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Cricket: Summer 2018-19

Discussion in 'Cricket' started by Up the Guts, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. The_Brown_Hornet Michael Lynagh (62)

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    I think that carrying the team has broken the bowling unit. A road-like pitch notwithstanding, they look knackered out there. Just think what a hundred extra runs in one or more innings a couple of times might have done to the outcome of this series. No short term fixes on that one though.
  2. Brumby Runner Rod McCall (65)

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    The blood letting needs to start with the curators at Melbourne and Sydney. Both pitches were tailor made for the Indian batsmen at a time when Australia has not one batsman of true international standard to respond.

    Next would have to be Justin Langer. He was hardly a rip roaring success when last associated with the test team, and this series hasn't shown any evidence at all of a thoughtful, strategic thinker behind the team. Where has there been an obvious plan for our bowlers to attack specific batsmen? Where has there been any improvement in batting technique in the likes of the Marshes and Hanscombe over the series? Where did the idea come from that a part time leg spinner who has the least impressive record batting at No 3 in the country would be the solution to the continual batting failures of others over the series? Who is responsible for getting the team ready skill wise and mentally for the battle that is test cricket other than the coach in the first place?

    Then, a few of the batsmen need to be told they are no longer needed. Only Harris and Head have shown some evidence of potential to make it at this level. Usman has had a poor series but probably understandable in light of the dramas going on around his brother.

    And if the selectors can't find better replacements then they need to go too.

    The bowling attack has been below par and very poor given the calibre of our individual bowlers. But it is clear as day that they need a bowling coach who can analyse the opposition and come up with a plan to take wickets. ATM it just looks like they are rolling their collective arms over and hoping it is enough to take a wicket or two. So little variety by the individual bowlers, just keep doing the same thing over after over. In contrast, the Indian bowlers seem to have a distinct plan against each of our batsmen and proceed to put it into effect. That includes the line and length of deliveries to particular batsmen, and delivering around the wicket immediately to some when it enhances the type of delivery they want to execute.

    Full marks to India and particularly to Koli for the way they have dismantled our batsmen and dominated our bowlers in this series. They have been blessed with very helpful wickets and have had a run of luck with the toss. But they are clearly superior to the Australian side and have earnt their series win.
  3. Derpus Mark Ella (57)

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    ^^^^
    Our pitches have played nothing like an Indian pitch, which is what would amount to a tailor made pitch for the Indians.

    Our batting is just balls. Not the curators fault we can't play the damn game.
  4. Brumby Runner Rod McCall (65)

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    Can't agree Derpus. In my eyes, neither of the Melbourne or Sydney pitches have given our bowlers any assistance at all in the first innings. There should be life in the first and second days to ensure a close competition in the game.

    Admittedly, the Indian bowlers have done more with the ball than any of the Aussie bowlers, but that's because they seemed to have a plan against the batters and they were good enough to put the plan into action. It does help that they also have better swing and cutter technique than the Aussie bowlers, including reverse swing as is evident in the current innings in Sydney.

    It is probably more of an indication that the pitch is doing very little that the Aussie batsmen have so far been able to survive, and in Harris' case has been able to score some runs.

    I stand by my observation that the pitches in Melbourne and Sydney have better suited the Indian side than the local one.
  5. Derpus Mark Ella (57)

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    This is because our batters all have really obvious flaws in their technique/game.

    At the end of the day, if India were without Pujara and Kohli and lost 3/4 tosses they would have lost the series. I'm not too fussed by the result.
  6. Up the Guts Peter Sullivan (51)

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    Have to agree with Hornet and BR. We were competitive on the greener tracks because it negated India’s batting strength. On the roads we are outgunned, especially losing the toss and facing scoreboard pressure, as our batting unit is not as strong. It’s no surprise playing on an absolute highway on the SCG our bowlers looked tired having bowled so many overs only a few days before. Yes India bowled well, much better than they have before, but it’s worth noting how many times we threw our wickets away. Some of those shots against Kuldeep Yadav were disgusting. Yes Yadav is a good looking prospect but he still bowls a boundary ball an over, a bit of patience and there’s plenty of opportunity to score off him. Similarly, we’re seeing that Bumrah isn’t looking too threatening when he’s made to bowl a few overs, apart from a good yorker to Labuschagne he looked extremely docile.

    Unfortunately we’re in a holding pattern till Smith and Warner come back. Our team is built around them, I don’t think the selectors want to debut a heap of players without their experience. Hence why Marsh etc are still in the side.
  7. Brumby Runner Rod McCall (65)

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    Makes sense UTG, but I think there are still glaring weaknesses in the prospective batting lineup even with Smith and Warner back.

    The lineup could look like:

    Warner, Harris, Khawaja, Smith, Head, Hanscombe..

    A heck of a lot stronger than at present, but with Head and Hanscombe (or Marsh) in the middle order, it is still a bit frail there. I would have liked to see someone like Patterson get a start against India because in the long run I expect he will be a more solid test player than Hanscombe at least.

    But we really do need to return to a calendar that features and favours Sheffield Shield throughout the season over crash and bash funny stuff if the likes of Patterson, Hughes, Labushagne, Renshaw and others are to develop to their true potential.
    Up the Guts likes this.
  8. Up the Guts Peter Sullivan (51)

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    Agree BR, the selectors had an opportunity when Smith, Warner, and Bancroft were first banned to draft in players like Patterson. At the start of this series they could also have started fresh and brought in those same players despite not picking them in the UAE. Unfortunately, they seem to have placed a premium on international experience, so we’ve seen the Marsh brothers (although to be fair Shaun had a good Shield season), Finch and Handscomb. That experience hasn’t really amounted to much.

    Head is an interesting one. He’s our leading run scorer this series but he never looks like he’s properly set at the crease. Even when he gets to 70 odd he still looks vulnerable. I think they see him as a potential captain but he’s not a number 5 for me at this stage, when Smith and Warner return I’d have him at 6.
    Brumby Runner likes this.
  9. Up the Guts Peter Sullivan (51)

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    So India wrap up the series 2-1 and we’re onto the ODIs. Aus squad:

    Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa

    Notable omissions include Chris Lynn and D’arcy Short while the pace trio are being deliberately rested. Matt Wade could probably count himself unlucky as well.

    An interesting point in terms of tactics are the inclusion of Khawaja and Handscomb. In the South African series we tried to play an English style of game and pack the middle order with hitters like Lynn. Khawaja and Handscomb are more traditional stroke players that we can build an innings around.
  10. barbarian Michael Lynagh (62)

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    My team for Sri Lanka, with a view to the Ashes:

    Harris, Burns, Labushagne, Khawaja, Head, Handscomb, Paine + Bowlers (who are beyond doubt at this point)

    Basically it allows for those six to compete for four Ashes spots, with the best performances getting the chocolates.

    I actually didn't mind Labushagne's innings in Sydney, so he gets another crack. Burns comes in at his natural spot, and I'm backing Handscomb to overcome his technical faults - of all of those listed (aside from Khawaja) he's the only one who's actually scored a test century. Which is something.
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  11. Derpus Mark Ella (57)

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    ^^^^
    Will Smith and co be available for the Ashes?
  12. RugbyReg Stirling Mortlock (74)

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    if, by co, you mean Martin Lawrence as well, then no. I think they are both caught up filming Bad Boys 3.

    My team for Sri Lanka would be:

    Renshaw
    Harris
    Burns
    Khawaja
    Head
    Hanscombe
    Paine
    Cummins
    Lyon
    Tremain
    Hazlewood

    I'd rest Starc up for a while, perhaps give him some Shield games to play. I'd rest Hazlewood for the 2nd test and consider Scott Boland.
    HJ Nelson, barbarian and Derpus like this.
  13. Up the Guts Peter Sullivan (51)

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    Smith and Warner due back in March. Will be playing in an ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE before heading to England for the World Cup. There’ll be no crowd pressure in the UAE so it will be a good place for them to find form before heading to England where the crowds will be hostile.

    I can see the argument for leaving Starc out but the problem is there’s no Shield Cricket till the 23rd of February while the two Sri Lankan test matches are in late Jan and early Feb so he’ll either be resting or playing Big Bash. Since Starc, Cummins, and Hazlewood aren’t playing the ODIs I’d hope they’d be working hard with David Saker on a few of the technical issues they had like wrist position and bowling fuller. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to break out the Duke ball and practice with that as well.

    I’m assuming there will be a bit in the wicket in the Brisbane test so it will be a good chance to see if they’ve worked on producing movement off the seam and in the air while they’ve been resting as that will be vital in English conditions. I’d also expect a pretty flat pitch in Canberra so that will be a good test to see if they’ve come up with any plans bowing on flat decks because they really ran out of steam in Sydney.

    Just quickly in terms of batting I thought Labuschagne exceeded expectations in Sydney but I’d be tempted to get Renshaw into the side as he made a mountain of runs when he last played county cricket.
  14. Brumby Runner Rod McCall (65)

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    On the mark UTG. Starc by the way improves with the more bowling he gets. The last thing I'd do is rest him. He does, however, need to work on controlling his direction and the inswing he gets to right handers. Maybe bowling around the wicket earlier and more often to right handers would make him more lethal.

    I agree a lot of work needs to be put into improving the bowling technique of our pace battery. Sheer speed is not going to cut it so they need to develop more swing and cut in their deliveries. The idea of practising with the Dukes ball is a very good one but probably too novel for our team.

    Labuschagne didn't exactly fail in the fourth test so he should be retained, and I'd be tempted to bring Kurtis Patterson into the side. Maybe a batting order of Renshaw, Harris, Khawaja, Head (needs to establish himself up the order or his will be on the block), Patterson, Labuschagne.
  15. barbarian Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Don't they play a couple of Shield rounds with the Dukes ball now? Or have they changed that practise?
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  16. barbarian Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Also, worth sharing this article. I wish you could do this for rugby - a methodical, stats-based breakdown of Australian batsmen with a clear conclusion as to who should be picked and why:

    https://t.co/U5HQ6RVohb
  17. Derpus Mark Ella (57)

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    I'm not sure how useful a Moneyball approach is. The player stats are derived from a different competition/level of skill you are selecting a team for.

    Similar to Rugby in that Super performances don't guarantee Test performances and can often be completely misleading when trying to select a test team.

    Edit: although, those stats are another nail in the coffin of the Marshes. I don't know why the selectors think they are suddenly going to start scoring test runs.
  18. barbarian Michael Lynagh (62)

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    That is true, like anywhere stats only tell part of the story etc etc etc

    It's just a nice input to decide who is performing well and may be capable of making the next step.

    Cricket is a bit different to rugby in this regard, as you don't have to worry as much about chemistry, balance etc. With a few exceptions, you pick your six best bats a keeper and four bowlers.

    There are so many more metrics to help you make your decisions. I wish the selectors would point to a few of these when they make their decisions.
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    RugbyReg likes this.
  19. RugbyReg Stirling Mortlock (74)

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    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricke...-to-australia-test-squad-20190109-p50qbk.html

    So it seems Will Pucovski is going to get a test call up. He seems a bloody talent but even putting aside his youth and inexperience (8 first class games) should we be rushing him in considering his recent head knock issues and mental health concerns? If it's just about getting him among the team and experience, then ok, but if he is likely to play it worries me a bit.
  20. barbarian Michael Lynagh (62)

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    Maybe. Hard to tell without knowing him, or talking to him. I agree it would be better for him to have a bit of time to get back on his feet, though.

    I think taking a flyer on a talented youngster who has actually scored Shield runs is the right decision here. Bat him at 6 and give him a chance to prove himself.

    Add in the likely call-up of Burns (from Twitter gossip) and I reckon the selectors have got this one pretty close to right.
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    RugbyReg likes this.

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