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The Roar

Peter Hunt

Roar Rookie

Joined September 2018

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Like so many other Australian Cricket fans, I was mortified by the ball tampering scandal in Cape Town in March 2018. It made me question my life-long passion for Cricket and my steadfast support for the national team. And so, combining my passions for cricket, the law and writing, I embarked on a search for `The Spirit of Cricket'; one cricket tragic's attempt to define `the line'. Does Cricket have a distinct spirit? Can we define 'the line'? How are the values Cricket holds dear different from any other sport?

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I agree. Terrific article. I think Usman has demonstrated a lot of character. I would have liked some more runs this summer, but you are right; the fact he is performing at all his a testament to the man’s guts.

Gutsy is calling? I'd ask to speak to Usman Khawaja

I like your thinking, Paul. As they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn. As I write this, the Sydney Test is looking an awful lot like Melbourne revisited, so a 3-1 result is on the cards. But I think the Indian series was a lot closer than that. Better luck with the toss and the outcome may have been better. But, ultimately, I agree with your central premise. We will probably look back at 2018 and pinpoint it as the year Australian cricket turned for the corner, very much for the better.

Why 2018 was actually a good year for Australian cricket

Great reply Paul. You stole my thunder. People have short memories following a batting collapse. One of the things I have been most impressed with in the tests against Pakistan and India is that the Australian batsman have, generally, dug in and batted for long periods. As you pointed out, this happened as recently as last week in Perth. Where we have a real problem is scoring BIG once we’ve done all the hard work.

Turf wars: The day that Twenty20 killed Australian cricket

Also Paul, your comment about choosing the best players and then choosing the best captain from those players reminded me of something Mike Brearley wrote. He contrasted that Australian approach with the English approach of selecting the best captain ( ie: him) and building a team around him. He observed that if Australia and England swapped policies in 1977/78, neither he nor Yallop would have been playing!

Tim Paine – oh captain, my captain!

I love that documentary. For anybody who hasn’t seen it, it’s available on YouTube.

Tim Paine – oh captain, my captain!

That’s a great comment. Thanks Paul. I agree that the tendency to make the best batsman captain makes little sense.

Tim Paine – oh captain, my captain!

It puts even more strain on the bowlers when they have to do all the batting too!

Tim Paine – oh captain, my captain!

I have great memories of listening to the cricket on the radio as a kid; usually Ashes tests after my ‘bedtime’ and day night matches in Sydney because they were not televised. Commentators like Alan McGilvary, Lindsay Hassett and a young, hip and happening, Jim Maxwell. They really brought the game to life.

Tim Paine – oh captain, my captain!

I think the culture may have been pretty ordinary throughout the 70s, unless you were mates with the Chappells. I remember reading that when Graham Yallop was first selected he was given a very cold reception because he replaced one of their mates.

Tim Paine – oh captain, my captain!

Thanks Bigbaz. I highly recommend Golden Boy: Kim Hughes and the bad old days of Australian Cricket. The book describes how in the 1970s and early 1980s, the Australian Cricket Team was a club run by the Chappell Brothers with Lillee and Marsh as their ‘door bitches’. They way they ganged up on Kim was incredible. The culture was shocking. Lillee would bowl vicious bouncers at Hughes in the nets and Marsh would actively undermine him on the field. It’s a great read.

Tim Paine – oh captain, my captain!

Thanks for the article Rafiqul. It was a very interesting read.

My father’s work took him – and, therefore, me – overseas in the mid-1980’s, so I was compelled to follow that Australian summer on a very scratchy, inconsistently reliable, short-wave radio. As a result, I don’t have a vivid memory of that Boxing Day Test.

Thanks for the description of Australia’s last day heroics. These days, most teams would have a good shot at knocking off the 126 runs required in the 25 overs available before Tea. But the games was different in the 80’s.

Definitely a missed opportunity for India.

MCG 1985: The one that got away from India

Nice article, Paul. I agree that Adelaide and Perth have provided terrific test match cricket. Gripping and tantalising throughout!

Five-day Tests are alive and well

I hope Cricket Australia is getting the message that cricket lovers in Australia will stomach losing, provided the team plays with commitment and honour. We’d prefer to win, of course. But losing is okay provided we fight.

So, that's why we love Test cricket

Kohli is going to make us pay sooner or later. But I hope you’re right about Australia winning the toss and batting for 2 days. That would be awesome.

So, that's why we love Test cricket

Thanks Paul. It was a great fight and played in a great spirit. I agree about the next Test, but fear that India may be buoyed, as well, by the notion they can play badly for the first two sessions, and not at their best for the remainder of the Test, and still win. If the Aussies win in Perth, this could be one of the great Test series. It already has that feeling about it.

So, that's why we love Test cricket

Many thanks! It helped me cope with the disappointment in the outcome.

So, that's why we love Test cricket

Thanks Matt. And maybe 20 runs short. Imagine starting the day with 200 to win and 7 wickets in hand, rather than 220 to win with only 6 wickets. I would have been quite confident with the former equation. But it was a great Test and a highly engaging final day. I can’t wait for Friday!

So, that's why we love Test cricket

I think that story is true. It’s a great one!

There was also some graffiti on a wall saying “Thatcher Out!” and somebody wrote below it “LBW bowled Alderman”.

I love stories like that. Enriches the cricket folklore.

This is a time for Aussie heroes

Those are some pretty chilling words, Phil. I’m scare you are right. We have to preserve gripping Test Cricket, without counting the cost.

This is a time for Aussie heroes

I just watched it again on YouTube. It’s worth watching! Here is the full transcript:

Border: “Hey, hey, hey!”
McDermott: “What did I do?”
Border: “I’m fkn taking to you, come here! Come here…come here…come here.”
McDermott: [Inaudible]
Border: “You…you do that again mate and you’ll be on the next plane home.”
McDermott: [Inaudible]
Border: “What!”
McDermott: “Nothing. I didn’t say a thing.”
Border: “You fkn test me; we’ll see!”

Border does the tea-pot, the finger point and the death stare.

I’m not sure what the dispute was about, but I think it may been something to do with which end Billy was bowling from.

This is a time for Aussie heroes

Has the current administration not given the Marsh brothers time? And Usman for that matter?
That said, Renshaw and Handscomb were touted as our saviours not so long ago…

This is a time for Aussie heroes

Thanks Matt. I agree that the circumstances are far from identical.

I particularly agree that there were some signs of better things to come in the years leading up to 89. We unexpectedly won the 87 World Cup. Despite NZ having a chance to square the series on that dramatic last day at the MCG in 1987, we actually dominated most of that series with a decisive win in Brisbane and the better of a draw in Adelaide. During that era, having the better of a series against the Kiwis was a real step forward. And I thought we competed well in the 88/89 series against the Windies; it wasn’t quite the mauling of 84/85.

The similarity between 89 and now is that the circumstances allow for somebody to stand up and make history; to perform when many didn’t think they could.

Things are set up for somebody – or the team as a whole – to make a name for themselves.

This is a time for Aussie heroes

Thanks John. I have no problem with that approach. Good, hard, uncompromising Test cricket!

This is a time for Aussie heroes

That is pretty simple when you strip it all back, Paul. Just play your best!

This is a time for Aussie heroes

Thanks John. The Aussies demonstrated they could play with grit in Dubai. Finch, Khawaja, Head, Paine and Lyon all dug in and played their part. But I agree with the general point that we need to develop TEST BATSMAN like the ones you have mentioned, and Border, Ponting, Langer etc etc.

This is a time for Aussie heroes