"Tendulkar’s 100th 100 a certainty and what a place to do it. 1st Test played at MCG as well as 1st ODI"
- Tony Greig, Twitter, 5.42pm 27.12.11
"Did I jinx him...if so sorry"
- Tony Greig, Twitter, 6.01pm 27.12.11, five minutes after Tendulkar was dismissed for 73.
The continuing expectation of Sachin Tendulkar's "100th international hundred" and a delightful partnership with his rejuvenated team-mate Rahul Dravid. The highlights of the second day of the Melbourne Test between India and Australia, 27 December 2011.
Tendulkar fell for 73, and that faux statistical milestone remains unconquered for now. But it was still a joyous innings to watch, encapsulated in these highlights, from the official Cricket Australia Youtube channel, of the post-tea session of play:
Australia's sensational seven-run loss to New Zealand at Bellerive Oval on Monday was the first Test defeat for new chairman of selectors John Inverarity and new team coach Mickey Arthur. Signs are that there will be more losses against India. Change is coming, but it is neither quick nor easy.
A weak New Zealand side was expected to be easybeats for the Australian eleven, and in the First Test at The Gabba they were. But at Hobart, they prevailed, in three-and-a-half days by seven runs in an exciting if low-scoring match on a greentop.
We've seen two great Test matches between South Africa and Australia in the past fortnight.
At Newlands, Cape Town, a dramatic South African collapse was followed by an utterly historic Australian one, after which the home side's batsmen stormed back to claim a stunning win by eight wickets within two and a half days.
Some critics have described Day Two at Newlands as one of Australia's worst ever days of Test cricket. It's not even close. We bowled out the opposition for 96, after the captain played a classic leader's knock of 151. And have we forgotten those long long long days in the field bowling to the Poms less than a year ago?
But nor is it every day that an Australian Test team is bowled out for 47. Especially not after losing their first nine wickets for 21 runs. Eighteen overs worthy of the Pantheon of the Hideous utterly ruined what was otherwise a top day for Australia.
It's called the ultimate challenge in world cricket. Not the ultimate fighting challenge, but the ultimate challenge nonetheless. Australia playing England in a five-game series of cricket matches that last a maximum of five days each. The trophy, a fragile and minute 125 year-old artifact - The Ashes - securely and permanently stored and displayed in London.
Australia is being confronted with a national dilemma which has a major impact on its society and the environment, and it will take a huge amount of wisdom, courage, co-operation and, yes, pain to reach a stable outcome.
The International Cricket Council is one of those organisations which will never truly satisify its public with the way it runs the game. No number of ex-politicians fed through the presidential revolving door will change that, but not all of the criticism is warranted. However, the ICC's approach to player discipline seems to win very few friends indeed.