Wednesday, November 28, 2007

JK Rowling meets JK Lever

It seems to me that Murali has now become the 'Voldemort' of the cricketing world. A Hogwartian scenario where there's almost an unspoken vow of omerta surrouding 'He whose action must not be questioned' (HWAMNBQ for short) as though even the merest reference to a 20 degree plus bend in his elbow will result in the perpetrator being exiled to Azkerban without delay - or Glamorgan CC as it's known on the county circuit.

Keep a close eye on the Sky camera angles when hostilities commence on Saturday - expect lots of long shots from about a mile and a half away, mixed up with close ups so you can see the hairs on the back of his hand. Nothing, in other words, that can be slowed down, using the modern camera technology they have available, to give the impression of anything untoward.

On the same subject, the TRSM Prediction Competition is now closed. You'll recall that we asked you to guess how many times any of the normally fiercely outspoken Sky commentators would refer to 'the action'. The most popular entry by far was 'one', which almost everyone predicted will be made by Nasser Hussain, followed by the sound of a muffled struggle in the commentary box, chairs overturning and Nasser being gagged, hog-tied, put into a sack to be carried away by the ICC goons on duty.

Anyway, if you can ignore the 600 lb gorilla in the corner of the room, it promises to be a fascinating series. Sri Lanka got a good pasting from the Australians, although they'd have taken some heart from the Sangakara rearguard on the final day of the series, so it'll be interesting to see how they fare against an England side whose last test foray abroad was equally abject.

Happily back on home soil, it's unlikely that HWAMNBQ will have to toil to the extent that he did in Brisbane or Hobart - in fact the whole bowling attack will be much more comfortable, and thus threatening, than they were Downunder.

You have to suggest that this will be the last time England have to face Chaminda Vaas - It's a measure of how the increased number of tests over the past twenty years or so has skewed our reality of cricketing records that we took for granted. It's still extraordinary to think that he's picked up more test wickets in his career than Fred Trueman.

For England, there was an incredible sense of predictability in the warm up game headlines: -

Cook makes runs - check
KP stutters, then comes good - check
Ditto Matty - check
Harmy suffers some sort of twinge - check
Another of the quicks breaks down - check
One batsman struggles and has to go into the first test with few runs to his name - check

Finally, you really have to pick Shah over Bopara - at least for the first test. A decent bat coming in six is far preferable to an all-rounder at this stage, especially as England have Collingwood, Bell the Skipper and KP who can turn their arms over if a four man bowling attack struggles or one of the four pulls a fetlock.


Uncle J rod said...

Nasser getting gagged isnt a bad thing though, is it?

Mark said...

I'd rather they gagged Willis and Allott.

Uncle J rod said...

I think Tony Greig got drunk one night and thought he was in Brett Lee's room and he did gag Willis instead.