One day internationals are like poos. Oh wait, we’ve done that one. Er, one day internationals are like strippers; if you get a good one you can’t take your eyes off it, even if it does result in you being extremely late for work. But if you get a bad one, it can leave you feeling nauseous for the rest of the day. Is it really worth that risk?
The answer, very clearly, is yes, as was evidenced by Saturday’s classic encounter, in which Australia chased down a massive score in dramatic fashion. To be fair, it’s not the first time we’ve spent an entire day watching some massive tits do their thing.
We’ve seen some rubbish things in our time. We’ve seen England bowled out for 51, the West Indies bowled out for 47 and Essex bowled out for 20. We’ve seen Steve Harmison failing to land the ball on the cut strip, Simon Kerrigan nearly bowling it backwards and Bryce McGain taking a terrible beating. But we’ve never seen anything quite as bad as Ishant Sharma’s death-bowling. Not even the terrible Knight Rider movie from 2000:
Much as we enjoy sticking the boot into pointless ODI series, this was a fantastic game. India batted first and wobbled horribly at 76/4 before MS Dhoni produced an absolute masterclass in lower order innings building, patiently accumulating before going completely apeshit in the final overs. His 139* from 121 balls was one of the best ODI innings you’ll ever see, taking India to a more than competitive 303/9. It would have been a match-winning innings too, had Sharma not bowled some complete and utter filth in the final overs.
Not that this came as a surprise – Australia had bravely predicted that Ishant would bowl a load of crap, and predetermined their assault. James Faulkner led the onslaught, carting 30 off the one over and 64* from 29 balls in total as Australia squeaked home in the final over. Needless to say, the locals weren’t overly impressed.
India’s response to Sharma’s rubbishness was to keep the same squad for the remainder of the series, causing leading BCCI commentators to sit around quietly, not expressing any opinions. Despite that, we still reckon they’ll go on and win the series. Australia have performed extremely well so far, but if there’s one consistent thing in their game it’s their inconsistency. Hence we reckon there’s a stinking performance around the corner, one of those ones in which Mitchell Johnson’s radar goes wonky and George Bailey fails with the bat.
As an aside, shortly after the fourth game finishes England’s squad will be leaving the cold of the British autumn to head to Perth to begin their Ashes preparations. Meanwhile Australia will still have more than a week of slow turning pitches and limited overs fun to get through. Does anyone at Cricket Australia really think that makes any sense whatsoever?