Discussion in 'Cricket' started by Hugh Jarse, Aug 27, 2013.
Lehmann should have a role with the wobblies
So Australia took all 100 of Englands wickets this series. First time that has ever been done in an Ashes series.
Well done to Johnson, but I thought Haddin deserved 'man of the series'
Spent a delightful day at the SCG yesterday watching Clarke's crew pulverise the Poms. That was one of the most woeful batting displays I've had the misfortune to watch, the English batsmen simply didn't want to be there and got back to the dressing-room as soon as they could. Only Stokes and Carberry put up any sort of resistance, in Carberry's case too little, too late. Stokes quickly realised he was on a sinking ship so he, sensibly, decided to have a bit of fun while taking some bark off the Aussie bowlers in the process. Clarke should be applauded for the confidence he showed towards Lyon, leaving him on while Stokes was smacking him around. After Stokes got out there were still two left-handed batsmen at the crease, and Lyon never stopped trying to attack them. The bloke next to me commented when the Poms were seven down Johnson needed three wickets to reach 40 for the series. I opined there was no way the other bowlers were going to help Mitch out, they were each after as many wickets as they could grab.
The Australian bowling and fielding was as good as I've seen, the discipline the fast bowlers displayed attacking the batsmen's off stump was lovely to watch. I put the binoculars on Johnson (luckily, he was running towards me) when he was bowling to Broad and Stokes, his length was right up and on the stumps. Harris worked the batsmen over beautifully, one left, the next a bit across and then a bit short and a touch wide drawing a false stroke, the poor bastards had no idea how to handle him. McDermott should be given a lot of praise for the turnaround in this team.
Channel 9 put up the batting stats from the five tests in England. Bell was clearly the best, but after him came five Aussie batsmen. The Aussies averaged in the 40s and 50s but Bell aside all the English batsmen averaged in the 30s. There is a strong argument to say that even back then there was evidence that the Aussie batsmen could be dominant. Put that together with Mitch Johnson's resurrection and there is really no surprise that the series here resulted in a 5-0 whitewash. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Looking forward to the Saffas. Mitch will again be key. He has had the wood on the Saffa batsmen in the past, and is now bowling a hell of a lot better than he was back then. Harris is just as important. I think he is technically the best of our bowlers while Johnson is the most terrifying. Both teams will have excellent attacks. It will come down to which batting lineup prevails.
Would the South African batsmen still have a few mental scars from facing Mitch in the past? I remember him tearing through them in similar fashion on at least 3 separate occasions (Last Summer here, and then previously here and over there in quick succession?).
Did Bailey do enough in that last innings? I'd say not but can see him making the tour.
The other possible change for the first test in SA could be Siddle. Pattinson has made a strong comeback and will really push for a spot.
Well done to Rogers. Highest runscorer across the two series is an achievement ro be proud of.
I understand there is no four day cricket before the team leaves for SA, so little or no opportunity for others to put a case to replace George. How many extra batsmen are likely to tour? Expect Doolan will go as he was backup in the fifth test, but is there any chance of Lynn, Maddison, M Marsh or Burns being taken as well?
The Aussie attack is pretty well nailed down, injuries aside, but I wouldn't be unhappy to see Pattinson come in at some stage for Siddle.
Will a second keeper tour? Probably not. Haddin's form was outstanding, but we will need to look for his replacement in the next year or two. Tim Paine would be my choice.
I reckon the gap between Haddin and the rest is greater than at any other point in his career. He's combined career best form with his competitors all going backwards (such as Wade getting suspended from Shield cricket).
Paine is still on the comeback path and is still well behind where he was about three years ago prior to several broken fingers.
I think Haddin will get the opportunity to keep playing on whilst his form remains decent. Maybe he'll be even be eyeing the home ODI World Cup as his finale?
If Hadding plays on for two more years, I wonder if it will still be Wade and Paine as the two leading contenders? Paine will be over 30 by that point.
Comparing overall bowling attacks, I think Aus and Sth Africa will be reasonably evenly matched. I think we are a little behind in the batting, but it would only need Clarke and Warner to get some more consistent form to balance that. Obviously Watson, Bailey (or whoever) and Smith too, but having Rogers, Warner and Clarke firing pretty well makes a huge difference, I reckon.
What will be the effect of Kallis' retirement? Significant, I think.
What was with the SCG pitch? Why the green top for the second year in a row. Makes for fast moving cricket but I would have preferred a more traditional SCG pitch. Given the pitch, its hard to be overly critical of batsmen who failed, maybe we should just stick to congratulating those who succeeded in Haddin, Smith, Rogers and to lessor degrees, Stokes and Broad. The common denominator was that these 5 batsmen all played their shots.
Very few positives for England from the last two tests. They have fallen an awful long way quickly. Change is needed at the top. Atleast one of captain and coach needs to go – it depends on who has been the dominant voice in the change room. They were poorly prepared and tactically woeful. Maybe both need to go.
SA will be a completely different kettle of fish. Our attack is a little better overall, but they will have the home ground advantage plus have a better batting line up, which can make their bowler’s job a lot easier as we have found out in this ashes series. SA have to be favourites, especially given most teams have struggled to win away from home for a while now.
I think Bailey will go and be given one more test, unless his ODI international form between now and then is dire. On the positive side, the other players seem to genuinely like having him in the team and the time to drop him was before the SCG test.
The Aus team is aged. It’s an issue but it’s a nicer problem to have than a revolving door of young players. In any event, nothing will change that much between now and March other than maybe injuries.
Finally, farewell Kerry O’Keefe. Cricket just won’t be the same without his commentary.
Congrats to the Aussie cricket team but does anyone else thing the media reaction to the win has been a little over the top? We need to remember where we were a few short months ago and display a little more hubris IMHO.
Agree with Mark, well played KO'K, an excellent commentator, preferred the ABC cricket coverage to Nine's with his humour. Loved the frog joke and his laugh.
I think the coverage has been OK. It has been a pretty lean year for Aussie sport, and it was a remarkable win. The nature of the win has meant that most of the gloating is justified, though I haven't seen too much of it.
So with out batting, after 10 tests we've ended up with our line up having the following stats
------------Tests---ENG Series Total---AUS Series Total---Total Runs---Total AVG---100s---50s
It's hard to argue that Rogers, Watson and Clarke have performed consistently since the 1st test in England by weight of runs with Haddin, Smith and Warner scoring runs at crucial times for us also. In addition Haddin was obviously exceptional in Aus.
Clearly by the numbers, Bailey is just well below the pace.
Edit: Sorry about the formatting. Just trying to get it all to align.
One of the problems with the raw statistics is that it makes some people look better than they are and then comparably, some worse.
Watson is the biggest stand out in that regard. The scored 180 odd in the 5th test in England when the series was already gone. In Australia he scored a ton in the second innings in Perth and 80 odd in the second innings in Melbourne which greatly improved his stats.
Haddin was much better in Australia than his figures suggested on the basis that he scored four fifties and a hundred in the first innings and every single time Australia were in trouble when he came in.
Smith was also much better in Australia than his figures suggest. Two first innings centuries in matches when Australia was in dire straits was vital.
Clarke had a pretty quiet series as far as he is concerned in Australia but the fact that he scored centuries in the first two tests when the series was still on the line is pretty compelling in my view.
You'd have to figure that if Australia hadn't dominated the series, Bailey wouldn't have lasted five tests.
Haddin's stats look worse due to him averaging around 20 in England. Right up there for average and runs scored in Aus only where he clearly was dominant and consistent.
Smith, Rogers and Watson showed that when needed, they scored runs for us. Warner, Haddin and Clarke scored series winning runs for us though.
You can't say that Watson only scored when it didn't matter. Firstly it's test match cricket. Secondly his innings in Perth was pretty much the difference in the results. If he had got out cheaply, we would have needed yet another Brad Haddin saviour effort or potentially would have lost the test match.
It's interesting you cherry pick Watson. Yet Rogers good returns came after the series was won, yet don't mention him.
Sure, stats don't tell the whole story, such as conditions and variables such as team tactics and players being told to player for quick runs. But in cricket batting, they tell a whole lot of it. Six out of 7 of our batsmen since the first test in England have averaged 37 and above. That's doing your job.
I didn't say that the Watson only scored when it didn't matter. I just pointed out that he scored half his series runs in the final test when the series was already lost. Potentially if he hadn't scored the 176 he might have been dropped.
I disagree that his hundred in the second innings in Perth was pretty much the difference between the two sides. He came in at 1/150 odd and we won by 150 runs which is hardly a close match. It was a terrific hundred and he smashed their bowling attack, but if you were to pinpoint important innings by Aussies in the series, I wouldn't put it in the top 10. I still think there is a place for Watson in the team. He needs to score more runs in the first innings though. I think now is the time to move him to 6 instead of Bailey. Watson seems to flourish when he can play freely and attack the bowling. This seems to happen more when the pressure is off. Even though he will still be under plenty of pressure much of the time at 6, at least he isn't facing the new ball.
I definitely agree that Rogers' inflated his stats with centuries in the second innings of the fourth and fifth tests here but I also think he was much more consistent along the way. His record still looks reasonable if you take those two innings away.
I very much disagree with the prospect of moving Watson to 6. Simply because we do not have a player ready to step into 3 who has performed any better at FC level. Yes he does need to improve though, as you mentioned.
I guess the point I'm trying to get across is based on what we have available, and what they have done, We are set for now from 1-5 and at 7. They need to look at bringing somebody fresh into 6. Ideally with the view to moving to 3 when they are capable.
Since Ponting batted there, Watson is our most consistent performer we have put at 3. Barring moving somebody who is already a success in their current position (i.e. Clarke, Warner, Rogers) and risk weakening 2 positions, he is the best current option. Though, noted, needs to improve. He has essentially performed over the last 10 tests at a level his career should be.
A good batsmen would be averaging around 40, though they would also have series when they average 50-60 to offset the leaner periods. Watson definitely can't offset those leaner periods with having the odd peak series averaging 40 with the willow.
What about moving Rogers to 3? Australia's converted openers to first drop a few times the last two decades, sometimes with outstanding success. Anyone remember Boonie?
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