Round One is always met with so much optimism, especially by the fast bowlers (more later). Optimism that is swifty taken away on Sunday morning when one wakes up to stiffness (not that kind...) and a sinking feeling that it will occur every Sunday until April. Seriously though, it is good to get out there after months of running, catching, bowling and evading (more later).
The transition from the SCG nets to lifeless actual turf wickets is an interesting one. Fast bowlers wonder why those “bouncers” bowled on the astroturf are now being dispatched to all parts. And they are forced to bowl 7, 8 and 9 (sometimes more) ball overs as the umpire yells out no-ball: that certainly didn’t happen in the 18 yard preseason nets. Spin bowlers move from being fodder and something to hit in between the bouncers, to more difficult to play. They now have fielders and a wicketkeeper that keeps the batsman anchored to the crease. Batsmen start to play defensive shots and look for singles and the only time they fear being hit is by falling to a marlin.
So to Round 2 against an opponent that left us nude after Round 1 last year and managed to pick up a couple of flags and the club championship. Now that is something to get optimistic about. Go well on Saturday boys and see you at the Nags for a celebratory beer afterwards.