Discussion in 'Cricket' started by The torpedo, Jul 26, 2016.
Who are our specialist spin batsmen? Any suggestions?
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Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Steve Smith have been our best three in recent years.
I think it would be hard to make a case that there are batsmen we can bring in right now who would instantly be much better against spin away from home.
Maybe they need to properly contract an Australia A squad to do Annual Winter Tours in the subcontinent, ideally playing other A squads and domestic teams.
Don't know how/if that would work, but given 13 boys, including Handscomb, Stoinis, Maxwell, Bancroft, Patterson and Lehmann, who've all been talked about at one point or another as future Test Batsmen are playing 4 dayers in QLD against South Africa A, surely it wouldn't unfeasible to have that sort of tour IN the subcontinent instead.
Hanscomb, Bancroft, Shawn Marsh, and Glen Maxwell (!) are the names getting thrown around at the moment.
Don't think too many are surprised that Joe Burns and Warner struggled with spin but Khawaja was really disappointing. Smith goes OK. M Marsh's time at 6 must be up. Neville does the job as a keeper but is our worst keeper/batsman for decades (not really a criticm given who we've had there)
Which leaves Voges. Probably another guy who would still be picked in spinning conditions, but maybe shouldn't be.
Was a very good article on the ABC about the teams woes and the obvious shock of Smith at the poor results. While the tour is certainly disappointing the players have done a lot of work to be better against spin. Look at who's available and certainly no one has been left out that could have improved things.
There has been several Aus A tours to subcontinent recently. In one of those Burns and Khwaja did very well and were making the selectors ask questions when the team was in England getting flogged. The tour match here all batsmen looked good and Burns got a 72. Dropping players and making hasty calls won't help. Something happens between going from tour games/Aus A to tests and the players suddenly struggle. Rod Marsh and Smith both said they have played a lot there recently and if you look at the time players get in the IPL and practising in the nets it true. I don't think more games on the subcontinent, blaming the pitches here or dropping guys is the answer. Maybe it's just a really bad tour.
Australia A did go to India last year and India A are out here for some matches this month along with South Africa A.
Sri Lanka A and Pakistan A were in England recently too.
Hopefully they can get to the subcontinent a bit more often
CA have built this monster in Brisbane as well to replicate a nasty subcontinent pitch
I wonder if spin bowling on subcontinental pitches is one of those things where there is a big diffenece between good and great.
So all of the games against "good" spinners don't really help preperation against "great" spin bowlers, like Herath.
If that's the case then it's a problem, because there aren't that many great bowlers around to practice against.
Meanwhile in Bulawayo, Kane Williamson's 14th Test century means he's now scored a ton v all nine other Test-playing nations & set a few records in doing so:
Not a bad birthday present!
He's not a flat track bully, either:
Correct. SL batsmen move their feet against spin, are able to change or adjust their shot and most importanly play the ball with soft hands. Starc caused them the most problems. Our guys make some pretty basic errors for test players - plonking the front foot down and having to play around it, often playing the wrong line, not having the temperament to wait for the bad ball and pushing hard at the ball in defence - the latter led to quite a few dismissals at slip.
Agree to an extent about O'Keefe and I said earlier that the Holland selection was ludicrous. 40 year old Brad Hogg would have been a better option.
Let's remember that these pitches weren't minefields with the ball turning square or keeping low or rearing off a length or anything like that. Yes the ball turned, but test level batsmen should have done better than 106 and 183.
Training on something like that will probably help to any extent, but there's no substitute (in any sport) for playing a match. No, our pitches will never replicate exactly sub-continental pitches, but it seems to me that our own pitches turn less now that they used to. Sydney is a classic case in point - doesn't turn anywhere near as much as it did 10 years ago, Perth used to break up quite badly late in tests and spun and bounced for leggies and even tall off-spinners like Bruce Yardley and even Melbourne used to give a bit for the spinners late - aided by variable bounce. If your technique is regularly tested and you are often forced to change or adjust shots, move your feet etc., it all comes more naturally.
That's a good point QH. Our pitches are way too true for too long in test matches now. They have become little better than roads in the last decade.
As others have said, it's not like CA aren't trying to do something about it, with A tours to the subcontinent and wickets at the CoE. A long hard road ahead I guess, but what would help would be more work on technique at the underage level and less crash and bash T20 style cricket.
I wonder how much of an impact the drop in pitches have on this.
To my knowledge only the SCG and Gabba still have a dedicated centre square all year round.
I think they have a massive impact BH and a lot of good judges predicted as much when they came into play. I can recall pulling some stats on the MCG on before/after drop in pitches and it was fairly clear (from memory) that the new wickets are flatter and therefore have more runs in them. In the old days, the 'G was an absolute minefield and very difficult to bat on late in a test match.
Interestingly, 4th innings in Australia aren't getting easier. The 2010's averages are really low historically.
What that means? I'm not sure, but perhaps it's not as simple to say that pitches aren't deteriorating as quickly as they used too.
My feeling is though that it's not spinners that are getting the wickets, though in the absence of Australia's greatest ever, that may be a bit skewed.
I think one element of it is that spin bowling outside of leg spin has never really been the art form in Australia that it is elsewhere.
The fact that we have played cricket for so long and have so many prolific wicket takers and Nathan Lyon has become our greatest off spinner ever by eclipsing 200 wickets is a sign of that.
So we have a situation where off spin isn't something we excel at and then the type of off spin which tends to be more successful in Australia is through extra bounce and flight rather than prodigious spin.
It almost certainly means our players aren't facing spin bowling as often nor against enough quality to improve themselves greatly.
On this tour for example, our players really only get to practice in the nets against our bowlers and our spinners aren't nearly as good as Herath and co.
It probably also gives you an indication how at times players like Dave Warner can come out and absolutely destroy an attack because he is used to facing a much better quality pace attack at training and suddenly the bowling is slower and less consistent.
Those are interesting figures and the ones that really stand out are the 1940's and 1960's, which were the era of bore-draws. I sorted them in decade order and there is clearly a jump in 4th innings averages between the 1990's and the 2000's, which coincides with the move to drop-in pitches here. Quite why it dropped back to slightly above 1990's levels in the last six years I'm not sure. It could be all correlation and not causation, hard to say either way, but the decks are getting flatter. When I removed the 4th innings restriction from the Cricinfo query, the all innings average for the 2010's is near the top of the list and a full five runs per wicket higher than the 1990's.
There's some other good stats out there (I'll see if I can find them) that show that most of the increase in averages in Australia are just the Australian batsmen.
Opposition numbers are actually going down (with some exceptions like that Ashes series here before last.)
I don't disagree that they are better pitches to bat on. But why aren't are opposition doing better on them too? And why aren't 4th innings better?
If Twenty20 is to blame why aren't other nations having the same problem
Lots of good questions that need answering.
Khwaja and Burns dropped. Marsh and Henriques in.
Crazy call IMHO. Henriques I find particularly baffling. A medium pace all-rounder is the answer to our batting woes????
Khwaja was all class last summer and dropped after two bad tests. Seems like desperate calls.
Is Henriques the only Test cricketer born in Portugal?
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