Tag Archives: kardinia-park

Friday musing is back – Test Cricket, Big Bash, Asian Cup & more

Chris Barwin HillsHappy New Year!

Well it is all about the cricket at this time of the year and my first observation relates to the standard of pitches that have been produced for the series against India. For as well as Virat Kohli and Steve Smith have played, there has been a lot of runs and not many wickets.

A lot of the Australian wickets have gone in the chase for quick runs. I wonder if the Indian authorities warned their Australian counterparts about preparing wickets to suit Mitchell Johnson. Johnson has struggled on these pitches with only one session in Brisbane where has been truly dangerous. It is hard to be too critical when there has been two results from the first three tests, with Australia batting India out of the Melbourne test to ensure they won the series.

However, I am sure if these pitches had been presented to the English last year there is no way we could have won 5-0. Nathan Lyon will be the number one bowler for the series and who would have predicted that at the start? I think in many ways for as well as the Indians have played, their fielding and catching has been sub-standard and you can’t keep dropping catches and win matches.

I hark back to one of those ill fated series in the 1980s against the West Indies when the Aussies dropped at least 30 catches. When you are playing one of the best teams in the world you have to limit their scoring not let them off the hook.

Continuing the cricket theme I have a comment about the Phil Hughes tributes. When does it all get too much?  I understand the test team has been truly rocked by what happened and it is quite unparalleled in cricket, however, I think we are getting very close to putting a lid on the tributes. His family have been decidedly absent from the public eye and I now think it is time for the players pay their respects in private.

Finally on the cricket, I have watched a little of the Big Bash and it is great to sit down and watch a bit of sport at night time and see a result. I am sure Channel 10 are rapt they have the rights. My accolade goes out to Brad Hogg playing for the Perth Scorchers. At 43 years of age he came on the other night and landed his spinners perfectly and essentially set up the win for Perth. Amazing!

The Asian Cup starts tonight and I must say my enthusiasm has yet to be piqued. Perhaps once it gets going I will be more interested, but at this stage the jury is out.

Continuing the World Game theme, I went to the Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory game last week in Geelong and while the result was not so good and it was still very hot, the crowd and the atmosphere were very good. I think of the AFL venues, Kardinia Park lends itself to soccer because it has narrow wings. The Victory have two more games at the venue in the next two years and my guess is the experiment will be continued or even expanded.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – AFL, Tania Hird, Andrew Demetriou…..

Chris Barwin HillsWell it is not very often I am angry on a Friday morning, after all it is the end of the week, however this week is different.

On the day before the Bombers first game of the year Tania Hird decides to give an interview to the ABC about some of the events of last year with regard to Andrew Demetriou and the so called “tip off”.  Why bother?  I can understand her wanting to support her husband, but save it for a book once he has retired.  It does not help the club one iota and certainly doesn’t help her husband who is already suspended, it just rekindles a story that all Essendon supporters and I am sure most football supporters are heartily sick of.

While I am back onto the Supplement Scandal I must say that Demetriou’s comment that he or anyone at the AFL didn’t inject anyone is quite childish.  He has said it on a number of occasions and it is not funny, it is not clever and it is not the point.

I am also puzzled about the ASADA findings.  A couple of weeks ago we were advised that the final report had been referred to a retired judge to consider if there was enough evidence to issue notices against any players.  Subsequent to that we now hear that ASADA are to interview Stephen Dank.  Should that not have happened before they finalised their report and sent it to the judge?

Let us not forget that the games have started and what an interesting first weekend of football.  The GWS must be one of the longest price winners in AFL history and they didn’t just win, they romped it in.  I think they were paying $11.00-$13.00 for the win and the Swans were $1.04- $1.05.  I don’t know what it says about either side for the coming season because you would not write off the Swans to still finish in the top four and equally the GWS finishing in the bottom four.  Maybe it is a portent for the future of both clubs beyond this year.

The Gold Coast beating Richmond was not a great surprise, although I am sure the Tiger supporters were very buoyant before the game.  Freo winning was expected, but the way they disposed of Collingwood after quarter time was very clinical and Ross Lyon could afford to rest Nathan Fyffe before 3/4 time.  It never ceases to amaze me how often Scott Pendlebury, Dane Swan and Dayne Beams get around 90 possessions between them, win lose or draw.  Port beating Carlton was also not a great surprise, Port play Etihad well and Carlton don’t.  The Cats have also saluted at home, which was also not a great surprise given that it is over ten years since Adelaide have won at Kardinia Park.

Roll on the rest of round 1 and may the discussion be around the games and not all of the outside rubbish.

Have a great weekend!