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17th Mar 2013 3:39pm | By Michael Gadd
What the Ausie four didn't want to say*
As the first Test team ever selected based on their Powerpoint presso ability did their thing in India, TNT discovered a bombshell – the foursome dumped from the Test for not doing their homework did do it, but were afraid to hand it in.
Coach Mickey Arthur asked the players to shoot him an email or present to him ways they and the team can improve after two drubbings from India.
Four players didn’t do it – indicative of a general attitude slump, apparently – so were dropped from the fourth Test.
Legends of the game who’d sort it with a piss up (probably) said they’ve “never heard anything so stupid” (Mark Waugh) and “I thought letting them play in the next Test would be punishment enough” (Andrew Flintoff). But I’ve found why the naughty four homework dodgers didn’t submit a report – theirs made ugly reading.
Shane Watson: Surely I’m not worth picking if not bowling.
I may look like Bam Bam but it doesn’t happen on the field for some reason.
An average of 36.03 is ordinary, but not a bad as the fact I’ve got to 50 runs 21 times and only gone on to 100 twice.
Surely that doesn’t make me a specialist batsman. Maybe I should bowl. Can I go home?
Usman Khawaja: How can I better the situation for the team? Can I play? My numbers are about the same as Phil Hughes and he’s totally on the nose against spin. At least I don’t look like I’m swatting flies against tweakers.
Failing that I have a pilot’s licence and was born in Pakistan, so to escape embarrassment here we could fly over the border.
James Pattinson: A bit of support from some other bowlers would be handy. I’ve only had one innings without a wicket in my nine Tests and I was the only one to trouble these Indians, let’s be honest.
Maybe you could put me up the order – my batting average (30) is about the same as Watson, Khawaja and Hughes. My brother Darren might know, he played a Test for England once and they’re going pretty good.
Mitchell Johnson: What’s the question? Why am I here again? When’s Perth?
Agree or disagree? Should Test players be given homework? firstname.lastname@example.org
Maybe last week’s Champions League masterclass from Barcelona, with Lionel Messi the headline act, will shut up some of the ‘Ronaldo is the world’s best’ brigade for a bit.
The slick-haired Portugese-Real Madrid striker is a top player, the best of his kind in the world, but Messi is streaks ahead.
The only category Ronaldo has Messi on is goals (just), but that pales into insignificance when you consider the Argentine’s impact on his team – he covers more ground, touches the ball more, wins it and lays on (assists, if you’re American) as many as he slots away.
Barca’s 4-0 demolition of AC Milan, no mugs, to be the first team to go through to the final eight having trailed 2-0 after the first leg, was football at its finest.
And Messi was the axis. Ronaldo’s a great finisher and a strong striker, but Messi brings so much more beauty and class to the world game.
Hopefully he gets a chance to show it head-to-head soon.
*May not be an exclusive