As published by The Footy Almanac, 22 January 2013
Not since Kim Hughes’ impersonation of Claire Danes’ contorted cry face has Australia’s batting stocks been so bereft of world class performers.
But Hodgey, please, save your dignity and let sleeping dogs lie.
It’s one thing to flay poor mugs on bat friendly pitches in the cash bash circus, but as Shaun Marsh knows too well, Test cricket is named so for a reason.
I have little doubt your case for selection is no less compelling than any of Khawaja, Doolan, D Hussey, Watto, Fergie or Haddit. And it is true that unlike Phil Hughes, your supposed weakness outside off stump never rendered your wicket as easy a prize as Lindsay Lohan, nor was it forgiven time and again on the big stage.
But let’s get real. This 2013 Ashes team will make for more excruciating TV than Brynne Edelston’s Bedazzled Life. Do you really want to repeatedly be taking block with the score at 2 for bugger all and that Duke ball swinging like a bitch?
Mate, at 55.88, your Australian Test average is bested only by The Don, Albert Trott (3 tests 118 years ago @102.5) and another Victorian great Jeff Moss (1 test @60.00). Your hard luck story keeps us aggrieved Bushranger fans warm at night. You risk depriving us of our most gratifying source of martyrdom since Deano, who despite drowning in runs, also had his pass heinously stamped ‘never to return’. What will we whinge about should your average drop below 45, as might be predicted?
Nevermind that Cricket Victoria resides in the shadows of the ‘G virtually next door to Cricket Australia, us Vics have revelled in being ignored by the national selectors. Ever since #realopener Bill Lawry was dumped for batting like slow melting concrete (to quote a Barassi-ism), for decades they would rather eat a dog turd than pick a Vic. Ask Jamie Siddons. Even Wadey’s only a couple dropsies away from being the next Richie Robinson.
What worries me now is that in recent times Victorian players are getting the nod only to be used as patsies to protect bloody New South Welshman like Hughes (poor Quiney) and Starc (poor Hastings). Old man Inverarity is just craaazy enough to have you jump out of the trenches and take a bullet so Haddin can return like the prodigal son. Maybe even Usman, who’s so far been treated with a level of contempt previously reserved for your good self.
Brad, I take you back to what you said when you cracked the shits four years ago;
“I was struggling to find reasons as to why I wanted to play. I’ve always wanted to play Test cricket for as long as I can. But what’s the difference if I get one more Test now? I want to play 30 or more, but that’s not going to happen. In my own mind I just didn’t want to go through it anymore.”
Hodgey don’t go messin’ with your batting average or CA (Cricket Average). I know you must watch Inverarity’s merry-go-round and shake your head until you need a visit to the osteopath. But you left at the top of your game; don’t risk sullying the legend of the most hard done by couldabeen all-time great batsman in the history of cricket.
I implore you Brad, take a leaf out of George Costanza’s book of showmanship and leave us wanting more.