Friday, December 9, 2011

Hobart Day One

Rain interruptions at Bellerive yesterday and evaporation problems associated with last night's bottle of red mean I'm pushing it if I'm going to get this tapped out and published, hurl myself at the shower, rock up to the butcher on the corner and get back before what I assume will be a nine o'clock Queensland time resumption to make up for lost time.

Fortunately yesterday's play didn't produce much that needs in-depth reflection.

Another Pattinson five-for confirmed the impression from The Gabba and underlines my comment that he mightn't match his second innings figures from there too often but while he's working that line and length the possibility will always be there.

Lyon, once again, was tidy under conditions that didn't suit, Siddle was reasonably impressive in the work horse role and Starc didn't deliver enough to cement his place in the side when Cummins comes back into calculations.

The Black Caps batting was more or less what you'd expect in the conditions and could well have gone from five for to all out in a hurry without Brownlie's sterling effort with the bat. He's a definite find, and had Vettori been able to take his place in the line up we'd have been chasing a fair bit more than 150.

Five for sixty was about what you'd expect from that line up against this attack in those conditions, and ninety from the bottom half of the order was a reasonably sound effort under the circumstances.

Hughes' dismissal and the problems Warner and Khawaja experienced against the new ball in general and Martin in particular suggests things wouldn't have been all that different had Clarke lost the toss or elected to bat in the morning.

Left arm debutant Boult looked handy through his two overs and if rain hadn't intervened when it did Australia could well have been three, four or five for by the time the scheduled stumps rolled around.

As far as Hughes is concerned, regardless of what he manages in the second dig, it's probably a matter of who rather than whether or when, and you'd suspect that Mr Cricket's days are numbered as well.  I'm still inclined towards Marsh for Hughes and Watson for Hussey, though if the selectors go for Watto at the top of the order they may well decide they need the extra bowler in Christian at six.

Time will, as always, tell.

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