Posted by: tootingtrumpet | July 24, 2010

Pakistan vs Australia Second Test Day Three

A man with little to smile about

Today’s over.

Ball One – In his bowlers, Salman Butt has a tremendous set of weapons at his disposal, but, even though Australia were up against it on the scoreboard and in the conditions, his field settings allowed too many easy singles to the Australian late order and did not crowd the batsmen early in their innings. It is a curious fact that Pakistan’s captain appears to have less faith in his bowlers than most observers.

Ball Two – Australia’s upper order is in danger of descending to New Zealand levels. Clarke showed real fight, but little fluency, Hussey got a good one, but Punter, like many of his colleagues, was reaching for the ball too often, anxiety betrayed by a reluctance to let the ball come to him and play it beneath the eyes. In home conditions, confidence will return, but there are technical issues to address.

Ball Three – Mohammad Amir, as promising a newcomer to Test match bowling since, er… Graeme Swann, should be happy to concentrate two deliveries – the one that goes away from the right-hander and the one that ducks back in. He was too keen to go round the wicket after a superb start to the day. He will learn.

Ball Four – Some readers will know that I feel that Number 8 is a key position in the order and must not be left to be filled simply by the fourth best bowler available. Steve Smith’s wonderfully mature knock under pressure proved that point yet again. While Smith was at the crease, 132 runs were added – and the game was made.

Ball Five – Batting has seldom been easy in this match, but the ball hasn’t misbehaved often off the pitch – wickets have gone to some good bowling and some poor shots. While some low scoring matches in the past have been the product of uncovered pitches or doctored strips, a low scoring match of this kind shows the power of Test cricket to excite and intrigue. For all of T20’s hitting and ODI’s World Cup, as usual Test cricket trumps them all!

Ball Six – What, exactly, is wrong with Mitchell Johnson?

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Responses

  1. I think MJ is simply knackered. He became the leader of the Aussie attack before he was ready. It could be a similar situation to Shaun Tait.
    Well played Steve Smith. He could be the Aussie Ashley Giles.

  2. I don’t think Mitchell wants to be the leader of the attack.

    Ever. That’s the problem. He wants to be a support bowler without the responsibility of leading the attack. Hilfy always seems like the leader whenever he is in the team. Punter certainly behaves like he is.

    Even Pakistan can’t stuff this up for which I am grateful. No way do their bowers deserve to lose this match.

    TT, Butt is very inexperienced and has the added problem of having watched very defensive field settings far more than attacking ones probably for most of his international career. He may think that is what you do at the first sign of care.

  3. Agree with Lou about Butt’s field placings, if all he has had to learn from is watching Mohammad Yousuf in Sydney then what chance has he got.

    Did MJ ever get his form back after last years Ashes? In fairness Bollinger hasn’t done much to help either.

    What do you guys reckon with Steve Smith’s knock. Is that the end for Hauritz now? Or will the selectors go back to him for his experience?

    Think the view here in England, is that we would rather face Hauritz.

  4. Johnson taking wickets isn’t dependent on his form.

    He’s a very strange animal.

    He bowled the worst pile of crap in Perth at the Waca against the Windies but took 8 wickets for the match, so what do you do?

  5. Smith and Hauritz must be a chance of both playing in India.

    I have no idea what will happen with the Ashes.

    Depends somewhat on India I would think. But Smith’s knock did him no harm at all.

  6. Smith could take North’s place and Hauritz could come back anyway.

    MJ? I just don’t know.

  7. Yes, I seem to remember MJ’s wickets in 2009 came with the one ripper of a ball in the middle of a spell of crap.

    It was as if the element of surprise to the batsman was the sheer fact that the ball was put in the right place.

    In a five over spell he would bowl two or three unplayable balls along with about 20 four balls and a handfull that the batsman couldn’t even reach.

    Kind of reminds me a bit of Harmison in the past, except Harmy didn’t bowl as many wicket taking deliveries.

    But the two are/were frustrating bowlers who the captain can’t trust.

    Is there talk of dropping him? Or is there just not enough talent to come in for him?

    TT, with regard to Hauritz and Smith, is SS more of a batting all-rounder then? As I’d be surprised to see Aussies go in with two spinners.

    • If Aus believe in Smith, they’ll find a place for him, but 7 becoming 6 over time seems the best bet. It’s how SR Waugh found his feet.

  8. SS has got a cracking first class batting average for a kid and four tons.

    You saw what he can do in that knock. He’s done that a few times at 6/7 for NSW.

    I think he is a batting all-rounder in reality and will probably wind up at 6 further down the line. He’s ended up in the team as spin bowler as the Aussies have none that are much better in the first class comp. Apart from McGain and he has been wiped off the slate by the selectors.

    It’s a real indictment of our first class state teams.

    • Lou – I agree!

      • Don’t start me. The treatment of spin bowlers in the Aus State Sheffield Shield comp really gets me going.

        • Couldn;t agree more. We have really lost some youngfellas along the way – such as Bailey and Cullen.

  9. Well done Pakistan btw, very well deserved in this Test. Some very bright young talent in that side. Can;t believe it has been so long, there was certainly a few in there they should have won!

  10. Annoyed as I am at yet another inconclusive/backward-step game by Australia, where you wonder exactly where we are in the rebuilding process, I can only be delighted about the Test Match that has just happened. I couldn’t think of any team I would rather be beaten by at the moment than Pakistan, especially given they did it with sustained top shelf bowling. God I hope Aamer goes on, and doesn’t fade.

    Lillee said MJ was a “once in a generation bowler”. God I hope so. The Aus team doesn’t make any sense to me at the moment. I suppose we can take positives from the performance of Watson, Paine and Smith, but it’s a sad day when we have to take positives.

    • Ha, ha, ha. So true about MJ, Fred. LOL.

      Stupid thing is that Paine and Smith will likely get dropped.

      Ha, ha, ha, even more.

    • Fred, ‘taking the positives’

      That was Michael Vaughan’s line every time he got a good thrashing as a captain, and there was no positives to take at all.

      Us poms got sick of hearing him saying it, rather than just admitting his team had been stuffed. Lol

  11. Decent XI here to say the least.

    http://www.cricinfo.com/westindies/content/current/story/468726.html

    Lloyd unlucky but who could you pull out and Roberts vs Gibbs tight for mine.

    • No Joel Garner. One of my favourites. But I suppose if you have Curtley you don’t need him.

      • You don’t need a spin option with that attack – AME Roberts for Gibbs.

  12. Hi

    I work with the Barmy Army and saw your post.
    For anyone travelling out to Australia this winter for the Ashes or just for some fun check The Barmy Army’s guide to the Ashes. It includes information on the best places to hang out, accommodation and things to see in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. To down load your free copy, please go to http://tiny.cc/933cn

  13. First day of England v Pakistan and cric infor start with.

    “10.40am Ian Botham in his toss report …”
    This perfectly perceptive summations set the 10 year old in me free for the rest of the day.

  14. He was a tosser when he was captain… if you catch my drift.

  15. Hmmm. This triangle of Aus-Pak-Eng is really hard to read, and pick form. Aus handed Pak their backsides 6 months ago in Australia, then got it handed back to them in England.
    Pak bowling made Aus batting look silly, but then let Eng post 4-250 odd. Then woke up and knocked off the rest of the wickets for about 20 runs. Make sense of that?
    Throw in all the variables of duke/kookaburra, cloudy or not, whether Anderson is on song or not, whether Akmal will hold a catch or not, whether Ponting can get his bloody pad out of the way or alternatively score 120, whether MJ can take a wicket amongst the dross: it does my head in.

    It was great Aus set the lead for a long while in cricketing excellence, but good fun too, to see give and take.

    Enjoying KP at the moment though. That’s my base side coming through.

    Nonetheless, I have complete confidence regarding the Ashes, and my only question is who will be at second slip this time when Eng send down their first ball?

    • Nice to see you again Fred and read your views. I’m watching the Test from the Press Box (first three days anyway) and both pitch and overhead conditions make batting tricky, but not as tricky as most batsmen have made it look. Pakistan, England and Australia are all inconsistent at the moment with batting as brittle as I can recall for Aus and Pak and not much better for England.

      Your confidence is as strong as ever, but Finn and Broad will go well in Aus and Jimmy may have some good days. I’m afraid that I just can’t see the Aus batting setting up winning positions often enough to wrest back The Urn.

      I’m covering these Tests at http://www.five.tv/programmes/sport/cricket-on-five (under Gary Naylor) but I’ll write a report card here as usual.

      • Watching from the Press Box now !? Sounds like you’re turning pro. I hope you get paid, because the volume of your output must preclude anything else that might!

        I believe a top order of Watson, Katich, Ponting and Clarke can easily set up winning positions, assuming Ponting and Clarke have a good series. The middle order is a bit more questionable. The bowling should be more than adequate at home.

        If my confidence is always strong, it’s just because I’ve grown up with victory against England inevitable and somehow just natural.

        Pakistan now 9/79, they’re going to lose by 350 runs. Who can explain this team?

  16. I’m not paid – but the view is excellent and this is an unrepeatable summer for me!

    That batting line-up is good if it fires – but it splutters a bit these days!

    Pakistan? Nobody can explain them.

  17. i was working on my windspinner when i read this and im pretty sure you cant count pakistan out

  18. If the Aussie selectors are serious about a “horses for courses” approach to selection then surely next Ashes campaign in England should see David Hussey play at least the Headingly and Nottingham test matches.

    • His reflexes will be shot in 3 years time and we’d whinge about him non-stop.

      Mind you, if Punter is still in the team then, I won’t be barracking for Aus anyway.


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