Cricket Returns to Normal

19 02 2010

With the series between South Africa and India having drawn to an exciting and thrilling climax, we can’t help but wish that there was more to come. A two match series between the two best sides in the world (according to the ratings – Australia may beg to differ) is simply not long enough. The cricket has been good quality and with the series being shared we are sure we aren’t the only ones wishing there was at least one more game.

It has been encouraging that India have shown increased interest in playing more test cricket. The crowds in the second game in particular, along with the high levels of interest the Compulsive Hooker can vouch for amongst the expat Indian community in Dubai is a renewed sign that Test Cricket can flourish in the modern cricketing world.

Regular readers of this site will know that we have been sceptical of Hashim Amla’s qualities as a test batsman. We will happily hold our hands up now and say we have got it wrong as Amla’s performances in India have been phenomenal. 490 runs in 2 matches is an extraordinary return and had he got only another 15 minutes support South Africa would be returning home victorious. Never mind his technique looks more akin to a Bajan beach cricketers, he is now averaging 47 in test cricket and is one of the lynch pins of the Protea batting order.

On the subject of cricketers upsetting the natural order, the cosmic world, briefly upset by 3 incredibly and extraordinarily unlikely wickets for Paul Harris in the first test, has also been set to rights with Harbhajan Singh comfortably out bowling him second time round. ‘Bhaji’, as he is known, took 5 wickets and bowled India to victory, whilst Harris’ toothless leg stump line was shown up as he went for almost 200 runs for one wicket. Having been genuinely worried that Harris was proving the hypothesis aired by players such as Boycott and Chappell that modern batsman aren’t what they were 20 years ago, our doubts are now fully assuaged.

South Africa have also usurped England as the worlds most inconsistent team. With England, one thing that any spectator can bank upon is their ability to play like a number one team in waiting and then to lose to Holland, for example, almost in the same breath. South Africa, recently appear to only be interested in games that finish with either an innings defeat or an innings victory which is about as spectacularly inconsistent as it gets.

Therefore all things considered we are happier than we were after the first test when several factors threatened the natural worlds equilibrium. Harris can’t bowl, Proteas can’t play quality spin, there is no definite number one team and England are no longer the worlds most inconsistent side!

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2 responses

22 02 2010
Samir Chopra

Nice summing up. How Harris gets wickets is beyond me. And he has an ugly bowling action to boot.

I hope to check out a game in Dubai in that spanking new stadium (is it?) some day.

22 02 2010
Bradders

Thanks Samir. Yes amazing stadium, quite small but that means you’re very close to the action which is great.

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