Happy 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!