“George Bailey and Steven Smith’s third-wicket partnership of 242 was narrowly pipped by Bailey’s ‘Floppy Gold’ (inset) as the highlight of the day..”
The Roar: The great Mark Twain misquote reads, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” and I reckon sometime one-day cricket must feel this way too, sometimes.
Twenty20 cricket was invented in England and first played at a First Class level in the northern summer of 2003. Roughly three minutes after the completion of the first ever game, the first report of 50-over cricket’s demise was penned. Perhaps.
For a format on its death bed, one-day cricket has proved remarkably resilient, to be still going 13 years later, and on Tuesday, we saw four excellent innings that you just wouldn’t in a Twenty20 game…
“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…
The Aussies celebrate yet another England wicket for the summer, this one at the traditional cricket stronghold of Stadium Australia at Homebush. Image: Cricket Australia via Twitter
Test Match Sofa: The actual result of the 3rd T20 International in Sydney was almost an afterthought – England were thumped, again, for the record – as the last chat of the summer with Test Match Sofa took over, and the last ever chat with outgoing Sofa frontman, Daniel Norcross, who in a lovely parting gesture, grouped me in with such Australians as Clive James, Germaine Greer, and Gideon Haigh!
I’ve said it all before, but the Close of Play chats with the Sofa gang has been thoroughly enjoyable for me, and it must’ve been ‘good for them’, too, because they kept calling me back each day of the summer. They really were waiting for me to unload on them in the gloating department, but in truth, I was having too much fun to do that.
And so it was in this last chat, too. So you can just hear it in all its glory.
Many thanks again to Test Match Sofa for having me. And farewell, England, it’s been fun…
Another big MCG night – 64385 to see Australia winning pretty comfortably. Cameron White lead the way with 57*, and skipper George Bailey’s late fireworks netted him 60*. Image: Cricket Australia via Twitter
Test Match Sofa: “Brett, if England continue on this vein of trying to find the positive in everything, what can they take out of this game tonight?” the Sofa guys asked me tonight, after Australia chased down England’s 9/130 in 14.5 overs at the MCG.
“Um…. they can fly out on Monday?” was the best I could come up with.
Just another Cameron White T20 fifty. Image: Cricket Australia via Twittet
And that’s the tale of the tape; England were ordinary again, and Australia did it on their ear. It’s now a real shame about that 4th ODI in Perth now, because Australia deserve to go through the International summer unbeaten; alas, that won’t be the case.
The Sofa lad will be back on Sunday for one last hurrah for the tour. They’ll be back on deck from 8:30am London time (7:30pm AEDT), and you can find them via the Tune In radio app, at their online home of thecricketer.com, and also on sportstonightlive.com. On Twitter, you’ll get them @testmatchsofa.
It’ll be entertaining. The boys are at their best when England are getting pantsed…