He may have turned up earlier, except I made him captain of my fantasy cricket teams; Mitch, I know, unfair hobbling. I apologise.
The majority of modern day fast bowlers are generally quite mercurial. Something that gets glossed over as the post match stats stack up. Speed and control are found regularly only in the form of the cartoon apparition – machine like, aggressive mean tall mega macho quick. The real life version wangs it to 2nd slip and ends up in rehab faster than a rat up a drain pipe. If not it just wasn’t ‘his’ day! Harmisonesque, a descriptive that sums it up for most.
But we know this, we have been watching and waiting, and duly thrilled with the unplayable spell yielding 4 wickets for 20 runs. And with 6 for 38 against a set of batsmen who up until now looked to be in fine form, a truly sublime performance.
Just a shame he had to do it to England!
I suspend Mitch watch for a moment to turn my attention to my own team playing with the pink balls in the desert and what does Mitch go and do? He goes and bags a 10 wicket hall against New Zealand.
10 for 132, his second test 10 fer and 41 wickets for 25.90 this season, looks like he has got over the Styris indecent!
I’m now officially on Michell Johson mental frailty watch. He seems unsure if he is the exploding type or the quiet little pussy cat, as reported in this article from 2009.
Your team had relationship counselling before this summer’s tour. What’s happened to Aussie machismo? “[laughs] It definitely helps me to speak to someone sometimes, whatever it’s about. I generally bottle things up until I’m about to explode.”
Surely a good trait for a fast bowler? “Nah, I’m not a very aggressive person. I smile at the batsmen a lot. I’m not right in your face, I try to let my bowling do the talking.”
Well he had lost it well before the shoulder barge in this footage. I can see how it would be difficult to smile at Scott Styris, but Mitch was certainly doing the talking in standard style, and was as ‘in your face’ as it is possible to get to a man wearing a helmet! Unbottling your emotions to a man who looks like a miffed toad is probably never a good idea, Styris by this time was so engrossed with it all apparently he didn’t notice he had hit a six. New Zealand went on to win the match – their second win in a row, Australia’s first losses since the Ashes.
For a lot of spectators fast bowlers are meant to be a certain way . Some players see themselves as aggressive, but most don’t seem to. It’s not something you see much at county level, not with Durham anyway.
But gamesmanship is often obvious at international level. So Mitch; a case of gives it out but can’t take it, or one where he genuinely gets caught up in it all and is going to have to be more careful? He has been in spats before, he has escaped a ban this time. I have always thought cricket is full of displays of machismo – that’s why I like cricketers like Stephen Harmison, he has never bothered with it.
I am more suspicious of the likes of Tate, Steyn and Broad who I suspect are more cynically tactical? So Mitch what’s the story – I’m waiting for the next chapter.
Bret Lee; my favourite of the really fast bowlers.
If he makes a return to cricket, his test cricketing days are over. It’s not really a surprise that he is bowing out of the longer form, at 33 and with a history of injuries, one of which he has yet to overcome, it’s very sad but also probably a good idea. On the upside he was bowing at 95 mph during the pictured match, and took 5 for 49 in 9 overs. So if his elbow comes good, it will still be a thrill to see him play. Let’s hope his elbow does the right thing!