent points, especially concerning Tasmania’s new(ish) contributors to the cause. Paine looked as good a keeper / batsman as there is – already – and i surely set to have the spot in both forms of the game as long as he wants it.

    Bumble? Great fun – but, apart from Nasser Hussein and MCJ Nicholas when he’s working for Nine, English broadcasters don’t know much about overseas cricket, which is a real shame.

  2. Paine did a stumping in the ODI series against England that Haddin couldn’t even dream of doing.

    It was down legside and it was mm perfect.

    That stat about Haddin and stumpings, if it is true doesn’t surprise me one little bit.

    Paine is a real find in my books. I want him given a run, if he can bat as well as he has shown already.

  3. Nesta, all the Sky blokes bang about Warne in all forms of the game all the time. Lightweights indeed. Boycott would show them up big time in the knowledge department.

    They embarrass themselves and annoy me as Hoggy did a very fine job for about 4 years in the one day team with ball and often with bat.

    • Hoggy was a gem and I’m amazed that none of them can remember Hogg’s bowling at the last World Cup. He decimated the English middle-order and the wrong’un that bowled Flintoff was as good as wrist spin bowling gets.

      Perhaps, there is a peculiar syndrome that effects the entire nation when it comes to cricket. As far as they are concerned the last Ashes DownUnder never existed and I suppose that rings true for every World Cup as well.

      • I remember watching some of the South Africans as frequently clueless against Hogg. Prod, prod, while the ball flicked past the bat or clunked them on the pad.

        Gilly used to yell out ‘guessing game’.

        Botham is one of the worst. He just rocks up from golf or whatever without even having paid much attention to the English county season. It shows in the rubbish he speaks all the time.

        They don’t care if what they say is off the planet as long as it is a ‘funny’ soundbite or can be bigged up in the Mail. Really poor. If it wasn’t for Atherton and Holding, it would be unbearable.

  4. a Tasmanian perspective.

    SHANE WATSON

    Thought you were going to claim Watto as a Tasmanian there….

    • Queenslanders in Tasmania always struggle with the Antarctic weather – it’s snowing today as it has for the last three months – and Watto pined for the tropics every day while in Hobart. I’ve heard he is playing for NSW next year. I suspect that move will guarantee his place in the national team for many years!

  5. I wonder if it’s a general thing regarding English commentators on Sky? The football commentators know of nothing outside our shores either and it can be embarrassing at times.

    Being generous, maybe they are so busy with domestic stuff they just don’t have the time to keep track on everything else?

    • I can understand it when it comes to football as there are thousands of teams and hundreds of countries involved but cricket is a very small community with only a handful of nations competitive. Personally, I just think they enjoy the gravy train and aren’t professional enough to give a toss.

      • I suspect the gravy train explanation is as valid for football as it is for cricket. It’s certainly just as much of an Old Boys club in the studio.

      • I agree – for most of them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: