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Australia v Sri Lanka

The petering out of Australia v Sri Lanka blows the theory that limited over cricket is necessarily more exciting than the Test/county variety.

Sri Lanka, set a high total (334), made a good fist of it of it. At one stage they were 153-1 but once they started losing wickets ( 7 for 42 runs) it was an impossible task. Their tail end bowlers hanged around for 20 minutes or so never being able to do anything more than reduce the deficit of defeat.

On TMS Simon Mann was scowling his discontent. Had it been Jonners or Aggers, they would have filled in and started some subtext.

For example there were 3 Aussie commentators in the box and it might have been interesting to quiz them on aspects of the affaire in South Africa.

In my opinion the punishment levied on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft was appropriate but was the attack on the excesses of Australian culture of winning at all costs?

Speaking as one who has has traveled far and wide to see wimpish English submissions – one thinks of the 2006 down under Flintoff 0-5 whitewash after all the triumphalism of the 2005 Ashes victory – of the bedraggled Barmy Army walking by the sea at Mumbai just over 2 years ago after another caving-in contrasted to the player’s wives in the hotel lift so looking forward to a day by the pool with their partners.

I for one would not have minded a bit of Steve Waugh grit.

So that the Rust sports desk does not stand in the dock accused of male chauvinism I would like to praise TMS commentator Ebony Rainsford Smith, always perky and fun and no mean analyst of cricketing technique. Most of the male ex-Test cricketers tend to talk in terms of their own experience.

We were treated to a lengthy discourse by Graeme Swann on the first 3 balls he delivered in a Test match. Swanny is a card, but like most cricketers in his own bubble.

Charles Dagnall, being a county journeyman, and to a lesser extent Aggers (he took 500 first class wickets) tend to take the mickey out of themselves more, and others less.

Daggers spoke of the improvements in sports science and training.

This may well be so.

However, we now have 2 more casualties in Eion Morgan and Jason Roy so the analogy to finely-tuned but injury-prone race horses seems relevant.

One compares Fred Trueman, whose idea of training was to lift a pint of ale, but who got through thousands of overs for Yorkshire and England without injury.

About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts