Tuesday, 20 February 2007

More Aussie handwringing

The Australian has stuck the boot into Australian cricket this morning, headlining a scathing interview with CEO James Sutherland with the words "Cricket Australia boss in denial".

Meanwhile Australian bowling coach Troy Cooley spends an interview with the Age coming up with some pretty airy fairy sounding excuses for his charges' lack of penetration. Elsewhere in the paper Peter Roebuck has a real lash at the bowling, fielding and captaincy:

Phil Jaques is inept, Nathan Bracken and Shaun Tait cannot throw, White is a slowcoach and McGrath's bones creak.

The bowling has been erratic. Bracken lacks hostility, Tait sends down too much leg-side rubbish, Brad Hogg has hardly beaten the bat in five outings and was lucky to secure a place in the World Cup squad, and White is bowling pies. Hussey's field placements have been dubious, but inaccurate bowling can make even an experienced tactician look foolish.

While all this Aussie handwringing and disharmony is a delight, it also brings with it a downside - English gloating. Simon Barnes has published a particularly prime example in the Times. Personally I think if you are going to include a reference to hubris in your work, you had better not tempt it yourself. By writing off Australia so quickly, Barnes may find himself a little shamefaced should the side suddenly revive. And given New Zealand have decided not to play Vettori and Bond in Hamilton today that revival may come quicker than he imagined.

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