It’s a long-standing tradition here at 51allout that before every major series we gather all our friends together in a dark corner of the internet, bring some coffee, cakes and gin along for the ride and try to predict the future. Generally, these predictions have been wildly inaccurate and in this website’s long and distinguished history, only about three people have even managed to get a series result right.
Nevertheless, we are not easily cowed. We did have a pre-series bash for the New Zealand’s trip to Sri Lanka planned, but unfortunately it was during the Champions League so we decided to play the ‘shit fielding drinking game’ to get us in the mood. Alas, everyone got slaughtered and we didn’t wake up until half way through the second ODI. Instead we decided to look ahead to a titanic clash between two of the great cricketing nations:
Bangladesh vs. West Indies Australia’s hosting of South Africa.
The first thing to note is that virtually no one thinks Australia are going to win. It’s not difficult to see why; South Africa are the best side in the world, recently crushed the mighty England and have a bowling attack the likes of which we haven’t seen since Alan Igglesden last graced the Test arena, while Australia are, well, Australia. And now an Australia without Shane Watson for the first Test at the very least. For the odd one among us who actually predicted a home win, Watson’s latest injury is something of a diving header to the unmentionables.
As you may know, usually we ask everyone to name a man of the series from each side and usually there’s some sort of pattern – once you’ve filtered out all the Mark Ealham replies there’s a couple of players everyone is backing to do well. That is spectacularly not the case here. There are nominations for almost everyone on both sides (bar Nathan Lyon), clearly indicating either no one quite knows what to expect from this clash or everyone was absolutely blitzed by this point and just wrote down the first name they could think of. The only thing we could really grasp from all the answers was that the general consensus was bowlers would fare better, which is probably a reasonably fair assumption given the strength of both attacks
and comic weakness of one side’s batting.
Another tradition is that we look for people to offer up any other thoughts on the series. Generally these range from the spectacularly mundane – ‘Jimmy Anderson to take a wicket’ – to the ridiculous – ‘England to drop their best player for a must-win game’. This time it’s much the same; a fair number seem to think Australia will win at the WACA, while there’s a surprising number expecting more of the Ian Healy segway antics the watching world so enjoyed twelve months ago. We’re going to leave the final word on this series to an occasional contributor to this site, Dan, who sums up our collective thoughts (or, to put it another way, ‘hopes and dreams’) for the series very neatly indeed.
“Australia have no proper openers, a flimsy/old middle order, no spinner and fast bowlers who break down more than a Vauxhall Velox.”
Bring it on.