The Bash files: Stars not so twinkly

Craig Simmons' crisp striking v Darren Sammy's audacious brutality - who hits them better?

Craig Simmons’ crisp striking v Darren Sammy’s audacious brutality – who hits them better?

The Roar: The second round of BBL|04 got underway last night, with the Perth Scorchers opening their title defence with a thrilling but excruciating last over loss to the Adelaide Strikers at the WACA.

It won’t be the end of the world for defending champions, with two games in four days coming up with which to peg back the one got away last night.

But on the other hand

  • are the Melbourne Stars missing their sparkle?
  • Adelaide Strikers prompting some reassessment
  • Fielding freaks continue the one-upmanship
  • Hussey & Kallis: Not bad for old fellas, and
  • Simmons v Sammy: who whacks them better?

Twenty20: so much for being the young man’s game…

"Simple, yet important tweaks in his footwork - like stepping to midwicket and hitting over cover - mean Hodge has been able maintain his power base in his stance and breathe new life into his traditional game..." Image via Melbourne Stars Facebook

“Simple, yet important tweaks in his footwork – like stepping to midwicket and hitting over cover – mean Brad Hodge has been able maintain his power base in his stance and breathe new life into his traditional game…” Image via Melbourne Stars Facebook

The Roar: For all the bells and whistles, and the colour and bling of Twenty20 cricket, there’s always been a looking-down-the-nose attitude that the critics like to trot out whenever it suits.

“It’s just not cricket,” they’ll say.

‘They’ can’t really be pigeon-holed into any one category, though. There’s just as many people well younger than me with this opinion as there are in the ‘grumpy old cricket purist’ collection.

Whatever their age, the train of thought is the same. Twenty20 cricket is purely about entertainment, and everything we know about batting is chucked out the window in favour of switch-hitting and ramp shots.

Or so they say. For The Roar today, I’ve taken a closer look at the top-performing batsmen in this season’s BBL, and highlighted why these criticisms don’t hold that much water

Mr Cricket no more?

Mike Hussey bats at the SCG in the first innings of the Third Test v Sri Lanka. It may or may not be his last knock for Australia… Image: Cricket Australia via Twitter

With the announcement this morning of Australia’s one-day side for the first round of ODIs – minus the retiring ‘Mr Cricket’ – and with Sri Lanka leading only by 87 with three wickets in hand in the 3rd Test in Sydney, the horrible thought needs to be considered:

We may have seen the last of Mike Hussey in the Australian cricket team. 😯

So with that in mind, and with a recall to the ODI team now evidently unlikely, it seems we better hope that Sri Lanka post a sizable lead, just so that we can see the great man bat one more time…

Going out on top, but Hussey leaves a worryingly big void

Mike Hussey drives in front of a packed Adelaide Oval Hill during the Second Ashes Test of 2010/11. This remains my favourtie photo from the tour…

The old adage that it’s much better to be asked ‘why are you retiring?’ rather than ‘why don’t you retire?’ has never had a better modern-day example than that of Michael Hussey.

Shocking Australian cricket with his announcement via a Nine News interview on Saturday night, Hussey has declared that the New Year’s Test starting tomorrow in Sydney will be his final outing in the Baggy Green.

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