Sunday 26 December 2010

Fourth Test, First Day: The Death Of Momentum

Parwatch - all over now: Manchester United take a 4-0 half time lead over Chelsea at Old Trafford, only for Chelsea to draw 4-4. In the next fixture Chelsea win 7-0, before United strike back with a 6-0 victory the following week. They play again, when Chelsea go 3-0 up after ten minutes... Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, then Nadal hits him with a triple bagel next time out... Frazier kayos Ali in round number one, before Ali sparks Smokin' Joe after a minute in the return...

Not really on, is it? Cricket is unique in that closely-matched opponents sometimes display that closeness over a series rather than in matches that can veer wildly from one side to another. It is a sport that is measured differently, more slowly, than most, and that has narratives that take their time to emerge. It is also more of a slave to external forces - the climate, the conditions - than the others. The concept of momentum has seeped in from other sports. It's an easy line to drop into the endless press conferences [their volume also a product of the sprawl of a series]. But it's hard to make a case for its existence. Generally speaking, the longer the teams play for, the more chance that the best side will win, and in cricket, they play for a long time. That's all the momentum you need, isn't it?

On Tremmers: Cricket, in common with most sports, is in thrall to aesthetics: it's the reason that Lara's cover drive hits a place in the heart that Simon Katich's doesn't. Aesthetically, Chris Tremlett appears lab-produced, a physically-perfect specimen built for fast bowing. The incongruity of his apparent psychological frailty, the propensity for that giant body to implode, cut against the visual evidence to produce an anomoly that was as amusing as it was frustrating. Tremmers is the one laughing now, and rightly so. Is he the new Andy Caddick? The next Richard Ellison? England's McGrath? Come back in five years for the answer...

You sure? 'Australia has suffered its worst cricketing day for 100 years' - Peter Roebuck, SMH

Past tense, Michael? 'Ricky has been an amazing leader, a wonderful player' - Michael Clarke

Things we don't seem to talk about any more: The Kookaburra ball

Stat of the day I: '[In] The second over of the match... Phil Hughes took Tremlett for more than 10% of the final total' - Mike Selvey, Guardian

Stat of the day II: 'Australia was bowled out for 98, roughly a run for every 1000 spectators' - Peter Roebuck, SMH

Phil Space Trophy Flight Of Fancy: 'Of the phoenix that was Australia in Perth, only ashes remain. The namesake trophy - once Australia's pride and joy - is again England's to parade as they see fit' - Greg Baum, SMH

1 comment:

Sean said...

my fave on day two was boycs on Trot "if he was a race horse he would have been shot"...the coffee went all over the sofa