Tony Becca: Speak the truth, and speak it ever

first_imgThe first Test between the West Indies and Australia ended in an easy, comfortable, convincing, and one-sided innings and 212-run victory for Australia. It ended inside three of the scheduled five days, and regardless of what anyone says, Australian or West Indian, it was pretty predictable. The West Indies, ranked number eight, went to Australia after hardly winning a match away from home since 1995 and only winning a few matches against the good teams at home since then. They lost two Test matches to Australia in the West Indies this year, one match by nine wickets, and the other by 277 runs, after Australia had declared at 212 for two in their second innings. And against a new-look Sri Lanka only recently, they also lost 2-0, one by an innings and six runs, and one by 72 runs. That was a defeat which was so humiliating that it left the incomparable Garry Sobers almost in tears. And after arriving in Australia, and playing against a Cricket Australia XI, a team with an average age of 21 and comprising six players making their first-class debut, they lost the game by 10 wickets with time to spare after the Australians eased to 13 without loss in their second innings. With such a record going into the Test match, it was difficult, or unrealistic, for anyone, friend or foe, to expect anything better when they tackled the number two-ranked team in the world, especially in their own backyard and with the likes of David Warner and Steven Smith, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, and Nathan Lyon. The West Indies, fortunately, did not have to face either Mitchell Johnson, who has surprisingly retired, or Mitchell Starc, who is injured. It mattered little, or very little. Australia broke almost every record, and quite comfortably at that. They batted first, after they had won the toss, and after Jason Holder had said he would have bowled first had he won the toss. They chipped to a mammoth 583 for four declared, after sliding to 121 for three, with a rousing fourth-wicket partnership of 449, not by Warner and Smith but by Adam Voges, 269 not out off 285 deliveries, and Shaun Marsh, 182, and then bundled the West Indies out for 223 and 148. In defeat, the West Indies did not seem worthy of being on the same field with Australia, and not for the first time in recent times, they looked out of place in a Test arena. At the start of the first day, the Aussie batsmen drove on both sides of the wicket and cut and pulled with relish, after tea on the same day they made merry when Romel Warrican, Kraigg Brathwaite, and Jermaine Blackwood were entrusted with the bowling, and on the last day, it was really embarrassing day as West Indian wickets tumbled with monotonous regularity. On that first day, the Australians sprinted to 70 without loss while stroking 15 of the 51 boundaries in the day’s play in the first 60 minutes, the four West Indies pacers bowled a total of only 48 overs between them, and Australia romped to 438 for three and to the highest total on any day in the history of Test cricket. At times during the match, especially while the part-timers were bowling, the West Indies had five and six fielders on the boundary. It was simply frustrating. The only saving grace for the West Indies as Australia scored at over five runs an over throughout their innings and their bowlers cut down the Windies batsmen one by one, were the batting performances of Darren Bravo and Brathwaite, who prevented a total embarrassment by chipping in with innings of 108 and 94 respectively. And all this followed a furious burst by Curtly Ambrose against the media for speaking the truth, nothing but the truth. Ambrose, the technical adviser, and the bowling coach, attempted to lambast the Australians for all their talk of a weak West Indies team. He was on the warpath, before the Test match, or appeared to be. The man who hardly uttered a word as a player, said: “We played against Australia not so long ago in the Caribbean and even though we lost 2-0 there were moments or periods when we had them on the back foot and had their backs against the wall. And we never finished them off. So we believe we can compete and not only compete but we believe we can beat them and that’s our focus, not just to compete but to win.” He also said, surprisingly: “We’re focused, and in light of what happened in the warm-up game, we are confident that we can put up a good show against Australia.” And to back up his words, he continued: “We had a meeting, we had a talk about it (the warm-up match). I explained to the guys in no uncertain terms that that’s unacceptable and if we are going to struggle against an Under-19 team how do we expect to compete against a strong Australian line-up?” Regardless of what Ambrose said, the West Indies did not win the first Test. In fact, they were beaten out of sight. He probably not only forgot the roles of Courtney Walsh, Richie Richardson, and Phil Simmons on this tour, but he also may have forgotten that he is the coach and not a player, and not a fast bowler at that. Ian Chappell, the former Australians great, said during the first day massacred of the West Indies bowlers, “regardless of what Ambrose says, this bowling is weak, very weak.” As the technical adviser, or the bowling coach of the team, Ambrose is expected to motivate the players as much as he can, especially as a former great player himself. He is not, however, expected to go overboard in his assessment of the players’ ability or their potential. He is not expected, especially as one who knows the game, to behave as if the players are better than they really are. He is expected to speak the truth, as he sees it, even if it is not really the entire truth.last_img read more

Leftover notes on the OSU-UTSA game

first_imgGorgeous sunset at halftime in Stillwater! #BPS #OKState #okwx— Tulsa Food Guy (@tulsafoodguy) September 14, 2014 Look into my soul, Mike.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 14, 2014 USATSI_8084684_154512258_lowresI wrote up my 10 Thoughts here for your enjoyment but I have a ton of notes, tweets, and videos that didn’t make the cut.Here we go…• Daxx uni thoughts: Lose the glove, keep the black 3/4 sleeves and the clear shield on the face mask. Not Weedenesque or anything that Zac would be proud of but not awful. Room for improvement, like his passing game.• Kevin Peterson played tonight like he knows how much Justin Gilbert got paid earlier this year.• A lot of stones to wear Black-Orange-Black early and in a non-conference game. We’ll chat about this more next week but I was surprised..• OSU fans when Walsh is in: “He can’t throw it far enough!” OSU fans when Daxx is in: “He throws it too far!”• Are we boring now? I don’t think we are — I think the last two games were outliers and it’s hard to not be boring against bad teams — but it’s on the table.• So much happening here.#okstate has Kate Upton and Rickie Fowler on its play-calling sideline boards.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 14, 2014• Garman is very singular in what he does. In the first half it was only passes over 50 yards. In the fourth quarter it was only passes to Marcell Ateman. He’s probably only dated brunettes since middle school.• I do not say this lightly, I promise, but Daxx throws a Chris Leak-y ball. • ICYM: JW Walsh sitting on top of Boone Pickens Stadium and he was filmed doing something awkward….• I must be super soft (my wife would concur) because every time a punt return team tries to get the punting team to jump offsides by leaping at them I flinch. Mind you, I’m sitting in my office and not in the same state but I still flinch. There was a reason I played baseball, I suppose.• You can throw Marcell Ateman on my list of players I irrationally like. He can have a spot between Justin Gilbert and Wes Lunt.• Tyreek uni thoughts: Keep the QB towel, bring back the gray undershirt.• I liked UTSA’s misdirection on offense. I didn’t work a ton because Emmanuel Ogbah gonna Emmanuel Ogbah but maybe Yurcich should get a crayon out and scribble some notes down.• Daxx Garman turnovers through 7+ quarters: 0.• Why does he make so many throws off his back foot?• Random thought I had during the game: How weird would it be if Gundy grew a beard? What if he vowed to grow his beard until OSU beats OU and then it doesn’t happen until, like, 2017 and he looked like Tom Hanks in Castaway?Yeah, we need to play fewer Conference USA teams.• Well you certainly tried.#OKstate Gundy: We have to take advantage of Garman’s ability to throw down the field— Kyle Fredrickson (@kylefredrickson) September 14, 2014• I mean…• Walsh was still listed on the depth chart which is just the greatest, most Gundy thing ever:Hmmmmm— Colby Daniels (@Colby_Daniels) September 13, 2014Best of Twitter…Shouldn’t take Daxx long to claim his rightful place on throne beneath the neon Murphy’s palm trees. Like Zac before him & Fields before him— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) September 14, 2014 Sunset in Orange Country. #okstate— Jordan Smith (@Doafhat) September 14, 2014center_img If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! Vegas has taken the odds of “Gundy drawing up plays on an equipment trunk this season” off the board. #okstate— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) September 14, 2014last_img read more