The curious cases of Hogg and Bailey
That’s odd, isn’t it?
Australia have picked an oldy and a dude to replace a dude with roughly the same record of the other dude who is slightly older. Where is the disdain, the outrage, the editorial’s sprouting anti-Victorian intent and how Australia are overlooking their future for some old dude the commentators all like?
Australia have picked a player who has been retired for years. I’m not even sure we knew that Justin Bieber was a thing when Brad Hogg last played, and Zach Galifianakis was a fat funny dude starring in such classics as Speed Freaks. Hogg isn’t exactly Bob Simpson, who was dragged from a retirement village to save Australian cricket.
I suppose if your lifestyle-hosting career is working well or you’re dating a famous model/actor/it girl, you don’t need to make a comeback at 40, but for Hogg it makes perfect sense. Statistically you can make an argument for Hogg. His economy rate is 5.4, he takes wickets, and no one has a better strike-rate on twitter abusing Mitchell Marsh. The only number not on his side is his age.
However, if you see Twenty20 as a way of easing young Australian cricketers into the team, then picking a guy who’s been retired four years who is only year younger than your selector is odd.
Then there is Bailey, who I am really glad is being given a chance to captain any Australian XI, but it’s not as if he’s hitting the captaincy with a stellar Twenty20 season behind him.
And age is also quite odd, as he’s a few months younger than Michael Clarke, and only a few months older than Cameron White. There’s no doubt Bailey can captain, he’s won more than his share of silverware, but so has White. Neither White nor Bailey made a cracker in a high class and low performance Melbourne Stars middle order this year.
You’d think that one of these decisions, if not both would be the catalyst for the first vicious attack on the John Inverarity reign as chief selector.
But it’s quite clear that virtually no one cares. Australians may casually enjoy the Big Bash League, and they may even make the trek down to see the odd match, but at the end of the day, you could have a man with a rubber chicken stuck to his head as captain and some bloke’s dog as the spinner and people would still spend more time discussing Shaun Marsh’s form or whether Punter (Ponting) should retire.
For all the hype and concern, Twenty20 is still just that thing people watch.