December 7, 2011

We don’t need no stinkin’ rotation

And the joyous spinfest that was the third Bangladesh-Pakistan ODI
22

Monday, 5th December Rotation is, on the whole, a good thing. Without it, merry-go-rounds would be a good deal less merry; our cities would be congested with commuters on horseback*, and we would probably never have heard of Shane Warne.

But for the professional sportsman, rotation has a sinister side. It’s okay when it’s happening to someone else. Michael Hussey, for example, is quite relaxed about the prospect of bowler rotation. Batsman rotation, on the other hand, is quite possibly the end of civilisation as we know it, and The Huss is having none of it.

"From a batting point of view, if you're playing well you want to keep batting, and if things aren't going right, you want to keep playing so you can get that big score.”

Well, quite. But if batsmen in form shouldn’t be rotated and batsmen out of form shouldn’t be dropped, then the only ways out of the team would appear to be retirement, insanity or imprisonment. The Australian batting order is like the mafia, only less efficient and with more silly green hats.

Huss also has the solution to Phil Hughes’ minor technical flaw (his compulsion to play the cut shot regardless of the state of the game, the position of the fielders, the length of the ball or the direction in which he’s facing): just keep swinging, Phil. And if that doesn’t work, it so happens that Mike knows of a veteran left-hander who could step into the rotation-proof opening position at short notice.

Tuesday, 6th December Like rare flowers, the talents of most professional cricketers bloom for a season, and right now it’s Mohammad Hafeez’s time in the sun. Having earlier opened the batting, Super Prof once again opened the bowling and once again skittled Tamim before the poor chap had had the chance to fully digest his pre-game energy bar.

The tricky thing about facing a ball from Hafeez is that although you know it probably won’t turn, there is always the outside possibility that it will. Today the Bangladeshi batsmen were braced for the one that didn’t, only to be undone by the revs on the one that did. He is my new favourite mystery spinner. (Ajantha isn’t allowed out to play very often these days.)

And it wasn’t just the Professor who was enjoying himself. With 11 twirlers doing their thing, the match was a festival of spin, as one after another, batsmen were ensnared like desperately struggling flies in a spider web.

At 50 for 1, it was Bangladesh’s game; there were congas in the crowd and the home side had just taken the batting powerplay. And then the floodlights failed. Umpires Cloete and Haque took a light reading, though they had to employ the special backlit display setting on their meters in order to read the numbers confirming that it was dark.

Umpires are obsessed with their light meters. If Asad Rauf were to feature in an episode of Scooby Doo, he’d be the one left behind in the spooky corridor of the haunted house because he’d stopped to take another reading. Mrs Bowden frequently has her bedtime novel confiscated by Billy on the grounds that his light meter says conditions are unfit for reading and the bedside lamp is casting dangerous shadows.

Anyway, eventually the lights came back on, Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out.

*Although a world without cars would also mean a world without the television programme Top Gear, so it wouldn’t be all bad.

Andrew Hughes is a writer currently based in England

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dan on December 8, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    "Rotation Policy" is a modern way of saying, 'go back to State cricket and get some runs'. The best way of avoiding rotation is to perform. Do you really think Huss will be 'rotated' if he gets another hundred? With blokes like Marsh and Watson breaking down, Hughes' dodgy technique and Pontings impending retirement, I don't think Mr. Cricket needs to worry too much.

  • Nikhil on December 7, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    lights came on, bangladesh remembered they were bangladesh and crumbled to 119. ROTFL!!!

  • Lol on December 7, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    Very funny, so true about the Aus batsmen and their love of watching the bowlers suck it all up.

    Love the bits about the light meters as well.

  • Dilip on December 7, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    Nice read, loved the bit on hughes playing the cut shot and the umpires. and obviously you're joking about topgear. coz Mr. JC's humor is as good if not better than you/pg2/elsewhere..

  • Ravi on December 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    nicely written

  • Bakht S. Cheema on December 7, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    'If Asad Rauf were to feature in an episode of Scooby Doo, he’d be the one left behind in the spooky corridor of the haunted house because he’d stopped to take another reading. Mrs Bowden frequently has her bedtime novel confiscated by Billy on the grounds that his light meter says conditions are unfit for reading and the bedside lamp is casting dangerous shadows'. HAHAHAHA...hilarious

  • PakFan on December 7, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    I am just glad to see that someone else beside Pakistan and Bangla fans are watching this series... hopefully Hafeez deliveries will turn more often in the next series or not - I guess you and the batmen arriving early next year in the sunny UAE can keep guessing.

  • Tom on December 7, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Hahaha - the best bit was the description of phil hughes' technical flaws

  • Blesson on December 7, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    "(his compulsion to play the cut shot regardless of the state of the game, the position of the fielders, the length of the ball or the direction in which he’s facing)"- Hilarious.... revisiting your blog after a hiatus... not disappointed... marvelous...

  • huzie on December 7, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Anyway, eventually the lights came back on, Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out. beautiful andrew, had a hearty laugh on that.

  • Dan on December 8, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    "Rotation Policy" is a modern way of saying, 'go back to State cricket and get some runs'. The best way of avoiding rotation is to perform. Do you really think Huss will be 'rotated' if he gets another hundred? With blokes like Marsh and Watson breaking down, Hughes' dodgy technique and Pontings impending retirement, I don't think Mr. Cricket needs to worry too much.

  • Nikhil on December 7, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    lights came on, bangladesh remembered they were bangladesh and crumbled to 119. ROTFL!!!

  • Lol on December 7, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    Very funny, so true about the Aus batsmen and their love of watching the bowlers suck it all up.

    Love the bits about the light meters as well.

  • Dilip on December 7, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    Nice read, loved the bit on hughes playing the cut shot and the umpires. and obviously you're joking about topgear. coz Mr. JC's humor is as good if not better than you/pg2/elsewhere..

  • Ravi on December 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    nicely written

  • Bakht S. Cheema on December 7, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    'If Asad Rauf were to feature in an episode of Scooby Doo, he’d be the one left behind in the spooky corridor of the haunted house because he’d stopped to take another reading. Mrs Bowden frequently has her bedtime novel confiscated by Billy on the grounds that his light meter says conditions are unfit for reading and the bedside lamp is casting dangerous shadows'. HAHAHAHA...hilarious

  • PakFan on December 7, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    I am just glad to see that someone else beside Pakistan and Bangla fans are watching this series... hopefully Hafeez deliveries will turn more often in the next series or not - I guess you and the batmen arriving early next year in the sunny UAE can keep guessing.

  • Tom on December 7, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Hahaha - the best bit was the description of phil hughes' technical flaws

  • Blesson on December 7, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    "(his compulsion to play the cut shot regardless of the state of the game, the position of the fielders, the length of the ball or the direction in which he’s facing)"- Hilarious.... revisiting your blog after a hiatus... not disappointed... marvelous...

  • huzie on December 7, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Anyway, eventually the lights came back on, Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out. beautiful andrew, had a hearty laugh on that.

  • Wefinishthis on December 7, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    We never needed a rotation policy before when we had Hayden, Lehman, Gilchrist, Warne, Lee, McGrath, etc. We just selected the best 11 players available to fill the roles we wanted them to. The great WI team of the 80's never did. Even the top3 teams of today SA, India England don't use a rotation policy. England have a group of bowlers but they select the best bowler for those conditions. The Argus review recommended a performance policy, so where did this rotation policy come from? Get rid of Arthur while we still can.

  • Raheel on December 7, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    "..if batsmen in form shouldn’t be rotated and batsmen out of form shouldn’t be dropped, then the only ways out of the team would appear to be retirement, insanity or imprisonment. The Australian batting order is like the mafia, only less efficient and with more silly green hats." - Fabulous! Grazi, Signori Hughes.

  • setu on December 7, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    last line is superb "eventually the lights came back on, Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out. " :) :) very well written

  • Rajesh Rajagopalan on December 7, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Hi Andrew,

    This is a good article depicting the current state of cricketing affairs across the globe. For all leading cricketing nations, having a Rotation-policy is important and imperative. For Australia, this is a transitional phase. It is unfortunate that the team has got a sudden spurt of injury list especially when Clarke is settling very well as a captain. From a bowling perspective the team has brilliant bowlers such as Bollinger,Hilfenhaus,Pattison,Ben Cutting, Starc,Johnson,..etc., who all could surely fit into the scheme of selection for the Test team with proper planning and diligent rotational policy. From a batting perspective, there should be a consistent policy in choosing the heir apparent to Ponting's position (Usman Khawaja should be given the confidence. Also one wonders why he is being forced/coaxed to be a fielder for Short-leg or Silly-point)

    Cheers, Rajesh Rajagopalan

  • Touseef Ahmad Rehan on December 7, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    "Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out." LOL Well said Hughes

  • Prashanth on December 7, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    The one with Asad Rauf and Mrs.Bowden is very hillarious. Thank you so much Andrew.

  • Aditya on December 7, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    Hilarious, Andrew!.. The comment about Billy confiscating his wife's bedtime novel on the grounds of bad light was the best!..

    I seriously wish that the ICC, instead of crying hoarse about dwindling cricket fans at the grounds, gives a nod to playing tests under the lights. Calling off a match 'cause of bad light inspite of heavy duty flood-lights present all over the ground is as bad as taking a child to a candy store and then forbidding him to chew on one!....

    We fans, at the end of the day, feel cheated and let down.

  • Simon W. on December 7, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Hi there, I read your intermitently interesting diary this morning, and it leaves me with yet another prpoblem. Do I continue to follow you in the hope of an odd smirk appearing on my face and the fun of reading something untaxing and easily digestible, and while doing so can I ignore the fact that you probably would have a supercilious sneer on your face and be astounded that Top Gear fans can actually read and possibly even reason. Here is a thought! Maybe I can forge a career out of pointing out to the general public just how many people who are 'right thinking' and knock the programme and its main presenter yet still jump at the chance to drive their resonably priced car around the track and get 5 minutes of self promotion. Have a nice day

    p.s. the 'sous chef' thing with Mr Hughes? Doesn't pan.

  • masood on December 7, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    "Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out"

    That was my favourite bit.

  • jim roberts on December 7, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Your articles keep gettin better n better andrew, just like Dravid, Laxman, Sachin, Kallis n co... U r the page 2 legend...:P

  • Andy on December 7, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    Really Funny :)...All of them, the rotation of batsmen bit and umpires taking out light meters in dark, and then Bangladesh remembering that they are Bangladesh!

  • Nadeem Akhter on December 7, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Wonderfully hilarious read throughout. Hafeez is almost everyone's favorite mystery spinner these days apart from a couple of opposing left handed opening batsmen. And the umpires and their light meter obsessions are simply superb. Thank you Sir.

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  • Nadeem Akhter on December 7, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Wonderfully hilarious read throughout. Hafeez is almost everyone's favorite mystery spinner these days apart from a couple of opposing left handed opening batsmen. And the umpires and their light meter obsessions are simply superb. Thank you Sir.

  • Andy on December 7, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    Really Funny :)...All of them, the rotation of batsmen bit and umpires taking out light meters in dark, and then Bangladesh remembering that they are Bangladesh!

  • jim roberts on December 7, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Your articles keep gettin better n better andrew, just like Dravid, Laxman, Sachin, Kallis n co... U r the page 2 legend...:P

  • masood on December 7, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    "Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out"

    That was my favourite bit.

  • Simon W. on December 7, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Hi there, I read your intermitently interesting diary this morning, and it leaves me with yet another prpoblem. Do I continue to follow you in the hope of an odd smirk appearing on my face and the fun of reading something untaxing and easily digestible, and while doing so can I ignore the fact that you probably would have a supercilious sneer on your face and be astounded that Top Gear fans can actually read and possibly even reason. Here is a thought! Maybe I can forge a career out of pointing out to the general public just how many people who are 'right thinking' and knock the programme and its main presenter yet still jump at the chance to drive their resonably priced car around the track and get 5 minutes of self promotion. Have a nice day

    p.s. the 'sous chef' thing with Mr Hughes? Doesn't pan.

  • Aditya on December 7, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    Hilarious, Andrew!.. The comment about Billy confiscating his wife's bedtime novel on the grounds of bad light was the best!..

    I seriously wish that the ICC, instead of crying hoarse about dwindling cricket fans at the grounds, gives a nod to playing tests under the lights. Calling off a match 'cause of bad light inspite of heavy duty flood-lights present all over the ground is as bad as taking a child to a candy store and then forbidding him to chew on one!....

    We fans, at the end of the day, feel cheated and let down.

  • Prashanth on December 7, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    The one with Asad Rauf and Mrs.Bowden is very hillarious. Thank you so much Andrew.

  • Touseef Ahmad Rehan on December 7, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    "Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out." LOL Well said Hughes

  • Rajesh Rajagopalan on December 7, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Hi Andrew,

    This is a good article depicting the current state of cricketing affairs across the globe. For all leading cricketing nations, having a Rotation-policy is important and imperative. For Australia, this is a transitional phase. It is unfortunate that the team has got a sudden spurt of injury list especially when Clarke is settling very well as a captain. From a bowling perspective the team has brilliant bowlers such as Bollinger,Hilfenhaus,Pattison,Ben Cutting, Starc,Johnson,..etc., who all could surely fit into the scheme of selection for the Test team with proper planning and diligent rotational policy. From a batting perspective, there should be a consistent policy in choosing the heir apparent to Ponting's position (Usman Khawaja should be given the confidence. Also one wonders why he is being forced/coaxed to be a fielder for Short-leg or Silly-point)

    Cheers, Rajesh Rajagopalan

  • setu on December 7, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    last line is superb "eventually the lights came back on, Bangladesh remembered that they were Bangladesh, and crumbled to 119 all out. " :) :) very well written