Crisis Mentality

I haven't been posting much since the English international season ended in August. It's partly been a product of the desire to do other things after more than two years of crazed writing, partly because there didn't seem to be that much happening, and partly as a result of the type of existential crisis which any blogger can face if he (or indeed she) isn't getting many comments.

However, I'm back, and so too is Test cricket, with Australia and India, both of whom seem as though they might be on the edge of their very own existentialist crisis, gearing up for what promises to be an excellent four Test series.

Australia's issues in the spin department are well-known: with Warne and MacGill firmly consigned to the past, one wouldn't much like to be in the shoes of Jason Krejza or Cameron White over the next few weeks, although, as any Somerset fan will tell you, White could well biff some good runs to make up for any wickets he fails to take. And the lack of either of the two leggies in turn puts additional pressure on the occupants of the seam-bowling berths - sure, Lee, Clark and (possibly) Johnson are big enough to cope, but in India? Well, it'll be a good deal tougher than at home, that's for sure.

With the bat the onus will be on Hayden, Ponting, Clarke and Hussey. Their stats are great (as is the power of understatement), but you just never know; Hayden is getting old, Ponting's never made a run in India, Clarke's been ill and Hussey surely has to have a run of failures sometime. Which could mean that it'll be down to Brad Haddin to chip away further down and prove that he's just a little bit worthy of Gilchrist's mantle.

India, despite defeat in their last series, look slightly more settled and, with home advantage, should be narrow favourites. Although, with Ganguly becoming the first of the middle order to jump ship, it remains to be seen whether his decision is an inspiration or a hindrance, both to him and his colleagues. With the ball I reckon that Kumble and Bhajji will fancy their chances, as will Ishant and Zaheer.

So, for the first time this winter, it'll be a worryingly early start with Charlie Colvile, Ian Ward or whoever else Sky put up. And even if the dreaded Colvile is there,the cricket promises to be great.

But one thing worries the hell out of me. Will anybody be watching at the ground?


Anonymous said...

Sorry you've been feeling existential. Hopefully a quick visit to http://www.timesonline.co.uk/lineandlength will reassure you that you are not forgotten. You're this week's guest writer!
All the best, Patrick

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Patrick. Great that you included it without too much editing and I owe you a beer next season.

I hope Spain's bearable.

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