Commentary team is on the attack from the start

AUSTRALIA'S opening partnership didn't take long to get stuck into England.

Just two balls into the third day of the fourth Test, and the hosts were on the attack.

Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell may be a bit past their prime, but when has that ever bothered a batsman?

Everything England did was wrong and everything Australia tried was right, even when they were both doing the same thing.

In hindsight, and given the form shown in the other four matches in this embarrassingly one-sided series, it was amazing they waited until the second ball.

And that opening partnership was just the warm-up. Coming in at first drop was Shane Warne who not only had a lot to say, but said it. A lot.

If his regular bowling partner Glenn McGrath had a persistent, nagging line at the crease, then Warne has him matched at the microphone, frequently repeating the same delivery ball after ball after ball.

When Australian bowlers bounce England tailenders, it's good, aggressive, attacking cricket.

When England quicks do it to Aussie batters, it's a waste of time and never going to get a wicket. Until it gets a wicket, and then it's just lucky.

When Aussie captain Michael Clarke brings on a specific bowler to target a specific batsman, it's inspired, tactical leadership.

When England's Alastair Cook does the same, it's predictable and tedious.

When Kevin Pietersen plays defensively, Warne repeatedly asks why he is not playing his natural aggressive game.

When Pietersen gets out playing his natural aggressive game, Warne calls him reckless.

When Mitchell Johnson drops one short outside off, it's brilliant bowling, inviting the batsman to cut him to gully.

When Stuart Broad does the same, it's boring bowling, inviting the batsman to cut him past gully to the boundary.

When Chris Rogers plays patiently to complement swashbuckling fellow opener David Warner, it's innings-building, when Michael Carberry does likewise to Cook, it's momentum-halting.

When Clarke holds a conference with his fielders, it's good planning.

When Cook does it, it shows a lack of leadership.

Clarke good, Cook bad.

Whatever barrage Cook thinks he received from Johnson, Harris and Siddle at the crease, it's nothing to the one he copped from Lawry, Chappell and Warne in the commentary box.

Channel Nine has made a token effort to address the nationality imbalance of its commentary team by adding former England captain Michael Vaughan to compatriot Mark Nicholas, with positive results.

But overall, the sooner ABC can eliminate that 10-second delay between its radio broadcast and Nine's television footage thereby allowing followers to mute the box and combine good viewing with good listening, the better it will be for all.

And another thing.

While it's fine to display Tweets from cricketers watching the coverage at home, why does Nine also show those posted by members of its own commentary team such as Vaughan, Warne and Michael Slater? I know it's old-fashioned, but couldn't they just say it?


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