Tag Archives: lee marvin

England’s wonder

Four men are hired to save a rich rancher’s wife in Mexico. The rancher picks four people with particular skills to form the ultimate team. The film is called the professionals. Andy Flower is probably a fan of this film, and not just because of Woody Strobe and Lee Marvin, but because it fits his ethos.

England got to the top of the world by being more professional than every other team in the world. Their selections were impeccable. Everyone did their job. They made each other better. Choked with the ball, dulled with the bat, take all chances. Preparation was key. They believed they could win. And they won a bunch of series on the way to number one.

Then things fell apart in the UAE. Saeed Ajmal does that to people, but England seemed to play like every Pakistani was Ajmal like, and they lost. In Sri Lanka they had Ajmal flash backs, before ending up 1-1. At home against the West Indies they did what they needed to do and nothing more.

Then South Africa turned up. And they did what England had been doing for a while, made no mistakes.

England made many. Their batsmen who had built foundations on common sense and minimizing risk suddenly played at balls they should have left. Their bowlers lost pace. The fielding fell down. Inside the changing room was a disaster. And their captain was on the way out.

The professional well put together team was missing key components and fighting amongst itself.

Yet they went back to basics. Sri Lanka could have played three Test series and fitted in a series of ODIs against India in the time England used just for warm up matches. Short of moving to Chennai, they couldn’t have spent any longer over there. It was the old England. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

At the height of England’s run, bowlers didn’t play with injuries that often. They believed in their back ups, and wouldn’t risk losing a bowler mid match.

In this Test they went with Broad, now perhaps he was fully fit. Perhaps he wasn’t. But once Broad played, Bresnan had to be more likely (even without his reverse swing in the last warm up), and that meant they were taking in a potentially injured bowler and leaving out a spinner on a wicket that from all accounts looked like it would have taken spin the day before the Test.

Then they fielded. And it was bad. Matt Prior’s keeping looked like the Matt Prior of the bad old days. Jonathan Trott seemed surprised at slip. And Jimmy Anderson seemed to be looking at Pujara’s lofted mistake like he had 2D eyes. They were the chances they missed. But there was also a look of flatness about them. Some balls were shepherded to the boundary. Dives were done to prove they had dived. And the energy was low.

That also lead to the run rate getting out of control. Now, everyone gets Sehwaged once in a while. But it also took them hours to slow down Pujara who as classy as he is, is a man who often slows himself down. The control and patience of the English attack was nowhere. Too many boundaries came at the end of otherwise good overs. India were 61 runs into their innings before Swann came on to slow it down.

Cook captained in the same way that most of his team fielded.

England may still salvage this Test, although it’s pretty doubtful. They might even win the series. But they won’t do either without what got them there in the first place. And perhaps they can’t. Things change. Right at the moment England look more like a middling side with issues than a team about to storm back to number one.

Watching Sehwag and Pujara flay their attack while their fielders looked like little more than CGI extras I remembered a line from Burt Lancaster in the professionals, “Makes you wonder how we ever beat the Indians.”

We can remember how and why they beat India, but 4-0 is a fading memory.

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gilly (from the vault)

This is a blog I wrote years ago on a blog I used to have. It wasn’t a cricket blog, it was more of a pop culture blog. So it wasn’t written for you smart as a whip cricket fans. It was a featured blog on a few different sites at the time.

I have a mid year eve resolution that I thought I should share with you. It’s strange that I would have a mid year resolution, as I I’ve never had a New Year one. I have decided to live my life in the style of an Adam Gilchrist innings (for the ill informed Adam Gilchrist is a cricketer who play’s for Australia). Mr Gilchrist in real life is a committed family man with tendencies for metro$exuality, he’s not quite a nerd but he’s not exactly Benicio Del Toro either. However when Mr Gilchrist enters an arena holding a bat, he is a different man a different animal even. H has the aura of Russell Crowe from gladiator, he has the confidence of Lee Marvin in the dirty dozen and he is as tenacious as my nans dog (the one that always tried to bite me as a kid).

Gilchrist hits the ball harder than anyone I’ve ever seen, but it’s less how hard he hits it, it’s more the way he attacks a cricket ball. As much as I love cricket, it can be a boring, depressing and repetitive game when mere mortals play it. What else would you expect from a game invented by the English. The fact that cricket can be all these things is actually why when someone like “Gilly”, (I’m Australian its impossible not too use his nick name) can be a wet dream to the fans. He plays a sport where one mistake means then end of his day, and yet this seems to make him attack more. These days sports people play sport like they’re guarding there share portfolio, so watching Gilly flail the bat around like a junkie swatting away imaginary flying monkeys is f*cking outstanding. He plays like fear is not an option, and that’s how I want to live my life, f*ck fear and all fear related products.

People spend the whole lives afraid of making mistakes, but gilly has inspired me to f*ck that sh*t, grow some test1cles, and swing away (Signs reference for you movie fans). I hate my job, and I hate what it does to me, but there I am every day (well most days) plugging away, for a boss with no balls, and a company that I despise. I think in life all of us should start to take the gilly approach.

I understand this would mean a lot of people may try and become astronauts. But so be it, lets take our dreams by the horns, and I finally know what my dreams are and blah blah blah… Stop reading and get your act together.

The crock is now writing three blogs a day… thanks mr gilly…

So there you have it. That was written about 4 years ago. I quit that job, and now own my Film Production Company. Its still early days, but hey I’m doing something I love.

You too can live the life you want on the gilly highway to success self help program, just send 2,413 American dollars in unmarked bills to Uncle J Rod and your life will be Gilchristed.

May I also say that it’s of no small coincidence he has Christ in his name. And I’m an atheist/agnostic heretic.

Keep watching the sky.

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wild west cricketers

Hey I’m bored shitless so I’m comparing western characters to cricketers.

Matthew Hayden – John Wayne – The Searchers or pretty much any film he was in.

I’m probably not the first person to make this comparison, but just cause it’s obvious don’t make it untrue. The duke understood the west, and some days he would have just sat there and watched it, just like Hayden sitting on the pitch the day before a test. In the searchers John goes a little too far, there is macho domination, and then there is being an arrogant bully. Sound like any opening batsmen we know?

Andre Nel – the old guy in town that is there for comedic value

Need I say more, its Andre fucking Nel.

Yuvraj Singh – Clint Eastwood – any spaghetti western

Everything about the man with no name was introverted. Watch Singh at the crease, he has the Eastwood stare, he almost dares the bowlers to come into him. Not a man for big words, but when he says something people listen. Even when Singh is smashing the ball there is a restraint, dare I say it a touch of coolness there, and is there any western character cooler than Eastwood?

Adam Gilchrist – William Holden – the wild bunch

His best days maybe behind him, but the doesn’t mean he can’t take a Mexican government down on his way out. Only one way to go down, all guns blazing.

Ms Dhoni – Alan Ladd – Shane

This is my favourite one, cause Dhoni is little, Alan Ladd is little, so it seems like I actually looked into this one. They strode into town just as the farmers needed some leadership and balls. They both look a little gay, but Jack Palance and most bowling attacks around the world know not too question their sexuality. Lets hope for Dhoni his story ends better than Shane’s did.

Andrew Symonds – woody strode – the professionals and a heap of others

Woody was the token black actor in an ass full of westerns. Do I have to explain it?

Murali – Gary Cooper – high noon

What to do when everyone in town abandons you, when you are positive that you are right but no one wants to stand beside you. Hell, you keep on taking wickets regardless of whether men with guns or Bishen Bedi talking into a microphone is coming after you. Even if you are a chucker, or a commie pinko lefty.

Ricky Ponting – Harry Carey in a bunch of westerns

Harry Carey films are so damn boring, because the man just never ever lost and the cardboard back drops and such. Take out the 2005 ashes campaign and Ricky Ponting’s career is pretty damn similar. Also Punter is old school, and Harry is old, well actually he’s dead, but he was the first western star.

Sourav Ganguly – Gene Hackman – unforgiven

On his day Sourav was the greatest villain going around, but just like Gene Hackmen he wasn’t the best villain of all time. Jack Palance and Ranatunga have that award covered. However what Gene and Sourav have is the ability to bring people together, in their hatred of them. Or in their love of them.

Stuart Clark – Lee Marvin – the professionals

Hard to believe anyone who looks like Clark or Marvin has a sense of humour? Both of them get the job done, with a sly smile on the side. And Marvin has grey hair and Clark should have, cause he bowls like a 45 year old grade cricketer, except for all the wickets. In fact scrap this one cause no cricketer ever, with the exception of Keith Miller is cool enough to be compared to Lee Marvin.

Rahul Dravid or Sachin Tendulakr – Johnny Depp – dead man

In dead man Johnny Depp’s best friend keeps telling he is already dead, until finally he puts him out to sea. So now Rahul and Sachin just need to decide who is the one who is to be floating out to sea.

Andrew Flintoff – any one who goes up against a hero or really kick ass anti hero in a western.

They always look tough, but end up dead or injured all too quickly.

What a fucken film this is

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