If you analyse Sunday’s one day international match, Australia were a tad fortunate to get away with a comfortable win.
It could have been 50 runs closer had the Windies had Marlon Samuels, one or two decisions went their way and George Bailey or James Faulkner had holed out early in their innings.
A lot of ‘if’s’ I know, but I like what I see in the Windies squad.
I like their captain. Darren Sammy is a mix of Sammy Davis Junior, Chris Cairns and the Indian rubber man.
He makes his own team laugh, and he makes the opposition laugh too. He has a slant on life that says, ‘You gotta love everything you do on a cricket field’.
Pity more Aussies didn’t heed that motto. They’d have fewer stomach problems and less sleepless night.
The Bravo brothers are great athletes and hellishly competitive. Chris Gale and Keiron Pollard will work out when to whack and when not to, and the bowlers are a mixed and varied lot with Sammy, Sunil Narine, Kemar Roach and Jason Holder more than adequate, yet Gayle and Samuels’ offies would make them even more restrictive.
Tassie cousins George Bailey and James Faulkner are not pretty to watch, but they were the difference between winning and losing.
George is no one’s fool. He knows people see him as a potential Mike Hussey, but he wants to downplay that line. George is George, and he will do just fine in any form of cricket.
He’ll work on his form against spin and he will manage his forward defence better against the quicks, but he certainly knows when and how to counter punch.
If Australia had their time over they would say they could have scored closer to 300, but six of them played like millionaires when they should have been trading places with George and James.
So Usman Khawaja or Aaron Finch get to take a rest and Shane Watson, he of the crook legs, back muscles, loose tummy and a thousand comebacks, gets yet another chance to impress.
Why? Because the selectors come from the same Star Chamber system as Shane Warne, the Nine commentary team and the other ‘Watto’ lovers.
They preach that Watto is a mandatory selection in all forms of cricket teams and thereby put a lie to the whole root of a rotation system.
Watto is like everyone else in the Australian squad. He’s flesh and blood and has two arms and legs (well the legs aren’t all that flash, but that’s for him to fix).
In the Australian squad are 10 batsmen who are fit, ready, rarin’ to go and have scored huge amounts of runs. Some can bowl and field like Garfield Sobers to boot.
But no, we’ve got to pick Watto, because he’s a star. He’s got star quality.
That may be, but Watto doesn’t play that much nowadays, he’s taking longer to get back into form every time and he is turning into a liability in the field.
Unless that turns around, I’m afraid Watto is past tense.
There has never been a culture in Australian Cricket which says the squad is the most important thing in Australian cricket, there has always been the Star Chamber mentality. And yet as we rotate batsmen and bowlers alike and let them have their head, Australia has found 30 young men who are absolutely bursting with ability.
And there are 30 queuing up behind them.
Call me stupid, call me late for breakfast, but I don’t think the word ‘squad’ is a four letter word, is it?