I vividly remember seeing this as a young child on the TV: Glenn McGrath sitting in the Australian dressing room, with his feet on the window sill, holding a life size blow up doll and using it to wave to the cameras. They had a player commentating who explained that the doll had to be carried around everywhere as punishment for the player with the worst fielding record.(1)
No one else at the Sportress can remember this and I’ve googled and have found no mention of it. One thing that does come up is that Bob Simpson was a strict coach, who drilled his players on fielding and is credited as rapidly improving Australia’s fielding. So as a responsible Sports Blogger who has done some googling I will continue, because regardless of whether this story is true or not it’s an awesome idea.
Despite the flat pitches, this summer the battle between Australia’s bowlers and India’s batsmen has been high quality and amazing to watch. In contrast, Australia’s fielding has been the complete opposite of this. What’s that you say? “Blow up dolls! Blow up dolls!”. Yes you’re right. We need to bring back naming and shaming and forcing our worst fieldsmen to carry around a blow up doll as punishment. It is the only way forward. But who are the contenders?
Shaun “Jazz Hands” Marsh – 4 dropped catches in the last two tests. Dude. C’mon.
Steve “Captain Grumpy II” Smith – I loved Jarrod Kimber’s description of Smith showing a bit of Border about him this test. Steve Smith is a great fielder and took one of the greatest catches ever last test, and another gem yesterday. But even though we love grumpy captains you got to take the easy ones, with or without spidercams.
Josh “I’ve modeled my fielding on 1980s quick bowlers” Hazlewood – Dude moves around the ground like Gumby. Maybe needs to take up yoga or something.
Joe “Not so cool” Burns – Burns is not a short leg. He is probably a good fielder. Got caught twice being too eager and moving in the wrong direction and missing very gettable catches.
Brad “Fuck You Nathan Lyon” Haddin – Haddin is getting old and mistakes are starting to creep in consistently.
Haddin has taken some speckies but over the course of this series Haddin has been a real killer for Nathan Lyon in particular. Hope he bought him a slab.
BREAKING NEWS: Cricket Australia has decided to implement our policy for the upcoming World Cup. However instead of being shamed by carrying around a blow up doll, poor fielders will be required to carry around Xavier Doherty instead (Why else is he in the world cup squad?).
(1) Glenn McGrath was a great fielder for most of his career and this memory was when he was just starting out.