After South Africa and before Sri Lanka, riddle me this…

There were many big crossroad moments across this regrettably brief Test series against South Africa that caused Australia and its thirsting fans some knotted knickers of excitement and inflated chests of belief.

Ultimately however, when top-ranked Protea horsepower roared and that ice-cold bastard known as ‘reality’ awoke along with the visitor’s pace attack, Michael Clarke’s go-getting bunch were mercilessly handed a jumbo WACA pantsing, resulting in no trophy and more water-treading at third place in the ICC rankings.


Clarke: clone this man.

Graeme Smith’s lads, slowly drifting in and out of coherence through the series before viciously snorting the smelling salts for Perth, ensured those sweet endorphins of unexpected Australian supremacy- seemingly so close for Baggy Greeners mid-Adelaide- would cruelly stagnate into a pint of confusion clouded with the powder of a soluble selection jigsaw.

It’s another whacky moment in the recent history of following the Australian side play cricket, a task akin to watching a movie that has been badly edited by a visually impaired speed addict. Just take a look at the hair brain mosaic we’ve had to compute in this series alone.

Whopper totals. Collapses. Avalanches of wicket taking. Sahara-sized arid spells. A strange watery substance coming from the beady eyes of Ricky Ponting. The name ‘Faf.’

And that’s before you even look at the averages, the combinations, the horses and the courses.

All of this needs to be pumped in to the hierarchy’s high-tech data-spewer, and we haven’t even mentioned variables regarding the South African side of things. Remember the tourists carried additional Lay Down Sallies in all matches with former stoners, busted cargo, faux leggies and Dean Elgar effectively reducing them to ten for each match?

The smoke isn’t clearing, is it?

Seeing that things are still hazier than Nimbin, even after a proud and encouraging performance against a diamond team over three gruelling matches from our boys, I’ve used my issues heat map to determine the buds that need to be nipped by the CA consulate in time for Sri Lanka in eleven days.

This may induce sleep or insomnia for those searching for answers.

What supplement is required to make the top order collectively stand up at the same time?

I’ve won money backing clusters of wickets at the start of Australia’s innings in recent times. Ed Cowan, David Warner and Shane Watson regularly dazzle on an individual basis, always seeming to know when to produce a score that is going to keep their noses clean. But what about some kind of cosmic moon alignment where the trio hits the perfectly-sweet notes all at once to produce a thunderous symphony of early innings accumulation? It happens so rarely that you would think these blokes are so in awe of the legends below them in the order that they’ll do anything to watch them bat. Does this spluttering triumvirate need to be separated?

Quiney: keep the ball out of his hands and all is sweet.

Quiney: keep the ball out of his hands and all is sweet.

Is it time for Michael Clarke to ascend like the batting god he’s become?

We are finally seeing pay dirt for all of those years of Pup as a badly-coiffed Milo advertisement, and it’s time to stop wasting him as a rescue mission at five and start using him as a rescue mission at three. As mentioned above, the top order regularly wets itself in the face of the world’s barking bowlers, so why not chuck an experienced counter-attacker with Sir Don-like finesse at first drop to give the penthouse some much-needed concrete?

Should Mitchell Johnson keep his kit bag packed?

The popular line of thinking is that Johnson was a one-off hired gun for Perth and that he will be sent back to the factory lines of Shield cricket until Australia plays on another heavily compacted strip of cement. But we all know it’s never that easy with Johnson, and with his above-average showing in the last Test, his poster on the wall of Inverarity’s bedroom and Australia’s washing machine of bowling talent tumble-turning, no doubt he’ll be a discussion topic over future selection sushi sessions.

Does Rob Quiney have hairy enough arms to replace Ricky Ponting?

Like a backyard that’s had a gumtree uprooted, the middle order is now 13,000-odd runs down in experience with Monday’s big sayonara to the fleecy forearms of Punter in Perth. Life’s laws dictate that Quiney should be given first dibs on the role considering his fingerprints were the last seen on the revolving door of the top six. Does he have the years in front of him- not to mention the stones required- to competently replace a man with 41 Test tons?

Watson at six means more time for physio and grooming.

Watson at six means more time for physio and grooming.

Is the Shane Watson experiment at the top of the order gaining six-appeal?

Let’s face it: we all knew it was too good to be true when Watson went on that unbelievable streak of half-centuries as a makeshift opener from when he was pole-vaulted to the top in the 2009 Ashes, and there’s no doubt when the big fella is plundering attacks and losing interest in the 70s, he was one of the first picked in the top three. But now that his front-foot aggression has begun to open him up as an LBW candidate, coupled with the fact that his bowling is now ridiculously valuable, shouldn’t he be given his Danny Glover moment by moving him from shooting new ball crims in the front line to light paperwork in the back office?



Don’t forget peeps that you can also read my dross observations on and at Plus I flick crap all over Twitter too so follow-up! @PlayUp_Roosters is the handle to…. well, handle. Cheers!

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1 Comment

  1. The Senior

     /  December 5, 2012

    The answer is: Rotate the selectors.
    Stop the presses! “She who must be obeyed” has just advised me that Warnie,if requested by his best mate (top Dog) is willing to once again grasp the cherry and do his duty for our pathetic attack.
    Has he lost his poker face and run out of chips,and is his texting finger beginning to twitch in the old familiar way?

    We have a problem with our top 4 batsmen, and our bowlers,as a unit fail to deliver.

    The ashes are a definite concern.


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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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