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$8.50 Feb/March 2014 NZ $9.99 (incl GST)

Fighting Footy IS CRICKET LOSING THE BATTLE FOR TALENT?

Ryan Harris "I'll go until I can't do it anymore"

Allan Border THIS ISN'T '89 ALL OVER AGAIN

Dale Steyn

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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Australia v England, Perth: It was the best of times ... England fast bowler anya Shrubsole (centre) could scarcely contain her joy after a diabolical australian batting collapse on the final day of the sole Women’s ashes Test gifted the tourists a 61-run victory. Set just 185 runs for the win, australia started brightly on the afternoon of the third day, before collapsing in a heap on the final morning. Throughout the match, Shrubsole proved the most dangerous of the English bowlers, finishing with 4-51 in the first innings and 3-48 – including the vital wicket of a fighting Ellyse Perry – in the second. Australia v England, Sydney: It was the worst of times ... as the green and gold ticker-tape settles on the celebrating australians, matt Prior, alastair Cook and ben Stokes lead England on a long walk across the ground to thank the barmy army, who’d ensconced themselves in front of the Trumper Stand throughout the three days of competition. In truth, even the indefatigable barmy army had been unusually subdued during this match. Who could blame them? Their signature tune Jerusalem – habitually sung for the first-ball of each morning – never sounded more elegiac than it did on the morning of the second day, when it was promptly drowned out by a cacophony of australian cheers after harris caught Cook’s front pad adjacent.

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F I R S T

THEY SAID

S E S S I O N

in the d a few things e day. I droppe th to ael rt ch sta Mi st fan be w.” Kiw i cricket “It wasn’t the wh ile pretty happy no tch ca I’m t wd Bu cro t. d ke de ar superm tak ing a one-han lton. n $100,00 0 after Wi nd ies in Ha mi Morton, who wo ODI again st the an g rin du t hir r’s t-s weari ng a sp on so “My initial thought is: ‘Who decided the big three were best equipped to run cricket?’” Ian Chappell on the prop osal for the “big three” of the BCC I, the ECB and Cricket Aust ralia to supercede the ICC as the overlords of inter national cricket.

“It’s an old team now. Rogers is 36 , so who is that next opening batsman? Is G eorge Bailey good enough? W here does Watson ba t? T he same qu estions that I had du ring my time are st ill there today.” Form er Aus tral ia n coach M icke y A rt hu r on Aus tral ia’s A shes victor y.

“Their fi e the wor lding was st I have seen i n a ll m yt the catc ime. Not just he down, o s that went r the mi sfi no, it w as the to elds, tal abject fa ilu represen re to t on this p what we are lanet to do – simply b reathe i n and breathe ou looked a t. They s if they didn’t even try .” Former N Z capta in Mar tin C rowe afte rt Wind ies lost by an he inn to the K iw is in Well ings in (T ino Bes t pictured g ton ).

g.” rd is getting a hu “E ven Pat Howa tor Kerry O’Keef fe nta me com C AB Outgoing ir ebration s after the on the Au stralian cel rry... Ke le Va . rth Pe tor y in ser ies-cl inching vic

“I’ve had a couple of days on the couch where I literally lay there and fell in and out of sleep with my wife who was there with me. She was exhausted as well...” Ryan Harris on his recovery after the fi nal Ashes Test in Sydney.

ing and being young players emerg “It irritates me to see sts’. I’m not ali eci ‘sp 0 T2 ognition as uired to given respec t and rec req lls ski re aren’t specialist suggesting that the e in that for mat hid o als can you t, but suc ceed in T2 0 cricke results are quickly on your feet, but the … You need to think d eye and physical over quickly. A goo forgotten and you rec l deficiencies.” ica hn tec of any number streng th can cover – Ma rk Boucher er form – and noted T20 per For mer Protea s keeper the game. on the shorte st form of

“T here’s been 75 3 days and 3 differen t PM s since we las game.” A tweet fro t won a m Syd ney Thunder to their long-s ufferi ng their vic tor y over the fan s after Renegades ended a 19- game los ing streak .

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epared vice: be pr ld be my ad st way to be e “T hat wou th on s A B de Vi llier to get out.” Dale Stey n ing agai ns t tt ba ch approa

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F I R S T

By KERSI MEHER-HOMJI

This summer has produced a host of records around the globe... In his 166th and fi nal Test, against India in Durban on December 27, 2013, South Africa’s iconic all-rounder Jacques Kallis took his 200th catch, the second player to do so in Test history. Only India’s Rahul Dravid accepted more catches (210 in 164 Tests). By coincidence, Dravid took his 200th catch against South Africa in Durban on December 27, 2010. In that 2010 Durban Test, Kallis scored 115 which took his Test aggregate to 13289 at 55.37, one more than Dravid’s 13288 at 52.31. Kallis is the third highest Test run-scorer after India’s

In the Johannesburg Test in December 2013, both wicket-keepers – South Africa’s AB de Villiers and India’s MS Dhoni – bowled. In this Test, needing 458 to win, South Africa could manage 7-450 and drew the match. Eight more runs and it would have been the highest fourth innings total to win a Test. The highest is 7-418 by the West Indies when defeating Australia by three wickets in the 2002-03 St John’s Test. In the same month, South Africa’s opener Quinton de Kock smashed three centuries in three ODIs against India: 135 in Johannesburg, 106 in Durban and 101 in

Centurion. He is the only man to do so in a bilateral series. Also, his aggregate of 342 runs in a bilateral series broke the record of New Zealand’s Martin Guptil, who scored 330 in a three-match series against England in 2013 (103*, 189* and 38). New Zealander Corey Anderson started 2014 in spectacular fashion when he thrashed the West Indies attack in Queenstown to score the fastest-ever ODI century. His 36-ball ton eclipsed the 37-ball hundred struck by Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi against Sri Lanka at Nairobi in 1996. Anderson ended up with 131 off 47 balls with six fours and 14 maximums. Only two men have hit more sixes in a single ODI: India’s Rohit Sharma (16 v Australia in 2013) and Australia’s Shane Watson (15 v Bangladesh in 2011). In all, 22 sixes were lofted by New Zealand batsmen at Queenstown, another ODI record. And a particularly quirky stat from the recent Ashes series: in the Brisbane Test man-ofthe-match Mitchell Johnson scored and conceded precisely 103 runs. He made 64 and 39 with the bat and took 4 for 61 and 5 for 42 with the ball.

By WAY N E S H A P I R O

T H E Q U I Z

1. Ricky Ponting and which left-hander have scored the most Test centuries against South Africa for Australia? 2. In 1996-97, who did Steve Waugh team up with for a 385 fi fth wicket partnership in a Johannesburg Test?

3. In the 2012-13 Test series in Australia, who scored the most runs for South Africa? 4. In the same series, which Australian made his Test debut in the fi rst Test? 5. Australia and South Africa have played nine T20 Internationals. Who leads? 6. With nine sixes in six T20 6.  Internationals, which Australian has hit the most maximums in matches between the two countries? 7. At 7.  which World Cup was the famous tied semi-fi nal, with Allan Donald being run out in the last over? 8. Australia have played a Test 8.  series in South Africa four times since the year 2000. How many of these series has Australia won? 9. Who has captained South 9.  Africa the most times in T20s against Australia?

Jacques Kallis: the greatest cricketer since Bradman? Discuss...

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10. Which South African is the only player from either side to score three or more centuries in ODIs between the two teams?

1. Neil Harvey 2. Greg Blewett 3. Hashim Amla (377 runs) 4. Rob Quiney 5. Australia (5-4) 6. David Hussey 7. 1999 8. Three (one drawn) 9. Johan Botha (4 times) 10. Herschelle Gibbs

THE S TA T S

Sachin Tendulkar (15921 at 53.78 in 200 Tests) and Australia’s Ricky Ponting (13378 at 51.85 in 168). Among batsmen with 6000 runs or more in a winning cause, Kallis’s average of 62.01 is the second-highest, behind Steve Waugh’s 69.46.

S E S S I O N


THE

BUSTER RyAn HARRIS IS An unCOmPLICATED mAn WHOSE FIERCE WILL AnD FEROCIOuS WORk ETHIC HAvE LIFTED HIm uP WHERE HE BELOngS: AT THE SHARP EnD OF AuSTRALIA’S ATTACk. B y RobeRt DRane

“Ryan Harris is no bustling boofhead, rather a wholehearted master craftsman. His carriage is not elegant, but it’s neat. The squat and powerful Picasso didn’t have to be a picture of elegance in order to paint one. Harris has proved to be a match-turning weapon. Not pretty, just penetrating. In fact, a fit Harris is the sort of bowler any captain might have wanted, in any era. He keeps them honest, keeps them in two minds, and gets wickets. He doesn’t just go all day; he bowls at good pace the whole time. He’s a good-natured team man, an exemplar who absolutely makes the most of every morsel, in every area of his life, and certainly on the field. A swing-bowling conjurer who can match Steyn trick for trick.”

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f only he’d found his inner tearaway earlier. He’d be a national treasure by now. When the above was written, Harris was 32. He’d played seven Tests, and was on the verge of a trip to South Africa and inevitable comparisons with reigning fast-bowling champion, Dale Steyn. Injured after landing telling blows in the first Test, he thereafter appeared infrequently until his call-up for the 2013 Ashes series. Though selectors had kept him in the present, pundits had been quick to consign him to the past.

He’d got himself married and had his shoulder operated on as glitter-bombs exploded brilliantly in the fast-bowling skies during his absence: Cummins, Pattinson, Starc, Bird. History’s judgement seemed to be that he was already a fading talent. Words were creeping in to describe him: blue collar, work-horse. “Overachiever” – a silly phrase incomprehensible to any thoughtful being no matter which definition they were given – even got a workout from one commentator. Which had Harris done, according to that absurd word’s unstable definition? Achieved “too InSIDE CRICkET

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much?” Extended his reach beyond its limit? The first is meaningless, the second self-contradictory. It would offend Harris, because he’s the sort of plain-thinking bloke who believes we either achieve or we don’t. He’d been one of those rare people who’d discovered elite talent in themselves late in life. Harris, whose bowling has the only “X-Factor” that matters – it results in wickets – harvested his first 80 victims at a rate ahead of Lindwall and Lee, and apace with Lillee. He’ll remain a striker until his ailments, and age, amount to a


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Batting enemy with the

AFTER ENGLAND'S 5-0 ASHES DRUBBING, WHY WOULD AUSTRALIA BE USING THE ENGLISH LEAGUE SYSTEM TO HONE OUR BRIGHTEST YOUNG TALENTS? By CRISPIN ANDREWS

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L A S T

S E S S I O N

GLOBAL VIEW N E W Z E A L A N D V W E S T I N D I E S (D E C 2 013)

SOUTH AFRICA V INDIA (D E C 2 013) South Africa’s eventual 1-0 series victory over India in this truncated two-Test series affi rmed the Proteas place at the top of the Test tree. Indeed, this great South African team have lost just one of their past 25 Test series – a record that surely qualifi es for them for a storied position in the game’s annals. And yet, there was much from this series that should concern the Proteas think-tank, just as there was much that should please Indian fans. The fi rst Test in Jo’burg was a classic that should, by rights, have fi nished in an Indian victory. Only sterling rear-guard defence from Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers – two batsmen whose stocks are rising at a startling rate – denied the tourists a series lead. In the second Test in Durban, meanwhile, India should have built an unassailable lead after winning the toss, electing to bat, and fi nishing a rain-shortened fi rst day’s play at 1-181, with Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara – two more batsmen whose stocks are also heading north – entrenched at the crease. Only a second-morning collapse, followed by a welcome touch of Jacques Kallis magic in his fi nal Test, allowed the home side back into the contest. From day three onwards the tourists looked increasingly weary as they trudged to a 10-wicket defeat. Across the course of the two Tests, however, India’s batsmen outperformed their South African opponents on uncharacteristically dry decks, with Pujara, Virat Kohli and the young Ajinkya Rahane all scoring more than 200 runs at averages topping 60. For the Proteas, Faf du Plessis (below) reaffi rmed his status as middle-order rock with 197 runs at 66. With the retirement of Kallis, Du Plessis is now a crucial cog in this South African machine. On the bowling side, meanwhile, the South African duo of Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander reiterated their class, topping the wicket-taking tally with 10 apiece. For India, the only good news on the bowling front was the re-emergence of Zaheer Khan. The 35-year-old reverse-swing specialist – who hadn’t played Test cricket in over a year – was the only Indian bowler to consistently threaten the South African batsmen, claiming seven wickets across the two Tests.

If we thought the West Indies had hit rock bottom on their horrid tour of India, we were wrong – Darren Sammy’s ramshackle team somehow managed to plumb new depths on their three-Test tour of New Zealand. Despite the fact the Kiwis figured below the Windies on the ICC’s Test rankings, the tourists played with a careless nonchalance that suggested they would’ve rather been sunning themselves on a Caribbean beach than toiling away on New Zealand’s rain-spattered cricket grounds. The dour weather saved the tourists from inevitable defeat in the opening Test in Dunedin, however Noah’s flood couldn’t have saved them in the following Tests in Wellington and Hamilton, where they were utterly routed by the locals. For the Windies, there were few glimmers of hope. Deprived of their most dangerous bowler Shane Shillingford (currently serving time for an illegal action) and their talismanic bat Chris Gayle (sidelined with a hamstring tear), the outfit looked bereft of inspiration. Darren Bravo hit a match-saving 218 in the second dig of the opening Test but did little thereafter, while 39-year-old Shivnarine Chanderpaul continued to show the youngsters how it’s done with 256 series runs at an average topping 60. The Kiwis, of course, found plenty to celebrate. Ross Taylor (below) fi nished a disappointing year with an astonishing burst of form, reaching triple figures in every Test, with the highlight an unbeaten 217 in Dunedin. Trent Boult and Tim Southee, meanwhile, issued a challenge to the fast-bowling supremacy of South Africa and Australia, hoarding 38 wickets between them. How good is this Black Caps outfit? A three-Test home series against India this month should provide defi nitive proof.

1ST TEST: DUNEDIN (DEC 3-7) • NZ: 9-609 and 4-79 • WI: 213 and 507 • Match drawn

2ND TEST: WELLINGTON (DEC 11-13) • NZ: 441 • WI: 193 and 175 • NZ won by an innings and 73 runs

3RD TEST: HAMILTON (DEC 19-22) • WI: 367 and 103 • NZ: 349 and 2-124 • NZ won by eight wickets

1ST TEST: JO’BURG, DEC 18-22 • Ind: 280 and 421 • SA: 244 and 7-450 • Match drawn

2ND TEST: DURBAN, DEC 26-30 • Ind: 334 and 223 • SA: 500 and 0-59 • SA won by 10 wickets

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WO M E N ’S A S H E S T E S T (J A N 2 014)

PA K I S TA N V S R I L A N K A (J A N 2 014) As the long-term future of Test cricket grows ever more bleak, Pakistan and Sri Lanka did their level best to kill off the five-day game altogether by producing some of the most colourless cricket imaginable in this torturous three-match series played on the neutral grounds of the UAE. With the exception of a fi nal-day flourish from Pakistan in the third Test, the attritional cricket employed by both teams in this series was an absolute blight on the game. Whatever the mentality at play, the stadiums in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah were uniformly empty for each day’s play and you can scarcely blame the locals for keeping their distance. The opening Test fi nished in a draw after superb rear-guard defence from Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews blunted Sri Lanka’s large fi rst-innings deficit. The second Test in Dubai produced a crushing Sri Lankan victory, with the tourists skittling the Pakistanis for a paltry 165 before the evergreen Mahela Jayawardene (below) batted the Lankans into an 1ST TEST: ABU DHABI unassailable position with a languid 129. Going (DEC 31-JAN4) into the fi nal Test in Sharjah, his team 1-0 up in the • SL: 204 and 5-480 series, Sri Lankan captain Mathews enthused, “We • Pak: 383 and 2-158 need to play positive cricket once again, because we • Match drawn will try to win it 2-0. We are certainly not going for a 2ND TEST: DUBAI draw here, because it sends a negative message to (JAN 8-12) the whole team.” Alas, he was clearly lying. The Sri • Pak: 165 and 359 Lankans never looked like pushing for a result in • SL: 388 and 1-137 Sharjah. Indeed, by the fi nal session of day four their • SL won by 9 wickets run-rate had slipped to a narcoleptic 1.36. Fortunately, 3RD TEST: SHARJAH Pakistan highlighted the error of this shameful (JAN 16-20) negativity by flogging 302 runs in their fi nal innings • SL: 9-428 and 214 to steal a famous victory, with Azhar Ali clubbing a • Pak: 341 and 5-302 137-ball 103 and Misbah-ul-Haq tapping out a 72-ball • Pak won by 5 wickets 68. In the end, Sri Lanka had no one to blame but themselves for missing a golden opportunity to register their fi rst away series victory since 2000.

Amidst the nation-wide euphoria over Australia’s whitewash of England in the Ashes, the subsequent demolition of Cook’s men in the ODI series, and the fi reworks of the Big Bash, the sole Test of the Women’s Ashes Series passed with barely a whimper in these parts. Which was probably just as well for Australian cricket fans who’ve suddenly become highlyunaccustomed to losing again. In fact, the match – played at a conspicuously empty WACA ground – was an enthralling struggle between two evenly-matched teams. In the end, Charlotte Edwards’ girls pinched the victory on the fourth day, but not before some Ellyse Perry magic kept Australian hopes afloat deep into the fi nal day. The opening day’s play provided a handy blueprint for the remainder of the match, with the leather thoroughly ascendant over the willow. England won the toss, elected to bat, and promptly regretted the decision as incisive new-ball bowling from Perry and Rene Farrell reduced them to 3-32. Only a composed 68 from Arran Brindle lifted the tourists to a slender but defendable fi rst innings mark of 201. Australian smiles, however, rapidly faded as both openers failed to negotiate a tricky six overs before stumps, with England’s main destroyer Anya Shrubsole (below) claiming both poles. In this manner the match rolled on: wickets falling at a steady clip on a typically hard, dry and eventually cracked Perth surface. By the afternoon of the third day Australia opened their fi nal innings, chasing 185 for victory. Starts at the top of the order to Elyse Villani, Meg Lanning and Sarah Elliott suggested the mark was eminently achievable, however a horror middle-order collapse that saw Jess Cameron and Alex Blackwell depart without scoring left the Southern Stars teetering at 5-55. Despite a fighting 31 from Perry, the home team never recovered, eventually stuttering to a total of 123 with the last four bats all posting single-digit scores. Amidst the general Australian gloom, however, there was a lone shaft of light, with Perry named player-of-thematch after collecting eight wickets and 102 runs across the four days of battle.

ONLY TEST: PERTH (JAN 10-13) • Eng: 201 and 190 • Aus: 207 and 123 • Eng won by 61 runs

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L A S T

S E S S I O N

BAD LIGH T

THE REAL DEAL

FORGET ABOUT AUSTRALIA’S 5-0 PASTING OF THE POMS. THIS CHAMPION SOUTH AFRICAN TEAM WILL SHOW OUR BOYS WHAT TEST CRICKET IS ALL ABOUT. By M AT T C LEARY

R

ight, everyone, in your very best Mr Burns from The Simpsons, let’s have it: “Hmm, South Africa, eh?” Yes, Australians – South Africa. Besters of our boys last summer. A year before that, nothing short of annihilators of our batting in Cape Town when only a 26-run last-wicket stand between Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon hauled our sorry bot-bots to 47. Ha! Forty-bloodyseven! We were 9 for 21! Weston Creek U10s would’ve been embarrassed. Australia – team, country, mighty-island nation-state of the Commonwealth – was humiliated. And how the blogosphere did howl... Now, though, it is our turn to howl. Howl like banshees homesick for hell. For we have eaten England like birthday pavlova and returned their sorry dough-boy butts home – home in a dripping body-bag. They may never recover. They may never tour again. Hell, they certainly won’t in the configuration that was so ferociously fl agellated in our recent long, hot and bloody beautiful summer. But South Africa is an entirely different kettle of Japanese fighting fi sh. They go grouse, the Jaapies. They’ve beaten up everyone, everywhere. Number-one Testplaying nation. Three of the world’s top-10ranked batsmen and two of the best bowlers. Consistent, hard, strong, skilful and tough. They are the testing material.

But we have Mitch. We have angry, terrible Mitch. And not terrible in a bad way but terrible like Ivan the Terrible. Terrible in a lick-the-blood-off-the-pitch sort of way. A Mitch so destructive and frightening he’s like that baby-faced North Korean kook playing an X-Box simulator but with real fighter planes, drones, and tanks equipped with nuclear weapons. He’s a bad kitty, Mitch. Which is good. Sharing the new red rock is Ryan Harris who, if he’d gone this good as a 20-year-old, would’ve been nudging the pantheon behind DK. Fractious body but a super-smart and skilful fl inger. He’s a ripper, Rhino. And at fi rst change, of course, the angry eyes and bared fangs of Peter Siddle. He wouldn’t lick blood off the pitch because he only eats plants. But Sidds is a ripper, too, and the beating heart of the bowling attack – maybe even the team. With the willow we have Captain Clarke who’s revelling in the super-prime of his handsomely-paid career. He’s 32 years old, our Clarkey, and growing ornery like all our best skippers have. Shane Watson will give it a whack and Steve Smith will have a crack. Both men love a contest. They’re about to get one. And at the top there’s crazy-brave Dave Warner and rather-more-circumspect Chris Rogers. Both have different methods of

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blunting the red rock. Both are effective. Their battles with the Jaapie quicks could decide the series. And if these guys and Alex Doolan or Sean Marsh fail, never fear, Hadds is here. Brad Haddin, The Rescuer. (Though probably best we not rely on him too much because the South African quicks on their home wickets are somewhat more effective than England’s effete and rather hopeless non-swingers. Cue The Simpsons comic book guy: Worst … Poms … ever.) And spinners? Unlike Australia, the Proteas don’t really have one, at least one that won’t be pasted over the bone-dry ovals of Africa as old mate Imran Tahir was pasted over the Adelaide Oval, and Graeme Swann was pasted over the Gabba, and Scott Borthwick was pasted over the SCG. These Australians have no respect for the bog-standard tweaker who dishes up a couple of floaty pies an over. Tahir, if picked, best buckle up, buddy-roo. Indeed South Africa is in for it – physically, mentally, verbally. That said, it’s hard to envisage Graeme Smith or Hashim Amla giving much of a stuff about Mitch the Terrible or Plant-Fed Sidds or Crazy-Brave Dave chipping them from cover-point. Because they’re grouse, these Jaapies. Should be a cracker of a series. Bring it.


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