Well we don’t know much about cricket, but from what we’ve been hearing and the fragments seen on television confirm is that the Australian team is just about Rock bottom. Or in sporting terms almost pure shit. Now in case you were wondering we think there’s something about Australian cricket that puts it exactly in the same spot as Australian governance. There’s a sort of kind of symbiosis at work. We know this is a crude comparison, but feel there are reasons for the decline of Australian cricket, and perhaps this underpins in some measure the triumphal return no less of South African cricket.
Now cricket is an interesting game. Test cricket is absolutely fascinating. It requires tenacity, concentration and an ability to remain stoically at the crease, if the side needs backing up and swashbuckling our way to victory when the moment is just right. It also requires sagacity, candour and wit. Such attributes call for judgement, not just of the ball and bat, but of the opponent, and the relative strengths of your team. With such judgement tempered by experience, the day is won, or to be more precise the five days. And as often is the case the best team doesn’t necessarily prevail. That’s where the luck co-efficient prevails, the wind being in the right direction, the ‘weather gauge’, to coin a maritime phrase.
But the Australian team possess neither. They’re all at sea. They’re not sure if they’re slogging it out in the short form or the long form. In fact there are so many forms nowadays, and they’re not that good at either. And the selectors are fickle. It seems all the selectors are recruited from Business management 101 and Commerce (beers at $9.50 per pot). They have all the theory, but don’t possess an atom of emotional intelligence. It’s all very James Hird if you really want to know. One day you’re in as a debutant with the future ahead of you, and that very next innings you’re out. Forever!! Not much good for team morale, and it’s the sort of terror that the opposition seizes upon. Just like they did at Modder River, Colenso and Spion Kop. A weakness at the very core, which gives them the edge. And in cricket terms that’s the end. It’s a collective Fall of Singapore, a Gallipoli on a vast scale, our own little Vietnam, and as we celebrate all the battles we’ve lost, cricket itself runs the risk of being embedded in the psyche as code for failure, Glorious, inglorious, take your pick, but without stars to shine, the view is very dim indeed.
It’s got to the stage when the worst cricket commentary of all, the Channel Nine team of uber mates, Warnie, Slats, Tubby, Peeto, (when Sth Africa plays) and Heals, cant be bothered wearing seat belts and that’s the NEWS! All the towel flicking and jock puling, and self absorption, they don’t understand how they’ve contributed to the failings of the national game. Sound familiar? Hmm could just be the press gallery and the turnstile of recycled and newish politicians, who stand for very little are monosyllabic in their commentary and possess no imagination whatsoever.
Not a game, but boredom. A predictability borne by the selectors, (either party would do) and the anticipation that there’s no stomach for the long term. All hopes are on the short term and the luck will follow. It’s complacency in action. Still it aint all depressing. It’s not often that you see test careers start and finish in a single over. Bit like government all round really. But for the commentators at Channel Nine it’s all gravy. They’re just observers, and we the public, join in. Though test team selection is a national pastime, no one has the stomach to be on a losing side. Winners are grinners, and the rest is history. Or in other words. Our cricket performance is where we’re at on the real issues. Good thing Turnbull got to speak to Trump. Another example of the ‘Innovation Boom’ at work. The disconnect is palpable. Bowled team Australia.