Extras: An Ashes Tour Themed Question Filled Extras!

img_2143

Bye: Is Mason Crane the first player to make his Test debut in a city with which he shares his middle name?

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/660889.html

Leg Bye: Have the following players misunderstood an instruction to have Don Bradman like averages?

Tom Curran: 100.00

Jake Ball: 114.33

Mason Crane: 193.00

Yet Craig Overton (37.66) doesn’t average over a ton. Go figure!

No Ball: Will Chris Lynn ever be fit?

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/21998811/chris-lynn-injury-raises-glenn-maxwell-question

Wide: After returning figures of 0-108 in Melbourne, has Jackson Bird played his last Test?

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/215152.html

Anatomy of Trying to Save a Test Career

img_7180adjhhhh

South Africa’s Stephen Cook had to wait a long time to play international cricket. Despite scoring run upon run at domestic level year after year the selectors had ignored him. Finally at the age of 33 the right-handed opening batsman made his debut against England earlier this annum. Representing South Africa A he had carried his bat for an unbeaten 53 in a warm-up match against the tourists before eventually getting the call-up to the full side following failures by the likes of Stiaan van Zyl.

He made 115 on his first Test outing and added 25 in the second innings. At home to New Zealand Cook recorded scores of 20, 56 and 4. He has struggled to get going down under registering contributions of 0,12 and 23 in the first two Tests. All this added up to Cook needing to deliver in the third and final Test, a pink ball day/night affair against Australia in Adelaide. Though South Africa have already won the series there is still much to lose… or gain for Cook. Remember that star batsman AB de Villiers is absent through injury and will almost certainly be immediately reinstated to the side. The other aspect that Cook is up against (Other than Australia’s bowlers!) is South Africa’s selection quota. Current regulations state that they must have six ‘black’ players in the XI. Stand-in captain Faf du Plessis certainly isn’t getting dropped and Cook’s fellow opener Dean Elgar probably has enough in the bank too. Basically Cook needed to go big in the third Test.

Did he?

I’ll admit that when I got up early doors to watch the Test I had hoped to watch a fellow Yorkshireman, Middleborough born debutant Matthew Renshaw opening the batting for Australia but it was the tourists that won the toss and chose to bat. Having got off the mark with a streaky boundary Cook was soon the very definition of plumb LBW to Mitchell Starc. He shook his head as Dean Elgar hinted at a review and marched towards the pavilion. But hold on!

Is it a no ball?

The big screen replays suggest that it might be. Cook is stopped from crossing the boundary rope. Had he done so he would not have been allowed to return. He looks up at the screen but he’s not sure, he looks rather bewildered and the episode goes on for what seems like an eternity. Part of you thinks that he doesn’t particularly want to go back. Almost with a sigh of resignation he returns to face Starc again. You sense that this is Cook’s moment. That dismissal could have been his Test career dead and buried but for an epic second innings century. He would have been stuck in the field for a day or two mulling over all that he’s worked towards slipping away from him when he’s barely had a sip. Now he has the chance to go on and make a score, plunder thousands of Test runs from this moment forth and look back on that no-ball as the moment that changed his entire life.

Before long Dean Elgar is out. Hashim Amla and Jean-Paul Duminy both follow soon after, all freakishly for five runs. This seems to be shaping up as a Stephen Cook type innings, it is everything that he is designed for, him to just stay there as wickets tumble at the other end. The commentators, nearly all past Australian players are tearing his technique to shreds but hold on, he’s the one that’s still there and runs are starting to flow. Cook is having a torrid time against Starc. He is averaging 46 against right-arm bowlers in Test cricket but just ten against left-armers, i.e. Starc & co. Josh Hazlewood is bowling really well too but Jackson Bird’s opening spell is a pressure reliever and when Nathan Lyon, wicketless for about a fortnight comes on, skipper du Plessis and Cook step to off and work singles on the leg-side. At lunch Cook has made it to 40 and soon after he and du Plessis register a fifty partnership but Cook just can’t get going again and following some not so subtle field changes he’s expecting a short one. He doesn’t get it and edges Starc to Steven Smith at second slip. Cook punches his bat in frustration.

In all probability he needed at least another ten runs to save his Test career, fine margins. One senses that at 33 once he’s gone he’s gone. Barring an Australian batting debacle he’ll have one more innings in this match but will need to get toward triple figures to ensure that it isn’t his last in Test cricket.

Hopefully he can cook Bird, starve Lyon, send Starc around the park and …err… get Hazlewood… err… stuck in the mud!

International Duck Watch!

img_1813

A few Ozzies join the club today. First, please let me apologise because in the excitement of Zimbabwe’s Craig Ervine ducking yesterday, I neglected to mention that Australia’s opening batsman Joe Burns got burned fourth ball in Hobart to leave him with a series batting average of 0.5!

Joe (Not too) Mennie (Yes I know I’ve used that before!) who was selected ahead of Jackson Bird for his superior batting as much as his bowling (See previous post: The Bird and the Lyon)

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/the-bird-and-the-lyon/

… also joined the club as did Mitchell Starc who made our longest duck so far, being dismissed by his (Unlucky?) thirteenth delivery.

Callum Ferguson, a player that Silly Point detailed last week (See previous post: Ferguson Not Forgotten)

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/ferguson-not-forgotten/

… managed to avoid International Duck Watch ignominy by scoring 1 in Australia’s second innings to add to his rather tragic run out for 3 in the first innings.

International Duck Watch!

img_1813

There was excitement in Tasmania earlier today when what was thought to be a Pacific Black Duck (Anas Superciliosa) was spotted in Hobart however it turned out that it was actually Australian batsman Adam Voges being dismissed first ball in the second Test.

Australia were bowled out for a woeful 85 with captain Steven Smith (48 not out) scoring more than half the runs. The only other batsman to make double figures was Joe (Not too) Mennie who made 10. Remember that bowler Mennie was selected ahead of Jackson Bird because of his superior batting ability. Debutant Callum Ferguson who featured in a recent post (See previous post: Ferguson Not Forgotten)…

https://sillypointcricketsite.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/ferguson-not-forgotten/

… highlighted the batting horror show by being run out for just three!

In response to the host’s abject display South Africa finished day one on 171-5 (Amla 47, Starc 3-49).

The Bird and the Lyon

img_1743

No it’s not the name of a pub, well actually it probably is. No it’s not a fable, well possibly. It’s the delightfully named bowling duo that the Australian selectors have decided to separate because ‘The Bird’ (As the Ozzy fans sat behind me at Durham a few years ago shouted every other delivery!) can’t bat. We’ve come a long way since the days I was growing up (The ’90s) if the Ozzies are picking their bowlers based on their batting ability.

Australia take on South Africa in the first Test in Perth starting tomorrow with BT Sport making their cricket debut. They’ll be looking to get in some net practice and get their eye in ahead of next winter’s Ashes when the viewing figures should go up a little.

Just incase you’re worried that the outfield looks a little rough, don’t worry, the image above wasn’t actually taken at the WACA!

Whilst we’re at it, here are a few more international cricketers with animal names:

Aaron Finch (Australia)

Greg Lamb (Zimbabwe)

Shaun Pollock (South Africa)