The Ashes series has seen us glued to our TVs watching Australia dish out cruel and unusual punishment to the visitors from England.
What fun! What isn’t always fun though is listening to the some of the Fox commentary, which at times can hover somewhere between self-indulgent, banal and irrelevant. Sure, Fox have lined up some cricketing talent, but ability with bat or ball doesn’t always make for good commentary.
So what if they put their microphones away for a while, put on the whites and took the field for a game of cricket? How would they stack up on the cricket field?
I ran my eye over the Fox talking heads and came up with the following team, in batting order.
1. Adam Gilchrist (5,570 Test runs at 47.60)
Gilly has plenty of experience in batting at the top of the order in the short form of the game so he gets the job here, and he won’t need the keeping gloves with Brad Haddin in the side.
Gilchrist is a player who can take the game away from the opposition bowlers in the blink of an eye.
2. Kerry O’Keeffe (644 Test runs at 25.76)
A ridiculous selection I hear you say, and you’re probably right, but he did open the batting in the second innings of the Centenary Test, and he’ll hardly get much of a bowl with Warnie in the side. His ability to sledge both the opposition and his own team mates simultaneously will be a bonus.
3. Michael Vaughan (5,719 Test runs at 41.44)
Vaughan can certainly bat, just ask him, and with O’Keefe opening the innings he’ll need to have the pads on early. Having him in the side will not only improve the team’s table manners, but also their vocabulary. Now prefers the nickname of “Kevin”.
4. Allan Border – Captain (11,174 Test runs at 50.56)
Border is the rock that the team can be built on, and as captain, we can be confident that the team will not only have a hard edge to it on the field, but also won’t be spending any time chatting to the opposition in their dressing room.
5. Michael Hussey (6,235 Test runs at 51.52)
Mr Cricket’s professionalism will be a good counterweight to the tomfoolery expected from the Skull and Warnie, and as the fittest player in the team, will be the one chasing balls to the boundary.
6. Mark Waugh (8,029 Test runs at 41.81)
If there’s one commentator you want to get away from the microphone it’s Junior. The longer he stays on the field the better, but don’t let him field anywhere near Warnie.
7. Brad Haddin – Keeper (3,266 Test runs at 32.98)
Haddin will do a great job behind the stumps, is a more than handy bat, and the exercise will certainly do him some good.
8. Shane Warne (708 Test wickets at 25.41 and over 3,000 Test runs)
It’s become apparent that Warnie now knows the weakness of every batsman on the planet, and exactly how to get them out, so expect him to feature heavily in the wickets column.
The twelfth man will, however, need to be up to speed on his hair and makeup requirements.
9. Brett Lee (310 Test wickets at 30.81 and 1,451 Test runs at 20.15)
Given the makeup of the team, Lee can expect to do plenty of bowling, and still looks fit enough for a big performance, both on and off the field.
10. Isa Guha (29 Test wickets at 18.93)
Isa will share the new ball with Brett Lee and the team will be relying on her to make the breakthroughs. Her inclusion will also be solely responsible for dragging the team’s average IQ into triple digits.
11. Brendon Julian (15 Test wickets at 39.96)
Hardly a strike bowler even at his peak, but BJ certainly brings a much-needed touch of style to the team. Not sure that he’ll be happy with the donkey work required to support Lee and Guha.
So there’s the Fox team, strong on batting but will rely heavily on both Lee and Warne to bowl the opposition out. Speaking of opposition, does anyone watch the Channel Seven coverage? If so, who can they put up to challenge the Fox squad?