Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

A Swann in Pink PVC

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Sirian Botham must be in a permanent state of wonderment at the state of modern cricket. Every commentary stint features at least one ‘I find it a bit strange’ or ‘I’m sorry but’ or some other utterance of bewilderment at proceedings. So when Andrew Strauss opted to fling the new ball to Graeme Swann during the First Test against the West Indians at Lords, the ‘what the fuck’ scratching of the Beefy head was virtually audible from the back of the box. And sure enough, ten minutes later he’d flounced down to microphone to vent his feelings.

Strauss is beginning to endear himself to me with his frequent onfield displays of human frailty: in the Caribbean we had confusion, caution, childish amusement. And back in England, we now have pride. I don’t blame him. He has wintered wafting away the criticism of conservative captaincy following defensive declarations, particularly in Antigua.

The decision to open up with the spinner is the cricketing equivalent of an accountant rocking up at a party wearing pink PVC trousers. Misguided. It probably served only to blow more air into Swann’s ever-inflating ego. In fairness, Swann can, well, swan about as much as he pleases giving it the big ‘I am’: we will need all the self-belief we can lay our hands on to beat the Australians.

And it’s mean of me to criticise Strauss for a two-over experimental section of what was otherwise a well-conceived victory. An honourable mention should go to Tim Bresnan, who contributed virtually nothing to the win but seems like a jolly chap: good in the clubhouse probably. One wouldn’t blame him for feeling a tiny bit crestfallen – he must look at Graham Onions like a boy on his first day at school views a fellow new starter who has gained instant playground kudos for being very good at skateboarding. Or whatever the kids are doing these days.

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Written by harrisharrison

May 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm

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