Australia November 5, 2010

Dravid's humanitarian gesture

And why Australia have no choice but to win the Ashes
83

With three weeks still to go before the much-awaited mid-table clash of the hemispheres begins in Brisbane, between Europe’s No. 1-ranked cricket nation and one of Oceania’s strongest teams, attention turned once again to India, and Virender Sehwag’s continuing campaign to make the world’s bowlers wish they had been born in a non-cricket-playing country, as a woman, to parents who disapproved of all sport as a worthless and flippant pursuit, in the mid-15th century.

Sehwag’s eventual dismissal, to a concrete-footed, cross-batted, across-the-line prod reminiscent of a young Alan Mullally, ended another masterclass of twhackmanship from one of cricket’s greatest treasures. The greatest praise, however, must be reserved for Rahul Dravid’s extraordinary display of humanitarianism at the other end.

Dravid is a gentleman. He knew New Zealand’s bowlers were fragile after a testing couple of years, he knew the wicket would offer them little assistance, and he had seen Sehwag bat before. Therefore, Dravid, cleverly using the cloak of supposed poor form, sportingly minimised the trauma of Sehwag’s onslaught by stodge-blocking for a couple of hours, comforting the bowlers like an award-winning priest until the worst was over. Thereafter, he unfurled Chapter 2 of the MCC Coaching Manual, and humanely finished off the job like the master surgeon he would have been if he had been given a scalpel for his fifth birthday instead of a cricket bat.

Australia, meanwhile, have continued their Ashes build-up with another perfectly judged defeat in the first ODI against Sri Lanka. This was clearly part of a wide-ranging tactical masterplan that has included:

1. Striving ceaselessly to engender complacency in the England ranks. This will not be easy in the modern, professional, hyper-prepared age of English cricket, but you can only admire the persistence with which Australia are going about their task, throwing away winning positions like an attractive but committed nun discards Valentine’s cards. The English press have taken the bait, hook, line and over-excited sinker. Will the team be so easily duped?

2. A long-term economic scheme concocted by the Australian government and Cricket Australia, to unnaturally strengthen the Australian dollar, thus pricing out all but the barmiest of England’s Barmy Army from travelling south. Due to UK government cutbacks, the real army is no longer in a position to supply reinforcements or air support to the Barmy Army, who may be reduced to relying on the Territorial Barmy Army and mercenary sports fans from Serbia and Colombia, and disillusioned former members of the French Foreign Legion.

3. Hoping that Nathan Hauritz is hit on the head by a piece of falling masonry, and wakes up thinking he is Bill O’Reilly.

4. Hoping that the falling masonry then ricochets onto Michael Hussey’s head and he wakes up thinking he is Michael Hussey, 2005-2007 version.

A few weeks ago, I outlined the statistics that prove that England (a) will, and (b) won’t, win the Ashes. I will now do the same for Australia, who can be shown to be either (a) a collection of world-beaters about to explode into life, who, with a small amount of luck, would have won the Ashes in England and drawn an away series in India; or (b) a ragtag baggy-green band of has-beens, haven’t-beens, crocks and losers barely fit even to try to spell the word Bradman.

Part (A): The Indestructible Ricky Ponting And His Fearsomely Invincible Ashes-Scalping Band Of Warriors, set to extend a record of one defeat in their last 13 home series, and 19 wins in their last 26 home Ashes Tests.

Simon Katich The supernaturally awkward-looking left-hander may look like he is playing a different sport in a different universe to David Gower, Richie Richardson or Mark Waugh, but Katich has a better Test average than any of them. Until the recent India series, he had averaged over 40 in all 10 series since his 2008 recall, in which time he had an average of 54. Also bowls wrist spin. Since June 1993, Australian wrist spinners, collectively, have taken 239 English wickets at 24. Admittedly, other Australian wrist spinners than Katich have taken 238 of them. But the point stands. He is basically Bradman and Warne rolled into one.

Shane Watson Since his recall as a makeshift opener during the non-victorious 2009 Ashes, Watson has averaged 50.44, making him a 16% better Test opening batsman than Mark Taylor and 53% better than Victor Trumper. You cannot argue with a statistic like that. Because if you did, the statistic would run away and hide. But this one would stand its ground like a man: Watson has reached 50 in 46% of his innings in Australia’s top order (batsmen 1 to 5). Only two batsmen can better that. One is Bradman, with 52%, although if he had played in the modern era, his figures would have been considerably worse (on the grounds that he would have been initially very old, and, latterly, dead). The other is Darren Lehmann (46-and-a-bit%). The new, improved, post-recall Watson can also chuck a bowling average of 24 into the teapot. He is basically Bradman and Warne rolled into one.

Ricky Ponting Unquestioned member of Tasmania’s All-Time Greatest XI, nominated for ESPNcricinfo’s all-time Australian XI (ahead of Greg Ritchie, Trevor Chappell and even Garfield Sobers), a giant of the modern game with career averages of 54 in all Tests and 60 in his 79 matches at home. Ponting averaged 12 in his first home Ashes, 52 in his second (up by 40), and 82 in his third (up by 30). He will therefore improve by another 20 to average 102 in this, his fourth. The last time he tried to regain the Ashes, he began the series with 457 runs in two Tests, treating England’s bowlers like a hungry lion devouring a bucket of zebra-print hot dogs. Look out England, the baggiest of all the greens has statistics on his side, and statistics are more powerful than God, as the Pope himself must surely acknowledge, privately if not publicly.

Michael Clarke Averaging 54 since being dropped five years ago, Clarke might have been officially awarded Australian Cricket’s Least Threatening Face Since Kim Hughes at the International Sporting Intimidation Foundation’s recent Hall of Shame Awards (surprisingly defeating Nathan Hauritz), but Clarke can waggle an Ashes average of 55 in England’s direction. No England batsman can waggle anything close to that back at him. (Apart from Trott, who has only played one Ashes Test, an insufficient waggling sample).

Michael Hussey Despite his recent slump, Hussey can still boast a career average of 49 – better than any England player to have made his debut since Ken Barrington in 1955 (other than the still-early-in-his-career Trott). He has also been building up his confidence by going to sleep in pyjamas embroidered in solid gold thread with his averages in all home Tests (62) and in the 2006-07 Ashes (91). He wakes up every morning, folds his pyjamas neatly, puts them under his pillow, and mutters, “I’m not finished embroidering you yet, Mr Jim-Jam.” Was averaging close to 100. Now chips in with occasional useful knocks. He is, therefore, basically Bradman and Warne rolled into one.

Marcus North The most devastating batsman in the history of Test cricket. Once he passes 21 (10 innings, five hundreds, four more innings over 67). As soon as those first 21 runs are out of the way, he basically becomes a more reliable version of Bradman. Also a better bowler than Warne (based on best Test figures at Lord’s – 6 for 55 versus 4 for 57).

Brad Haddin A significant improvement on the painfully run-of-the-mill Adam Gilchrist. If you only take the last two-and-a-half years of Gilchrist’s career (average 30, to Haddin’s 38). Haddin also lines up 44 boiled eggs on his breakfast plate every Sunday morning, representing his average in Tests in Australia. He then draws an England wicketkeeper’s face on each one, and says, “I’m going to have you on toast,” whilst telling his wife and son that England’s wicketkeepers in Australia have, between them, averaged 20 in the last 35 years.

Mitchell Johnson Bowled like a distressed haddock in the 2009 Ashes, and still took 20 wickets (more than any English bowler) at a not-nearly-as-shambolic-as-you-would-expect-and-better-than-Brett-Lee-ever-managed-in-an-Ashes-series average of 32. If he even bowls as well as psychologically well-adjusted haddock this time round, he could cause major damage. Has taken 84 wickets at 25 in his 17 home Tests. Aerodynamic face could prove useful in warmer conditions.

Nathan Hauritz The lynchpin of Australia’s Inculcating Complacency strategy, Hauritz exudes the fearsome threat and intensity of a soldier. Unfortunately, the soldier in question is a small rectangle of buttered toast, not a hollering, scimitar-toting warrior. But Hauritz took 29 wickets in six home Tests in 2009-10, at an average of 26, and had a better average than Swann in 2009. He averages 34 with the ball and 25 with the bat in Tests, compared with 50 and 16 in other first-class cricket, making him 50% better at international cricket than normal cricket and thus, statistically, the greatest big-game player in cricket history. Probably.

Ben Hilfenhaus Top bowler in terms of wickets (22) and average (27) in the 2009 Ashes, and averages a 19th-century-style 14 in home Tests. Albeit in only one match. Against West Indies. In previous Ashes series in Australia, England have had problems with bowlers possessing Hilfenhaus’ two main characteristics as a bowler − he swings it, and he’s Australian.

Doug Bollinger A strong if belated start to his Test career has brought him 49 wickets at 23 in 11 matches. Glenn McGrath’s first 11 Tests brought him 34 wickets at 33. If Bollinger plays another 113 Tests like McGrath, and maintains the same statistical superiority, he will end his career with 836 wickets at an average of 15.2. Charges in like a vengeful Halloween pumpkin seeking retribution for having its flesh ripped out and replaced with a cheap candle. May scare Ian Bell.

So, it appears that England have absolutely no chance, and should regard a 4-0 defeat with a freakish thunderstorm saving them in the fifth match as a national triumph. Or should they? Tune in next time to find out why Brigadier Stats says that Australia are heading for the mother-in-law of all whoopings.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • blogs.espncricinfo.com on June 24, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Dravids_humanitarian_gesture.. Not so bad :)

  • abhishek on November 12, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    i am getting bogged down by stats-bombs. this was hell of a difficult lead. In cricketing terms: Your new batting/bowling techinque is no good, andy. Get back to old Dravid ways, get your humour back and cut the unneceesary pulls(read stats) like Ricky to get a second innings of your career.

  • saurabh on November 11, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    england 'europe's top ranked side'. big call? haha

  • Shashank on November 10, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    Big fan! The satire was more evident in this article though, making the almighty Aussies seem less invincible than the plundering Poms in your first article. Your first article set the bar, and the puny Poms in your second article raised it even higher. Thanks again, although I do agree with scorpio that the Dravid headliner was an unnecessary stunt to attract eyeballs.

  • Robbie on November 10, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    Absolute quality article Andy, agree with above 'best article ever on cricinfo' ever!

  • Anjel Acharya on November 10, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    yet another of ANdy's mind wobbling article..it was a nice one. You have this great talent of knowing the stats and all the past records...I think as from your words, this is the greatest Australian team to ever take the field, they've like three or four players with a mixture of Shane Warne and Bradman, this infact is one of the most extraordinary team in the face of this earth..and in coming years Bollinger will be the greatest bowler and biggest threat to the world cricket if continues his form and average the way it is...what can Bollinger ask more than this? He by now should be over the moon and ringing up Shane, McGrath and Muralitharan at the same time and urging them to read your ANdy's article...but still this your yet another great one and fun to read article...keep it up mate

  • swami on November 9, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    Andy, are you the Greek go of comedy .........

  • Nick D.C on November 9, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    "Bollinger: A vengeful Halloween pumpkin seeking retribution for having its flesh ripped out and replaced with a cheap candle" Super Awesome...

  • Andy the attention grabber on November 9, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Dude, try not to insult the intelligence of indian fans and also dont patronize them. Your article on australians and english would be much fun to read and dravids and sehwags contrasting styles had to be made fun of too.. true. But you should have done the right thing, names the article on its intended purpose to make fun of stats and pull them both sides in relation to ashes.

  • Shyam on November 9, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    first of all, I pity kumar and scorpio...

    Andy, u r a genius... ur articles are just hilarious... waiting for ur next one...

  • blogs.espncricinfo.com on June 24, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Dravids_humanitarian_gesture.. Not so bad :)

  • abhishek on November 12, 2010, 4:10 GMT

    i am getting bogged down by stats-bombs. this was hell of a difficult lead. In cricketing terms: Your new batting/bowling techinque is no good, andy. Get back to old Dravid ways, get your humour back and cut the unneceesary pulls(read stats) like Ricky to get a second innings of your career.

  • saurabh on November 11, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    england 'europe's top ranked side'. big call? haha

  • Shashank on November 10, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    Big fan! The satire was more evident in this article though, making the almighty Aussies seem less invincible than the plundering Poms in your first article. Your first article set the bar, and the puny Poms in your second article raised it even higher. Thanks again, although I do agree with scorpio that the Dravid headliner was an unnecessary stunt to attract eyeballs.

  • Robbie on November 10, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    Absolute quality article Andy, agree with above 'best article ever on cricinfo' ever!

  • Anjel Acharya on November 10, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    yet another of ANdy's mind wobbling article..it was a nice one. You have this great talent of knowing the stats and all the past records...I think as from your words, this is the greatest Australian team to ever take the field, they've like three or four players with a mixture of Shane Warne and Bradman, this infact is one of the most extraordinary team in the face of this earth..and in coming years Bollinger will be the greatest bowler and biggest threat to the world cricket if continues his form and average the way it is...what can Bollinger ask more than this? He by now should be over the moon and ringing up Shane, McGrath and Muralitharan at the same time and urging them to read your ANdy's article...but still this your yet another great one and fun to read article...keep it up mate

  • swami on November 9, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    Andy, are you the Greek go of comedy .........

  • Nick D.C on November 9, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    "Bollinger: A vengeful Halloween pumpkin seeking retribution for having its flesh ripped out and replaced with a cheap candle" Super Awesome...

  • Andy the attention grabber on November 9, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Dude, try not to insult the intelligence of indian fans and also dont patronize them. Your article on australians and english would be much fun to read and dravids and sehwags contrasting styles had to be made fun of too.. true. But you should have done the right thing, names the article on its intended purpose to make fun of stats and pull them both sides in relation to ashes.

  • Shyam on November 9, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    first of all, I pity kumar and scorpio...

    Andy, u r a genius... ur articles are just hilarious... waiting for ur next one...

  • Jitendra on November 8, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    No words to express your creativity....... am just big fan of urs......like Bradman n Warn rolled into one (if Don wud hv been still around)

  • Zubin on November 7, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    Andy, that was great! I'm surprised any of your "fans" understood the article, judging by their ridiculous incapability to use whole words in their comments.

  • Ska on November 6, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Brilliant - as always. No wonder you're the most (I'd say only) admired writer on Page 2.

  • P Satish on November 6, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    "twhackmanship" Wonderful description of Sehwag's batting and Bollinger the vengeful Pumpkin scaring Bell was the funniest!!

  • Boom on November 6, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    "territorial barmy army" !!!

    I'm cracked up laughing !!!

  • Athar on November 6, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Andy , how much will you make me laugh

  • Athar on November 6, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Andy , how much will you make me laugh

  • Indraneel Mukherjee on November 6, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Outstanding!!!

    Enjoyed every bit of it......eagerly waiting for the next article

  • scorpio on November 6, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    huh!!! what a cheap way to attract the readers!!! This freaking article is all about Australia, but one sarcastic paragraph about RD.... and it was titled as if the whole article talks about him.. I really pity the writer for his desperate efforts to grab attention!

  • Anonymous on November 6, 2010, 3:58 GMT

    hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaa

  • AD on November 6, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    You are satire's Bradman and Warne rolled into one! Fab stuff!

  • vikram on November 6, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    huuuuuuuu excellent... "He then draws an England wicketkeeper’s face on each one, and says, “I’m going to have you on toast,” Perfect description for punter boys..

  • Srinivas on November 6, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    Lol!!! OMG!!! Can't stop laughing. Masterpiece! May scare Ian Bell. Loll!!!! The bit about Mitchell Johnson's aerodynamic face. Hahaha.... People might think I'm a lunatic. Hahaha....

  • Pradeep Goorha on November 6, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    Andy, you are a raving genious. Why don't they make you the PM in UK? I mean it is well known that listening to Cameron (and more so to his predecessor in office) makes all of England as depressed as my son fitted in that crticketing gear gets when it starts to rain cats and dogs since morning butter and toast and the clock is about to chime eleven. Bring in some humour with fresh metaphors would make the day for working men and women, which would in turn show up in productivity numbers and that intractable GDP that refuses to move.

  • Kumar on November 6, 2010, 0:33 GMT

    Whoever you are ....u write shit...go put your finger in your mouth and stop writing gibberish stuff and write some intelligent news.

  • Sooraz on November 5, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    Timeless classic.....an ode to forthcoming articles...

  • Dale on November 5, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    I liked this quote: "...who, with a small amount of luck, would have won the Ashes in England and drawn an away series in India" Yhey are no as bad as some have been saying.

  • sam on November 5, 2010, 22:21 GMT

    nice one champ

  • EZ on November 5, 2010, 22:00 GMT

    LOL, loved almost all of it. So basically all ozy cricketers are bradman and warne rolled up in one :D :D :D

  • Rama on November 5, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    "throwing away winning positions like an attractive but committed nun discards Valentine’s cards"..............no words to praise.............i guess I need to take a new language course to do so.......................hilarious............

  • Herocoder on November 5, 2010, 20:15 GMT

    Lol .. had to laugh like twice for every word on the article ..

    omg .. too good .. you got to get paid heaps for this stuff .. brilliant ..

    awaiting the next one anytime now :D

  • hazel on November 5, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    what the hell r u then, irish?

  • dwills on November 5, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    Hats off to you mate...Amazingly well written..Genius stuff. Simply put it as a really well written article. Bravo..

  • Adam on November 5, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    Brilliant

  • Sohail on November 5, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    Andy, How did you manage to dropped the same batsman three times in space of fifteen minutes?

  • Atul Bhogle on November 5, 2010, 18:01 GMT

    @Tk, Andy is actually Cardus, Mohandas Menon and PG Wodehouse rolled into one :)

  • Shri on November 5, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    Andy,

    Why don't you pick your Ashes XI from the two teams lined up? One that's most (or least) likely to succeed? Eagerly look forward to that!

    take care, -Shriram

  • Ray on November 5, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    Agree with Mukul. The Sehwag comment was a masterpiece. Fantastic stat analysis as always Andy. Keep em' coming mate.

  • Karthik on November 5, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Rib-tickling article. Take a bow Andy. Looking forward to your analysis on why Aus will lose the ashes.

  • harshad sankhe on November 5, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    you made analysis mostly based on statistics.but you forgot the sentence said by saint navjot singh siddhu."statistics are like bikinis they hide more than that they show"lolzz

  • SN on November 5, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    Zaltzman is basically Cleese and Wodehouse rolled into one.

  • Anish on November 5, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    Quality

  • Bipul on November 5, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    This article is outstanding...So bl****** humorous, I loved the phrase - Basically Bradman and Warne rolled into one :-) Also, never thought English batsmen have not crossed an average of 49.00 ?? I shall check for Ian Bell's, Petersen's & Strauss's average.... True, Sehwag's a bludgeoner while Dravid's a silent killer... Good to read a humor cum pun cum informative article - a brilliant piece amidst all the ashes drama in English and Oz Press...

    Cheers . . . Indian in UK.

  • pk on November 5, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    This is better than Bradman and Warne rolled into one.

  • HBK on November 5, 2010, 13:15 GMT

    may scare ian bell! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  • Anonymous on November 5, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    "..........Europe’s No. 1-ranked cricket nation and one of Oceania’s strongest teams...."

    andy, you !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nikhil on November 5, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    "across-the-line prod reminiscent of a young Alan Mullally"

    L O L

  • Ajit on November 5, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    WoW ... Interesting Read ...

    Articles scribed by you need to come with a disclaimer ... 'An literal inference made after reading this will be entirely at your enemies cost' ...

  • don warne on November 5, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    perhaps the best confection yet. hilarious!!!

  • rahul kumar on November 5, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Too good to comment! mindblowing!

  • seshu on November 5, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    worst article

  • Stuart on November 5, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    Best cricket article on cricinfo ever. Well done.

  • K.V. Rajagopal on November 5, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Absolutely true ! one has to be patient initially to build an innings, ge his eye in and give the first two hours to owles and that is what presisely Dfravid has done. He assessed the wicket, took his time, initially blocked many balls and when he got is eye in, went for the strokes in the process completed a well-deserved century and laid the foundation for a big total with that mercurial Sehwag. A perfect asessment of the situation by the author. The assessment of the Ashes series is also interesting and one keeps his fingers crossed and waiting for 25th Nov.

  • palashboss on November 5, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    gr8 work,andy. loved the bollinger part. wud luv to see a similar analysis for the wc.

  • bhaskar on November 5, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    If i would have been Bill gates i would have given you a DVD of window 8.

  • Chris Cottis on November 5, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    Glad you've done it this way round. I only hope the next article is as convincing!

  • abhishek khetan on November 5, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    andy.. take a bow master .!!

  • SHAHZAIB KHANZADA on November 5, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    hussey is really a master piece n artistic player who can draw the game according to him... unfortunately he starts his career so late otherwise he could surve aussies for the longer period of time.......

    johnson is over rated bowler.. he was good at start but after his bowling is going down and down

    bollinger is like jason gillespie .. he is a good bowler he can play a major role in aussies ashes campaign

    ben hilfenhaus is one of few bowler who can swing the bowler on any pitch... so you can say he is a natural swinger

    i dont understand the presence of marcus north in team , after his centuries in last ashes and in india series i dont remember any brilliant perfomance from him.......

    hauritz is a average spinner ,, he will be the victim of england in ashes...........

  • AJ on November 5, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    AWESOME!!!! one of the funniest hings ive read off late. 'aerodynamic face' AHAHAH, and sehwag. :D

  • Ajinkya on November 5, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    Absolutelyy brilliant!! "He is basically Bradman and Warne rolled into one" hahaha keep up the good work

  • expertcricket on November 5, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    bradman and warne rolled into one...rofl!!!

    He's fat he's round he bounces on the ground shane warne shane warne

  • Shawls on November 5, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    Brilliant stuff !! ....and I wonder how many people get the 'confectionary stall' reference !

  • eddie on November 5, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    absolutely hilarious my friend. keep it up =) the jokes, i mean.

  • Roger on November 5, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Like all your articles, your sarcasm is misplaced. Learn from Usman Khwaja how to be funny.

  • charlie on November 5, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    I aleways look for your articles. Keep them coming. Cant wait for the one on England. Just superb.

  • Atul on November 5, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    Awesomw post!

  • rk on November 5, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    they shoulddrop hautiz,johnson,clarke,north should include kazwa,fergusson,doherty,kerry o keefe,hodge,maccdormat

  • Tsvi Shain on November 5, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    ha! brilliant! '...basically he is Bradman and Warne rolled into one'

  • rockape7939 on November 5, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Australia who??? india = flat track bullies

    Well go england

  • MUKUL on November 5, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    "Virender Sehwag’s continuing campaign to make the world’s bowlers wish they had been born in a non-cricket-playing country, as a woman, to parents who disapproved of all sport as a worthless and flippant pursuit, in the mid-15th century." ultimate.....

  • Tk on November 5, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Excellent.Andy Z is basically Bradman and Warne rolled into one.

  • Peter on November 5, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    May scare Ian Bell! And Sehwag is ridiculous... but you say it with much more humour.

  • Masuud Qazi on November 5, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    Absolute genius stuff! Andy Zaltzman, take a bow!

  • Prarabdh on November 5, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    Awesome... am already a fan. thnx a ton Andy.

  • abdul sami on November 5, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    haha...what a masterpiece. U u rock andy. Cant stop laughing. And your stats at its best. Specialy 'Bollinger plays another 113 Tests like McGrath, and maintains the same statistical superiority, he will end his career with 836 wickets at an average of 15.2'.

  • KALPI on November 5, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    SUPERB ARTICLE. HILARIOUS WORDS USED..GREAT. PLEASE WRITE A SIMILAR ONE FOR THE UPCOMING INDIA-SA SERIES. THANKS.

  • Osama on November 5, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    hahahaha

    omg....lol

    *fan* *big time*

    waiting waiting WAITING for the next article!

  • shashank vaish on November 5, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    well written andy....u always come with these nos that r so much supportive of ur case...cant wait for ur piece on english team

  • Aditya Burra on November 5, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    The article was like Dravid's ton yesterday; first half dull and stolid...second, absolute genius!

  • Pramod SK on November 5, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    With his recent analysis on England and soon-to-be out analysis on Australia , Andy is achieving a unique distinction. He is an optimist and a pessimist rolled into one!

  • ShriDevil on November 5, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    2 gud andy... superb

  • Mr T on November 5, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    lol, you're such a champ. Loved the bits about Katich and Hussey. I really wish he would get hit on the head and wake up thinking he was Hussey version 1. i.e. a Hussey who knew to play at straight balls on off stump and NOT to play at away swingers two feet outside. :P

  • ad_infinitum on November 5, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    Need the same for the Ind vs SA series and for all the major teams at the World Cup.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • ad_infinitum on November 5, 2010, 6:24 GMT

    Need the same for the Ind vs SA series and for all the major teams at the World Cup.

  • Mr T on November 5, 2010, 6:25 GMT

    lol, you're such a champ. Loved the bits about Katich and Hussey. I really wish he would get hit on the head and wake up thinking he was Hussey version 1. i.e. a Hussey who knew to play at straight balls on off stump and NOT to play at away swingers two feet outside. :P

  • ShriDevil on November 5, 2010, 6:30 GMT

    2 gud andy... superb

  • Pramod SK on November 5, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    With his recent analysis on England and soon-to-be out analysis on Australia , Andy is achieving a unique distinction. He is an optimist and a pessimist rolled into one!

  • Aditya Burra on November 5, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    The article was like Dravid's ton yesterday; first half dull and stolid...second, absolute genius!

  • shashank vaish on November 5, 2010, 6:42 GMT

    well written andy....u always come with these nos that r so much supportive of ur case...cant wait for ur piece on english team

  • Osama on November 5, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    hahahaha

    omg....lol

    *fan* *big time*

    waiting waiting WAITING for the next article!

  • KALPI on November 5, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    SUPERB ARTICLE. HILARIOUS WORDS USED..GREAT. PLEASE WRITE A SIMILAR ONE FOR THE UPCOMING INDIA-SA SERIES. THANKS.

  • abdul sami on November 5, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    haha...what a masterpiece. U u rock andy. Cant stop laughing. And your stats at its best. Specialy 'Bollinger plays another 113 Tests like McGrath, and maintains the same statistical superiority, he will end his career with 836 wickets at an average of 15.2'.

  • Prarabdh on November 5, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    Awesome... am already a fan. thnx a ton Andy.