The clapping seal

Jenny, my colleage at Cricinfo, has had two rather good days in the past week. Firstly, during the final Test at Trent Bridge, she spent a day with David Gower, Nasser Hussain, Ian Botham and the other Sky commentators. Naturally she’s in love with every single one of them (our ears are bleeding) but they all sound like great fun (and they have a lot of fun, too). David Lloyd (“Bumble”) is as you would expect him to be: sharp, constantly witty and an allround top bloke. Anyway I can’t spoil her piece; she’s writing it up and it’ll be published at Cricinfo quite soon.

As if that couldn’t be topped, today she faced an over (I think) at Shane Warne! And interviewed him and other stuff. So that’s two fairly cool (and unique) things you should keep an eye out on Cricinfo.

Someone had blundered!

Jagadish mused on Trescothick’s folly in inviting Pakistan to bat first and then watching them run up over 350, and went down memory lane for other invitations that did not work out too well. He invites readers to give their vote for the biggest blunder (I voted for Ganguly’s inviting Australia to bat in the 2003 World Cup final, which led to Australia scoring 359).

Great idea, that.. Jagadish limits his post to ODI’s so I’ll make the two obvious Test blunders. Both of them were Ashes disasters.

In 2002, Nasser Hussain decided to invite Australia to bat in the First Test at the Gabba. Hayden and Ponting racked up centuries and plundered the English to be 2 for 364 at stumps. What was the blunder? Hussain no doubt thought his bowlers would get more assistance from the pitch then he thought, and he wasn’t helped that Simon Jones broke down after seven overs.

In 2005, Ricky Ponting lost the services of Glenn McGrath, but still felt confident enough to invite England to bat at Edgbaston. Freed from the stern discipline of McGrath, the English were bowled out by stumps, but they had racked up 407 at more then five an over. England seized the initative in the Ashes series and never gave it back.

Any other blunders come to mind in Tests?

Steve Waugh: sledger par excellence

This is in my quotes database, and pops up every now and then on the right-hand-side…and each time I see it it makes me laugh:

“It beats Monday morning at Chelmsford – all tea and Pimm’s. The amount of times Steve Waugh said to me: ‘Enjoy it Nasser, this is your last Test. We will never see you again.’”

Steve Waugh: Sledger par excellence!