<
>

Australia 47 all out

Brad Haddin delayed England's celebration with a stylish half-century Getty Images

Stuart: Well, astonishing scenes here at Newlands, where Australia have been bowled out for just 47. What do you make of that, Ash? Can you say anything in the Aussies' favour after that performance?

Ash: They were true to themselves, Stu. They were true to their natural games.

Stuart: And that's good, is it?

Ash: Oh yeah, you should always play your natural game. That's what got these guys into the team in the first place, after all.

Stuart: It strikes me that if you've been bowled out for 47 playing your natural game then you probably couldn't do much worse if you adapted that game slightly, reacting to the conditions a little bit.

Ash: No, you're dead wrong there, Stu. That's the thing about cricket. There are no extremes. Things could always have gone worse.

Stuart: Or better.

Ash: If the Aussie batsmen hadn't played their natural game, the situation could have been a lot worse.

Stuart: Worse than 47 all out?

Ash: Oh yeah, at least they got after the bowlers a bit. They were only out there for 18 overs. Imagine if they'd reined themselves in and only scored at one or two an over. They'd have been dismissed for 20-odd.

Stuart: But they might not have been dismissed so easily had they done that.

Ash: Nope. Rubbish. Sometimes there's a ball with your name on it and there's literally nothing you can do about it. Far better to cash in before then, get a few boundaries, get the scoreboard moving.

Stuart: Well, Peter Siddle was the only batsman to hit multiple boundaries. He hit two. Seven of the batsmen didn't even make it to four runs in their entire innings, let alone in one shot.

Ash: But they were true to themselves, Stu. True to their approach.

Stuart: I really don't know what you're trying to say. Did you actually see Brad Haddin's dismissal?

Ash: A perfect example of a batsman being true to himself.

Stuart: What? Ambling down the pitch and wafting at a short ball brainlessly?

Ash: That's his natural game, Stu. He naturally wafts at short balls without using his brain. Why should he be criticised for his brainlessness?

Stuart: Because it got him out.

Ash: Brad Haddin's brainlessness has been the making of him. Operating without a brain is how Brad Haddin got into this Australia team. If operating brainlessly also gets him out of this Australia team, then at least he can look back on his career and say that he played his natural game and was true to himself.

Stuart: Any other positives for the Australians, Ash?

Ash: Shane Watson's strike rate.

Stuart: Four off three balls?

Ash: A strike rate of 133.33.

Stuart: Over the course of three balls.

Ash: It was as high as 200 at one point in his innings, Stu. He got his team off to a flier.

Stuart: He got South Africa off to a flier.

Ash: He got everyone off to a flier. Great cricketer. Great approach.

Stuart: True to his natural game?

Ash: True to his natural game.