BY DR HERMAN
I know what you are all thinking. How fucking incompetent are Channel 9, the NRL and Cricket Australia? I mean seriously. Scheduling the third State of Origin match to kick off at the same time as the Ashes is just absurd. I will now have to either miss the deciding origin game or the start of the Ashes. This is a horrible position to be in and I am quite distressed at how the scheduling decisions of major sporting events have affected me personally. As a white, 30something male doctor, I expect better.
Talking of privileged white people, Shaun Marsh. For some unknown reason (whiteness and his dad, so not really unknown), there is a large group of people who think he deserves an Ashes spot.
“He’s young [he is not young, he is older than me FFS], he has all the talent [maybe, is it behind the couch?], he looks pretty [yes, he is super super pretty]”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with it if the selectors pick him, he has averaged almost 40 [39.86] since returning to test cricket, which is totally fine and absolutely fucking excellent for Shaun Marsh, but it doesn’t mean he deserves to be picked. Especially not at the expense of Chris Rogers (average of 40.8 in the last two years), who is all that is good in the world and is struggling so much to get by that he is having to run dodgy tickets schemes [scams]. He is the quintessential Aussie battler*, likeable and a not above sidestepping pesky “rules”, because how shit are rules? Fucking rules, stopping us privileged white people doing whatever we want. It’s a fucking travesty. But I digress.
Shaun Marsh is in the same boat as everyone who isn’t named Steve Smith (Steve Smith is amazing obviously). Lucky to be there.
For a side that is (inexplicably) winning a lot, the Australian team has a pretty rubbish batting line up. It’s pretty much Steve Smith, who is sometimes supported by David Warner [top bloke, he doesn’t like rules either], Michael Clarke [who we don’t like because he dated a model or something. I’m not sure. But he is good and we admit that begrudgingly] and Chris Rogers [who isn’t very good, but he doesn’t like rules, so he stays].
Outside of that it is Adam Voges, who scored a fucking great century in the first test against the West Indies [however, it was against the West Indies] and the two great examples of unfulfilled potential, Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson. One of those last three guys has to miss out. Life is unfair. Life is hard.
Look I don’t actually care who the selectors drop, they can drop any of those three and I won’t lose any sleep over it. Its a coin toss between them given that none of them really have the runs on the board to deserve a spot (first class runs obviously don’t count because that would be unfair, Voges has scored a lot of them). So whoever they pick, it’s going to be great because the ashes is going to be on and that’s going to be wonderful.
Now that I’ve actually started talking about sport, I should touch on the other great selection quandary facing the selectors before the Ashes starts. Who to drop for Ryan Harris, given that Ryan Harris is the closest thing to god yet identified. Shane Warne made his views on this clear last week, in one of the greatest displays of going full “Warney” ever witnessed.
I highly recommend you have a read, it’s like a best of the best of Warnie. Classic stuff. Like any piece of great Warne, it’s also batshit insane. Legspinners tend to be batshit insane. Look at Trevor Hohns. One of his “better” suggestions is that we should drop Hazlewood for Harris. I assume Warne has come to that conclusion after briefly glancing at the cricket, getting distracted, looking at some boobs, then scaring himself after looking at the mirror and finally having his mind wander to thinking about body language.
I can’t argue with the methodology, but, he is wrong. Hazlewood should play for the simple reason that both both Mitchells are the same person. Not only do Starc and Johnson share a first name, they are also both fast aggressive left arm pacemen who struggle to bowl more than three overs in a row and can go for lots and lots and lots of runs when they get out of the wrong side of the bed, or watch Casablanca the night before a match or just because.
Oh yeah, and they can also both kill people with cricket balls and win cricket games in a matter of nanoseconds when things go right. Mitchells Johnson’s eyebrows alone have won more test matches than most whole person test bowlers. Which is why we absolutely need one of them if we want to retain the Ashes. It’s also probably why Warne is tempted to go with two.
The problem with that, is that when you have two of them and things go badly, things go really really badly. Our attack essentially becomes Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon and Shane Watson all looking very very old.
You see, when we have played both in the past, it just hasn’t quite worked. What having a Mitchell brings is vibrancy, excitement and match winning menace. Sadly, this isn’t doubled when you have two Mitchells. 1 Mitchell + 1 Mitchell= 1.3 Mitchells. The maths just don’t add up.
Which is why we need Hazlewood. Hazlewood may not be able to kill people, but he can bowl line and length and constrict runs when things aren’t going in our favour. He can support Ryan Harris while he whittles away at the last traces of cartilage in his knees. Its not as fun, but its better. It means Australian will always have 4 proper bowlers, rather than 3.3.
Anyway, how fucking good is cricket. Pretty fucking good.
*Lets be honest Chris Rogers is probably just another privileged white guy