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Say what?

This, mind you, comes from people who’d describe the antics of the Barmy Army as a colourless bit of mostly harmless fun.

As The Astute Reader might guess, the conjoined subjects of The Niggle and The Sledge occupied much of Hughesy’s cogitations on the morning lap around town and a fair bit of the conversation after the right on schedule rendezvous with Jimbo at the bottom of Herbert Street.

You might, of course, be inclined to believe Hughesy’s taking these things a little too far, but much of the pre-rendezvous cogitations concerned this article by none other than Glenn McGrath from The Guardian.

Bowlers have the wood on Australians, the headline reads, but a closer examination reveals a rather thoughtful and decidedly analytical piece on the influence of The Niggle when it comes to bowler dominance over particular batsmen.

A glance at that overnight score card shows Rogers out to Swan, which now makes six out of seven innings.

The more you get a batsman out the more it becomes psychological, The Pigeon opines, and he’s right on line, just short of a length hitting the top of off stump.

You want to build the pressure, make sure the batsman knows exactly what is going on, he continues a bit further down, as Hughesy casts his mind back to the short midwicket that automatically went into place when Alderman was bowling to Gooch back in 1989. 

Then McGrath delivers the blow that loops things nicely back into the Land of The Niggle: And you do not have to confine the talking to the pitch – you can always say a few things in the media as well. Get commentators and fans talking about it, make it an issue, which is, of course, exactly what Broad was doing with his comments on That Catch That Wasn’t.

Brydon Coverdale’s one of the better cricket journos going around (IMHO) but he doesn’t quite get it right hereLehmann fires, but misses the point

Instead of trying to rattle the England players, Australia's coach should focus on the issues in his own team, the headline says, which is true up to a point.

Actually, it’s not so much a case of trying to rattle the England players, more an instance of he’s had a Niggle at us, here’s one back. Which, to me is fine. It’s all part of The Niggle.

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 © Ian Hughes 2014