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Tour of India

Discussion in 'Cricket' started by Braveheart81, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    So the squad has been selected and I'm not impressed.

    Squad David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird, Xavier Doherty, Nathan Lyon.

    1. Warner has a broken thumb yet we've only selected 6 specialist batsmen in a squad of 17 (which now days is a large squad for a test series).
    2. Doherty is the second specialist spinner. The guy average over 44 in first class cricket and has always struggled to be successful in long form cricket.
    3. Why pick Steve Smith and Moises Henriques? Surely they're at long odds to play. Steve O'Keefe would be a much better selection and should have been the second spinner on the tour with Beer injured.
    4. Why pick 5 pace bowlers? It reeks of not wanting to upset anyone. Given that we should be playing two seamers and two specialist spinners, that's a lot of players who should be back in Australia playing first class cricket in preparation for the Ashes.

    My bet is that we'll pick three pace bowlers for the first test and Maxwell as an all-rounder and second spin option and it will backfire heavily.
    The Red Baron likes this.
  2. mark_s Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Your right. I thought the squad made sense when I first saw it but the holes have started coming out for me too.

    On the fast bowlers, they will definitely rotate and there is a short turn around between the 3 and 4 tests. I suspect they are planning to play 3 each test unless its a real dust bowl, given the selectors don't have a lot of faih in our spin stocks. Maybe 5 is one too many but I can see the argument either way.

    The smith selection, as back up batter, is senseless especially as their is a could over Warner. Haddin is a better batter and could of served as back up keeper.

    Doherty, well I guess he is some else but as back up spinner? His current test bowling average is 102 and his first class average is 45 so I guess the only way is up. O'keefe would have been the better punt, plus he is handy with the bat.

    Maxwell, ok, probably worth the punt but do we really see his gentle offices having an impact in India? I guess we will see but I feel like he is also a hedge against the need for more batting especially given the selectors see Johnson as an alrounder.
  3. The Red Baron Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Oh dear. If India weren't in such a bad way themselves, I would predict a slaughter.

    I understand the obsession with bit players in the shorter forms of the game, but it is suicide applying this logic to test cricket. How O'Keefe didn't get a run is beyond me. Did the selectors not see the recent test series in India? Raging turners are the go, and we have Maxwell and Doherty as the back up spinners!

    Not only that, but as you guys have said, 6 specialist batsmen? Surely one of the bits and pieces players (Maxwell, Smith Henriques) should not have been included and an extra specialist batsmen chosen. Doolan, Klinger, Burns, god even Rodgers or Hodge, someone!

    Having said that though, of the three "allrounders" chosen, Henriques is most likely the player not to fail dismally. If this was the Ashes squad, we would be better off not showing up.
  4. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I would have taken Haddin and Doolan instead of Henriques and Smith.

    Haddin is an excellent player of spin and his batting form this year has been pretty good. In India with our current batting lineup he could most definitely play as a specialist batsman. Considering we are taking a squad of 17, Doolan could have been included for some touring experience and a nod to the future.

    I would have definitely picked Steve O'Keefe instead of Xavier Doherty. O'Keefe has been the most successful spinner in the Shield comp this year and is a good lower order batsman. As The Red Baron said, guys who turn the ball a lot are good in India and O'Keefe gets plenty of turn for an offie.
  5. The Red Baron Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Yeah I would have done pretty much the same BH. Although I would have left Maxwell behind.

    I find it really strange that we have such a large squad yet no back up Wicketkeeper. The added bonus of having Haddin and Wade in the squad would have been that they are both good enough to warrant being selected as a batsman alone. So really, Doolan, O'Keefe and Haddin should consider themselves really hard done by.

    The fascination with all rounders has to stop. If we don't have an allrounder that is world class with both bat and ball, and isn't broken all the time, then we should select specialists. Genuine allrounders are rarer than top shelf spinners.
  6. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I agree completely.

    They certainly have a place in ODI/T20 cricket but in test cricket I always think that you pick your best 6 batsmen, your best wicketkeeper, and your best 4 bowlers for the conditions.

    If one of your best 6 batsmen can also bowl or one of your 4 best bowlers can also bat then it's a bonus.

    If your wicketkeeper is a good batsman it is also a bonus, but the selection of a keeper should always be based on keeping skill.

    Furthermore, if you look at all the great all rounders, every one of them would have made the side as a batsman or bowler in their own right. Bits and pieces cricketers have no place in test cricket.
    Penguin likes this.
  7. The Red Baron Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    That's pretty much how I see it as well. 6 batters, 1 keeper and 4 bowlers. Generally at least one of your top six is a part time bowler, and can be given a couple of overs here and there.

    Unfortunately, since Gilly the perception of a wicketkeepers role has changed, where they are now seen as batsmen who field behind the wicket. Gilly was a freak; the chances of another player as good emerging anytime soon are slim to nil.

    Our fascination with all rounders on the other hand is perplexing. Nothing against Watson, but who was the last great Australian all rounder? We have rarely developed a genuine all rounder, as historically Australian cricket has tended to favour the specialist players in the test arena.
  8. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I'd argue that Gilchrist was the last great all-rounder. He effectively gave us another batsman and has to an extent redefined the role of an international wicketkeeper. South Africa made a poor choice by persisting with AB de Villiers as their keeper after Boucher was forced to retire. It has turned him into a poorer batsman, he's only an average keeper and meant that South Africa have lost their best fielder because he is now behind the stumps.

    I have never been a Watson fan but I do think he is good enough to be one of our top 6 batsmen when he has played consistent cricket for a while without injury. Unfortunately everytime he builds up some form he has got injured bowling again.

    Andrew Symonds was a pretty good test all-rounder averaging 40 with the bat and 33 or so with the ball.

    You probably have to go back to Keith Miller or Richie Benaud for Australia to find a truly great all-rounder. We certainly have no one close to a Kallis, Pollock, Flintoff, Botham, Dev, Imran Khan etc. in the last few decades.
  9. Penguin Arch Winning (36)

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    It used to be said that it was harder to be dropped from the Australian test side than to be picked in the first place, now it's a revolving door with mediocre players coming & going. I'm losing interest very quickly. Warnie can be a bit of a muppet himself, but he does raise some good points.
    I agree with what you guys have outlined above, this side stinks!
  10. Torn Hammy Johnnie Wallace (23)

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    Agree Penguin, there are some mediocre averages amongst this lot.

    Factory Cricket NSW seems to churn out very good players these days rather than brilliant ones. Hopefully that will change now Gilbert has gone.
  11. Penguin Arch Winning (36)

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    It burns me to admit this as a dyed in the wool Queenslander, but we'd be totally screwed without NSW cricket, they seem to be propping up most of the other state teams with those fringe NSW players looking for an opportunity.
    I think the whole schedule of the summer with the huge break in proper cricket for the T/20 comp, at the most crucial time, is having adverse effects. In my eyes the T/20 should be at the start of the season, kinda like a pre season comp, that way players can get into form in the Shield & keep the momentum rolling when & if they are needed for test duties. And pick batsmen who have the weight of averages behind them over a period of time, not just picking those who are having a bit of a purple patch. Screw looking to the future & overlooking guys cos they might be on the wrong side of 30. Pick the best now, regardless!
    I've singled out the batsmen because I believe our bowling stocks are looking quite healthy overall. Anything that needs to be said about all rounders already has been in previous posts.
  12. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    Agreed that the schedule needs fixing.

    Daniel Brettig wrote a good article on cricinfo about a better plan for the Australian Summer.


    In summary his thoughts were:

    • Tests
    • Five or six to be played through November and December, concluding with Melbourne's Boxing Day Test and New Year's match in Sydney
    • BBL
    • Runs from December 26 to January 25
    • Each team plays 7 games, plus two semis and final, for 31 matches in total
    • More double headers to allow matches to be played within shorter timeframe
    • ODIs/T20Is
    • First game to be played January 26 either ODI or T20
    • ODIs capped at three matches per series
    • T20Is capped at two games per series
    • Conclude in late February
    • Sheffield Shield/Ryobi Cup
    • To begin in September/October, seven Shield rounds by December 20
    • On hiatus until January 30, then played until late March/early April finish
  13. disco Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Spot on Torn hammy,
    We use to have blokes who averaged 50 with the bat in domestic cricket who couldn't make the national team now blokes who average 30 with the bat & 50 with the ball are getting picked. These are sad times for Australian cricket.
  14. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    They're not that sad.

    It needs to be remembered that we've just gone through an era of cricket that was more successful than at any point of Bradman's career including the Invincibles.

    We had a team with the two most successful bowlers in Australian history at the same time as well as Australia's most prolific ever run scorer and other guys who were no mugs with the bat like Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden etc. Not to mention the greatest wicket keeper batsmen ever. From late in the Mark Taylor era, through Steve Waugh's captaincy and the first half of Ricky Ponting's captaincy we had probably the greatest and most settled test lineup we've ever had. There was a reason why so few Australian's debuted during that time. Everyone in the team was bloody good.

    I agree that we desperately need more guys in Shield cricket scoring lots of runs. There just aren't enough prolific run scorers who score a lot of hundreds. Phil Hughes is one of the few. A lot of people talk about how good Shaun Marsh is and how he should be in the test team (and the other teams) but he is someone who clearly has mental issues with the longer form of the game. He has 7 first class hundreds from 76 matches and averages around 35. That is horrendous for someone as good as him. Phil Hughes on the other hand has 21 first class hundreds.
  15. The Red Baron Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    Spot on BH. You want guys that force selectors to take notice through a glut of runs.

    Further to your point about our golden era, have a look at the averages of some of the shield batsmen of the time. Our test team was that settled that there were guys averaging 40+ in shield and never got the chance to step up. Pretty much every shield team had at least one 'hard luck' story batsman who would constantly pile on runs, only to never get a look in at test level.

    Circumstance nowadays dictates that players are picked for the test squad based on limited overs form. One of the key issues with this is batsmen who do not have the technique for test level, as they do not play as much 4-5 day cricket anymore. Maxwell comes to mind here. If he goes to India thinking he is going to hit the ball out of the park every delivery, then he will be in for a world of hurt.
  16. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    There is just such a difference in limited overs bowling and test cricket bowling for spinners like Maxwell and Doherty.

    Doherty is a great short form bowler because he is accurate and bowls few long hops. He gets wickets because batsmen make mistakes when they are trying to force the issue.

    In test cricket where batsmen can afford to wait for bad deliveries and just pick off runs here and there when they're available, bowlers like Doherty provide very little threat. Even when the batsmen are being very defensive and you can crowd the bat, someone like Doherty is much easier to keep out for long periods of time because he doesn't spin the ball a lot and bowls it very flat.

    Going back to the test cricket debutants, over a 10 year period from 1995-2004, 28 people debuted for Australia. From 2005 to the end of 2012 which is only 8 years, 40 people have debuted for Australia. From 2000-2004, only 7 people made their debut in test cricket for Australia.
  17. The Red Baron Nicholas Shehadie (39)

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    That is a good point about the bowlers. As with bastmen, the key word is patience.

    A good bowler will work a batsman for a period of time, with the aim of eventually drawing the batsman out of his comfort zone and into a position where he will lose his wicket. You are right, more often than not batsman will get out to bowlers in one day cricket trying to force the issue. In test cricket however, the bowler has to be able to draw the batsman into a false stroke.

    To be able to do that, a good bowler requires accuracy, variation and patience. Guys like Doherty and Maxwell will run into problems as they don't offer a great deal, and don't look like possessing the ability to out think a batsman over a period of time. The best they can hope for is tying down an end.
  18. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    First test team:

    Australia: Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), Matthew Wade, Moises Henriques, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon. 12th man: Glenn Maxwell.

    Overall I think it's about the best team we could have picked. Potentially I would have picked Khawaja as a sixth specialist batsman but I agree completely with the bowlers chosen. Warner and Clarke provide better wicket taking options as the extra spinners than Maxwell or Doherty.
    Maxwell at 12th man is a good choice as he is a good fielder. Steve Smith would have also been a great 12th man. Both are much better fielders than the rest of the guys on tour who didn't get picked (Doherty, Khawaja, Bird, Johnson).
  19. Lindommer Andrew Slack (58)

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    Not a well-balanced batting side: four openers and one lower order batsman with the keeper coming in before the allrounder. I can't help thinking Clarke should be higher up in the batting order. The three blokes selected would be about the best fast bowlers we've got at the moment, let's hope they can do the job.
  20. Braveheart81 Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I think we should have taken Haddin to India as a batsman. His form has been excellent this year and he's one of the best players of spin in the country.

    I feel that Clarke needs to score lots of runs for us to have a chance. The rest of our lineup is pretty tenuous against long periods of spin bowling which is what they'll face.

    Due to bouncy Australian pitches, few Australian batsmen sweep the ball much and thus aren't very good at the stroke. It is such an essential shot in India. Alistair Cook played it supremely against India last year and it was a major reason they won the series.

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