Brief thoughts on the current Test series.
Australia vs India doesn’t have the historical significance of a Test series with England or the recent history of the series against the West Indies either. The one sided nature hasn’t helped. India have been dominant on the sub-continent and Australia have correlatively dominated at home. Conditions are obviously significantly different and this has been a major factor. For a number of reasons recent series have been fairly contentious. This series seemed to be on a different trajectory. Sambit Bal’s incisive look at the year in Cricket had a particularly pertinent analysis of the impact Phillip Hughes’ death had on the Australian psyche and why that was the case. I was particularly interested in his following observation:
“Hughes’ death broke Australia free of the stereotypical image of a hard land populated by beer-swigging, tough-talking yet friendly people, to reveal a mellow, sentimental side that frequent travellers to this land have had opportunities to glimpse.”
Consequently, the spirit of the First Test in particular was played in a conciliatory fashion but cracks started showing in the Second Test and allegedly (if the media is to be believed – which it probably shouldn’t) war almost broke out in the Third Test. So why can’t we get along?
I suspect that the differences are cultural. Australians (rightly or wrongly) have adopted a fairly uncompromising brand of Cricket since the 1980s (perhaps earlier) centered largely around sledging and intimidation. The Australian Cricket team probably believes that their behaviour on the field is completely normal and that friendship and camaraderie with the players from other teams should resume once play has finished. I doubt other nations feel quite the same way. I think India are no exception.
Australians often play this way even at an amateur level. Anyone who has played Cricket as an adult could attest to sledging being a part of the Australian game. This doesn’t usually result in any significant ill feeling after the game (depending on whether the sledging was of the playful banter kind or the abusive kind), though I suspect for a percentage of Australians the behaviour is unacceptable no matter what level the game is played at. Public opinion is hard to gauge.
India for the last few campaigns have certainly attempted to fight fire with fire. I suspect the best way of combatting this Australian strategy is for India to play its own game. I think that would get under the skin of the Australian team more.
What was sweeter than Jelly Bread?
- Christmas holidays. Still awesome.
- Big Bash. Cricket on every single night. Nice.
EPL Tips Match Day 20
Stoke vs Man U – Man U 2-1
Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace – Draw 1-1
Hull vs Everton – Everton 2-1
Liverpool vs Leicester – Liverpool 3-0
Man City vs Sunderland – Man City 4-0
Newcastle vs Burnley – Newcastle 2-0
QPR vs Swansea – Draw 2-2
Southampton vs Arsenal – Draw 1-1
West Ham vs West Brom – West Ham 2-0
Tottenham vs Chelsea – Chelsea 2-0
I’ve adopted the scoring system utilised by Mark Lawrenson on the BBC (a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point and picking an exact score THREE points) and even though he wouldn’t know me from Adam we are going head to head all season long. It’s on like Donkey Kong (unless I get a letter from his lawyer or Donkey Kong’s lawyer and then I’m tipping against myself again).
Match Day 18 – Me – 12 (8 from 10 with 2 perfect scores) and Lawro – 8 (6 from 10 with 1 perfect score)
Match Day 19 – Me – 5 (3 from 10 with 1 perfect score) and Lawro – 3 (3 from 10 with 0 perfect scores)
Season so far – Me – 153 and Lawro – 134 (Big lead now)
Fantasy Premier League
Transfer of the week
Christian Eriksen (Spurs) for Nacer Chadli (Spurs) – Slight upgrade here. Unfortunately both are playing Chelsea. I’m not sure it is going to make much difference.
My team this week
Forster (Southampton), Bertrand (Southampton), Ivanovic (Chelsea), Baines (Everton), Eriksen (Spurs), Downing (West Ham), Sterling (Liverpool), Sanchez (Arsenal), Sigurdsson (Swansea), Austin (QPR) and Diego Costa (Chelsea) with Jakupovic (Hull), Kane (Tottenham), Wasilewski (Leicester) and Wisdom (WBA) on the bench.
453,583 from 3,411,461
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Tuesday, 6 January 2015 titled ‘7 things the ACB must do to rule the Universe – The Rebuttal’