The bowling, on the other hand, worked very well, backed up by savvy field settings and some rather productive verbals, which is the area where I expect to hear a fair bit of Soap Dodger bleating over the next day or two.
I spent the first bit of the morning walk pondering the verbals, and came to the conclusion the Anderson sledge (the one about broken arms) may have verged on the intimidatory, but was fair enough.
With the field that was set at the time, you wouldn’t have been expecting too much that was pitched up but you want the batsman going back so when you do pitch it up you’ve got a chance of a yorker or LBW. Comments that suggest the use of limbs to protect the head are a way of getting the batsman into the right mindset to cooperate with your game plan.
That’s fair enough in my book.
It’s much fairer than the Barmy Army’s attempts to manipulate the result by taking down key players on the Australian side. Their main target last time around out here (and the previous series over there) was, of course, Mitchell Johnson, and given what they deliberately dished out once a degree of fragility was found they have no right of reply in this instance.
In fact, given the fact that they were still in fine voice after the second resumption yesterday afternoon I’m inclined to mark our performance down further on the grounds of insufficient dominance. I won’t really be satisfied until they’re reduced to total silence by repeated thrashings of their precious little batch of fresh-faced provocateurs.
That’s not likely to happen when the proceedings resume in Adelaide in ten days’ time, and I doubt they’ll have been given the treatment prescribed by Dr O’Keefe on their way out to the tour game in Alice Springs. A two day trip on a Greyhound bus with faulty air-conditioning is a nice concept, but one doubts the ability to con them into it.
The new drop in pitch at the Adelaide Oval is by all accounts I’ve stumbled across, close to a feather bed, and we’ll need to score big runs in both innings to ensure the draw that is the worst desired result.
A win in Adelaide would be better, but the last thing you want is to be heading into Perth with the series level. You never know, by the time they get to Perth the Soap Dodgers might have gotten their bowling sorted out.
But even if they don’t there’s a good deal of work to be done before we head off across the Indian Ocean to face quality opposition in South Africa.