It’s just gone stumps on the first day of the 5th Test in Sydney. Hello??!! Is there anyone in England still watching? I thought I’d write something rather roughly on The Australian trio that are set to retire from Test cricket at the end of the match.
Warne, what more can be said? In fact I said it recently in anticipation of his 700th wicket.
What a way to do it! My prediction wasn’t quite right (Pieterson was at the non-strikers end on naught) but the ball was superb. Bowled! And what a way to celebrate his last game at his beloved MCG with a bag of 5 wickets in the first innings on Boxing Day itself and to follow it up with an inning of 40 odd with the bat.
And to top things off you have your buddy McGrath at the other end who beats your record for the most number of ducks. A true champion, and I hope you guys in England get to see the TV program compiled by Channel 9 here and hosted by Mark Nichols and Ian Healy on Shane Warne. It contains Warne showing his actions perfectly and in slow motion.
Then there is Glenn McGrath of Pigeon. It was quite a shock to the system when he came into the side when Australia was used to the actions of Graig McDermott and Merv Hughes. McGrath’s unusual run-up and release so close to the stumps took some getting used to. He now sits in third place behind Warne and Muralitharan in the all-time Test wicket takers – a sterling feat for a pace-man, often apt to breaking down. He might not have the all-round cricket brain of some but boy could he bowl consistently, evident by his economy rate of 2.5 runs per over. Here’s to him bagging a 5 wicket haul this match. One of the nice guys of cricket.
Justin Langer; he struggled early but found his spot at the top of the batting order and made it his own. Langer was brought up in a devout Catholic family and though an admirer of the philosophical nature of Buddism (he’d like the Old Rite) I believe he remains in good standing with the Church.
He has already had his farewell innings – a century in his home town of Perth – but he may pop up with something in the next few days. Langer will have to choose an heir as the keeper of the tune of the Australian team’s song or chant Beneath the Southern Cross I Stand.
It was passed down from the Chappell era: From Rod Marsh to David Boon to Ian Healy to Ricky Ponting who, when he became captain conferred it on Langer. The Langer-Hayden duo like many previous opening partnerships will be missed.