For no obvious reason I haven't done a blog entry about cricket since my end-of-year piece on December 30 (apart from a item spruiking my book "Today In Cricket" and why haven't you bought it yet?). Worse still, my daily Test match entries conked out after the opening day of the Australia v Pakistan First Test. The short explanation is that I have been too busy and/or too tired.
Nonetheless, I have been on Twitter throughout, which leaves me a good trail of notes from which to cobble together a catch-up blog on my thoughts about the sport over the past five weeks. I might post this in two or three installments (thereby leaving open the option of losing interest before I finish the final chapter).
December 26, 2009:
#cricket Steven Smith is in serious danger becoming the Burt Cockley of spin. 12:05 PM Dec 26th, 2009
NSW leg-spin all-rounder Steven Smith was a surprise selection to be standby player when Nathan Hauritz was in doubt for the Third Test against the West Indies in Perth before Christmas. He was flown from Newcastle, where he was with the Sheffield Shield team, over to Perth, and flown back when Hauritz was pronounced fit. Smith was sidelined from the NSW game having still being returning from his wild goose chase when the four-day game started.
Again placed on standby for Hauritz before the Boxing Day Test, he was released early and was available to play Twenty20 for NSW later in the week.
December 27, 2009:
#cricket How on earth do you wait for 24 overs before deciding the pitch is too dangerous? #india #srilanka 5:03 PM Dec 27th, 2009
#cricket Swift reaction, but what happens next? RT @CricketNDTV BCCI disbands Grounds and Pitches Committee http://bit.ly/81Hrvp 9:21 PM Dec 27th, 2009
The abandonment of the India v Sri Lanka ODI at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground, New Delhi, because of a dangerous bounce in the pitch. After much finger-wagging and the emergence of damning ICC reports, the Kotla was suspended from international cricket till two months before the 2011 World Cup (a decision that the BCCI is appealing). The IPL, with the Delhi Daredevils using the ground as its base, will play there in 2010 regardless, and forgetting how poor the surface was during October's Champions League.
December 28, 2009:
No #ch9 I don't care how much KFC pay for your stupid polls, your commentators are not the focus of your telecast. #cricket 4:49 PM Dec 28th, 2009
Poll in question: Which commentator would look best in boardies?
#cricket I have this vision. Watson opening the batting in the 2013 Ashes with Nathan Hauritz. They get 90s in every innings. 5:29 PM Dec 28th, 2009
December 29, 2009:
#cricket 10 runs = 220 yards = 1 furlong. Cmon Watto!!! 11:37 AM Dec 29th, 2009
#cricket A nation stops while Shane Watson grafts through the 90s. Is this what Australia come to? 12:10 PM Dec 29th, 2009
#cricket Mitchell Johnson is too good a No.8 batsman to be playing second fiddle to an over-rated no.8 batsman 12:27 PM Dec 29th, 2009
Shane Watson graftes his way through the nineties yet again. Having made 93 in the first innings, can he become the first Australian to score a Test century in the 2009-10 summer?
#cricket Seriously though, you can't expect more than from an opener than what Watson has delivered since his promotion. 12:38 PM Dec 29th, 2009
#cricket Shane Watson, Test Centurion. Does this mean he has jumped the shark? 1:46 PM Dec 29th, 2009
Not only did Watson make his hundred, he didn't chuck it away at 101 or 102.
Why, #ch9, why? Name me one show tonight - December 29 - that needs to start on time. Just one. #fail #cricket 6:01 PM Dec 29th, 2009
Proving yet again that cricket is nothing more than another program filler in their summer schedule, Channel 9 in eastern Australia cut off the last few balls of the day's play so that their evening's programming could start bang on time. Including "Australia's Funniest Home Videos, Daily Edition" at 7:00:00pm.
Will the "Drinking. Know when to declare" ads be effective? I hope so but gee they're awful! #cricket 5:20 PM Dec 29th, 2009
You'd really think K-Rudd should be hiding under a rock after his awful performance at #Copenhagen instead of showing up at the #cricket 9:54 PM Dec 29th, 2009
References to the Prime Minister On Vacation's appearances at the MCG to launch an Anti Binge Drinking commercial, which was nothing more than yet another tired parody of Richie Benaud and Tony Greig set to the channel 9 stock theme tune. Except that this parody starred the real Richie Benaud and Tony Greig.
December 30, 2009:
#cricket Much as I'd like to see an in-form Younis Khan at the SCG, calling him up now would bring two words to mind: panic and hypocrisy. 12:38 PM Dec 30th, 2009
#cricket Ricky Ponting, winningest Test captain of all time. Which just goes to show how much Test cricket is played these days. 1:37 PM Dec 30th, 2009
Wrapping up Australia's win in the First Test against Pakistan at the MCG, which gave Ponting more victories as Test captain than anyone else in the history of the game. But then he has already been captain for a year longer than Steve Waugh, and didn't have his career interrupted for eight years like Don Bradman.
This decade began on 1/1/2001 and ends on 31/12/2010. But then, a billion is a million million. Populism 2, purists 0! 2:37 PM Dec 31st, 2009