SXSW 2007

This is my travel blog. It started as a way for people to keep up with my trip to Australia to watch the 2006/7 Ashes series, and continued with my trip to SXSW 2007 in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas in March '07.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

England fought hard today. Bell and Cook batted well, with a bit of luck, throughout the morning session. Warne was turning the ball considerably, but Bell used his feet well and hit him for 2 straight sixes. They scored consistently, and never got bogged down. I was just thinking they might make it to tea when the Australian unlucky number 87 struck again and Bell was caught at short cover by Langer. Collingwood saw us through to tea but was caught behind soon after. Enter KP. Apart from one trademark pull to the midwicket boundary, he was resolute in defence. Boycott should have been proud. I had purchased a small FM radio in the morning and was able to listen to the ABC radio commentary all day. It was great to listen to Aggers again and get a slightly less biased view of play for once. Though I must say if you ever get the chance to go to a sporting dinner where Kerry O'Keefe is the speaker you will be in for a good time. He's pretty good value.
It was looking rather good for England and I was just beginning to believe that we could bat until close with only 3 down, when that man McGrath struck again. Time and time again he has done for us and the only way that we can get the better of him is to wait for him to retire. That or hope he carries on too long and old age really catches up with him. If he has any sense he will retire after the world cup in the caribbean. As Graham Gooch found out, it can only be one test series too many that ends your career on a rather sour note. Better to go out at the top than hanging on to former glories.
Cook batted very well. He never looked absolutely in but grafted away for his ton. The Aussies never give you anything so he can be proud of his efforts today. He's still only 21 and has 4 test 100's already. No other England batsman has achieved this ever. Aggers was really positive about him on the radio, describing him as the sort of chap every mother would like her daughter to bring home. I know Aggers has kids, so if he has a daughter maybe he's angling for a son-in-law.....................
We've got our tickets for tomorrow so hope we get a reasonable amount of play. At least we've made all 3 tests go to 5 days so far, which is better than 4 years ago. England have underperformed but have not been totally outclassed. Basically Flintoff, Harmison and Jones have not turned up really so far, Panesar wasn't picked early on, and neither Anderson or Mahmood can replace Simon Jones. We have a young side that should (injuries allowing) get better over the next few years. Australia could have 5 retirees after the world cup - Langer, Hayden, McGrath, Gilchrist and Warne. Martyn has gone already. I really don't think Warney will still be around come 2009 when they are back in the UK so who knows? There are no spinners to replace Warne here, and the seam bowling seems just as threadbare without McGrath. Without those 2 the pressure on the batsmen (without Gilchrist to rescue them a number 7) will be much greater than now. I've watched a bit of State cricket on the TV while I'm here, and it's surprising how many old players are still playing - Lehmann, Gillespie, Elliot, Mcgill, etc plus loads of players who have played in County cricket, not all with great success. Maybe the conveyor line of players has come to an end for a while for Australia. The next few years will really be interesting.


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