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. I do expect us as the season goe

  • 26 Jul
    导出博客文章An expired passport, replaced in a hurried 24 hours before flying to Sri Lanka,
    says a lot about how much Jon Holland has thought about playing for Australia in
    a Test match lately. But canny displays in training for the tourists, ahead of a
    game they must win, spoke equally loudly for a level of ability the selectors
    have always rated.The call from chairman of selectors Rod Marsh to tell Holland
    he needed to travel to Galle to replace Steve OKeefe and partner Nathan Lyon in
    the second Test necessitated a journey from Brisbane back to Melbourne for a
    hurried renewal of documents. It is seven years since Holland last made an
    Australian tour, an ODI sojourn to India in 2009.Rod rang me when I was up in
    Brisbane, getting ready for Australia A, and told me that SOK was not good and I
    had to get over here, Holland said. It was a bit of a surprise, so much of a
    surprise that I didnt have a passport ready, so I was a bit nervous.I went back
    to Melbourne, I had to renew it, it had expired. Getting over here, just being
    around the group it hits home a bit more.I will be a little bit nervous if I do
    get a chance to play, I have worked hard on my bowling the last couple of years.
    I am pretty comfortable with where my bowlings at. Hopefully, if I do get a
    chance, I can get myself into the game and get a couple of results.On that
    previous tour, Holland was so close to a debut that he had the chat with then
    captain Ricky Ponting informing him he would play in the final match of the
    series in Mumbai. But rain began to fall almost as soon as Ponting spoke those
    words, and so, Holland returned home without playing.It was the last game, wed
    already won the series, Holland said. Ricky told me on the bus after training
    which was the next day, and as soon as he told me, it started raining and it
    didnt stop until we got on the plane to come home, so unfortunately I missed
    out, but thats the way it goes.I guess it was in the back of my mind that time
    was getting away from me, but I really enjoy playing cricket for Victoria.
    Theyve stuck with me through three shoulder injuries and supported me and given
    me the chance to play cricket, I have to thank them. Its here now, its all a bit
    surreal still and I will just have to wait and see if I do get the chance to
    play.Usefully, Holland is dropping into the Australian side in a manner he has
    become familiar with for Victoria. The selectors preference for Fawad Ahmed as
    the No. 1 spinner has meant Holland only plays on spinning pitches, and has
    harvested 22 wickets at 16.41 from his past three Shield games, spread over two
    seasons. Eight wickets in the Shield final piqued the selectors interest ahead
    of this tour.I would like to play every game for Victoria but that hasnt been
    the case, he said. Fawad has bowled extremely well for Victoria and its been
    hard to get in there, and especially in Australia - playing two spinners doesnt
    happen too often, but my opportunities for Victoria have come and I enjoy
    playing for Victoria.The Shield final was a big game for me. Id missed out on a
    couple, one through injury and one not being selected the year before. It was a
    big dream of mine to play in a winning Shield for Victoria, and to get the
    opportunity and do well was a really great week for me.In watching the first
    Test of the series on television, Holland was reminded of the left-arm spinners
    art by the clever variations of Rangana Herath. There has been evidence of
    similar skill from Holland in training, varying his pace and degree of spin to
    beat Australian bats on numerous occasions. Cricketers rather than athletes,
    Herath and Holland share an instinctive understanding of deceit.He knows the
    conditions extremely well here, Holland said of Herath. He just bowls on the
    spot and knows how to subtly change his spin and variations and pace and that
    sort of thing. I think just about every time he bowls the ball its hitting the
    stumps, which is a big positive. I try to take a bit of that on board and try to
    do the same as that.If Hollands passport was unready, he has at least got in his
    kitbag a handful of good relationships with Australian team-mates from days gone
    by, whether it be Under-19 tours or his Academy intake.Most critical of all, he
    shares a good rapport with Steven Smith. Captain and spinner must stay close
    this week. Ive known Smithy since he was pretty young, Holland said. I guess we
    have got a pretty good relationship, so, hopefully, he backs me in and looks
    after me.
    Rickey
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    someone -- anyone -- to stop a three-game skid, ONeal returned from right knee
    and groin injuries that had sidelined him for four games and put up season highs
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    . The Cincinnati Reds remain perfect with their speedy
    rookie outfielder in the starting lineup. SEATTLE -- Even with all the teaching
    hes done to change the way tackling is handled in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks
    coach Pete Carroll still believes in the importance of the big hit.So when Earl
    Thomas raced across the field and leveled Rob Gronkowski with a shoulder tackle
    to the midsection last week, Carroll was ecstatic about the result of the play,
    and the message it sent that the game can still be physically brutal but in a
    safe way.Neither one of the players got hit in the head. Still the jolt was
    significant, but if we could show kids how we want them to hit and play this
    game, and college kids, thats how you do it, Carroll said. Its the new way, its
    the new way to make hits.The duo of Thomas and strong safety Kam Chancellor are
    just two of the challenges rookie Carson Wentz has to face when the Philadelphia
    Eagles travel to Seattle on Sunday. Wentz has passed plenty of tests in his
    first NFL season, getting Philadelphia into the playoff conversation at 5-4
    after last weeks home win over Atlanta.But even Wentz acknowledged theres little
    that can prepare him for the experience of facing the Seahawks defense in
    Seattle .You go in there confidently. You dont worry about the extra outside
    noise and all those things, Wentz said. You just go in there and play ball.The
    past two weeks have indicated another second-half surge could be on the horizon
    for Seattle. After holding off Buffalo in a Monday night victory, the Seahawks
    went across the country on a short week and won at New England , stopping the
    Patriots at the 1-yard line in the final seconds. They kept a two-game lead over
    Arizona in the NFC West.It ranked among the more impressive regular-season wins
    since Carroll arrived in Seattle and showed flashes that a plodding offense
    could be on the verge of a breakout.Its a process, said Seattle wide receiver
    Doug Baldwin, who had three TD catches last week. Weve still got some young
    guys. Our offensive line was pretty much all in new spots, Russell was dealing
    with some injuries, so there are a lot of things that go into it. Its not just a
    normal routine. ... I do expect us as the season goes on to continue to get
    better. Thats one thing I expect.Heres what else to watch as the Eagles and
    Seahawks meet for the 15th time:ROAD WOES: The Eagles are 4-0 at home and have
    outscored opponents 108-38, but theyre 1-4 on the road with four straight
    lossses after winning at Chicago on Monday night in Week 2.dddddddddddd They
    fell behind 14-0 in three of those four losses and rallied to either have a lead
    in the fourth quarter or have the ball with a chance to go ahead on the final
    drive, only to lose.I think when you are on the road, you try to press just a
    little bit, coach Doug Pederson said. You try to get that quick, early lead, try
    to take the crowd of out of the game. You maybe do some things that are
    uncharacteristic of what you do at home, and we just cant do that.The Seahawks
    are 31-5 at home since 2012, when Wilson became the starting
    quarterback.SPLITTING CARRIES: Seattle will have running back Thomas Rawls in
    the lineup for the first time since Week 2, when he suffered a hairline fracture
    in his leg. The return of Rawls led to the release of leading rusher Christine
    Michael earlier this week, but its unclear how the carries will be split between
    Rawls and rookie C.J. Prosise.Prosise energized a lethargic run game last week
    against New England, rushing for 66 yards and catching seven passes for 87
    yards.A quick emergence is really exciting, Carroll said. Hes coming up and
    doing stuff. You can see how hes capable.BALL CONTROL: The Eagles rank second in
    the NFL in time of possession (32:28) and controlled the ball for 38:10 in their
    win over the Falcons. Ryan Mathews had a season-high 108 yards rushing, helping
    keep Atlantas high-powered offense on the sideline. Its no secret that a
    balanced attack is Philadelphias formula for success. Pederson doesnt want Wentz
    throwing 45 passes per game the way he did in losses to the Cowboys and
    Giants.WELCOME BACK: Pederson has a longstanding connection to the Seahawks. The
    graduate of Ferndale High School about 90 minutes north of Seattle went to
    numerous Seahawks games in the Kingdome as his family had season tickets.
    Pederson even got to play a high school playoff game in the Kingdome.You just
    kind of walk on that turf and you go man, one day it would not only be great to
    play in this game, and who knew back then that youd be a head coach in the
    league, Pederson said.---AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this
    report.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and
    http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL. ' ' '