On ABC Sydney radio this week (Journos’ Forum with Richard Glover on the Drive show), Indian Link’s Pawan Luthra looked at the 2022 Federal Election campaign through the eyes of a cricket tragic. He was answering hypothetical questions on the election results.
Richard Glover: According to the latest polls, the election is too close to call. So let’s imagine two possible outcomes. First let’s imagine the Government wins….and you are writing the analysis piece the next day. What were the things during the campaign that – in this scenario – gave victory to the Coalition?
Pawan Luthra: This was an eight-week campaign, and so not a T-20 match or a 50-over game but a Test match, with two innings per team. Much like a Test match, the campaign had its twists and turns.
In the first innings, Team Albo suffered an early set back. Captain Albo struggled with some early in-swing, as he could not recall either the unemployment numbers or interest rates. But his early retirement from the ground due to COVID allowed his back up batspeople – Wong, Clare, Plibersek and Chalmers – to regain some momentum.
Team Morrison, when they came into bat, saw a few bouncers thrown at them – from interest rates increases to new partnerships being formed between China and the Solomon Islands. They seemed to be heading for a crushing defeat.
In their second innings, Team Albo just could not hit out. Team Morrison pitched the ball up, keeping them on the defensive, and so were able to hold Team Albo in check.
Come the final innings, Captain Morrison came out blazing with his homes for superannuation policy, which excited young people in the crowds. It must be said that Captain Morrison may have been confused at times as to which game he was playing – as he tackled other players on the ground such as Luca – but overall, his enthusiasm (and the inability of the opposition to bowl out him and his team) won them the game.
It is worth noting that Captain ScoMo had come into the game with limited field practice, as he was overseas when he could be working on his fitness (by holding a hose or two), or was spending too much time behind the desk during COVID management. Yet, Team Albo could not take him down.
Commentators felt that Scott Morrison’s leadership when the game is on makes him a difficult adversary to play against.
Richard Glover: Now, let’s imagine a Labor victory. You’re writing the piece explaining why. What do you say? And what does the Labor victory tell us about the country?
Pawan Luthra: Let me continue with the cricket analogy but twist it a bit.
While Team Albo stayed in the game even as their leader retired hurt, in the first innings Team Scomo had two of their players sin binned. Both Treasurer Frydenberg and Foreign Minister Marise Payne spent most of their time in the dressing room, as issues about economic management and international affairs kept Team ScoMo on the back foot. This was a body blow for Team ScoMo, which had little to do with Team Albo’s strategy but more with bad strategy by Team ScoMo’s manager.
In the second innings, though Team ScoMo attacked at every angle, wonderful defensive strokes by the Opposition kept them in the game. Team ScoMo tried to win the game back, but it seems that they had run out of ideas. The crowd became more interested in Mexican waves, and the game came to a rather tedious end, with Team Albo winning by playing most of the game against 9 players.
In their final comments, the commentators said that it was not that Team Albo won but rather Team Scomo lost by relying too heavily on their two players rather than having more key players to take to the field. It was also felt that unnecessary time was wasted in propping up a lower grade cricketer Kathleen Deeves rather than in setting up better strategies.
Alas, unlike the previous Test match 3 years ago, Captain Morrison was not able to turn the ball as he had once done.