There are two kinds of hot takes: the ones which make sense, and those that make you want to pull your hair out and punch the nearest wall. We don’t really care about the former because what’s the fun in reading sensible things, eh? Presenting you Overreaction Monday: December 14 edition.
Why and how are Matthew Wade and Usman Khawaja not opening for Australia?
Twitter and a host of former Australian cricketers want Australia to either open with Matty Wade or recall Usman Khawaja, to fill the Warner/Pucovski-sized hole in Adelaide.
SC Take: Okay, first we’ll address the Matthew Wade part. This poor guy can’t catch a break, can he? First people wanted him thrown out of the team to accommodate young Cam Green, and now they want him to fill in as a stop-gap opener because…...he did well in the T20Is. No, seriously, this is the argument: “Matty Wade has done well as an opener in T20s, let’s chuck him in up top for the first Test.”
Firstly, what makes people think that a No.5 batsman can open the batting in Tests just because he’s done it in the shorter format? It’s as ridiculous as suggesting Rohit Sharma should bat No.7 in T20s because he can hit sixes. Secondly, the guy averages 50.42 - YES, 50.42 - batting at No.5 since his recall in Ashes 2019. Why fix something that’s not broken? As far as Uzzie is concerned, yes he’s opened in the past but erm...his Shield form has been hideous. Last season, post his axing, he averaged 18.36 in 7 Shield games, while this season he’s scored fewer runs than Sean Abbott and more importantly. Are these numbers that warrant a recall? God help Australia if the answer is ‘yes’.
Adios Tim Paine, your time has come!
Mohammad Kaif believes that if Tim Paine doesn’t score runs, he’ll be dropped by the end of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
SC Take: Is this the same Mohammad Kaif that worked with Ricky Ponting for three months in the UAE, or have Sony roped in an impostor to give expert opinions? If it is indeed the same Kaif, then one can be sure that he never conversed with Punter about Australian cricket. Because if he ever did, he’d know how highly Tim Paine is regarded in the Aussie cricketing fraternity and how much of an icon the Tasmanian is, back home. Now Kaif makes a valid point: Paine can’t take his place in the side for granted anymore, particularly with Carey knocking on the door. But to suggest that he’ll be dropped mid-series? Oh, come on. Paine took over the captaincy in the darkest phase in Australia’s history, rebuilt the country’s reputation, became the first captain in 18 years to retain the Ashes on English soil and elevated them to the No.1 spot. He is a genuine all-time-great for what he’s done. Paine could score 10 golden ducks in the BG Trophy and yet captain the side come Ashes 2021 - that’s how secure his spot in the side is.
Quinton de Kock is South Africa’s brand new Test skipper
Eight months post-Faf du Plessis’ departure, CSA have named Quinton de Kock as the band new Test skipper for the summer of 2020/21.
SC Take: "The one definitive answer that I can give you is that it's not going to be Quinton... Quinton will be our white-ball captain. He won't be the Test captain,” CSA's director of cricket Graeme Smith spoke these exact words back in April. Seven months later, surprise surprise, Quinton de Kock IS the Test captain. You seriously have to feel for the poor guy (no, not you, Biff). Talk about being overburdened, eh? Opener, captain, keeper and best batsman in white-ball cricket, captain, keeper and best batsman in red-ball cricket. Is there anything left? Head coach? Chief selector? CSA CEO? Might as well give it all to QDK, at this rate. The CSA are showcasing a real-time example of what NOT to do with the country’s best cricketer. The guy clearly does not enjoy captaincy, and apart from him stating it publicly, it has also reflected in his performances. Why-oh-why would you overburden him further by handing him the toughest job in cricket - captaining the side in Tests? Hate the fact that CSA are exploiting the innocence of QDK, who every time he represents SA looks like he’s about to cry. Come on, Quinny. Take that Kolpak before these mugs force you to retire at 30 with grey-hair.
Andre Russell is a traitor
Andre Russell has been chastised and branded a traitor for opting to play in the LPL instead of representing the Windies
SC Take: Andre Russell could captain the Windies, score 800 runs and take 34 wickets in a World Cup and lead the side to glory, and yet some people will continue calling him a ‘money grab who has no patriotism’. There is no situation in which he wins. There really isn’t. If he turns up for the Windies half-fit and hobbling, some will ask “Why is he playing and denying a place for a fully fit candidate?” and if he chooses to give national duty a miss like he’s done now, he’ll be branded a traitor. So here’s what happened - he initially didn’t want to play anywhere, let alone LPL, because of injury and bubble fatigue. Later, when he came to know that NZ didn’t have bubble restrictions, he requested the management if he could play, but *they* rejected his proposal. So when he later got a second offer from the LPL, he accepted it.
The Windies management are/were cool with Russell’s decision, and rightfully so, yet some cannot digest what he’s done. It is not a World Cup that he chose to miss; it was a meaningless, inconsequential bilateral series. Cut the guy some slack, folks. He knows what he’s doing, and what he needs to do, and so do the Windies. He values playing for the West Indies and vice-versa. If anything, it’s CWI who are at fault for not shedding light on the situation, in turn making Russell look like an absolute moron. Save up the outrage for later and let the man regain his form because that's what you clearly need him to do instead of coming up to defend all your meaningless criticism.