Paxter

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    Perth, Western Australia

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  1. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Jeez. De Kock already in at 60/5! Would be an amazing victory if NZ can pull this off. Meanwhile, Pujara has been disastrously run out at Dharamsala...
  2. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    The problem for NZ is South Africa's batting depth - De Kock coming in at number 7 and averaging over 50 is pretty daunting. Almost reminiscent of the Australian line-up that had Gilchrist at 7. That was some innings from Williamson though.
  3. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Barring a miraculous bowling performance this morning, Australia have well and truly lost the plot in this test. They were bowled out for 137 yesterday and, more egregiously, lost 9-156 in the first dig after a very promising start. If they'd managed to grab a first innings lead this series would still be well and truly alive, even with the almost inevitable second innings collapse. What will hurt most from an Australian perspective is that they've bowled very well throughout the series, won three of four tosses and (critically) have faced an underperforming Indian batting lineup, with slots four to six in the batting order hardly contributing a run. When you compare this to the recent England tour (in which Kohli dominated, Ashwin batted well and Nair got a triple ton), India really were ripe for the plucking in this series. Unfortunately the onus lies squarely with Australia's batting again. With only two batsmen (Smith and Maxwell) averaging over 32 in the series, it's hard to argue that much has changed since the Sri Lanka whitewash. The familiar technical problems against spin, lack of robust opening partnerships and almost no contribution from the lower order have loomed large, and will lead to more soul-searching about how to win in the subcontinent ahead of the (still unconfirmed) tour of Bangladesh later this year.
  4. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Yet another collapse from Australia, but they still have the advantage of batting first, bowling last and having runs on the board. I do wonder how this series would have played out if India had won three of the four tosses rather than Australia... As for Smith's form - wow.
  5. March Reading 2017

    Finished the brilliant comedy of manners that is Sense and Sensibility. This was a fantastic read: great pacing, perfectly crafted prose and unforgettable characters. It's been a while since a novel really made me loathe a set of characters! Now (slightly reluctantly) reading some non-fiction: Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. I may start something in parallel as I think this will be a bit of a slog.
  6. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Credit to Australia for holding on in the fourth test, though I think it was always going to be tough to bowl them out on that road. Now on to Dharamsala for a (hopefully!) thrilling conclusion to the series. You'd expect India to prepare a result pitch, given that a drawn series will feel like a win for the visitors.
  7. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Yeah the draw is still probably the favourite, but that could all change if Renshaw and/or Smith are dismissed early in today's play. Congratulations to Bangladesh: winning their 100th test and their first-ever against arch-rivals Sri Lanka. They are finally starting to shake off minnow status and emerge as a genuine contender, particularly on Asian pitches. Side-note: I'm still shocked that NZ contrived to lose so many wickets to spin in Wellington. That was a perplexing test match.
  8. March Reading 2017

    Finished Isherwood's A Single Man. This is a beautifully written novel that traverses considerable thematic ground considering its small page count. It was also much funnier than expected, since I remember the film adaptation to be quite serious. Overall I strongly recommend this one, especially as a seminal piece of LGBT literature. I'm now about halfway through Austen's classic Sense and Sensibility. It won't take me long to finish this - I'm already so invested in the characters that I'm finding it difficult to put down. It's definitely a step up from the only Austen I'd read previously (Persuasion).
  9. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Yeah will be interesting to see if they go for Cummins or Bird in the third test. Cummins' pace plus all-round talent may well get him across the line. Meanwhile, I sincerely hope Usman gets his chance to play over The Big Show.
  10. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Yeah I very much doubt he is injured. Australia's tradition of selecting dud all-rounders for subcontinent tours continues (see White, Cameron and Henriques, Moises). Interestingly the ICC has cleared both Smith and Kohli in the wake of the DRS scandal. I don't think anyone involved has covered themselves in glory here: certainly not Smith for his clear breach of the rules, not the BCCI for its uncivil tweets and not the Indian captain for his childish outbursts. Ugly stuff.
  11. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Haha looks like I put the mockers on Australia. Normal service resumed in the second test with Australia falling into a hole in the fourth innings. Fascinating series unfolding... What did people think of the Smith incident? Pretty poor form to be glancing up at the rooms in a DRS situation. He should have known better.
  12. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Pretty amazing performance from Smith and his team so far in this series. They already have enough of a lead now to put India under real pressure in the second innings. What a shock it would/will be to see Australia 2-0 up in India. I am still reeling from the first test result!
  13. March Reading 2017

    Finished the excellent Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I found the prose to be a bit of a struggle early on (mainly because of Mantel's slightly irritating decision to constantly use pronouns instead of proper nouns), but this ended up being a brilliant read. I strongly recommend this for fans of political intrigue, great dialogue and Reformation-era history. And I'll definitely be picking up the sequel! Now starting Isherwood's A Single Man, which should be a quick read.
  14. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Yeah that Sri Lanka series was a great T20 showcase. First two matches were absolute nailbiters. Meanwhile...the Aussies have started solidly in Pune. I think Renshaw could be a great find for Australia - he's already showing much more stickability than Burns did in Sri Lanka.
  15. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    Australia looks set to drop its first selection bombshell of the India tour with Ussie left out of the warm-up match in favour of Shaun Marsh. Personally I'd have left Renshaw out instead, but I can see the logic of omitting Khawaja after his poor showing in Sri Lanka. Marsh probably has to play given his success in these conditions in the past...horses for courses!