The Heavy Ball

This, that and the other. Mostly the other

The glory that was the Australia-England ODI series

Did someone dare say pointless ODIs? The recent seven-game one down under featured nothing of the sort

Alex Bowden

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Did the Australia v England one-day series feature everything we'd hoped for? It really wasn't far off. Think of everything you love about cricket. Think of everything you want out of one-dayers, specifically. Did this seven-match series deliver?

Luke Wright gets ready to bowl at England's net session, Sydney, February 1, 2011
Luke Wright: batsman, bowler, juggler, what? © Getty Images
Related Links
Series/Tournaments: England tour of Australia
Teams: Australia | England

Four wicketkeepers in one match
Check. Matt Prior, Steven Davies, Brad Haddin and Tim Paine. Nothing says first XI quite like twice as many wicketkeepers as you would expect.

Injuries and squad rotation are great when they get this far out of hand. At one point it was suggested that Andy Flower might get a game. This is the international cricket equivalent of roping your dad in to play in the back garden because Paul's sister's gone home in a mood.

Someone flying round the world to lose a dead rubber Check. You know it's a big match when a player's willing to fly from St Kitts to London to Singapore to Perth for it. Liam Plunkett endured the same Denzel Washington film twice. That's how committed he was to helping England to a 5-2 defeat instead of a 6-1 defeat. Shame he couldn't succeed in his mission.

Very little tension at any point in the series
Check. A one-day series is not to be enjoyed. It is to be ignored, or possibly watched if you put the telly on and they happen to be playing at that exact moment. In this regard, Australia v England was an enormous success, because at no point did it constitute must-see television.

Tension peaked at 0-0, shortly before the first match, and dissipated from there, allowing you to get plenty done. It was particularly well organised to have England win the fourth match, right in the middle of the series, removing the chance of a whitewash just as the prospect became worth talking about.

All in all, the lack of tension was very considerate considering that the self-assessment tax deadline was fast approaching for much of the series.

People who aren't in the World Cup
Check. With a World Cup looming, it was important not to over-expose the big names. Thus we got to enjoy the performances of Adam Voges, Steven Finn and Chris Woakes, knowing that they were of virtually no consequence. Or were they?

The constant threat that someone important might get injured at any moment
Check. What drama! Pointlessly endangering sportsmen prior to a major competition is truly thrilling for spectators. With such massive consequences, injuries sustained at this time have major emotional impact.

This is clearly the way forward for cricket, so here are some more suggestions as to how this form of excitement can be better exploited:

- Scrap pre-match touch rugby in favour of full-contact rugby
- Ban batsmen from using protective equipment in the nets
- Have the best player on each side play "five-finger fillet" - the stabbing-between-the-fingers game - immediately before every match

Clarity on what Luke Wright actually is
Unfortunately we cannot say "check" for this. Even a seven-match series isn't long enough to clarify whether Wright is a batsman who bowls, a one-day bowler who slogs, a fielder who bats-and-bowls or simply a blank canvas who doesn't get injured.

RSS FeedAlex Bowden blogs at King Cricket

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 22 
. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by katy on (February 11, 2011, 12:27 GMT)

Haha poor Luke Wright, I've never quite figured out why he is in the team. He is very pretty though... :)

Posted by Jordan on (February 11, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

Agree with blackjesuz - I know it's a comdey article, but there was plenty of tension in virtually every game. Oh and Luke Wright's role isn't a mystery! He's the sub that magically appears on the field and seems to stay for longer than he should.

Posted by Tim on (February 11, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

Fawad bats in the top six so is a specialist batsman who bowls a bit. Jadeja often bowls 10 overs so is a specialist bowler who bats a bit. Steve Smith bowls a fair bit and is used as a pinch hitter. Luke Wright bats 8 and only sometimes bowls. He is neither a batsman nor a bowler. He is, like Alex said, a blank canvas. Don't confuse people who are terrible at their role with people who have no role at all.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 11, 2011, 3:51 GMT)

Very very good 2 had almost lost it...this one's right on the money!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 10, 2011, 23:52 GMT)

hahahaha..."A blank canvas who doesnt get injured" line :)

Posted by Jamie on (February 10, 2011, 22:38 GMT)

Brillant stuff, very funny.

Posted by Muhamad on (February 10, 2011, 22:15 GMT)


For Career of Ravi Shastri:-

Tests 80 Matches 15751 Balls Overs 151 Wickets ODIs 150 Matches 6613 Balls Overs 129 Wickets

Then how can you say that he never bowled more than 2 overs ??? Or you are only talking about the WC 1983?

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 10, 2011, 20:29 GMT)

Australia were better in every match in the series and maybe because of Stuart Broads injury, thats how it was. You canĀ“t realy get the injuries your way most of the time and the way England played was poor and injuries can cost your team.

Posted by North on (February 10, 2011, 19:30 GMT)

Luke wright is like the Ravi shashtri of the 1983 Indian world cup team, he used to come to bat at no 8 or 9. so what do u think, he is a blowler, NO, he never bowled more than 2 overs in a game. can u believe that. Till today i fail to understand what the hell was he doing in the team. When it came to commentry, he is a very bad omen, every time he says something bad about India and it turns out to be true. Oh i forgot this section should be about Luke not Ravi.

Posted by Muhamad on (February 10, 2011, 18:33 GMT)

Well... Guys. When comparing Wright with fawad and Jadeja, please first look at the batting avergaes of both in 30s , with 4 50s each plus wickets of Jadeja, already 29 and a 100 on debut by Fawad as test opener. And still these two are bashed by the fans. So, in Simple, what writer pointed about Wright is Right. A Batting average of 21 in over 40 matches with 2 50s? 15 wickets, at 55, with max 2 wickets in a match? Fawad and Jadeja are way batter, they can even play as specialist batsmen at any position.

So Satire of Wright is right.

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in The Heavy Ball
RSS FeedAll
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet