Thursday, 30 July 2009

Watson tucks in...

Day 1 - Close

Opening the batting was once the hardest position in Test Cricket. In heady days when pitches were prepared for cricket and not chief executives, the position demanded patience, technique and stubbornness. Gavaskar and Boycott.

These days Shane Watson will do. With a Test average of 19 and a first class record of 9 opening the batting, he looked a curious option. Yet England dished up a buffet of long-hops and half volleys and Watson tucked in. Adopting, like Trescothick four years ago, the gung-ho approach that a one-nil deficient affords, he powered Australia to a strong position.

For a team as mediocre as England have been in recent years, they are inexplicably complacent. Time and again they get ahead and promptly lose interest. It is a relief they didn’t bat first today.

Strauss retreated to his conservative worst as he reproduced captaincy clich├ęs. When Graeme Swann’s effervescence brought a wicket, the spinner should have bowled for the rest of the day. Instead Strauss returned to Anderson, who suggested again that he is primarily a grey-weather bowler.

Ponting looks imperious and on a flat pitch if England are still napping tomorrow he could punish their carelessness.

1 comment:

Valerio said...

Sahil,

Excellent commentary. Well done. Once again side A wins the toss and waltzes to 1-100 and something. What a boring sessions it was. I got out of bed at 2.40am in Australia to watch it and I wished I had not bothered. My disappointment was only tempered by the fact that my expectations are being lowered all the time.

Once again, the pitch is a disgrace. England's effort was a disgrace. I thought I was watching a white-clothed 40 over fund-raiser. Boundary after boundary. Easy single after easy single. It was awful. Flintoff looked in terrible physical shape, Anderson struggled, Broad and Onions looked completely out of their depth. Swann was the only effective bowler, and as you say, why then did Strauss take him off.

The Australians could hardly not have reached the standard first session score of 1-100. It was horrible Test cricket. Absolute rubbish.