Sunday, 30 November 2008

NZ vs Aust - Adelaide - Day Three

I said that yesterday was a learning (bad) day.  Today was a lot better, but not till later on.  It certainly took me some time to work myself out and get myself back into the mode that I have been in before this match.

Seven wickets to get today and we can get off the park, put our feet up and watch the batters bat on one of the best batting tracks I've ever seen.  There is a quote that goes, "you are sure of three things in life, taxes, death and runs at Adelaide."  Oh how true it is, except for me and my 'duck' that is!  We knew that seven wickets was going to be hard work of the highest order.  We knew that we had to pick up wickets early to have any chance of getting off the park, today.  And we did.  In the third over of the day, Tommy has one of those memorable moments.  A double wicket over.  Oh, happy days.  That's Huss and Symonds out, as massive inroad especially as Haddin hasn't been in the best of form in this series and then after him are the bowlers; in saying that, they can all defiantly hold a bat.  So that's five down and if we do this right we could be off soon after lunch.  Nope.  Not quite that easy.  Never is!  Haddin and Clarke put on a mammoth 181 for the sixth wicket.  A couple of chances in there though, a caught behind that we thought we had, a catch in close, again, that we thought we had, and then a drop catch when Haddin was on 79.  If any of those three had of gone our way things could have been oh so different.  But they didn't and we hung in there.  

I came back on about 20 mins before tea, about time for three, maybe four overs from my end.  First ball, oh dear, wide, half volley and the partnership is broken.  Clarke gets a thick edge to Jesse at gully and we're back.  One of the worst balls I've bowled and I'm actually quite embarrassed that it got a wicket.  We'll take it, but it wasn't a typical celebration.  And speaking of celebrations, when I got Ponting out yesterday it was reported that I gave him a send off.  Well, not quite true.  I did say "you've missed out here" to him.  He didn't quite hear me and asked me, not so politely what I said, so I told him again.  He then broke out the 'four letter word box' to me and the rest of us that we now grouped together around Fulton.  He then got a bit of a chorus from there.  Just something from nothing, that in the context of the game, means nothing.  A reporter want to make a big deal out of it, and it's news!  That's how it works!  So there you have it, happy!!??

Before I came back for the over I was just talking about I had been thinking about my bowling, what was I missing, what wasn't I doing that I would normally be doing.  But the big thing that I hadn't done was the one thing that I should have been doing from mid first session in the park yesterday.  I have a breathing routine when I bowling that I use when things are not going well.  I hadn't remembered to use this.  I got the ball back in my hand, was using my breathing and the words I say to myself on each breath, and I felt better.  I felt back in control.  First ball a wicket, sure, a very fortunate one, but still, a wicket.  This is where I turned my day/innings around.  I had intent and energy at the crease with a ball that had long lost its hardness.  I had aggression and a plan.  Lee was now in, and I was going to hit the deck real hard, make his life as tough as possible.  I just wish I could bowl at 145kmph (90mph) all the time, or even some of the time.  My 135kmph (84mph) just isn't enough to put the sh*ts up batters to often.  But I thought I was going to do my best to Lee, as I had already got a couple from him and his pals.  My turn.  Wacked a couple in before tea, got him ducking a couple and we go to tea with Haddin and Lee still together.

I start up after tea, same plan.  Dots to Haddin and attack Lee.  I'm sure Lee was enjoying the competition.  A couple more bouncers, a couple getting some flesh, one hitting him square in the middle of his back.  He turned and looked at me, like I had been doing to them.  He showed me nothing, I liked it, as I knew what he was thinking, as I was thinking it yesterday when he was bowling.  Now this plan is either ballsy or dumb.  I'm not sure yet, but probably both.  It worked though, I got him to flash at one and Rossco, at first slip, takes a screamer.  One handed, above his head, he was surprised to have got it too.  Now that's one that turns a day around.  

We still had some work to do though.  Johnson can bat.  His 23 of a 56 run partnership was very good.  Redders bowled his leggies, he actually bowls better than maybe he gives himself credit for, he got Johnson to pop one up sky high, Baz, with the gloves on takes it comfortably.  Redders then picks up two when Haddin tried to take on Fulton on the boundary.  Not may people clear 'Two Meter Peter.'  Dan then cleaned up Hauritz to add to his 'tail enders' tally.

Off the park, YES!  It's a strange feeling, yes you're tired out on the park but you just keep going.  Then when you get off, sit down and 'try' to take the boots off, it hits you and you feel knackered.  My boots stayed on for a while tonight, I just couldn't be bothered to take them off.  Although I had to, to do my hot colds and stretch.  And by the time I had finished that we are 35 without lose off the nine overs we had to face.  Seventeen of them came of the first over bowled by Lee.  

Tonight I had to do the press.  Firstly an on field chat to the 'radio' guys, then off to do the press conference.  A table for one in front of the sponsors board, lights in your eyes, 15 odd microphones and recorders in front of me and about 15 media ready to ask their questions.  It went pretty well, as intimidating as it is, I think I went ok.  Even got to answer questions about yesterdays on field stuff with Ponting.  It was also nice to know 'the media' had been reading my blog too.  Hi all!  Well, I already knew that after the big deal over nothing was made of the Gabba crowd comments.  

That's me for now, be back tomorrow


Anonymous said...

Well the more bouncers you bowl at Lee, the more bouncers you get back which you don't have to play at. Tell Rossco he doesn't need to play across the line to a ball hitting the stumps, and ask Tom if he has ever hit a six.

Danny said...

Thanks Iain, i really enjoy reading your Blog as i don't get to watch much of the test, its a great fill in for me.
Keep up the good work!

Johnny said...

hey Iain, is writing this blog your way of manouevring for a post-cricket media career?
I guess if Simon Doull can do it...

David said...

Re: The 145kmh pace.

It is possible to get there, you just need to address the way in which you're training.

Seriously, have a look at kettlebell training techniques. Also take a look at boxing and how they train, as all of it is about increasing agility and explosive power.

There is no reason a guy who can bowl 135kmh can't tap 140-145.

Brett Dale said...

Great blog, glad to get some insite from a player's point of view.

Any chance of a declaration on day five, if ya bat well on day four.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to settling into a long day of us batting today. And if it isn't a whole day of batting...well...something has gone seriously wrong.

I absolutely loved the aggression you brought to your bowling before and after tea. It was magic. Watching you steam in and just whack it half way down the deck and have those guys ducking and weaving was excellent. Hitting Lee was gold. Yep, you will almost certainly cop it back when you go out to bat, but remember, even if you do get hit, chicks dig scars :P If worst comes to worst, get out the Jamie How pull shot ;)

I hope you bowl like that against the West Indies, filled with aggression. It really is great to see a fast bowler fire up, even if he is bowling 135km/h compared to 145.

I feel sorry for Dan he must be shattered physically. I reckon he had Haddin out LBW early in his innings, then that Flynn dropped catch, the bat bad which was blatantly out and then his dropped caught and bowled. He really did deserve 4 or 5 wickets.

Anyway, good luck for today and tomorrow...hopefully you don't have to bat at all!

Moses @ Beer and Sport said...

G'Day Iain,

Impressive bowling today, I really enjoyed you working Lee over :) Just make sure you don't rub it if he gets you back.

Have you seen Friday's episode of pulp sport yet? For sporting hell Ben has to spin a big game-show wheel to see which piece of protective equipment he must lose, then face Daryll Tuffey in the nets, my point being that whatever you go through out there with the bat, it probably won't be as bad as facing Tuffey from 22 yards wearing briefs and a box.

Michael said...

Keep on pushing Iain, I'm an Aussie but love the way you blokes go about the game considering the obvious hinderences you blokes have (small population, rubbish cricket weather and all that)

I do believe one way that you can enhance the team's chances of winning would be to request not to have Rudi "I finish careers for a living" Koertzen umpire ever again. He dead set has something against the Kiwis.

Catch yas at the one dayers in February!

Moses @ Beer and Sport said...

Fair point Michael, NZ could apply to have Rudi not stand in their tests under the Bucknor clause, the ICC's recent addition to their rulebook after the BCCI had a fit last year.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog Iain. Makes it all a bit more "real" for us fans on the other side of the tv.

To help out with my blood pressure, could you tell the coach and captain to bat Jacob Oram lower down the order when he is back?

I'm listening to you batting with McCullum .. keep out Johnson ... YES! .. nice one!

Anonymous said...

You just made it to tea! Well done!

Jarad said...

Mate, you and Brendon just got the team's highest 2nd innings partnership. If your batsmen followed after your dogged, competitive attitude then you would have made a better shake of the match. You are batting bloody well too, can see you're watching every ball onto the bat. Don't let the outcome of this series put you off. Reckon you guys will make a mess of the Windies next up.

MrKistic said...

Damn, you just got out after making a superb contribution to a 50 run partnership. I was just hopping on to congratulate you for giving Brett Lee a bit of advice after he'd bounced you again but it's all over now. Well done anyway, a dogged effort. Turns out he got you by aiming one at the stumps. Crazy.
McCullum's gonna be spewing with you though, for getting out and possibly denying him a century (which he's still trying desperately to get), and also because Lee seemed to get you two confused and busted up his hand with some chin music.

See you for the one dayers and keep blogging!

Frank Rizzo said...

Great blog Iain, closest I'll get to experiencing what it's like to be playing at the top level. You've really impressed me as a player too, I like many others had written you off as "just another NZ medium pacer" but you've proved me and many others wrong. I especially like how you keep on at the batsman and never let up. Top work over the last few series, I just hope you're not bowling yourself into the ground with WI & India coming up!

Jase said...

Hey Iain,
There will obviously be some criticism in the media over NZ's performance on a pitch which was unquestionably a batsman's paradise however I do think our bowlers did a pretty good job in trying conditions.

Just hope you and the rest of the guys keep your chins up, I'm looking forward to seeing a vastly improved performance down at the Uni Oval against the Windies!

I'm loving the blog by the way, great to get an 'inside' perspective!

Robbi BT said...

Hey Iain, I'm Australian and a big fan of the Aussie cricket team, but I have to say you played fantastically today; you were so unlucky not to score a run - you played some great shots and were very solid in defense - and deserved a lot more than a duck, that partnership was one of the most entertaining of the match. :)
I'm not sure if you ever reply to comments here, but am I right in saying I sense a fair degree of respect between you and Brett Lee? The way he faced you when you were firing the bouncers down at him the other day, and the way you each faced each other today it seemed that you both think fairly highly of each other. It's great to see. :)
Anyway, hope you don't dwell on the loss, it was an entertaining game from both sides, and that's all that counts. :) And remember, you have some fans from Australia as well!
All the best,
Robbi :)

Daniel said...

Thanks Iain, awesome blog again! Very fun to read and to hear the players view

Thanks also for telling us what you said to Ponting.. We weren't the only ones that wanted to know what you said.. The commentators as well, because of the fact they thought you did well getting Ponting angry haha..

They showed lots of replays was pretty funny.. Vetorri said something as well, and THEY were saying how Southees 19 and soaking it all up he had a huge grin IT was funny to watch

I felt a bit sorry for Vetorri too he worked hard and deserved more than 2 wickets.. In the press this morning it had a wee article on how Michael Clarke had praise and sympathy for Vetorri which was all interesting..

Anyway best of luck for WI series really looking foward to it and seeing how you guys (well espically you) go in that series.. I think your improving with every game!

Dusty said...

You might be interested in this take on Braces...

Anonymous said...

Where's the next blog Iain? I'm finding it hard to survive without your insight into the test defeat.

GM said...

Great stuff Ian. Lets hope the NZ Cricket powers let you carry on writing. As a cricket fan it is reat to get the players perspective without all the PC media/sponsor spin.

Keep up the great work its a great read!

Cricket Fanatic said...

That is a great read. As for your last words, "That's me for now, be back tomorrow". I take you up on that and check back tomorrow for another fab post.

Cricket Fanatic

KhanBhai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KhanBhai said...

Hey Iain...looking forward to your blogs during your next series with the Windies. I believe that it will be a very interesting one.

Anonymous said...

Gunna be Iron, like O'Brien, in Zion!!

Sachintha said...

Too bad you guys lost, yet it was a good Test..
Cheers and keep the posts coming!
Also we'd enjoy them not only on match days but other days, random posts as well...