Tag: Peter Roebuck

Important news

Threadless has extended the $5 sale until the end of March.

Three posts ago I hit 1,000 posts. I’ll do some sort of best of those 1,000 posts to celebrate in the next day or so. To me, every one of them is like a wicket for Glenn McGrath – I remember them all. Maybe.

Speaking of Cricket. Australia has an all rounder. A bowling all rounder. Mitchell Johnson. He’s from Townsville you know.

Here’s Roebuck’s view on Johnson’s all round credentials:

“Several of the batsman had fallen foul of Harris’s Disease, the name nowadays given to batsmen who suddenly play boneheaded shots against apparently innocuous spinners. Hereabouts the main topic on spectators’ tongues concerned the tourists’ ability to take the match into a fifth day.

The next hour was startling as the Australian’s launched a two-pronged attack. Johnson’s innings is etched in the memory. After a quite start, he hurried to 50 in 51 balls whereupon he raised the tempo sufficiently to reach three figures in 86 balls. He did not swipe. He did not depend on luck. Instead he produced a stream of swashbuckling strokes all around the wicket, executed with a free and full swing of the bat.

Some of his strokes stirred the cricketing soul. Johnson took the ball on the rise and dispatched it through extra-cover or he stayed still and smote lifters into the 10th row at deep mid-wicket. Without exception his pulls and hooks went forward of square. Some of them dashed past mid-on. Moving in for the kill, the South Africans tossed the ball to Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn. Even Jacques Kallis had a crack and he, too, was swiftly swamped.”

Roebuck v Swanson – for real

The other day I ran a little comparison of the writing styles of Peter Roebuck and Will Swanton. The Herald has gone one better. They’ve got them head to head in a debate on the referral system.

“Batsmen growling about referrals ought to be taken as seriously as bankers complaining about bankruptcy. Now, suddenly, the poor dears fear they might occasionally be given out leg before wicket. Not the least attraction of referrals is that it will reduce the blight of pad play, a negative tactic introduced by Poms incapable of reading Sonny Ramadhin. For decades pads have been used as a second line of defence. Gentlemen, the game is up. Now these blokes will have to use their bats.” – Roebuck

Day three had howlers everywhere. By the players, mostly. South African captain Graeme Smith and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher did not have the faintest clue what they were doing. Boucher kept crossing his arms in front of his face – let’s go to the video – but he kept getting it wrong. He ended up looking like an A-grade, card-carrying twit. Rules that make great players look like A-grade, card-carrying twits should be avoided. The players are the game, not the ICC. – Swanton

Roebuck v Swanton

The SMH’s two best cricket columnists go head to head today with accounts from the first test in South Africa. I’ve always been a fan of Roebuck – but I think Swanton is gaining the ascendancy as the Herald’s best cricket scribe. 

Sportswriting remains the one place in the English language where a penchant for wordplay, particularly for cliche, simile, metaphor and analogy delivered without apology – is not a curse but a blessing. 

Here are some examples from today:

“The overnight total was sneakily strong on a ground where you could bowl an apple and get swing and seam.”

“Michael Clarke came in, full of pep. Then again, Clarke could be stabbed in a dark Johannesburg alley and remain full of pep.”


“Despite encountering the daunting combination of Dale Steyn in full flight, a shaky score on the board and the sort of light featured in the more disreputable discos, North looked confident as he took guard. “

“From the outset the new man’s work on the leg-side was efficient. Anything heading towards his pads was neatly tucked with a bat as straight as a Roman road.”

“Given the chance to drive through the covers, he does so with an unexpected flash. Bending, he pushes his hands at the ball and dispatches with a bat as loose as a drunkard’s tie. It’s the only shot he does not control and the ball hurries away, sometimes off the meat, sometimes off the grizzle.”

Over rated

Really, this is another post largely due to the clever title I can ascribe to it. I don’t like Ricky Ponting being the Australian test captain. I haven’t for ages. Pretty much since he took the reigns and lost us the ashes.

I can’t begin to fathom his approach in this test. Why a captain was more worried about a one game suspension for a slow over rate than winning an arguably pivotal series by bowling his best bowlers against India in the final session yesterday is beyond me. I am left scratching my head. ABC commentator and SMH columnist Peter Roebuck likes Ponting’s captaincy even less than I do.

India are the new global super power when it comes to cricket – winning a series on Indian soil is already as rare as hen’s teeth. Ponting essentially sacrificed this chance for the chance to play New Zealand at home in Australia. What’s with that. It beggars belief.