Clarke’s lack of timing

Michael Clarke gets a lot of flack from fans.

Some of it is warranted, some of it is not, some of it is from me, some of it is not.

In his career he has been the dominating superboy, the man afraid of being dropped, a batsman capable of long innings when not under pressure and now the automaton of batting.

Through all these periods in his life, one thing seems to have remained the same, the boy goes out right before the break of play, a lot. About two years ago it was made a big deal by the press, then it died down, perhaps it went away, perhaps no one cared anymore.

Well it happened today, and I think people cared.

I’m not nerdy or bored enough to look it up, but it happens a lot.

Today Australia had done what they needed to do, built a base and hoped that the ball spinning viciously would miss the stumps.

They didn’t panic, or worry too much when England were bowling well. They just batted, for the draw, for the time, for the rain.

It isn’t the most masculine of pursuits but when the opposition has bent you over for three days of the test, there is little else you can do.

Clarke did this better than any other Australian. His batting was the best of his three ashes innings, because he didn’t look like his back was a solid steel rod and he didn’t play a slips practice drive.

He made runs, he kept out the good balls and together with Hussey built a draw making platform for Australia.

Then he went out.

Not to anyone, but to a man with four test wickets before that moment.

Not at anytime, but with four balls left in the day.

Australian fans are wild angry dogs, on a good day. Most of them will be so pissed off they won’t have even seen beyond those two points, but it goes further.

Marcus North now has to start tomorrow with four balls from the deadly KP, and then get through the new ball, being the great starter he is, that might not be that easy.

Clarke has picked the worst possible time to go out, as if he did so just for shits and giggles. Like interrupting a fight for a while, then pissing off just when it might be about to start off again.

You might think that if he failed to score more than five game after game that would be worse. It wouldn’t be, because those sort of failures will even get you dropped from the Australian team.

His kind of failures come on the back of a good or at least average test match innings, but they give the opposition the biggest boost imaginable, without any chance of him ever being dropped.

They are also the very opposite of a captain’s innings, he is like some evil anti-captain who does everything he can to make the team think he is helping them only to Judas all over them at the last minute. He’s probably a double agent, and he’s infiltrated the ranks for years just to routinely scuttle Australia’s best laid plans. And for the chicks.

This won’t end. Everything in Clarke’s life seems to change, but not this. I’m sure that when he was born it was inconvenient, perhaps his father was just about to go to the footy, and then he got the call, or maybe it was the day that his mother and father had tickets to the Saints.

He shall just forever be this way, it’s bred into him.

One day, Lara Bingle might be more loved in Australia than Clarke, because at least she was dismissed at the right time.

The new cricket sadist is out now.

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29 thoughts on “Clarke’s lack of timing

  1. Moses says:

    Fucking tossbag has now apologised for not walking, the only thing more pathetic than walking in the first place.

    Australian captains should be hero’s, inspirational leaders and infallible batsmen. The pup is so far from captaincy material he should be put down for thinking it.

    Wanker.

  2. Tony says:

    Hats off for the rate at which you smashed that out.

  3. Rishabh says:

    Yes, these performances can still get him dropped, but this isn’t one of the invincible teams and it’s not like everyone else is shining around him. He doesn’t just have a long rope – it’s tied to his inner thigh.

  4. steve says:

    You don’t think you’re being a bit harsh?

    Which brings to the the thought – why are Australian fans so unsupportive of the cricket team?

    Look at the dedication of the Barmy Army, through all the drought years.

    Now look at us – the moment we’re not winning we consign the players to the shitheap, stop watching, stop supporting, ” I’m not gunna watch if we’re not gunna win” attitude.

    I hate poms as much as the next Aussie, but they do seem to be more loyal. And better sports. Except when they are winning.

  5. Tony says:

    The Barmy Army is less about cricket and more about going on holiday and getting pissed. The cricket is just an excuse to drink, and sing in the sun.

  6. Moses says:

    I’m not going to stop winning, and I’d love to love the Australian cricket team. Just a shame most of our batsmen are wankers.

  7. Moses says:

    Meant to say “I’m not going to stop watching cause we’re not winning”

    Katich and Hussey are the only batsmen I respect in this team.

  8. Balaji says:

    @steve: harsh?

    Being an Indian and a firm Aussie basher (goes hand in hand) I was amazed at the first glimpse of manliness from the Aussie top order! Then this guy comes up with this non-sense!

    I am absolutely mad and curse coming out of me in my mother tongue!! Drop him for Hodge or Hughes(to open and Katich at 4) I say!!

  9. steve says:

    Moses

    what actually do you respect in a batsman? obviously making runs isn’t it or you’d like Twatto, Haddin and Ponting ( yes, he hasn’t made any recently but he has made about 12000 in the past).

  10. Lou says:

    I can’t believe that twitter. It is so hypocritical to be off the wall.

    If he ever becomes captain of Australia I will hope they lose.

  11. Lou says:

    Steve, apart from my pissedoffedness at Clarke, I think Aus fans are fed up to the gills with the selectors more than anyone else.

  12. Lou says:

    “They are also the very opposite of a captain’s innings, he is like some evil anti-captain who does everything he can to make the team think he is helping them only to Judas all over them at the last minute.”

    This is very good writing, you really pull it out f the bag when you are ‘irritated’ to use Clarke’s immortal phraseology.

  13. martin says:

    /The Barmy Army is less about cricket and more about going on holiday and getting pissed. The cricket is just an excuse to drink, and sing in the sun./

    That’s just fucking bullshit. Do you think they would travel all over the world in such numbers if they werent interested in the cricket? There may be members of the Barmy Army who enjoy the singing and drinking as much if not more than the cricket but the vast majority are keen supporters of the team and might surprise you with their cricketing knowledge. Also you seem to lump all travelling English cricket supporters into one “barmy Army” cliche. Get real.

    By the way, how many people would have been in the Gabba on day five without England’s support? How many thousand Australians have attended this Adelaide test just to chat with friends and drink without once watching any of the game unless it was on the big screen tv?

    The thousands of England supporters have travelled all over the world in the last fifteen years to sing, drink and watch cricket, giving tremendous support to often very poor sides or underperforming sides. Look at the support given to the team beaten five nil last time around. Australia had the greatest team in the world for over a decade. It’s just a shame they didnt get the support from Australian fans they deserved.

  14. Or … you could say that you had to be a decent batsman with eighty on the board to get a glove on that ball. He wasn’t playing a reckless attacking shot. He was beaten by extraordinary bounce and it would be fun to watch a few of you cope with a spin delivery that bounces up to your hip.

    Clarke’s body language and mental confusion as he wandered off (before being temporarily rescued by an umpire that wouldn’t disgrace a village second team match on his performance today) showed how much it meant to him and also probably what he rightly dreaded would be the public reaction.

    If Clarke had just walked off ignoring an umpire that had in effect called him back he would have been in even more trouble from the administrators.

    The real issue is the poverty of Australian spin in this match. On a tennis-ball-bouncing wicket like this the close fielders should have had a field day (or two). Bangladesh would have bowled England out for less on that wicket. Imagine Vettorie, Mendis, Baghi, etc.

    • jrod says:

      Down at third man, If it happens once, he’s a good batsman who was unlucky with the bounce, if it happens time after time after time after time, there is a problem.

  15. Nathan says:

    I got to be honest, I regard any runs made after the opening partnership and until Hussey gets in as simply gravy. Just bonuses, because I expect literally nothing from them off late.

    Which is a fucked up state of affairs.

    Also, Martin, you’ll give yourself a heart attack like that, stop freaking out.

  16. Sunny says:

    agree with jrod…there was an air of inevitability to it. he was most likely thinking abt similar past mistakes. would explain his reaction on the crease.

    i think since the sydney 2008 game and the fallout thereafter, this team has been searching for its identity. wins can paper over a lot but the cracks are exposed brutally when under the pump. this team clearly does not see itself as a winner and with clarke’s admission on twitter, its not even australian.

    i think somewhere along the way they confused sledging and boorish behaviour with being australian and clarke has taken it to the extreme in trying to build up a squeaky clean image. but really what makes an australian team is playing back to the walls, gutsy cricket which this current XI is mentally incapable of.

  17. Sunny says:

    i should also not the lack of timing by the weather gods. 11:30pm and its pouring out there. surely this rain would have been handy tmrw.

  18. Ranjo says:

    i think Ponting & team will be up all night practising the rain dance that they’ve been so successful with in the past few days..

  19. […] Jrod who knows more about Clarke’s mettle than Third Man says that he has been out in situations like the one today too many times. “If it happens once, he’s a good batsman who was unlucky with the bounce, if it happens time after time after time after time, there is a problem.” […]

  20. Lou says:

    I kind of agree Nathan only I don’t think I would have even included Huss in that before he remembered the kinds of things he is capable of still.

    His footwork seems to have resurrected itself at the Gabba like his feet have convinced the rest of him that it is a odi and so to proceed in rescue mode accordingly.

  21. Wes ~PFCNFS~ says:

    They are also the very opposite of a captain’s innings, he is like some evil anti-captain who does everything he can to make the team think he is helping them only to Judas all over them at the last minute. He’s probably a double agent, and he’s infiltrated the ranks for years just to routinely scuttle Australia’s best laid plans.

    Yes yes yes a thousand times yes, no better way to say it. He makes me tear my hairs out. He, Punter, North must seriously be thought about (not sure about Kat). Clarke has this thing about him that he always makes you think “but he is Michael Clarke, you can’t drop him”, same with Punter. But I am not going to sit myself in the nettles furtherly now.

  22. Message to Jrod from the other side of the globe: “Yes, but …”
    see Extracting the Michael at http://downatthirdman.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/extracting-the-michael-%e2%80%93-at-our-peril/

  23. Rusty says:

    Yep – spot on again Jrod … he shouldn’t have played either of these tests. And to those alleging team bashing and not watching because we are losing … just plain wrong – it is the manner in which we are playing that is pissing everyone off, and for the record, I’ve been living of a few hours of sleep a night so that I can watch this rubbish before heading off to work in the morning.

  24. knowledge_eater says:

    So, Clarke plays Shit Cricket in beginning of his inning and end of his inning. So somehow he needs to FF his inning and start the tape in between, and when at the end of the day comes he needs to let his non-striker get maximum amount of strike. Interesting!

    People even wanted Hussey out of test squad as well. You can’t do that anymore. You can’t even do that to Clarke as well. Ponting played good in India so they can’t do it to Ponting + he is the captain. Well, North, I think he is underwater now, and he is looking for a hole, so water leaks out. For him, its tomorrow or never (probably later in his life). North better hope he gets to bat tomorrow. And becomes hero, like he batting with tail and saving aus. something like that otherwise ….

  25. […] Clarke’s lack of timing — Cricket With Balls […]

  26. SpryCorpse says:

    I’m glad you said it, jRod. Coz I was certainly thinking it.
    Bloody annoying habit.

    But he did bat well till then.

    England should have this in the bag.
    But I’m still hoping for a miracle draw. Not sure why. To prolong the misery maybe…..

  27. naresh says:

    that judas bit was nice. It seemed to be so since the last few series. The first innings dismissal was even more emphatic in that regard. And then he comes in the second knock with the damage already bad enough, waits for a while till watto goes too and plays a bit to “stake his claim”. Then poof.

    And why does Katto never bowl? He is better than North and the other Joke that played at adelaide. How bad is his supposed shoulder injury (is it shoulder or somethin else?)?

    or is he also part of the “Ozzie Judas Gang”?

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