Calypso coffee and another workmanlike Aussie performance

Let us rejoice in the return of conventional snoozing arrangements now that our boys have wrapped up the series in the West Indies.

It’s that time on the ICC Test calendar where the cricketing fellowship stationed here in Australia plough through piles of Nescafe and No-Doz in the fight against midnight start times.

This series was an engrossing slog worth the rusted-on taste of dishwater-dull coffee and the twitchy leg muscles that come with it.

Issue: there is nowhere on the Frank Worrell Trophy that beer can be drunk from.

On the surface, a tidy 2-0 result to Michael Clarke’s men would appear like a garden-variety ‘takin’ care of business’ scoreline finalised behind the scenes with minimal hubbub. But there were mousetraps aplenty on the journey that required cool heads.

The wickets were super-drowsy at times, ensuring the fiercest examination of our batsmen’s technique and patience, a test that was often failed by a top order who seem to play tag on who’s turn it is to contribute each innings.

Then the bowling unit was stripped back to the bare and Starc essentials when powerhouses James Pattinson and Peter Siddle both crocked in the same match, and even a few claws were out for Nathan Lyon when he copped some tap early on.

There were crossroad positions in the first and third tests, when the West Indies were only half a session from becoming the pants-wearer, and the rain that scuppered a potentially tasty run chase by the hosts in the second match.

You can see why the Frank Worrell Trophy will be held fondly on the flight home by Clarke and his squad, especially in the overall scheme of their recent rejuvenation which can go from muscular to delicate based on the smallest trip-up.

Credit also has to go to Darren Sammy and his mob of capable labourers.

The air needs to be cleared regarding West Indian cricket, and I’m not talking about the sometime-spotted hazy scenes surrounding the relaxed punters in the bleachers.

Calypso Cricket is slowly cleansing itself of it’s squishy and bendable qualities.

They are still guilty of refusing to front-run in games, always somehow finding a way to unravel their hard work usually through spectacular batting cataclysm. But the difference these days compared with the rabble of previous years is that they are now regularly playing themselves into these positions that buy them a decent strike at the opposition.

Learning to place their hands on the other team’s throats and not their own could go a long way to seeing them on the right side of the ledger more often.

Now let’s put on our green and gold cork-hat. Our team has jumped above India on the ICC rankings into 3rd and there’s high-fiving happening around the water coolers. What’s on the horizon for the Baggy Green?

I said before this series that it’s just another stepping stone in the rebuilding of confidence. But now I have to admit, I’m getting a little bit charged about the possibility of making waves in the Old Dart in 2013.

Congratulating each other upon reaching double figures is something this pair will need to eradicate before South Africa arrive.

Clarke is captaining the side with a cool swagger and a fearless tactical nature, and our seam bowling unit is now running 6 options deep with blokes who can build pressure by sticking to a tried and tested blueprint of hitting areas and getting the ball to talk, a plan also known as ‘the opposite to whatever Mitchell Johnson used to do.’

Behind the sticks, Matthew Wade stepped up beautifully in place of Brad Haddin and cherried his tour cake with a gutsy ton in the last test. Whichever way the selectors go when Haddin returns is up to them; but once again it’s another bulge in depth.

Even Michael Beer, the forgotten man of the spin fraternity, took his chance and bowled capably when called upon.

As for the batting, it was a tough and torrid slog from the beginning that sliced a few egos.

Ed Cowan and Ricky Ponting would be thanking the time difference for the minimal exposure of their skinny numbers on this tour, but they should be there for the start of the Australian summer. However, I suggest a willow masterclass from the overachieving tail is in order to help them iron out the kinks.

Next stop? South Africa in our own backyard. A surefire way to either increase the excitement more, or brutally knock it on the head.

Now I’m off for some sleep.

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2 Comments

  1. I like the mix of Hulios, Nerds and elder statesman this current team have. You have the flashy bell ringers in Pattinson, Warner and Watson. Then you have the head down bum toilers of The Hilf, Cowen and Lyon. And then Punter and the Huss carrying the flag for the grey nomads. Throw in Siddle, and Wade for agression and us loungers have a rich tapestry of cricketer representing a cross section of Australia’s cricketing landscape. It’s beautiful!

    Reply
  2. The Senior

     /  April 28, 2012

    A word of warning. My memory is still reeling from the terrible pasting we received at the hands of the old enemy last time we journeyed to their shores

    Batsmen not batting,bowlers not bowling and dropped catches galore.

    Have we improved enough to challenge,or will we be on the receiving end of another shellacking?

    South Africa should answer some questions.but in the old dart the ball will swing.

    I only hope we will be up to the challenge.

    Reply

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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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