Since the retirements of Haden and Langer, Aus Cricket has seen some challenging times.
McGrath and Warne also left big holes but on most occasions their departures have been covered but finding a stable top order has been, in a few words, a continuing disaster.
Aficionados of the long form of the game, contrary to common belief and in the face of what NZ can muster to watch, sees massive crowds still turn out in England, Australia and on the sub Continent to watch 'test cricket'.
Unashamedly I am one, some call us tragics, others simply ask "why do you do it".
My short answer is it is chess played by two teams of eleven and either they draw as often happens in the board game, or one or the other is defeated.. At times that defeat is brutal but there are so many variables and the outcome, as in chess, can be sheeted home to one error, be it judgement, skill, an umps call, the weather or just bad luck.
The games origins are from the world of gentlemen where honor, honesty, losing graciously, winning with humility and doing the right thing were paramount. Alas that is no longer evident very often.
Back to my thread, what I call the pyjama game variations of cricket that are used to create TV exposure and the accompanying revenue have had the greatest impact on the way the game is played, on the role of the top three in the batting lineup, the two openers and should one of them fail the number three or first drop. Yes cricket is littered with it's own colorful descriptives.
I have played on the delightful little domain ground at Cheviot which is on the "front Lawn" of the fire destroyed Cheviot Hills Mansion House built by' Ready Money' Robinson, where the late Dick Allard claimed, according to legend, a fielder could be at third man and in the gully at the same time.
Yeah ok,back to thread. Overnight, finally an Australian opener, batted through almost a full day to score his maiden test hundred. It was a battle, he survived an early appeal for caught behind that the infamous DRS proved was not out but in another quirk, the resulting close LBW was ruled out of consideration by the current protocols of the technology based system, much to the chagrin of the Poms. Rodgers also had the good fortune to 'be put down ' by Swan in the gully on 49.
It was tough out there but Chris "Bucky" Rodgers got his maiden 'ton'.
Sadly for Cricket Au he is in the twilight of his career at 35, 20 odd days short of 36 years old, Rodgers is a grafter not a flasher.
His opening partner Warner is a dasher, he lasted 7 balls for 3, number three Usman Khawaja 6 balls for 0 and skipper Clarke also had a failure so I turned it off and went to sleep.
What a thrill to discover this morning, the old grafter that very few had even heard of until this Ashes Series, had come good,
I am not calling for a return to the mind numbing stonewall tactics that Trevor Baily, Geoffrey Boycott, Bill Lawrey and Co employed, but if an international cricket team does not have at least two batsmen who can dig in, particularly when batting is difficult as both teams have confronted at Durham, there will inevitably be tears of disappointment.
Well done Bucky, pity the years are agin ya.
3 hours ago