Words of Caution

The coverage of the England-Australia ODI series highlighted the short-termism of much of the mainstream media, although I'm happy to admit that they don't have my advantage of being able to wait until the end of the series before choosing to write something about it.

After three convincing victories England were suddenly the best limited over side in the known universe; after his blistering spell at Lord's Shaun Tait was going to go through England during the Ashes series (providing Punter could persuade him to play); and after a few cheap dismissals Ponting himself was suddenly fallible, with his advancing years catching up with him.

Words of caution are required. For all the coruscating excitement of his Lord's performance, bowling ten overs - in two or three over spells - in an ODI is a world away from bowling in a Test match, especially for someone with the fragile body, mind and technique of Tait. Australia's pace this winter is likely to have to be supplied by Johnson, Harris and Bollinger, the last two of whom showed during the series that they have plenty to offer both in terms of speed and craft.

And, while there may be signs that Ponting's mastery could be fading slightly, it would be as well not to underestimate his ability to recognize this, recast his technique, adjust his strokeplay and go again. A burning desire to regain the Ashes will do the rest.

The greats make their own rules. So be very, very careful before even suggesting that Ponting is ageing. And make doubly sure that he doesn't hear you doing it.


Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

I most definately wouldn't be writing off Ricky Ponting on the back of a few mistimed hooks.

Also, not wishing to temp fate, but I'd be surprised to see Shaun Tait making much of an impact (if play at all) in the Ashes.

I now believe the Aussies have pigeon holed Tait as a limited overs bolwer.

They seem to be spreading their bowling around more these days, probably after all the injuries they have had lately.

With regard to the media hype, I have to agree. I'll give you another recent example.

Graham Napier, he hit all thoses sixes in a T20 game (on a ridiculously small ground) two years (or so) back, and the media immeadiately called for him to be included in all England's ODI teams.

The Sky commentators would have had us believe he was the best T20 player in the world on the back of one over rated innings, what had he done before, or since?

Brian Carpenter said...

Actually I think Napier was a bit roughly treated, as, having been picked for the England squad in last year's T20, I think he deserved a game, although he probably wouldn't have pulled up any trees at that level.

Most of the county T20 has passed me by this season - there have just been two many games and I'm usually still at work when they start - but I haven't noticed his name and I don't think he was playing in one of the only games I've seen much of, which was the one Essex won against Surrey with a brilliant hundred by Scott Styris.

Brian Carpenter said...

'Two' many games? Er, that should have read 'too many games'.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

I wouldn't disagree that Napier was treated harshly.

Personally I wouldn't have picked him. But after England did, he deserved a game or two to show if he could cut it. Otherwise what was the point in picking him?

My main point is that he played that one big innings and all of a sudden he was being portrayed as one of the best T20 players in the world.

Thankfully the selectors seem to see past a one-off innings these days (unlike sections of the media), and look at players over a period of time and judge them on temperament, rather than one or two big innings played on small grounds off average bowling.

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